EECS Announcements

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Updated: 5 weeks 13 hours ago

BiasBusters at the Community Grants Showcase

April 5, 2017 - 09:43

BiasBusters @ Cal EECS will make a presentation at this year's Community Grants Showcase:  Changing Social Norms on April 19, 2017.  BiasBusters @ Cal EECS focuses on engaging EECS faculty, staff, and students to shift culture and increase the inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in our community.   The program, modeled on Google’s Bias Busting @ Work program, was initiated by Director of Diversity and Achievement Tiffany Reardon and is organized by graduate students Vasuki Swamy and Regina Eckert.  Regular workshops are led by volunteers in the EECS community who have been trained as program facilitators in an effort to promote self-awareness about unconscious bias and teach how to address it in our department and daily lives.  The grant was sponsored by the PATH to Care Center with support from the Violence Prevention Collaborative.

The Beauty & Joy of Computing featured in the New York Times

April 5, 2017 - 09:13

Dr. Daniel Garcia and his course "CS10: The Beauty and Joy of Computing" (BJC) are featured in a New York Times article about curricula designed to develop computational thinking in students.  The article, titled "Learning to Think Like a Computer," covers strategies at a number of top institutions and highlights BJC, a CS course for nonmajors which focuses on the abstract principles underpinning computing instead of just teaching students to code.  “The idea of abstraction,” Dan says, “is to hide the details.”  Concealing layers of information makes it possible to get at the intersections of things, improving aspects of a complicated system without understanding and grappling with each part.  The abstraction of computational thinking allows advances without having to redesign from scratch and offers a new language and orientation to tackle problems in many other areas of life.

Paper authored by EECS alumni receives 2017 NSDI Test-of-Time Award.

April 4, 2017 - 12:27

The paper “X-Trace: A Pervasive Network Tracing Framework”, authored by EECS alumi Rodrigo Fonseca (Ph.D. ’08) and George Porter (Ph.D. ’08) and Professors Randy Katz, Scott Shenker, and Ion Stoica, has received the 2017 Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI) Test-of-Time Award. X-Trace was not the first tracing framework, but it was influential given that it was effectively the first framework for end-to-end tracing to focus on generality and pervasiveness. The researchers implemented X-Trace in protocols and software systems, and in their prize-winning paper, they set out to explain three different use scenarios: domain name system (DNS) resolution; a three-tiered photo-hosting website; and a service accessed through an overlay network.

Charles Bordenave awarded the Prix Marc Yor by the SMAI, France

April 4, 2017 - 11:54

Charles Bordenave, an EECS/Statistics postdoc (Sept. 06-07) has been awarded thePrix Marc Yor by the Société de Mathématiques Appliquées et Industrielles (SMAI) of France. Charles Bordenave was an EECS/Statistics postdoc co-supervised by Prof. Venkatachalam Anantharam (EECS) and Prof. David Aldous (Statistics) and is currently with the French National Center for Scientific Research, the largest governmental research organization in France. This award is given to people under the age of 40 who have practiced in France for at least 5 years. Bordenave is recognized for his works of great scope, creative and stimulating, whose contributions to the theories of random graphs and large random matrices are brilliant and profoundly original.

Radhika Mittal and Sam Chiu-Wai Wong win 2017 Google PhD Fellowships

April 4, 2017 - 11:30

Graduate students Radhika Mittal (advisors: Sylvia Ratnasamy and Scott Shenker) and Sam Chiu-Wai Wong (advisor: Christos Papadimitriou) have won 2017 Google PhD Fellowships. This is one of the highest honors available for Computer Science graduate students.  Each selected university is permitted to nominate two students and Google awards approximately 15 named fellowships per year.  Radhika, whose area is Computer Networking, was awarded a Microsoft Research Graduate Women’s Scholarship in 2013.  Sam, who is interested in the area of Algorithms and Complexity, won Best Paper at the IEEE FOCS Symposium in 2015 and has been awarded an IBM Scholarship.

Valerie Taylor named Director of Argonne National Lab’s Math & CS Division

March 29, 2017 - 13:54

Alumna Valerie Taylor (EE M.S. '86/Ph.D. '91) has been appointed the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.  Taylor has received numerous awards for distinguished research and leadership and authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in the area of high performance computing, with a focus on performance analysis and modeling of parallel scientific applications.  Argonne’s MCS Division produces next-generation technologies and software to tackle the challenges of big data generated by high-performance computing and large, experimental facilities.

Tsu-Jae King Liu talks chip efficiency on Moore's Law Panel

March 24, 2017 - 12:48

EE Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, who participated in a semiconductor "Moore's Law" panel discussion at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, is featured in an Electronic Design article  titled "Forget Scaling. Moore's Law Panel Talks Power Consumption."  Tsu-Jae, who helped pioneer the Finfet transistor in 1998, describes some of the ways that transistors and integrated circuits will be evolving and how they might be used in future innovations.

Matthias Vallentin and Vern Paxson take a “VAST” Step Forward in Cyber Security

March 23, 2017 - 09:58

Postdoctoral researcher Matthias Vallentin is developing VAST,  a  forensic analysis tool  designed to help prioritize the investigation of computer security breaches.  It complements Bro, a security tool  devised by Prof. Vern Paxson when he was a graduate student 22 years ago and which is now used worldwide, to instantly collect huge volumes of log data that a hack might compromise.  “Maybe the external machine also appeared in a phishing email, which contained a PDF attachment. Not only that, but the PDF also includes a malicious payload, which upon opening, sends sensitive information from the employee’s computer to a cyber criminal.  VAST supports this iterative process to reconstruct the complete picture and presents it on a platter” explains Vallentin.  The function, development, and industrial potential of these tools are discussed in a Berkeley Research article.

Baiyu Chen awarded top prize at Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge

March 22, 2017 - 16:07

CS graduate student Baiyu Chen (advisor: Alexei Efros) and Anthony Barrs were awarded top prize and $50,000 for their design at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge.  Their idea, profiled in an article for Fortune, was to construct a "Hyperlane," or a single platform the size of four interstate lanes that would run parallel to pre-existing highways in order for self-driving cars to travel at high speeds with no chance of getting into a jam.

Tomás Vega rises to a disability challenge

March 22, 2017 - 15:36

Tomás Vega, a senior computer science and cognitive science major, was part of a team that participated in the first collegiate Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) event and which was profiled in a Jewish News article titled "Cal students pull a marathon to engineer disability solutions."  His team, led by Berkeley alumnus Pierluigi Mantovani, designed a special pair of gloves to help a Berkeley filmmaker with very limited use of his hands navigate a computer screen.  The filmmaker, who had to use a joystick with his lower lip to navigate, can now perform the same task by just slightly moving his wrists.  The gloves use electromyography, which detects signals from his muscles.   “When someone tells you, ‘Thank you for changing my life, for improving the quality of my life,’ there’s nothing like that,” Vega said.

Eli Yablonovitch to receive IEEE William R. Cherry Award

March 20, 2017 - 11:38

Prof. Eli Yablonovitch has been awarded the IEEE William R. Cherry Award, which is the highest IEEE Award for solar cells. This award recognizes an individual engineer or scientist who has devoted a part of their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of photovoltaic energy conversion. The nominee must have made significant contributions to the science and/or technology of PV energy conversion, with dissemination by substantial publications and presentations. Prof. Yablonovitch is receiving this award for his contributions to research, engineering and entrepreneurship realizing photovoltaic technologies capturing the "ins and outs" of photons and application of these technologies in silicon and III-V solar cells.

Raghav Chandra's UrbanClap dominates India's on-demand services ecosystem

March 20, 2017 - 11:04

Alumnus Raghav Chandra (EECS B.S. '11) and his second start-up, UrbanClap, are the subject of a Live Mint article describing the formation and rise of the most funded start-up in the still nascent hyperlocal segment of the on-demand services sector in India.  UrbanClap, which aggregates 107 local services and 65,000 providers, and enables customers to request services online through its website or mobile application, raised $36.6M in funding during the first 2 years after its inception.  Raghav, who was active in GamesCrafters as a student, became a software engineer at Yelp and Twitter, and founded the startup Buggi, before meeting his current partners to co-found UrbanClap.

Jan Rabaey to receive two honorary doctorates

March 16, 2017 - 10:53

Prof. Jan Rabaey will be receiving two honorary doctorates. The first one is for scientific merit from the University of Antwerp in Belgium on March 30, 2017.  The second one will follow on May 20 from the Tampere University of Technology. The title of Honorary Doctor is the highest recognition that a university can award. In the early 1990s, Prof. Rabaey developed the ‘infopad’, the forerunner of the iPad and tablet computers. He is currently conducting research into the human intranet, which involves connecting the human body to sensors and devices that communicate with the human brain.

Dan Garcia's research group GameCrafters featured in PBS Newshour article

March 15, 2017 - 14:20

Prof. Dan Garcia was interviewed in a PBS Newshour article titled “This Pi Day, use math to beat your friends at classic toy games”. To celebrate Pi Day, mathematicians and physicists explored three classic toys, hula hoops, yo-yo’s and Connect Four on ways to be the most successful with each toy. To count how many possible ways a real game of Connect Four could end, Prof. Garcia’s  research group called GamesCrafters created a program to simulate all the moves. GamesCrafters “strongly solved” the game and found 4,531,985,219,092, or 4.53 trillion combinations to Connect Four are possible.

Student startup culture is in The House

March 15, 2017 - 11:10

A number of EECS alumni and faculty have been invited to guest lecture for a DeCal course called "Build the Future" (CS 198), designed in collaboration with startup institute The House, to get undergraduate students engaged with the Berkeley entrepreneurial ecosystem and to use their time on campus creatively.  CS majors Jimmy Liu and Zuhayeer Musa (who run a company called Bash) helped develop the course, CS Prof. Scott Shenker is the faculty advisor, and Cameron Baradar (B.S.’15 EECS) is executive director of The House.  Speakers will include CS Prof. Joe Hellerstein, EE Prof. Kurt Keutzer, co-founder of Oculus Jack McCauley (B.S.’86, EECS), and founder of inDinero Jessica Mah (B.S.’10 EECS).

Björn Hartmann is countering extremism with technology

March 15, 2017 - 10:45

Designing Technology to Counter Violent Extremism,” a course co-taught by CS Associate Prof. Björn Hartmann at the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, is designed to develop technology-based solutions to ideologically motivated violence in the United States.  In the class, students seek to understand the roots of violent extremism and conceive of technological antidotes. “The Internet — from viral videos to hijacked hashtags to bot networks — has emerged as a key arena in which violent extremists engage with the public,” the course description reads. “But technology is also a key tool in the fight against extremism.”

Jose Carmena wants to use brain implants to tune the mind

March 15, 2017 - 10:36

EE Prof.  and co-director of the Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses Jose Carmena participated in a discussion with the Kavli Foundation about technologies that might be used to treat mental illness or enhance memory. Prof. Carmena, who has co-developed brain-machine interfaces and implantable microsensors, says "we have learned a lot about how to target different areas in the brain.  The aim of these devices is to help people who are paralyzed by injury or disease move again by creating an artificial pathway between the areas of the brain that control motion and the muscles. Essentially, they are devices that use electrodes implanted in the brain to translate thoughts into the action of prosthetics."

Startup Trifacta gives customers an intuitive, agile new way of working with data

March 15, 2017 - 09:10

Trifacta, a data wrangling startup co-founded by Prof. Joe Hellerstein (also company CSO and CS alumnus--M.S. '92), is one of the companies profiled by Computer Weekly in an article titled "Silicon Valley startups aim to make big data capture and prep slicker."  Customers of Trifacta, which specializes in sorting out data and getting it into shape for analysis, includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, PepsiCo, Walmart, and soon Google (Cloud Dataprep). Other CS alumni on the Trifacta team include co-founder and CXO Jeffrey Heer (B.S. '01/M.S. '04/Ph.D. '08) and Vice President of Products Wei Zheng (B.A. '99).  

Immerex Virtual Reality Lab coming soon to Cory Hall

March 14, 2017 - 17:00

Thanks to a generous gift from the entertainment virtual reality company Immerex, a new lab is being outfitted for Berkeley’s accelerating work in AR/VR – augmented reality and virtual reality. The new lab, which will be located in Cory Hall, will be named the Immerex Virtual Reality Lab and provide collaboration space for Berkeley faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Augmented Cognition.

Anca Dragan wants more human-centered AI4ALL

March 13, 2017 - 14:23

At the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Camp this year, Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan will lead AI4ALL, a Berkeley education program designed to introduce high potential, low income high schoolers to humanistic AI.  In an article titled "The future of AI needs to have more people in it" she discusses the importance of creating AI with humans in mind and the value of diverse approaches to the field.