2006 SURF-IT Schedule
Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship in Information Technology
University of California, Irvine
The Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program in Information
Technology (SURF-IT) presents a four-part summer seminar series, featuring
faculty projects involving SURF-IT students. The program will conclude
with a poster session.
Speaker: William Tomlinson
Title: The Eco-Raft Project
Abstract: This project involves the deployment and evaluation of an educational museum exhibit built on a multi-device technological platform. The installation consists of three stationary computers that represent virtual islands, and three mobile devices that represent rafts or boxes. Each virtual island represents a different ecosystem. The ecosystems can be populated with hummingbirds, coral trees, and heliconia flowers. Participants can use the mobile devices to transport species from one island to another by bringing a mobile device near one of the stationary computers. This exhibit was designed in summer 2005 and exhibited at SIGGRAPH 2005. In 2006, the team will revise and extend the project to enable it to withstand the rigors of use by thousands of persons per year. By transforming a research prototype into a robust and stable exhibit, the project will explore research questions in engineering, education and human-computer interaction design.
SURF-IT Fellow: Andrew Correa, Bryant Hornick
Speaker: Stephen Jenks,
Title: High Performance Cooperative Data Distribution
Abstract: Current large file transfer approaches used in high performance cluster computing are point-to-point, normally based on GridFTP or Secure Copy (scp). If the file is to be disseminated to local disks on cluster nodes, either each transfer happens separately or the connection to the front-end becomes a bottleneck. In either case, the overall distribution time is proportional to the number of destinations times a single transfer time. With files in the tens becoming common, this time becomes quite long. Peer-to-peer filesharing offers a solution in the form of BitTorrent, which allows receivers to send data as well, thus multiplying the available bandwidth and decreasing download time of all participants. However, BitTorrent was designed for unreliable, shared, slow home Internet connections and does not perform as well in high-performance environments with gigabit or faster networks. This project will merge the best ideas from BitTorrent with advanced parallel computing techniques to develop a cooperative data distribution approach that will work within clusters and across research networks. The goal is to make the total transfer time to multiple nodes approach the single transfer time of the file, which would be a significant improvement.
SURF-IT Fellow: J. Rick Ramstetter
Speaker: Phil Collins
Abstract: Our research group has recently developed techniques for building operational electronic circuits at the single-molecule scale. Carbon nanotubes are used as the interconnecting wires, and a variety of interesting molecules including proteins and peptides are being investigated. The resulting circuits are of commercial interest as chemical and biological sensors. Our present research is focused on improving the attachment chemistry so that large numbers of circuits can be reliably fabricated and tested. Because each experiment involves the creation of only one chemical bond, traditional chemistry techniques lack the resolution to determine the reaction's yield. Our laboratories are developing new ways of characterizing reactions with the necessary resolution.
SURF-IT Fellow: Colin Mann
Speaker: Padhraic Smyth,
Title: Automatic Inference of Anomalous Events from Traffic Patterns
Abstract: In this project we are developing a web-based system that automatically identifies anomalous events on a freeway by analyzing traffic pattern data from sensors. We refer to unusual patterns of traffic that we would not expect to see for the particular location, day, time, and weather. Our interest is from a disaster and crisis situation perspective; detecting such traffic patterns may assist early identification of a disaster that has occurred or even of potential terrorist activity. Our team is developing statistical models to learn normal traffic behavior and innovative methods for detecting and characterizing unusual behavior. We aim to create a Web browser, similar to what currently available traffic maps show, with overlaid traffic data in real-time, that could also toggle to a color-coded display of what the model considers to be unusual. We will use publicly available traffic loop sensor data as input. We will leverage and implement the techniques developed in our ongoing research on smart sensing, where we have developed a framework for unsupervised learning based on a time varying Poisson model that can also account for anomalous events. This technology could be used in an emergency information portal, like one being developed by the RESCUE project.
SURF-IT Fellow: Sean Li
Speaker: Tatsuya Suda
Abstract: Molecular communication is a new and interdisciplinary research area that spans nanotechnology, biotechnology, and communication technology. Molecular communication is inspired by the observation that communication in biological systems such as inter/intra cell signaling is done through molecules; it could also allow nanomachines to communicate using molecules or chemical signals. The long-term goal of this research is the design and control of new molecular-scale communication systems. The undergraduate student will design potential molecular communication systems and investigate the characteristics of the designed systems through modeling and simulations.
SURF-IT Fellow: Christina Wong
Speaker: Chen Li,
Title: Information Integration in Medical Databases
Abstract: We are starting an interdisciplinary project in which faculty from ICS, the Department of Neurosurgery, and other UC hospitals are involved. The goal of the project is to integrate clinical trial data from different hospitals. Clinical trials are extremely expensive, and currently researchers at each hospital can only use their own limited amount of local data to do analysis. A federated system that can integrate data from various heretogeneous, autonomous databases could provide tremendous statistical power for clinical research at all the hospitals. As the first step, we want to integrate data of neuroscience clinical trials from the UCI Medical Center and the UCLA medical school. This pilot project requires techniques and tools to migrate data between databases. The student will develop tools to facilitate the process of converting data from one database (e.g., the UCI Hospital database or a UCLA database) to another database (e.g., the federated database).
SURF-IT Fellow: Chris Trezzo
Speaker: Jonathan M. Hall
Abstract: Information arts and new media experimentalism occupy special places in the recent history of East Asia. Artists, groups, and movements as globally important and diverse as Nam Jun Paik, Experiments in Arts and Technology, Fluxus, Ono Yoko, Feng Mengbo, and recent “noise” activists have pioneered innovative uses of information technology that question information’s relation to state and multinational politics, to gender, to sexuality, and to conventions in visual and acoustic aesthetics. In some cases, these uses have questioned the national and corporate interests that inhere in state advocacy of an “information society” while in other instances, state telecommunications monopolies have been major champions of information-technology-based aesthetics. This project offers a broad survey of the emergence of information arts and new media in a regional East Asian context and within an international and global purview. It locates media experimentation within specific local histories and within the emergent space of globally accessible information art.
SURF-IT Fellow: Tyler Moore
Speaker: André van der Hoek,
Title: SuperSize Me: Visualizing Parallel Workspace Activities on a Next-Generation, Massively-Tiled Display System
Abstract: Large-scale visualizations have been effectively used in many disciplines, but they have never been used to advance the activity of software development itself. The goal of SuperSize Me is to develop an experimental prototype that uses a massive display system to show which project files are modified by whom, where, and by how much. The result will be the first system to display, in a manner scalable to include hundreds of developers worldwide, what is going in a software development project. SuperSize Me brings together the Workspace Activity Viewer software, which shows the activities in a software development project with 3D graphics, and Calit2’s HIPerWall, a display system consisting of 50 tiled screens, which is the world’s largest in terms of available pixels (200 megapixels). The implementation of SuperSize Me requires leveraging existing code in both the Workspace Activity Viewer and HIPerWall. We will examine several software development archives that we have obtained, to understand how projects evolve and, in a way, “live”.
SURF-IT Fellow: Gabriela Marcu