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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…


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


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…  


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...

  • Counter-Intuitive Technique to Put the Brakes on Liar Buyer Fraud

    Mayank Dhiman is now a Powell Fellow in CSE's Security and Cryptography group. But back in 2013, he spent the summer as an undergraduate summer researcher at PayPal, working under Markus Jakobsson, the company's principal data scientist. Flash forward 18 months, and the two researchers (plus a third former undergrad intern, Hossein Siadati) had their worrk on Liar Buyer Fraud published and accepted for presentation at the Workshop on Usable Security (USEC 2015), which took place in early February.

    In the paper, Dhiman and his colleagues describe a common yet poorly known type of fraud -- so-called Liar Buyer fraud -- and they go on to explain why traditional anti-fraud  technology has failed to  curb this type of fraud, which typically involves a purchase gone bad. Typically the consumer places an order and receives the merchandise, then reports it as not delivered, and asks for a refund. The researchers introduced a counter-intuitive technique in which the claims processor unveils knowledge of detailed iniformation about the purchase, and new experiments showed the new technique based on user-interface modification to address liar buyers has the potentialto dramatically reduce losses from fraud. Using a combination of role playing and questionnaires, they determined the opinions and behaviors of about 1,700 subjects, and found that their proposed technique results in a statistically-significant reduction in fraud rates in an experimental setting. The results are so promising for both men and women that the researchers hope to expand the study to real e-commerce traffic, when the researchers could also test whether men are more willing to lie and defraud than are women. While research has previously confirmed that discrepancy, Dhiman and his colleagues say that results using their new counter-intuitive technique so far show men being about as honest as women.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
    Read the paper on Liar Buyer Fraud, and How to Curb It 

  • Why Heat May Spell Trouble for 3D Integrated Circuits

    In a recent article about how "3D stacking offers an extension for Moore's Law," Engineering & Technology Magazine suggests that a move to 3D integrated circuits could offer the closest thing to Moore's Law by reducing the average wire length, and therefore energy. But a computer scientist at UC San Diego cautions in the same article that heat produced by that energy could be a potential major problem. Transistors produce copious amounts of heat when they switch, resulting in big increases in heat production when running at high frequencies. "If you look at graphs of long-term growth in transistor performance," said CSE Prof. Michael Taylor, "you would think we would be able to operate them at 15GHz by now." Instead, even the processors in large servers do not run at more than 3GHz. Added Taylor: "Transistors have this inherent capability but we can't use it because the transistors can't use it becaause they have to stay within a power envelope." The article continues that the "situation has reached the point where, to be able to remove enough heat from the chip to stop individual transistors from cooking themselves to death, a large fraction of the overall device needs to be doing nothing."

  • Breakout on Center for Visual Computing at Research Expo 2015

    At the 2015 Jacobs School of Engineering ResearchExpo, the breakout session will showcase the latest and soon-to-be-announced Research Centers. While there are CSE faculty involved in other centers, only one such center -- the Center for Visual Computing (CVC) -- will be represented by a senior faculty member, Professor Ravi Ramamoorthi, from the Computer Science and Engineering department. Ramamoorthi will speak about "Visual Computing: Grand Opportunities" at 3:30pm  - 4:00pm on April 16 in the Price Center Forum on the 4th floor. Other faculty talks will focus on wearable sensors, extreme events engineering, as well as sustainable power and energy.
    In his talk, CSE's Ramamoorthi says "visual computing at the interface of computer vision and computer graphics is undergoing a major transformation that impacts our daily lives." He  points to key challenges that remain, notably how to create visual effects in real time and "integrating them with mobile augmented reality systems to extends human perception with mobile augmented realiity. Another major trend is the coming of age for computer vision, where tasks like scene comprehension and gesture recognitionwewew are now becoming commonplace on mobile devices."  Prof. Ramamoorthi will talk about the forthcoming Center for Visual Computing, which will be charged with developing the fundamental technologies needed to take full advantage of new opportunities to display and experience visual content.
  • Recent Faculty Recruit on Importance of Microbiome

    The TED Talks website has posted a much-awaited presentation by UC San Diego professor of pediatrics as well as computer science, Rob Knight. Actually, it was recorded at TED 2014 nearly a year ago, when Knight  was still a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist at the University of Colorado Boulder. Knight made the switch to UC San Diego early this year, and the TED organization finally lifted the free-viewing curtain on the video of his March appearance at TED 2014 in Vancouver.

    Then, in just over 24 hours, approximately 125,000 visitors viewed Knight's talk on "How our microbes make us who we are." What's more, TED Books began to sell the hardcover as well as Kindle and audio CD editions, all through Amazon. The book based on Knight's presentation, now dubbed "Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes" (see photo below), will be released on April 7.

    In his original TED presentation, now available for free on the TED website and via TED apps or iTunes, Knight is described as a "microbial ecologist", which, while true, is an understatement of his impressive credentials. After earning his Ph.D. from Princeton, he became an expert in the human microbiome, mgicrobial community ecology and what he now calls "multi-omics". In joining UC San Diego's Biomedical Sciences (BMS) Graduate Program in the focus areas of bioinformatics and glycobiology, Knight simultaneously agreed to spend part of his time working closely with the team of bioinformatics faculty in the Computer Science and Engineering department.

    "A major challenge in microbiome research is in computation," said Knight.  "The ability to generate the data has greatly outstripped a lot of people's ability to analyze the data." Knight's decision to join the UC San Diego faculty is owed, at least in part, to the university having "a unique combination of high-performance computing, immunology... " as well as other companies, institutions and hospitals.

    "Ninety percent of the cells in your body are not human," said Calit2 Director Larry Smarr, quoted in the San Diego Union-Tribune when the hire of Rob Knight was announced. "They are bacteria located in places like your large intestine. Medicine has been ignoring those microbes. But that's changing, and UCSD will be a leader in this transformation. Indeed, Smarr hopes to move his own research into Knight's larger lab once it is fully established.

    Watch the webcast of Rob Knight's TED 2014 talk or read the Interactive Transcript.

by Dr. Radut