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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.

Prem Devanbu wins Alexander von Humboldt Research Award

Computer Science Distinguished Professor Prem Devanbu received the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Research Award in recognition of his accomplishments in research and teaching. Each year, the award recognizes world-renowned researchers from all disciplines whose fundamental discoveries, theories and findings have had a lasting effect on their field. The awardees are then invited to German institutions as visiting scholars.

Using Jewelry to Communicate

The face already plays an important role in communication, but a group of UC Davis computer scientists led by Ph.D. student Shuyi Sun is taking this to the next level. The team is designing facial jewelry that can use signals from a person’s facial muscles to send wireless commands to at-home devices like Alexa and Google Home. By reading a user’s conscious and unconscious gestures, the technology has the potential to help silently operate lights or other devices or discreetly send messages to get out of potentially dangerous situations.

Jason Lowe-Power Receives NSF CAREER Award

Computer Science Assistant Professor Jason Lowe-Power received the prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (NSF CAREER) Award this year, the agency’s highest honor for young faculty. The award recognizes those with the potential to be leaders in their fields and funds five-year research and education projects that should serve as the foundation for their careers.

Coding for Two Audiences: Humans and Computers

Software code is written to be read by both computers and humans. Machines quickly and perfectly understand the computational meaning, while humans read it the same way they read natural language: not as quickly and sometimes incorrectly. With a new $1.2M three-year NSF-funded project, a group of software engineers and social scientists at UC Davis will leverage this bimodality to develop tools that make writing, reading and maintaining code easier and improve the overall programming experience.

UC Davis Student Builds COVID-19 Vaccine Appointment Notification System to Increase Vaccinations in India

As the pandemic surged in spring 2021, third-year computer science major Shrey Sheladia used the programming skills he learned at UC Davis to help increase India’s vaccination rate. For four months, Sheladia ran an online notification program that helped more than 40,000 people in India receive COVID-19 vaccines by alerting them when a vaccine appointment was available.