The first CSE workshop of 2014 gets underway on Wednesday, Jan. 8 in room 4004 of Atkinson Hall on the UCSD campus. The three-day Workshop on Complexity and Coding Theory will focus on recent topics at the intersection of theoretical computer science and coding theory, such as local codes, list-decodable codes, polar codes and network codes. "Talks will consist of both survey talks and more specialized technical talks," says CSE Prof. Shachar Lovett (right), who is organizing the event. "We will also have allocated time for collaboration and informal discussions." In addition to opening remarks by Lovett, two CSE faculty members are slated to present during the workshop. On Jan. 9, Prof. Daniele Micciancio presents on "Locally Dense Codes," and Prof. Mihir Bellare explores "Semantic Security for the Wiretap Channel" on Jan. 10.
Micciancio's talk is based on an August 2013 paper of the same title referring to a combinatorial object called a "locally dense code" - a linear code with large minimum distance d, that admits a ball of smaller radius r<d containing an exponential number of codewords, together with some auxiliary information used to map these codewords. These locally dense codes "have been a key element in essentially all known proofs that the Minimum Distance Problem [MDP] is NP-hard," notes Micciancio (at left), adding that MDP is a well-known NP-hard problem in coding theory. In his talk, he will discuss a generic method to explicitly construct locally dense binary codes, starting from an arbitrary linear code with sufficiently large minimum distance.
Mihir Bellare's talk on semantic security for the wiretap channel refers to a channel setting where the aim is to provide information-theoretic privacy of communicated data based solely on the assumption that the channel from sender to adversary is 'noisier' than the channel from sender to receiver. According to the CSE professor, that assumption has developed in the information and coding community over the past 30 years, largely divorced from the parallel development of modern cryptography. Says Bellare (at right): "Our work aims to bridge the gap with a cryptographic treatment involving advances on two fronts, namely definitions and schemes."
CSE Chair Takes Part in 'Rebooting Computing' Working Group
In mid-December CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta joined an interdisciplinary group of fellow experts to explore the future of computing. The task fell to the IEEE Rebooting Computing Working Group, which organized the Dec. 11-13 Rebooting Computing Summit in Washington, D.C. "It was really a brainstorming session," says Gupta (pictured at far left with, l-r: SRC's Bill Joyner, Wen-Mei Hwu of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, working group co-chair Elie Track, and Bichlein Hoang, senior program director for IEEE Future Directions). Gupta is already tackling one major challenge in computing as director of the six-university, NSF-funded Variability Expedition in Computing.
The workshop included experts from research universities, federal agencies, as well as Google, IBM and other representatives from industry, including former CSE professor and Center for Networked System director Andrew Chien, who is now the director of R&D at Intel Corporation (pictured below, third row, third from right, with CSE's Gupta to his left).
The Rebooting Computing Working Group was set up in 2012 with a mandate to explore across-the-board changes related in particular to high-performance computing - a "soup-to-nuts approach," according to working group co-chair, Elie Track, who is also president of the IEEE Council on Superconductivity. As Track told IEEE's The Institute magazine, "the goal is to completely rethink computing, from devices to circuits to architecture and software. IEEE will be the catalyst to spawn new thinking." The group is sponsored by the IEEE's research and development unit, the Future Directions Committee, and it's charged with reaching agreement on where to focus the rebooting effort, given the wide variety of fundamental advances needed to sustain improvements in computing.
As the CSE department embarks on 2014, it's a great time to look back at some of the top stories of 2013. Many of those stories included important awards and honors for CSE faculty members and students, as well as important research results published at key conferences and in important journals. But the top stories of 2013 had an impact beyond the usual... starting with a critical vote of confidence in the department and its future from an alumnus who made an anonymous donation that is one for the record books.
CSE Graduate Makes Largest-Ever Alumni Gift to UCSD
An $18.5 million gift from an anonymous CSE alumnus sets the department on a new course - funding new faculty endowed chairs, top-of-the-line teaching labs, support for graduate students, and expanded mentoring and tutoring programs for the next generation of undergraduates. It's the largest alumni gift ever to UC San Diego. Read more
Hundreds Flock to CSE 25th Anniversary Celebration
Approximately 400 people attended all or part of CSE's celebration marking the 25th anniversary of its becoming a standalone department. In 1987, 18 faculty and approximately 200 graduate students broke away from the EECS department. The same year Christos Papadimitriou was lured from Stanford to occupy CSE's first endowed chair funded by Irwin and Joan Jacobs, and Papadimitriou was back in San Diego to deliver a keynote during the 25th anniversary celebration. Read more
2013 was the year when we celebrated with alumni the 25th anniversary of our founding as well as the identity that we earned in those years that are now behind us. We started 2013 by unveiling the Inspiring Imaginations initiative to transform fundamentally the educational experience, and I can now say that we ended the year with a tremendous and demonstrated level of support that will allow us to scale even higher peaks. Our celebrated past now gives way to an exciting time of change, and we are emboldened by our many recent honors and achievements: all of those Ph.D.'s we have sent to our peer institutions as faculty members or to leadership positions in industry research labs; all those test-of-time awards honoring the long-term impact of faculty scholarship; the upward trajectory of our rankings; the approximately 1,000 tutors who work with students in our classes; and our ability to provide those students with interactive, practical learning experiences such as senior design courses and industry internships.
It is truly an extraordinary time for Computer Science and Engineering, a time when our underlying disciplines are poised to alter the landscape of knowledge, life and living. I am grateful for the opportunity to work with you, our faculty, staff, students, alumni and industry partners, to realize the potential of our department and our field. Together, we look forward to a brighter tomorrow for all of us.
With warm wishes for the holiday season and a Happy New Year,
The Qualcomm Institute holds the first of two Information Sessions for the 2014 Summer Undergraduate Research Scholars program. Some 30 scholarships will be awarded carrying stipends of $3,000 to support undergrads doing full-time research in labs across the UCSD campus. If you cannot make it to the first information session, a second will take place at 5pm on Jan. 9 in the 5th floor open space in Atkinson Hall. The deadline for submitting final applications is Jan. 31.
January 8, 2014 - 6pm - UCSD International Center Lounge
CSE undergraduates interested in cyberinfrastructure-related research and an opportunity to do research abroad next summer should attend the Information Session for the 2014 NSF Pacific Rim Experiences for Undergraduates (PRIME) program. PRIME offers a research internship and cultural experience in countries including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Taiwan, and other Pacific Rim research institutions. For more information, visit the PRIME website.
The CSE Colloquium and Distinguished Lecture Series presents assistant professor Kate Lockwood of Cal State University Monterey Bay with a seminar on "An Approach to Teaching Computer Science." She will also present initial work using electronic workbooks and the inverted classroom to teach introductory programming.
The CSE Colloquium and Distinguished Lecture Series for Winter 2014 will present MIT graduate student Jessica Yi-Chieh Wu, on "Models and Algorithms for Phylogenetic Reconstruction." Wu's work and results have demonstrated the power of computational phylogenetics, which she believes can lead to addressing fundamental questions with important implications for future investigations of gene and genome evolution.
CSE Prof. Ryan Kastner (at left) is one of the speakers slated for the 2014 Computer Science and Engineering Day. He will talk about embedded computer vision. CSE Day is for students and anyone interested in the CSE department and potential future opportunities in computer science and computer engineering. Special panels will focus on how to create a startup, how to get a tech career, views of CSE from grad students and alumni, plus talks on topics including cloud computing and mobility. CSE Day 2014 will also bring back its annual Jeopardy event. To participate and potentially win prizes, be sure to register ahead of time.
West Coast Leadership Dialogue... From Jan. 15-17 , Prof. Larry Smarr will be at Stanford in Palo Alto for the annual meeting of the Australian-American Leadership Dialogue (AALD) West Coast Leadership Dialogue. Established in 2007, the meeting focuses on foreign policy, innovation and technology, education, health and social inclusion. UCSD has hosted the meeting five times (most recently in January 2012). Stanford is hosting the meeting this January.
Have a notice about upcoming travel to conferences, etc., for the Faculty GPS column in our weekly CSE Newsletter? Be sure to let us know! Email Doug Ramsey at firstname.lastname@example.org.