News

Four College of Engineering Projects Receive CITRIS Seed Awards

Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society and the Banatao Institute (CITRIS) at the University of California (UC) recently announced the 2022 CITRIS Seed Awards recipients. The eight selected proposals, submitted by multicampus teams from Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz, will receive up to $60,000 for their work, thanks in part to external philanthropic support. 

‘The Backdrop’ Podcast Features Scholar on How Social Media Algorithms Can Foster Political Radicalization

A new study from UC Davis suggests that artificial intelligence recommendation algorithms on sites like YouTube and TikTok can play a role in political radicalization. The research team trained “sock puppets” — artificial entities that act like users. Each sock puppet was given a series of right- or left-leaning videos to watch every day, and then the team would compare the recommendations on the sock puppet’s homepage to see if its recommended videos gradually became more biased.

Inside the Underground Market for Fake Amazon Reviews

Ph.D. student Rajvardhan Oak stumbled upon an underground market for fake Amazon reviews by accident while scrolling through Facebook. Seedy scam networks are using social media to organize campaigns that influence product ratings. They’re a headache for shoppers—and tough to crack down on.

Matt Bishop Receives Prestigious Honors for Cybersecurity Research and Teaching

Computer Science Professor Matt Bishop recently received two prestigious honors in recognition of his research and teaching: The Taylor L. Booth Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Computer Society and election to the Information Systems Security Association (ISSA) Hall of Fame. Bishop is the first UC Davis faculty member to receive either honor.

“I’m surprised and pleased to receive these honors,” he said. “They speak to my teaching and research, and speak well of both of them.”

Do YouTube Recommendations Foster Political Radicalization?

A new study from UC Davis suggests that AI recommendation algorithms on sites like YouTube and Tik Tok can play a role in political radicalization. If the algorithm sees that a user is watching a lot of biased political videos, the researchers found that it can trap them in a “loop effect,” recommending similarly biased and potentially more extreme content on their homepage and sidebar.

Dipak Ghosal Named CS Department Chair

Professor Dipak Ghosal has been named the next Bucher Family Chair of the UC Davis Department of Computer Science, effective July 1. Ghosal will bring his experience as an award-winning researcher, chair of the Computer Science Graduate Group and an advocate for innovation and entrepreneurship to the role. He succeeds Professor Matt Farrens, who has led the department for the past five years.

Prem Devanbu, Collaborators Receive 2022 ICSE Most Influential Paper Award

In 2012, UC Davis Computer Science Distinguished Professor Prem Devanbu and his collaborators Zhendong Su, Abram Hindle, Earl Barr and Mark Gabel changed the field of software engineering with their paper, “On the Naturalness of Software.” Ten years later, the paper’s legacy has been recognized with a Most Influential Paper Award from the 2022 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).

An Algorithm to Detect Fake News

Computer Science Assistant Professor Jiawei Zhang is developing a neural network that can potentially find, flag and stop inaccurate or misleading articles posing as fact before they spread.

EcoCAR EV Challenge Marks a New Era for UC Davis Engineering

Over the next four years, UC Davis students will be designing the car of the future as part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s EcoCAR Electric Vehicle (EV) Challenge. The competition challenges students to convert a Cadillac LYRIQ EV into an autonomous, next-generation battery-electric vehicle with vehicle-to-everything connectivity so it can interact with devices and the environment.