v2 2020-2021

20-21 Faculty Honors

faculty honors

CSE FACULTY honors 2020-2021

CSE faculty receive national recognition for contributions to their fields and society

Stefan Savage

Professor Stefan Savage is among the 252 artists, scholars, scientists and leaders in the public, non-profit and private sector to have been elected to the 2021 class of American Academy of Arts and Sciences—one of the oldest and most esteemed honorary societies in the nation. Savage is a cybersecurity researcher who holds an expansive view of the field.


Nuno Bandeira

Associate Professor Nuno Bandeira has been honored with the American Society for Mass Spectrometry’s 2021 Biemann Medal for his efforts to create a search engine for mass spec data, which could advance research and drug discovery.


Nadia Polikarpova

Assistant Professor Nadia Polikarpova was awarded the Intel Rising Star award for her work on program synthesis and program verification, with a specific focus on developing programming tools that incorporate human-centric design.


Mihir Bellare

Professor Mihir Bellare has been honored with an IACR Test of Time Award for his Crypto 2006 paper: New Proofs for NMAC and HMAC: Security Without Collision-Resistance.


Victor Vianu

Professor Victor Vianu presented at the ACM SIGMOD Principles of Database Systems (PODS) as part of Gems of PODS series. His talk described his work on database query languages inspired by logic programming, which started in 1988 and spanned almost a decade.


William Griswold

Professor William Griswold has received his second test of time award for groundbreaking work. This time, he was honored by the Association Internationale pour les Technologies Objets (AITO) for his 2001 paper on the AspectJ programming language, an aspect-oriented extension of Java.


Deian Stefan and Sicun Gao

Assistant Professors Deian Stefan and Sicun Gao have been awarded prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) grants from the National Science Foundation to support their work to build secure computer systems and safer autonomous systems.

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 Gallery



copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 New Faculty



Two new members join the distinguished community of UC San Diego CSE faculty.

Imani Munyaka
Ph.D.: University of Florida


Imani Munyaka’s research concerns the usability of information security and privacy features on mobile phones and other computing devices. Her work focuses specifically on inclusivity, especially for traditionally underserved populations. She employs a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods to achieve the required depth of understanding. For example, Professor Munyaka has repeatedly shown that the user interface designs and technical implementations of critical mobile applications don’t enable underserved populations to take informed actions.  She has also shown that, by including these communities in the design process, better designs are possible at low cost.

Mai ElSherief
Teaching Professor, Ph.D.: UC Santa Barbara


Mai ElSherief’s area of scholarship is Social Computing, an area of study that examines the societal implications of online human behavior that have been enabled by social networking. In particular, she develops computational methods, including Natural Language Processing, to study online social movements and identify and mitigate problematic online behavior. In addition, ElSherief is an experienced and skilled educator who has demonstrated tremendous commitment to the educational mission. She has shown tremendous leadership in UC Santa Barbara’s Early Research Scholarship Program (ERSP), a year-long research program for sophomores in computing.


I am pleased to welcome these new faculty members who will join the ranks of acclaimed CSE faculty dedicated to impactful research, serving our students and improving society. They will also help further our important mission to foster a diverse and inclusive community.”

- Sorin Lerner, CSE Department Chair

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 Alumni Community and Connections

Alumni Community

CSE Alumni CommunitY

Want to learn more about our CSE Alumni? Check out our annual CSE Alumni Magazine!



Mountaineer, Explorer and Howard Professor

Newly minted CSE Ph.D. Jeremy Blackstone (’21) has trekked back to his undergraduate roots at Howard University, this time as a professor. Before that journey, he was part of CSE Professor Ryan Kastner’s research group and a member of the Engineers for Exploration (E4E).


Ranjita Bhagwan

2020 ACM India Outstanding Contributions in Computing by a Woman Award

Ranjita Bhagwan (Ph.D. ’10) was honored with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)’s inaugural 2020 ACM India Outstanding Contributions in Computing by a Woman Award. The award recognizes women professionals who have made fundamental contributions to computing in India.


Alexandra Boldyreva

PKC Test of Time Award

Alexandra Boldyreva, a professor at Georgia Tech, has won a PKC Test of Time Award for work she completed as a CSE PhD student in 2003.


Joseph Jaeger

CRYPTO 2020 Award

Joseph Jaeger (Ph.D. ’19) captures CRYPTO 2020 Award for the Best Paper by Early Career Researchers Award.


Tom Ristenpart

Distinguished Paper Awards at the Usenix Security Symposium

Tom Ristenpart (Ph.D. ’10), an associate professor at Cornell Tech, was honored with two distinguished paper awards at the Usenix Security Symposium.


Angelique Taylor

Facebook Reality Labs Research

Angelique Taylor (Ph.D.  ’21) is a Visiting Research Scientist at Facebook Reality Labs Research and will start her  appointment as assistant professor at Cornell University in summer 2022.


Didem Unat

European Research Council
Starting Grant

Didem Unat (Ph.D. ’12), now an assistant professor at Koc University in Turkey, was awarded a prestigious €1.5 million European Research Council Starting Grant for her project BeyondMoore: Pioneering a New Path in Parallel Programming Beyond Moore’s Law.

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 CSE Students

CSE students

Meet the Deep Minds of UC San Diego’s CSE

Three CSE master’s students studying ML have been named the inaugural DeepMind Fellows: Anshuman Dewangan, Ulyana Tkachenko and Garrett Wolfe. A worldwide leader in the field of artificial intelligence, DeepMind has established fellowships for master’s students coming from underrepresented communities in graduate machine learning programs. UC San Diego was one of just three universities in the United States selected to participate in the program, in part due to alumnus Oriol Vinyals (M.A. ’09), a principal research scientist at DeepMind.

Undergrad Researchers Shine in CRA Awards

Four standout undergraduate engineers were recognized at the Computing Research Association (CRA) for their significant contributions to research. Bioinformatics major Bonnie Huang and Data Science major Raechel Walker were named finalists, while Computer Science and Engineering students Kabir Nagrecha and McKenna Lewis received honorable mentions.

CSE Sets Up Two Students for NCWIT Collegiate Award

Recent CSE Ph.D. graduate Angelique Taylor and Princeton University undergraduate Nicole Meister were finalists in the National Center for Women in Information Technology (NCWIT) Collegiate Award, thanks to the mentorship and research opportunities they found at CSE. NCWIT honors outstanding accomplishments among collegiate women, genderqueer and non-binary.

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 CSE Impact

CSE Impact


Ground-breaking research by CSE and University of Washington scientists led to papers that opened up a new area of cybersecurity research and served as a wake-up call for the automotive industry. This “dream team” of researchers has received the Golden Goose Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

CSE Takes on the Ongoing Pandemic Challenge

From the onset of COVID 19, CSE faculty and students were adopting creative ways to keep classes, conferences and other meetings afloat. But after the initial rush to problem-solve, CSE faculty began assessing how the response could have gone better and bringing in additional tools, both new and old, to address future outbreaks.

Understudied Mutations Have Big Impact on Gene Expression

An international team of researchers led by computer scientists at CSE have identified 163 variable number tandem repeats (VNTRs) that actively regulate gene expression. The researchers provide new insights into this understudied mechanism, how it may drive disease and other traits and could ultimately impact patient care.

Studying Equity in Computer Science Education

CSE Teaching Professor Christine Alvarado and colleagues have received a $1.3 million National Science Foundation grant to investigate how gender, ethnicity and other factors impact people who want to study computer science.

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 CSE Research Highlights

CSE research highlights


Led by CSE and Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Andrew Kahng, the new AI Institute for Learning-enabled Optimization at Scale, or TILOS, is housed in UC San Diego’s Halicioğlu Data Science Institute, and is funded by the NSF. Eleven CSE and CSE-affiliated faculty are engaged with the Institute to pursue foundational breakthroughs at the nexus of artificial intelligence and optimization.

Researchers Uncover Spectre Vulnerability

Professor Dean Tullsen, his Ph.D. student Mohammadkazem Taram and collaborators at University of Virginia discovered a new line of attack that breaks current Spectre defenses, making billions of computers and other devices vulnerable to attack.

New System Helps Robots Navigate EDs

Professor Laurel Riek, Ph.D. student Angelique Taylor and team have created a navigation system that helps robots move through busy clinical areas, including emergency departments. The researchers have also developed open source videos to train future robotic navigation systems.

Faking Out Deepfake Detectors

Researchers in Professor Julian McAuley’s lab have shown, for the first time, that systems used to detect deepfakes – videos that manipulate real-life footage – can be deceived by inserting manipulated inputs called adversarial examples into each frame, forcing detection systems to make mistakes.

$7.5 Million to Study Photonic Networks

Associate Professor George Porter and colleagues will study photonic network topologies in data centers with funding by the U.S. Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) and the California Energy Commission.

MURI Award for Robust Human-Machine Collaborations

Associate Professor Kamalika Chaudhuri is part of a multi-university team that has won a prestigious U.S. Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) Award to develop rigorous methods for human-machine collaborations against adversaries.

Study Finds Neglected Mutations May Play Important Role in Autism Spectrum Disorder

According to research led by Melissa Gymrek, a professor of Medicine and Computer Science and Engineering, mutations that occur in certain DNA regions may play a significant role in autism spectrum disorders. Called tandem repeats, these mutations are often overlooked by researchers.

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 Home

annual report 2020-2021

We Are CSE



AAAS Fellow

Stefan Savage

Biemann Medal

Nuno Bandeira

Test of Time (ICAR)

Mihir Bellare

Intel Rising Star Award

Nadia Polikarpova

NSF Career

Deian Stefan

Test of Time (AITO)

William Griswold

NSF Career

Sicun Gao

Research "GEMS" of PODS

Victor Vianu

HIghlights 2020-2021

Letter from the Chair

Department Chair Sorin Lerner talks about CSE emerging from the pandemic

CSE Impact

We've influenced automotive cybersecurity and COVID-19 research and more.

CSE Welcomes New Faculty

Two new members join the distinguished community of UC San Diego CSE faculty

CSE Students

In the ocean or CSE labs, our students have many waves they can ride to success

CSE Research Highlights

Our research spans from AI and ERs to DeepFakes and Autism

Alumni Community

CSE alumni help shape the field of AI, the future of data science and forge new frontiers


“As I begin my second year as chair of UC San Diego’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering, we are starting to emerge from the depths of a global pandemic. But some things have remained the same: our commitment to conducting impactful research and to educating the thought leaders of a digital tomorrow.”

Chair / Professor, CSE
UC San Diego

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v2 2020-2021

20-21 Letter from the Chair


Letter from the chair

Dear Friends,

As I started my tenure as chair of UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering Department (CSE), we were—and still are—facing undoubtedly challenging times. As a community, we continue to grapple with a relentless pandemic, social unrest in response to systemic racism and an economic downturn that may get worse before it gets better. 

Yet our renowned faculty, exceptional students and dedicated community including staff and alumni have all pulled together to continue the kind of impactful, collaborative work our department is known for.

At times like these, it is important that we reaffirm our department’s core values:

Inclusive Excellence: Embracing inclusiveness will lead us to higher levels of excellence. Inclusiveness is a necessity for excellence.

Compassionate Success: Mentorship and a sense of community help CSE reach the highest achievements while focusing on growth and wellbeing.

Real Impact: Through research and teaching, we embrace activities that lead to real and meaningful impact.

Optimism: While these are challenging times, we fundamentally believe in a better future, both for ourselves and the world.

I cannot be prouder of our department’s dedication to students, education and research, especially during this unprecedented period in our history. Please enjoy this look at our collective accomplishments during the 2019-2020 academic year.

I encourage you to stay in touch and follow our department’s achievements throughout the year.

– Sorin Lerner, CSE Professor and Department Chair

copyright 2020 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego