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January 16, 2019

ACM Undergraduate Seminar Series Offers Interesting Winter Lineup — and Pizza!

The Winter ACM Undergraduate Seminar Series kicks off on Jan. 17 with a talk on “P = NP and Other Hilarious Jokes You Can Tell Yourself.” During the seminar, Karthik Gajulapalli, a senior studying computer science and math, will address a central issue in computer science research — P versus NP. “Do we really need mathematicians and their creativity to come up with proofs,” asks Gajulapalli, “or will computers be able to automatically generate proofs? If we believe creativity has some value, how do we bridge this gap of intractability?” This is the first of eight student-led seminars.

The goal of the series is twofold. “On one hand, we hope to excite undergraduates with interesting problems and research ideas in an informal way,” says Gajulapalli, the current president of the ACM@UCIclub. “On the other hand, we want to provide a platform for undergraduates to present the tremendous work they are doing in their research or jobs.”

By explaining topics in a friendly, informal way, the ACM series addresses some undergraduate concerns that seminars such as CS 200 are far too complicated. Additionally, the presentations give students a sense of achievement and can motivate others to work on similar problems.

The seminars are held in DBH 4011 from 6:30-7:30 p.m. every Thursday — and pizza will be provided, thanks to support from Marios Papaefthymiou, dean of the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences (ICS). The remaining topics are as follows:

  • Jan. 24 — “Unzipping our Genes with Machine Learning” by Jacky Dai;
  • Jan. 31 — “Machine Learning: Do We Really Understand It?” by Jens Tuyls;
  • Feb. 7 — “Let’s Go!” by Arne Philipeit (a discussion of the Go programming language);
  • Feb. 14 — “Algorithms in Nature” by Chinmay Raut;
  • Feb. 21 – “Use the Force, Luke: Computer Science and Molecular Dynamics Force Fields” by Bryon Tjanaka;
  • Feb. 28 — “Should We Follow Ant Traffic Laws?!” by Pooya Khosravi; and
  • March 7 — “Adversarial Attacks on Machine Learning Models” by Junlin Wang.

If you’re interested in these kind of topics and would like to present your work in a future seminar series, contact Gajulapalli at or

Shani Murray
ACM Undergraduate Seminar Series Offers Interesting Winter Lineup — and Pizza!

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