UCIC Ambassador Ashley Lujan Wins Women Tech Council Student Pathway Award

Congratulations to our very own UCIC Ambassador, Ashley Lujan, for winning the Women Tech Council Student Pathway Award!

The Women Tech Awards is the premier awards program for women in technology with ties to Silicon Slopes, and has recognized some of the most prestigious and and up-and-coming women throughout the technology industry. By bringing visibility to the women who are creating new technologies, leading technology companies, driving innovation and inspiring the tech community, these awards accelerate their career trajectories, elevate the entire technology sector, and help inspire thousands of high school girls and other women into STEM careers.

Jeff Taylor

Jeff Taylor

Senior Accountant

Accounting and proposals

Faculty Hiring

The Kahlert School of Computing is hiring!

Open House Why PhD

November 3, 3:00pm – 5:00pm Evans Conference Room (3780 WEB) and Zoom

2023 Organick Lecture Series

Elizabeth Churchill

Senior Director of UX at Google

The past, present, and future of Human Computer Interaction

Abstract: Since computers were first developed, scholars have been working on how to make them more usable and more useful. The early days of human computer interaction (HCI) as a field of study focused on making computers more usable for technical users, not for everyday users. This led to the development of text-based command-line interfaces (CLIs) which are still very much in use today. As computers started appearing in offices and homes in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and were taken up by non-technical users, graphical user interfaces (GUIs) began to emerge. GUIs were much more intuitive and user-friendly than CLIs, and they quickly became the standard for interacting with computers.

GUIs are still the most used form of interaction for our everyday personal and work devices, but new modalities such as voice, gesture, and touch are becoming increasingly popular as new interactive devices emerge. These include wearables, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR). Further, we are seeing that AI-driven, “under-the-hood” capabilities are changing the nature of interaction with digital information, which in turn will drive change in how we interact with our devices. As hardware and software continues to evolve, new ways of interacting with–indeed collaborating with–computers will emerge.

In this talk, I will offer a personal view of the past, present, and future of human computer interaction as a field of study. I will share some case studies from my own work, talk about what excites me about the future landscape, and will reflect on key challenges facing us all. In today’s world the study of human computer interaction is not just for scholars, it is everybody’s business.

Watch Lecture

A special thanks to our dinner sponsors:

Utah Data Science Day 2024

Friday January 12, 2024 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm | Union Ballroom | Host or share something during the afternoon research expo!

1st Mountain West Undergraduate Research Showcase in Computing

We invite all undergraduate students in the Mountain West region pursuing research in computing to the first Mountain West Undergraduate Research Showcase on:
2–5pm, Friday, November 17th
WEB 2250, University of Utah

Blue sky with clouds.

Amazon awards $50K to Prof. Anton Burtsev to Develop Atmosphere, a Secure and Reliable Operating System

Kahlert School of Computing Assistant Professor Anton Burtsev is a recipient of the 2023 Amazon Research Award for his research aimed at developing a new operating system, Atmosphere, that utilizes advances in programming languages and formal verification for constructing a formally verified operating system kernel. The $50K grant is one of 28 selected in the Automated Reasoning category.

“A grant from Amazon illustrates the potential of Prof. Burtsev’s research for large-scale, practical impact on the challenges faced by industry,” said Prof. Mary Hall, Director of the Kahlert School of Computing.

Headshot of Professor Anton Burtsev
Prof. Anton Burtsev

The exclusive authority of an operating system kernel makes it an attractive target for security attacks. Given the reliance on the large trusted computing base of the kernel, the entire system is at risk without the secure foundation provided by a kernel, even if application logic is verified.  With the $50K grant from Amazon, Prof.  Burtsev will address the challenge of developing an operating system, called Atmosphere, that is provably secure and reliable. Today, lacking security guarantees, industry-standard kernels make nearly every current computer system on the planet vulnerable to attacks that attempt to exploit these problems.

Modern operating system kernels are inherently complex. A typical kernel must adhere to multiple allocation, synchronization, access control, and object lifetime conventions. As a result, the code for the kernel is routinely affected by the introduction of bugs and vulnerabilities. The root causes of these vulnerabilities include logical and design errors related to low-level reasoning about intricate details of object lifetimes and synchronization, integer and buffer overflows, improper memory remapping, improper handling of uninitialized and freed data, missing pointer and permission checks, division by zero, infinite loops, and data races.

To address these challenges, Atmosphere leverages recent advances in the field of automated formal verification. Atmosphere will be developed in a safe language, Rust, that provides the foundation for lightweight, fine-grained isolation of traditionally monolithic kernel subsystems. Lightweight isolation enables new compartmentalized kernel organization that creates the foundation for modular verification. The system is structured as a collection of isolated subsystems that do not share state. The simplification of the verification of programming languages in Atmosphere is centered around the idea of restricted ownership discipline implemented by Rust. To that end, Atmosphere leverages a recent verification toolchain, Verus, that implements Dafny-like verification for Rust.

The ability to develop verified code at a speed that is comparable to traditional non-verified development enables a new level of trust in the software we use on a daily basis. "It took 20 person-years to develop the first fully-verified microkernel, seL4. We hope, however, that advances in automated verification would allow us to build a similar system in only a fraction of the time," Prof. Burtsev said.

Kahlert School of Computing’s Prashant Pandey Earns Early Career Award for High Performance Computing

Supercomputers, massive machines can compute nearly-incomprehensible amounts of data in a blink of an eye, can anticipate complex weather patterns, simulate entire ecosystems, or explore how galaxies are created. And although these feats are far beyond what human minds alone could calculate, for supercomputers to continue to push the boundaries of knowledge requires individuals who are every bit as dynamic and innovative.