UCLA Computer Science Department
Alumni Advisory Board
Winter 2022 Meeting
Thursday, March 2, 2022
Virtual on Zoom
Board Members: James Anhalt, John Busch, Alfonso Cardenas, Bill Goodin, Rizwan Kassim, Francis Nickels, Laurie O’Connor, Diana Skaar, David Smallberg, Roderick Son, Lorenz Verzosa, Ning Ning Yu, Ben Zamanzadeh
Alumni Guests: Eddie Shek, Frank Xiong
Faculty: Eli Gafni, Glenn Reinman
Department and School Staff: Cassandra Franklin, Peyton Reddick, Osanna Kazarian, Jeroen Vahrmeijer
Student Leaders: Matthew Wang (ACM), Ava Asmani (ACM), Paige Brown (ACM-W), Ethan Wong (ACM-W), Vivek Kumar (UPE), Christian Aguilar (UPE), Bonnie Liu (UPE), Alex Walsh (exploretech.la), Haley Zhang (exploretech.la)
Profs Gafni and Reinman presented an overview of the Department.
New faculty members:
Aditya Grover, artificial agents that can effectively reason under uncertainty in the real world
Bolei Zhou, interpretable human-AI interaction for computer vision and machine autonomy
Future emerging areas that the Department is seeking to expand into and hire faculty are: Deep Learning, Block Chain, and Quantum Computing.
The Department will soon be launching a Data Science minor in collaboration with the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.
Amazon Web Services has formed a relationship with the CS Department to support undergraduate students with scholarships.
UCLA switched to in-person classes and events in fall 2021 quarter after 18 months of virtual classes; but returned to virtual classes and events at the beginning of winter quarter 2022 for four weeks due to the spike in Covid cases over winter break. Starting on January 31, classes and events returned to a mix of in-person and virtual. Staff continue to work partially remotely and partially in the office.
The Department offered a CS summer program for high-school students last summer, led by Prof Yizhou Sun. The Department was able to award some scholarships to help lower income students attend.
Prof Reinman mentioned that there are 1359 undergraduate students in Computer Science and Computer Science and Engineerin;. 23 percent are women and 6 percent are underrepresented minorities.
UCLA has received 149,700 undergraduate applications for fall 2022, which is the most ever, making UCLA once again the most applied-to four-year university in the nation. It is still a challenge for poorer students to attend UCLA. All campus budgets are tight due to another year of decreased revenue.
Student group presentations:
Please see the attached presentations by ACM, ACM-W, UPE, and exploretech.la.
There was a question about how ACM can measure the impact of their activities and events on the success of their members. The response was that there is no obvious way to answer that question at this time.
Another question was what was the biggest challenge for the student leaders this year?
Matt Wang answered that he faced many institutional challenges in his attempts to modernize accessibility and EDI.
Vivek Kumar answered that UPE, as an honor society, is bound by its constitution. It is difficult to be a representative for the CS student body as a whole. But, they hope that they can help facilitate communication between CS students and the CS Department.
Prof Reinman thanked the student leaders for their significant contributions to the success of their fellow students and the CS Department during this second year of the pandemic with a mix of in-person and online classes and events. They have continued to hold social events, company infosessions, career fairs, and other events; and helped students feel engaged, especially first-year and transfer students.
There was a discussion about how alumni and companies can contribute to the Department. The Department has an Affiliates Program, https://www.cs.ucla.edu/industry/, which supports student group activities and events, as well as funding for 25 female CS students to attend the annual Grace Hopper Conference. For additional information, please contact Prof Gafni, email@example.com, or Prof Reinman, firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were pleased to have Eddie Shek and Frank Xiong attend the meeting as guest alumni.
The screenshots taken during the meeting are attached.
As in past years, Board members will be invited to attend Discover UCLA Engineering (formerly called Engineering Open House) in early April. It will be held on Sunday, April 10. 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 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/
UPE website and Facebook page:
ACM website and Facebook page:
ACM-W Facebook page:
exploretech.la website and Facebook page: