Noteworthy achievements 2008

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 2008.

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Awards, grants and other honors can be sent to icsnews@ics.uci.edu to be considered for publication.

DECEMBER 2008

Tsudik named Editor-in-Chief of ACM Journal TISSEC

photo: gene tsudik

Gene
Tsudik

Gene Tsudik, computer science professor and managing director of the Secure Computing and Networking Center, has been named Editor-in-Chief of the Association of Computing Machinery's Transactions on Information and Systems Security (TISSEC) by the ACM Publication Board.

TISSEC is a scholarly scientific journal that publishes original research papers in all areas of information and system security, including technologies, systems, applications, and policies. It is the top archival publication in the field.

Tsudik's research interests are mainly 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. He also is interested in database security and public key cryptography.


Dourish gives opening keynote and invited talk in Australia

photo: paul dourish

Paul
Dourish

Informatics professor Paul Dourish recently gave the opening keynote talk for the OzCHI conference, the annual Australasian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction, held in Cairns in Queensland, Australia.

Dourish's talk titled "Postcolonial Computing: Reframing the Cultural Dimensions of HCI Design" draws lessons from postcolonial studies to sketch some alternative frameworks for understanding the changing relationship between HCI design practice and the breadth of habitat and habitus with which it engages.

French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu used the term "habitus" to refer to the sedimented patterns of thought and dispositions that we acquire through participation in sociocultural settings.

Linking habitat with habitus is particularly appropriate now, as recent years have seen increasing attention paid the broadening contexts of information technology use from office and work settings to public and domestic space, and more broadly, out into the natural world of our everyday (and not-so-everyday) experience.

These sorts of spreads of technology and technological practice have necessitated the development of new modes of analysis and design, often drawing on different disciplines.

As human computer interaction (HCI) is beginning to turn its attention to how technologies move between different cultural settings, the research often raises more questions that it answers. Just what does culture mean? What does it mean for technologies to be "portable" across places and settings—or for methods?

Dourish also gave an invited talk at Queensland University of Technology, in Bribane, Queensland, Australia: "Persuasive Technologies, Ecotopian Agendas, and the Morality of Consumption: Rethinking the Relationship between Human-Computer Interaction and Environmental Sustainability".

Many HCI researchers have recently begun to examine the opportunities to use ICTs to promote environmental sustainability and ecological consciousness on the part of technology users.

In particular, contemporary technologies -- including mobile devices and ambient displays -- can be imagined to provide opportunities for reflection on personal and collective action, or for monitoring and visualization of behavior and its relationship to environmental change.

These efforts exploit recent explorations of the use of computers as persuasive technologies in domains such as health and fitness.

Dourish's primary research interests are in the areas of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Human-Computer Interaction, and Ubiquitous Computing. He is especially interested in the foundational relationships between social scientific analysis and technological design.

Recent research topics include flexible attribute-based group information repositories, visual techniques to aid people in making assessments of system security, phenomenological analyses of interaction with embodied computational devices, and conceptual frameworks for privacy in information environments.

An audio download of Dourish's talk and presetation is availble as are his slides.


NOVEMBER 2008

Newman receives $40,000 Google Research Award for topic mapping

photo: david newman

David
Newman

David Newman, a research scientist in computer science, has received $40,000 from Google to research how topic mapping (topic modeling + mapping) can be used in conjunction with Google Maps interfaces to improve the ways users browse huge text collections.

A linear list of search results inhibits a user's ability to browse returned documents and leaves the user with little sense of the range of subject matter contained in the returned documents.

Newman will investigate novel ways of improving browse to allow users to find interesting, relevant and useful documents. Newman will combine state-of-the-art statistical topic modeling with multidimensional scaling and visualization techniques to create a Google Maps-type interface for browsing huge text collections.

Using two huge collections of text documents (PubMed abstracts and books from the Open Content Alliance) Newman will investigate how to construct intuitive and meaningful layouts of documents to help users better find useful documents, and improve their overall browse experience.

Newman's research interests include machine learning, data mining and text mining. His research is marked by a commitment to combining theoretical advances with practical applications in ways that widen access and use for individuals and communities, and ultimately improve the way people find and discover information.


Tsudik to give invited keynote talk at AINTEC in Bangkok, Thailand

photo: gene tsudik

Gene
Tsudik

Computer Science professor Gene Tsudik will give an invited keynote talk entitled "Security and Privacy in Unattended Sensor Networks" at the Asian Internet Engineering Conference (AINTEC) 2008 being held November 18-20 in Bangkok, Thailand.

In recent years, sensors and sensor networks have been extremely popular in the research community. One of the most exciting aspects of sensor networks research is the confluence of diverse areas, such as databases, networking, distributed systems and security. In particular, security issues in wireless and sensor networks (WSNs) have received
a lot of attention.

In this talk, Tsudik will discuss in detail a number of security challenges in unattended WSNs. The goal of the address is to bring the problem to light and engender interest from the research community to investigate it further.

AINTEC provides an international technical forum for experts from industry and academia, especially aiming at addressing issues pertinent to the Asia and Pacific region with vast diversities of socio-economic and networking conditions while inviting high quality and recent research results from the global Internet research community. The conference proceedings will be published by the ACM Digital Library.

Tsudik's research interests are mainly 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. He also is interested in database security and public key cryptography.


Givargis and Nicolau receive 2008 CASES Best Paper Award

photo: tony givargis

Tony
Givargis


photo: alexandru nicolau

Alexandru
Nicolau

Computer Science professors Tony Givargis and Alexandru Nicolau, along with Ph.D. student Mohammad Ali Ghodrat have been awarded the 2008 CASES Best Paper Award for their submission entitled "Control Flow Optimization in Loops using Interval Analysis".

The paper was presented in Atlanta, Georgia at the International Conference on Compilers, Architecture, and Synthesis for Embedded Systems (CASES) last month.

The work presents a novel loop transformation technique, particularly well suited for optimizing embedded compilers, where an increase in compilation time is acceptable in exchange for significant performance increase. The transformation technique optimizes loops containing nested conditional blocks.

The full paper can be downloaded online.

The CASES conference provides a forum for emerging technology in embedded computing systems, with an emphasis on compilers and architectures for embedded systems.

CASES is a common forum for researchers with an interest in embedded systems to reach across vertically integrated communities and to promote synergies. As evident from the past CASES meetings, several emerging applications are critically dependent on these interactions for their sustained growth and evolution.

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.

Nicolau's work designs and implements a system of program transformations that supports the semi-automatic (and eventually fully-automatic) exploitation of substantially all the parallelism available in a given program. Nicolau is also interested in developing a tool for the rigorous study and development of parallelizing compilers.


New Book edited by Gary Olson, with contributions from Judy Olson

photo: gary olson

Gary
Olson


photo: judy olson

Judy
Olson

Gary and Judy Olson, Bren Professors of Information and Computer Sciences, have released a new book, Scientific Collaboration on the Internet.

Modern science is increasingly collaborative, as signaled by rising numbers of coauthored papers, papers with international coauthors, and multi-investigator grants.

Historically, scientific collaborations were carried out by scientists in the same physical location—the Manhattan Project of the 1940s, for example, involved thousands of scientists gathered on a remote plateau in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Today, information and communication technologies allow cooperation among scientists from far-flung institutions and different disciplines. Scientific Collaboration on the Internet provides both broad and in-depth views of how new technology is enabling novel kinds of science and engineering collaboration. The book offers commentary from notable experts in the field along with case studies of large-scale collaborative projects, past and ongoing.

The projects described range from the development of a national virtual observatory for astronomical research to a National Institutes of Health funding program for major multilaboratory medical research; from the deployment of a cyberinfrastructure to connect experts in earthquake engineering to partnerships between developed and developing countries in AIDS research.

The chapter authors speak frankly about the problems these projects encountered as well as the successes they achieved. The book strikes a useful balance between presenting the real stories of collaborations and developing a scientific approach to conceiving, designing, implementing, and evaluating such projects. It points to a future of scientific collaborations that build successfully on aspects from multiple disciplines.

Gary Olson, author of more than 100 published research articles, has dedicated his work to understanding how technology can support remote collaboration. He also has made important contributions to the studies of management practice and the cultural aspects of collaboration, as well as the complex socio-technical issues surrounding technology design.

Judy Olson has published about 110 peer-reviewed research articles and is best known for her work on distance collaborations and has achieved international acclaim for her studies that compared office workers in geographically distributed organizations to those working in the same location.


OCTOBER 2008

Majumder invited panelist at PROCAMS panel

photo: bonnie nardi

Aditi
Majumder

Computer science professor Aditi Majumder was recently invited to serve as a panelist at the IEEE/ACM Workshop on Projector-Camera Systems (PROCAMS).

Majumder talked about exploting a wireless computational projector-camera unit as the fundamental unit to deploy pixels in an ubiquitous manner.

The goal of her research is to instrument a workspace with a distributed network of these projector-camera units creating displays whose scale, resolution and form factor can be changed on demand; displays that are no longer a passive interface between the user and the machine, but can serve as an medium of interaction between multiple users and/or multiples machines.

According to Majumder, "the future would thus see the emergence of truly ubiquitous displays that can be deployed literally anywhere and in any fashion."


Jarecki, Tsudik awarded $430,000 for cryptographic research

photo: stanislaw jarecki

Stanislaw
Jarecki


photo: gene tsudik

Gene
Tsudik

Computer science professors Stanislaw Jarecki and Gene Tsudik have been awarded a $430,000 contract from IARPA's (Intelligence Agencies Research Project Agency) National Intelligence Community Enterprise Cyber-Assurance Program for a project titled "Practical Privacy-Preserving Information Transfer (PPIT)".

The project aims to design and demonstrate innovative and efficient cryptographic techniques that allow mutually protective parties to exchange information in a way that preserves both privacy of, and authorized access to that information.

A real-world example of such an exchange can be when a government agency wants to compare an airline passenger manifest with its terror watch-list. Neither the airline nor the agency may want to reveal its list to the other.

PPIT techniques will solve the apparent impasse by using state-of-the-art efficient cryptographic tools to share only the necessary information that match the two lists.


Nardi gives talks in Lithuania and San Diego

photo: bonnie nardi

Bonnie
Nardi

Informatics professor Bonnie Nardi recently gave a keynote talk and participated as a keynote panel speaker in Lithuania and San Diego, CA, respectively.

At the International Society for Cultural and Activity Research Conference in San Diego on September 13, Nardi gave a talk entitled "Digital Ethnography" with a discussion of its challenges and opportunities.

Nardi also gave an opening keynote talk at the Information Searching in Context Conference in Vilnius, Lithuania on September 17. The talk highlighted Nardi's research in China on the "mixed realities" of Internet cafes in which the virtual and physical come together in interesting ways. People can become engrossed in playing a virtual game together, for example, but also talk, laugh, eat together in a real physical space.


SEPTEMBER 2008

El Zarki receives D-Link Systems gift for studying wireless video sensor networks

photo: magda el zarki

Magda El
Zarki

Associate Dean for Research Development and Professor of Computer Science Magda El Zarki has received five 5 D-Link Wireless Pan/Tilt Internet Cameras from D-LInk Systems.

The cameras will be used in research that will investigate schemes that enable scientists to create dynamic network topologies that provide the networking resources for the sensors to transmit their data to an outgoing gateway.

Most wireless networks don't have the bandwidth to carry multiple video streams. In tracking applications, sensors are not all active at the same time, thereby allowing the pooling of resources to areas where there is current activity. As the action moves, the network changes to migrate the resources to where they are needed.

This research will involve novel routing mechanisms, adaptive media sharing strategies and workload distribution schemes.

El Zarki's work focuses on multimedia transmission and the impact of provisioning for quality of service networks. Her recent work has been in wireless communications.

El Zarki's research in real-time video transmission focuses on the impact of bandwidth control on quality degradation and use of objective quality-assessment techniques for video quality evaluation whose applications include video conferencing and low-bit rate Web video.


Newman and collaborators awarded $750,000 for topic modeling

photo: david newman

David
Newman

Computer science researcher David Newman and co-investigators at Yale University and University of Michigan have been awarded $750,000 from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Newman and his collaborators will study how topic modeling can be used to improve search and discovery of digital resources.

Newman and the team will investigate how topic modeling -- a state-of-the-art machine learning technique -- can be used to improve the ways users search, discover and find items in increasingly large digital collections. They will apply topic modeling to three important classes of digital library resources: full-text books, images, and tagged objects.

"I am excited to deploy advanced machine learning techniques that may positively impact the general public, and address the increasingly universal challenge of providing better access to huge collections of digital objects," says Newman.

In the research, topic modeling will be used on text metadata to better organize large collections of images; on library collections that contain millions of electronic volumes to go beyond keyword search; and social tags and contributed content to better categorize this increasingly widespread type of descriptive textual metadata.

The team will then build prototypes of user interface applications that use topic modeling, to assess the value of topic modeling for users.

Newman's research interests include machine learning, data mining and text mining.

His research is marked by a commitment to combining theoretical advances with practical applications in ways that widen access and use for individuals and communities, and ultimately improve the way people find and discover information.


Nardi awarded $36,000 from Agilent Technologies to study user interfaces

photo: bonnie nardi

Bonnie
Nardi

Informatics professor Bonnie Nardi and second year Ph.D. student Ruy Cervantes have been awarded $36,000 from Agilent Technologies to conduct an ethnographic study of engineers' experiences with a range of user interfaces from games to work applications for Agilent Technologies.

Agilent, manufacturer of high-end instruments for measurment in electronics, communications, life sciences, and chemical analysis, is collaborating with us to redesign and update their user interfaces to appeal to a younger generation of engineers.

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.


Tsudik and Kobsa awarded $460,000 NSF Cybertrust grant

photo: gene tsudik

Gene
Tsudik


photo: alfred kobsa

Alfred
Kobsa

Professor of Computer science Gene Tsudik and Professor of Informatics Alfred Kobsa have been awarded a $460,000 collaborative grant from the NSF Cybertrust program for a project titled "User-Aided Secure Association of Wireless Devices".

The cybertrust project is being conducted in collaboration with Nitesh Saxena, an ICS Ph.D. alum, and Assistant Professor at NYU Polytechnic Institute.

The popularity of personal gadgets opens up many new services for ordinary users. Many everyday usage scenarios involve two or more devices "working together" – for example, sensors and personal RFID tags. Before working together, devices must be securely "paired" to enable secure communication.

The human-imperceptible nature of wireless communication prompts the very real threat of Man-in-the-Middle (MiTM) attacks.

Another challenge arises due to the lack of a global security infrastructure. Consequently, traditional cryptographic means alone are unsuitable, since unfamiliar devices have no prior security context and no common point of trust.

Therefore, some human involvement in secure device pairing is unavoidable. At the same time, most devices have limited hardware and/or user interfaces, thus complicating human involvement.

Since device pairing is one of the very few areas where security directly involves and affects the average user, the greatest impact of proposed research is expected to be the broader participation in security practices and better appreciation of security and its benefits. The project also emphasizes industry outreach and technology transfer by working with manufacturers and industrial consortia.

The project’s end-goal is to construct a set of user-friendly, scalable and secure methods for sensor initialization.

Students taking part in the project are expected to acquire skills that uniquely interact at the intersection of Human-Computer Interaction and Cybertrust.

Tsudik's research interests are mainly 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. He also is interested in database security and public key cryptography.

Kobsa's research lies in the areas of user modeling and personalized systems (with applications in the areas of information environments, expert finders, and user interfaces for disabled and elderly people), privacy, and in information visualization.

He is the editor of "User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction: The Journal of Personalization Research", edited several books and authored numerous publications in the areas of user-adaptive systems, human-computer interaction and knowledge representation.


Nardi to study “Mods”, awarded $100,000 NSF grant

photo: bonnie nardi

Bonnie
Nardi

Informatics professor Bonnie Nardi and second-year Ph.D. student Yong Ming Kow have been awarded $100,000 from the National Science Foundation to conduct a cross-cultural study of the development of end user modifications for games, examining "mods" in China and the United States.

Nardi is interested in how technical creativity is differentially expressed in the two cultures by examining diverse data sources including chatrooms, forums, and websites, as well as interviewing mod developers.

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.


Goodrich, Eppstein awarded $400,000 for graphic research

photo: david eppstein

David
Eppstein


photo: michael goodrich

Michael
Goodrich

Computer science professors David Eppstein and Michael Goodrich have been awarded $400,000 from the National Science Foundation for their study on Algorithms for Graphs on Surfaces.

The research concept with applications to Geographic Information Systems and Computer Graphics includes methods for speeding up the modeling algorithms used by Disney Animation Studios in rendering characters featured in 3D animated features.

The research, which is a collaboration with Roberto Tamassia at Brown University, studies algorithms for embedding graphs on surfaces, algorithms for graphs embedded on surfaces, and applications of such algorithms.

"I am very excited to be exploring a topic like this, which impacts so many other areas, including networking, graphics, and theoretical computer science,” says Goodrich.

Technologies used on the Internet, as well as in navigation systems, are often based on algorithms for geometric graphs. Thus, additional work on such algorithms has a potential for improving these and other environments that depend on geometric graphs.

In addition, at a time when computers and networks are being misused at a growing rate, applications of algorithms for graphs on surfaces to computer security has the potential for protecting the public at large.

Goodrich's research is 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.

Eppstein's research interests are varied and include geometric optimization, finite element mesh generation and mesh improvement, information visualization and graph drawing, robust statistics and estimation of web-graph properties, graph theory and graph algorithms, exponential-time algorithms for NP-hard problems, and cellular automata and combinatorial games.


AUGUST 2008

New compiler technology makes the Internet experience 7 times faster

photo: michael franz

Michael
Franz

Mozilla released the first alpha prototype of the next Firefox browser that incorporates a radically new compiler technology invented by professor of computer science Michael Franz and his former Ph.D. student Andreas Gal.

Franz and Gal invented a new method for building compilers that differs fundamentally from how compilers have been constructed during the previous 40 years. Key to the invention is a novel data structure called a "trace tree," that allows for building much smaller and faster compilers than previous approaches.

UC Irvine has filed for broad patent protection on this idea.

The new version of Firefox incorporates a new JavaScript compiler based on Franz and Gal's method that is up to 40 times faster than the previous version. Since Firefox is mostly written in JavaScript, the new compiler enables the browser's code to be optimized while it is running and more than doubles the speed of the browser.

Since typical Web 2.0 applications are heavily based on JavaScript, they will run about 700 percent faster than in the current browser and about 15 times faster than in Microsoft's Internet Explorer.

A version of the new Firefox can be downloaded from Mozilla's alpha site and it will become standard in Firefox 3.1, scheduled for release later this year.

Franz and Gal's research on trace-based compilation is supported by the National Science Foundation and by the California MICRO Program with industrial sponsor Sun Microsystems.

For more information about Franz and his research, visit his web site.


JULY 2008

Meenakshisundaram awarded $325,000 from NSF's Graphics and Visualization program

photo: gopi meenakshisundaram

Gopi
Meenakshisundaram

Gopi Meenakshisundaram (M. Gopi), associate professor of computer science, has been awarded $325,000 from NSF for his project entitled "G&V: Compression Techniques for Direct Rendering".

Gopi will study efficient ways to represent, store, access, and render computer models of very large environments such as power plants, airplanes and public-buildings for interactive simulated user walk-throughs in graphics and virtual reality systems.

Interactive simulated walk-through of architectural models is one of the most important applications of interactive rendering in the high- end graphics.

The biggest challenge in this application is to process several million polygons representing the entire model in order to choose and render a fraction of them at approximately 30 frames per second.

This research will study various techniques to address data transfer bottleneck issue and process this hundreds of gigabytes of data at interactive rates for high fidelity walk-through rendering.

Gopi's research work focuses primarily on topics related to geometry and topology motivated by problems in Computer Graphics.


Stern appointed to the Committee on National Statistics

photo: hal stern

Hal
Stern

Chair and professor of Statistics, Hal Stern, has been appointed to a three-year term on the Committee on National Statistics (CNSTAT), an affiliate of the National Academies (National Research Council, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine).

Stern is one of two scholars appointed to the 15-member committee effective July 1.

CNSTAT was established in 1972, at the recommendation of the President's Commission on Federal Statistics, to improve the statistical methods and information on which public policy decisions are based.

The Committee serves as an integrative force for the nation’s decentralized federal statistical system through its wide-ranging studies on statistical applications in public policy and its ongoing review of statistical policy activities of the Executive Branch and Congress.

The Committee convenes expert panels to conduct studies on the data and methodology needed to improve our understanding of the U.S. population, the economy, the environment, public health, crime, education, immigration, poverty, welfare, terrorism, and other public policy topics.

An ASA Fellow, Stern conducts research in statistical inference using Bayesian methods, methods for assessing the fit of statistical models, applications of statistics in the social and biological sciences, and application of probability and statistics in sports.

He has more than 60 referreed publications, and is a co-author of the popular statistics text "Bayesian Data Analysis".


Van der Hoek receives $50,000 gift from Accenture

photo: andre van der hoek

André van
der Hoek

André van der Hoek, associate professor of Informatics, will use the unrestricted gift to support his research that is exploring new software engineering tools that assist development teams in avoiding conflicts that arise from parallel work on the same code base.

Van der Hoek will particularly use the funds to further the Palantir project, which has shown success in reducing the number and magnitude of conflicts via a strategy of continuous sharing of information about who changes which artifacts in parallel.

Professor 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.

Van der Hoek also explores how simulation can aid students in learning more about the software engineering process.


JUNE 2008

Sim receives mentoring award from Associated Graduate Students

photo: susan elliott sim

Susan
Elliott Sim

Informatics professor Susan Elliott Sim has been awarded the Associated Graduate Students (AGS) 2nd Annual Mentoring Award in the non-tenured category.

AGS sponsors this annual award as a way to recognize faculty mentors who inspire and guide their students, and whose dedication to graduate students and commitment to excellence have made significant contributions to both the professional development and quality of life for their students.

All graduate students and recent alumni can nominate faculty for this award by submitting a nomination form. This gives graduate students an opportunity to recognize a faculty member who goes “above and beyond” for his or her students.

Two awards are given each year, one to a tenured faculty member, and one to a non-tenured faculty member.

The winners in both categories are determined by a committee of graduate students and faculty from across campus, and all nominees are awarded a certificate and given the option to be recognized at the Graduate Commencement ceremony.

AGS is the recognized graduate student government association at the University of California, Irvine and represent nearly 5,000 graduate and professional students to the campus and system wide administration.

Sim's main area of research is program comprehension, in particular, tools and techniques that help software developers understand source code. Her primary research interest is the use of empirical methods to determine what are the right tools to build and whether the tools we have built help developers.

Additional information about Sim and her work can be found on her web site.


Kobsa gives several keynotes on privacy and personalization

photo: alfred kobsa

Alfred
Kobsa

Informatics professor Alfred Kobsa has been giving several keynote addresses and invited talks on the topic of Privacy and Personalization, namely at the Atelier sur la vie privée en commerce électronique, Montréal, QC, Canada; the 21st International FLAIRS Conference, Coconut Grove, FL; and the 2008 KES Symposium on Intelligent Interactive Multimedia Systems and Services in Piraeus, Greece.

He also presented a talk on this topic at the 2008 ISR Research Forum.

Kobsa's research lies in the areas of user modeling and personalized systems (with applications in the areas of information environments, expert finders, and user interfaces for disabled and elderly people), privacy, and in information visualization.

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


Taylor awarded ICSE 2008 Most Influential Paper Award

photo: richard n. taylor

Richard N.
Taylor

Informatics professor Richard N. Taylor and two of his former doctoral students, Peyman Oreizy and Nenad Medvidovic were recipients of the International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2008 Most Influential Paper Award.

The award, jointly sponsored by ACM/SIGSOFT and IEEE TCSE, is presented at each ICSE meeting to the author(s) of the paper from the ICSE meeting of 10 years ago that is judged to have had the most influence on the theory or practice of software engineering during the 10 years since its original publication.

The paper, entitled Architecture-Based Runtime Software Evolution, presented an architecture-based approach to runtime software evolution and highlighted the role of software connectors in supporting runtime change.

The paper also introduced ArchStudio, a software and systems architecture development environment created at UC Irvine that focused on software development from the perspective of software and systems architecture.

Award recipients are presented with a plaque engraved with their names at ICSE's award presentation session. The recipients are also asked to give a presentation to the conference on their current views on software engineering.

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

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


Undergraduates present research at annual campus symposium

photo:: research

Several Bren School students presented their research at the annual Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) Symposium held on May 31.

The symposium provides undergraduates the opportunity to present their research results in a professional setting. The day’s activities included oral and poster presentations, student performances, a keynote speaker, roundtable discussions, and an awards ceremony.

Informatics professor Gillian Hayes and Informatics major Sam Kauffman were awarded the Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. This award recognizes the outstanding contributions of one student and faculty member from each school.

In addition to research in computer science, several Bren School students also presented projects in the areas of physics, drama and aerospace. A listing of students and their presentations are listed below.

Aaron Abajian Triple major in Biology, Computer Science and Engineering, and Math, presented "ProfileGrids: New Visual Representation of Multiple Sequence Alignments"
Sam Kauffman Informatics major, presented "Nomatic*IM"
Jacob Knobel Informatics major, presented "The Vagina Monologues"
Alexander Lamb Double major in ICS and Physics, presented "Passing Gas: Is Ethanol the Solution to our Energy Crisis?"
Maxim Lazarov Computer Science major, presented "Efficient Representation of Photometric Properties in a Projector-Camera Pair"
Cameron Lewis ICS major, presented "Internet Reputation Systems"
Leslie Liu Presented a poster on Distributed and Fractal Pixel Sensors
Gabriela Marcu Double major in Informatics and Psychology, presented "Reactions to the Use of Wearable Recording Technology for Aiding People with Memory Impairments"
Angelo Pioli Informatics major, presented "Mobile Audio Knowledge Sharing"
Erik Rubow and Robert Wu Majors in Computer Science and Engineering, presented "UCI Satellite"
Roy Tiburcio Presented a poster on Filtering and Visualization of User Story Cards in Software Development

UROP in the Division of Undergraduate Education encourages and facilitates research and creative activities by undergraduates from all schools and academic disciplines at UCI.

Research opportunities are available not only from every discipline, interdisciplinary program, and school, but also from many outside agencies, including national laboratories, industrial partners, and other universities.

UROP offers assistance to students and faculty through all phases of the research process, whether it is with proposal writing, developing research plans through project management skills, awarding grants to fund research projects, scholarly journal writing through The UCI Undergraduate Research Journal, or presenting results of the research or creative project through the UCI Undergraduate Research Symposium.


MAY 2008

Congratulations 2007-08 Bren School Honors recipients

photo:: award

The complete list of 2007-08 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.


Tsudik to give a keynote talk in Sevilla, Spain

photo: gene tsudik

Gene
Tsudik

Professor Gene Tsudik will be giving a keynote talk entitled "Sensor Self-Defense: How to Withstand Mobile Adversary in Unattended Sensor Networks" at the 2008 Workshop in Information Security: Theory and Practices (WISTP).

WISTP will be held May 13-16 in Sevilla, Spain.

The workshop examines information security in a world where embedded systems are increasingly mobile and ubiquitous.

WISTP hosts researchers and practitioners in computer and embedded systems to encourage interchange and cooperation amongst research and industrial communities.

Tsudik's research interests are mainly 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. He also is interested in database security and public key cryptography.


Dutt authors on-chip communication architectures book

photo: nikil dutt

Nikil
Dutt


photo: sudeep pasricha

Sudeep
Pasricha

Chancellor's Professor Nikil Dutt and doctoral student Sudeep Pasricha have co-authored a book "On-Chip Communication Architectures: System on Chip Interconnect".

A comprehensive reference on concepts, research and trends in on-chip communication architecture design, the book provides readers with a comprehensive survey, not available elsewhere, of all current standards for on-chip communication architectures.

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.

Other projects 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.

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


APRIL 2008

Student to attend European Consortium for Political Research social network analysis course

photo: yong ming kow

Yong
Ming Kow

Yong Ming Kow, a first year Informatics graduate student, has been chosen to attend a two week course in social network analysis at Ljubljana University in Slovenia.

The course will take place in August and is sponsored by the European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR).

The ECPR is an independent, scholarly association, established in 1970. It supports and encourages the training, research and cross-national co-operation of political scientists throughout Europe and beyond.

Kow's research focuses on the development of knowledge systems from their historical-cultural roots, based on a study of guilds in World of Warcraft (WoW) and inter-dependency of knowledge systems in information space and their implications to knowledge production based on a study of WoW gaming communities.


Jain gives keynote talk at World Wide Web Conference 2008

photo:  ramesh jain

Ramesh
Jain

Bren Professor Ramesh Jain will be giving a keynote talk entitled "Events in Web Science" at the Web Science Workshop to be held at the WWW2008 conference in Beijing, China. WWW2008 is the 17th annual World Wide Web Conference, organized in part by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (father of the WWW).

The Web Science workshop has invited researchers to present and explain their prediction of the future of the Web, to discuss how this evolution can be observed and influenced, and to reflect on why the Web has evolved to its current state.

Jain will also participate on a panel, “The Future of Online Social Interactions: What to Expect in 2020,” on Wednesday, April 23.

More on WWW2008 and the Web Sciences work shop are available at their respective web sites.


Finalists of hITEC entrepreneurship competition announced

photo: idea

Three teams advanced to the finals of hITEC, 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.

VideoOnTheWall
Ajey Shah, Arjun Satish, Tommy Chheng, Avi Mehta, Ala Khalifeh

VideoOnTheWall gives everyday people the ability to become "news reporters" on the Internet.

Users capture footage via the camera functionality on a cell phone and transmit to our servers. These streaming news reports can be viewed by anyone on the Internet live.

The experience is interactive. A trusted network of viewers can send real-time messages to the reporters for instant feedback. The system ushers social web interaction to the next level.

Reporters can have their own personal page with all their previous video casts, which can spur a following for the most popular reporters, in the same way in which people follow popular bloggers.

Click2School
Ajay Mishra, Deepika Gandhi, Ajeet Kumar

Click2School aims to bridge the gap between the school edcuation and the Internet and provide a platform to use the Internet as an effective educational tool.

It aims to provide a rich and user friendly environment for learning, problem solving, information sharing, and social networking for school students.

It provides content filtering based on school grades (4th, 5th, etc.) and students' interests to cater to the needs of a specific age group.

Adball.com
Minas Gjoka, Karl Ring, Nayana, Wagle, Karim El Defrawy, Michael Sirivianos (Merage School)

Adball is an online collaborative platform that creates content for advertising campaigns. It leverages the creativity of large and diverse online community of consumers themselves.

Adball empowers users to facilitate the collaborative creation of multi-media based advertising communications. From print advertisements, web banner ads, radio jingles, to videos for both television and the web, Adball gives corporate clients access to the creative power of their most powerful resource, their own consumers.

It has been said that successful marketers speak to consumers in the ways they want to be spoken to; Adball says why not let the consumers do the talking?

The final competition placing and prizes will be awarded on Wednesday, June 12, at the Project:ICS Showcase.

hITEC, formerly extreme computing, is the cornerstone of the Bren School entrepreneurship program. This year, the program was sponsored with generous donations from: Paul Mockapetris, Ph.D. '81, MIND Research Institute, Northwind Ventures, Nexvisionix and Printronix.

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.


Student receives fellowship to conduct research in Singapore

photo: jahmeilah richardson

Jahmeilah
Richardson

Jahmeilah Richardson, a first year graduate student in Informatics, received a National Science Foundation Fellowship in a program called the East Asia and Pacific Summer Institute.

The programs primary goals are to introduce students to East Asia and Pacific science and engineering in the context of a research setting, and to help students initiate scientific relationships that will better enable future collaboration with foreign counterparts.

The funds will enable her to spend eight weeks conducting research in Singapore this summer.

Richardson's research interests are in fieldwork and usability testing, specifically she is interested in the transition technology makes from the research setting into natural/real life settings. She is also interested in technologies to facilitate learning and communication across cultures.


Students to present poster at Mobile HCI 2008

Ruy Cervantes and Nithya Sambasivan, first year graduate students in Informatics, had a poster, "VoiceList: A User-generated Audio-based Mobile User Interface," accepted to the Mobile HCI 2008 conference in Amsterdam.

The conference provides a forum for academics and practitioners to discuss the challenges and potential solutions for effective interaction with mobile systems and services.

It covers the design, evaluation and application of techniques and approaches for all mobile and wearable computing devices and services.


Tomlinson awarded $200,000 NSF CreativeIT grant

photo: bill tomlinson

Bill
Tomlinson

Professor of informatics Bill Tomlinson and Lindsey Richland, assistant professor of education have been awarded a $200,000 NSF CreativeIT grant.

This grant will support the dissertation research of Informatics doctoral student Eric Baumer, who contributed significantly to the grant.

The two year grant funds the project titled "Computational Metaphor Identification for Supporting Creativity in Science Education" and will focuse on analyzing the metaphors students use to understand and conceptualize material.

Identifying the metaphors that students use in their learning has previously been labor intensive, requiring a great deal of time and attention from a human instructor.

The work will develop a suite of computational techniques to enable and standardize the process of metaphor identification. The result will be a technological tool kit that supports human creativity by automatically identifying metaphors in bodies of text.

The tool kit will then be evaluated as a technology to foster creative learning in high school science students and combined with existing high quality, inquiry-based science instructional modules in the WISE system from UC Berkeley (SAIL software) so that the metaphors that it extracts may be presented and incorporated with other learning processes.

Tomlinson's research deals with environmental issues in information technology ("Green IT"), multi-device human-computer interaction, computer supported learning, multi-agent systems, and real-time animation.


Students receive NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

photo: lily irani

Lily
Irani


photo: julie rico

Julie
Rico

Lily Irani, a doctoral student in informatics and Julie Rico, an undergraduate informatics major, have each been selected for the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), which provides students with three years of funding -- up to $121,500 -- for research-focused Master's and Ph.D. degrees in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields.

NSF Fellows are expected to become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering.

Irani's research interests are everyday privacy strategies in collaboration, design for and in the "developing world," and gender issues in technology.

Rico conducts research in the Bren School's LUCI (Laboratory for Ubiquitous Computing and Interaction) Lab that focuses on the challenges of designing, using, and understanding the elements of a ubiquitous computing world.

Some of these different facets include computing in the face of mobile computers and mobile users, understanding and exploring new patterns of socio-technical behavior, and the design and construction of technology which supports ubiquitous computing.


MARCH 2008

Students awarded $10,000 Google Anita Borg Scholarship

photo: silvia lindtner

Silvia
Lindtner


photo: gabriela marcu

Gabriela
Marcu

Silvia Lindtner, a doctoral student in informatics and Gabriela Marcu, an undergraduate informatics major, have been selected as winners of the Google Anita Borg Scholarship for women in computing.

Each student will receive a $10,000 scholarship from Google, and will attend the 2008 Google Scholars' Retreat held in April where they will be joined by recipients of the Google United Negro College Fund and Google Hispanic College Fund scholarship programs.

The networking retreat will include workshops with a series of speakers, panelists, breakout sessions and social activities.

Lindtner, a Long Beach native, was part of a team within a Siemens Research lab that developed an interactive computer game, Fish 'N' Steps, which links a player's daily footstep count to the growth and activity of animated fish.

Her team's idea was a twist on the Tamagotchi "digital pet" that created a sensation when manufacturer Bandai introduced it in 1996. The "health" and "happiness" of the handheld virtual creature depended on how well the user took care of it by responding to prompts for food, play and sanitation.

Marcu is a member of the first class of the new Informatics major in the Bren School and has helped spread the word about the new program by forming the Informatics Student Association, (INSA).

She is a member of the Women in Computer Science (WICS) group at UCI which helps and encourages women to pursue a college degree and a successful career in the Computer Science fields.

Marcu also provides community outreach to local high schools and community colleges through the Bren School's Student Ambassador where she encourages students to pursue a career in the information and computer sciences field.

The scholarship is named in honor of Dr. Anita Borg (1949 - 2003), who devoted her adult life to revolutionizing the way we think about technology and dismantling barriers that keep women and minorities from entering computing and technology fields.

Recipients are selected based on the strength of candidates' academic background and demonstrated leadership.


Jain's article on EventWeb featured in IEEE Computer Magazine

photo: ramesh jain

Ramesh
Jain

Bren Professor of Information and Computer Sciences Ramesh Jain had his article EventWeb: Developing a Human-Centered Computing System featured in the February 2008 issue of IEEE Computer Magazine.

The article focuses on EventWeb, a human-centered computing system that will give users a compelling experience by combining quality content, carefully planned data organization and access mechanisms, and powerful presentation approaches.

The full text of the article (PDF, 1.6 MB) is available for download .

Jain is an active researcher in multimedia information systems, image databases, machine vision, and intelligent systems and is also involved with Seraja, an event-based computing and EventWeb web site.

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

IEEE Computer, the flagship publication of the IEEE Computer Society, publishes peer-reviewed technical content that covers all aspects of computer science, computer engineering, technology, and applications.

IEEE Computer is a resource that practitioners, researchers, and managers can rely on to provide timely information about current research developments, trends, best practices, and changes in the profession.


Smyth receives Google Research Award for Statistical Text Mining

photo: padhraic smyth

Padhraic
Smyth

Professor of computer science Padhraic Smyth has received a gift of $60,000 Google Research Award to support research on statistical text mining of very large document collections using parallel computing.

Statistical text mining is valuable in that it can discover underlying topics and trends that are otherwise hidden in very large data sets, like PubMed, a public digital library
containing approximately 16 million research papers published in the biomedical literature.

Using existing algorithms would take several months of computer time to analyze the 16 million documents on a single computer - but the Smyth group has recently developed new techniques using multiple distributed processors that reduce the time for this analysis to about 1 day.

The Google Research Award will enable Professor Smyth and his research group to explore and develop newer and faster text mining algorithms, with potential applications in Web search, digital libraries, new types of browsers for
medical text data, and so on.

Other researchers involved in this work include Professor Max Welling and Dave Newman (Computer Science), Professor Mark Steyvers (Cognitive Sciences), and Computer Science Ph.D. students Arthur Asuncion, Chaitanya Chemudugunta, and America Holloway.


FEBRUARY 2008

Tomlinson receives Sloan fellowship

photo: bill tomlinson

Bill
Tomlinson

Professor of informatics Bill Tomlinson has been awarded a 2008 Sloan Research Fellowship, one of the most prestigious awards given to young researchers.

The Sloan Research Fellowship program, which began in 1955, will provide recipients with $50,000 over two years to pursue research of their choosing. Tomlinson is among 118 scientists at 64 colleges and universities to receive the honor this year.

The program supports the work of exceptional young researchers in a variety of fields, including physics, computer science, economics and mathematics. Nine UCI researchers have earned Sloan fellowships in the past five years.

Tomlinson, also an affiliate of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), is interested in the relationship between information technology and environmental issues, human-computer interaction and educational technology. He joined the UCI faculty in 2003.

“Both the Bren School of ICS and Calit2 have been incredibly supportive of my research over the last several years,” Tomlinson said. “This fellowship is an exciting external recognition from a major philanthropic institute, and helps give me the financial freedom to pursue other cutting-edge projects in the future.”

Tomlinson's primary research interests focus on the field of "Green IT" - looking at the ways in which information technology impacts global environmental issues.

He has several projects under way in this area, including an educational museum exhibit that helps children learn about restoration ecology, an online site that helps people engage in environmentally preferable purchasing, and a system that lets people track their own environmental impact.

His group conducts research in multi-device human-computer interaction, computer supported learning, multi-agent systems, and real-time animation.


Jarecki receives NSF CAREER Award

photo: stanislaw jarecki

Stanislaw
Jarecki

Stanislaw Jarecki, assistant professor of computer science, has been awarded a $450,000 NSF CAREER research award entitled "Secure Multi-Party Protocols, from Feasibility to Practice".

The goal of the proposed research is to design cryptographic algorithms for a variety of secure multi-party tasks, including private authentication schemes, aggregate signatures, group key agreement schemes, and threshold and proactive cryptosystems.

Such algorithms have applications to secure networking, enabling reliable and privacy-protecting operation of systems ranging from fault-tolerant services to group-wide trust in ad-hoc mobile networks and peer-to-peer groups.


Tsudik to give invited talk at ASIACCS '08

photo: gene tsudik

Gene
Tsudik

Gene Tsudik, professor of computer science and Managing Director of the Secure Computing and Networking Center, will be giving an invited talk entitled "Confronting a Mobile Adversary in Unattended Sensor Networks" at ASIACCS in Tokyo, Japan next month.

ASIACCS is the ACM Symposium on InformAtion, Computer and Communications Security, and was created by the ACM Special Interest Group on Security, Audit, and Control (SIGSAC) in 2005.

Tsudik's research interests are mainly 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. He also is interested in database security and public key cryptography.


Dourish named member of CHI Academy

photo: paul dourish

Paul
Dourish

Paul Dourish, professor of Informatics has been named one of six new members of the CHI Academy, and will be recognized at the 2008 SIGCHI Awards in Florence, Italy.

Throughout his career, Dourish has worked at the intersection of computer science and social science, with a focus on the domains of computer-supported cooperative work and ubiquitous computing.

From social science, he draws not only empirical and methodological considerations but also theoretical and conceptual frameworks that illuminate the role of technology in social and cultural production.

His recent work has focused in particular on problems of location and of privacy, considering how people achieve concerned social action with, around, and through mobile technologies and digital media.

ACM SIGCHI, the ACM's Special Interest Group on Computer-Human Interaction, brings together people working on the design, evaluation, implementation, and study of interactive computing systems for human use.

ACM SIGCHI provides an international, interdisciplinary forum for the exchange of ideas about the field of human-computer interaction (HCI).

The CHI Academy is an honorary group of individuals who have made extensive contributions to the study of HCI and who have led the shaping of the field.


JANUARY 2008

Franz receives $50,000 gift from Google

photo: michael franz

Michael
Franz

Computer science professor Michael Franz has been awarded an unrestricted gift of $50,000 from Google.

"I am very grateful to Google for this donation," said Franz. "This money will help to make our research at UCI even more
competitive."

Professor Franz is an expert on virtual machines and mobile-code security. In his 11 years at UCI, he has graduated 11 Ph.D. students and been awarded more than $7 Million in competitive Federal research funding as Principal Investigator.

For more information about Franz and his research, visit his web site.


Majumder chair of recent ACM VRST conference

photo: aditi majumder

Aditi
Majumder

Assistant professor of computer science, Aditi Majumder recently hosted the Association for Computing Machinery's Virtual Reality Software and Technology (ACM VRST) in Newport Beach, CA. Co-chairs included Larry Hodges from UNC Charlotte and Daniel Cohen-Or from Tel Aviv University.

In its 14th year, VRST is an annual conference devoted to the technical aspects of virtual reality. The recent conference yielded the highest attendance in the posters and panels track in the last ten years.

Majumder's research addresses how to produce a seamless image on a large-scale tiled display - an important problem to both the scientific and entertainment fields.

Majumder has developed a suite of mathematical models, methods and software to correct the geometric, chromatic and luminescent variations that arise when tiling multiple projection displays.


Franz to be keynote speaker at Cyber Security and Information Intelligence Research Workshop

photo: michael franz

Michael
Franz

Computer science professor Michael Franz and professor Richard Kemmerer of UC Santa Barbara have been invited as keynote speakers to the Cyber Security and Information Intelligence Research (CSIIR) Workshop that will be held in May at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

CSIIR brings together key researchers and decision makers from the national intelligence community, academia, and industrial research labs with a focus on cyber infrastructure protection.

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

For more information about Franz and his research, visit his web site.


Majumder receives $70,000 to study tractability of seas projectors and cameras

photo: aditi majumder

Aditi
Majumder

Assistant professor of computer science, Aditi Majumder has received $70,000 in seed funding from NSF to analyze the tractability of using a sea of projectors and cameras for providing all-pervasive displays that can render pixels anywhere and everywhere, both as information carriers and interaction agents.

The project aims to identify the aspects of the problem, if any, that are theoretically intractable as against those that are limited by current technology, under various conditions of known and unknown display and device (projectors and cameras) parameters.

Majumder's research addresses how to produce a seamless image on a large-scale tiled display - an important problem to both the scientific and entertainment fields.

Majumder has developed a suite of mathematical models, methods and software to correct the geometric, chromatic and luminescent variations that arise when tiling multiple projection displays.


Newman utilizes supercomputer to research text mining

photo: david newman

David
Newman

Research scientist David Newman has been awarded 325,000 hours on the supercomputer at San Diego Supercomputing Center to research text mining of huge text collections.

Collections such as the National Library of Medicine's PubMed, Wikipedia and New York Times contain millions of publications and/or articles.

The supercomputer resources will aid Newman to find ways to go beyond simple word searches to better help users retrieve information from these collections.

Topic models on this scale are computationally intensive to train and require huge amounts of memory, thus they can only be computed using terascale resources. The allocation at the Center will allow the research group to tackle important text data sets that are well-beyond current capabilities.

Newman's research is highlighted in a recent Orange County Register article.


Majumder publishes book on practical multi-projector display design

photo: aditi majumder

Aditi
Majumder

Aditi Majumder, assistant professor of computer science has recently published a book "Practical Multi-Projector Display Design". Publisher A.K. Peters released the book at Siggraph 2007.

This is the first book that provides all of the tools and techniques needed to create your own large-area-multi-projector display that is both affordable and flexible.

It covers the current projection technologies, techniques for achieving geometric alignment and color seamlessness, and image rendering using PC clusters. It also gives the details of an advanced distributed multi-camera-based calibration system.

Majumder's research addresses how to produce a seamless image on a large-scale tiled display - an important problem to both the scientific and entertainment fields.

Majumder has developed a suite of mathematical models, methods and software to correct the geometric, chromatic and luminescent variations that arise when tiling multiple projection displays.


Hayes receives award from Autism Speaks to develop a visual schedule system

photo: gillian hayes

Gillian
Hayes

Professor of informatics Gillian Hayes has received an $83,563 award from Autism Speaks for her proposal, "Technology Support for Interactive and Collaborative Visual Schedules".

Hayes work will focus on developing a digital repository and visual schedule system for use in schools and homes by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

Using visual schedules, such as words, images and tangible objects to represent activities that will take place (or have taken place) has been shown to reduce the symptoms associated with autism.

The proposed system will be more than just a digital version of current visual scheduling techniques.

Part of the system design will leverage the current use of visual schedules by replacing them with both large, mounted and small, portable interactive touch screens. 

This will enable caregivers and individuals with ASD to more quickly and easily interact with the schedules, marking when activities are completed and rearranging schedule items with streamlined, simple interactions. 

The system will also enable new modes of interaction, including greater communication and collaboration amongst caregivers.  

Using the smart visual schedules system, caregivers can generate reports, share information with one another, and possibly even update an individual schedule at a distance as circumstances change.

Autism Speaks is a New York City-based advocacy organization, founded in February 2005 by Bob Wright, Vice Chairman of General Electric, and his wife Suzanne, to improve public awareness about autism and to promote autism research.

The Wrights founded Autism Speaks to help find a cure for autism spectrum disorders a year after their grandson, Christian, was diagnosed with autism.


Kobsa and Mark receive Google Research Awards

photo: alfred kobsa

Alfred
Kobsa


photo: gloria mark

Gloria
Mark

Two Informatics Professors were recipients of a 2007 Google Research Award, each in the amount of $50,000.

One award went to Alfred Kobsa to support his research on compliance with disparate privacy laws and user privacy preferences.

Kobsa's research lies in the areas of user modeling and personalized systems (with applications in the areas of information environments, expert finders, and user interfaces for disabled and elderly people), privacy, and in information visualization.

The other award went to Gloria Mark in support of her research on managing multi-tasking and Interruptions.

Mark's research examines the usability of leading edge collaborative technologies including a collaborative hypermedia authoring system, an electronic shared workspace, an application-sharing mechanism, and collaborative virtual environments.