February 24, 2020 Board Meeting

UCLA Computer Science Department

Alumni Advisory Board 

Winter 2020 Meeting

Monday, February 24, 2020


Tannas Alumni Suite, Engineering VI


Board Members: James Anhalt, John Busch, Alfonso Cardenas, Tim Ford, Bill Goodin, Rizwan Kassim, Fahad Nathani, Francis Nickels, Laurie O’Connor, Roderick Son, David Smallberg, Lorenz Verzosa, Ning Ning Yu, Ben Zamanzadeh

Guests: Cassandra Franklin, Eli Gafni, Richard Korf, Dana Sadgat, Eddie Shek, Sheila Tejada, Monica Voinea

Student Leaders: Kevin Tan (ACM), Rucha Patki (ACM), Baolinh Nguyen (ACM-W), Julia Baylon (ACM-W), Austin Guo (UPE), Emily Wang (UPE)

General Discussion:

Prof Gafni mentioned that Prof Leonard Kleinrock had recently received the UCLA Medal for his pioneering work with the ARPA Net, later to become the Internet.  The Chancellor presented the award to Len on Friday, February 21, https://samueli.ucla.edu/internet-architect-dr-leonard-kleinrock-receives-ucla-medal/.

Two Computer Science faculty were elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017, Jason  Cong, for pioneering contributions to application-specific programmable logic via innovations in field-programmable gate array synthesis, and George Varghese, for network algorithmics that make the Internet faster, more secure, and more reliable.

You can find announcements of additional faculty awards at https://www.cs.ucla.edu/newsroom.

Prof Gafni mentioned that there have been some transitions in the Department Chair position during the past year.  Prof Adnan Darwiche stepped down at the end of June 2019, Prof Richard Korf served as Interim Chair during the summer of 2019, Prof Amit Sahai served as Interim Chair during fall 2019; and he has agreed to serve as Interim Chair through the summer of 2020.  Because CS faculty are extremely busy with their research, there is an outside search underway for a permanent Department Chair.

The Department is also currently interviewing candidates for faculty positions at all levels.  The Department currently has 38 faculty; and has been authorized to grow to 45 by the Dean. The research areas of particular interest are Software Systems, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, and Quantum Computing.

Prof Korf mentioned that there are about 1400 students in computer-related majors in the School of Engineering (Computer Science, Computer Science and Engineering, and Computer Engineering (joint major with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department).  This is approximately one-third of the undergraduate students in the School of Engineering. The Department also has nearly 400 graduate students.

The four majors in the CS and ECE Departments span the spectrum of computer science and electrical engineering classes (CS, CS&E, CE, EE), for students who seek more CS or more EE.

New CS classes this year include Distributed Systems, Secure Software Development, and Computer Vision.  There have also been major changes made to Software Construction Laboratory (Engr 35L), based on feedback from students.  Prof Gafni will be teaching a new class in Spring called Distributed Algorithms and Block Chains.

Student Group Presentations:

Please see the attached presentations by ACM, ACM-W, and UPE.


ACM-W Alumni Advisory Board – W2020

UPE AAB – Winter 2020

Future Events:

As in past years, Board members will be invited to attend Discover UCLA Engineering (formerly called Engineering Open House) on Sunday, April 5.  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.

The annual Engineering Alumni Reunion will be held during May 29-30.  Here is additional information, https://samueli.ucla.edu/reunion20/.  I hope that you can attend!

Other Items:

We ask each Board member to make sure that his or her information on the website is current, http://www.cs.ucla.edu/alumni-advisory-board-members/

Prof Korf thanked the student leaders for their significant contributions to the success of their fellow students and the CS Department.

We were pleased to have Dana Sadgat, Eddie Shek, Sheila Tejada, and Monica Voinea attend the meeting as guest alumni.  

UPE website and Facebook page:



ACM website and Facebook page:



ACM-W Facebook page:


Winter 2020