UCLA Computer Science Department
Alumni Advisory Board
Winter 2018 Meeting
Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Tannas Alumni Suite, Engineering VI
Board Members: Alfonso Cardenas, Tim Ford, Bill Goodin, Rizwan Kassim, Dorab Patel, David Smallberg, Lorenz Verzosa, , Ning Ning Yu, Ben Zamanzadeh
Guests: Laurie O’Connor, Adnan Darwiche, Richard Korf, Sarah Low
Student Leaders: Mihir Mathur (ACM), Yvonne Chen (ACM), Cristen Anderson (UPE), Nathan Zhang (UPE), Jai Srivastav (UPE), Emily Chen (UPE), Garima Lunawat (ACM-W), Caroline Quigg (ACM-W)
The Computer Science Department moved into Engineering VI in the middle of December, occupying floors 2, 3, and 4. The AAB meeting was held in the very nice Tannas Engineering Alumni Suite on the first floor of Engineering VI.
Prof Darwiche described new areas of faculty hiring. Twenty potential candidates are currently being interviewed. The primary research areas of interest are artificial intelligence/machine learning, cybersecurity, and software systems/Internet systems. It is anticipated that three new faculty members will be hired this year.
The current number of CS PhD students is 150, MS students is 300, and undergraduate students is about 1200. Computer Science is one of the most popular majors in the School of Engineering, along with Bioengineering.
On July 1, 2017, the Electrical Engineering Department officially changed its name to Electrical and Computer Engineering; and is now offering a new degree in Computer Engineering, with classes from both CS and ECE. It will include classes in robotics, embedded systems, and cyber-physical systems (Internet of Things).
Prof Korf discussed a new class for students without programming experience (Engr 97), which will be taken by those students prior to CS 31, 32, 33. It was presented for the first time last fall; and feedback was generally positive. This class should help these students build confidence and bring them up to the level of those students with a lot of prior programming experience.
Some students commented that they would like to take classes outside of the Department; but felt constrained by the current class load. Prof Korf said that students can petition to include classes outside of the department in their Tech Breadth or Sci Tech grouping; and that such petitions are frequently approved.
The student leaders also presented the results of a survey regarding the current CS curriculum. The survey was sent to more than 300 current students, asking them to suggest possible new classes to be added, which classes have been most helpful, how to improve classes that have not been helpful, and any other information that they might want the department to know about the curriculum. The results are attached. The department has already added some of the proposed classes; but has faced challenges in finding instructors to teach them. The Department very much appreciates the feedback from the students.
There was a short discussion at the end of the meeting regarding whether the Board should meet once or twice a year. The Board members are willing to meet twice a year, if the Department and Chair think that it is necessary and productive.
Student group presentations:
Please see the attached presentations by ACM, UPE, and ACM-W.
As in past years, Board members will be invited to attend Discover UCLA Engineering (formerly called Engineering Open House) on Sunday, April 15. High school seniors admitted to UCLA Engineering and their parents attend this event to help them make their college choice; and alumni help them with that decision process. We may also call these high school by phone prior to the event itself.
We ask each Board member to make sure that his or her information on the website is correct, https://www.cs.ucla.edu/alumni-advisory-board-members/
UPE website and Facebook page:
ACM website and Facebook page: