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Alumni Advisory Board Meeting December 1 2016

UCLA Computer Science Department

Alumni Advisory Board

Fall 2016 Meeting

Thursday, December 1, 2016


UCLA Faculty Center


Board Members: James Anhalt, Alfonso Cardenas, Lorraine Fesq, Tim Ford, Bill Goodin (chair), Andrew Louie, Dorab Patel, David Smallberg, Roderick Son, Lorenz Verzosa, Ning Ning Yu

Guests: Mario Gerla, Richard Korf

Student Leaders: Vic Yeh (ACM), Ricky Lee (UPE), Sharon Grewel (ACM-W)

General Discussion:

Mario Gerla described some new events taking place in HSSEAS and the CS Department. HSSEAS will be hiring about 50 new faculty over the next 5-10 years, and likely replacing another 50 who will be leaving through retirement. CS may have 10 of those positions. HSSEAS will be adding about 1000 new students over that same period. Important research areas for the Department over the next few years will be machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, and cryptography. Many of the new faculty hires will be in these research areas. The Department will also be moving to Engineering VI during the coming spring and summer.

There was also a discussion about the senior design course or capstone courses (CS 130 and 152B), and the members encouraged companies to provide projects for this course.   The more diverse and real-world the projects are, the better for the students. Four Google software engineers will participate in the program in 2017. Lorraine offered to contact JPL alumni regarding projects for CS 130. Tim mentioned that Blizzard software developers teach at UCI.

Student group presentations:

Please see the attached presentations by ACM, UPE, and ACM-W, along with comments from Ricky Lee, UPE:





The students asked what programming languages are used most commonly in industry? UCLA teaches C++ because it is the best foundation language.

Students requested that more female Teaching Assistants be hired.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Program for CS – Can undergraduates serve as TAs? Several students have submitted a petition to the Department requesting this change in policy.

Students asked the Department how funds from the CS Affiliate Program are used; and Prof Gerla promised to provide them with a summary.

Past Events:

The Honors-Affiliate Mixer was held on the evening of October 12, which was the same day as the CS Internship Career Fair (afternoon). Both took place in the CNSI building. Some of the company representatives were confused regarding the differences between these two events. So, next fall the Department may decide not to present the Internship Career Fair because of overlaps with other similar events.

Future Events:

Engineering Open House will occur on Sunday, April 9; and all members of the AAB are invited to attend. Over the years, we believe that we have helped the Department convince many admitted high school seniors to choose UCLA. We also hope to call those admitted freshmen before Open House.

Other Items:

We ask each Board member to make sure that his or her information on the website is correct,

Board membership:

We welcomed two new Board members, Roderick Son and Lorenz Verzosa.

Comments from Prof Gerla following the meeting:

  1. ACM, UPE students are great potential resources for advice about extensions/changes to our undergraduate program (see the comment about C++ vs Python influencing the success of interviews).
  1. ACM, UPE students need transparency about the way the infosession fees collected from Affiliate companies are spent by the Department (we will follow up with Cassandra).
  1. We need to populate CS1 with women faculty. (I instructed Terry to do so next year)
  1. Lorraine from JPL made a good comment about autonomous vehicles (space, auto, drones etc.). This is important for local industry. I will follow up with MAE and EE colleagues.
  1. David Smallberg mentioned the fact that CS 31 accidentally took in over 500 students in Fall 16. This is good ammunition to demand funding for the School of Engineering Lecturer position BEYOND the 3+1 FTE slots the Dean promised for 2017. Undergraduate class overload will help.

Special Note: Terry Valai, Assistant to the CS Department Chair, passed away suddenly on December 11. She was the interface for many industry affiliate members and alumni to the CS Department. We will all miss her!