v3 2021-2022

21-22 Contact



Sorin Lerner, CSE Department Chair

Jennie Morrow, CSE Chief Administrative Officer

Katie E. Ismael, Editor

Kimberley Clementi, Contributor

We welcome your suggestions, comments and feedback: 

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v3 2021-2022

21-22 Student and Alumni Community and Connections

CSE Student + Alumni Community

Cse students

A Mega Achievement: Two UC San Diego Students Named 2022 Meta Phd Research Fellows

UC San Diego boasts two of this year’s 2022 Meta PhD Research Fellows—37 scholars selected from a pool of 2,300 applicants worldwide.

As fellows, CSE PhD students Stewart Grant and Kabir Nagrecha will be able to present their own research, learn about current research at Meta, as well as receive tuition and fees for up to two years and a $42,000 stipend. 

Math-Computer Science Student Named To Hacking Top 50 List

Faris Ashai (BS ’23) was recently featured in 2022’s Major League Hacking (MLH) Top 50, a list recognizing the top new computer scientists and hackers. MLH compiles this list each year, highlighting the hackathon community’s most inspiring members and recognizing their contributions to the tech ecosystem and STEM education.

Ashai was recognized for creating new opportunities to help make the hackathon community more inclusive and accessible. As an organizer and director of TritonHacks, a 30-hour hackathon for high school students hosted annually at UC San Diego, Ashai provided industry mentors for each participant, regardless of skill level, and equipped beginner participants with highly effective starter kits.

CSE’s Newest Recipient of Prestigious Google Fellowship

Yu-Ying Yeh (PhD ’24) has been awarded a 2022 Google Fellowship in Machine Perception, Speech Technology and Computer Vision. She is one of nine recipients in that category this year. Two previous CSE students – Tiancheng Sun (PhD ’21) and Saining Xie (PhD ’18) – were also awarded this prestigious fellowship.

Yeh’s 2022 Google Fellowship will support her research interest at the intersection between computer vision and graphics. Her goal is to develop algorithms that enable photorealistic content creation automatically for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) applications.

CSE’s NSF PhD Research Fellows

Four CSE graduate students have received National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Fellowships. The new fellows– Alex Trevithick, Alisha Ukani, Olivia Weng and Alex Yenwill receive a $34,000 annual stipend for three years, a $12,000 education allowance to cover tuition and fees, and numerous professional development opportunities.

Founded in 1951, the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program is the country’s oldest effort to support graduate STEM students.

Adobe Research Fellowship to Improve Interactive Machines

Bodhisattwa (Bodhi) Prasad Majumder (PhD ’23) has been honored with an Adobe Research Fellowship. The fellowships are only awarded to about ten people each year, and Majumder is the third CSE graduate student to receive one, following Ailie Fraser in 2017 and Zexiang Xu in 2019.

CSE Alumni CommunitY

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

Sameer Samat, a vice president at Google who oversees the Android and Google Play products that reach billions of users, was selected as this year’s CSE Distinguished Alumnus. 

Samat, who has a 14-year tenure with Google and two successful startups under his belt, was honored this spring at the fourth annual CSE Research Open House that drew more than 300 faculty, students and CSE community members. As Samat and his classmates developed Source Bank and a second company, Mohomine, they reached out to CSE professors for letters of recommendation.

“I still remember Professor {Bill} Griswold’s letter. He had one line where he said, ‘Sameer is fearless.’ I certainly don’t think I’m fearless,” Samat recalled during a videotaped speech at the Research Open House.  “But looking back at the odds of our start-up being successful, I think it does take a certain amount of naiveness and belief that you can do anything. Sometimes that combination is mistaken for fearlessness.” Read More

Alexander Gamero-Garrido

Alexander Gamero-Garrido (PhD ’21) was awarded the Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Khoury College of Computer Sciences at Northeastern University, by the National Academy of Sciences.

Mayuko Inoue

Popular content creator Mayuko Inoue (BS ’14) was interviewed by CSE Department Chair Sorin Lerner. Did you know “coding is logic?” A class on logic and proofs inspired Inoue to switch to computer science from chemistry. Catch more here.

Jason Oberg

Jason Oberg (PhD ’14), Tortuga Logic’s co-founder and CTO, was awarded a 2021 Design Automation Conference Under-40 Innovators Award.

Angelique Taylor

Congratulations to Angelique Taylor (PhD ’21) as she joins Cornell Tech as an assistant professor for the 2022-2023 school year.

Cynthia Bagier Taylor

Cynthia Bagier Taylor (PhD ’12) has been named chair of the Oberlin College Computer Science Department. 

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21-22 Gallery



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v3 2021-2022

21-22 New Faculty



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

Barna Saha
PhD from University of Maryland, College Park

Expertise: Theoretical Computer Science

Saha is an algorithm and data management expert who works to determine the fastest possible algorithms for important optimization problems. Her research interests include theoretical computer science, algorithm design and analysis, optimization, probabilistic method and large-scale data analytics.

Michael Coblenz
PhD from Carnegie Mellon University

Expertise: Software Engineering

Coblenz studies how to design programming languages to improve developers’ productivity. He developed PLIERS (Programming Language Iterative Evaluation and Refinement System), which is a method of integrating user centered design into the process of designing programming languages.

Earlence Fernandes
PhD from University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Expertise: System Security

Fernandes’ goal is to enable society to gain the benefits of emerging technologies without the security and privacy risks. He builds secure systems for emerging technologies. He is currently interested in Internet-scale end-user automation, cyber-physical systems, machine learning and mixed reality.

Daniel Grier
PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Expertise: Quantum Computing

Grier’s research is in quantum complexity theory. He is particularly interested in near-term quantum computing paradigms and proving that they exhibit an advantage over their classical counterparts.

Amy Ousterhout
PhD from Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Expertise: Computer Systems

Ousterhout is primarily interested in operating systems and networks in data centers. Her recent research focuses on improving the efficiency of datacenter applications. She designs software systems that improve the resource efficiency and usability of applications in data centers, without degrading application performance.


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 2020-2022 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

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21-22 CSE Research Highlights

CSE research + impact

Introducing EnCORE: New $10M Institute Will Get to the Core of Data Science

A new National Science Foundation initiative has created a $10 million dollar institute led by computer and data scientists at UC San Diego that aims to transform the core fundamentals of the rapidly emerging field of Data Science. 

Called The Institute for Emerging CORE Methods in Data Science (EnCORE), the institute will be housed in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE), in collaboration with The Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute (HDSI), and will tackle a set of important problems in theoretical foundations of Data Science.

UC San Diego Computer Scientist Plays Major Role In $25M Cancer Grand Challenges Project

CSE Professor Vineet Bafna is part of a team of world-class researchers that has been awarded a five-year, $25 million Cancer Grand Challenges grant to learn how extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA), a destructive genetic lesion, influences numerous cancers and to identify possible therapies.

Cancer Grand Challenges is a global research funding program created by the United States National Cancer Institute (part of the National Institutes of Health) and Cancer Research UK. The group funds multidisciplinary research teams to solve some of medical science’s thorniest challenges – in this case, ecDNA, a major driver of tumor evolution.

Mission Critical: How Humans And Robots Can Team Up In Uncertain Environments

In the midst of a medical emergency or disaster response, how can humans and robots work together more effectively? 

That’s the question CSE roboticist Laurel Riek and a team of researchers are seeking to answer with a new $7.5 million Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) award. 

Riek, the director of the Healthcare Robotics Lab at UC San Diego, will lead the project that seeks to advance research in robotics and autonomy, with the goal of aiding human teams working in critical environments.

Researchers Assemble The First Complete Human Genome

Two decades after the Human Genome Project produced a draft sequence, an international research team, including UC San Diego computer scientists, has published the first complete genome. The work was done by the Telomere to Telomere (T2T) consortium, and six papers describing the project were published in a special edition of Science.

The team from CSE contributed to two of the papers: “Complete genomic and epigenetic maps of human centromeres” and “The complete sequence of a human genome.” The second pulls together the many strands of research that went into completing the project.

“This is a major milestone,” said CSE Professor Pavel Pevzner. “Around 8% of the human genome had gone unsequenced for decades. By filling these gaps, we gain a better understanding of human biology and can now identify formerly hidden genetic anomalies that may lead to disease.”

Internet Users Susceptible to Attack

About a quarter of the world’s Internet users live in countries that are more susceptible than previously thought to targeted attacks on their Internet infrastructure. Many of the at-risk countries are located in the Global South. 

That’s the conclusion of a sweeping, large-scale study conducted by computer scientists at CSE, which recently received the Best Dataset at the Passive and Active Measurement Conference (PAM 2022). The researchers surveyed 75 countries. 

“We wanted to study the topology of the Internet to find weak links that, if compromised, would expose an entire nation’s traffic,” said Alexander Gamero-Garrido (Ph.D. ’22), the paper’s first author, who worked with CSE Professor Alex C. Snoeren.

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21-22 Faculty Honors

faculty awards + honors


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

Security Sleuths

Was there something in the San Diego water a decade or more ago? Because not one, not two but five- that’s five- Test of Time awards have been bestowed on CSE professors from the security and cryptography group in the last year for their research that has left a lasting impact
in their fields.

In order of receipt:

  • Daniele Micciancio won the 2022 Test of Time award at FOCS for his 2002 paper.
  • Deian Stefan’s 2012 paper received the ICFP Most Influential Paper award.
  • Nadia Heninger won the USENIX Security Test-of-Time Award for her 2012 paper, which also won the best paper award the year it was published.
  • Geoff Voelker and Stefan Savage were awarded the Test of Time award at the 2022 IEEE Security and Privacy conference for their 2011 paper.
  • Mihir Bellare again received the IACR Test of Time award (after winning it last year) for his Crypto 2007 paper.

The Core of Powerful, Power-Efficient Processors

The high-performance yet low-power processors running billions of today’s laptops and mobile devices come thanks to research by computer scientists at CSE and HP Labs.

Their work, which began nearly two decades ago, has influenced the design of many modern processors such as ARM’s big.Little, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon, Intel’s Alder Lake and Apple’s flagship Apple M1, including the recently announced M1Pro and M1 Max.

Now, the paper that led to a novel processor architecture that would provide significant energy benefits has been recognized for its lasting impact with a MICRO Test of Time Award.  The paper’s lead author was alumnus Rakesh Kumar, who was being mentored by CSE Professor Dean Tullsen at the time. 

Bug-free and Multiple CPUs

In 2008, multicore processors, in which two or more processing units are embedded into an integrated circuit, were exploding in popularity. However, multicores spawned their own unique programming challenges.

CSE Professor Yuanyuan (YY) Zhou realized the enormous task in front of researchers: writing software to take advantage of those multiple CPUs could have a lot of bugs.

Zhou has now been honored with an Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS) 2022 most influential paper for her 2008 study: Learning from mistakes: a comprehensive study on real world concurrency bug characteristics.

Two CSE Scientists Named 2021 ACM Fellows

CSE Professors Ranjit Jhala and Tajana Šimunić Rosing have been elected as fellows of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). They are among the 71 new fellows honored by the ACM, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society.

The ACM Fellows program recognizes the top 1% of ACM Members for their outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community. Jhala was recognized for contributions to software verification and Rosing for contributions to power, thermal and reliability management.

CSE’s Shachar Lovett Receives Simons Investigator Award

Associate Professor Shachar Lovett has received a Simons Foundation Investigator award, which supports outstanding theoretical scientists in math, physics, astrophysics and computer science. Lovett will receive $100,000 per year over the next five years.

Browser Security Heightened With Prestigious Sloan Research Fellowship

Assistant Professor Deian Stefan has been honored with an Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship. Stefan will receive $75,000 during the two-year fellowship to advance his work on browser security.

Stefan is the third CSE professor to receive a Sloan award in recent years. Nadia Polikarpova was selected in 2020 and Daniel Kane was a recipient in 2017. The fellowship supports young scientists pursuing fundamental research with great potential to impact their fields.

A Trifecta of NSF Career Awards

Three CSE faculty were among those recognized this year with the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. Assistant professors Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick, Ndapa Nakashole and Rose Yu were each honored for exemplifying excellence in their teaching and research.

Changemaker Christine Alvarado

CSE Teaching Professor Christine Alvarado was highlighted by the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT) for winning its inaugural Joanne McGrath Cohoon Service Award.

The award, sponsored by AT&T, honors distinguished educators and staff who have effectively challenged and changed the systems that shape the experiences of women undergraduates in postsecondary computing programs.

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21-22 Home

annual report 2021-2022

CSE at 35



Test of Time Awards

Daniele Micciancio, Deian Stefan, Nadia Heninger, Stefan Savage, Geoff Voelker, Mihir Bellare, Dean Tullsen,  Yuanyuan (YY) Zhou

2021 ACM Fellows

Ranjit Jhala, Tajana Šimunić Rosing

Simons Investigator Award

Shachar Lovett

Sloan Research Fellowship

Deian Stefan

NSF Career Awards

Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick, Ndapa Nakashole, Rose Yu

NCWIT Changemaker

Christine Alvarado

HIghlights 2021-2022

CSE Research + Impact

Our research spans from the foundations of data science to the drivers of cancer and internet security.

CSE Welcomes New Faculty

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

CSE Student + Alumni Community

Our students and alumni are recognized by some of the world's most prominent science and tech organizations.

"In the coming year, we will celebrate our 35th anniversary. This is an exciting time: Our graduate program went from 30th in 1994 to 11th in 2022 in the U.S. News & World Report Graduate Rankings, and we are now ranked 4th on Yet this is only the beginning. Ours is a field of endless possibilities. Imagine CSE, a world class research hub for new horizons. Imagine CSE, a place for innovative education. Imagine CSE, a home to large interdisciplinary research centers. Imagine CSE, a hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. Imagine CSE, an inclusive community for all. This is our future. This is our destiny. This is what the next 35 years will bring."

Chair / Professor
CSE UC San Diego

copyright 2020-2022 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego