Department Chair and Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Alex Nicolau has been elected into the Academia Europaea, Europe’s academy of humanities, letters and sciences. Founded in 1988, the academy comprises esteemed scientists and scholars who collectively aim to promote learning, education and research. Nominated by their peers, members are selected after a rigorous review process that is based on sustained academic excellence in their field. AE members include 73 Nobel Laureates and six Turing winners.
Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science Gene Tsudik is giving two keynote talks this month. The first is Oct. 3 at the 5th International Workshop on Genome Privacy and Security (GenoPri) in Basel, Switzerland. In his invited talk, “Security in Personal Genomics: Lest We Forget,” he will argue that “genomic security must be taken seriously.” He will discuss the problem space, identify the stakeholders, discuss assumptions about such stakeholders, and outline both possible approaches and future research opportunities. The main goal of the work, which is a collaboration with Xinyi Ding of Southern Methodist University, is to “highlight the importance of genomic security as a research topic in its own right.”
Currently sitting on the desk of Governor Jerry Brown is SB 822, the net neutrality bill recently passed by California lawmakers. If signed, it aims to reinstate rules the Federal Communications Commission established in its 2015 Open Internet Order, rules that were repealed in January with the FCC’s Restoring Internet Freedom Order. California is one of 30 states across the U.S. to introduce net neutrality legislation. Meanwhile, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, amicus briefs are being filed for lawsuits targeting the new FCC Order.
“The more accurate the algorithm, the harder it is to interpret, especially with deep learning,” points out Sameer Singh, assistant professor of computer science at the University of California Irvine. “Computers are increasingly a more important part of our lives, and automation is just going to improve over time, so it’s increasingly important to know why these complicated AI and ML systems are making the decisions that they are.”
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Investigators from UCI’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering, Donald Bren School of Information & Computer Science, and School of Physical Sciences will work together in a new initiative, funded by the National Science Foundation, to perfect the use of data science in climate studies. The Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science plus Climate project includes collaborators from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Chicago.
Distinguished Professor of Computer Science Pierre Baldi recently published a new paper, “Deep Learning Localizes and Identifies Polyps in Real Time With 96% Accuracy in Screening Colonoscopy,” in the journal Gastroenterology. Working in a collaboration with Dr. William Karnes and his team in UCI’s Department of Medicine, Baldi and Ph.D. student Gregor Urban designed and trained deep convolutional neural networks (CNNs) to detect the polyps in colonoscopies in order to help doctors improve the adenoma detection rate (ADR). Using a set of 8,641 colonoscopy images containing 4,088 polyps, the trained CNN was able to identify polyps with a cross-validation accuracy of 96.4 percent. The system has the potential to increase ADR and reduce interval colorectal cancers.
Chancellor’s Professor of Computer Science Gene Tsudik will be giving a keynote talk titled “Mitigating Tension between Security and Safety in Low-End Embedded Devices”at next week’s 23rd European Symposium on Research in Computer Security (ESORICS 2018). The symposium, held in Barcelona, Spain at the Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya from Sept. 3-7, has become one of the leading European research events in computer security. According to its website, “The aim of ESORICS is to further the progress of research in computer security by establishing a European forum for bringing together researchers in this area, by promoting the exchange of ideas with system developers and by encouraging links with researchers in related areas.”
The symposium proceedings will be published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science series (LNCS).
Researchers in many fields increasingly use cloud computing and storage for computationally intensive scientific tasks. However, how secure is data stored in public and private clouds? “Not secure enough,” according to Computer Science Professors Anton Burtsev and Gene Tsudik. Fortunately, the two were recently awarded a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for their proposal: “Horizon: Secure Large-Scale Scientific Cloud Computing.” The Horizon project will be a part of the NSF Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI) program created to “develop, deploy and integrate security solutions that benefit the scientific community by ensuring the integrity, resilience and reliability of the end-to-end scientific workflow.”
In early August, Computer Science Professor Ian Harris gave a presentation on social engineering at Black Hat USA, the massive annual security conference held in Las Vegas every summer, with over 15,000 attendees. His talk, “Catch Me, Yes We Can! Pwning Social Engineers Using Natural Language Processing Techniques in Real-Time,” attracted more than 900 attendees.