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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…

CSEHeader_PRIME2014.jpg

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...

AnonymousGift.jpg
  • Reflections on CSE 197 Summer Internships

    Undergraduates who spent the summer doing on-site internships for academic credit  in CSE 197 will share their experiences with other students and faculty on Friday, October 24 starting at 3:30pm through 6pm. All of the activities will take place in Room 1202 and the Lobby of the CSE Building.

    Ten students were deployed to sites in Silicon Valley, San Francisco, Pasadena, Seattle and San Diego, where they worked on a variety of research projects at host companies. The summer interns will showcase research on topics ranging from fulfillment technologies at Amazon (by undergrad Troy Campbell) to ads and data software at Yahoo! (Kevin Xiankun Zhang). At Amazon, Campbell (pictured at right) optimized the functionality and revamped the user interface of tools to manage the workforce at fulfillment centers -- upgrades that went into production and are now live in every Amazon fulfillment center worldwide.

    Other internships were hosted at Salesforce, GoPro (founded by UC San Diego alumnus Nick Woodman, Muir '97), Intuit, Sony Network Entertainment, Bluebeam, and Pacific Gas & Electric. At the latter company, students Olivia Castaneda and Maria Joseph worked on information technology and middleware operations, respectively. At GoPro, Linda Shih worked on the Automated Test Harness for the Hero4 camera.

    All 10 upper-division undergraduates will present their work, including Sharon Chung talking about an automation framework at Sony, Joe Xunzhe Xu on software quality analytics at Salesforce, and Panayiotes Kakleas on a studio dashboard for Bluebeam Software. Two students stayed in San Diego to do their internships: Jungyoon Chung did web development at Profits4Purpose, which helps companies (and universities, including UCSD) engage volunteers, empower giving and manage grant and gift programs; and James Lee delved into Turbo Tax Online at Intuit.

    Lecturer Susan Marx (at left) was the faculty advisor for all 10 summer interns (whereas 15 faculty are advising individual CSE 197 interns one-on-one during the Fall quarter). "The interns will provide tips based on their successful experience of interviewing, working hands-on with technology, professional behavior, and different software languages and tools," says Marx. "Several interns have accepted full-time job offers after exceeding the companies' expectations for their internship projects." CSE 197 is offered every quarter. Prerequisites for enrolling in the course include getting the consent of the instructor and the department, and students must file an application for Special Studies with the Registrar's office. For students who are considering future internships, the presentations on Friday will help them learn how to land an internship, how to excel at interviewing, what to do on your first day at work, and more.

  • Looking Back at CSE's Crowdsourcing Experiment in the DARPA Shredder Challenge

    A former postdoctoral researcher in CSE, Manuel Cebrian (pictured) is now a senior scientist at the University of Melbourne, where his work lies at the intersection of computer and social sciences. He is also featured prominently in a feature article on the New York-based quarterly journal Nautilus about the experience of a team Cebrian led at UC San Diego to compete in the DARPA Shredder Challenge in 2011.

    The UCSD-led effort was based on a crowdsourcing model, which opened up the competition to anyone in the world, and contributors would have received a cut of the $50,000 prize if the team came in first place.The Nautilus article coincides with the recent publication of an official post-mortem on what happened to Cebrian's team, "Error and attack tolerance of collective problem solving: The DARPA Shredder Challenge." The article in the journal EPJ Data Science, published online on September 30, was by Cebrian and colleagues Nicolas Stefanovitch, Aamena Alshamsi and Iyad Rahwan.

    The article in Nautilus is by Rahwan, now an associate professor at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the United Arab Emirates, who collaborated with Cebrian on the Shredder Challenge. The challenge involved piecing together 10,000 pieces of a shredded document, and the team was ranked #3 about three-quarters of the way through the competition. Then disaster struck. As the article points out, the UCSD-led effort was undermined by a dedicated hacker from an opposing team. Instead of working to speed the attacker's team, the hacker opted to mount a series of attacks on the UCSD team, and while Cebrian and his colleagues were able ultimately to stop each attack, but not quickly enough. As Rahwan recalls in Nautilus, "the crowd was hopeless against a determined attacker... destroying all [our] progress required just 416 moves by one attacker in about an hour. In other words, creation took 100 times as many moves and about 40 times longer than destruction." As a result, the UCSD-led team only came in sixth (as opposed to the first-place win by Cebrian's team in earlier DARPA challenges). As Rahwan writes, "in the beginning of the Shredder Challenge, we relished [crowdsourcing's] power. But when we got attacked, we realized that crowdsourcing's power is also its curse."

    Read the full story about the UCSD-led team in the Shredder Challenge.
    For a more academic recap of the team's experience, read the Sept. 30 article in EPJ Data Science.

  • Study Ranks UC San Diego #5 Among Theoretical Computer Science Programs Nationwide

    CSE #1 in Published Papers at Top Cryptography Conferences

    According to an authoritative study by professors from MIT and the University of Maryland, the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department at UC San Diego has the #5-ranked program in theoretical computer science in the country. The new ranking of computer-science departments is based on the number of papers accepted to major algorithms and theory conferences and weighted according to whether the conference is considered a Rank 1 venue or Rank 2 (with Rank 3 and unranked conferences not taken into consideration).

    Buried in the data was more good news: CSE faculty at UC San Diego had more papers accepted to the top conferences in cryptography than any other U.S. university. They had 43 papers in Advances in Cryptography (CRYPTO), and 36 papers in the European Conference on Cryptography (Eurocrypt). The data were updated as of July 2014.

    “This ranking is based purely on conference publications, which more closely reflects both the field's own internal valuation and the evaluation of the university system,” notes CSE Prof. Mihir Bellare (at left). “But one should take any ranking with a pinch of salt, since publication quantity may be loosely related to quality and decisions taken by conference program committees are not perfect.”

    For all conferences in theoretical computer science (including cryptography), UC San Diego came in #5 after MIT, Carnegie Mellon, UC Berkeley, and Princeton. While the latter four institutions were in the top-5 in U.S. News’ ranking for theory programs in computer science, UC San Diego ranked #14.

    “It is heartening to see a young department outperform much older established departments and schools in computer science. The results reaffirm our strategy of hiring excellent core faculty and creating a collaborative environment,” says CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta. “Pursuing this strategy over the past decade, we have built a strong research program in cryptography, computer security, programming languages, bioinformatics and computer architecture. Our ongoing efforts will push frontiers in data sciences and intersections of computing to societal infrastructure and human health.”

    In detailing their methodology, MIT professor Erik Demaine and University of Maryland professor Mohammad T. Hajiaghayi noted that the best measure of productivity in the computer-science community and a large fraction (if not all) of jobs, awards, grants, products, etc., in computer science are based on how prolific the researcher is at top conferences.

    "Due to our belief on lack of transparency and well-defined measures in methods used by U.S. News to rank CS departments in theoretical computer science (and in general)," wrote Demaine and Hajiaghayi, who undertook the study as part of their Big Dynamic Network Data (BigDnD) project. They attempted to provide "a ranking based on a real and measurable method for top 50 U.S. universities."

    To decide which algorithms and theory conferences should be considered Rank 1 or Rank 2, the authors used a standard list produced by Georgia Tech, and then deleted all Rank 3 and unranked conferences. The university was given a full point for each publication in one of the eleven Rank 1 conferences, and half a point for each Rank 2 conference publication.

  • CSE Students Participate in Women's Hackathon

    Nine computer science students from UC San Diego were among the 67 young women who registered to participate over the weekend in the International Women's Hackathon, which took place over 12 hours on Saturday, Oct. 11,  at Cal State San Marcos. The event was sponsored by Microsoft Research as a way to provide a fun learning environment for girls to get more exposure to computer programming, IT pros, mentors, companies and community members. Twenty-five college students and 42 high school students, all ages 16 or older, participated. Teams of four to six girls were required to build a website, game, cloud-based service, application or mobile app to address one of two challenges: visualizing the impacts of climate change; or helping organizations and communities to prepare for effective response after a natural disaster.

    The hackathon followed several days of publicity surrounding the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which took place in Phoenix. While the mostly-female participants there were impressed with the turnout of women and girls interested in computer science, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella caused a furor when he urged the mostly-female audience in Phoenix not to ask for raises, but to recognize instead that the system and karma would eventually reward them. After his remarks triggered negative headlines worldwide, Nadella retracted his statement and said both women and men should ask for raises if they are merited.  According to an article in Sunday's San Diego Union-Tribune, the furor over Nadella's remarks was echoed in the hackathon. The newspaper quoted UC San Diego computer science undergraduate Sandra Lamantas (pictured in center) as responding, "Whose karma? Really, who's going to help us if we don't ask?"

Upcoming Events

Monday, October 27th

  1. Colloquium Speaker: Ladislav Kavan
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, October 27th
    • End time: 12:00pm

Tuesday, October 28th

  1. CNS Lecture: "Resource Virtualization for Software-defined Networks"
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Tuesday, October 28th
    • End time: 12:00pm
    • Where: CSE Room 1202
    • Description:

      Title: Resource Virtualization for Software-defined Networks
      Abstract: Software defined networking centralizes control plane functionality, separating it from the data plane which is responsible for packet forwarding. Many management tasks such as finding heavy hitters for multi-path routing may run using SDN in a network with limited resources. However, by abstracting them from resources at individual switches, a resource manager at the controller can optimize their resource usage. As management tasks often have a measurement-control loop, my projects, DREAM and vCRIB, work on measurement and control tasks, respectively: First, Dream ensures a minimum user-specified level of accuracy for tasks instead of allocating a fixed amount of resources to each task. Therefore, it dynamically allocates resources across tasks in reaction to traffic dynamics and task dynamics, which allows resource multiplexing. DREAM is 2x better at the tail of minimum accuracy satisfaction comparing to current practice even in cases with moderate load. Next, vCRIB automatically distributes control rules on all switches in the network giving the abstraction of a centralized rule repository with resources equal to the combined resources of all switches. vCRIB can find feasible rule placement with less than 10% traffic overhead in cases where traffic-optimal rule placement is not feasible with respect to CPU and memory constraints.

      Bio: Masoud Moshref is a 5th year PhD candidate in University of Southern California. He works on resource virtualization in Software-Defined Networks in Networked Systems Lab under supervision of Ramesh Govindan and Minlan Yu. He got MSc and BSc in Information Technology Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Iran.

Monday, November 3rd

  1. Colloquium Speaker: Stefan Savage
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, November 3rd
    • End time: 12:00pm

Monday, November 10th

  1. DLS Speaker: Phillip Rogaway
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, November 10th
    • End time: 12:00pm

Monday, November 17th

  1. DLS Speaker: Song Chun Zhu
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, November 17th
    • End time: 12:00pm

Monday, November 24th

  1. DLS: Dan Jurasky
    • Start time: 11:00am
    • End date: Monday, November 24th
    • End time: 12:00pm


by Dr. Radut