News

Laura Waller wins 2018 SPIE Early Career Achievement Award

Associate Prof. Laura Waller has won the 2018 Early Career Achievement Award--Academic focus--from the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). The award, which is paired with an industry-focused award, is presented annually in recognition of significant and innovative technical contributions in the engineering or scientific fields of relevance to SPIE.  Waller, who heads the Computational Imagaing Lab, was recognized for "her contributions to biomedical and industrial science through development of computational imaging hardware and software for phase retrieval, 3D imaging and partially coherent systems."  The award was presented at the Opto Symposium, co-chaired by colleague Prof. Connie Chang-Hasnain, on January 29th,

Avideh Zakhor named Electronic Imaging Scientist of the Year

Prof. Avideh Zakhor has been named 2018 Electronic Imaging Scientist of the Year by the Society for Imaging Science and Technology.  She was cited “for her significant contributions to signal processing, including 3D image processing & computer vision, 3D reality capture systems,  3D modeling, mapping and positioning,  image and video compression and communication.”  Zakhor and her team drove a truck loaded with sensors around Berkeley, and flew in a helicopter overhead, to gather imagery, and map part of the city in three dimensions. She eventually sold her research to Google, which built her innovations into Google Earth and Street View, used it to advance Google Maps, and is pushing it forward into a future of self-driving cars.  This award is given annually at the EI Symposium to a member of the electronic imaging community who who has demonstrated excellence and commanded the respect of his/her peers by making significant and substantial contributions to the field of electronic imaging via research, publications, or service.

Alex Bayen on why traffic apps make congestion worse

Prof. Alexandre Bayen, director of UC Berkeley’s Institute of Transportation Studies, is working on smarter traffic apps that will talk to one another to prevent clogged freeways and city streets.  When Bayen spoke at the Cal Future Forum in 2017, he described how UC Berkeley transportation researchers are developing the science and technology to “enable collaboration both at the commuter level — you and me — and the city level.”  Since “we can’t build our way out of congestion,” he says, the only way this will work is if the apps collaborate and steer different people along different routes to prevent congestion.

Dawn Song participates in 'first US-China' Blockchain conference

CS Prof. Dawn Song participated in a panel discussion at the Blockchain Connect conference in San Francisco last week, an event designed to unite the U.S. and China Blockchain communities. Song leads the BitBlaze: Binary Analysis for Computer Security project, an analysis platform that will incorporate various AI and Blockchain applications, including in healthcare and smart building with IoT technologies.  She is also teaching CS 294-144. Blockchain, CryptoEconomics, and the Future Directions of Technology, Business, and Law, a “first of its kind” interdisciplinary course on Blockchain. "It’s extremely popular, " she said.  "We’re limited by room capacity, so it’s 70+ students. But it’s a 4:1 ratio, so basically for every four students applying, we can only select one."

Dutta, Niknejad, and Salahuddin lead new research centers to help usher in future of microelectronics

Associate Prof. Prabal Dutta, Prof. Ali Niknejad, and Prof. Sayeef Salahuddin are leading partners in three new multi-university research centers that aim to jump-start the future technologies for the microelectronics industry, with a particular focus on energy-efficient computing as well as communications and sensing.  Dutta is the associate director of Computing on Network Infrastructure for Pervasive Perception, Cognition and Action (CONIX), an SRC center that will also involve Profs David Culler, Jan Rabaey, Claire Tomlin and John Wawrzynek.  Niknejad will be associate director of the Center for Converged TeraHertz Communications and Sensing (ComSenTer), a $27.5 million SRC center that will also involve Profs. Elad Alon, Borivoje Nikolic and Vladimir Stojanovic. Salahuddin will serve as associate director of ASCENT, which focuses on next-generation, energy-efficient computing that overcomes bottlenecks in data transfer.  Prof. Jeffrey Bokor will also participate in ASCENT.

AI@The House built to support AI-related startups

Profs. Dawn Song, Ion Stoica, Kurt Keutzer, Michael Jordan, Pieter Abbeel, and Trevor Darrell have teamed up with EECS alumnus Cameron Baradar (B.S. '15) and startup institute The House to run a new "global center-of-gravity of AI activity" called AI@The House. The new program will offer technical guidance, mentorship, free graphic processing units and financial support, among other resources, to startups focused on AI.  Their first core initiative is an accelerator for startups who are leveraging AI to build industry-defining products.

Sayeef Salahuddin named Associate Director of new $26M computer collaboration

EE Prof. Sayeef Salahuddin will serve as associate director of a new, $26 million research center called Applications and Systems-driven Center for Energy-Efficient integrated Nano Technologies (ASCENT), which will focus on conducting research that aims to increase the performance, efficiency and capabilities of future computing systems for both commercial and defense applications .  ASCENT, under the direction of Notre Dame Professor Suman Datta,  will involve 20 faculty members representing 13 of the nation's leading research universities, and is funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC)’s Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP), which represents a consortium of industrial participants and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).  The multidisciplinary research center will develop and utilize advanced technologies to sustain the semiconductor industry's goals of increasing performance and reducing costs. 

Prasad Raghavendra wins inaugural NAS Michael and Sheila Held Prize

CS Associate Prof. Prasad Raghavendra has won the inaugural Michael and Sheila Held Prize.  The award, sponsored by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), honors  outstanding, innovative, creative, and influential research in the areas of combinatorial and discrete optimization, or related parts of computer science, such as the design and analysis of algorithms and complexity theory.  Raghavendra and co-recipient David Steurer are being recognized "For a body of work which revolutionizes our understanding of optimization and complexity. It better explains the exact limits to efficient approximation of NP-hard problems. It provides better understanding of the computational assumptions underlying hardness of approximation. And it develops a structure theory of linear and semi-definite programming and their hierarchies, which leads to new algorithms and new lower bounds."  The prize comes with $100,000 and will be presented at the NAS annual meeting in April.

Stuart Russell and all things "Slaughterbot"

CS Prof. Stuart Russell is featured in an interview by the "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" titledAs much death as you want”: UC Berkeley's Stuart Russell on “Slaughterbots.  Russell discusses the genesis of the hit YouTube video, the technology that goes into lethal autonomous weapons, and some of the difficulties involved in controlling their proliferation.

Ben Recht wins NIPS Test of Time Award

Prof. Ben Recht has won the Neural Information Processing System (NIPS) 2017 Test of Time Award for a paper he co-wrote with Ali Rahimi in 2007 titled "Random Features for Large-Scale Kernel Machines."   Deep learning, which involves stacking many neural networks on top of one another to learn the features of giant databases and develop clever algorithms, is being used to carry out more and more tasks in an expanding number of areas.  In their acceptance speech at the NIPS conference, Recht and Rahimi posited that more theory is needed to understand the state-of-the-art empirical performance of deep learning, and called for simple theorems and simple, easily reproducible experiments.  "We are building systems that govern healthcare and mediate our civic dialogue, we influence elections," said Rahimi. "I would like to live in a society where systems are built on top of verifiable, rigorous thorough knowledge and not alchemy."