Category: UCTV

We, The People

Sick of politics? Given the nastiness of the midterm elections, it’s no wonder. But for a refreshing change of pace, check out UCSD’s Conference on Ethics, Transparency and Civility. The three-part series features elected Democrats and Republicans candidly sharing what it’s like to serve in office and how most members do get along with one another but are frustrated by outsiders who tar them as eternal adversaries. This series debunks common stereotypes of politicians as members of the San Diego City Council, the California State Legislature and the U.S. Congress swap stories with political activists and UC San Diego professors about their challenges in carrying out the people’s business.

1754 UC San Diego Conference on Ethics, Transparency and Civility Part One: Ethics


1754 UC San Diego Conference on Ethics, Transparency and Civility Part Two: Transparency


1754 UC San Diego Conference on Ethics, Transparency and Civility Part Three: Civility


If you’re not sick of politics quite yet, check out our collection of videos in Politics.

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Supercomputing and the Nobel Prize

8232Sometimes research worthy of the Nobel prize requires NERSC.

NERSC? — National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center. It’s home to extremely powerful, extremely fast and extremely accurate computing and just turned 40. They celebrated the anniversary with a look at the research behind four Nobel Prizes:

George Smoot, UC Berkeley – 2006 Nobel Prize for Physics
Cosmic microwave background radiation

Saul Perlmutter, UC Berkeley – 2011 Nobel Prize for Physics
The expanding universe

Martin Karplus, Harvard – 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
The courses of chemical reactions

Warren Washington, National Center for Atmospheric Research – 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change; Man-made climate change

What does it take to be called a supercomputer? Edison, the newest computer at NERSC, boasts 322 terabytes of memory, 124,608 processing cores, 462 terabytes per second of global memory bandwidth, 11 terabytes per second bisection bandwidth, and 7.56 petabytes of disk storage. That’s a lot of computer!

Watch A Perspective on Biology featuring John Kuriyan from Martin Karplus’ team as he describes the research that led to the 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

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Cyber Security: Planes, Trains and Automobiles

8232The first known use of the term “cyber security” was in 1994, yet 20 years later, it has become a powerful new field of academic research and public fascination.

In an era of ‘black hats’, denial-of-service attacks, worms, viruses and Edward Snowden, society is increasingly turning to computer scientists for solutions. While much of the debate has centered on cyber crime, surveillance and securing the Internet as we know it, computer scientists at UC San Diego see new threats arising as cyber security threats make their way into cyber-physical systems – those real-world systems that rely heavily on computers and networking to get things done. Like the electrical power grid, or the wireless communications infrastructure, there is growing evidence that the global transportation infrastructure faces escalating new security threats.

“…you don’t think of your car as being software version 3.1, but it is…these are fundamentally computers, it’s just that they’re computers that control a two-ton vehicle that we have hurtling forward with us in it at 75 miles an hour.”

- Stefan Savage: Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Department, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Chair of the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department at UC San Diego Rajesh Gupta, an expert in cyber-physical systems, hosts two renowned cyber security experts from the computer-science faculty in UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering: Prof. Stefan Savage, and Prof. Hovav Shacham.

Since 2010, Prof. Savage and his team, including colleagues from the University of Washington, have generated controversy and debate over public policy after they demonstrated the vulnerability of modern automobiles to attack from hackers who can take advantage, directly or remotely, of internal as well as external digital components and systems in today’s cars.

Most recently, Prof. Shacham uncovered surprising security vulnerabilities involving the full-body backscatter, X-ray scanners deployed at entrances to airports, train stations and other public places.

“…passengers are going through a variety of devices…every single one of these devices…is a computer…we found the software is replaceable, our machine ran DOS, it ran Windows, it had no kind of access control on it…these were designed and evaluated in secret…either they found the same flaws we did…or in their testing they didn’t find these flaws…”

- Hovav Shacham: Professor, Computer Science and Engineering Department, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

So just how vulnerable is the global transportation infrastructure to cyber attack? Can computer science short-circuit attacks before they inconvenience or risk the lives of drivers, airline passengers and other consumers? And what can computer scientists proactively do to prevent future attacks… or will cyber security always be a reaction to new threats as they arise?

Watch Cyber Security: Planes, Trains and Automobiles to learn more, and stay tuned for more in the Computing Primetime series.

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Computer Models Aid Scientific Discovery

8232When things are too big, too small or impossible to manipulate safely, scientists turn to computer models to reproduce the behavior of natural and man-made systems.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s popular series, Field Trip in the Lab, returns with four new lectures that look at research enabled by computational modeling. Each lecture highlights cutting-edge science presented by leading Lab researchers who are joined by master high school science teachers.

This year’s topics include exploring nature via computer simulation; fusion modeling; menacing microbes; and simulating the human heart on the world’s fastest supercomputer.

1761Computer Simulations: Exploring Nature with a Computer
Computer simulation reproduces the behavior of natural and man-made systems to help us understand, predict, and communicate. Vic Castillo, a research engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, shows how computer simulation is used by LLNL scientists.

1761Fusion Modeling: Using Big Computers to Understand One of the Universes Biggest Secrets
Postdoctoral Fellow Frederico Fiuza discusses the challenges associated with fusion modeling, and how the outstanding computational resources and advanced computer graphics at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory help us to create a miniature Sun on Earth.

1761Menacing Microbes: Protein Models Reveal Secrets
Protein modeling is a computational tool that researchers use to see microbial proteins. Using LLNL’s high performance computational capabilities, 3D models are created of microbial proteins, providing visual tools to expose microbial secrets.

1761The Cardioid Project: Simulating the Human Heart on the World’s Fastest Supercomputer
Computational physicist David Richard describes how to build a computer model of a human heart, starting from an individual cell and then using data from an actual person to create a realistic representation of a beating heart.

Lectures and demonstrations are targeted to middle and high school students which makes them perfect for anyone curious about the amazing work made possible by fast computers with substantial calculation power.

The University of California is a partner in Lawrence Livermore National Security, which manages Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a premier research and development institution for science and technology.

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Sharks Without Borders: A Binational Effort to Study and Conserve Threatened Shark Species

8232Sharks have been around, essentially unchanged, for 400 million years. Their size, power, and massive jaws fill us with terror and fascination. And even though sharks kill fewer people than dogs each year, media coverage and movies of shark attacks have portrayed them as insatiable killing machines.

They may rule the ocean, but sharks are vulnerable. They grow slowly, produce few young, and are exceptionally susceptible to overfishing. Sharks are being depleted faster than they can reproduce. This threatens the stability of marine ecosystems around the world. A healthy and abundant ocean depends on predators like sharks keeping ecosystems balanced.

Sharks migrating between California and Baja California, Mexico, are threatened by commercial fishing activity in both countries. Join Scripps shark expert Dan Cartamil as he explores the ecology and behaviors of these fascinating animals, and discusses the issues relevant to the sustainability of our local shark populations.

Watch Sharks Without Borders: A Binational Effort to Study and Conserve Threatened Shark Species.

Browse more programs in the Perspectives on Ocean Science series, taped at Birch Aquarium at Scripps since 2001.

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