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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…  


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…


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…


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…


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…  


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…


$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…


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...


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...


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... 


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...

  • Women in Machine Learning Profile CSE Professor

    On February 3, the Women in Machine Learning (WiML) organization profiled CSE Prof. Kamalika Chaudhuri on its Facebook page. The Feb. 3 article  notes that her research is on "the theoretical foundations of machine learning, and she works on designing machine learning [ML] algorithms with rigorous performance guarantees."

    Chaudhuri (at right) is particularly interested in privacy-preserving machine learning -- how to design ML algorithms that operate on the sensitive data of individuals, while ensuring that their outputs are rigorously guaranteed to preserve privacy. "An obvious approach to privacy is anonymization -- removing names and addresses and the obvious identifiers from the data, and then using the rest of the data for learning," said Chaudhuri. "These approaches however are insufficient for privacy. Even without obvious identifiers, personal data tends to be very unique, and it is often possible to automatically link together different sources of information and re-identify individuals in anonymized data."

    The computer scientist and former CSE postdoctoral researcher (2007 to 2010) went on to explain her focus on guaranteeing 'differential privacy', a rigorous definition of privacy designed by cryptographers in 2006. "Differential privacy is typically obtained by randomly perturbing the result of a function -- which could be as complex as a classifier or a clustering -- computed on the sensitive data," said Chaudhuri. "The challenge is to design algorithms that can achieve privacy as well as high accuracy given a certain number of samples."

    Chaudhuri is also studying privacy challenges that arise in more correlated and more complex data, such as time series and social networks, and she has been working on "algorithms that can compute statistics on such data while still guaranteeing a generalization of differential privacy."

    Learn more about Women in Machine Learning at the WiML Facebook page.

  • Women Well Represented Among Potential CSE Faculty Recruits

    The hiring season for new CSE faculty is now in full swing. Between February 5 and the end of March, nine potential recruits have so far been invited to deliver talks on their areas of research expertise as part of the recruiting process. Of those, more than half are women, including an assistant professor from Notre Dame, a postdoc as well as a Ph.D. candidate (both from Carnegie Mellon), and Ph.D. candidates from UC Berkeley and a German research institute. The five female candidates include:

    Friday, February 5, 11am: Heather Knight will talk about "Algorithms for Charismatic Robots" (see CSE web calendar for Knight's abstract.) She is a Ph.D. candidate at Carnegie Mellon and an alumna of the MIT Media Lab's Personal Robots group. Knight's research interests include human-robot interaction, non-verbal machine communications, and non-anthropomorphic social robots. Knight was featured on the cover of Wired magazine's UK edition with her comedy performance robot named Data. She is also the founder of Marilyn Monrobot, which stages an annual Robot Film Festival (as well as "robot comedy" TED Talks). Knight was named to the 2011 Forbes List of 30 under 30 in Science, and her work also includes robotics and instrumentation at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, interactive installations with Syyn Labs, as well as field applications and sensor design at Aldebaran Robotics.

    Monday, February 8, 11am: Another candidate from Carnegie Mellon, Ndapa (pronounced "daka") Nakashole, has been a postdoctoral fellow in CMU's School of Computer Science since 2013. Her research interests are in machine reading, natural language processing, machine learning, and data mining. Before joining CMU, Nakashole received a Ph.D. in computer science from Germany's Max Planck Institute for Informatics, where she also received the Max Planck Society's dissertation award. Nakashole did her undergraduate and master's degrees at the University of Cape Town in her native South Africa.

    Wednesday, March 2, Noon: Stefanie Mueller is completing her Ph.D. in computer science and human-computer interaction (HCI) in 2016. Her dissertation at Germany's Hasso-Plattner-Institute is on interacting with personal fabrication machines. Mueller shared in the Best Paper awarded at ACM's Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI) conference in 2013, for a paper on "LaserOrigami: Laser-Cutting 3D Objects," and she has two papers to be presented at CHI 2016 this May, including a "sensemaking" tactile display system based on a 3D printer designed to be used by the visually impaired.

    Monday, March 7, 11am: Justine Sherry is finishing her Ph.D. in computer science at UC Berkeley this May. Her research interests are primarily in computer networks, including middleboxes (such as firewalls and caches), networked systems, measurement, Internet architecture, cloud computing, and congestion control. Her dissertation is on new opportunities and challenges arising from moving middlebox services to clouds and ISPs. In 2015, Sherry received the Best Student Paper award at SIGCOMM 2015, for her paper on "Rollback Recovery for Middleboxes." She earned her M.S. in 2012, also from UC Berkeley, after completing undergraduate degrees in computer science and international studies at the University of Washington in 2010. Mueller has held software engineering internships at Amazon, Microsoft Research, and Research Intern.

  • Modifying the Microbial Makeup of C-Section Babies

    Professor Rob Knight has appointments in both CSE and Pediatrics, and the microbiome expert led a small pilot study that could have repercussions for expectant mothers -- especially those whose children were delivered by C-section. In the study published on February 1 in the journal Nature Medicine, Knight and co-authors from UC San Diego, New York University, University of Puerto Rico and Mount Sinai's Icahn School of Medicine determined that a simple swab to transfer vaginal microbes from the mother could alter the C-section-delivered newborn's microbiome (microbial makeup). The resulting microbiome then more closely resembles that of a vaginally-delivered baby. This could be important, because prior research suggests a link between C-section delivery and increased subsequent risk of obesity, asthma, allergies, atopic disease and other immune deficiencies. Furthermore, says Knight, "other research suggests that the microbiome differences between vaginal and C-section babies can persist for years."

    The latest study originated at home. “When my own child was born by unplanned C-section, we took matters into our own hands to see to it that she was exposed to vaginal microbes,” said Knight, who directs the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego. “She is now four years old and healthy, but that was an uncontrolled experiment of one and so we can’t tell whether it had an effect, from a scientific perspective. This study now starts to prove that the effect exists, telling us that some of those vaginal microbes probably do stick around when transferred to a baby born by C-section, at least for the first month of life.”

    According to Knight, the pilot study "provides the proof of concept that microbiome modification early in life is possible, [but] we need substantially more children and a longer follow-up period to connect the procedure to health effects."

    Read the full news release on the Jacobs School of Engineering website.

  • New York Times Quotes Larry Smarr on Underwater Data Centers

    On January 31, New York Times technology correspondent John Markoff reported on an exciting new experiment involving the design and placement of a data center underwater off the central coast of California.

    For the article, the newspaper turned to CSE professor (and Calit2 director) Larry Smarr for an outsider's perspective on the future of computing systems underwater. The test by Microsoft aimed to see if a self-contained data center (the gray cylinder pictured at left on deployment) could reduce air-conditioning bills by sinking the data center hundreds of feet below the surface of the ocean. Microsoft is also looking at attaching a turbine or tidal-energy system to generate electricity.  

    As quoted in the article, UC San Diego's Smarr (right) noted that, "For years, the main cloud providers have been seeking sites around the world not only for green energy, but which also take advantage of the environment." The article notes that demand for centralized computing has grown exponentially, and it's likely to continue with rapid advances in digital entertainment, the Internet of Things and cloud computing. The first prototype -- dubbed the "Leona Philpot", after a character in Microsoft's Halo video game series -- is now back at the company after a 105-day trial in the Pacific near San Luis Obispo, and Microsoft is now designing a version that is three times the size of the 8-feet in diameter, cylindrical prototype.

by Dr. Radut