At a young age, Howard Gersh ’91 knew what he wanted to do when he grew up — work on visual effects for “Star Wars.” By the time the prequel trilogy started production in the late 1990s, he had received his B.S. in computer science from UCI and worked his way up to becoming a senior technical director at Industrial Light + Magic. His dream became a reality as he helped create visual effects for “Star Wars” Episodes I, II and III, as well as for dozens of other movies, from “Forrest Gump” to “Harry Potter” and “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Now, the recent ICS Hall of Fame inductee teaches virtual reality, animation and digital visual effects to high school students at Marin School of the Arts as well as to kids in underserved communities through Enriching U, an organization he and his wife founded to help such kids pursue their dreams as Gersh once pursued his.
In chess, by contrast, there is a relatively large search space but each move can be evaluated and rewarded accordingly. That just isn’t the case for the Rubik’s Cube.
Enter Stephen McAleer and colleagues from the University of California, Irvine. These guys have pioneered a new kind of deep-learning technique, called “autodidactic iteration,” that can teach itself to solve a Rubik’s Cube with no human assistance. The trick that McAleer and co have mastered is to find a way for the machine to create its own system of rewards.
Read the full story at MIT Technology Review.
It was recently reported that Strava unknowingly revealed U.S. military bases when it produced a heat map showing the movement of people around the world who use its exercise-tracking app. In reviewing the map, a college student from Australia realized that he could locate military bases in counties such as Iraq and Syria, where the app was almost exclusively used by American soldiers.
This prompted the U.S. military to review its security practices, and it renewed talks of privacy concerns, but according to Informatics Professor Matthew Bietz, “privacy is probably the wrong framework here.” The issue is much more complex.
Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science David Eppstein is one of 10 UCI researchers to be named an AAAS Fellow this year.
A $3.15 million award from the Office of Naval Research will fund a three-year “Attack Surface Reduction for Binary Programs” grant.
Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science Gene Tsudik was presented with the ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Contributions Award at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security in Dallas on Nov. 1. Tsudik received the award for his leadership in security and privacy research. The Outstanding Contributions Award is given for significant contributions to the field of computer and communication security through fostering research and development activities, educating students and providing professional services such as the running of professional societies and conferences. Each award carries a $1,000 monetary award and a plaque.
“Computers are going to become increasingly important parts of our lives, if they aren’t already, and the automation is just going to improve over time, so it’s increasingly important to know why these complicated systems are making the decisions that they are,” assistant professor of computer science at the University of California Irvine, Sameer Singh, told CTV’s Your Morning on Tuesday.
Read the full story at CTV News.
The ACLU, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Common Sense Kids Action and Consumer Federation of California are among the bill’s supporters, for good reason. Joining Chau at a Capitol press conference Monday was Scott Jordan, a UC Irvine computer science professor and former Federal Communications Commission official, who listed some of the information internet service providers could glean:
The sites you visit; whether those sites are related to your finances or health; what videos you watch; how often you visit certain sites; what time of day you visit them; how long you linger; what devices you use; what apps you download; where you are located.
Read the full story at The Sacramento Bee.
Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science Gene Tsudik was awarded a $407,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Army Research Office (ARO) in September 2016 for his project, “Remote Attestation of Critical Infrastructure Components.” The project focuses on mitigation of malware infestations and other attacks on swarms or groups of heterogeneous embedded systems and/or Internet of Thing (IoT) devices.