Geetanjali Agarwal successfully defended her MSCS thesis on image recognition

My student Geetanjali (Geet) Agarwal defended her masters thesis titled Aneka – Wavelet Image Hashing Algorithm, see announcement, where the contribution is a framework of hashing algorithms for image recognition. This important work is done in collaboration with the SoCal High Technology Task Force (HTTF). Geet deployed the AWS to accomplish her results, including EC2 instances and MySQL databases used to run experiments on thousands of images. Geet’s thesis will be available after the final draft is ready.

Giving a talk on Computer Science at CI to the RDP-21 group on Nov 6 at 7:30am

On November 6, 2018, at 7:30am, I am giving a talk to the Regional Defense Partnership for the 21st Century (RDP-21) on Computer Science at CI. Here is the meeting location.

AWS/CSU Research in the Cloud series

It was a pleasure to speak at the AWS/CSU Research in the Cloud series. By nature I am not a strong promoter of any technology, and the browser, OS or editor “wars” frankly bore me; I sometimes use a “lesser” technology because it happens to be more convenient, or because I don’t have the time to learn a “better” technology, or many other good reasons.

However, as a researcher and teacher I am absolutely thrilled with what AWS has to offer. I regularly give tours of our computer labs at CSU CI (to local companies, prospective graduate students, CSU trustees, fundraising prospects, etc.), and I explain that three things make it possible for a relatively small and unknown campus like ours to compete in scientific & engineering output in the national and international arena:

  1. How cheap embedded systems have become; a Google Raspberry Pi is $35, and it comes with Linux and GPIO that makes it into a universal controller.
  2. How cheap 3D printing has become, and in turn this frees us to some extent from having to build an expensive manufacturing lab.
  3. And AWS: Amazon Cloud Computing Services. Instead of buying, maintaining, cooling and powering expensive servers, we can immediately utilize the required services, and pay as we go. This works very well for a university because we do not have to make up-front capital investments, and our usage is not always the same (e.g., practically no classes in the summer).

Material related to the talk

  1. Examples of AWS related projects that my students and I have undertaken over the last year: http://soltys.cs.csuci.edu/blog/?tag=aws.
  2. AWS presentation slides.
  3. Video of the presentation (my talk start at about 12min)

Comp Sci @CSUCI seminar on algorithms by Marina Lepikhina @TheTradeDesk

Speaker: Marina Lepikhina, Principal Software Engineer at The Trade Desk
Title: Forecasting for advertising campaigns. How we utilize HyperLogLog and Minhash algorithms to estimate number of available impressions.
Bio: At The Trade Desk Marina Lepikhina designs and executes solutions for a complex business problems involving data at a large scale.
When/Where: Tuesday May 1st at 7pm in Sierra Hall 2422
Marina will be introduces by Zak Stengel, Senior Vice President of Engineering.
From the Trade Desk site:

Every day, media is becoming more fragmented as old models are reinvented digitally. This new landscape makes it harder for advertisers to reach their audience and requires an unbiased partner with powerful technology to help media buyers coordinate campaigns across digital channels.

With The Trade Desk, buyers can value each impression like traders value stocks, using first and third party data to decide which impression to buy and how much to pay. Customers can also use our APIs to build their own proprietary analytic insights or access our bidders to create specialty DSP offerings.

Cybersecurity event @CSUCI on April 20, 2018

On the evening of April 20, 2018 Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin and CSU Channel Islands president Erica D. Beck co-hosted a Cybersecurity event  in Sierra Hall, promoting regional industry partnerships. At this event we had the opportunity to showcase our work – three masters students and one senior student presented research under my supervision:

Zane Gittins spoke about his network penetration testing at HAAS: this work started as a Hank Lacayo Internship at HAAS in the fall of 2017, but since then Zane has been hired by HAAS to continue his work.

Eric Gentry spoke about the SEAKER project, a digital forensic tool that was developed with and for the High Technology Task Force (HTTF) at the Ventura forensic lab. We presented this tool at an event on August 7, 2017.

Geetanjali Agarwal spoke about the Image Recognition project, also inspired by the work done at the HTTF at the Ventura lab, where we aim to identify images from partially recovered files and compare them to a bank of images using the difference hash technique.

Ryan McIntyre presented his work on algorithms in bio-informatics. These results have been published recently in the Journal of Discrete Algorithms, and described in a blog post on March 6, 2018.

Here are the presentation slides.

I introduced the students making some remarks elaborating on president Beck’s statement about partnerships between CI and the Ventura industry. As a CI faculty, I find interdependence in the triad of Scholarship, Teaching and Industry relations. Many of our projects start by addressing a Research & Development need of the community, such as the SEAKER tool for HTTF. We use it to teach our students a hands-on approach to problem solving in Computer Science; we aim to produce quality work that advances knowledge and is publishable.

Scholarship, the first component of the triad, is really composed of three simultaneous activities: the research itself, which is laborious, time consuming, consisting of literature review and the cycle of hypothesis, testing and proving.

The funding component: labs, equipment, salaries, conferences, all these require funds, which can be secured through grants, philanthropic gifts or state support.

And finally dissemination, which is crucial as without it no one is aware of our work, and which takes place through publishing, conference presentations, blog writing, and events such as the one described in this blog. At CI we are lucky in that Advancement facilitates both fundraising and dissemination.

Great Comp Sci talk by Adrian Domanico from Facebook

On March 27, 2018, we had a great talk in Computer Science by Adrian Domanico, from Facebook, on being a Software Engineering in the industry, both at small startups and at large companies such as Facebook.

From the abstract of the talk:  Is working as a software engineer just spewing code into an editor? Being an effective software engineer is so much more. It requires careful consideration of other domains outside of pure engineering. We will dive into what it means to be an effective software engineer in a start-up/tech company and how to build real value (with code of course!).

Building an iOS client that scales well to hundreds (thousands?!) of contributors and millions of users is not an easy task. We will dive into some of the common patterns & anti-patterns used to build a well designed iOS application. We will also discuss some of the tools we use at Facebook to accomplish this and make our codebase more maintainable.

Adrian Domanico is an iOS Software Engineer currently working on Messenger and he is passionate about all things iOS and mobile.