Distinguished Teaching Award for CSE Faculty Member
If the selection by the Academic Senate awards committee is confirmed by the AS Representative Assembly in late April, CSE Prof. Sanjoy Dasgupta (at right) will receive one of Senate's Distinguished Teaching Awards for the 2013-14 academic year. It is only the third time since 2000 that a CSE faculty member has won the award for Senate members, following Geoffrey Voelker in 2010-11, and Joseph Pasquale (2002-03). In the non-Senate member category, Rick Ord won in 2013.
"Teaching here has been a pleasure since the day I got here," observes Dasgupta. "The CSE undergrads as a whole are bright, hardworking, eager to succeed, and appreciative of faculty, and this makes teaching a very satisfying experience."
Only one professor from each department can be formally nominated each year by the department chair. "Sanjoy Dasgupta has stepped up and taught very large classes with over 400 students in the Fall 2013 quarter alone - and he taught them well," says CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta. "That is in an environment where all CSE faculty taught 182 courses in the academic year, against a total rated capacity of 142 courses, including all lecturers at 100 percent capacity." He went on to say that Dasgupta is a prime example of faculty who "stepped up to teach extraordinarily large classes and multiple sections."
"I'm fortunate to have been assigned one of the most central courses in the Computer Science curriculum: Algorithms," said Dasgupta. "I am grateful to be able to teach such fundamental material." In Fall 2013, he taught both sections A and B of the CSE 101 Algorithms course, as well as CSE 259, the Artificial Intelligence seminar course.
Up to five Senate members can be selected for the award. Dasgupta and his fellow winners will receive their $1,500 stipends at an Awards Ceremony on May 27 at the Faculty Club.
CSE Faculty in Big Data Conversation with Experts
CSE was well-represented on a March 12 panel at the Qualcomm Institute titled "Big Data: A Conversation with the Experts," organized by UC San Diego Extension. CSE Prof. Stefan Savage (seated far right), who also directs the Center for Networked Systems, spoke about the inherent security risks associated with big data. Unrelenting threats - from pranksters and criminals alike - are out there. "We are building an enormous structure of stored big data, and that centralization creates risk," Savage warned, pointing to revelations of massive data leaks from Target and, more troubling, from the National Security Council, as prime examples of big data's vulnerability. "Security is very much a data-driven field. The goal is to understand the environment better, faster and more efficiently than your adversaries."
"When you hit 'Like' on Facebook, there are five billion of those each day around the world," said CSE Prof. Larry Smarr (at left), director of Calit2, opening the event. "This is a totally new world, in which the generation of big data has gotten out of the hands of researchers and exploded across the planet to our society as a whole... Never in our history have we had a sustained period of this kind of exponential growth [in computer science]. What we're talking about is something humanity has never tried to deal with before."
Other speakers with connections to the CSE department included San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) director Mike Norman, and moderator Natasha Balac, a researcher in SDSC who leads its Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence and its Boot Camps for dealing with big data. The big data event was co-sponsored by UCSD-TV, which recorded the proceedings for later broadcasting on the TV network.
CSE's Paturi Receives Faculty Excellence Award for Community Service
On Thursday, March 20, six UC San Diego faculty members were honored at the 40th annual Chancellor's Associates Faculty Excellence Awards for going above and beyond to make a positive impact in their teaching, research and service. CSE Prof. Ramamohan Paturi (at right) is one of this year's honorees, for Excellence in Community Service. On the faculty since 1986, Paturi was cited for his role in creating a program for incoming students from academically and socially disadvantaged schools to develop their passion for computer science and to provide a smooth transition to college. The Summer Program for Incoming Students (SPIS) employs individual attention, experiential learning and rigorous academics to help students succeed and realize their full potential.
"Ramamohan Paturi has put great effort into developing SPIS from scratch on a purely voluntary basis," said CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta. "Utmost on his mind is to show students that UC San Diego is committed to providing them with the best educational opportunities and the tools to ensure success." UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla congratulated Paturi and the five other honorees for their commitment to the campus and service to the community. "These faculty members are exceptional educators, scholars and civic leaders," noted Khosla, "and their passion for advancing knowledge and dedication to positively impacting our society is remarkable."
Mark your calendars! Center for Networked Systems associate director and research scientist George Porter (and CSE affiliate) will deliver a faculty candidate seminar, "Going Beyond Scalability to Build Resource-Efficient Data-Intensive Applications."
MIT Ph.D. student Eugene Wu will deliver a faculty candidate public seminar on "Closing the Loop on Data Analysis." He will describe two examples of systems that let users query the results of their data analysis to clean the data, formulate new queries, generate hypotheses and summarize results.
Now in its third year, the Triton Innovation Network (TriNet) Challenge spotlights commercially promising, environmentally-focused technologies generated by students, faculty and staff finalists from the Jacobs School, Rady School or Scripps Institution of Oceanography. They will pitch their compelling, innovative ideas to a panel of expert judges in an attempt to win $11,000 in cash prizes. RSVP by March 25.
"Efficient Learning with Combinatorial Structure" is the topic of a public seminar by CSE faculty candidate Stefanie Jegelka, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Berkeley. Jegelka is also a visiting scientist at the International Computer Science Institute.
CSE Prof. Yoav Freund will deliver the official CSE talk at the Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo 2014. Freund will talk about "Teaching Data Science." The talk will also feature a preview of the planned new MAS course that CSE and SDSC plan to start offering next Fall, pending final approval. The highlight of Research Expo will be the 200+ graduate students displaying their research posters.
Want to catch up on recent talks in the CSE Colloquium and Distinguished Lecture Series? Microsoft Research staffer Piotr Dollar's March 21 seminar on "Fast and Accurate Visual Recognition" is the latest video lecture from the 2013-14 series. To watch this or other lectures in the series, click here.
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.