Faculty Awards and News
- NSF Grant for Secure Computation: Professor Amit Sahai, PI
Professor Amit Sahai and his research team have received a $1.2M NSF grant for Secure Computation research. Secure Computation is a powerful concept from cryptography that enables collaboration in the absence of trust. Despite its great potential for solving practical problems in collaborative situations, it has not yet been widely adopted in practice because the dominant paradigm for achieving strong security has relied on zero-knowledge proofs, and yields protocols that are too inefficient even for simple computations.
Sahai's research team is developing radically different new architectures for efficient secure computation protocols that bypass the need for the previously used zero-knowledge proofs. Their architectures are based on a novel principled approach to developing new secure computation protocols with consequences to both the theory and practice of modern cryptography. Their research will identify new (partial) security properties inherent in simple protocols and will study how these properties can add up to strong security guarantees through carefully developed methods for composing protocols.
This a joint grant with Prof. Sahai's former Ph.D. student, Manoj Prabhakaran, who is now an associate professor at UIUC.
- Rafail Ostrovsky: IACR Fellow
The International Association for Cryptologic Research has selected Professor Rafail Ostrovsky as a 2013 Fellow in recognition of his technical and professional contributions to cryptologic research.
The IACR is a non-profit scientific organization whose purpose is to further research in cryptology and related fields that are devoted to the science and practice of designing computation and communication systems which are secure in the presence of adversaries.
- U.S. News Rankings: Top Universities for Computer Science
February 2013. U.S. News has ranked UCLA 12th in the world for the field of computer science and 7th in the United States (following MIT, Stanford, CMU, UCB, Harvard and Princeton).
- FPGA 2013 Best Paper Award
The ACM/SIGDA International Symposium on Field programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA 2013) has given a Best Paper Award to Polyhedral-Based Data Reuse Optimization for Configurable Computing, authored by Louis-Noel Pouchet, Peng Zhang, P. Sadayappan, and Jason Cong (proceedings of the 21st ACM/SIGDA International Symposium on Field Programmable Gate Arrays, pp. 29-38, ACM Press, February 2013). http://cs.ucla.edu/~pouchet/doc/fpga-article.13.pdf
The symposium is the premier conference for presentation of advances in all areas related to FPGA technology. In 2013, the FPGA conference received 106 technical submissions from 21 countries. The program committee accepted 24 full papers and four short papers . . . an acceptance rate of 26%.
- Professor Jason Ernst: 2013 Sloan Research Fellow
Assistant Professor Jason Ernst (biological chemistry and computer science) has been selected by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to receive a 2013 Sloan Research Fellowship.
These research fellowships seek to stimulate fundamental research by early-career scientists and scholars; they are awarded to researchers in recognition of distinguished performance and the unique potential to make substantial contributions to their field. Since 1934, thirty-nine Sloan Fellows have been awarded the Nobel Prize in their respective fields.
- A Collaboration Between UCLA's Computer Science and English Departments
Adjunct Assistant Professor Ani Nahapetian and graduate student Costas Sideris of the Computer Science Department are currently working with the UCLA English Department on a project entitled Geography of Literature, which is supported by a UCLA OVCR-COR Transdisciplinary Seed Grant.
The Geography of Literature project explores the processes by which literary and historical texts registered the growth of the interconnected cultural worlds in medieval Europe and Asia and beyond. Visualization software provides an interactive tool for exploring the relationships among cultures in literary references, while the backend system includes text classification and reference estimation for the analysis of a large corpus of literary and historical texts.
- ARPANET Era Historiography Project
Applied Historiography in ARPANET-Era Management and Innovation is a newly funded project under the direction of Professor Leonard Kleinrock. The results of this research, an analysis of DARPA's remarkable management and innovation strategies during the 1960s and 1970s, will serve as a valuable resource for current and future DARPA program managers. This analysis will provide an insight into the characteristics of a successful DARPA program and the origins of the agency's long-standing strengths. In doing so, it will clearly show those trends and environments which, at the program level, made DARPA such a powerful and effective organization . . . one that produced so many engineering and scientific breakthroughs. The information gained from this project will help DARPA program managers amplify their existing talents and organizational flexibility, and will create an important institutional memory with long-lasting benefits.
- Todd Millstein's Paper Selected for Top Picks 2013
Professor Todd Millstein's paper, "End-to-End Sequential Consistency (originally presented at the 2012 International Symposium on Computer Architecture), has been selected for Top Picks 2013. Top Picks is a special edition of IEEE's Micro magazine that acknowledges the most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and potential for long-term impact. Todd's coauthors on this paper are Abhayendra Singh and Satish Narayanasamy (U. of Michigan), Daniel Marino (Symantec Research Labs and UCLA Ph.D 2011), and Madanlai Musuvathi (Microsoft Resarch).
- Professor Jason Cong: 2012 IBM Faculty Award
Professor Jason Cong is a recipient of the highly competitive (worldwide) 2012 IBM Faculty Award. This is an award that focuses on the quality of a recipient's research and its importance to industry. This makes Jason a three-time winner; he also received this award in 2001 and again in 2007.
- NASA Honors Dr. Leon Alkalai
On behalf of his team at JPL, Dr. Leon Alkalai has received the NASA Group Achievement Award to the GRAIL Mission Formulation Team; this was awarded for outstanding and exceptional contributions by the GRAIL mission formulation team in winning the Discovery-12 NASA competition.
Additionally, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal has been awarded to Dr. Alkalai for exceptional achievement and technical contributions as proposal manager for the GRAIL Project.
Dr. Alkalai is the manager of the Lunar Robotic Exploration Program Office at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Caltech. He is a former adjunct professor in the CS Department, and continues to contribute to the department as a lecturer and as a member of the department's Undergraduate Program Advisory Board.
- Professor Eleazar Eskin: Genetic GPS Technology
The New York Post has published an article (10/21/12) describing the human genetics research being carried out by Professor Eleazar Eskin with his UCLA research team and Tel Aviv University. The Post article refers to this research as a sort of "genetic GPS."
These researchers developed a technology called spatial ancestry analysis that can pinpoint a person's heritage, sometimes within 60 miles of their geographic origin, just by looking at their DNA. The focus of this research is to help discover how genes influence diseases and responses to drugs.
To create the program, Eskin's team studied DNA samples from 3,000 people, each with four grandparents from the same region. They then made a genetic map based on subtle genetic mutations. Although all modern humans originated in Africa 200,000 years ago, Eskin's research can use these genetic mutations to differentiate populations and reveal ancestry.
- Paul Eggert: Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award
Dr. Paul Eggert, an esteemed lecturer in the Computer Science Department, has been awarded a 2012 Lockheed Martin Excellence in Teaching Award. These awards are presented to faculty members who have dedicated an abundance of talent, time, and energy to teaching undergraduate and graduate students. Dr. Eggert's work has left its mark of excellence on his students, the Computer Science Department, and the School of Engineering.
- Prof. Wei Wang: New CSD Faculty Member and Recipient of the 2012 IEEE ICDM Outstanding Service Award
Our new faculty member, Professor Wei Wang, is the recipient of the 2012 IEEE ICDM Outstanding Service Award. This award is given to individuals who have made major contributions to the promotion of data mining as a field and ICDM as the world's premier research conference on data mining.
Professor Wang joined the CSD faculty in the 2012 fall quarter. After receiving her Ph.D. from UCLA in 1999 (advisor Richard Muntz), she accepted a position as a researcher at IBM's T. J. Watson Research Center. In 2002 she became a member of the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was affiliated with the Carolina Center for Genomic Sciences and the Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
In addition to her recent award, Professor Wang is also a recipient of the IBM Invention Achievement Award (twice), a UNC Junior Faculty Development Award, an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award, the Hettleman Prize, and was named as a Microsoft Research New Faculty Fellow. She has published more than 100 research papers and has filed seven patents.
- Professor Jennifer Wortman Vaughan: Presidential Early Career Award
Professor Jennifer Wortman Vaughan is the recipient of a 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers. This award is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.
Jennifer is one of 96 researchers selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, and for their commitment to service through leadership, education, and community outreach.
- Remembering Professor Bertram Bussell
Professor Bertram Bussell, an esteemed member of the Computer Science Department and a long-time friend and colleague to so many, passed away on July 7, 2012, at the age of 88.
Born and raised in New York City, Bert first attended NYU, then moved on to UCLA to receive his B.S., M.S. and his 1962 Ph.D from UCLA. In 1969 he joined the Engineering faculty at UCLA and was one of the original members forming the Computer Science Department.
During his tenure at UCLA Bert taught abroad in Brazil, Chile, England, and Israel. He was selected several times by students as their favorite instructor and was also selected by the School of Engineering to receive an "Outstanding Teacher Award." During his career, Bert received an NSF fellowship, a Fullbright scholarship and a teaching fellowship from the Organization of American States. His research explored the areas of electric circuit theory, heat transfer, computer system architecture, and computer graphics.
Bert was an outstanding teacher, and the faculty and staff here in the Computer Science Department will miss him greatly.
- Professor Jens Palsberg: 2012 ACM SIGPLAN Service Award
Professor Jens Palsberg is the recipient of the ACM SIGPLAN Service Award for 2012. This award is given in recognition of the value and degree of his services to the programming languages community. The numerous contributions cited in this award include:
- Program chair or co-chair for X10 '12, POPL '10, SAS '09, PDM '09, EMSOFT '08, TACAS '06, MemoCode '06, SREIS '02, PASTE '02, and SAF '00.
- General chair or co-chair for ICESS '12, ICESS '10, SPIN '08, POPL '05.
- Conference chair for LICS '09.
- Committee member for almost 100 conferences and workshops between 1994 and 2012, an average of more than 5 per year.
- Editor in-chief for TOPLAS, having previously served as an associate editor; SIGPLAN CACM Research Highlights Selection Committee and the Information & Computation Editorial Board; secretary/treasurer of SIGBED, contributing a languages-oriented perspective and agenda.
- Professor Judea Pearl Featured on Cover of Communications of the ACM
Professor Judea Pearl is featured on the cover of the June 2012 issue of Communications of the ACM (Vol. 55, No. 6), followed by an informative article that explores Judea's background and his work on artificial intelligence, probability theory, casual reasoning, etc. ("Game Changer," pages 22-23). A second article in this issue is an interviewer's Q&A exchange with Judea ("A Sure Thing," page 136).
- Professor Algirdas Avizienis Receives 2012 Eckert-Mauchly Award
Algirdas Avizienis has received the ACM and IEEE Computer Society's 2012 Eckert-Mauchly Award for fundamental contributions to fault-tolerant computer architecture and computer arithmetic. His numerous accomplishments include development of the conceptual designs that led to the construction of the Self-Testing and Repairing (STAR) computer at JPL/Caltech, which was instrumental to JPL's mission to explore space.
The Eckert-Mauchly Award, initiated in 1979, is known as the computer architecture community's most prestigious award. Professor Avizienis will receive his award at the International Symposium on Computer Architecture on June 12, 2012.
- Professor Leonard Kleinrock: Internet Hall of Fame
On April 23rd, the Internet Society marked its 20th anniversary with a gala event in Geneva, Switzerland, introducing the newly established Internet Hall of Fame and inducting the inaugural class of 2012. The 33 inductees were categorized as pioneers, innovators, or global connectors.
Professor Leonard Kleinrock has been inducted into the Hall of Fame's Pioneers Circle, a group that encompasses those who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet. Other inducted pioneers include Paul Baran, Vint Cerf, Danny Cohen, Steve Crocker, Donald Davies, Elizabeth Feinler, Charles Herzfeld, Robert Kahn, Peter Kirstein, John Klensin, Jon Postel, Louis Pouzin, and Lawrence Roberts. Additionally, Leonard was the Internet Society's keynote speaker for this 20th anniversary event.
The Internet Society is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Its goal is to enable the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.
- Remembering Professor Boris Kogan
For over two decades, we were fortunate to have Boris Kogan as an adjunct professor in the Computer Science Department. His history of ground-breaking scientific work and his 1987 immigration from the Soviet Union to the United States should be an inspiration to all.
Dr. Kogan's B.S. and M.S. degrees were from the Charkov Electrical Engineering Institute; he received his Ph.D. in automatic control from the Moscow Institute of Automation and Telemechanics, USSR Academy of Science. In the Soviet Union, Dr. Kogan's scientific interests centered on automatic control, computer design, and computer simulation. He served as a professor/lecturer with the Moscow Institute for Physics and Engineering; he created and was the first director of the Computer Simulation Laboratory; and in 1951 he was awarded the USSR State Prize for creating the first analog computer.
Here at UCLA, Dr. Kogan's research turned to the investigation of electrical wave propagation in excitable media using massively parallel digital computer systems. His studies focused on the peculiarities of electrical wave propagation along the healthy and the diseased heart muscle, and his goal was to find, together with cardiologists, the mechanisms of heart fibrillation and the corresponding preventive means.
Boris Kogan was 98 years old when he died this month (April 2012). He had many colleagues and friends here in the Computer Science Department and in several of UCLA's medical departments. We shall miss him.
- ACM Best Paper Award
Jason Cong, Bin Liu, Rupak Majumdar, and Zhiru Zhang have received the 2012 ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES) Best Paper Award for "Behavior-Level Observability Analysis for Operation Gating in Low-Power Behavioral Synthesis." The award was presented at the Design Automation Conference held on 5 June 2012
- Professor Judea Pearl Elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Professor Judea Pearl has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments. Judea is one of six UCLA faculty elected to the Academy's 2012 class: two from the field of mathematics and two from biology and human genetics; one from the field of English literature, and of course, Judea's field is artificial intelligence.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences has a 230-plus year history of recognizing some of the world's most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate and philanthropic leaders. Current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
- Leonard Kleinrock awarded status of Eminent Member of IEEE Electrical & Computer Engineering Honor Society (Eta Kappa Nu)
Professor Leonard Kleinrock has been awarded the status of Eminent Member of IEEE's Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society (Eta Kappa Nu). This honor is conferred upon those whose technical attainment and contributions to society through leadership in the fields of electrical and computer engineering have resulted in significant benefits to humankind. Other recipients include Vannever Bush, Simon Ramo, Robert Lucky, Gordon Bell, Gordon Moore, Steve Wozniak and Vinton Cerf.
- Symantec Term Chair in Computer Science for 2011
Professor Jennifer Wortman Vaughan has been appointed to the Symantec Term Chair in Computer Science for 2011. The chair was established to support the teaching and research activities of a distinguished junior faculty to foster innovation in computer science. Professor Vaughan's fields of expertise include machine learning, learning theory, incentive design, and social computing.
- Professor Lixia Zhang: Jonathan B. Postel Chair in Computer Science
Professor Lixia Zhang has received an appointment to the Jonathan B. Postel Chair in Computer Science, effective 1 July 2011. Professor Zhang's areas of expertise include Internet architecture, principles of network protocol designs, security, and resiliency in global-scale systems.
The chair, established through an endowed fund initially created by a distinguished group of Postel's friends and family, honors the famed computer scientist's lifetime achievements.
- In Memoriam: Computer Science Pioneer Gerald Estrin
Gerald Estrin, an outstanding teacher, computer scientist, and friend to so many here at UCLA, passed away on March 29, 2012, at age 90.
Jerry earned his bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. in 1948, 1949, and 1951 at the University of Wisconsin. From 1950 to 1956 he served as a research engineer with the John von Neumann group at the Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, N.J. It was here that Jerry worked on one of the earliest computers.
In 1954 Jerry left for Israel to lead the development of the first computer in the Middle East. Expertise was scarce; e.g., he had to rely on two Bulgarian immigrants who made parts for fans and bicycles in a shack to manufacture the very thin copper strips needed for the project. In just 15 months, he and his team developed WEIZAC, the first large-scale computer outside the U.S. or Western Europe.
Jerry joined the UCLA faculty in 1956, serving as chair of the Computer Science Department from 1979 to 1982 and again from 1985 to 1988. His accomplishments were manifold, and included developing the concept of reconfigurable computing, an idea that led to new types of programmable computer chips that are part of systems and devices in use today. In addition, many of the original Internet pioneers were fortunate to have been his students or colleagues.
Jerry was an IEEE Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Weizmann Institute of Science. He was also an avid fan of the UCLA Bruins basketball team and the Metropolitan Opera. Both his wife, Thelma Estrin, and his daughter, Deborah Estrin, are faculty members here in the Computer Science Department.
Jerry contributed so much to so many. We shall miss him.
- Algirdas Avizienis Selected as Winner of 2012 Jean-Claude Laprie Award in Dependable Computing
The Jean-Claude Laprie Award recognizes outstanding papers published at least ten years ago that have significantly influenced the theory and/or practice of dependable computing. Professor Algirdas Avizienis is one of three recipients of this 2012 award based on his 1967 paper, "Design of Fault-Tolerent Computers," which was published in Proceedings of American Federation of Information Processing Societies Fall Joint Computer Conference.The citation for this award reads, in part: "This landmark paper was instrumental in defining fault-tolerant computing as a discipline. It laid out a preliminary description and methodology of the field defining fault and error types, the use of various forms of protective redundancy and recovery techniques to continue operation in the presence of faults."
- In Memoriam: Robert "Buz" Uzaglis
Robert "Buz" Uzgalis, an amazing individual and former professor in the Computer Science Department, passed away suddenly in March 2012 at the age of 71.
Bob served UCLA for many years, beginning in 1964 as a computer programmer in the Sociology and Anatomy Departments. He became a lecturer in what is now the Computer Science Department, and then served as a professor in our department from 1973 to 1985. Following that, the urge to wander struck him, and he gave away most of his possessions and moved to the Far East, doing research at Sumitomo Metal Industries labs in Osaka until 1990, and then research and teaching at the University of Hong Kong until 1993 and the University of Auckland until 1997. He then retired and moved back to Los Angeles, acting as a part-time consultant (home page http://serve.net/buz/) and among other things, developing the Tigertail Virtual Museum, one of the first successful virtual art museums.
Bob was a classic self-trained computer scientist, the likes of which one no longer sees: he had no Ph.D., no master's, not even a bachelors! He approached his research topics with zest and a painstaking effort that inspired colleagues and students. He worked in many areas, including computer graphics and language design and implementation, hashing and compression, reliable knowledge representation, and art preservation. Bob was active until the day he died. When our department switched to its current website format this year, his visiting talk happened to be the first one featured. Currently, two of my students are finishing off directed-research projects based on work that we did in collaboration with Bob.
What all of us remember about Bob is how he gave of himself -- always thinking and always ready to hear and give back. Guests at his concerts and dinners included music store clerks, Turing Award winners, students, software developers, and art and law professors. Bob clearly cherished and listened to and talked with them all. We are all lucky to have had him, and he will be greatly missed.
- Professor Judea Pearl Wins 2011 ACM Turing Award
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named Professor Judea Pearl the winner of the 2011 Turing Award for innovations that have enabled remarkable advances in the partnership between humans and intelligence (AI). As noted by the ACM, Professor Pearl's work serves as the standard method for handling uncertainty in computer systems, with applications ranging from medical diagnosis, homeland security, and genetic counseling, to natural language understanding and mapping gene expression data. His influence extends beyond artificial intelligence and even computer science, to human reasoning and the philosophy of science.
The Turing Award is widely considered to be the "Nobel Prize in Computing." It is named for British mathematician Alan M. Turing who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing, and who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptanalysis of Germany's Enigma cipher and Tunny encoding machine in World War II.
Since its inception in 1966, The Turing Award has honored the computer scientists and engineers who created the systems and underlying theoretical foundations that are propelling today's information technology industry.
- Professor Leonard Kleinrock honored with 2012 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal
The IEEE Board of Directors has honored Professor Leonard Kleinrock with the 2012 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal, which is given for exceptional contributions to the advancement of communications sciences and engineering. The citation reads "For pioneering contributions to modeling, analysis, and design of packet-switching networks."