News

Google TPUs are built for inference

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson co-authored and presented a report on Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) at a regional seminar of the National Academy of Engineering, held at the Computer History Museum in Menlo Park on April 5, 2017.   TPUs, which have been deployed in Google datacenters since 2015, are printed-circuit cards which are inserted into existing servers and act as co-processors tailored for neural-network calculations.  Prof. Patterson says that TPUs are "an order of magnitude faster than contemporary CPUs and GPUs" with an even larger relative performance per watt.  According to an article for the IEEE Spectrum, TPUs are "built for doing inference," having hardware that operates on 8-bit integers rather than the higher-precision floating-point numbers used in CPUs and GPUs.

Denis Yip named CEO of Digital China Holdings Limited

Alumnus Denis Shing Fai Yip (B.S. '90/M.S. '91) has been named Chief Executive Officer of Digital China Holdings Limited.  He will focus on integrating big data and cloud computing technologies into the company's global industrial system.  Mr. Yip has been involved with information management, software, and global sales and services in industry worldwide for 26 years.  He has been Global Senior Vice President and the President of Greater China of EMC since 2006 and was in charge of the overall business operations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The business grew more than 8 times over the tenure of his EMC career and he was a key figure in the integration of DELL and EMC in the Greater China region.

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

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.

Baiyu Chen awarded top prize at Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge

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.

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

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

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.

Andrew Ng on why Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02), Chief Scientist at Baidu, founder of Google Brain, co-founder of Coursera, and Stanford adjunct professor, describes in a video on Inside HPC how artificial intelligence is transforming the industrial landscape.  He compares the impact of AI to that of electricity, which radically transformed industry after industry when it was introduced.

Gary Hornbuckle, founder of Applicon, Inc. has died

Alumnus Gary Dean Hornbuckle (EE B.S. '61/M.S. '62/Ph.D. '67), a pioneer in the computing industry who formed a number of his own companies, passed away on March 1, 2017.  He spent 2 years on the research staff at M.I.T. before forming Applicon, Inc. in 1969, one of the first Computer Aided Design systems manufacturing companies.  When Applicon was acquired by Schlumberger in 1980 it had over $100 million in annual revenue.  He went on to found and serve as president of five additional technology companies in Texas and California before retiring in 2000.

A new understanding of the world through grassroots Data Science education

Vani Mandava, the Director of Data Science at Microsoft Research, has written an article about the innovative course Foundations of Data Science taught by CS Assistant Teaching Prof. John DeNero and Ani Adhikari, a Teaching Professor in the Department of Statistics.  Mandava examines the motives and experiences of the students, and describes the aim of Berkeley’s Data Science Education Program (supported in part by Microsoft) to make data science an integral feature of a liberal education and a core interdisciplinary capacity available to all Berkeley undergraduates.

Anca Dragan and Yoky Matsuoka are taking charge in 2017

CS Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan and EECS alumna Yoky Matsuoka (B.S. '93) are among Interesting Engineering's "17 Awesome Women Engineers" who are revolutionizing the engineering field in 2017.  Anca is described as "one of the rising stars of the robotics scene" as the head of the InterACT Lab at UC Berkeley which specializes in human/robotics interactions, algorithms and compatible artificial intelligence systems."  Yoky is "a hot commodity among major tech companies" as the CTO of Alphabet Nest.