Dr. Martin Holoien passed away on July 18, 2014. Marty had a long association with the Department. He joined as a Lecturer back in early 80's when the department consisted of only eight faculty members. He moved from Minnesota after a distinguished career as Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Moorhead State College (now Moorhead State University) and Director of its Computer Center. He published several computer science textbooks and taught many different courses at UCSB including introductory courses for computer science and for engineering students.
You’re on your smartphone, browsing through Facebook. In a fit of productivity, you search for, say, a project management app to help you use your non-Instagram and cat video time more effectively. You download and install the first one you come across … only to find that it doesn’t do anything. No reminders, no calendar, no clock, nothing.
Oh, well. You exit the app and go back to Facebook.
Professor Tevfik Bultan recently received a National Science Foundation grant for a project titled "Data Model Verification". The three-year, $499,888 grant will seek to develop innovative approaches to software verification, particularly focusing on code that manipulates and updates the data in modern software systems.
Professor Ambuj Singh has been appointed the new Chair of the Department of Computer Science, effective July 1, 2014. Singh takes over the reins from Prof. Subhash Suri, who is returning to full time research and teaching after serving as Chair for the past three years.
Each year a committee of industry experts and faculty chooses 10 papers from the top conferences to highlight in the annual "Top Picks" issue of IEEE Micro — and UCSB yet again has a paper on the list. This year the paper is titled "SurfNoC: A Low Latency and Provably Non-Interfering Approach to Secure Networks-On-Chip" and represents a collaboration between UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, and the Naval Postgraduate School.
A team of researchers at UCSB, led by Prof. Ben Zhao have explored a practice they've coined "crowdturfing" in which organizations create a false positive reputation on social networks such as Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter. They've discovered that much of the activity on crowdsourcing websites involves asking workers to follow or like particular social network posts. In an effort to identify crowdturfing they have developed machine learning software which can detect crowdturfers on China's version of Twitter with 95 to 99 percent accuracy.
The National Science Foundation has awarded more than $1 million to a project led by Prof. Giovanni Vigna to model trust between users and smartphones. The model will explore how cybercriminals can take advantage of users' misplaced trust and will consider ways to secure these weaknesses. See the full announcement here.
Paul Schmitt, a second year PhD student in CS, received the UCSB Dean's Fellowship for 2014-15. Paul is a member of the MOMENT Lab where he is advised by Prof. Elizabeth Belding. His research is focused on developing wireless network solutions to provide or improve Internet connectivity and performance in under-resourced regions.