UC Berkeley’s Fastest-Growing Class Is Data Science 101

The Wall Street Journal has published an article titled "UC Berkeley’s Fastest-Growing Class Is Data Science 101," about the creation of the new Division of Data Science and Information at Berkeley.  It discusses the popular introductory course Data Sciences 101, the new Data Science major,  and how the field of Data Science is exploding.   "Berkeley’s goal isn’t just to train data scientists, but to get students from other disciplines, including the humanities and social sciences, to also learn what a data orientation can do for their work."

In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?

EE Profs. Hany Farid and Alyosha Efros, the class CS 194-26—Image Manipulation and Computational Photography, and grad students Shiry Ginosar, Deepak Pathak, Angjoo Kanazawa, Richard Zhang, Jacob Huh and Tinghui Zhou are profiled in a New Yorker article titled "In the Age of A.I., Is Seeing Still Believing?" about how advances in digital imagery could deepen the fake-news crisis—or help us get out of it.  Farid is an expert in photo-forensics who "trained" a neural network to pick out numbers in the pixels of a degraded image of a license plate.  Efros pioneered a method for intelligently sampling bits of an image and probabilistically recombining them so that a texture could be indefinitely and organically extended (known in Photoshop as "content-aware fill").   True realism, Efros said, requires “data, data, data” about “the gunk, the dirt, the complexity of the world,” which is best gathered by accident, through the recording of ordinary life.

Berkeley announces transformative Division of Data Science and Information

UC Berkeley today announced its plan to form a new interdisciplinary academic unit to coordinate and foster the growth of various programs related to informatics — which encompasses computing as well as societal implications of information technologies — across the campus. This new unit, provisionally named the Division of Data Science and Information, will provide a framework to facilitate collaborations between researchers from different disciplines.  A global search has begun for a new associate provost to head the new division beginning on July 1, 2019.   

Robert Pilawa-Podgurski wins 2018 IEEE Education Society Van Valkenburg Award

EE Associate Prof. Robert Pilawa-Podgurski is the 2018 recipient of the IEEE Education Society Mac E. Van Valkenburg Award.  This award is given annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to teaching unusually early in their professional careers as evidenced by teaching performance, development of new teaching methods, and curricular innovation in fields of interest to the IEEE Education Society. The citation was "for his demonstrated passion for teaching and commitment to individual student growth, and his curriculum innovations in hands-on learning in the area of electric power and energy systems".

EECS grad students, faculty, and alumni to participate in 2018 Rising Stars

CS graduate students Sarah Chasins (advisor: Ras Bodik), Orianna DeMasi (BIDS), Sandy Huang (advisors: Anca Dragan/Pieter Abbeel), and postdoc Angjoo Kanazawa (advisors: Jitendra Malik/Alyosha Efros/Trevor Darrell) will be participating in the Rising Stars career-building workshop for women in EECS, which will be held from Oct. 28-30, 2018 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachussetts.    Chasin's topic is “Helena: A Web Automation Language for End Users,” DeMasi's is " Developing a Dialog System to Augment SMS Helpline Counselor Training,” Huang's is “Enabling Robot Transparency with Informative Actions,” and Kanazawa's is “Perceiving Deformable Shapes: Humans, Animals, and Birds.”  Speakers include EECS Profs. Laura Waller and Katherine Yelick, as well as postdoc Farnaz Niroui and alumnus Anantha Chandrakasan (B.S. '89/M.S. '90/Ph.D. '94).

prof. david wagner

Data is "the coin of the realm"

Prof. David Wagner is at the center of an article in the San Francisco Chronicle titled "Data science, the ‘new Latin’ for students, in demand in Silicon Valley."  Data science is one of the fastest-growing fields of study at Berkeley, but the field is in such demand that jobs far outstrip the supply of graduates in the Bay Area.  “Data science is the new Latin for university students,” said Wagner.  At one time, to be a college-educated person, “you had to learn Latin because that was the language of scholarly study,” Wagner said. “Now, data is the coin of the realm.”

Berkeley is #1 university open source contributor

UC Berkeley is the top ranked university in the third annual Octoverse Report list of "Open source contributions made by employees of different organizations," with 2700 contributions.  Berkeley is the fourth ranked organization overall--after Microsoft, Google, and Red Hat.  The Octoverse Report is a roundup of GitHub data across global repositories from the last 12 months.  Four other universities made the top ten:  the University of Washington  (6th place with 1800 contributions), MIT (8th place with 1700), UMich and Stanford (tied 9th with 1600 contributions each) .  

Randy Katz reflects on Berkeley's Nobelists

EE Prof. Randy Katz, the current U.C. Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research, reflects on how the use-inspired research of Berkeley Nobel Prize winners exemplifies the importance of that approach to scientific inquiry.   He illustrates the strength of use-inspired research by comparing it to basic (curiosity-driven) and applied (goal-driven) research, defining it as the "search for fundamental knowledge" with selected "questions and methods based on their relevance to real-world issues."  "One of our great aims is to bring together a broad set of the world’s brightest minds to work on the pressing problems of the day," he says.

Turnitin Acquires Gradescope

Turnitin, a leading provider of academic integrity and writing solutions, has acquired Gradescope, a class grading platform co-founded by CS Prof. Pieter Abbeel and alumni Arjun Singh (B.S. EECS '10/Ph.D. CS '16), Sergey Karayev (CS Ph.D. '15), and Ibrahim Awwal (EECS B.S. '12/M.S. '15).   The platform reduces the time associated with grading in college courses via an optimized online workflow and clever application of artificial intelligence. Developed at Cal when the alumni were teaching assistants, Gradescope is now used in most CS, Math, and Chemistry classes at Berkeley, and has quickly been adopted at many top higher-ed institutions, including half of all Ivy League schools, as well as at over twenty-five leading R1 universities. “Bringing Gradescope into the Turnitin family allows us to realize our mission across more subjects, with more instructors and students than ever before. Gradescope represents Turnitin’s first formal foray into STEM education, an area of increasing importance, that must also be held to high standards of academic integrity," said Turnitin CEO Chris Caren.

UC Berkeley named #2 Blockchain University by CoinDesk

UC Berkeley is ranked #2 on CoinDesk's list of Top 10 Blockchain Universities.  Berkeley boasts "one of the most vibrant on-campus communities in the country. The student organization Blockchain@Berkeley both educates and builds products, performing paid consulting work for major companies like Airbus and Qualcomm. Berkeley's law and business schools also boast their own blockchain related clubs."   Berkeley also offers interdisciplinary courses like "Blockchain, Cryptoeconomics, and the Future of Technology, Business and Law," which is taught by faculty from different disciplines.  CoinDesk says this course"further cements Berkeley’s reputation as a leading educator." As the only public university on the list, Berkeley "demonstrates that universities can stay at forefront of emerging technologies without charging sky-high tuitions."