EECS News for 2002
UM Students win CAD Contest
Congratulations to Matt Guthaus and DoRon Motter, Ph.D. students in EECS, who won the ACM SIGDA CAD contest at the International Conference on Computer-Aided Design (ICCAD). Fifteen teams of two Ph.D. students each from UM, MIT, Berkeley, USC, CMU, UT Austin, Wisconsin and others were given a linux box, a C compiler and some standard libraries to use in solving a set of CAD-related problems. The competition tested CAD knowledge and problem-solving, programming and teamwork skills.
According to word on the grapevine, Matt and DoRon were far and away the best team. They won $1000 each. Congratulations!
Eric Marsman Receives Outstanding GSI Award
Eric Marsman, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has received a 2001-2002 Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) Award. Marsman was one of only 20 U-M graduate student instructors to receive the award.
Recipients of the Outstanding GSI award have demonstrated "exceptional ability, creativity and continuous growth as teachers." The award is also recognition of outstanding service as a mentor and advisor to students, colleagues and others in need of help. Marsman satisfied all of these requirements as an instructor of EECS 427, VLSI (Very Large Scale Integration) Design I, which is his particular area of interest
In describing his growth as a teacher, Marsman said that the technical nature of the course "required understanding concepts that I didn't grasp when taking the course, but needed to be able to explain to students when they asked about them. So my technical ability, as well as communication skills, were vastly improved while teaching the class."
Marsman recognizes the significance of the Outstanding GSI award. "It's an honor!" he said. "To have the students you worked so hard for recognize your efforts and say to someone else, "Hey, this guy did his job well," makes it extra special."
Marsman is also a past recipient of an ASEE Outstanding Student Instructor Award, which recognizes student instructors who have shown excellence in teaching during the academic year.
Even though the class is called Real-Time Rendering, it will cover relevant graphics modeling techniques as well. EECS 487 is a prerequisite. Basic knowledge of OpenGL programming will be assumed. See the web page for details. [Full Story]
Gabriel Rebeiz Selected 2003 Outstanding Young Engineer
I am very pleased to announce that Gabriel Rebeiz has been selected as the 2003 Outstanding Young Engineer of the IEEE-MTT society. This award was established two years ago to recognize outstanding young MTT members (under 38) who have distinguished themselves in technical, educational, or service contributions. Congratulations, Gabriel!
October 16, 2002
IN THE CLASSROOM
Education Is Put in Hands of Teenagers
Youths in Palmdale are given Palm Pilots to help with assignments. But some researchers say gadgets won't improve student performance.
Professor Dragomir Radev's work on news summarization
Professor Dragomir Radev's work on news summarization was featured in Wired News, La Stampa (Turin, Italy), Il Giornale (Vicenza, Italy), L'Arena (Verona, Italy), The Hindu (Chennai, India), The Michigan Daily, The Ann Arbor News, The University Record. Dragomir was also interviewed for local NPR affiliate WEMU-Ypsilanti. NewsInEssence has been under development by the CLAIR. (Computational Linguistics And Information Retrieval) group - Six SI and EECS students have been involved in the design and development of the system. Research on NewsInEssence was partially supported by NSF-IIS-ITR Grant#0082884. The underlying public domain MEAD text summarization system was partially supported by NSF-IIS Grant#0097467, which included support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.
Wayne Stark Receives MILCOM Technical Achievement Award
Professor Wayne Stark, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is this year's winner of the MILCOM Technical Achievement Award. This award is presented every year in recognition of outstanding contributions to military communications. The award will be presented at the upcoming Chairman's Banquet at MILCOM 2002, on Oct. 9.
Pallab Bhattacharya Receives the 2002 Nicholas Holonyak, Jr. Award
Pallab Bhattacharya, James R. Mellor Professor of Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, has received the Nicholas Holonyak Jr. Award, which honors an individual who has made significant contributions to optics based on semiconductor materials, including basic science and technological applications. The endowed award, originally made possible by Spectra Diode Labs, Inc., was created to honor Nicholas Holonyak, Jr., who has made distinguished contributions to the field of optics through the development of semiconductor-based light-emitting diodes and semiconductor lasers.
Todd Austin Receives Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Teaching Award
Professors Todd Austin and Steven Skerlos have been awarded the Ruth and
Joel Spira Outstanding Teaching Awards. These awards, made possible by a
generous donation by Ruth and Joel Spira, are presented annually to one
faculty member in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and one in
Mechanical Engineering to recognize excellence in teaching and inspiring
More good news about Elliot Soloway
More good news about Elliot Soloway may be found at: http://www.gwu.edu/~media/pressreleases/04-02-02-soloway.htm
Prof. Noble's research featured in New York Times article
New York Times (9/26/2002)
By ANNE EISENBERG
LOSING a laptop computer is one of the hazards of the mobile age. But laptops and the data they contain do not have to be lost for snoopers to get hold of their secrets.
Walk away from an operating laptop for a few moments, and interlopers can help themselves, even if the computer has a cryptographic file system to keep sensitive information secure. That is because once the owner has supplied the initial decryption key, typically when logging in, anyone using the laptop has access to data stored on the disk.
To limit vulnerability to intrusions, some systems ask users to prove who they are by regularly resupplying their password each time the laptop awakens from its "sleep" mode. The password is then used to derive a decryption key.
But many people dislike features of this sort and disable them or reset the prompts for longer intervals.
"There's a tension," said Brian D. Noble, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan who specializes in research on mobile computing. "For a security system to be effective, the laptop must constantly ask you to prove who you are. But the user wants that to happen as infrequently as possible."
Now Dr. Noble and one of his graduate students, Mark Corner, have come up with a high-security system for the slothful. The new system protects data by automatically scrambling it the moment users walk away, then quickly restoring it upon their return.
Called Zero-Interaction Authentication or ZIA, the system requires that laptop owners wear a small device or token — in this case a wristwatch equipped with a processor and a short-range wireless link — to communicate with the laptop. When the token moves out of range, ZIA re-encrypts information on the laptop within five seconds, before someone else can gain access to it. When the laptop detects that the token is back within range, the system decrypts the data within six seconds.
At the beginning of the process, the user enters a password on the watch. "That's to make sure an imposter isn't wearing your token," Dr. Noble said. Then, each second, the laptop broadcasts a cryptographic request that only the token can correctly answer. This procedure, an exchange of cryptographic numbers, is a standard security measure.
But Dr. Noble has endowed the token with another function: the token, not the laptop, holds the master key to the cryptographic process for securing data on the computer.
"Our project is about moving the master key away from the laptop, so that the token has the master key," he explained. When users want to get data off the disk, they must have the key. "Only the token knows this key," he said. "So, no token nearby, no decryption of data from the disk."
Neither the modest processing power of the token nor the slowness of wireless connections poses a problem for encryption or decryption, he said. "The stored keys that you are decrypting on the token are small enough to enable the process," he said. "Individual users should not notice any slowness in the exchange."
The wristwatch, which runs the Linux operating system, was designed at I.B.M. under the direction of Chandra Narayanaswami, manager of wearable computing at the company's T. J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, N.Y.
David Johnson, an associate professor of computer science and of electrical and computer engineering at Rice University, said that ZIA had a noteworthy design, particularly in the way that encryption and decryption are handled in the operating system's disk cache, the spot in the system where data is temporarily deposited when it is pulled from the hard disk.
When users leave, the system re-encrypts data in the cache. "When they return and want to use that data again," Dr. Johnson said, "ZIA can decrypt it faster than by going back to the disk to get a fresh copy." ZIA takes advantage of the cache's tendency to be reused.
While ZIA is a prototype, systems using other approaches to block unauthorized access to a laptop are commercially available.
Ensure Technologies of Ann Arbor, Mich., uses a wireless radio transmitter embedded in a badge to communicate with the computer, which is equipped with a plug-in radio transceiver. The system automatically locks the keyboard and renders the screen blank within 1.6 seconds, said George Brostoff, the company's president.
The distance between badge and machine can be set so finely that the system will shut off access even if the user simply swivels away from the screen, he said. The user can set a longer distance, for instance, for working in an airport lounge or for making presentations from a laptop. In the future, Mr. Brostoff said, the company plans on embedding the transmitter in watches, cellphones and other devices.
Dr. Noble said he hoped that ZIA's token encryption would help laptop owners, especially doctors, maintain security with little effort. "I first thought of this system for use in hospitals," he said, after talks with his wife, who is a doctor, and with doctors at the University of Michigan hospital.
But he learned that while many doctors like using laptops on their rounds, they often leave their machines behind, for instance, while doing tests. "Confidential patient records could be exposed then," he said.
"But the doctors didn't like the constant reauthentication needed to prevent this," he said, "so I wanted something that required nothing of them at all."
High Schools Are Flunking Tech
The Business Week article High Schools Are Flunking Tech mentions Professor Elliot Soloway's research.
EECS 584 will cover a number of advanced topics in development of database management systems (DBMS) and the application of DBMSs in modern applications.
A survey of quantitative techniques used in language and information studies.
EECS598-3: Theory of Quantum Computation - Introduction and Current Problems
As a result of remarkable theoretical advances in recent years, the emerging field of quantum computation has drawn enthusiastic participations from scientists in many fields. It has been demonstrated that quantum information behaves fundamentally differently from classical information, and, it appears that computers based on exact quantum mechanical principles can be dramatically more powerful than those currently deployed.
This course is to provide an introduction to the theory of quantum computation, as well as to explore its frontier. Topics include, but are not limited to:
The course is intended for all interested and mathematically mature audiences. College-level linear algebra is required. Knowledge in quantum mechanics and theoretical computer science is helpful, but not required.
Our First Annual EECS Alumni Reception was a success! It was held at the Hilton Riverside in New Orleans, LA in conjunction with the Design Automation Conference. Feel free to click on the link below to view some of the pictures we took and see how much fun it was! [Full Story]
EECS 661 - Discrete Event Systems
Offering: This course is offered EVERY OTHER YEAR in the fall semester.
Internet Protocols Book Published
Title: INTERNET PROTOCOLS -Advances, Technologies and Applications
Rob A. Rutenbar receives 2002 ECE Alumni Society Merit Award
Rob A. Rutenbar (PhD 1984) received the 2002 Alumni Society Merit Award for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Division. After graduating from the UM, Rob joined the faculty of Carnegie Mellon University. His research interests focus on circuit and lay-out synthesis algorithms for mixed-signal ASICs for high-speed digitial systems and for FPGAs. In 1987, he received a National Science Foundation Presidental Young Investigator Award. From 1992 to 1995, he was a member of IEEE Spectrum's Editorial Board. Rob Is a cofounder of NeoLinear, Inc., a startup company delievering CAD solutions for custom analog integrated circuit design, and an IEEE Fellow.
Keven O'Conner Receives 2002 CSE Alumni Society Merit Award
Kevin O'Connor, Chairman and co-founder of DoubleClick Inc., received the 2002 Alumni Society Merit Award. As co-founder, Kevin has grown DoubleClick from two people working in a basement to a global corporation that employs almost 1200 people. He oversees new market development, long-term strategic direction, and the overall vision of the digital marketing solutions company. Before founding DoubleClick in 1996, he co-founded the Internet Advertising Network (IAN). The software technology pioneered by IAN paved the way for the creation of Doubleclick and the first full-service Web advertising network.
Larry Page Honored with 2002 Alumni Society Award
Larry Page (BSE CE 95), co-founder and president of Google, Inc. has been awarded the 2002 Alumni Society Recent Engineering Graduate Award by the College of Engineering.
Recent Interview With the Society President
Reporter: I've scanned around the various pages of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Alumni Societys website and it seems to answer many of the questions about the Society. When did it go on-line?
Note from the Society President
Welcome to the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Alumni Societys home page. The Society already has many exciting projects and activities in the works and is planning many more for the future. Re-visit this page often to see what is in store.Although Ill be describing some of these events in future notes, for now Ill simply say how excited I am to be able to lead the Society in its early stages of organization, development and planning. The Society promises to be a vibrant organization producing many benefits for the Alumni, the Students, the Department, the College and the University. It is an organization where friends can meet, where helpful ideas and assistance can be exchanged, and where everyone has an opportunity to express their gratitude to this great university.But for these plans to develop successfully we need your help; we need you to become an active member in the Society! To do this, go to the Membership page and sign up. Do it while you are thinking about it. Its FREE so no need to put it off. And then volunteer to serve on a committee or become an officer. As our membership grows larger, the better and more effective the Society will become with your help. And while youre thinking about it, go to the College of Engineering Alumni page and Update Your Contact Information there, too.You can also help us by telling other Electrical Engineering and Computer Science graduates and friends about this website. Encourage them to sign up too. The Society is open to all of our graduates, students and friends.I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you at our next get-together. Until then - Go Blue!
UMich Student Wins $6,000 in Coding Competition
EECS graduate student Tom Sirgedas won $1,000 in the semifinals of the Sun Microsystems and TopCoder Collegiate Challenge programming competition that took place April 19th, 2002. Entering the semifinals, Tom reigned as the Midwest Regional Champion winning $5,000. He is working toward his Master's degree in Computer Science and Engineering.
A total of 16 national finalists (out of an original 512) were invited to compete for a grand prize of $100,000 at the onsite competition at the University Park Hotel @ MIT in Cambridge, MA. The winner of the grand prize was a student from Stanford University.
Scoring in TopCoder competitions is based on two factors: intensity, or the ability to use a particular coding language well under the pressure of peer-to-peer competition; and velocity, the ability to write good code quickly and accurately. Scores are calculated using TopCoder's objective assessment model designed to fairly and accurately gauge a contestant's performance.
Other participants in the finals were from Stanford, M.I.T., Caltech, University of California Berkeley, University of Michigan Ann Arbor, Georgia Tech, Michigan Tech, University of Central Florida, Virginia Tech, University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Oberlin College and Purdue University.
For more information on how to participate in TopCoder's weekly online matches and registration details, visit our website: http://www.topcoder.com.
Mourou Elected Member of NAE
I am delighted to announce that Gerard Mourou has been elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
As you know, this is a very high honor which reflects well on all of the EECS Department We are very proud of you, Gerard!
The students, staff, and faculty of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department can be proud that the University of Michigan Solar Car Team has officially placed as the first American team, the first university team, and third overall in the 2001 World Solar Challenge, which took place from Darwin to Adelaide through the Outback of Australia from November 18th to 25th. Among the members of the race team were 5 EECS students (Eric Carlson, Chris Deline, Blair Lorimer, Saaj Shaw, and Michael Yagley) and Brian Gilchrist from our faculty. In addition, more students have helped to develop the car over the last two years. It is probably not unexpected to note that electrical and computer technologies make up a significant part of the solar car.
To paraphrase the Team's Student Leader, Nader Shwayhat, the team drove Michigan's M-Pulse car as hard as they could and aside from a four-minute motor change on day three, they suffered no breakdowns, setbacks, or problems and did not even have to replace a single tire throughout the entire 3000-kilometer distance. Over the course of the race, the team set several records, both personal and official, and in the process, truly inspired and impressed the crowds in Australia. With a final finishing time of 34.25 hours and an average speed of 87.52kph (54.35mph), the Michigan team secured the fourth fastest time in the competition's 14-year history and the fastest overall time ever recorded for a university team.
The only teams to have traveled faster than Michigan was Honda Motor Company from the mid-1990's (which Michigan missed by only 45 minutes) with their average speed of 89.4 kph and this year's incredible first and second place finishers: the Alpha Centari Group (Netherlands, ESA) and the Aurora Motor Vehicle Association (Australia) who averaged an amazing 91.81kph and 90.21kph, respectively. Additionally, the team set a new personal record for the longest, single-day distance ever traveled by a Michigan Solar Car Team by driving 762 km (473.2 miles) on Day 4 of the competition.
The team was very proud of their accomplishments at the 2001 World Solar Challenge and were honored to have represented the University of Michigan before such a large, international audience.
EECS congratulates all who were a part of this exciting project!
2001 Grand Prix 373
The 2001 Grand Prix 373 took place on the afternoon of December 20, 2001, at the 2nd floor of the EECS Building. This race was the culmination of a 3-week long final project for 17 of the students who took EECS 373 in the Fall semester, 2001. For more information, please click here.