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Computer Science and Engineering

Creating the next generation of engineers, researchers, and scholars



Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering and Data Science Challenge 2023
Heart Smart
Heart Smart robertoh Tue, 08/29/2023 - 17:41 More News August 30, 2023 Future engineers tackle real-world cardiology concerns at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's Data Science Challenge It’s a quick and pain-free way to test for heart problems. That’s why the electrocardiogram is so often used by doctors—with just a few electrodes and wires, the heart’s electrical activity can be measured and interpreted to identify irregularities and disease. But while it is a highly useful and commonly used diagnostic tool, there are limits to the types of information an electrocardiogram can reveal. Pushing beyond those limits was the real-world, data-science problem future engineers from the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering were tasked with exploring this summer at one of the foremost research facilities in the world. A group of 35 students from UC Riverside and UC Merced took part in the annual Data Science Challenge held at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). It is an intensive, two-week internship that places students into multidisciplinary teams, each with a data scientist and a Ph.D. student as a team lead. “This experience is targeted towards students who have little to no prior experience in data science and machine learning, and is meant to serve as a ‘crash-course’ in introducing them not only to the basic concepts, but also what it is like to be in the shoes of an LLNL scientist,” said Vagelis Papalexakis, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering and internship facilitator. “I have seen this to be a very effective way of introducing students to data science, and by the end of the program it is impressive to see the student growth, especially in those students who started out with little to no experience.” (From bottom left) Vagelis Papalexakis, associate professor in the BCOE Computer Science and Engineering Department; Cindy Gonzales, Data Science Challenge [DSC] co-director; (behind Cindy Gonzales) Brian Gallagher, DSC co-director; Suzanne Sindi, UC Merced Applied Math Department chair; and Kim Budil, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) director pose with students in front of LLNL's University of California Livermore Collaboration Center. (Header photo and this pohoto courtesy of Sira Neily/LLNL)Students were tasked with exploring data-driven approaches to overcome the limitations of the traditional electrocardiogram. While it is widely used because it is noninvasive and cost-effective, it is inadequate for mapping the heart’s electrical activity in sufficient detail for many clinical applications. Students worked on reconstructing electro-anatomical maps of the heart and combining input from a standard electrocardiogram with advanced machine learning techniques. Such models can be used for heartbeat simulations and more advanced diagnostics of heart conditions. “It was interesting to explore what type of research is going on in the field of medicine using machine learning and data science,” said Shamima Hossain, a third-year Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering who served as a team lead. “The seminars were beneficial as scientists and other staff came and shared their work. It gave a good insight into what type of projects are going on in the lab.” Data Science Challenge-themed donuts and T-shirts. (Photo courtesy of Sira Neily/LLNL)Students also participated in tours, seminars, and networking opportunities while learning from technical experts and laboratory mentors. “In addition to data science skills, the students get a crash course on other things that are essential to engineering, such as teamwork and leadership in the case of team leads, communication skills since they have to present their progress and their final project, and good engineering practices in carrying out a project from end to end,” Papalexakis said. Hossain said she applied for the challenge, in part, because the electrocardiogram problem aligns with her areas of research, which include data analysis, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. “It gave us an insight into how and when to apply for internships and jobs and an opportunity to share knowledge and mentor others, gain experience of how to do teamwork, and how to present your work to both technical and non-technical people,” Hossain said. For more information about the Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering and its educational opportunities, visit the Undergraduate Engineering Programs website and its Graduate Engineering Programs website. Tags Computer Science and Engineering MARLAN AND ROSEMARY BOURNS COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING Share This
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VR headset
Virtual reality headsets are vulnerable to hackers
Headset hardware and virtual keyboard interfaces that immerse us into expanding worlds of virtual reality also create new opportunities for hackers, UCR computer scientists find studies to be presented at a national cyber security conference.
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internet users
Google & ChatGPT have mixed results in medical info queries
A study led by University of California, Riverside, computer scientists found that queries for medical information on ChatGPT produced more objective information than Google, but the ChatGPT results can be outdated and lack the sources of its information.
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Engineering students receiving a total of $46,000 in scholarships were encouraged to connect outside the classroom
Engineering students receiving a total of $46,000 in scholarships were encouraged to connect outside the classroom hannar Thu, 07/27/2023 - 10:34 More News July 27, 2023Our scholars got dollars. Nearly 40 future engineers received financial support this past academic year in the form of scholarship awards ranging largely between $1,000 and $2,500. While this financial support assists Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering (BCOE) students in covering some of the costs of their education, the scholarship-application process is meant to do something more: encourage them to make critical connections with the campus community beyond the classroom. In reviewing scholarship applicants, committees review student engagement. Examples of such engagement includes participating in the Highlander Orientation Peer Leader and Supplemental Instruction Leader programs, engineering-oriented professional societies, undergraduate research, and internships. The more terms students engage in such activities, the more they increase their chances of receiving a scholarship. Student engagement are equally considered with academic performance, said Rod Smith, BCOE’s director of student affairs.  An undergraduate engineering student conducts research in a laboratory. “Student engagement is deeply important to the success of our future engineers,” he added. “Research suggests that when students are broadly and deeply engaged with the campus community, there are positive impacts to their learning, their satisfaction, and their achievement. When our engineers connect in meaningful ways with our Bourns and UC Riverside communities, good things happen!” The 39 scholarship recipients that were selected last academic year were drawn from a pool of 314 applicants. The total amount of scholarship funds awarded was more than $46,372. Of all these scholarships, the minimum amount that was awarded—with the exception of one $500 scholarship—was $1,000. The goal is to award between $500 and $1,000 annually per scholarship recipient, and to distribute the funds equally across first-year students and seniors. Another goal is to award between $2,000 and $3,000 to scholarship recipients over their entire time at BCOE, Smith said. There are generally four types of scholarships BCOE students may receive. Some scholarships are specific to the college, such as the Allen Van Tran Award in Engineering Fund scholarship, a legacy left by a first-generation graduate Allen Van Tran, the youngest BCOE alumnus to establish an endowment at UCR. The American Honda Science/Engineering Endowed Fund scholarship is geared to women or students from underrepresented communities in the Honors Program who are working on their senior thesis project. Other scholarships are specific to a department, such as the Roberta Nichols Yakel Endowned Scholarship, which is intended for juniors who are Mechanical Engineerng majors. The Alexander Scott Bilderback Endowed Bioengineering Scholarship is geared toward undergraduate or graduate students in the Bioengineering program. The Mark and Pamela Rubin Endowned Scholarship is a UC Riverside-wide scholarship that is specifically intended for engineering students. Other scholarships not tied to BCOE are connected to the UCR Alumni Association, the UCR Foundation, and the Office of Financial Aid. The scholarship application period is typically in winter with the selection of awardees and notification taking place the following April. Tags MARLAN AND ROSEMARY BOURNS COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING Bioengineering Chemical and Environmental Engineering Computer Science and Engineering Computer Engineering Data Science Electrical and Computer Engineering Materials Science and Engineering Mechanical Engineering Robotics Share This
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CSE team wins SIGMOD Research Highlight Award
CSE professor Vassilis Tsotras and student Christina Pavlopoulou received the SIGMOD Research Highlight Award for their paper titled "Revisiting Runtime Dynamic Optimization for Join Queries in Big Data Management Systems".
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From ‘magical box’ to NSF CAREER Award
From ‘magical box’ to NSF CAREER Award hannar Thu, 07/13/2023 - 16:10 More News July 13, 2023Amr Magdy began dabbling in computers at age 13, in Alexandria, Egypt, on a desktop Pentium 2 that ran Windows 95 with no Internet.  Amr Magdy“I would say, ‘This is a magical box’,” said Magdy, an assistant professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the UC Riverside Marlan and Rosemary Bourns College of Engineering. “Twenty-five years ago for a middle-school kid, the technology was very appealing.” Today, it still is. After years of work in computer engineering, Magdy has earned the most prestigious honor in the nation for early-career science professors: the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation. “It feels like you realized a dream you (had) for the past five or six years,” Magdy said of the award, which recognizes young scientists for their emerging leadership in combining research and education. Starting this year, the award confers a five-year grant totaling $531,707 to advance Magdy’s research. Most of the funds will pay graduate students to support work that explores digital oceans of location-based data, extracting insights that improve people’s lives. Magdy coordinates with social scientists – who, in turn, work with governments, policymakers, and businesses – to find patterns in location data from sources such as people, phones and cars and stationary objects such as trees and mountains. The patterns can help policy-makers direct services to underserved communities, aid first responders in reacting to emergencies, and guide companies in locating jobs, products, and services. The algorithms can also improve pandemic response decisions by tracking the spread of disease. “I’m providing computational tools to help people do their jobs,” Magdy said. His research uses machine learning to boost existing data analysis techniques while also creating “capabilities that were not possible before.” Such innovation derives from a work ethic born of longtime, steady competition. It started in high school: After long hours exploring applications, games, and graphics on his Pentium 2, Magdy saw computers as his calling – the challenge being that countless others in his coastal metropolis chose likewise. To earn admission to college computer science programs in Alexandria, a student had to rank near the top of hundreds of thousands of people, he said. Either way, he was confident in his path: “Over time, my passion didn’t fade out. There is more to know all the time. I thought, ‘This is a topic I won’t get bored of studying.’” He called that realization a turning point – a prompt that drove him to compete, achieve, and, years later, engineer what could be game-changing science. After earning a master’s degree in computers and systems engineering at Alexandria University, Magdy earned a master’s and Ph.D. in computer science at the University of Minnesota; did research for Microsoft; and was recruited to Bourns at UCR out of grad school to help found the Center for Geo-Spatial Scientists, a small group of elite researchers specializing in spatial-related research in the United States. The years of work and competition, from high school to present, have done much to shape the professor’s life lessons and words to live by, which include: “Do what you are supposed to do, so you never have room to blame yourself.” “Fulfilling dreams comes with time and effort.” “Hard work is smarter than smartness; blending them is massive.” “In a professional setting, efforts are appreciated, but only results are rewarded.” Of the first one, he elaborated: “This perspective is really powerful because there are so many variables in life. Things you’re in control of and not in control of. Do your best, and you won’t have room to put the blame on yourself because you did what you could. ‘I did my part.’ No one can (succeed) all the time.” Outside of academia, Magdy enjoys kicking a soccer ball with friends, visiting Egypt, and spending time with family, including sons Yousof, 10, and Ali, 5. Part of his time also goes toward teaching undergraduates, who might choose careers as computer engineers themselves. One student recently jotted a message to Magdy atop his 11-page final exam. The note, in pencil, opens with, “Dear professor, thank you for being so awesome this quarter.” It closes with, “You are the reason I am still pursuing computer science.” Of his own path through Alexandria, Minneapolis/St. Paul and Riverside, born of a magical box, Magdy thanked God, family, mentors, and colleagues and said: “I figured out later that the job is much harder than what a teenager in the ’90s could imagine.” By Gale Hammons  Tags Computer Science and Engineering Share This
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