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Highlights

Stereo Vision for Underwater Archaeology

As co-director of Engineers for Exploration, Prof. Ryan Kastner led expeditions to test an underwater stereo camera system for producing 3D reconstructions of underwater objects. Here Kastner is shown with the camera system in a UCSD pool. Read more…  

Kastner Underwater

Pacific Interlude

Four of the 10 UCSD undergraduates in the 2014 Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program are CSE majors. (L-r) Allen Nguyen and Lok Yi (Nicole) Wong did research in Japan, while Matthew Schwegler and Katerina Zorko spent the summer in Australia. Read more…

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Girls Day Out

The UCSD chapter of Women in Computing (WiC) held its second annual Girls Day Out in May, bringing roughly 100 girls from San Diego high schools to tour the campus and do hands-on experiments in electronics. Here, girls visit the Qualcomm Institute’s StarCAVE virtual reality room. Read more…  

Girls Day Out

Coding for a Cause

Then-sophomore Sneha Jayaprakash's mobile app, Bystanders to Upstanders (B2U), matches students with opportunities to volunteer for social causes. Together with fellow CSE undergrads, she won a series of grants and awards, and is now doing a startup. Read more...

Sneha Jayaprakash

Photo Finish

CSE alumna Brina Lee (M.S. ’13) was the first full-time female engineer hired at Instagram. Then Instagram was purchased by Facebook, and now Lee is spending much of her time talking to female students about opportunities in computer science. Read more… 

Brina Lee

Internet of Things

Computer scientists at UCSD developed a tool that allows hardware designers and system builders to test security. The tool tags then tracks critical pieces in a hardware’s security system. Pictured (l-r): Ph.D. student Jason Oberg, Prof. Ryan Kastner, postdoc Jonathan Valamehr. Read more…

Internet of Things

Research Expo 2014

At the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Research Expo 2014, CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta (pictured) briefed industry and visitors, and Ph.D. student Matthew Jacobsen won best CSE poster for “Hardware-Accelerated Online Boosting for Tracking.” Read more…

Research Expo 2014

ParentGuardian

Ph.D. student Laura Pina won best paper with Microsoft colleagues at PervasiveHealth 2014 for developing ParentGuardian, a mobile app/sensor detecting stress in parents of children with ADHD. The system helps parents cope with stress in real time. Read more…  

ParentGuardian

New Faculty

Former UC Berkeley professor Ravi Ramamoorthi joined CSE’s visual computing faculty, and he is one of six new CSE faculty hires in 2014. Others include assistant teaching professors Mia Minnes and Leo Porter, and assistant professors George Porter, Daniel M. Kane and Julian McAuley. Read more…

Ravi Ramamoorthi

Fun and Functional

CSE 145 teaches students about embedded systems design, and they do capstone projects. For one team, that meant building Ruku, a robot and mobile app that solves a Rubik’s Cube in 30 seconds. (L-r): William Mutterspaugh, Daryl Stimm and Jonas Kabigting. Read more…

Ruku to solve Rubik's Cube

Overclocked Enthusiasts

CSE alumni, students, staff and faculty turned out in force to run, walk or just cheer on the Overclocked CSE Enthusiasts, the department's main team entered in the Chancellor’s 5K run in June. Prof. Christine Alvarado ranked #1 in her division. Read more…  

5K Race

The Gift That Keeps on Giving

CSE capped the 2012-'13 academic year with the announcement of an anonymous $18.5 million gift from an alumnus – making it the largest-ever alumni gift to UC San Diego. Read more...

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  • Student Startups Among Finalists in Social Innovation Challenge

    Two CSE student startups have reached the finals of the San Diego Social Innovation Challenge. The companies -- Evocado, and Bystanders to Upstanders -- will participate in a final round of  judging on April 28 along with three other teams from UC San Diego that are among the eight finalists in the San Diego-wide track of the competition (while eight teams from the University of San Diego are in a separate but parallel competition, because USD is organizing the Social Innovation Challenge).

    Sneha Jayaprakash (left) is the CEO of Bystanders to Upstanders (B2U), to which she recruited six of her friends (all computer science majors) shortly after founding the company in 2013. Now a junior in computer science specializing in bioinformatics, Jayaprakash says her passion is social change. Her startup aims to revolutionize the way people view community service. The company is designing and developing the app to apply game design and social networking to community service, and she has found backers, including the Microsoft Imagine Fund (with a $10,000 award). Since founding B2U in 2013, Jayaprakash has shifted from a non-profit to a for-profit model focused on encouraging volunteer work in corporate settings, and the size of her team has doubled to more than a dozen people, most of them CSE undergraduates. The company aims to "start finalizing contracts with companies who want to license the app" by the end of 2015.

    Daniel Kao (right) founded Evocado in December 2014 to create an online platform to intelligently connect grant seekers with foundations, and to simplify the grant application, review and management process. It's also a for-profit venture that is nevertheless focused on "funding and raising awareness for the social solutions the world needs," according to the team's overview impact statement. Kao is a computer science senior who leads product design and development for the company. Other team members include Edgardo Leija, a recent UCSD alumnus (BS '14) in cognitive science with a minor in computer science. Since graduation, he has gone to work as an interaction designer for Hewlett-Packard, but still leads user experience design for Evocado in his spare time. Leija was part of the founding team of UXSD, the student branch of the new Design Lab at UC San Diego.

    Kao, Jayaprakash and other team leaders will deliver 6-minute pitches in the final judging. The pitch has to appeal to a broad audience, according to B2U's Jayaprakash. "It needs to make sense to the social good side, the business and marketing side," she told the Jacobs School blog. "Each sector has different things that they want to see, and crafting a pitch that apseaks to each sector is the challenge."

    The recipients of the prizes (seed funding for winning startups) will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 1. At that ceremony, all of the finalists will present the 90-second "fast pitch" for their projects to the social innovation community members attending the event.

  • Alumnus Looks Back at Inaugural Introduction to Robotics Course

    Recent CSE alumnus Chris Barngrover (MS '10, PhD '14) developed a new CSE 190 course, Introduction to Robotics, which he first taught during the Winter 2015 quarter, juggling lectures to undergraduates with his full-time job in SPAWAR's Unmanned Systems group (where he works on computer vision for robotics). He also arranged to provide low-cost robotics kits to each team to integrate into a more complex system, including at least two peripherals. During the second half of the quarter, students broke into teams to work on robot projects that accounted for 50 percent of their final grades in the class.

    This week Barngrover (at right) posted a video created by one of the CSE 190 teams involving "Autonomous Tracking and Following of Indoor RC Helicopter." Undergraduate students (below, l-r) Frank Bogart, Mike Lara, James Lee and Kenny Yokoyama completed the BLLY project (pronounced Billy, and derived from the first letters of the students' last names). Three of the students are computer engineering majors: fifth-year student Bogart worked on the vision for the robot; senior Lara handled the embedded systems; and Lee, a second-year transfer student, worked on the navigation and hardware. The fourth team member, Yokoyama, is a third-year computer science major who worked on the Linux setup and networking.

    BLLY combined a do-it-yourself personal robot (based on the TurtleBot robotics kit) and open-source software with a Kinect and a netbook. Students also used Qualcomm DragonBoards to gain hands-on experience with Robot Operating System. The Kinect was used to detect the helicopter in 3D space using its RGB camera in conjunction with its depth-sensing capabilities. The students also implemented an LED array to display the relative position of the RC helicopter in the frame of the Kinect's camera in real time. The resulting autonomous robot follows around a tiny, remote-controlled quadcopter, and if the copter starts moving away, the robot accelerates in its direction to maintain an ideal distance between the two.

    For the Spring 2015 quarter, Barngrover switched to teaching a course in the Master of Advanced Studies program in Wireless Embedded Systems of the Jacobs School, titled Introduction to Embedded Systems Design (WES 237A). The part-time MAS program is designed for working professionals, and it involves a full day of lectures and labs every other Friday.

  • CSE Students Prepare to Stand and Deliver at Undergraduate Research Conference

    The 28th Annual Undergraduate Research Conference takes places this Saturday, April 25. It will run from 8am to 4pm at the Faculty Club. Many of the CSE students set to speak at the conference were 2014-15 participants in the department's Early Research Scholars Program.

    Among the CSE students set to present their research during the 2015 conference is Jordan Yoshihara (at right), who was nominated by CSE Prof. Mia Minnes. Yoshihara will talk about "Fostering Improved Learning in Math: A Case Study in an Elementary Classroom." Yoshihara did her undergraduate research project (CSE 199) in the winter quarter. She used the educational technology tool ALEKS to explore which technologies work, and which don't, in the elementary classroom of her case study. Her goal is to use the findings of her study in a future effort to develop new educational software.

    One of the most popular panels for CSE undergraduates this year is "Computer Networks", with CSE Prof. Christine Alvarado and faculty-affiliate Kimberly Claffy nominating all of the speakers between them. Huayin Zhou and Luis Sanchez will talk about "Characterizing the Performance of Cloud Computing Services." Other two-person teams include Tiffany Allen and Aaron Hurtado as well as Andrew Jabasa and Kelsey Ma, with both teams presenting a two-part study on "Network Traffic Analysis." Their faculty advisors were Geoffrey Voelker and Stefan Savage.  Edgar Lopez-Garcia and Mingshan Wang team to talk about their joint research on the optical circuit switching-based "REACToR Network." 

    Two individual student researchers will also present their research findings. They include Ilse Tse (advised by CSE Prof. Ryan Kastner), on "Making Structure from Motion More Efficient," and Jennifer Tran (at left), who was advised by CSE Prof. Steven Swanson while undertaking her project on "Automating the Process of Synthesizing Electronic Gadgets."

    Evidence of the growing role that computer science plays in the development of health and medical innovations is evident in the number of CSE speakers participating in the Technology & Medicine panel (#18). CSE's Alvarado nominated three of the four teams that will be speaking on Saturday afternoon. Mayrani Abajian, Rachel Lee and Emma Roth have worked on "Research in Heart Rate Variability," while two other teams split the work on "Adapting the Top Trading Cycles Algorithm for Live Kidney Exchange": Rachel Kelrouz and Steven Stone for part one of the project, and Raina Ahuja with Asha Camper Singh for part two. The latter four students were advised by CSE Prof. Mohan Paturi.

    Panel #19 (Space & Applied Computer Science) will include two solo presentations. Antonella Wilby worked on a "Stereo Camera Rig for Nautical Cyber-Archaeology," which grew out of her involvement with the Engineers for Exploration program (whose co-director, CSE Prof. Ryan Kastner, nominated Wilby to speak at the conference). Kastner also nominated Zachary Blair, who will talk about "Mapping Powerful Graphics Processing Algorithms to Low-Power Embedded Devices."

  • Nominations for Campus-Wide Outstanding Senior, Graduate Student

    CSE faculty, students, staff and alumni, along with those from across campus, are eligible to nominate candidates for the most outstanding senior and/or the most outstanding graduate or professional student. In both categories, only students who are graduating this year can be nominated. The annual awards will honor two students who "have earned the admiration of the UC San Diego community for exceptional contributions to university life and who have generously served the university," according to the announcement from the vice chancellor of student affairs Juan González and the dean of the graduate division, Kim Barrett. Nominees must have earned recognition in the UC San Diego community for their outstanding academic and leadership performance, as well as for enhancing the student experience on campus.

    The award recipients will each receive $1,000, a special gift from UCSD Alumni, and public recognition at the All-Campus Graduation Celebration on Friday, June 12, 2015. Applications can be downloaded here, and the hard deadline for submitting nominations is Friday, May 1.



by Dr. Radut