This week teams of students taking CSE 118, Applications in Ubiquitous Computing, will be presenting their finished apps to lecturer and research scientist Nadir Weibel (at left) and his teaching assistant Eric Seidel. Each group did a quarter-long Microsoft Kinect project, and a week-long Google Glass project. Then next week onDec. 10 from 3-5pm, the students' 10 Kinect and Google Glass applications will be on display in the main lobby of the CSE Building. Passers-by will be invited to test the apps, which were designed to reflect a theme running through CSE 118 this quarter: Augmented Reality. The department will offer snacks and refreshments during the demonstrations just outside of CSE 1202.
Weibel is a research scientist and lecturer in CSE and a research health science specialist at the VA San Diego Health System. He works on human-centered computing at the intersection of computer science, cognitive science, communication, health and social sciences. While he has been at UC San Diego since 2009, Weibel joined the CSE faculty as a lecturer and research scientist in 2013.
The 50 students taking CSE 118 were broken into 10 groups, and each team of five students was given access to a Kinect for the whole quarter. "We went over the SDK and how to use the different features," says Weibel, referring to the Software Development Kit. "There was no guideline in terms of the kind of apps to be developed, but there was continuous coaching and discussion during the quarter on the appropriateness of the proposed idea." Health apps prevailed, such as "Ubicook", a Kinect app (at right) for the "chef inside of all of us, enabling people everywhere to make sense of the supplies they have on hand. Ubicook solves the manual input process of locating recipes by scanning and identifying food items and automatically querying recipe sites to save time and money."
For the Google Glass project, there was only funding for two of the systems, so students rotated, and every week, one of the groups would stop working on the Kinect for a "week-long Glass hackathon," says Weibel. For the Glass project, teams were encouraged to focus on an healthcare application. Click here to watch some of the Google Glass project videos.
According to Weibel, "ubiquitous computing is an interdisciplinary field that includes technologies that bridge the digital and physical worlds, systems and applications that incorporate such technologies, infrastructures that support them, human activities and experiences the technologies facilitate, and conceptual overviews that help us understand - or challenge our understanding of - the impact of these technologies." Read more about the CSE 118 course here.
CSE Prof. Larry Smarr will moderate a discussion on "The Quantified Self Movement," the title of an upcoming MIT Enterprise Forum organized by the Forum's San Diego chapter. The January 15 event will take place from 5pm to 8:30pm in the UCSD Medical Education and Telemedicine Building on the UC San Diego campus. Smarr - the founding director of Calit2 and "defacto evangelist" of the quantified-self movement - is the "poster man for the medical strategy of the future," according to a 2012 article in the MIT Technology Review. As promoted by the MIT Enterprise Forum, the session and "lively panel discussion" will attempt to answer certain questions: What is the Quantified Self movement and why are fitness buffs, techno geeks and patients with chronic conditions obsessively monitoring their various personal metrics? Is this trend the beginning of a major shift in how we look at our health? What is the distinction between digital health and self-monitoring? Why are global sports clothing companies investing in this technology? According to organizers, attendees will also learn about the "growing availability of inexpensive monitoring devices, personal genetic profiles, and the increasing sophistication of software apps and social networks which promise to fuel the self-tracking revolution around personal health and fitness." Click here to register and attend the Forum.
Is it possible to teach classes with creative, open-ended projects on a massive scale? Difficult, but not impossible, according to CSE Prof. Scott Klemmer. Massive online courses benefit from the 'wisdom of the crowd,' he says, which can actually enhance a crucial element of creative coursework: peer assessment. The challenge, according to Klemmer, speaking at a lecture organized by the Qualcomm Institute's Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Initiative, is that students must know what 'good' means, which can be difficult when they are sitting behind computer screens scattered all over the world. But the path is smoother now that Klemmer and colleagues have developed a set of best practices enshrined in what he calls the Seven Habits for Highly Effective Peer Assessment, which have been used in more than 100 massive open online courses (MOOCs). Klemmer's research is informed by his own collaboration with Coursera in 2012 to launch the first massive-scale class -- a design course - with self and peer assessment. Read news release about peer assessment.
CSE Prof. Andrew Kahng (pictured at left) and former CSE postdoctoral scholar Hailong Yao (right) are named on one of only two patents awarded by the U.S. Patent Office in the first half of 2013 to researchers in the Jacobs School of Engineering. That’s according to the UC San Diego Technology Transfer Office. The patent filed through the campus protects the intellectual property developed by Kahng and Yao for “layout decomposition for double patterning lithography” (U.S. Patent # 8,402,396). The invention, first submitted in 2010, provides systems and methods for layout decomposition to produce exposure layouts that can be used to perform double patterning lithography (DPL). Yao spent two years in Kahng’s lab. Then in 2009, he returned to China to become an assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Technology at Beijing’s Tsinghua University, where he had earned his Ph.D. in 2007. “In my postdoctoral research, I focused on the areas of design for manufacturing, delay and leakage optimization, etc.,” said Yao. DPL layout composition was also the topic of a joint 2010 paper Kahng, Yao and other colleagues published in IEEE Transactions on Computer-Aided Design of Integrated Circuits and Systems. The paper focused on process nodes of 45 nanometers or below. Yao’s current research group in Beijing focuses on the area of VLSI physical design, including topics of floor-planning, placement, routing, clock tree synthesis and routing, timing analysis and optimization.
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Two researchers from the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) who will play key roles in CSE’s pending Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) program in the Jacobs School of Engineering were recognized at a White House.meeting on accelerating R&D and collaborations in data-enabled science and engineering. Chaitan Baru (pictured at right) and Natasha Balac are engaged with the department at instructors for MAS program in Data Science and Engineering. The Obama Administration held an event called Data to Knowledge to Action: Building New Partnerships, in the second week of November, highlighting centers of excellence, including those led by the two SDSC researchers: Baru’s Center for Large-scale Data Systems Research (CLDS), and Balac’s Predictive Analytics Center of Excellence (PACE).
Natasha Balac (at left) was recognized for a project she is coordinating with Clean Tech San Diego and OSIsoft to develop a “sustainable communities” infrastructure for downtown San Diego, in part to reduce power consumption. Chaitan Baru was invited to attend the White House event in recognition of coordinating a collaboration among industry, academia and government to develop industry-standard, application-level benchmarks to evaluate hardware and software systems for big data applications. The BigData Top100 List is a new open, community-based big data benchmarking initiative coordinated by a board of directors that includes representation from SDSC, University of Toronto, and corporations including Facebook, IBM, and Google.
Another CSE undergrad, Dexin Qi (left), is the co-founder of a new online iPassStore, launched with a little help from marketing and engineering interns and office space in the Moxie Center for Student Entrepreneurship. The company's first product is the Triton Pass, which so far has attracted some 3,000 Likes on iPassStore's Facebook page. It's a virtual discount card that offers UC San Diego students discounts on eateries such as Subway, Panda Express, Roma Cafe and a few others on campus. The virtual card is saved on a smart phone and shown at participating stores to receive the 10% discount. For the moment, Triton Pass is only at UCSD, and the company recently launched Aztec Pass for students and stores on the San Diego State University campus. As it grows, iPassStore hopes to expand to other university campuses. Qi's partner in the venture is a chemical engineering major Ford Wang. The iPassStore hopes to launch the service via Google Wallet "coming soon." Find out more about the iPassStore here, or visit the Triton Pass page on Facebook.
Mobile app development also led to the creation of another CSE student-run startup, Swipe Development. The undergraduate, Daniel Brim, developed a service called SimpleCard, and put simply, it offers a new way for students to use flashcards. As stated on their website, "most other flashcard apps are geared towards students who are studying material that doesn't take up a lot of space on a flashcard. SimpleCard was made originally for college students who want to study lots of complicated material that can't be boiled down into a couple of sentences. It is also one of the few flashcard apps that focuses first and foremost on user experience and design, instead of providing unnecessarily bloated features." According to Brim, who is a junior majoring in computer science with a minor in business, "Studying should be straightforward and simple. Our app gets straight to the point." The flashcard app and website are targeted at students who deal with large data sets which require implementing memory recycling concepts to present the flashcards dynamically when needed. For the moment, SimpleCard is only available for the iPhone. Click here to learn more about the SimpleCard app.
An interdisciplinary team of Ph.D. students from UC San Diego, including two CSE Ph.D. students, visited Calabria in the boot of Italy Oct. 8-15 to participate in several excavations. But David Vanoni and Vid Petrovic (pictured deploying thermal imaging equipment) weren’t using picks or shovels. Instead, they were documenting progress at each site as the excavation season came to an end. The visit coincided with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between UC San Diego’s Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3) and the Department of Archaeology and Art History of Italy’s University of Calabria (UNICAL). “This is an important partnership because the two sides have interests that are closely aligned,” said CISA3 Director Falko Kuester. “Calabria is the location of some of the most important archaeological finds in Europe going back many civilizations, and UC San Diego is developing technologies and new methodologies that will enhance our ability to uncover the secrets of our past.”
In addition to Vanoni and Petrovic (pictured at left with structural engineering student Michael Hess at the Murgie di Santa Caterina site), other UC San Diego grad students on the expedition came from structural engineering, materials science, and anthropological archaeology. At an early medieval monastery, the CSE students brainstormed with Italian counterparts on ways to improve data collection, processing and analysis, and to build a virtual model of the site. Technologies used at the Castello Svevo high above the medieval city of Rocca Imperiale included photogrammetry, laser scanning, Structure-from-Motion imaging, thermal imaging and stereoscopic (3D) photography. At another site, they also used x-ray fluorescence to determine the structural health of an 11th century church. CSE’s Vanoni and Petrovic also briefed archaeologists from the University of Calabria on topics including data management, visualization of archaeological data, and user interfaces. Read full news release here.
On Nov. 5, CSE Prof. Stefan Savage received the 2013 ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award during the Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP) in Farmington, PA. “Professor Savage’s work crosses the boundaries from technology challenges to public policy implications of cybersecurity,” says CSE Chair Rajesh Gupta. “His work is a prime example of how computer science is catalyzing scientific advances and solving societal problems.” Nominees must be less than 20 years into their careers; Savage (at right and below giving thumbs-up) earned his Ph.D. and joined CSE in 2001 – the same year as the award itself was launched to honor Mark Weiser’s long career at Xerox PARC. The Weiser Award goes to individual researchers who are chosen based on contributions to computer systems research that are “highly creative, innovative, and possibly high-risk.”
“Stefan Savage is, by far, the most creative person working in the hugely important fields of network security, privacy and reliability,” according to materials submitted as part of his nomination. “He has an uncanny ability to ask exactly the right question, propose exactly the right solution, and see that solution through to impact.”
Savage’s reputation was not built on a single contribution. Nominating materials credit him with “a collection of individually high-impact contributions that point in a single, critically important direction: analyzing Internet attacks and attackers as elements of an integrated technological, societal, and economic system, and recognizing that no one-dimensional intervention has a prayer of succeeding… Our inability to select a single ‘greatest hit’ does not make The Beatles a lesser band; rather, we recognize that any one of their better songs would have been sufficient to catapult a lesser band into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.” Savage’s Ph.D. advisors at the University of Washington are previous winners of the Weiser Award: Brian Bershad in 2004, and Tom Anderson in 2005. “This recognition of Stefan’s work underlines the department's success in identifying compelling junior talent and cultivating them to reach heights in their research careers,” observed CSE’s Gupta. “Stefan is also an extraordinarily pleasant colleague to work with, one who is solidly at the core of the collegial culture of this department.” Savage is a member of the Systems and Networking Currently Savage is the Director of the Center for Networked Systems (CNS) and Co-Director of the Collaborative Center for Internet Epidemiology and Defenses (CCIED). Read the full news release.