Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

EECS in the News

Digital democracy: will 2015 be the last paper-based general election?

There is a growing call for on-line voting in the UK with Estonia's system seen by some as a model, as discussed in this article in The Telegraph. However, work by Prof. J. Alex Halderman and others, including Halderman's 2014 assessment of the Estonian systems, point to major risks in the system [Full Story]

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

US hospitals to treat medical device malware with AC power probes

This article in The Register highlights plans for testing in two hospitals of a system that can detect malware infections on medical equipment by monitoring AC power consumption. Former CSE postdoc Denis Foo Kune developed the technology, called WattsUpDoc, with Prof. Kevin Fu and others while at Michigan. They have commercialized it through their startup, Virta Labs. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Fu, Kevin  Lab-ACAL  Medical Device Security  

13 Of 2015s Hottest Topics In Computer Science Research

In this contributed piece on Forbes, Prof. Igor Markov presents his view of where computer science research will be focused in the near term. It's a list worth reviewing! [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-ACAL  Markov, Igor  

At 50 Years Old, The Challenge To Keep Up With Moores Law

NPRs All Tech Considered: Fifty years ago this week, a chemist in what is now Silicon Valley published a paper that set the groundwork for the digital revolution. That man was Gordon Moore. Moores Law is all about electronic miniaturization, and the article talks about the worlds smallest computer, the Michigan Micro Mote, currently on display at the Computer History Museum. [Full Story]

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

The Crazy-Tiny Next Generation of Computers

This article in Medium describes Prof. Prabal Dutta's interest in Smart Dust - a network of tiny, sensor-enabled autonomous computers - and its ability to to measure everyday data to solve issues of critical sustainability. It traces how he began collaborating with Profs. David Blaauw and Dennis Sylvester on the development of the Michigan Micro Mote (M3), which is now the world's smallest and first millimeter scale computer. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Dutta, Prabal  Internet of Things  Lab-ACAL  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  

Machine politics: Electronic voting and the persistent doubts about its integrity

Prof. J. Alex Halderman and his collaborator Dr. Vanessa Teague are interviewed on Up Close, the research talk show from the University of Melbourne, about their work in investigating the iVote system recently used in New South Wales and about the security challenges of electronic voting in general. [Full Story]

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

OpenSource.com: A case for predictable databases

Prof. Barzan Mozafari is interviewed in this Q&A on OpenSource.com about his open source DBSeer and DBSherlock database tools, and about guaranteeing a consistent and predictable level of performance is cloud-based database systems [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Cloud Computing  Lab-Software Systems  Mozafari, Barzan  

This is the worlds smallest computer

CBS News did a video and story about the Michigan Micro Mote (M3), which is the world's smallest computer and the world's first millimeter scale computer. "As the Internet of Things (IoT) gets bigger, the Michigan team is pushing to make computers ever smaller." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Internet of Things  Lab-ACAL  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Millimeter-scale Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  

Why you arent voting for Chicago mayor from a smartphone

This article in the Chicago Tribune summarizes why Chicago voters won't be casting online votes in April 7's mayoral runoff election. Although other transactions can be accomplished by smartphone, "the shape of the problem is fundamentally different than things we routinely do online today," says Prof. J. Alex Halderman in the article. [Full Story]

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

The Hackathon Fast Track, From Campus to Silicon Valley

This article in the New York Times examines the phenomenon of hackathons and how they have become a new fast track to success in the tech industry. Quoted are CS major and director of the past two MHacks, Vikram Rajagopalan, as well as David Fontenot, a former MHacks director. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Undergraduate Students  

Smart Phone Apps: An Interview with Prof. Georg Essl (in German)

Prof. Georg Essl is interviewed on German public radio (WDR) on the subject of smart phone apps and their potential as musical instruments. The interview includes numerous musical examples from Essl's Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Essl, Georg  Lab-Interactive Systems  Michigan Mobile Phone Ensemble  Mobile Computing  

Our Data, Our Health. A Future Tense Event Recap.

This blog posting on Slate addresses threats to medical device security and highlights the thoughts of Prof. Kevin Fu on the matter. Prof. Fu directs the Archimedes Medical Device Research Center at Michigan. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Fu, Kevin  Lab-ACAL  Medical Device Security  Security (Computing)  

Probing the Whole Internet for Weak Spots

This article in MIT Technology Review profiles the work of CSE graduate student Zakir Durumeric. Durumeric led in the development of ZMap, the software capable of probing the entire public Internet in less than an hour. Through the use of ZMap, Durumeric was first person to realize the scope of the FREAK flaw. His use of ZMap was also pivotal to researchers' understanding of the recent Heartbleed flaw. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  

ECE spinoff Arborlight gets $1.7M in VC funding to commercialize new lighting technology

"Arborlight wants every indoor space to be able to reap the benefits of natural -- or as close to natural -- sunlight, and thanks to a $1.7 million venture capital investment, the company is one step closer to that goal." Arborlight is co-founded by Prof. P.C. Ku. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Ku, Pei-Cheng (P.C.)  Technology Transfer  

U-M Develops Controls for Bipedal Robots with Model-Based Design

Developing a two-legged robot capable of walking and running like a human is a key goal for robotics researchers. In 2011, Professor Jessy Grizzle and a small team of Ph.D. students advanced toward that goal with MABEL, a bipedal robot that could run a nine-minute mile and regain its balance after negotiating an eight-inch step. When MABEL's successor, MARLO, needed new coding, the researchers moved away from hand-coding, and used Model-Based Design with MATLAB and Simulink to speed up the development of real-time control systems for MARLO and other bipedal robots. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Robotics and Computer Vision  

Voice Control Will Force an Overhaul of the Whole Internet

This article in Wired reports on Sirius, the open-source personal digital assistant released by Profs. Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang and graduate student Johann Hauswald. It focused in in the projects underlying thrust: that the data centers of today are not built to accommodate the voice-based data loads of tomorrow. Sirius is a tool that will help researchers to understand the needs of next-generation data centers. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Cloud Computing  Computer Architecture  Data Centers  Lab-ACAL  Mars, Jason  Tang, Lingjia  

Critical iVote security flaws expose risk of online voting fraud

This article in CNet covers the discovery of a security flaw in the the online voting system used in New South Wales during the current election. The researchers included Prof. J. Alex Halderman and Dr. Vanessa Teague of the University of Melbourne. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  

Australian online voting system may have FREAK bug

This article in The Register covers the discovery of a security flaw in the the online voting system used in New South Wales during the current election. The researchers included Prof. J. Alex Halderman and Dr. Vanessa Teague of the University of Melbourne. [Full Story]

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

NSW election result could be challenged over iVote security flaw

This article in The Guardian covers the discovery of a security flaw in the the online voting system used in New South Wales during the current election. The researchers included Prof. J. Alex Halderman and Dr. Vanessa Teague of the University of Melbourne. [Full Story]

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

Edwin Olson: Driverless Cars (radio interview)

In this radio interview on Newstalk ZB in New Zealand, Prof. Edwin Olson discusses the future of autonomous vehicles, how autonomy might be introduced into the marketplace, and M City, the automated test track for autonomous vehicle research and testing at Michigan. [Full Story]

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

Researchers just built a free, open-source version of Siri

This article in VentureBeat reports on Sirius, the open-source intelligent personal assistant software introduced by CSE Profs. Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang, along with graduate student Johann Hauswald. It focuses on the open-source nature of Sirius and quotes the researchers regarding its possibilities. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Cloud Computing  Computer Architecture  Data Centers  Lab-ACAL  Mars, Jason  Tang, Lingjia  

Engineers Bring A New Open-Source Siri To Life

This article in readwrite reports on Sirius, the open-source intelligent personal assistant software introduced by CSE Profs. Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang, along with graduate student Johann Hauswald. It focuses in part on the open-source nature of Sirius and the potential that creates for anyone to create a customized personal assistant. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Cloud Computing  Computer Architecture  Data Centers  Lab-ACAL  Mars, Jason  Tang, Lingjia  

Free Sirius One-Ups Siri

This article in EE Times reports on Sirius, the open-source intelligent personal assistant software introduced by CSE Profs. Jason Mars and Lingjia Tang, along with graduate student Johann Hauswald. The article focuses in part on Sirius's ability to process photos. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Cloud Computing  Computer Architecture  Data Centers  Lab-ACAL  Mars, Jason  Tang, Lingjia  

What You Tweet Might Tell Janet Yellen Its Time to Raise Rates

Economists at the Fed are looking into whether non-traditional data could improve the accuracy and timeliness of the forecasts they put before monetary-policy decision makers about every six weeks. This could include Prof. Mike Cafarella's social media tool that monitors tweets to create an index of initial claims for unemployment. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Big Data  Cafarella, Michael  Lab-Software Systems  Social Media  

Sirius Is the Google-Backed Open Source Siri

This article in Motherboard discusses Sirius, the open-source digital assistant developed by CSE researchers, its ability to process images, its open-source roots, and ultimately reflects on its utility versus a past attempt in this realm. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Cloud Computing  Computer Architecture  Data Centers  Lab-ACAL  Mars, Jason  Tang, Lingjia  

Chappie ponders future of humans in a world run on artificial intelligence

Prof. Satinder Singh Baveja is quoted in this article in The Washington Times on the emergence of artificial intelligence and the need for controls to be established before AI can operate independently of human oversight. [Full Story]

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

Security Concerns Raised Regarding Clinton Offices Use of Private Email

Prof. J. Alex Halderman is quoted regarding security concerns in this Al Jazeera America article on Hillary Clinton's use of a private email service while in office as Secretary of State. Prof. Halderman has previously demonstrated vulnerabilities in the security of a number of trusted systems, including airport body scanners and electronic voting systems. [Full Story]

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

Outdated Encryption Keys Leave Phones Vulnerable to Hackers

Prof. J. Alex Halderman and CSE graduate student Zakir Durumeric have used their ZMap scanning software to determine that of the 14 million web sites worldwide that offer encryption, more than 5 million remain vulnerable to the FREAK encryption flaw as of March 4. Prof. Halderman is quoted on the danger of weak crypto and "back doors" in this New York Times article on the subject. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  Security (national and personal safety)  

Researchers Map Extent of FREAK Security Flaw

Prof. J. Alex Halderman and CSE graduate student Zakir Durumeric have used their ZMap scanning software to determine that of the 14 million web sites worldwide that offer encryption, more than 5 million remain vulnerable to the FREAK encryption flaw as of March 4. The U-M researchers are part of a broad effort that has demonstrated the dangers inherent in the older 512-bit encryption code that is still in use. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lab-Software Systems  Security (Computing)  Security (national and personal safety)  

Careers in Robotics: Spotlight on the University of Michigan

This article in Robotics Business Review takes a look at robotics research at Michigan, in particular the work in perception and autonomy that is being conducted by Profs. Edwin Olson and Ryan Eustice. It also examines how that research is a key ingredient in the work to be done on autonomous vehicles at Michigan's new Mobility Transportation Center. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Autonomous Vehicles   Lab-Artificial Intelligence  Olson, Edwin  Robotics and Computer Vision  

Robots In Our Image

If two-legged locomotion is the next frontier for robotics, Prof. Jessy Grizzle and his team are setting the standard for graceful, human-like walking by robots. He talks about his own robot, MARLO, in the context of the upcoming DARPA Robotics Challenge. MARLO is not entered, but is making great strides here at the University of Michigan. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Control Systems  Grizzle, Jessy  Robotics and Computer Vision  

Cooking robot may offer artificial culinary intelligence

Prof. Jason Corso was asked to comment on research that involved the use of artificial intelligence to provide robots with the ability to recognize objects and learn actions by watching humans. In this case, the robot was watching a video. He said it is possible to reconstruct the 3D environment (2D space plus time) that is being shown in the video. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Artificial Intelligence  Corso, Jason  Lab-Artificial Intelligence  

Distinguished University Professor lecture involves walking robots

Despite tremendous advances in the field of two-legged robots during the past few decades, bipedal machines are a long way from impersonating, much less improving upon, the human gait. In his inaugural lecture as the Elmer G. Gilbert Distinguished University Professor of Engineering, Jessy Grizzle will discuss the efforts underway in his lab to close this gap. All are welcome at the lecture, Feb. 4 at 4pm in the Rackham Amphitheatre. A reception will follow in the Assembly Hall. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Grizzle, Jessy  

Coding For Kids: Teaching Girls, Minorities To Program Important For A Diverse Tech Workforce

This story on the International Business Times website speaks about creating a new generation of programmers by reaching out to demographics that historically haven't considered coding as a profession. In it, Prof. Elliot Soloway says, "Coding is about giving kids the new pencil and paper, it's giving them the new typewriter, the new tool to say things that they couldn't say before." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Interactive Systems  Programming  Soloway, Elliot  

How drones and insects merged in ways that might surprise you

Michigan is designing the microelectronics that are the eyes, ears, and brains of the tiny insect-like drones being developed under the Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST) collaborative. The research at Michigan is part of the Center for Objective Microelectronics & Biomemetic Advanced Technology, directed by Prof. Kamal Sarabandi. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics  Lab-Radiation (RADLAB)  MEMS and Microsystems  Sarabandi, Kamal  

Arborlight: LED-Based Skylights and Sunshine in Real Time

Prof. Pei-cheng Ku is a co-founder of the startup company Arborlight, which promises the benefits of a window or skylight in offices where neither is available. Xconomy reports that their "Lightwell product looks and behaves just like a skylight. It tunes to geography and time, tracking the position of the sun throughout the day, mimicking the varying color, intensity, and directionality of daylight as normally experienced through traditional windows and skylights." [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Ku, Pei-Cheng (P.C.)  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Technology Transfer  

Stryd, co-founded by Prof. Robert Dick, about to launch wearable technology for runners

Prof. Robert Dick is co-founder of Stryd, a startup company that is getting ready to launch what they are calling the worlds first wearable power meter for runners. The device promises to help runners improve efficiency, monitor individual progress, and simplify training. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Dick, Robert  Embedded Computing and Systems  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Technology Transfer  

Olson on Mobility Transformation Facility

In this audio interview, Prof. Edwin Olson speaks about the 36-acre Mobility Transformation Facility at Michigan and his work in developing and testing technologies for use in autonomous vehicles. [Full Story]

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

Talking Book trial to help poorest of poor in Ghana

[BBC News: Nov 20] Hundreds of handheld audio computers, called Talking Books, are to be given to some of Ghana's poorest communities to help spread potentially life-saving information. Leading the low power chip design for the devices at Michigan are Profs. David Blaauw and Peter Chen. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Chen, Peter  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  

Can Hackers Get Into Your Pacemaker?

Prof. Kevin Fu is quoted in this article in The Atlantic, which summarizes a number of factors that contribute toward vulnerabilities in medical devices like insulin pumps, defibrillators, fetal monitors, and scanners. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Fu, Kevin  Lab-ACAL  Lab-Software Systems  Medical Device Security  Security (Computing)  

Ambiq Micro Announces $15 Million Funding Round

ECE startup Ambiq Micro, a leader in ultra-low power integrated circuits for power-sensitive applications, announced that is has closed a $15 million Series C funding round to accelerate the development and marketing of its SPOT (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology) platform. [More about Ambiq Micro] [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Technology Transfer  

Technological implants will allow us to improve our bodily functions

Trans-humanism isn't just about appearance. Bulky night-vision goggles have been used for years by the armed forces, but scientists at the University of Michigan [Prof. Zhaohui Zhong and his group] recently unveiled technology that could lead to contact lenses that allow the wearer to see in the dark. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Graphene  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Wearable electronics  Zhong, Zhaohui  

Estonia has online voting. Should the United States?

Vox takes a look at voting in Estonia, a country that is an early adopter of online voting. The article notes that the convenience of the system is outweighed by the security risks inherent in such systems and references the work done by Prof. J. Alex Halderman in exposing weaknesses in the Estonian system and in an earlier proposed system in Washington DC. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Digital Democracy  Halderman, J. Alex  Security (Computing)  

Hackers Could Decide Who Controls Congress Thanks to Alaskas Terrible Internet Ballots

In today's elections, Alaska will use its first-in-the-nation Internet voting system in today's mid-term elections -- a move that top security experts, including Prof. J. Alex Halderman, consider a security nightmare that could put control of the US Congress in the hands of hackers. More in this article at The Intercept. [Full Story]

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

Decode DC: The Future of Voting. Prof J. Alex Halderman Interviewed on Electronic Voting

In this podcast, host Andrea Seabrook and Decode DC reporter Miranda Green explore the potential benefits and risks of on-line voting. Coming down in the side of caution is Prof. J. Alex Halderman, who has demonstrated security vulnerabilities in voting systems worldwide and who says that "the problem with voting and computer technology is that hackers can change the election result to be whatever they want." [Full Story]

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

Rise of e-voting is inevitable, as is risk of hacking

As elections approach in both Canada and the US, more municipalities are considering the use of Internet voting or electronic voting machines. This article in the Globe and Mail describes some of the risks associated with this trend and references the work that was done during the last national election cycle when Prof. J. Alex Halderman and his students hacked the proposed Washington DC Internet voting system. [Full Story]

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

New Jersey e-vote experiment after Sandy declared a disaster

This article in Aljazeera America details research into the security of electronic voting that was taken up in New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy. Prof. J. Alex Halderman is quoted in long form in the article. [Full Story]

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

UM Professor Named one of Brilliant 10 for Building Energy Scavenging Sensors

Prof. Prabal Dutta was interviewed on Michigan Radio's Stateside segment regarding his work on energy scavenging sensors, called smart dust, that won't need batteries to operate. Listen to the interview here. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Dutta, Prabal  Internet of Things  Lab-ACAL  Sensors  

Prof. Kevin Fu Answers Your Questions About Medical Device Security

in this Slashdot posting, Prof. Fu answers submitted questions about the security of medical devices, with subjects ranging from attack surfaces for drug-administering pumps to what to do if you've been the recipient of a hackable implant. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Software Systems  

3 Lessons American Districts Can Learn From Foreign Schools

THE Journal reviews new approaches to learning that US K-12 schools are investigating, including work by Prof. Elliot Soloway into the use of smartphones as educational aids. Prof. Soloway has worked with schools in Singapore on an inquiry-based approach to learning that employs mobile technology, and he is now working to bring this same approach back to local schools. [Full Story]

Related Topics:  Lab-Interactive Systems  Soloway, Elliot  Technology for Education