Skip to Content

Highlights

Triton 5K 2015

Over 140 CSE alumni, students, staff and faculty registered to run as part of Team Race Condition. As a result, the department took home the prize for the largest turnout and donation at the 2015 Chancellor’s 5K run in early June. Read more…  

CSEHeader_Triton5K2015.jpg

2015 Student Awards

CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta and Profs. Christine Alvarado and Sorin Lerner with graduate and undergraduate student recipients of the inaugural awards given by the department for graduating students.. Read more…

CSEHeader_CSE2015Awards

Dissertation Medal

CSE alumna Sarah Meiklejohn (PhD '14) was singled out for her dissertation, "Flexible Models for Secure Systems", as the recipient of the 2015 Chancellor's Dissertation Medal. Meiklejohn is now a professor at University College London. Read more…

CSEHeader_BitcoinDissertationAward.jpg

Research Expo 2015

At the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Research Expo 2015, more than 25 CSE graduate students showcased their research during the poster session visited by hundreds of campus, industry and community members. Read more…

CSEHeader_ResearchExpo2015.jpg

Best Poster

Graduating M.S. student Narendran Thangarajan won the award for best Computer Science and Engineering poster at Research Expo 2015. He analyzed social media to characterize HIV at-risk populations in San Diego. Read more…  

CSEHeader_Thangarajan.jpg

Computer Graphics on EdX

After announcing the launch of the Center for Visual Computing, the Center's director, CSE Prof. Ravi Ramamoorthi, announced that in August 2015 he will launch an online course on computer graphics over the edX online platform. Read more…

CSEHeader_RaviRamamoorthiEdx.jpg

$2 Million Alumni Gift

CSE alumnus Taner Halicioglu, an early employee at Facebook, is donating $2 million to the CSE department to recruit, retain and support the professors and lecturers whose primary mission is to teach and mentor students. Read more…

CSEHeader_$2MillionGift.jpg

Big Pixel Hackathon

Seventeen CSE students, most of them graduate students, participated in the first Bix Pixel Hackathon organized by the Qualcomm Institute to demonstrate how data science can be harnessed to tackle public policy issues. Read more...

CSEHeader_BigPixel.jpg

Paul Kube Tribute

CSE honored retiring lecturer Paul Kube with a tribute and the subsequent announcement that CSE is creating the Paul R. Kube Chair of Computer Science to be awarded to a teaching professor, the first chair of its kind in the department. Read more...

CSEHeader_PaulKubeTribute.jpg

Incoming Freshmen

Prior to entering UC San Diego as first-year undergraduates in CSE, high school students prepare to graduate from CSE's month-long Summer Program for Incoming Students, a residential program with a heavy dose of programming. Read more... 

CSEHeader_SPIS2014.jpg

Integrated Digital Infrastructure

CSE Prof. Larry Smarr leads a two-year initiative to deploy an Integrated Digital Infrastructure for the UC San Diego campus, including grants to apply advanced IT services to support disciplines that increasingly depend on digital data. Read more...

CSEHeader_SmarrVroom.jpg

Query Language for Big Data

CSE Prof. Yannis Papakonstantinou and Couchbase Inc., are collaborating on a next-generation query language for big data based on the UCSD-developed SQL++, which brings together the full power of SQL with the flexibility of JSON. Read more...

CSEHeader_YannisCouchbase.jpg

Honoring Academic Integrity

At 5th annual Academic Integrity Awards, CSE lecturer Gary Gillespie (center, with Leo Porter and Rick Ord) accepted the faculty award in Apri. Then in May, he received the Outstanding Professor Award from the Panhellenic Association. Read more...

CSEHeader_GaryGillespie.jpg

Non-Volatile Memories

In March 2015, CSE Prof. Steven Swanson talks to 220 attendees at the 6th annual Non-Volatile Memories Workshop which he co-organized, and which he said was "moving onto deeper, more Interesting and more challenging problems." Read more...

CSEHeader_SwansonNVMW.jpg

Frontiers of Innovation

At least five CSE graduate students and a similar number of undergraduates were selected to receive inaugural Frontiers of Innovation Scholarship Program (FISP) awards initiated for 2015-'16 by UC San Diego. Read more...

CSEHeader_FISP.jpg

Not-So-Safe Scanners

A team including CSE Prof. Hovav Shacham (right) and Ph.D. student Keaton Mowery released findings of a study pointing to serious flaws in the security of backscatter X-ray scanners used at many airports. Read more...

CSEHeader_Backscatter.jpg

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

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

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

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...

AnonymousGift.jpg
  • Bellare, Co-authors Honored for Paper on Encryption vs. Mass Surveillance

    On Tuesday, June 30 in Philadelphia, CSE Prof. Mihir Bellare was among the recipients of the 2015 Privacy-Enhancing Technologies Award. The ceremony was part of the annual Privacy Enhancing Technologies (PET) Symposium. The award honored the three co-authors of a 2014 paper on "Security of Symmetric Encryption Against Mass Surveillance." In their paper, Bellare and his co-authors Phillip Rogaway from UC Davis and Kenneth Paterson at Royal Holloway University of London, described how they were "motivated by revelations concerning population-wide surveillance of encrypted communications" by the National Security Agency, as disclosed in documents released by Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks. [Picturedt: UCSD's Bellare, at left, and Rogaway from UC Davis accepting the PET Award in Philadelphia.] 

    In their paper, Bellare and his colleagues formalized and investigated the resistance of symmetric encryption schemes to mass surveillance, focusing primarily on one type: so-called algorithm-substitution attacks, or ASAs. This involves "big brother" replacing an existing algorithm for encryption with a subverted encryption algorithm. The computer scientists offered both attacks and defenses to ASAs. Among the latter, they showed "how to design symmetric encryption schemes that avoid [ASA] attacks and meet our notion of security."

  • Computational Biologist Faculty-Affiliate Joins UC San Diego

    UC San Diego recently announced the hiring of computational biologist Jill Mesirov as associate vice chancellor for computational health sciences, with a primary appointment in the School of Medicine and Moores Cancer Center. But now the CSE department has appointed Mesirov as a faculty-affiliate as well. Until recently, the heavy hitter in academia and industry directed the computational biology and bioinformatics programs at the Broad Institute, a partnership of MIT and Harvard. Before that, she managed computational biology and bioinformatics at IBM.

    Mesirov’s own research focuses on applying machine-learning methods to functional genomics data in two main areas: cancer and infectious disease. In cancer, Mesirov’s team is analyzing molecular data to determine the underlying biological mechanisms of specific tumor subtypes and to stratify patients according to their relative risks of relapse. In infectious disease, her team is using functional data to better understand the host-pathogen relationship in malaria, as well as to identify biomarkers for differential diagnosis of viral and bacterial diseases and biomarkers of vaccine efficacy.

    In addition to applying computational methods to biomedical research, Mesirov is committed to developing “biologist-friendly” software tools and making them freely accessible to the entire biomedical research community. To this end, her team has developed several popular analysis and visualization software packages, such as Gene Set Enrichment Analysis, GenePattern and the Integrative Genomics Viewer. These tools are used by tens of thousands of investigators worldwide to aid in their research.

  • CSE Professor Launches Online Courses in Interaction Design

    Learners around the world, regardless of background, will have the opportunity online to learn how to design great user experiences and what it takes to design technologies that “bring people joy rather than frustration.” The courses were developed by University of California, San Diego Professor Scott Klemmer, who will begin teaching the sequence of seven online courses on “Interaction Design” on the Coursera platform on June 24.

    CSE Prof. Klemmer (pictured) is also a professor of cognitive science in the UC San Diego Division of Social Sciences.The sequence of courses is the first offered by UC San Diego on Coursera since the platform began offering specializations in 2014 for closely related courses – allowing students to master a skill and apply it to a capstone project. Although the courses do not count for credit at UC San Diego, students passing all the courses and getting a Verified Certificate for each can complete a capstone project to earn a Specialization Certificate that demonstrates mastery over the broader skillset.

    “Design is a critical component of the development process in every industry, so we took this opportunity to create a sequence of courses open to everyone, with no particular background required,” said Klemmer, who is also associate director of the Design Lab at UC San Diego. “We are also delighted to be partnering with Instagram co-founder and Director of Engineering Mike Krieger.” Instagram’s Krieger helped Klemmer (his former professor) create the requirements for the final capstone project: to design a creative, end-to-end social user experience using professional interaction design and user-experience (UX) tools. Krieger and Klemmer will judge the projects and provide personalized feedback to the creators of the best designs.

    “Here you get to do an open-ended project where you get to show the world and yourself what you can do with all these design materials,” said Klemmer. “This is a great opportunity to put together a portfolio piece or something you can use to impress your family and friends, or get a job in the design field.”

    The full sequence of courses is geared to students who want to be designers or product managers, but it’s open to anyone. Klemmer covers key elements in the design process. “We start out with need-finding, go through rapid prototyping, make something that is higher fidelity, and test it both in-person and online,” explains Klemmer. “Then students can revise and iterate while polishing the design. Students will be able to experience the whole cycle in the specialization.”  Students learn techniques for brainstorming and generating ideas, how to prototype designs rapidly before implementing them, and how to gather meaningful feedback from users. Students also learn principles of effective visual design, perception and cognition, and how to organize a team’s design process to maximize creative output.

    The seven courses will cover: Human-Centered Design: An Introduction; Design Principles: An Introduction; Social Computing; input and Interaction; User Experience Design; Information Design; and Designing, Running and Analyzing Experiments. The courses are self-paced, with an estimated workload of 10-12 hours per week. The lectures are pre-recorded and they don’t have to be taken in order, although initially only the first two courses are available. Course three is due in July, course four in August, and the remaining courses in the fall.

  • Adjunct CSE Professor Divulges Google's Network Strategy

    This week Google partially lifted the curtain of secrecy surrounding the homegrown network architecture it built over the past decade to handle the massive amount of Internet traffic through the search giant's servers. To divulge the details, Google selected an adjunct CSE professor to go public. Amin Vahdat, who started advising Google while he was still teaching at UC San Diego and leading the university's Center for Networked Systems (CNS), is now a full-time Google Fellow and Technical Lead for Networking at the company, and he remains an adjunct member of the CSE faculty. [Vahdat is pictured below during the 2013 CNS Research Review.]

    Vahdat gave a presentation at the 2015 Open Network Summit on June 17, "revealing for the first time the details of five generations of our in-house network technology," according to Google. While Vahdat was careful about not divulging too many proprietary details, he presented a first look into Google's data center network design and implementation, focusing on the data, control and management plane principles underpinning five generations of our network architecture." Vahdat told the conference that around 2005, the hardware didn't exist that Google required to build a network of the size and speed the company needed. So  instead of buying networking from companies such as Cisco Systems, Google designed its own equipment and had it made to order in Asia and elsewhere. Today, he said, Google designs 100 percent of the networking hardware used inside its data centers. As a result, the company has been able to boost the capacity of a single datacenter network more than 100-fold in 10 years. The current generation of cluster switches, called Jupiter, provide about 40 terabits of bandwidth per second, the equivalent of 40 million home Internet connections. That capability, Vahdat said, is critical to meeting Google's bandwidth and scale demands that are growing exponentially -- doubling approximately every year.

    Timed to coincide with his talk, Vahdat posted an article on the Google Cloud Platform blog. "Our datacenter networks are shared infrastructure," he wrote. "This means that the same networks that power all of Google's internal infrastructure and services also power Google Cloud Platform. We are most excited about opening this capability up to developers across the world so that the next great Internet service or platform can leverage world-class network infrastructure without having to invent it."

    The hallmark of Google's network approach involved moving the complexity out of the hardware and into the software -- so-called software-defined networking -- which allowed the company to build complex networks on top of relatively cheap and abundant microchips. "Taken together, our network control stack has more in common with Google's distributed computing architectures than traditional router-centric Internet protocols," added Vahdat. "Some might even say that we've been deploying and enjoying the benefits of software-defined networking at Google for a decade... these systems come from our early work in datacenter networking." While Vahdat was talking about Google's early work specifically, it's clear that his own early work in CSE and the Center for Networked Systems pointed to the importance of software-defined networking for datacenters -- and he put theory into practice when given the opportunity to create what may be the largest computer network in the world... giving CSE some bragging rights by association. 



by Dr. Radut