Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ECE Alumni News

Sep 16, 2015
Engineering Friendship - ECE Alumni Startup Helps You Meet New People    Bookmark and Share
While social networks keep us connected to old friends, theyre not so great for meeting new friends in new places. Now, an alumni startup is looking to address this gap in the Web with a new site devoted to getting people together, no strings attached. Called Jetivity, it is a free platform for posting or finding open recreational activities.   More Info

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Other News

Celebrating a Leader in Control Systems

Friends and former students of Prof. Demos Teneketzis celebrated his 65th birthday with a Workshop on Information, Decisions, and Networks in his honor. Throughout the two-day event, this group of accomplished researchers presented on their work spanning the different fields of control theory. Speakers, students and friends came from around the world and represented all corners of industry and academia. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Control Systems  Lab-Systems  Lafortune, Stephane  Teneketzis, Demosthenis  

Meet DDoSCoin, the Cryptocurrency that Pays When You P0wn

This article in the Register reports on the research conducted by CSE alum Eric Wustrow and CSE student Benjamin VanderSloot. They created a proof-of-work project built on cryptocurrency that offers a means to prove participation in distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. DDoSCoin allows miners to prove that they have contributed to a distributed denial of service attack against specific target servers. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Graduate Students  Lab-Software Systems  

New Cryptocurrency DDoSCoin Incentivizes Users for Participating in DDoS Attacks

The article reports on the new research paper by CSE alum Eric Wustrow and CSE student Benjamin VanderSloot. The researchers have put forward the concept of DDoSCoin a cryptocurrency with a malicious proof-of-work. Presented at the Usenix 2016 security conference, the researchers explain the DDoSCoin system which enables miners to select the victim servers by consensus using a proof-of-stake protocol. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Graduate Students  Lab-Software Systems  

Toyota Research Institute Partners with U-M on Artificial Intelligence

Research focused on artificial intelligence, robotics and autonomous driving at the University of Michigan will get a major boost thanks to an initial $22 million commitment from the Toyota Research Institute, TRI CEO Gill Pratt announced recently in an address to U-M faculty. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Olson, Edwin  

Online voting could be really convenient. But its still probably a terrible idea.

This article reports on Internet voting availability in the US. It then examines Estonia's electronic voting system, which has been been hailed by some as a model system for secure electronic voting. Prof. J. Alex Halderman, who was part of a security team that documented failings in the Estonian system, disagrees and is quoted in the article. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Algorithms can be More Fair than Humans

In this article in The Conversation, Prof. H. V. Jagadish talks about how algorithms can discriminate, even when their designers don't intend that to happen, but they also can make detecting bias easier. He states, “While it is tempting to believe data-driven decisions are unbiased, research and scholarly discussion are beginning to demonstrate that unfairness and discrimination remain.“ [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Jagadish, HV  

'The Most Interesting Tech IPO of the Year' was Founded by Alums

Michigan Engineering speaks with the founders of Twilio, CS alumni Jeff Lawson, Evan Cooke, and John Wolthuis. The startup, a $1 billion cloud communications company, went public in late June, bringing in $150 million. Quartz called the move the most interesting tech IPO of the year. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  

Peter Honeyman Receives USENIX Test of Time Award

Prof. Peter Honeyman and CSE alumnus Niels Provos have received the USENIX Test of Time Award for their paper on privilege separation, a generic approach that lets parts of an application run with different levels of privilege. They share this award with co-author Markus Friedl. The USENIX Test of Time Awards recognizes papers presented at its respective conference from at least 10 years ago that have had a lasting impact on their fields. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Honeyman, Peter  Lab-Software Systems  

Several Michigan Papers Presented at 2016 USENIX Security Symposium

Five papers authored by CSE researchers were presented at the 2016 USENIX Security Symposium, which took place August 10-12 in Austin, TX, and two papers were presented at WOOT 2016. USENIX Security brings together researchers from both academia and industry interested in the latest advances in the security of computer systems and networks. The symposium is a premier venue for security and privacy research. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Prakash, Atul  Shin, Kang G.  

Prof. Dragomir Radev Honored as ACM Fellow at Annual Awards Banquet

Prof. Dragomir Radev was honored as an ACM Fellow at the annual ACM Awards Banquet, which took place June 11th in San Francisco, CA. The ACM Awards honors those whose contributions have impacted our world for the better in countless ways. ACM has recognized 42 of its members for their significant contributions to the development and application of computing in areas from data management and spoken-language processing to robotics and cryptography. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Radev, Dragomir  

Students Seek the Secrets of the Brain in Study Abroad Program

Eight undergrad students got the chance to work on cutting edge brain research in Germany this summer through the International Program for the Advancement of Neurotechnology (IPAN). Directed by Prof. Euisik Yoon, the program sent students from around the country to two universities where they experienced a month of in-depth lab work on devices that could help us better understand the brain. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Brain  Health  International Prog. for the Adv. of Neurotechnology  Undergraduate Students  Yoon, Euisik  

Researchers David Adrian and Alex Halderman Receive Pwnie Award for Work on DROWN Attack

A research team that includes CSE PhD student David Adrian and Prof. J. Alex Halderman has been awarded the Pwnie Award for Best Cryptographic Attack at the Black Hat conference for their work on the DROWN attack. DROWN allows attackers to break encryption used to protect HTTPS websites and read or steal sensitive communications, including passwords, credit card numbers, trade secrets, or financial data. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Solar power plant: $1.4M grant aims to cut costs

Nanotechnology could reduce the cost of the most expensive part of a solar thermal power plant by roughly 75 percent. The Department of Energy gave a team of researchers at the University of Illinois, the University of Michigan and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory $1.4 million to develop new solar concentrators. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Energy  Guo, L. Jay  Lab-Optics and Photonics  Power & Energy  Solar Cell Technology  

Screen Savers: The World's Smallest Computer

The new episode of Screen Savers features Prof. David Blaauw, whose team has developed the world's smallest computer. The Michigan Micro Mote (M3) works as a fully functioning computer on the millimeter scale. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  Wentzloff, David  

CSE-Based Startup Receives Funding to Develop Systems Based on Intelligent Personal Assistant Technology

Artificial Intelligence startup Clinc, founded by Profs. Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang along with Research Fellow Michael Laurenzano and CSE graduate student Johann Hauswald, is off and running in downtown Ann Arbor. On August 4, 2016, the company announced a $225,000 National Science Foundation Grant and closure of a $1.2 million round of seed funding. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Lab-Computer Engineering (CE Lab)  Mars, Jason  Tang, Lingjia  

Michigan Solar Car defends national title in sweeping victory

Despite nearly-sunless conditions in the final two days, the University of Michigan Solar Car team has successfully defended their decade-long reigning championship winning the 2016 American Solar Challenge for the sixth consecutive time. After two sunless final days of the race, U-M's car, Aurum, ended up the only entree to finish on 100% solar power. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Solar Cell Technology  Student Teams and Organizations  Undergraduate Students  

Hackers Fool Tesla Autopilot Into Making Obstacles 'Disappear' -- But Don't Panic About Crashes Yet

Wenyuan Xu, a visiting professor at CSE from the University of South Carolina, is part of a research team that has developed techniques for sabotaging the sensors for the autopilot in a Tesla. This article in Forbes describes how the research team used three forms of attack to tick the Tesla. [Full Story]

Hackers Fool Tesla S's Autopilot to Hide and Spoof Obstacles

Wenyuan Xu, a visiting professor at CSE from the University of South Carolina, is part of a research team that has developed techniques for sabotaging the sensors for the autopilot in a Tesla. This article in Wired describes how they simulated an attack from an adjacent car equipped with sensor jamming equipment. [Full Story]

Researchers Seek to Help the Disabled with Intelligent Robotic Wheelchair

Prof. Ben Kuipers, CSE graduate student Collin Johnson, and researcher Dr. Jong Jin Park have created Vulcan, an intelligent robotic wheelchair. Vulcan learns the spatial structure of the environment it moves through and it uses that knowledge to plan and follow routes from place to place. Robotic wheelchairs will benefit people who need a wheelchair, but are unable to use one because of multiple disabilities. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Kuipers, Benjamin  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  

CSE Researchers Win Pwnie Award for Work on DROWN Attack

A research team that includes CSE PhD student David Adrian and Prof. J. Alex Halderman has been awarded the Pwnie Award for Best Cryptographic Attack at the BlackHat conference for their work on the DROWN attack. DROWN is a serious vulnerability that affects HTTPS and other services that rely on SSL and TLS, some of the essential cryptographic protocols for Internet security. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

How to Hack an Election in 7 Minutes

This in-depth article in Politico traces the history of "the Princeton group" -- a cadre of security experts, including Michigan's Prof. J. Alex Halderman, who grew out of Andrew Appel and Ed Felton's groups at Princeton and have influenced the conversation on the security of electronic voting. The article concludes with this remark from Halderman regarding the danger posed by state-sponsored cyber attackers: "We sit around all day and write research papers. But these people are full time exploiters. They're the professionals. We're the amateurs." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Hands-On Robotics: A Course for Anyone Interested in Robots and Autonomy

Check out this new video about the course Hands on Robotics. It not only provides an introduction to the broadly interdisciplinary field of robotics, it encourages students to solve an open-ended problem. Students build different types of robots throughout the semester using the CKBot modular robot system. The course covers concepts from kinematics, to control, to programming. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Course  Revzen, Shai  Robotics  

With Over 7 Million Certificates Issued, Let's Encrypt Aims to Secure the Entire Web

Let's Encrypt, the non-profit certificate authority founded by Prof. J. Alex Halderman with colleagues at Mozilla and Electronic Frontier Foundation, is well on its way to securing the web. By making the switch to HTTPS free and easy, Let's Encrypt has issued over 7 million certificates since December 2015. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Networks and Networking  Security (national and personal safety)  

The Adventures of a Blissfully Unaware Bipedal Robot at the Grassy Wave Field

Evan Ackerman writes: "Grizzle says that when it comes to MARLO trying to conquer the 'devious undulations' of the Wave Field, 'we have gotten farther than I thought we would, to be honest.' This is the sort of thing we like to hear from researchers and dont, usually: pleasant surprise about how well their robot is performing. For more details on how MARLO managed to get this far, we asked him a few specific questions." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics  

Dragomir Radev Coaches US Linguists in Competition at 2016 International Linguistics Olympiad

Dragomir Radev, Professor in Computer Science and Engineering, the School of Information, and in the Department of Linguistics, has coached US high school students to successful competition at the 14th International Linguistics Olympiad (IOL), which was held at the Infosys campus in Mysore, India from from July 25 to July 29, 2016. It is the tenth year that Radev has coached the team. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Radev, Dragomir  

Tiny Computer Has Enormous Potential

"The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, Calif., has a new addition - one that is at the cutting edge of new computer technology. It isnt a breakthrough new powerhouse in computing, but instead a computer so small that one of the devices can sit on the edge of a coin." It's the Michigan Micro Mote! [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  

Summer Bootcamp Prepares Undergraduates for Work with Big Data

The Big Data Summer Bootcamp, a six-week interdisciplinary training and research program co-designed by Prof. Barzan Mozafari and his collaborators from other departments, has given students from around the country a comprehensive overview of the field of big data. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Software Systems  Mozafari, Barzan  

New Venture is on the Path to Build Continual Learning AIs

Cogitai, Inc., a continual learning company co-founded by Prof. Satinder Singh Baveja, is developing AI technology that empowers machines to learn from interaction with the real world, enabling everyday things that sense and act to get smarter, more skilled, and more knowledgeable with experience. The company has recently announced funding by Sony. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Baveja, Satinder Singh  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  

UM::Autonomy Makes a Strong Finish at RobotBoat Competition

The UM::Autonomy team took 6th place in the world at this years RoboNation RoboBoat Competition, where teams build autonomous, robotic boats to navigate and race through an aquatic obstacle course. The boat is completely designed and programmed by the students each year. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Autonomous Vehicles   Student Teams and Organizations  Undergraduate Students  

Pioneering Engineering Education Research

A new initiative at the College of Engineering has brought U-M into the spotlight in the field of Engineering Education Research (EER). Spearheaded by Prof. David C. Munson, Jr. while he was Dean, the College took a unique approach to EER by embedding faculty directly into traditional engineering departments. A few other institutions had already developed standalone departments or schools for EER with their own sets of faculty and PhD students, but U-Ms approach is the first of its kind. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Education  Finelli, Cynthia  

Baja Wins Big

The U-M Baja Racing Team made huge waves this season. Along with their second consecutive overall 1st place finish, they also received the seasons highest honor, the Mike Schmidt Memorial Award. This award is given to the team with the highest cumulative points between three competitions. As if that wasnt enough, at the California race the team broke the record for the most points ever earned at a Baja SAE event, scoring 1007/1000. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Automotive industry  Student Teams and Organizations  Undergraduate Students  

Students from the United States visiting various work groups of BrainLinks-BrainTools this summer

Four undergrad students participating in the International Program for the Advancement of Neurotechnology (IPAN)'s summer bootcamp visited the cluster of excellence at Freiburg University in Germany. The students received training in modern neuroscience research and tools. IPAN and the study abroad program are directed by Prof. Euisik Yoon. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Brain  International Prog. for the Adv. of Neurotechnology  Undergraduate Students  Yoon, Euisik  

The DNC Leak Shows How Vulnerable This Election Is To Hacking

Security experts including Prof. J. Alex Halderman are quoted in this article about the security risks associated with electronic voting. Many studies conducted by Prof. Halderman and his contemporaries have demonstrated that elections based on electronic voting are at risk of manipulation - often without detection. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

Reinforcement Renaissance

This article in Communications of the ACM reviews reinforcement learning and how it is complemented by deep learning in systems that aim to learn the way that humans do. Prof Satinder Singh Baveja is quoted in the article. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Baveja, Satinder Singh  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Machine Learning  

ECE Alumnus Leverages Big Data to Influence Corporate Strategy

Rodger Howell (BSE EE 1990) says data analytics and machine learning can be key to boosting revenues and streamlining financial reporting in this guest column. While many CFOs recognize the value of big data and its insights, some are overwhelmed by the volume of information available and have yet to fully leverage it. Rodger helps companies align costs to their business strategy as an Advisory principal for PwCs Strategy, [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Big Data  

National Robotics Initiative: Celebrating Five Years, Looking Ahead

Move over, C-3PO and R2-D2! You may have been robot celebrities during the glory years of Star Wars, but next-generation robotics are the new, 21st century superstars. A recent event on Capitol Hill celebrated the five-year anniversary of the National Robotics Initiative. It also provided an opportunity for NRI-funded research groups to both display their accomplishments, and also encourage Congress to maintain this critical funding mechanism for robotics in the United States. Prof. Jessy Grizzle attended with a display on his work. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Software Systems  Robotics  

EECS Research Highlighted at 2016 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference

The University of Michigan was host to the 2016 Robotics: Science and Systems Conference, which took place June 18-22. The conference, which was co-chaired by Prof. Edwin Olson and Prof. Ryan Eustice, brought together researchers working on algorithmic or mathematical foundations of robotics, robotics applications, and analysis of robotic systems. The event gave attendees the opportunity to see the best research in all areas of robotics, as well as, attend invited talks, oral and interactive presentations of refereed papers, workshops, tutorials, and lab presentations. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Jenkins, Chad  Kuipers, Benjamin  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Lab-Systems  Olson, Edwin  Revzen, Shai  Robotics  

Data Equality on the Internet Might Bring Unintended Consequences

Prof. Harsha Madhyastha was interviewed on Michigan Radio about the possibilities for unintended consequences of net neutrality, and the difficulty of finding an acceptable alternative. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Software Systems  Madhyastha, Harsha  Networks and Networking  

New Undergraduate Program in Data Science Grows Rapidly, Graduates First Student

In Fall 2015, the EECS Department and the Department of Statistics in LSA launched a joint undergraduate program in Data Science. As of Spring of 2016, the program had grown to 79 declared majors, 36 in engineering and 43 in LSA. The first engineering student to graduate with a degree in data science was Ryan Schrader, a dual data science/computer science major who matriculated in December 2015. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Big Data  Undergraduate Students  

R&D's Scientist of the Year - Starting 50 Years Ago with the Pioneer

50 years ago R&D Magazine chose its very first recipient of the prestigious Scientist of the Year Award Emmett Leith. The professor of electrical engineering at the University of Michigan was presented with the honor for co-inventing the three-dimensional holography, better known as the technology of laser to help create 3D photography. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Holography  Lab-Optics and Photonics  

ECE Alumnus Franklin Dollar 2016 Sloan Research Fellow and Most Promising Scientist

Franklin Dollar (MSE EE 2010, PhD Applied Physics 2012), Assistant Professor of Physics & Astronomy at UC-Irvine, was named a Sloan Research Fellow and Most Promising Scientist in 2016 by the American Indian Science and Engineering Society. Prof. Dollar directs the Dollar Lab of Ultrafast High Intensity Plasma Physics. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  

Prof. Dragomir Radev Teaching Course on NLP Through Coursera

This summer, Prof. Dragomir Radev is teaching two offerings of his course,"Introduction to Natural Language Processing" through Coursera, the online education platform which aims to provide universal access to the worlds best education. The first course offering began July 4th and the second is set to begin on August 1st. Both sessions are 12 weeks long. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Radev, Dragomir  

CSE Alumna Adriane Chapman Recognized with Test of Time Award from ACM SIGMOD

Alumnae Adriane Chapman (CSE MS PhD 06 08) has been recognized with the prestigious ACM SIGMOD Test of Time Award for her influential paper on techniques for recording provenance for data that is copied among databases. Now a research scientist at MITRE, Dr. Chapman published the paper while a PhD student at Michigan. She shares the award with co-authors Drs. Peter Buneman and James Cheney, both of the University of Edinburgh, UK. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Alumni  Databases  Jagadish, HV  Lab-Software Systems  Women in Computing  

The Mr. Robot Hack Report: Ransomware and Owning the Smart Home

This article references work done by UM CSE researchers, led by Prof. Atul Prakash, who recently exposed vulnerabilities in the Samsung SmartThings platform that let them set off smoke alarms or even unlock doors. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Software Systems  Prakash, Atul  Security (Computing)  

Clever Tool Shields Your Car From Hacks by Watching its Internal Clocks

In a paper they plan to present at the Usenix security conference next month, researchers led by Kang G. Shin, the Kevin and Nancy O'Connor Professor of Computer Science, describe an easy-to-assemble tool they call the Clock-based Intrusion Detection System, or CIDS. CIDS characterizes the clock inaccuracies of all of the processors in a car in order to spot the malicious messages that hackers use to take control of vehicle components like brakes and transmission. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Automotive industry  Graduate Students  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  Shin, Kang G.  

MARLO makes initial attempt at the Wave Field

Since he received a robot capable of walking outside, Jessy Grizzle has heard the siren call of the Wave Field, the undulating earthen art installation outside the Franois-Xavier Bagnoud building. MARLO finally got her shot at it. For now, Jessy and his graduate students are only attempting the easiest routes, between the grassy two- to three-foot moguls, over smaller undulations that Grizzle calls merely very difficult. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics  

Stephane Lafortune Named Fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC)

Stephane Lafortune has been named Fellow of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC), "For contributions to control and diagnosis of discrete event systems." Prof. Lafortune has been a leading researcher in the field of discrete event systems (DES) for the last 25 years. His fundamental work covers the gamut from modeling, analysis, diagnosis, control, and optimization. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Lab-Software Systems  Lafortune, Stephane  

Danai Koutra Receives 2016 SIGKDD Doctoral Dissertation Award

Prof. Danai Koutra has been awarded the 2016 SIGKDD Doctoral Dissertation Award for her dissertation, "Exploring and Making Sense of Large Graphs," which she completed while a student at Carnegie Mellon University. The annual SIGKDD doctoral dissertation award recognizes excellent research by doctoral candidates in the field of data mining and knowledge discovery. Each year, SIGKDD receives over 15 nominations and only one winner is chosen. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Koutra, Danai  Lab-Software Systems  

Experimenting with Post-Quantum Cryptography

This Google blog post announces the company's decision to test post-quantum cryptography in Chrome, in which a small fraction of connections between desktop Chrome and Google's servers will use a post-quantum key-exchange algorithm in addition to the elliptic-curve key-exchange algorithm that would typically be used. The algorithm used in the test builds on work by Prof. Chris Peikert and his collaborators. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Theory of Computation  Peikert, Chris  Quantum Computing  Security (Computing)  

Online voting would be disastrous because hackers could hijack the democratic process

This article frames the very real dangers of online voting and underscores them with examples from Prof. J. Alex Halderman's work in demonstrating weaknesses in the Estonian online voting system and Washington DC's 2010 attempt at an Internet voting system. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)