The first coronavirus digital contact-tracing app using OS updates from Google and Apple is now in a large-scale pilot test. Dubbed as SwissCovid, the app is based on the decentralized protocol, where operations that have data privacy implications are not stored or conducted through a centralized server, but on the phone of individual users. Employees at EPFL, ETH Zurich, the Swiss Army, and select hospitals and cantonal administrations can now download the app for tracing contacts at risk of transmission of COVID-19.
Mathias Payer and Hui Peng have developed a USB software security tool called USBFuzz. The researchers plan to release USBFuzz on GitHub as an open source project following their presentation at Usenix.
As the name implies, the international Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing project (DP3T) focuses on data privacy and negates any chance of data being misused by hackers.
The research paper “Who is listening? Spokesperson Effect on Communicating Social and Physical Distancing Measures During the COVID-19 Pandemic” is authored by Andreas Spitz and Ahmad Abu-Akel (Institute of Psychology, University of Lausanne) and Robert West (School of Computer and Communication Sciences, EPFL).
A group of five researchers at EPFL’s Embedded Systems Laboratory (ESL) have developed an artificial intelligence-based system that allows you to record your cough and have it analyzed almost instantly to indicate whether you have COVID-19. In a few weeks’ time, the team will release an app, aptly named Coughvid, which will be available for free and direct download to your devices.
JEDI has appointed a high-profile scientific committee to run the ‘Billion Molecules against COVID-19’ challenge, including Babak Falsafi and Bryan Ford from EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences.
Researchers from EPFL and ETH Zurich have developed a digital contact tracing technology by working closely with a large number of European colleagues. They are now very close to releasing a solution called DP-3T (Decentralized Privacy-Preserving Proximity Tracing).
In a major breakthrough last year, EPFL and the Lausanne University Hospital (CHUV) collaborated to develop a secure software called the MedCo system. The system took shape in the Laboratory for Data Security (LDS), headed by Professor Jean-Pierre Hubaux, and is based on software libraries developed by the Decentralized and Distributed Systems (DEDIS) Lab, headed by Professor Bryan Ford.
To steer clear of false or misinterpreted information during the pandemic, Robert West advises a three-pronged strategy: check the sources of data interpretations and of the data itself; check whether graphs representing coronavirus data are linear or logarithmic; and retain the correct perspective by staying updated about data on the virus.
The nanodevice has the capacity to generate terahertz waves that are 20 times more powerful than any existing device today. That is a revolutionary advancement in the field because terahertz waves, despite their immense potential, are extremely difficult to achieve.
Atri joined EPFL in 2016 and completed his MS in Computer Science in 2018. Since then, he has worked at EPFL in the areas of microarchitectural security and design, and datacenter architectures. Through his years at EPFL, Atri has worked under the supervision of Prof. Babak Falsafi, Prof. Paolo Ienne, and Prof. M. Payer, completing many projects along the way.
Lana Josipović, Shabnam Sheikhha, Andrea Guerrieri, Paolo Ienne (all from EPFL, Processor Architecture Lab), and Jordi Cortadella (from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain) are winners of the Best Paper Award at the 28th ACM/SIGDA International Symposium on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA ’20), which concluded on February 25 at Seaside, California.
The Facebook Fellowship Program, initiated in 2013 and awarded in 21 different categories, encourages and supports doctoral students who are engaged in innovative research on computer science, engineering, and allied domains. The winners for 2020 have been announced, and they include the first-ever awardees from EPFL. Panagiotis Sioulas and Merlin Nimier-David, both PhD students at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences, are winners in the categories of Structured Data Stores and Computer Graphics respectively.
Computer Science is taking rapid strides in realigning itself to advancing technologies. It is beginning to emerge from the cocoon of traditional research to address new challenges posed by avant-garde technologies. In an article published in EPFL Magazine in December 2019, School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) Dean James Larus recorded his candid observations on the current status of the discipline at EPFL and the way forward.
Most discourses on the risks of Artificial Intelligence tend to focus on tech applications that are in the future horizon. The preoccupation with perceived threats such as sentient robots and AI consciousness takes away attention from AI-related issues that are already in the present, affecting simple daily activities such as reading the news, watching YouTube, or using a smartphone app. As School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) researchers Lê Nguyên Hoang and El Mahdi El Mhamdi emphasize in their new book, there is an urgent need to restate ethical questions related to algorithms in computational terms.
Seaside in Monterey County, California, will host the 28th ACM/SIGDA International Symposium on Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA) between February 23 and 25 this year. Recognized as the premier conference for advances in FPGA technology, the symposium draws research papers, tutorial papers on emerging applications and methodologies, and panel discussion proposals. Among the papers being presented at FPGA 2020 are several original submissions and a tutorial paper by computer scientists at EPFL, which comprise a very good representation at the prestigious global event.
Since its establishment in 2016, the EPFL International Risk Governance Center (IRGC) has not only drawn attention to increasingly complex risks that affect society, but also developed mitigation strategies for perceived risks. Given its fundamental role in the risk governance framework at EPFL, the appointment of James Larus, Dean of the School of Computer and Communication Sciences, assumes great significance.
Academia and industry leaders have come together to form the Swiss Datacenter Efficiency Association (SDEA) and announce the first datacenter efficiency label that aims to decarbonize datacenters and significantly reduce energy consumption on data platforms and infrastructures. It has École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) as one of its founding members.
The much anticipated list of Highly Cited Researchers for 2019 is out. Published annually by the Web of Science Group, a Clarivate Analytics company, the list, generally known as the Thomson Reuters list of Highly Cited Researchers, includes scientists who produced multiple papers ranking in the top 1% by citations for their field and year of publication. Among them is Tobias Kippenberg, Full Professor at EPFL’s Institute of Physics and Electrical Engineering and head of the Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements (K-Lab).
EcoCloud welcomes Tobias J. Kippenberg, professor at EPFL’s Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements (K-Lab), among its faculty.
The findings of the research project–including prototypes, benchmarks, and code—will be available as open source releases. That would enable the research community to build on the findings and further improve them over time. Conversely, the end users or developers can access the documentation, reports, and prototypes produced during the research to protect their code.
The research team plans to extend the precision of their weight generator circuit to support DNN applications that require weight precision higher than 4 bits. They are also exploring different types of digital-to-analog converter types for their weight generator circuit. Although the proposed circuit is applicable to any type of neural network, the EPFL researchers aim to benchmark their design with a recurrent neural network (RNN) workload and achieve a significant improvement in performance and energy-efficiency.
An eleven-member jury formed by Swiss business magazine Bilanz has announced the 100 most important heads of Switzerland who are at the forefront of digitization this year. The list of achievers has been sorted into various categories such as investors, blockchainers, scalers, transformers, administrators, drone acrobats, mentors, and data miners. Among the blockchainers is Professor Bryan Ford, who heads the Decentralized and Distributed Systems Lab (DEDIS) at EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences.
The European Research Council (ERC) has awarded a Starting Grant for the open-source research proposal “Code Sanitization for Vulnerability Pruning and Exploitation Mitigation.” The Principal Investigator of the research is Professor Mathias Payer, IC tenure-track assistant professor and head of the HexHive lab on software systems security at EPFL.
After extensive research, Professor Rachid Guerraoui and colleagues at EPFL’s School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) have proposed a nearly zero-energy alternative to the bitcoin. The system, dubbed Byzantine Reliable Broadcast, represents a paradigm shift in the approach toward cryptocurrencies.
Today, we have a slew of media houses and streaming services that inundate consumers with audio, video, online, and print news. This has raised the specter of rampant news misinformation and disinformation. The threat is amplified by broadcasters who use the same source to disseminate news to consumers. Any bias in the original news source is perpetrated by all secondary services, thus delivering a limited view of news to consumers. However, researchers at EPFL’s Distributed Information Systems Laboratory (LSIR) in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences have developed an algorithm that can detect such biases and external influences in the news industry.
Anastasia Ailamaki, professor of Computer and Communication Sciences at EPFL and co-founder of RAW Labs SA, has been honored with the SIGMOD E.F. Codd Innovation Award. The award recognizes her “pioneering work on the architecture of database systems, its interaction with computer architecture, and scientific data management.” She joins a distinguished group of past awardees, all of whom are influential scientists in the field of database management.
The good old roll of the dice is the archetype of randomness. And then there are lottery drawings and competitions where the outcome depends on generating random numbers. However, verifiable randomness, or the lack of predictability, continues to be a deep-rooted problem in cryptography. The newly constituted League of Entropy, with EPFL as a founding member, has decided to tackle the problem head on.
EPFL’s home-grown programming language Scala has won this year’s Programming Languages Software Award. The honor is awarded by ACM SIGPLAN each year to an individual or an institution to recognize the development of a software system that has had a significant impact on programming language research, implementations, and tools. Scala was originally developed by Professor Martin Odersky in 2004 at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC). Professor Odersky now heads the Scala Center, an open-source foundation for the software based at EPFL.
The 2019 Spring Simulation Conference (SpringSim’19) concluded on May 2 at Tucson, Arizona. During the four-day event, many original papers were presented on the theory and practice of modeling and simulation in the scientific and engineering fields. The conference was especially significant for EPFL and EcoCloud because a paper co-authored by PhD scholar Yasir Mahmood Qureshi was selected for the Runner-up Paper Award.