Center for Computational Biology Seminar: Sohini Ramachandran, Associate Professor, Brown University

125 Li Ka Shing Center
Leveraging linkage disequilibrium to identify adaptive and disease-causing mutations Abstract: Correlation among genotypes in human population-genetic datasets complicates the localization of both adaptive mutations and disease-causing mutations. I will describe our latest efforts to develop new methods for localizing adaptive and disease-causing mutations, motivated by (1) incorporating...

Solid State Technology and Devices Seminar: 24/7 Electricity Produced by Intermittent Power Requires Its Energy Storage

The Hogan Room, 521 Cory Hall
  • Jerry Woodall, Electrical and Computer Engineering, UC Davis
This is a simple story with a no-brainer punchline included in the title. Except for geothermal and nuclear energy, the sun is, and has been, the source of nearly all energy used on our planet. The problem is that the earth receives plenty of intermittent solar power, but not as solar energy.

Dissertation Talk: Approximate counting, phase transitions and geometry of polynomials

306 Soda Hall
  • Jingcheng Liu, UC Berkeley
In classical statistical physics, a phase transition is understood by studying the geometry (the zero-set) of an associated polynomial (the partition function). In this talk I will show that one can exploit this notion of phase transitions algorithmically, and conversely exploit the analysis of algorithms to understand phase transitions. As applications, I will give efficient deterministic...

Dissertation Talk: Modular and Safe Event-Driven Programming

531 Cory Hall
  • Ankush Pankaj Desai, University Of California, Berkeley
Asynchronous event-driven systems can be found in myriad domains including cloud computing systems, device drivers, and robotics. These systems are notoriously hard to get right as the programmer needs to reason about numerous control paths resulting from the complex interleaving of events (messages) and failures. Unsurprisingly, it is easy to introduce subtle errors while attempting to fill...

Dissertation Talk: Optimizing for Robot Transparency

250 Sutardja Dai Hall
  • Sandy Huang
As robots become more capable and commonplace, it is increasingly important that the policies they execute are transparent. For instance, engineers should have an idea of which situations their robot may act incorrectly in, and end-users should be able to anticipate how a robot they are interacting with will behave in various situations. This is essential for building trust, enabling seamless...

Dissertation Talk: Measuring Generalization and Overfitting in Machine Learning

405 Soda Hall
  • Rebecca Roelofs
Due to the prevalence of machine learning (ML) algorithms and the potential for their decisions to profoundly impact billions of human lives, it is crucial that they are robust, reliable, and understandable. This thesis examines key theoretical pillars of ML surrounding generalization and overfitting, and tests the extent to which empirical behavior matches existing theory. We develop novel...

Between Shannon and Hamming: how bad can the channel be?: BLISS Seminar

540 Cory Hall
  • Anand Sarwate, Rutgers
The information theory community has traditionally studied two different models for communication. The Shannon-theoretic model treats the channel’s impact as random, so codes must correct almost all error patterns of a given weight; this is an average-case analysis. The coding-theoretic (Hamming-theoretic?) model treats the channel as adversarial, so codes must correct all error patterns of a...

Space Tech Symposium 2.0 at Berkeley: Hosted by Space Technologies at Cal

Sibley Auditorium, Bechtel Engineering Center
Come expand your network at Space Tech Symposium 2.0 @ Berkeley ( on May 6 by meeting researchers, CEOs of the hottest space startups, and Berkeley faculty as they discuss their visions for the future of space development. Mobility between space and non-space fields is at an all-time high and we'd love to have you join this conversation. Panelists from NASA,...