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.
How can we provide users with an accurate impression of the terrain and sky when they experience in-flight simulation, or a detailed view of various decorative materials such as wood or metal when they explore virtual rooms? Assistant Professor of Computer Science Shuang Zhao has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award of $500,000 to address this issue.
Ten years ago, Geeman Yip sat in his basement with his two dogs waiting for the world to end. That’s what it felt like, anyway. Facing bankruptcy, a market that didn’t believe in his vision and a crisis of confidence unparalleled in his experience, Yip felt like he was standing completely alone on a ledge screaming into a void. It would have been easier to jump, to fold his nascent startup and head back to his cushy job at Microsoft. It was tempting. But Yip somehow dug deep and found the grit he needed to pull himself and his company, BitTitan, back from the ledge for one final effort.
Read the full story at Channel Partners Online.
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.
Social engineering poses a critical threat to information security, with cyberattackers recognizing that people are often more vulnerable to manipulation than a hardened computer system. “Social engineering targets the weakest link in the system, the human actors,” explains Computer Science Professor Ian Harris, who is working to address this issue as Principal Investigator of a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The work, “Detecting Social Engineering Attacks Using Semantic Language Analysis,” falls under the NSF’s Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program, and Harris was awarded nearly $500,000 to study this growing threat.
According to the grant abstract, the project will “confront the problem of social engineering by developing automated approaches to detect social engineering attacks in real time and alert the victim before harm can occur.” Leveraging question answering and natural language understanding techniques, the goal is to identify conversational statements with malicious intent. “The attacker must always perform one of two dialog actions, either asking a question whose answer is private, or issuing a command to perform a forbidden operation.”
This work will also result in a large corpus of non-phishing social engineering attacks in the form of audio recordings and written transcripts, which will be made publicly available to support both further research into the topic and the development of courses on social engineering attacks.
Read more about Harris’ research on this topic on DarkReading.com.
— Shani Murray