v4 2022-2023

22-23 AI @ CSE


CSE’s AI-Powered Technologies You Should Know About

A social robot to help people with cognitive impairments. Self-driving vehicles for delivery and micro-transit.  A chatbot that gives movie recommendations

All are the result of AI research from CSE professors. Laurel Riek, director of the Healthcare Robotics Lab, Henrik Christensen, director of the Contextual Robotics Institute, and Julian McAuley, who has funding from Netflix, are among the professors featured across UC San Diego for work that could lead to the next developments in the “AI revolution.”

Accelerating Decision-Making for Climate Scientists

Why is Texas experiencing extreme heat waves? And why does El Niño cause temperatures to rise across North America? CSE’s Rose Yu is seeking to use AI to help address such broad, weighty questions in climate science.

Thanks to a grant from the Department of Energy, Yu and colleagues have been working to develop new machine learning methods that can speed up these climate models, better predict the future, and improve understanding of climate extremes.

In This Era of AI, Will Everyone Be a Programmer?

ChatGPT and Large Language Models (LLMs) are viewed by many as a threat to the field of computer science education because they’re able to produce code on command. But for Leo Porter, a teaching professor with CSE, these are tools that might actually help bring programming to a wider, more inclusive and diverse audience.

In the retooled, foundational course, “Introduction to Programming and Computational Problem Solving 1”  launched this fall, Porter is teaching a class of mostly first-year UC San Diego students with a curriculum that incorporates LLMs. He is also the coauthor of the new book “Learn AI-Assisted Python Programming with GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT.”

AI Methods Fast-Track 3D Object Generation and Robotics

It takes roughly one minute. That’s how fast One-2-3-45++, an innovative AI method for 3D object generation, can create a high-fidelity 3D object from a single RGB image. 

CSE Associate Professor Hao Su and collaborators from other universities proposed One-2-3-45++ in new research, hoping to overcome the shortcomings of its predecessor, One-2-3-45.

Breakthrough in 3D Representation with NeRFs

CSE’s Ravi Ramamoorthi, director of the Center for Visual Computing, introduced Neural Radiance Fields (NeRF) at the European Conference on Computer Vision. This  breakthrough allows users to create a 3D representation of the scene of interest from a few views, allowing for immersive experiences of viewing it from different directions and creating compelling fly-throughs. NeRFs have been used by Google Maps, Google Street View, Luma AI and other technologies.

Recently, Ramamoorthi and researchers presented an extension to real-time radiance fields for portraits at SIGGRAPH 23 that can enable view synthesis in real-time from a single portrait image captured with a conventional cell phone camera (Image credit: Trevithick et al. SIGGRAPH 23).

Blocking Toxic Chat

Despite remarkable advances that large language models (LLMs)  have achieved in chatbots, maintaining a non-toxic user-AI interactive environment has become increasingly critical. However, previous efforts in toxicity detection have been mostly based on benchmarks derived from social media content, leaving the unique challenges inherent to real-world user-AI interactions insufficiently explored. But new work from CSE professor Jingbo Shang and his research team introduces ToxicChat, a novel benchmark based on real user queries from an open-source chatbot.

New, Generative AI Transforms Poetry into Music

AI shows its artistic side in a new algorithm created thanks in part to research from UC San Diego computer scientists. The new algorithm helps create music out of “sound poetry,” a practice that uses nonverbal sounds created by the human voice to inspire feeling.

CSE-affiliate professor Shlomo Dubnov collaborated with CSE Associate Professor Taylor Berg-Kirkpatrick and Ph.D. candidate Ke Chen to create a recent performance based on principles also used in popular text-to-image AI generators.

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22-23 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: 

copyright 2020-2023 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v4 2022-2023

22-23 CSE Research Highlights

CSE research + impact

UC San Diego Computer Scientists Lead $50.5M Center for Computing

The new Processing with Intelligent Storage and Memory center, or PRISM, is partially funded by a $35M contract from the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) to make computing orders of magnitude faster and more efficient. The initiative includes a group of 10 universities who contributed additional funds to create the $50.5 million center led by CSE’s Tajana Šimunić-Rosing

The center recently was awarded its second-year funding during a successful annual review by the SRC.


Nine CSE Research Papers in Computer Architecture Included in ISCA's 25-Year Retrospective

In commemoration of its 50th anniversary, the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) compiled a volume of memorable papers – a 25-Year Retrospective: 1996-2020 – to demonstrate the progression of research within computer architecture. The compilation of 98 research papers, culled from a pool of over a thousand submissions, included nine papers from UC San Diego’s Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE).

That means CSE faculty were involved in 10 percent of the selected papers. Professors Hadi Esmaeilzadeh and Dean Tullsen each had four papers selected and Jishen Zhao, an associate professor, had one paper selected.

SIGGRAPH Celebrates 50 Years of Graphics Research - with CSE Leading the Way in Rendering

Three of the 11 rendering papers in the new Association of Computing Machinery’s Seminal Graphics Papers: Pushing the Boundaries, Volume 2 were selected based on the  transformative research of CSE Emeritus Professor Henrik Wann Jensen and Professor Ravi Ramamoorthi

A compilation of SIGGRAPH conference papers from several decades, the impressive volume features two ground-breaking papers by Jensen and one by Ramamoorthi, who is director of the Center for Visual Computing.


New Algorithm Reveals Extremely High Mutations Rates in Complex Genomic Regions

Pavel Pevzner, a distinguished professor in CSE, and PhD student Andrey Bzikadze shared a new UniAligner algorithm for comparing highly repetitive genomic regions in a Nature Methods paper. This algorithm can identify mutations in complex and biomedically important genomic regions, such as centromeres that play a major role in cell division and in immunoglobulin loci that harbor antibody-encoding genes.

Scammers Can Abuse Security Flaws in Email Forwarding to Impersonate High-profile Domains

Sending an email with a forged address is easier than previously thought, due to flaws in the process that allows email forwarding, according to a research team led by computer scientists at UC San Diego.

The issues researchers uncovered have a broad impact, affecting the integrity of email sent from tens of thousands of domains, including those representing organizations in the U.S. government–such as the majority of U.S. cabinet email domains, including, as well as security agencies. Key financial service companies, such as Mastercard, and major news organizations, such as The Washington Post and the Associated Press, are also vulnerable. 

The research team includes PhD students Alex Enze Liu, Ariana Mirian and Grant Ho and professors Geoffrey M. Voelker and Stefan Savage.


CSE Researchers Have Distinguished Showing at ASPLOS 2023

From reclaiming the 1.5 billion smartphones deactivated annually to finding a new way to reduce browser security risks, UC San Diego computer scientists tackled big issues in two papers that were recognized with Distinguished Paper Awards at the 2023 Architectural Support for Programming Languages and Operating Systems (ASPLOS) conference.

PhD student Jennifer Switzer is first author of Junkyard Computing: Repurposing Discarded Smartphones to Minimize Carbon

The paper Going Beyond the Limits of SFI: Flexible Hardware-Assisted In-Process Isolation with HFI was led by alumnus and postdoctoral researcher Shravan Narayan (PhD ’22).

In total, CSE researchers presented four papers at the conference.

Surprise: A Small Change Leads to Big Results for Computer Security

Computer scientists that include a team from CSE have discovered for the first time the popular Intel processor has a key security feature already in place that protects against attacks, including Spectre. The findings were presented at the 2023 IEEE Security and Privacy conference.

Authors of the new paper Half&Half: Demystifying Intel’s Directional Branch Predictors for Fast, Secure Partitioned Execution include  Hosein Yavarzadeh, first author and CSE PhD student; Kazem Taram, a CSE alumnus now at Purdue University; Shravan Narayan, CSE alumnus and postdoc researcher; and CSE professors Deian Stefan and Dean Tullsen.

copyright 2020-2023 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

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22-23 Faculty Honors

faculty awards + honors

CSE Faculty awards

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


Cybersecurity Expert Stefan Savage Elected to the National Academy of Engineering

CSE’s Stefan Savage, whose work examines a wide range of technologies, from cars, to spam emails to cryptocurrencies, received his latest accolade with election to the National Academy of Engineering.

CSE’s CAREER Award Recipient List Grows by Five

Albert Chern, Tzu-Mao Li, Aaron Schulman, Jingbo Shang and Hao Su are the latest CSE faculty members to be recognized with NSF’s most prestigious award to support early-career faculty.

Amazon Research Awards

CSE professors Sean Gao, Yiying Zhang and Jishen Zhao were one of 79 researchers chosen for the quality of their scientific content and potential impact in the areas of AWS AI, Automated Reasoning, Prime Video and Sustainability.


Army Early Career Program Award

Assistant Professor Rose Yu has received funding to develop a novel deep learning  framework based on symmetry through the Army’s program that encourages early career faculty to pursue fundamental research in areas that could have significant impact on Army operational capabilities and related technologies.


Frontiers of Science

CSE Professor Ravi Ramamoorthi received a Frontiers of Science Award at the 2023 International Congress of Basic Science for contributions to the Neural Radiance Field (NeRF) technology, as described in trend-setting papers.

Two of the World's Most Highly Cited Researchers in Their Field

For the second year in a row, CSE researchers Rob Knight and Pavel Pevzner were named among the world’s most influential in their fields in this year’s Clarivate listing of Most Highly Cited Researchers in the World.

copyright 2020-2023 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

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22-23 New Faculty



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

Raj Ammanabrolu
PhD from Georgia Tech 

Expertise: Machine Learning

Ammanabrolu works to create trustworthy and responsible language-based AI agents that can align to human preferences after getting feedback, and can use neurosymbolic world models to guide their actions in grounded environments. He aims to imbue these agents with the ability to understand and generate contextually relevant natural language.

Yufei Ding
PhD from North Carolina State University

Expertise: Quantum Computing

Ding specializes in programming systems, influencing realms from machine learning to quantum computing. As a leader in intelligent programming, her work delves deeply into domain-specific language innovations, GPU-optimized library development, and cutting-edge compiler and architecture designs.

Deepak Kumar
PhD from University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

Expertise: Online Saftey

Kumar’s research takes an empirical approach to studying the security and digital safety threats that emerge when people interact with sociotechnical systems at scale. Using large-scale, data-driven measurements and human-centered studies, he tries to understand how threats ranging from phishing to online abuse are operationalized in practice and how people experience them.

Qipeng Liu
PhD from Princeton University

Expertise: Quantum Computing

Liu focuses on quantum computing, quantum information and cryptography in a quantum world. His research includes analyzing and understanding how safe existing cryptographic systems will be once quantum computing becomes widely available. He also works to build cryptography powered by quantum computing and information.

Lianhui Qin
PhD from University of Washington

Expertise: Machine Learning, Language Models

Qin’s research seeks to draw connections between reasoning and language generation. Her interests lie in natural language processing and machine learning, especially commonsense reasoning in text and conversation generation.

Alex Tamkin
PhD from Stanford University

Expertise: Machine Learning, Language Models

Tamkin’s research focuses on how to make foundation models such as GPT-4 safe and useful in engineering, the natural sciences, or healthcare and beyond. He studies language models as well as general machine learning techniques that are broadly applicable to other kinds of data.

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 2020-2023 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v4 2022-2023

22-23 Student and Alumni Community

CSE Student + Alumni Community

Cse students

New Ford Foundation Fellow Brings Computing Behind Bars

A PhD student and researcher with the Computing Education Research Lab, Emma Hogan was awarded a 2023 Ford Foundation Fellowship from the National Academies of Sciences for her efforts to boost computer literacy among incarcerated students.

PhD Students Join Prestigious Circle of NSF Research Fellows

Three PhD computer science students – Anya Bouzida (BS ‘21), Namiko Matsumoto (BS ‘21) and Stone Tao (BS ‘23) – received National Science Foundation Research Fellowships, joining an impressive group of life-long tech leaders.

Two CSE Students Garner Google PhD Fellowships

CSE’s Ke Sun and Jennifer Switzer were awarded 2023 Google PhD Fellowships for their technology research – in healthcare for Sun and the environment for Switzer. The program recognizes exemplary PhDs seeking to influence the future of tech.

Jessica Echterhoff Nets CSE’s First Apple Scholars in AI/ML Fellowship

CSE PhD student Jessica Echterhoff (MS ‘22) has been named a 2023 recipient of the Apple Scholars in AI/ML PhD fellowship to continue her research on data bias at the intersection of human and data-centric artificial intelligence.

Places and Landmarks Places and Landmarks Places and Landmarks

Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship Program Recognizes CSE PhDs

Four teams of researchers from UC San Diego earned Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships this year, including three CSE graduate students – Kunal Gupta and Ishit Mehta in computer graphics and Andres Meza in secure system design.

“Fallen Star” Rises in World-Wide Programming Competition

Students Thomas Li, Stanislaw Strzelecki and Shang Zhou, competing as Fallen Star, earned a spot at the 47th International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) World Finals after receiving a bronze medal in the North America Championship.


ICDE Fellow Envisions Economic Democracy

PhD student Udayan Tandon has been named a 2023/2024 Institute for the Cooperative Digital Economy (ICDE) Fellow for his policy report that aims to establish community-based platform cooperatives that prioritize worker equity for on-demand transportation. 

CSE Alumni CommunitY

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


2023 ACM SIGMICRO Dissertation Award

Mohammadkazem Taram (PhD ‘22) received the inaugural Dissertation Award at the 56th IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture. Taram, an assistant professor at Purdue University, was recognized for his dissertation, “Defusing the tension between security and performance with secure microarchitectures.”


Advocating for Women in STEM

CSE Alumni Board member and Executive Vice President of Engineering at Shadowbox, Emily Deere (BA ‘90) joined an all-female Women in STEM panel discussion, talking to UC San Diego students on breaking barriers in STEM related fields.


Jim Gray Dissertation Award from ACM SIGMOD

Supun Nakandala (PhD ’22)  received the 2023 Jim Gray Dissertation Award by the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD) for the dissertation “Query Optimizations for Deep Learning Systems” that expands the relevance of database methods in the ML systems area. 

copyright 2020-2023 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v4 2022-2023

22-23 Gallery



copyright 2020-2023 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego

v4 2022-2023

22-23 Home

annual report 2023

Imagine cse


1/3 of all uc san diego graduating undergrads take a cs class
Largest M.S. Program at UC San Diego
Largest Ph.D. Program at UC San Diego

New cse faculty

Raj Ammanabrolu

Machine Learning, Language Models 

Yufei Ding

Quantum Computing

Deepak Kumar

Online Safety

Qipeng Liu

Quantum Computing

Lianhui Qin

Machine Learning, Language Models

Alex Tamkin

Machine Learning, Language Models


National Academy of Engineering

Stefan Savage

National Science Foundation CAREER

Albert Chern, Tzu-Mao Li, Aaron Schulman, Jingbo Shang, Hao Su

Amazon Research Award

Sean Gao, Yiying Zhang, Jishen Zhao

Army Early Career Program Award

Rose Yu

Frontiers of Science Award

Ravi Ramamoorthi

World's Most Highly Cited Researchers

Rob Knight, Pavel Pevzner 

HIghlights 2022-2023


CSE Research + Impact

A $50.5M center to make computing faster and more efficient, seminal research in graphics rendering, and tackling security and e-waste.



CSE investigates many aspects of the Artificial Intelligence landscape. Our faculty are producing leading research in the world-changing realm of AI.

Student + Alumni Community

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

Letter from the chair

What a year this has been! We continued our large educational mission to majors, non-majors, MS students and PhD students; we had a long and successful faculty recruiting season; we started several large centers, including the $10 million EnCORE center and the $52 million PRISM center; and we celebrated our 35th anniversary with pride and excitement. As the world is upended by ChatGPT and Generative AI, CSE is ready, with a vibrant group of at least 17 faculty in Artificial Intelligence and 6 in Natural Language Processing. With a total of over 30 hires in the last 10 years, in new areas like CS+Health, Quantum Computing, and Generative AI, we are yet again shaping ourselves to be leaders in computing for the next 20 years.

Chair / Professor
CSE UC San Diego

copyright 2020-2023 – Computer Science & Engineering – University of California San Diego