Simit: a brand new language for more efficient simulations

Incoming CS Assistant Professor Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, alumnus Shoaib Kamil (Ph.D. CS 2012 under Profs. Armando Fox and Kathy Yelick) and alumnus Wojciech Matusik (B.S. EECS 1997), along with other researchers at MIT CSAIL, Adobe, U. of Toronto, Texas A&M, and U. of Texas have developed Simit,  a programming language that can speed up computer simulations 200-fold or reduce the code they require by 90 percent.

The language has applications outside simulations, and there are even plans for it to augment machine learning, data analytics, optimization and robotics in addition to a version of Google's PageRank algorithm.

Jacques I. Pankove, discoverer of LEDs, has passed away

EECS Alumnus Jacques I. Pankove (BS EE 1944/MS EE 1948), who received the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus award in 2000 for building the first  gallium nitride light-emitting diode (LED), died on July 12, 2016 at the age of 94.

A refugee of Czarist Russia, Pankove grew up in Marseilles before emigrating to the US after the Nazi invasion of France.  While at Berkeley, Pankove built a Morse code Translator, showing his creativity involving diverse disciplines: software (how to decipher the dot and dash code), electronic circuits, and optics (to make luminous characters appear at a central visual spot).  He  left Berkeley to earn a PhD in Physics from the University of Paris but returned to the EECS Department in 1968 as a visiting McKay Lecturer.   He subsequently took a job working on transistors at RCA Lab where he and Edward Miller demonstrated the first blue electroluminescence from zinc-doped gallium nitride.

In addition to being a prolific inventor with over 90 US patents, Pankove authored a seminal textbook Optical Processes in Semiconductors in 1972 using his class notes as a lecturer at Berkeley.

Women In Technology Roundtable group pictures

EECS Women In Technology take matters into their own hands

The Women in Technology (WIT) Leadership Round Table, started by Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, EECS grad student Virginia Smith, EECS alumna Gitanjali Swamy and Sheila Humphreys is featured in Medium, an online community of writers, in an article titled “Women in Technology: How a Handful of Leaders in Tech are Taking Matters into Their Own Hands”, written by Virginia Smith.  Aimed at developing sustainable solutions to increase the presence of women in technology, WIT is bringing together technology leaders in academia, industry, and non-profits to spark solutions-oriented discussion among women who can go back to their organizations and immediately make change.

Billy Kluver

How Billy Klüver helped shape modern art

Alumnus Billy Klüver (EE MS 1955/ Ph.D. 1957), who then became an assistant professor in EECS from 1957-58 is featured in a Little Atoms online article titled “How AT&T shaped modern art”. Born in Monaco in 1927, Klüver installed a television antenna on top of the Eiffel tower and developed underwater filming equipment for Jacques Cousteau before coming to Cal.   He eventually joined Bell Telephone Laboratories where he began collaborating with artists  on works incorporating new technology and was co-founder of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.).   Klüver felt artists "helped make technology more human."

Sumit Gulwani finds solutions to bridge the Digital Divide

Alumni Sumit Gulwani (CS Ph.D. 2005) is at the centre of an effort to bring the power of computer code to those who are unable to write it themselves.   Sumit's research is featured in a Financial Times article which describes how his team at Microsoft developed Flash Fill for Excel which uses "programming by example" to automatically fill in outputs without entering a formula.

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli and Chung-Wei Lin awarded 16 TODAES Best Paper Award

A paper titled "Security-Aware Design Methodology and Optimization for Automotive Systems," co-authored by alumnus Chung-Wei Lin and Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli has received the 2016 ACM Transactions on Design Automation of Electronic Systems (TODAES) Best Paper Award. This paper was written in collaboration with researchers from UC Riverside and supported by the TerraSwarm research center. The award will be presented at the opening session of the Design Automation Conference (DAC).

Scott Aaronson answers every ridiculously big question thrown at him

EECS alumnus Scott Aaronson (Computer Science Ph.D. '04) "Answers Every Ridiculously Big Question (John Horgan) Throws at Him" in a Cross-Check interview for Scientific American.  Aaronson, an Associate Professor at MIT (soon UT Austin) and an authority on quantum computation, riffs on simulated universes, the Singularity, unified theories, P/NP, the mind-body problem, free will, why there’s something rather than nothing, and more.

Paper by David Culler, Joseph Polastre, Jason Hill Receives SIGMOD Test of Time Award

The paper by Prof. David Culler and former students Joseph Polastre and Jason Hill titled “Versatile low power media access for wireless sensor networks", in the Proceedings of the 2nd international Conference on Embedded Networked Sensor Systems has been selected as a winner of the inaugural SIGMOBILE Test of Time award for 2016. The Berkeley MAC (B-MAC) was a pioneering contribution to media access control in TinyOS-based wireless sensor networks. B-MAC and its underlying low-power listening principle became a facto standard in sensor networks. It plays a lasting role in the development of new low power wireless technologies such as IoT.

Diane Greene ranked #1 Most Powerful Female Engineer

EECS alumna Diane Greene (Computer Science M.S. ’88) was ranked #1 of 26 most powerful female engineers in 2016 by Business Insider. Greene was a co-founder of VMware that sold to EMC for $635M. She then went on to become a big angel investor while working on her new startup BeBop, which Google bought for $380M while she was on the board at Google. Greene is currently running Google’s cloud computing business and on the boards of Intuit and MIT. She is also recipient of the 2016 EECS Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science and will be this year's CS commencement speaker.