Latest News

EPFL Scholar Receives ISSS Excellence Award

The ISSS awards only two researches out of the scores of nominations received for consideration from across all Swiss institutes. That emphasizes the novelty of the study by Hamza Harkous.

EPFL Team Wins Distinguished Paper Award at IEEE Meet

The 39th IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy concluded at San Francisco on May 23. It is considered to be one of the most prestigious events in the academic calendar each year as far as computer security and privacy issues are concerned.

Google’s PhD Fellowship for LAP’s Lana Josipović

Last month, Google announced the winners of its PhD Fellowship award for 2018. They include 39 researchers from North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Among them is Lana Josipović, a doctoral student in the Processor Architecture Laboratory led by Professor Paolo Ienne. She has been awarded for her outstanding research in the Systems and Networking domain.

Coming up: 2018 EcoCloud Annual Event

The annual mega event at EcoCloud is just around the corner. In little over a fortnight, the Lausanne Palace Hotel will be a buzz of activity as it hosts the two-day EcoCloud annual event, slated for June 18–19. The venue’s prime location, which offers panoramic views of the city, Lake Geneva, and the magnificent Alps, will be an apt setting for industry experts to share insights on budding data and cloud computing platforms.

EcoCloud Welcomes New Faculty Members

EcoCloud, the EPFL research center that drives today’s cloud computing technologies, warmly welcomes four new professors to its fold. They are Pascal Frossard, Carmela Troncoso, Robert West, and Paolo Ienne.

David Atienza wins IEEE TCCPS Mid-Career Award

Each year, the IEEE Technical Committee on Cyber-Physical Systems (TCCPS) recognizes outstanding scientific contributions under various categories, including the Early- and Mid-Career awards. The winners for 2018 have just been announced by the Committee. Among the awardees is David Atienza, associate professor of electrical engineering and director of the Embedded Systems Laboratory (ESL) at EPFL. He has won the Mid-Career Award for “sustained contributions to thermal processor design and medical wearables.’’

Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias wins IBM PhD Fellowship Award for the Second Year Running

The IBM PhD Fellowship Award, instituted in 1950 to recognize outstanding PhD students who drive innovation, is one of the most sought-after distinctions worldwide. Each year, only a chosen few make it to the elite group. Among the awardees for 2018 is Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias from EPFL’s Laboratory of Decentralized and Distributed Systems. His achievement is all the more creditable because he figured among the awardees for 2017 as well.

Edouard Bugnion to Play Key Role in EPFL-ICRC Alliance

In March 2016, EPFL and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) signed a seminal agreement to establish the Humanitarian Tech Hub. The four-year program has opened many avenues of collaboration between the scientific and humanitarian fields. To further cement that relationship, ICRC has just announced the appointment of EPFL’s Edouard Bugnion to the ICRC Assembly.

Polisis: An AI Eye to Decipher Privacy Policies in Seconds

Web browsing has become almost second nature to us. Each day, we plunge into tens of websites and unwittingly accept their long-winded privacy policies without bothering to peruse their stipulations. This is undoubtedly because those documents are shrouded in legalese too dense and cumbersome to read and digest. Yet, it is a well-known fact that many websites collect, store, and even use the private data that we inadvertently leave behind during our browsing sessions. Disturbingly, such practices are usually protected by the legal jargon contained in their privacy policies. So how do we ascertain the nature of data collected by a website? Is it possible to know how our data will be used by a website even before we start browsing that site?

Building Efficient Causal Consistency Systems: A LABOS-LPD Joint Initiative Funded by EcoCloud

Geo-replication is gaining ground for distributed services because it brings the services closer to the end users, reduces the page-load time, and increases user engagement. It also enables data platforms, such as that of Facebook, to survive data center failures. However, recent work has proven that no distributed data system can assure the best of desirable properties like low-latency access, partition tolerance, and strong consistency.

Scientists Develop 10X Faster Machine Learning Algorithm

Training of large-scale machine-learning models is extremely challenging because the training data is much more than the memory capacity. However, scientists at IBM and EPFL have collaborated to develop a novel scheme that enables the use of accelerators such as GPUs and FPGAs to speed up the training of machine learning models. They presented their findings at the 31st Annual Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) in Long Beach, California.

Dynamic Safe Interruptibility: A Breakthrough in AI

Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are finding new applications across industries. Many tasks that were performed by humans are now being handled by machines, adding efficiency to the output. But what would happen if AI crosses the threshold of human control and makes unilateral decisions? It is a frightening, but highly probable, scenario. In 2014, it prompted Google to consider the idea of a “big red button” to stop dangerous AI in an emergency. However, the challenge is not in being able to stop or interrupt an AI process but in preventing AI from biased learning due to such frequent interruptions. The biased learning can be extremely dangerous in multi-agent systems, where several machines are involved in an AI task.

Anastasia Ailamaki Elevated to IEEE Fellow

Anastasia Ailamaki, Professor and Lab Director at the Data-Intensive Applications and Systems Laboratory (School of Computer and Communication Sciences), has just added another feather to the cap of EPFL’s research excellence. IEEE has included her as IEEE Fellow in the Class of 2018.

Edouard Bugnion Named ACM Fellow

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has named EPFL Professor Edouard Bugnion as ACM Fellow for 2017. This is ACM’s most prestigious member grade where only the crème de la crème of the computing research fraternity find admittance.

ACM Appoints David Atienza as “2017 Distinguished Member”

The digital revolution is now all-pervasive, charting breakthroughs in computing and information technology. Driving that change is a group of leading innovators across the world. Among them is David Atienza, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the Embedded Systems Laboratory at the School of Engineering, EPFL. In recognition of his outstanding scientific contributions to computing, the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has acknowledged him as a “pioneering innovator” and a “2017 Distinguished Member.”

Personalized and Efficient Streaming Is Now Possible, Say ESL Researchers

The widespread availability of video streaming services and the proliferation of smartphones have enabled users to do away with the need to download heavy content and thus save storage space on their devices. But the service provider—be it YouTube, Netflix, or any other—has to face serious challenges in offering a seamless experience to users. Two of the major concerns are storage space on their servers, and the resultant power consumption. Conversely, the user is confronted with challenges like bandwidth issues, unstable streaming flow, and video encoding issues. However, a solution is in the making to enhance the user experience and simultaneously minimize the worries of the service provider.

Breaking the Code: A New Frontier

Providers of payment systems and password-protected applications use advanced computation to ensure security of their services. It is generally accepted that if large numbers are used in developing a code, it becomes extremely difficult to solve the math and break the code. In this process, computation of discrete logarithms plays a crucial part. Until recently, the record for computing a discrete logarithm was in the multiplicative group of a 596-bit prime field. However that has now been surpassed in a collaborative research between EPFL and the University of Leipzig. The team has cracked an extremely lengthy code by using complex mathematical calculations. 

IC Researchers Scale New Frontiers in Computing

In April this year, researchers at EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) gained recognition for exemplary work in computer science. While Vasileios Trigonakis was awarded the 2017 Eurosys Roger Needham Doctoral Dissertation Award, Immanuel Trummer bagged Honorable Mention for the 2017 SIGMOD Jim Gray Doctoral Dissertation Award.

The Move Toward a Decentralized Internet

All our conscious decisions are focused on the extent of control exercised by the stakeholders. This applies to developing a new project, nurturing a new company, or even building communities. Traditionally, the overarching drive in such activities has been the retention of centralized authority. But times are changing, and so is the Internet, with yeomen researches on the benefits of a decentralized system. At the forefront of such researches is the work of PhD scholar and EPFL researcher Lefteris Kokoris-Kogias. His outstanding work has earned him the IBM PhD Fellowship for 2017.

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