Noteworthy achievements 2007

Bren School faculty, students and research initiatives are some of the most well regarded successes on the UC Irvine campus. We are pleased to announce the following noteworthy achievements for 2007.

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Awards, grants and other honors can be sent to to be considered for publication.


Tsudik Program Chair of Financial Cryptography and Data Security Conference

photo: gene tsudik


Professor of computer science Gene Tsudik is serving as the Program Chair at the 12th annual Financial Cryptography and Data Security Conference to be held at the end of January in Cozumel, Mexico.

Financial Cryptography and Data Security is a major international forum for research, advanced development, education, exploration, and debate regarding information assurance in the context of finance and commerce.

The conference covers all aspects of securing transactions and systems. Submissions focusing on both theoretical (fundamental) and applied real-world deployments are solicited.

The goal of the conference is to bring security/cryptography researchers and practitioners together with economists, bankers, implementers, and policy-makers. Intimate and colorful by tradition, the FC program features invited talks, academic presentations, technical demonstrations, panel discussions as well as a research poster session.

Tsudik's research interests are in computer/network security, privacy and applied cryptography. His recent work focuses on privacy in Internet services, RFID systems and mobile ad hoc networks, as well as security in sensor networks and storage systems. His research also covers secure group communication, in particular, group key agreement, group signatures and group access control.

Venkatasubramanian General Chair of Middleware 2007 conference

photo: nalini venkatasubramanian


Computer science professor Nalini Venkatasubramanian recently led the ACM/IFIP/USENIX Middleware 2007 conference as General Chair.

The broad scope of the conference is the design, implementation, deployment, and evaluation of distributed systems platforms and architectures for future computing environments.

Venkatasubramanian's research focuses on enabling effective management and utilization of resources in the evolving global information infrastructue.

In the coming years, multimedia to the desktop and home is likely to become a pervasive technology.

The composition of multiple resource management services is necessary to guarantee safe, cost-effective Quality-of-Service (QoS) to global multimedia applications. She addresses the problem of composing resource management services in distributed systems.

Doctoral student wins two awards at RTSS 2007

photo: minyoung kim


Minyoung Kim, a doctoral student in Computer Science, received "Best System Architecture Award" and "Best Overall Idea Award" at the 2007 IEEE Real Time Systems Symposium (RTSS) PhD Forum held in Tucson, AZ.

Kim received the awards out of 30 participants, who were in turn selected from a field of international applicants.

The RTSS PhD Forum, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is designed to discuss innovative research challenges and application ideas in deeply embedded real-time computing systems, encourage student involvement in new research directions, and reward the most innovative student ideas in an exciting emerging research field.

Kim's research focuses on power-aware distributed embedded systems, formal methods and multimedia systems.

She is co-advised by professors Nikil Dutt and Nalini Venkatasubramanian.

Kobsa elected to Lecture Notes in Computer Science editorial board

photo: alfred kobsa


Informatics professor Alfred Kobsa has been elected to the 15 member Editorial Board of the Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS).

From its inception as a proceedings series in 1993, LNCS has evolved into an imprint of 16 sub-series and 7 journals covering the entire field of Computer Science.

All 150,000 articles from the 5,000 volumes published to date are available online and receive about 2 million worldwide downloads per year.

Professor Kobsa will specifically oversee the areas of Information Systems and Applications including Human-Computer Interaction.

Doctoral student named president of Apache Software Foundation

photo: justin erenkrantz


Informatics doctoral student Justin Erenkrantz was recently appointed president of the Apache Software Foundation, one of the world's largest and most-respected open-source software organizations.

Erenkrantz, also an affiliate of the Institute for Software Research, is focusing his studies on software engineering.

In addition to serving as Apache Software Foundation president, Erenkrantz also is on the foundation's board of directors.

His forthcoming dissertation is titled "Architectural Dissonance and Harmony in REST-based Applications."



Dutt named IEEE Fellow

photo: nikil dutt


The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named Chancellor's Professor Nikil Dutt an IEEE fellow, one of the organizations highest honors.
The honor, for "contributions to architecture description languages and for the design and exploration of customized processors," recognizes Dutt's work in the area of embedded systems and computer-aided design, with a specific focus on the exploration, evaluation and design of domain-specific embedded systems spanning both software and hardware.

His research group has developed a novel architectural description language that facilitates rapid exploration of programmable embedded systems, as well as automatic generation of software toolkits supporting embedded systems development (including optimizing compilers and simulators).

Other projects within his group include low-power/low-energy compilation and synthesis, validation and verification of pipelined processors, software/hardware interfaces for distributed embedded systems, and memory architecture exploration for embedded systems.

The IEEE Fellow designation is granted each year to a select group of the organization's 370,000 members for accomplishments that have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology.

IEEE is the world's leading professional organization and standards-setting authority for a wide range of high-tech fields, including electrical engineering, aerospace systems, computer engineering, telecommunications, biomedical engineering.

Networked Systems program ranked #1 by Academic Analytics

The Bren School's computer science program in Networked Systems has been ranked number one in new study by Academic Analytics, a for-profit company that partners with the State University of New York.

Also, in this year's study, Information Science/Studies at the UC Irvine's Bren School ranks fourth.

About Networked Systems
The Networked Systems program at the Bren School provides education and research opportunities to graduate students in the areas of computer networks and telecommunication networks.

Networked Systems include telephone networks, cable TV networks, cellular phone networks, and the Internet, as well as other emerging networks.

Networked Systems are inherently interdisciplinary. By their design, they connect devices such as computer and phones using communications methods. Networked Systems therefore must address the combination of software, hardware, and communications.

As a result, the Networked Systems area spans traditional departmental boundaries. At a minimum, the area draws heavily from Computer Science, Computer Engineering, and Electrical Engineering.

At UCI, these areas are housed in two departments, ICS and EECS. The Networked Systems program unites the strengths of these two departments and provides more integrated M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in this area.

About Informatics (Information Science)
Informatics is the interdisciplinary study of the design, application, use, and impact of information technology. It goes beyond technical design to focus on the relationship between information system design and use in real-world settings.

These investigations lead to new forms of system architecture, new approaches to system design and development, new means of information system implementation and deployment, and new models of interaction between technology and social, cultural, and organizational settings.

In the Bren School, Informatics is concerned with software architecture, software development, design and analysis, programming languages, ubiquitous computing, information retrieval and management, human-computer interaction, computer-supported cooperative work, and other topics that lie at the relationship between information technology design and use in social and organizational settings

Academic Analytics bases their ranking of doctoral programs on publications, citations of journal publications, federal research funding, and awards and honors.

For more information please view the Academic Analytics web site.

Kay serves as Moot Court Judge

photo: david g. kay

David G.

On November 16 and 17, 2007, Senior Lecturer David G. Kay served as Chief Justice in three rounds of the National Entertainment Law Moot Court Competition.

Law students from across the country competed by making Supreme Court arguments in a hypothetical case involving copyright and trademark infringement on the World-Wide Web.

One party in the case hosted a web site with videos posted by users; a user posted a copyrighted video and the copyright owner wanted to hold the web site host responsible for the infringement.

Another issue was the use of a competitor's domain name in a metatag, and whether that constituted trademark infringement by diverting users away from the competitor.

Kay, who is a lawyer as well as a computer scientist, said, "Internet issues come up frequently in the entertainment industry, and those issues often have novel legal implications. It's useful for computer scientists to have an understanding of the legal system because increasingly, technologists and lawyers need to work together in the development of new products and services."

The Bren School has a long history of addressing these issues in its curriculum.

Informatics 131, Social Analysis of Computerization, and Informatics 269, Computer Law, are two courses on this theme. A general education course on technical issues in public policy is also planned for the 2008-09 academic year.

Graduate student wins prestigious ACM Award

photo: gabor madl


Gabor Madl, a PhD student in Computer Science at UC Irvine, received the 2008 ACM SIGBED/SIGSOFT Frank Anger Memorial Award at the 2007 Embedded Systems Week Conference held in Salzburg, Austria.

This award recognizes one student researcher from each of the professional societies (ACM SIGBED and ACM SIGSOFT), promoting the crossover of ideas between the embedded software and software engineering research communities.

Gabor's research focuses on applying formal methods to enable analysis and evaluation of embedded computer systems, and is a member of Professor Nikil Dutt's research group.

Dutt selected ACM Distinguished Scientist

photo: nikil dutt


Chancellor's Professor Nikil Dutt has been selected as an ACM Distinguished Scientist.

The Distinguished Scientist award recognizes those ACM members with at least 15 years of professional experience and 5 years of continuous Professional Membership who have achieved significant accomplishments or have made a significant impact on the computing field.

Dutt's research lies at the intersection of compilers, architectures and computer-aided design, with a specific focus on the exploration, evaluation and design of domain-specific embedded systems that span research issues in hardware, software, networked, and ubiquitous systems.

Graduate student's work selected as top-rated abstract of Leonardo Abstracts Service (LABS)

The International Society for the Arts, Sciences and Technology (Leonardo) has announced that the paper entitled "Landscape Denatured: Digitizing the Wild" by graduate student Eric Kabisch is a top-rated abstract in the Leonardo Abstracts Service Databases during the first half of 2007.

The paper presents motivation and documentation of four technologically enabled artworks.

These artworks explore ways in which digital technologies impact society and culture, focusing particularly on the impacts of information technologies on physical and cultural geography.

In addressing the impacts of digital technologies on culture, these artworks employ the very technologies being investigated.

Through the production and exhibition of this work, Kabisch hopes to engage the public with these important issues and to help shape the ways that technological methodology embeds itself in our world and in our daily experience.

Leonardo Abstracts Service (LABS) is a comprehensive collection of Ph.D., Masters and MFA thesis abstracts on topics in the emerging intersection of art, science and technology.

Individuals receiving advanced degrees in the arts (visual, sound, performance, text), computer sciences, the sciences and/or technology that in some way investigate philosophical, historical or critical applications of science or technology to the arts are invited to submit abstracts of their theses for consideration.

Top-rated abstracts in both the English and Spanish language databases are chosen twice annually by peer-review panels and published in the Leonardo Electronic Almanac.


Graduate students win award at OOPSLA 2007 for Eclipse plugin

Informatics students Sushil Bajracharya and Joel Ossher, and Brazilian visiting student Otavio Lemos, all in professor Crista Lopes lab, have won the Student Research Competition at the Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages and Applications (OOPSLA) 2007 with their work on CodeGenie.

CodeGenie is an Eclipse plugin that uses test cases as the interface for searching existing open source code on the internet.

With this award, Sushil, Joel and Otavio have been selected for the final of the prestigious ACM Student Research Competition.

Eclipse is an open universal platform for tool integration - an open extensible Integrated Development Environment (IDE), and an open source community.

The Eclipse community creates royalty-free technology as a universal platform for tools integration. Eclipse-based tools give developers freedom of choice in a multi-language, multi-platform, multi-vendor supported environment supported by multiple vendors.

The operating system platforms that Eclipse has been targeted to includes Windows, Linux, Solaris, HP-UX, AIX, and Mac OS. In addition, Eclipse provides a unique environment for members of the academic community to build new tools for teaching, research, and further growth of the Eclipse community.

Suda awarded NICT grant for molecular communications

photo: tatsuya suda


Tatsuya Suda, professor of computer science, has received a $478,000 grant from the National Institute of INformation and Communications Technology (NICT) in Japan.

The NICT has awarded over $1.5 million in the past three years for Suda's research in molecular communications which investigates how to make biological nanomachines to talk.

In addition, Suda and his research group has been awarded two NSF grants for a project entitled "International: Collaborative Research for Designing Molecular Motor Communication Systems".

The NSF grants will sponsor international collaboration between Suda's group and researchers in Japan, as well as a workshop on molecular communication.

Suda's research is in computer networks and distributed computing systems; his interests span the entire spectrum from the design and performance evaluation of these systems to their actual implementation.

His current research focuses on applications of biological principles and large complex system principles onto networks, high speed networks, next generation Internet, ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Model) networks, object-oriented distributed systems, and multimedia applications.

Dechter receives 2007 ACP Research Excellence award

photo: rina dechter


Computer science professor Rina Dechter has received the 2007 Association of Constraint Programming Research Excellence award for her program of sustained high quality research in constraint processing, with numerous influential results and great impact on Artificial Intelligence.

Dechter's research centers on computational aspects of automated reasoning and knowledge representation including search, constraint processing and probabilistic reasoning.

The primary aim of her research is to devise efficient methods through the understanding and exploitation of tractable reasoning tasks.

Dechter is an author of the book "Constraint Processing" published by Morgan Kaufmann, 2003, and has authored over 100 research papers.

More on the Association for Constraint Programming and the Research Excellence award is available here.

Li receives NSF grant to study approximate keyword queries
using variable-length grams

photo: chen li


Associate Professor of computer science, Chen Li, has been awarded a $99,507 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how to
support approximate string queries using grams of variable lengths.

As textual information is prevalent in information systems, many applications (such as data cleaning, spellchecking, and query relaxation) have an increasing need to support approximate string queries on data collections.

Li's team recently developed a new technique, called VGRAM, that can significantly improve the performance of existing algorithms for answering approximate string queries.

With this new NSF grant, Li will study new research challenges related to deploying this technique in many information systems including databases and search engines.

More about Li and his research is available on his Web site.

Lee awarded NSF Grant to study cyberinfrastructure development

photo: charlotte p. lee

P. Lee

Charlotte P. Lee, a research scientist in the Department of Informatics, has been awarded a $449,000 grant from the National Science foundation to study collaboration in the development of cyberinfrastructure.

Recent years have seen the rise of new forms of cyberinfrastructure which are large-scale distributed scientific enterprises supported primarily through advanced technological infrastructure such as supercomputers and high speed networks.

One of the primary goals of cyberinfrastructure is to transform scientific and engineering practice, yet the nature of these transformations are poorly understood.

Lee's research will systematically study the transformations that cyberinfrastructure is created to engender.

Using ethnographic methods, she will investigate:

  • existing scientific and engineering practices
  • how scientific and engineering practices are collaboratively transformed in the creation of cyberinfrastructure
  • patterns of collaboration (e.g. social networks, communication strategies, management strategies) and relate those patterns to organizational and scientific outcomes.

This research will make empirical and conceptual contributions to ongoing research in areas such as computer supported cooperative work and science and technology studies.

Furthermore, this research will stimulate and support the development of future cyberinfrastructures.

More about Lee is available on her Web site.


UCI and CODA Genomics collaborate to re-engineer yeast for biofuel production

Scientists from UC Irvine and CODA Genomics are partnering on new research aimed at turning a common strain of yeast used in the production of beer, wine and bread into an efficient producer of ethanol.

Researchers at UCI’s Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics (IGB) are using CODA Genomics’ patented gene-protein-production algorithms to tweak the genetic structure of a yeast strain called Saccharomyces.

It has the potential to efficiently turn switchgrass, hemp, corn, wood and other natural materials into ethanol – a clean and environmentally safe fuel that could help meet the nation’s increasing thirst for “green” energy.

The $1.67 million collaboration, which began Sept. 1, is funded by CODA Genomics, an Orange County synthetic biology company, and a UC Discovery Grant that provides matching funds for innovative industry-university research partnerships.

For more information view the following press release.

Graduate students place first in IBM competition

Bren School graduate students Jayram Moorkanikara Nageswaran and Jeff Furlong and their counterparts Ashok Chandrashekar and Andrew Felch from the Dartmouth College have placed first in the first annual Cell Broadband Engine (Cell/B.E.)

Processor University Challenge sponsored by IBM. The competition was a part of the 2007 Power Architecture Conference held in Austin, TX.

In the winning project, a cluster of Sony PlayStation3's was used for large-scale modeling of the human brain.

Using the same technology that runs in today's video games, the team created a low-cost cluster able to support the complex algorithms used in brain research.

This study addressed issues of known difficulty in visual processing; for example, using standard processors, the complex computations needed to emulate the human brain's ability to rapidly and effortlessly recognize objects, was found to be slow and inefficient.

By exploiting Cell/B.E.'s parallel instruction set and extending it into low-cost clusters using Sony PS3s, the students were able to show a 100x performance boost over smaller clusters.

Nearly 80,000 students from 25 countries competed in the Challenge, which consisted of online trivia about Cell/B.E. -- originally designed by IBM, Sony Group and Toshiba Corp., for use in consumer devices such as Sony Computer Entertainment's PLAYSTATION3 -- followed by an opportunity to invent their own applications using this powerful processor.

"This contest provided a growth opportunity for students to gain real-life, multi-disciplinary skills to apply to their futures as they move from the classroom to the workforce," said Nick Donofrio, IBM executive vice president, Innovation and Technology. "This challenge also proved the true power, potential and promise of student innovations."

The global Cell Broadband Engine™ (Cell/B.E.) Processor University Challenge was co-hosted by IBM, with support from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Toshiba Corp.

Is the outer Solar System chaotic?

photo: wayne hayes


Nature Physics has published "Is the outer Solar System chaotic?", a paper by computer science professor Wayne Hayes.

The orbits of the inner planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars) are known to be practically stable in the sense that none of them will collide or be ejected from the Solar System for the next few billion years.

However, their orbits are chaotic in the sense that we cannot predict their angular positions those stable orbits for more than about 20 million years.

The picture is less clear for the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune).

Again their orbits are practically stable, but in this paper we show not only that we may not be able to predict where the outer planets will be in the future, but also that we do not even know, at present, how long our predictions are accurate.

Our predictions may be accurate for 5 million years, or 5 billion, or anywhere in between.

Hayes' primary interest is currently in testing the reliability of large-scale physical simulations such as galaxy and cosmological n-body simulations as performed by astronomers.

More generally, he is interested in rigorous verification of numerical solutions of differential equation systems using validated interval arithmetic.

He is also interested in combinatorial graph theory, for example in bounding the Graph Ramsey Numbers.

View this short video to learn more about Hayes' research.

Franz receives $81,500 MICRO grant to study trace-based compilation

photo: michael franz


Professor of computer science Michael Franz has been awarded a $81,500 grant from UC Micro with industrial sponsor Sun Microsystems.

The grant will allow Franz to study trace-based compilation.

This new compilation technique, on which the University of California has filed a patent application, achieves 95 percent of the performance of previous techniques at less than 1 percent of the cost, making it ideally suitable for embedded and mobile applications such as cell phones.

In collaboration with Sun, Franz and his research group will study how this exciting new technology can be incorporated into Sun's next Java platform.

More about Professor Franz and his research is available on his Web site.

Patterson awarded NSF grant to develop context aware IM client

photo: donald patterson


Assistant professor of informatics Donald Patterson has been been awarded a grant of over $400,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop a context aware Instant Messaging (IM) client.

Although computers have access to many embedded sensors, like GPS, automated assistance for alleviating
inappropriate IM interruptions remains elusive.

In a world in which users are available for some purposes, but not for others one indication of interruptibility no longer fits the needs of users.

Patterson's research aims to explore ways to close the semantic gap between what computers can sense and what people can understand by developing, deploying and testing a context-aware IM client, Nomatic*Gaim.

Rather than attempting to determine context directly, it attempts to keep the human in the loop, so that IM communications are more efficient in an increasingly always online world.

Ultimately the goal is for computers to treat context as more than a parameter to a program, so that in this way, users and their devices can come to a shared understanding of the world, which then has implications for the behavior of both device and user.

Lopes and colleagues awarded $1.1 million NSF grant to develop trustable cyberinfrastructure for water management

photo: crista lopes


photo: michael goodrich


Associate professor of informatics Crista Lopes, professor of computer science Michael Goodrich, professor of chemical engineering and materials science Stanley Grant and Roberto Tamassia from Brown University have received a $1.1 million NSF grant to create a more open version of the California Sustainable Watershed Information Manager (CalSWIM) website.

Currently, CalSWIM, which provides access to stream monitoring data and relevant GIS geospatial data, is a closed cyberinfrastructure, with updates controlled by a small number of individuals, and any changes to it requiring the intervention of web-knowledgeable professionals.

The updated website will utilize a wiki that will allow watershed stakeholders – scientists, regulators, and the general public - the ability to update the site directly, without requiring them to have web programming knowledge.

The aim is to create a publicly updatable encyclopedia of “all things watershed” that includes all watersheds in California.

By transforming CalSWIM into an Open Collaborative Information Repository, in the form of a wiki, the researchers will enable it to become a sustainable, expandable, outreaching, and continually up-to-date resource.

The researchers will also focus on developing a trust management component based on a mixture of access control systems, reputation management systems, and data integrity algorithms that will minimize the existence of poor-quality information and also minimize the effect of malicious information manipulation.

The researchers hope the trust management component developed in this project can be applied to a variety of Collaborative Information Repositories that share the properties of CalSWIM — namely, data-based collaboration between scientists, regulatory agencies, and the general public.


UC Irvine program that melds life sciences and computers awarded $5.6 million grant

photo: ramesh jain


The UC Irvine Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics (IGB) has been awarded $5.6 million over five years from the National Institutes of Health to continue training students to apply advanced computer and information technologies in the biological and medical sciences.

The funding will be used to expand the interdisciplinary Biomedical Informatics Training (BIT) program, an initiative led by IGB Director and Chancellor’s Professor Pierre Baldi and Professor G. Wesley Hatfield to train graduate students and postdoctoral fellows in the UCI Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS), The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, and the schools of physical sciences, biological sciences, and medicine.

One of only 18 such programs in the country, the BIT program in 2002 received from NIH the largest training grant of its kind.

For more information view the following press release.

Graduate student places third in data mining competition

Ph.D. candidate Christopher Wassman has placed third at the UC San Diego data mining competition in the graduate/postdoctoral category of the Refinance Prediction task.

A mean squared error of approximately 0.0003 separated 1st and 3rd place. There were a total of 34 teams including 22 graduate/post-doctoral teams.

The national contest is open to all undergraduates, graduate students and post-doctoral researchers studying full-time at an accredited college or university in the United States.

Wassman is a student of computer science professor Richard Lathrop. His concentration is in Informatics in Biology and Medicine.

Givargis awarded $200,000 NSF grant

photo: tony givargis


Professor of computer science, Tony Givargis, has been awarded a $200,000 NSF grant from the Division of Computer and Networks Systems for his project entitled " SGER: A Virtual Target For Next Generation Hardware Accelerated Multi-Core Systems."

As sole PI, Givargis will research virtualizing a multi-core system augmented with FPGA fabric, akin to the concept of virtual machines such as Java VM, provides an abstract and universal underpinning for design and verification of complex embedded software.

The research aims to explore and define a parametric virtualization layer providing an abstract view of hardware to the software subsystem and study technologies for configuration checkpointing/rollback and source level debugging support.

Givargis does research in the area of Software for Embedded Systems.

He is currently investigating issues related to Realtime Operating System (RTOS) synthesis, serializing compilers, and code transformations techniques for efficient software to hardware migration.

Graduate students win prestigious data mining competition

photo: chloe azencott


photo: S. Josh Swamidass

S. Josh

Chloe Azencott and S. Josh Swamidass, two graduate students in computer science professor Pierre Baldi’s lab, finished in first and second place respectively in the data mining competition "Agnostic Learning vs. Prior Knowledge" part of the International Joint Conference on Neural Networks (IJCNN) 2007 Conference, the premier conference in the field of neural networks.

The challenge revolved around 5 data sets from various domains, including marketing, ecology, text classification, handwriting recognition, and drug discovery.

Azencott and Swamidass focused on the chemoinformatics drug discovery HIVA data set consisting of 42,678 compounds tested for activity against the AIDS HIV virus.

Of these compounds, 4,229 were labeled "active" or "inactive", forming the training set.

A total of 45 teams participated in the overall data mining competition, 30 of which participated in the HIVA portion of the contest.

A pre-run of the competition was held from October 1st, 2006 to March 1st, 2007, while the final portion of the contest ran from March 1st, 2007 to August 1st, 2007. Final results were published online.

Azencott was invited to present her results at the IJCNN07 Agnostic Learning vs. Prior Knowledge Competition and Data Representation Discovery workshop, August 17th, 2007, in Orlando, Florida and was awarded a monetary prize.

The top results were obtained using Support Vector Machines, with 2D kernels specifically designed for small molecules in Baldi’s lab.

Azencott is entering her third year as a graduate student in ICS. Swamidass is an M.D./Ph.D. student who obtained his Ph.D. in ICS in June 2007 and is now in the process of completing his M.D. degree at UCI.

Tsudik awarded $1.1 million NSF award for Ph.D. fellowships

photo: gene tsudik


Professor of computer science Gene Tsudik has been awarded $1.13 million by NSF for his project entitled "Defending Electronic Frontiers: Ph.D. Fellowships in Information Assurance".

The fellowships aim to attract, recruit, mentor and graduate talented domestic Ph.D. students in Information Assurance (IA) and foster their careers in the national service.

"In our increasingly electronic age, the well-being of our economy and leadership is predicated on being able to look ahead and solve challenging problems in the protection of electronic information and communication," says Tsudik.

Training students in IA addresses a need for talented highly-skilled professionals permeates the spectrum of IA topics from Cryptography and Formal Models, to Usable Security and Privacy and Secure Ubiquitous Computing).

Tsudik is currently a Fulbright scholar at the University of Rome. His primary interests lie in computer/network security and applied cryptography.

Much of his recent work is in secure group communication, in particular, group key agreement, group signatures and group access control.

Professors receive NSF grant to study modular software design

photo: crista lopes


photo: pierre baldi


Crista Lopes, associate professor of informatics, and Pierre Baldi, professor of computer science, have received a National Science Foundation grant of over $600,000 in support of their project entitled "Large Scale Empirical Validation of the Aspect-Oriented Design Hypothesis".

The research will focus on studying modular design within Aspect-Oriented Programming (AOP). AOP attempts to aid programmers by breaking down a program into distinct parts that overlap in functionality as little as possible.

Throughout the history of technology, modular design has proven to be an effective way to deal with systems' complexity.

Modular design is an effective way to deal with a systems' complexity and is routinely applied to software-intensive systems.

By AOP, some modules called “aspects” directly address the crosscutting nature of some design concerns by modeling those concerns from outside the modules to which the local effects belong.

The researchers will conduct a large-scale empirical validation of the design hypothesis put forth by AOP, and leveraging it to derive principles for modular design.

The empirical validation of AOP will be enabled by an infrastructure called sourcerer, developed for collecting, searching, and analyzing software on the very-large scale of Open Source software available on the Internet.

JULY 2007

Kobsa publishes cover article in the Communications of the ACM

photo: alfred kobsa


Informatics professor Alfred Kobsa just published a cover article on Privacy-Enhanced Personalization in the most recent issue of the Communications of the ACM.

Personalized human-computer interaction can be at odds with privacy since it requires the collection of considerable amounts of personal data.

Kobsa's article presents human-computer interaction strategies, policy measures and software architectures that can contribute to reconcile personalization with privacy.

The Communications of the ACM is the flagship publication of the ACM with an audience of more than 80,000 readers in over 100 countries.

It addresses predominantly professionals in the fields of Computer Science, Informatics and Information Systems working in academia, industry and government.

The aim of its bi-monthly cover articles is to "dig deeper, exploring a particular topic from many angles as well as interpreting the implications for the entire IT community".

Professor Kobsa will also deliver the keynote address at the 4th International Conference on Trust, Privacy and Security in Digital Business (TrustBus 2007), about the same topic.

Tsudik awarded two Inter-Country program Fulbrights

photo: gene tsudik


Computer Science professor Gene Tsudik, who is currently at the University of Rome as a Fulbright Scholar, has been awarded two inter- country program awards by the Italian Fulbright Commission.

Tsudik will be collaborating at the Universidad de Malaga in Spain in the area of Security in Mobile Communications.

In addition, at University of Trento (northern Italy), he will be pursuing collaborative research activities in the framework of trust negotiation other security/privacy protocols for mobile and embedded systems (such as sensors and RFID tags).

At the University of Rome, Tsudik is conducting research, and lecturing on, computer and network privacy.

In collaboration with Italian colleagues, he is developing a graduate course on the same subject and will give a series of lectures on a range of relevant research issues, such as Internet privacy, wireless network privacy and privacy aspects of radio frequency identification tags.

He is also conducting privacy-related research with local collaborators and exploring electronic privacy priorities and technologies in the European Community.

The Fulbright Scholar Program is sponsored by the United States Department of State, with additional funding from participating governments and host institutions in the U.S. and abroad.

The nation's premier academic exchange program, the program selects U.S. and foreign scholars on the basis of academic or professional achievement and demonstration of extraordinary leadership potential in their fields.

JUNE 2007

UCI Libraries laud Professor Kobsa's HCI students

photo: alfred kobsa


A recent article by the UCI Libraries acknowledges the valuable contributions of students from informatics professor Alfred Kobsa's undergraduate and graduate classes in Human-Computer Interaction to the gradual improvement of the Library web pages over the past few years.

During that time, Kobsa's HCI students interviewed hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students and dozens of UCI faculty and staff regarding their online information needs.

The students developed numerous alternative designs and software prototypes and tested them in small user experiments. The Libraries adopted many of the central recommendations that students made.

In other past projects, Kobsa's HCI students worked on UCI's Electronic Educational Environment, and the web pages of UCI's Distance Learning Center as well as the Bren School's Student Affairs and External Relations offices.

The next graduate HCI class is scheduled for the Fall quarter of 2007.

Professor awarded grant to develop new seasonal climate prediction algorithms

photo: padhraic smyth


Computer Science professor Padhraic Smyth has been awarded a 3-year $250,000 grant to develop new machine learning algorithms that use historical records of climate data as a basis for making seasonal climate predictions.

The work will be funded by the US Department of Energy's Climate Change Prediction program as part of the SciDAC initiative (Scientific Discovery Through Advanced Computing).

The project involves collaborations with atmospheric scientists at UCLA, Columbia University, and the University of Wisconsin.

Among the techniques investigated will be the development of large-scale statistical time-series models for forecasting of seasonal rainfall patterns in regions such as India.

Making such forecasts more accurate is important from a variety of economic and societal viewpoints. Statistical machine learning algorithms provide a very useful way to automatically analyze historical data to build better predictive models.

Tsudik to give keynote lectures at three privacy and security conferences

photo: padhraic smyth


Professor of computer science Gene Tsudik will be giving three keynotes at upcoming privacy and security conferences in Europe.

The first keynote, entitled "On Privacy in Critical Internet Services" was delivered on June 6 at the Second Italian Workshop on Privacy and Security (PRISE'07).

Tsudik will also deliver keynotes entitled "Forward-Secure Aggregate Authentication" at the Second Conference on Security in Network Architecture and Information Systems (SAR-SSI'07) and "Privacy-Preserving Authentication" at the Fourth European PKI Workshop: Theory and Practice (EUROPKI'07).

Tsudik has been conducting research in internetworking, network security and applied cryptography since 1987. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from USC in 1991 for research on firewalls and Internet access control.

Over the years, his research interests included: routing, firewalls, authentication, mobile networks, e-commerce, anonymity, group communication, digital signatures, key management, ad hoc networks, as well as database privacy and secure storage.

Professor develops publications-based ranking framework for computing graduate programs

photo: richard taylor


Citing the limitations of purely publications-based rankings processes of computing graduate programs, Jie Ren, a software engineer at Google and Informatics professor Richard Taylor, developed a framework that facilitates automatic and versatile publication-based ranking.

The rankings framework, explained in the authors article, "Automatic and Versatile Publications Ranking for Research Institutions and Scholars", uses publications data from 1995 to 2003 to rank computing graduate programs automatically and objectively.

One of the most well-known rankings, the U.S. News and World Report ranking includes both objective indicators and subjective polls.

For the complete article, see Communications of the ACM, Volume 50, Number 6 (2007), pages 81-85

Alumnus publishes book on facial recognition

photo: harry wechsler


Harry Wechsler, who received his Ph.D. in computer science from the Bren School in 1975, and is currently a professor of computer science at George Mason University, has recently published a book entitled "Reliable Face Recognition Methods: System Design, Implementation and Evaluation."

The book seeks to comprehensively address the face recognition problem while drawing inspiration and gaining new insights from complementary fields of endeavor such as neurosciences, statistics, signal and image processing, computer vision, and machine learning and data mining.

Wechsler has been a professor at George Mason since 1987 where he is also the Director for the Distributed and Intelligent Computation Center.

His research is in the field of intelligent systems focuses on computational vision, image and signal processing, data mining, machine learning and pattern recognition, with applications for ATR, biometrics/face recognition, intelligent HCI, performance evaluation, temporal data mining, and video processing and surveillance.

More about Wechsler and his research is available on his Web site.

U.S. DOE awards Professors with GAANN Awards

photo: david redmiles


photo: gene tsudik


Professor of informatics David Redmiles and professor of computer science Gene Tsudik have each been awarded Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need (GAANN) Program fellowships of over $383,000 from the U.S. Department of Education.

The GAANN will support several graduate students annually, over a three year period in the study of problems in the design, application, use and impacts of computer and information technology and issues in security and privacy.

The fellowships will be used to recruit and retain graduate students of superior academic qualifications, ones who aspire for eventual careers in research and teaching, and who have financial needs consistent with the federal standards.

Redmiles’ research combines the area of human-computer interaction and software engineering, focusing on the processes and technologies needed to develop and support useful and usable interactive software. The research conceptualizes evolutionary software development as a process of on-going communication.

Tsudik's research interests are mainly in computer/network security and applied cryptography. Much of his recent work is in secure group communication, in particular, group key agreement, group signatures and group access control.

WICS recognized for Most Outstanding New Program

photo:: wics members

WICS members

The Bren School's Women in Information and Computer Sciences (WICS) was recently recognized at the 2007 Anteater Awards. WICS won the Most Outstanding New Program Award for their Mock Technical Interview program.

Inspired by the Career Center's On-Campus Interview and various interview workshops, WICS started a Mock Technical Interview event in which students can have the opportunity to have a one-on-one mock interview with an actual employer.

This new program is unique because it allows the students to gauge their interviewing techniques as well as test their technical qualifications with a company representative who knows exactly what type of skills set are necessary for the IT position.

It prepares the students by letting them know what type of technical questions will be asked, what type of responses are expected, and why they are asked without the pressure of trying to obtain the job.

Representatives from seven different companies Northrop Grumman, Capital Group, Google, Relsys, Sony, Unisys, and Deloitte attended providing students a total of 35 twenty-minute interview slots, 6 forty-five- minute interview slots, and 7 resume critique slots.

WICS was also awarded with an Outstanding Service Award from Girls Inc. of range County on April 26th, 2007 for our Elementary School Outreach Roadshow.

The 2nd annual Elementary School Outreach Roadshow brought 30 girls to tour part of the UCI campus; learn what computer science is, who computer scientists are, how technology can affect people, why it's fun to learn and work in the computer science fields; and have lunch with college students.

The girls were able to interact with "Navigating a Digital World" with Professor Meyers from the School of Engineering and "The EcoRaft Project" with Professor Tomlinson from the Bren School of ICS as well as learn about the HIPerWall.

WICS attributes the success of the Roadshow to Dean Debra J. Richardson, the Bren School Student Affairs Office, the Bren School External Affairs, the University Club, the UCI Bookstore, Suzanne K. Schaefer, Professor Bill Tomlinson and his research students, Professor Joerg Meyer, CalIt2 and the HIPerWall, an anonymous donor, and the Girls Inc. elementary school coordinator, Kimberly Harnish.

WICS was established to help and encourage women to pursue a college degree and a successful career in the information and computer sciences field.

MAY 2007

Franz receives $85,000 unrestricted gift from Mozilla

photo: alfred kobsa


Professor of computer science Michael Franz has received an unrestricted gift of $85,000 from the Mozilla Corporation (developers of the FireFox Web browser).

The gift recognizes Franz's research accomplishments in Internet security.

Franz also received a $1 million grant as a sole PI from the federal government last week.

More about Professor Franz and his research is available on his Web site.

Franz recipient of grant from the National Intelligence Community

photo: alfred kobsa


Professor of computer science Michael Franz is the recipient of a grant totaling more than $1 million (for an initial period of 18 months) from the National Intelligence Community. Out of more than 260 submitted, Franz's proposal was one of eleven projects funded. He is the sole principal investigator on the project.

This new award is in addition to two single-PI grants totaling $700,000 that Franz received from the National Science Foundation last year, and a further $312,483 active grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HSARPA). Altogether, Franz has over $2 Million in active funding as sole PI.

Among Professor Franz's numerous accolades, he was recently selected Outstanding Professor of the Year by the undergraduate class of 2007 and received the 2007 Dean's Award for Graduate Education.

Congratulations 2006-07 Bren School Honors recipients

photo:: award

The complete list of 2006-07 Bren School Honors recipients has been released. Students received awards for Phi Beta Kappa, Campuswide Honors, Outstanding Contribution to Research and others.

The Bren School will honor its outstanding achievers during an invitation only ceremony to be held in early June.

Kobsa publishes book on Web Personalization

photo: alfred kobsa


Informatics professor Alfred Kobsa published the book "The Adaptive Web: Methods and Strategies of Web Personalization" together with two colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of Hanover, Germany.

The 24-chapter 760-page volume provides an in-depth overview of current research on personalized interaction on the World Wide Web.

Kobsa contributed two chapters, on Generic User Modeling Systems and on Privacy-Enhanced Web Personalization.

Other contributors include former Bren School professor Mike Pazzani (now Vice Provost of Research at Rutgers University) and UCI graduate Daniel Billsus (now with Ebay).

The book is available from Springer Verlag, both in print and online.

Van der Hoek receives Hewlett Packard grant

photo: andre van der hoek

van der

Informatics professor André van der Hoek has received a 2007 HP Technology for Teaching grant, which is designed to transform teaching and improve learning in the classroom through innovative uses of technology. The award is one of 42 throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.

Profesor van der Hoek will use HP wireless Tablet PCs to enhance learning in computer science.

Van der Hoek's research lies in the fields of configuration management and software architecture, focusing on two research questions: (1) how to better coordinate the activities of multiple, geographically distributed developers and (2) how to better leverage higher levels of abstraction in designing and implementing software systems.

He also researches software engineering education and explores how simulation can aid students in learning more about the software engineering process.

APRIL 2007

Goodrich named Chancellor's Professor

photo: michael goodrich


Michael Goodrich, professor of computer science, was awarded the title of Chancellor's Professor, effective April 1, 2007.

The title is conferred for a five-year renewable term and recognizes scholars who have demonstrated unusual academic merit and whose continued promise for scholarly achievement makes them of exceptional value to the university.

Goodrich joins Professors Pierre Baldi and Nikil Dutt as Chancellor's professors in the Bren School.

Goodrich, also the director of the Center for Cyber-Security and Privacy, conducts research directed at the design of high-performance algorithms and data structures for solving large-scale problems surrounding the increased demands of computer graphics, information visualization, scientific data analysis, information assurance and security, and the Internet.

He also is interested in computer science education, specifically ways of more effectively teaching data structures and algorithms.

Baldi named AAAI Fellow

photo: ramesh jain


Pierre Baldi, Chancellor's Professor and Director of the Institute for Genomics and Bioinformatics, has been named a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI).

Baldi is recognized for his significant contribution to statistical machine learning and the development of widely used algorithms/architectures to solve problems in the life sciences.

Each year the AAAI recognizes a group of individuals who have made significant, sustained contributions to the field of artificial intelligence through the continuation of its Fellows program. Fellows are recognized as having unusual distinction in the profession.

Dr. Baldi’s research focuses in several areas of artifical intelligence, data mining, machine learning, bioinformatics and communication networks.

Projects in his group include understanding and predicting protein structures, analyzing and modeling gene expression data and regulatory networks, developing a computer GO player, analyzing and designing communication networks (Internet, Ultra Wide Band Radio), and quantifying information.

About AAAI: Founded in 1979, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) (formerly the American Association for Artificial Intelligence) is a nonprofit scientific society devoted to advancing the scientific understanding of the mechanisms underlying thought and intelligent behavior and their embodiment in machines.

Entrepreneurship competition finalists announced

photo: idea

Three teams advanced to the finals of hITEC OCTANe, the Bren School's Technology Entrepreneurship Competition. The finalists also earned a spot in the Stradling Yocca Carlson and Rauth Business Plan Competition sponsored by the Paul Merage School of Business.

The final products, created by Bren School students, with the guidance of a faculty or corporate mentor, span a broad spectrum of uses.

BigDaddy: IM Monitoring, created by Pablo Diaz-Gutierrez, Michael Schafae, and Sabrina Austin under the mentorship of Tom Miller, is a Wi-Fi enabled home broadband DSL/Cable router with a firewall that enables concerned parents to monitor their pre-teen's Internet messaging.

This product differs from current ones in that it gives parents easy to use tools to set boundaries and practices commensurate to their values and priorities.

TutorZ, developed by Dirk Wagner, Sameer Saproo and Erik Olsson along with the mentorship of Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences Ramesh Jain, is a Web 2.0 platform that captures service leads from consumers and brokers them to providers.

Tutorz stands out as an integrated system to search for service providers by context filtering, with social networking to generate third party information about providers and has an innovative model for brokering service leads.

Liffy, created by Robert Olson, Abhishek Amit and Arya Asemanfar and also mentored by Ramesh Jain, is a remote ordering service for fast-food restaurants using cell phones.

Liffy revolutionizes the process of ordering food from restaurants by reducing the amount of time consumers have to spend waiting to order food, gives them more choices and flexibility, and makes the process more cost effective for businesses.

Customers are able to place orders remotely, primarily through the use of mobile phones through a server application that processes text messages and sends replies. Consumers will be able to search for restaurants, browse menus and favorites, and place orders.

The final competition placing and prizes will be awarded on Friday, June 8, at the annual Bren School Honors and Awards Dinner.

hITEC OCTANe, formerly extreme computing, is the cornerstone of the Bren School entrepreneurship program.

The competition is designed to foster a spirit of entrepreneurship among Bren School and UC Irvine students, and fuel the development of new technologies that have the potential to positively impact the marketplace.

MARCH 2007

Jain gives keynote lecture at PerCom 2007

photo: ramesh jain


Bren professor Ramesh Jain recently gave an invited keynote lecture at the Fifth Annual IEEE International Conference on Pervasive Computing and Communications conference (PerCom 2007) in White Plains, New York.

The well-received keynote address titled, "From Pervasive Computing to EventWeb," explored the growth of EventWeb as a natural next step in the evolution of the Web with rich multimodal sensory information.

Pervasive communications emergence is a natural outcome of the tremendous advances in wireless networks, mobile computing, sensor networks, distributed computing, and agent technologies.

PerCom is the premier international forum discussion between researchers, practitioners and students interested in the pervasive computing and networking.

Combining high-scientific quality with industrial relevance is the Percom mission.

Tomlinson awarded NSF CAREER grant for collocation research

photo: natasa przulj


Bill Tomlinson , assistant professor of informatics, has received a $500,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant in support of his project entitled "CAREER: An Agent-Based Approach to Human-Computer Interaction for Systems of Collocated Devices".

The grant will fund Tomlinson's research into ways in which several collocated devices (i.e. PDAs, mobile phones) may be enabled to work together as a system and take advantage of the unique characteristics of collocation.

Specifically, the research seeks to explore and evaluate the use of embodied mobile agents (EMAs) -- animated agents that can transfer seamlessly among different devices -- as one potential solution to the problem of multi-device interaction.

The applications of collocated device systems could reach into many facets of society, from industrial applications that provide people with contextual information about their work flow, to entertainment systems that integrate both the real and the virtual world, to educational systems that help people learn about complex content domains such as environmental restoration.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation's most prestigious awards in support of the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.

2006-2007 Scholarship and Fellowship recipients announced

Congratulations to all those students who received the following Bren School scholarships and fellowships for the 2006-2007 academic year.

These awards are possible through the generous support of our community and industry friends.

These individuals and companies, through their commitment to higher education, play an active role in the future of information technology by helping deserving and highly competent students afford a quality education.

Learn more about sponsoring a scholarship or fellowship to support a Bren School student's educational goal.


» Accenture Endowed Outstanding Jr. Student Award
  Gabriela Marcu
» Essie Lev Endowed Student Award
  Andrew Emil L. Jose
» Kenneth Simms Endowed Memorial Scholarship in ICS
  Sarah Gibas
Matthew Teeter
» Orange County Teachers Federal Credit Union Scholarship
  Aaron Abajian
Wesley Powell
» Conexant Scholarship
  Benjamin Veluz
» Association for Women and Technology Student Scholarship
  Gabriela Marcu


» Victor and Janie Tsao Funding
Corey Bryan, Huy Huyhn, Jason Kudlinski, Paul Furiani, and Sareddin Fadaie Fard
Taylor Stevenson, Jason Gullett, Xai Lor, Derek Lee, and Maria San Juan
» Bob and Barbara Kleist/Printronix Funding
Sterling Weeks, Zhiwei Zhong, Duy Le, Jonathan Yun, and Maria San Juan
» Donald and Joan Beall Funding
Ken Gutierrez, William Blaney, Tyrone Hwang, Luis Ramirez, Jason Dornish, Katherine Gu, Anthony Nguyen, Benjamin Tristan, Brenson Yu, and John Espinueva
» ICS Associate Dean Funding
  Jonathan Chuang
» ICS Student Affairs Funding
John Espinueva, Fabian Rodriguez, Fu-Der Wang, Calvin Tsai, Justin Kunisaki, and Harindra Dissanayake


» FileNet
  Kerri Short
» WebReach
  Gerald Bortis
Zubin Tiku

Alumnus to be recognized at annual Lauds & Laurels ceremony

photo: lawrence rowe


Lawrence A. Rowe, who earned a Ph.D. in Information and Computer Science from the Bren School in 1976, will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award at the UCI Alumni Association’s annual Lauds & Laurels ceremony.

Rowe, who also earned a B.A. in Mathematics from UCI in 1970, was professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Berkeley from 1976 – 2003.

While at Berkeley, Rowe was the founding director of the Berkeley Multimedia Research Center (BMRC), which was created in 1995 to explore the application of multimedia technology to education and research.

BMRC taught classes on multimedia authoring, established and operated authoring studios and distributed collaboration and distance learning rooms and services, and provided advice and technical support on a wide range of issues relating to multimedia authoring and distributed collaboration.

A major BMRC accomplishment was the development and deployment of the Berkeley Webcasting System, which produces over 30 hours a week of Berkeley course lectures that are viewed over 300,000 times per month by people anywhere on the Internet.

His past research interests have included development tools for database applications, distributed operating systems, computer networks (multicast protocols and applications), distributed streaming media toolkits, multimedia applications (video-on-demand, webcasting, videoconferencing, multimedia authoring, etc.), and computer-integrated manufacturing.

Rowe was co-founder of Ingres Corporation, and under his direction the company became well-known by industry as the pioneer in the development of easy-to-use tools for database access.

He also co-founded Orinda Software and more recently n-Cast Corporation, a company likely to play a very important role in the further development of presentation capture and streaming media technologies.

Rowe continues to work as consultant for many companies including Apple, Dust Inc., Eloquent, Fast Forward Networks, FX Palo Alto Laboratories, Harris Semiconductor, Hughes Aircraft, Motorola, Sematech, Siemens and Tandem.

He has also published more than 70 papers on multimedia systems and applications, programming systems, and database systems.

Rowe is a member of the editorial board of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM) Multimedia Systems Journal, past chair of ACM Special Interest Group on Multimedia, a member of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), and has served on many governmental advisory committees.

In 1998, Rowe was inducted as a Fellow of ACM for his seminal contributions to programming languages, relational database technology, user interfaces and multimedia systems.

Rowe will be recognized along with 16 alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends for their ongoing contributions to the university during the 37th annual ceremony.

Initiated in 1971, the Lauds and Laurels ceremony provides a way to recognizes alumni, students, faculty, staff and friends who have brought recognition to the university through their achievements, studies or profession.

To date, tributes to more than 600 community members have been a part of the ceremony. This year’s event will take place May 10, 2007, at the Hyatt Regency Irvine.

Dean's Award recipients announced

The annual Bren School Dean's Award for 2007 have been announced. Each award recipient will receive a $500 discretionary account honorarium.

Dean's Award for Research:
Padhraic Smyth

Dean's Award for Service:

Crista Lopes

Dean's Award for Graduate Student Mentoring:

Michael Franz

Dean's Award for Undergraduate Teaching:

Bill Tomlinson

Franz voted UCI's Outstanding Professor of the Year

photo: michael franz


UC Irvine's graduating class of 2007 has voted professor of computers science Michael Franz the Outstanding Professor Of The Year.

Franz will be honored at an awards dinner and also be featured in the 2007 Anthology yearbook.

Franz is the Principal Investigator on several competitive grants totaling almost $5M. His current research focuses on security and efficiency aspects of mobile code.


Soriente selected as IBM Ph.D. Fellow

photo: claudio soriente


Ph.D. student Claudio Soriente, has been selected to receive the IBM Ph.D. Fellowship.

The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship program honors exceptional Ph.D. students worldwide. Fellows are matched with an IBM Mentor according to their technical interests, and they are encouraged to intern at an IBM research or development laboratory under their Mentor's guidance.

Soriente's research interests include digital broadcasting systems, network security, sensor networks, computer forensic and cryptography.

Lopes' paper in top 25 of most cited articles in Computer Science

photo: crista lopes


Ten years after its publication, the first paper on Aspect-Oriented Programming, co-authored by Informatics professor Crista Lopes is currently the #23 most cited paper in all Computer Science publications indexed citeseer.

Unlike Object Orientated Programming (OOP), the programming paradigms of aspect-oriented programming (AOP) attempt to aid programmers in the separation of concerns, specifically cross-cutting concerns, as an advance in modularization.

The paper, co-authored by Gregor Kiczales, John Lamping, Anurag Mendhekar, Chris Maeda, Jean Marc Loingtier, and John Irwin, contained some of the ideas in Lopes' Ph.D. thesis, and is considered a seminal paper in software design research.

Alumnus publishes book on cross-layer design

photo:raja jurdak


Raja Jurdak, a former graduate student of professors Crista Lopes and Pierre Baldi, and now a post-doctoral fellow at the University College, Dublin, has recently published a book entitled "Wireless AdHoc and Sensor Networks -- A Cross-Layer Design Perspective."

The purpose of the book is to expose researchers and graduate students to state-of-the-art advances in cross-layer design for wireless ad hoc and sensor networks. It explores the optimization potential of cross-layer design approaches for wireless ad hoc and sensor network performance.

The book consists of two main parts: (1) a theoretical section that provides an overview of design issues in both strictly layered and cross-layer approaches for ad hoc and sensor networks; and (2) a practical section that builds on these issues to explore three case studies of diverse ad hoc and sensor network applications and communication technologies.

This book, published by Springer, comes in the sequence of his doctoral work at the Bren School and is now available at Amazon.

NSF funds development of educational software engineering tool

photo: andre van der hoek

Andre van
der Hoek

Informatics professor Andre van der Hoek and research scientist Emily Navarro have been awarded $450,000 from the National Science Foundation to expand their educational software engineering tool.

SimSE, an innovative educational tool, provides students the opportunity to practice managing software engineering processes in a simulated environment.

The tool includes several realistic components, such as random events, large teams of people, and critical decision-making.

A proof-of-concept version of SimSE has already been developed and is currently being used in classrooms around the world.

The three-year project focuses on expanding SimSE from a proof-of concept into a comprehensive classroom approach for educating students in software processes.

Proposed activities include broadening SimSE's technical features, creation of SimSE course modules, comprehensive evaluation across multiple institutions, and continued national dissemination.

Fulkerson crowned UCI Homecoming King

photo:: jeff fulkerson being crowned uci homecoming king

Jeff Fulkerson and Emily Yee
were crowned UCI's
Homecoming King and Queen.
(Laurel Hungerford/Courtesy
of UCI Alumni Association)

Jeff Fulkerson, a fourth-year ICS major, made history by becoming the first Bren School student to be crowned UCI's Homecoming King.

After a week of voting, Fulkerson and fourth-year biological sciences major Emily Yee were crowned Homecoming King and Queen during halftime of the Feb. 3 men's basketball game.

Fulkerson, whose hobbies include Rubik's Cube, music and film editing, is also a resident advisor, Campuswide Honors Program Peer Mentor and member of the Campuswide Honors Student Council, Golden Key and Chi Alpha.

Yee, whose hobbies include watching/playing sports, watching TV and experimenting with cooking, is also a Peer Academic Advisor for the Campuswide Honors Program, VP of AED Pre-Health Honor Society, UTeach Director for ASUCI's Office of Academic Affairs and Social Chair of Regents Scholar Association.

Taylor's paper most cited in software engineering articles

photo: richard taylor


Professor Richard Taylor's paper "A Classification and Comparison Framerwork for Software Architecture Description Languages" has been identified by Information and Software Technology as the most cited article in software engineering articles for the year 2000.

Over the last 20 years, the paper ranks fourth as most cited. The paper was co-authored by Nenad Medvidovic.

Taylor's research is focused on design — the issues, techniques, and agents involved in creating and evolving software artifacts and processes. Specific emphases include:

» Software architecture: means for designing, organizing, and
describing distributed and decentralized applications.
» Architecture-based software development environments: tools to support the conceptual approach, ranging from design-time tools to implementation to run-time dynamic adaptation.

A full version of the paper is available online.

Vote Bren School student Jeff Fulkerson for Homecoming King

photo: jeff fulkerson


Jeff Fulkerson has made history by becoming the first Bren School student to run for UCI Homecoming King.

But the fourth-year ICS major needs the help of his fellow computer scientists to win.

Vote for him at the ASUCI web site by 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 1.

Then attend the men's basketball game against Cal State Northridge on Saturday, Feb. 3 when the Homecoming King and Queen will be crowned at halftime.

Fulkerson, whose hobbies include Rubik's Cube, music and film editing, is also a resident advisor, Campuswide Honors Program Peer Mentor and member of the Campuswide Honors Student Council, Golden Key and Chi Alpha.

"For me, being on the Homecoming Court would mean many things," Fulkerson said. "It would mean continuing my trend of breaking stereotypes. It would mean I’ve accomplished something memorable. It would mean that instead of me supporting my residents, my residents would get a chance to support me."


Patterson to study context-aware networks in Africa

photo: donald patterson


UC Irvine's Academic Senate Council has awarded Donald Patterson, assistant professor of informatics, $3,500 in travel funding to study context-aware networking routing algorithms in Africa.

Context-aware networking algorithms allow users to transmit data even when the local network infrastructure has been destroyed.

For example, if a natural disaster destroyed an area’s local network infrastructure, aid workers with mobile data devices on the ground would still be able to transmit data back to headquarters for coordinating logistics.

By creating a routing system that knew which device belonged to the "coordinator" and which device belonged to a "field nurse" it could make better decisions about which direction to push data when the devices come in contact.

The coordinator's device could offload data to the Internet when it returns to a location with established infrastructure.

Patterson, working with two non-governmental health organizations, will be surveying two sites in South Africa and Zambia.

Patterson plans to evaluate work flow and movement patterns of participants in the organizations to develop an architecture which routes on the basis of contextual clues, but is also helpful to the organizations on the ground.

Patterson’s areas of research interest lie at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence and Ubiquitous computing and he has applied this work to transportation and activity assistance.

Students, sign up for one-on-one mentoring through MentorNet

photo: sign up for mentornet

Bren School undergraduate and graduate students are invited to sign up as a protégé for one-on-one mentoring through MentorNet.

This award-winning nonprofit e-mentoring network addresses the retention and success of those in the engineering, related science, technology, and mathematics fields, particularly but not exclusively women and other underrepresented groups.

MentorNet's One-on-One Mentoring Programs will pair you with a professional in an academic, industry or government setting who is willing to share "real world" experience, encouragement, advice, and access via one-on-one, email-based mentoring (average 20 minute per week commitment).

To get started, interested protégés fill out a MentorNet "profile" listing information and preferences. Protégés are then presented with up to 5 potential matches.

To learn more about the MentorNet program or to sign up as a protégé, visit the MentorNet web site .

UC Irvine is an official member of MentorNet, made possible by a collaboration of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, School of Biological Sciences, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, and School of Physical Sciences.

For more information about the Bren School's participation in MentorNet, contact:

Suzanne K. Schaefer, Ph.D.; phone: 949-824-2480

Nardi's paper on blogging ranked most downloaded

photo: bonnie nardi


Associate professor of informatics Bonnie A. Nardi’s article entitled " Why We Blog" was recently ranked as the most popular paper downloaded from the Association for Computing Machinery’s magazine and computing surveys articles.

The paper, co-authored with Diane J. Schiano, Michelle Gumbrecht and Luke Swartz was originally published in December 2004 for Communications of the ACM.

Professor Nardi's research interests include theory in human-computer interaction and computer-supported collaborative work; computer-mediated communication technologies; and studies of scientific collaboration.

She specializes in the use of ethnographic methods to study technology. Her theoretical orientation is activity theory. Current research includes a study of blogging and an investigation of scientific collaboration among ecologists.

Jain receives Best Paper Award at Multimedia Modeling Conference

photo: ramesh jain


Ramesh Jain, Donald Bren Professor in Information and Computer Sciences, has been awarded the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Multimedia Modeling, held in Singapore January 10-12.

The paper entitled Ontology-based Annotation of Paintings using Transductive Inference Framework, proposed a framework for ontology-based annotation of paintings with application-level concepts of art period.

Jain also gave a keynote talk, Event Web: The next disruptive evolutionary stage in WWW, at the International Conference on Intelligent Sensing and Information Processing, held in Bangalore December 16-18.

This interdisciplinary conference integrates several advanced research themes such as intelligent sensing and adaptive learning with a view towards solving problems in smart systems.

Dr. Jain is an active researcher in multimedia information systems, image databases, machine vision, and intelligent systems.

Additional information about Dr. Jain and his work can be found on his web site.

Przulj receives NSF CAREER grant for Protein-Protein Interaction project

photo: natasa przulj


Natasa Przulj, assistant professor of computer science, has received a $570,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant in support of her 5-year project entitled "CAREER: Tools for Analyzing, Modeling, and Comparing Protein-Protein Interaction Networks".

The project proposes improvements in tools for analyzing and modeling of Protein-Protein Interaction (PPI) networks.

A PPI network is a mathematical representation of the physical interactions amongst proteins in a cell: it is a graph in which nodes represent proteins and edges between the nodes represent possible physical interactions between the corresponding proteins.

It is expected that the project will lead to better algorithms for various network comparison problems on PPI and other networks. Exploitation of a network model may significantly reduce the cost of characterizing the interactomes of various organisms.

Dr. Przulj is involved in training high school, undergraduate and graduate students, including two female students. This work is being included in various UC Irvine courses. The software will be provided as a free open-source toolkit for other researchers.

Tsudik discusses networking security on KUCI

photo: gene tsudik


Professor of computer science Gene Tsudik will discuss networking security on the January 17 edition of KCUI's PrivacyPiracy program.

The show, which airs every wednesday from 5 to 6 p.m. Pacific Time on 88.9 FM in Irvine or via live audio streaming at, focuses on how to protect your privacy in the Information Age.

Tsudik has been conducting research in internetworking, network security and applied cryptography since 1987. He obtained his Ph.D. in Computer Science from USC in 1991 for research on firewalls and Internet access control.

Before coming to UC Irvine in 2000, he was a Project Leader at IBM Zurich Research Laboratory (1991-1996) and USC Information Science Institute (1996-2000).

Over the years, his research interests included: routing, firewalls, authentication, mobile networks, e-commerce, anonymity, group communication, digital signatures, key management, ad hoc networks, as well as database privacy and secure storage.

In the Spring of 2007, he will be going to Italy as a Fulbright Scholar to lecture and conduct research at the University of Rome (La Sapienza) on the subject of electronic privacy.