News

Study shows playing high school football changes the teenage brain

A research study led by EE Prof. Chunlei Liu (senior author) and postdoc Nan-Ji Gong (first author), which is the cover story of the November issue of Neurobiology of Disease, found that a single season of high school football may be enough to cause microscopic changes in the structure of the brain.  The team (which included researchers from Duke and UNC Chapel Hill) used a new type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take brain scans of 16 high school players, ages 15 to 17, before and after a season of football. They found significant changes in the structure of the grey matter in the front and rear of the brain, where impacts are most likely to occur, as well as changes to structures deep inside the brain.  This is one of the first studies to look at how impact sports affect the brains of children at this critical age.

Deep Learning Pioneer Bryan Catanzaro on the Importance of Research

EECS alumnus Bryan Catanzaro (Ph.D. '11 advisor: Kurt Keutzer), the Vice President of Applied Deep Learning Research at NVIDIA, is one of the subjects of a Forbes series on the AI innovators "who have dedicated their life’s work to improving the human condition through technology advancements."  Catanzaro has worked alongside deep learning pioneers Adam Coates and Andrew Ng at Baidu, creating the next generation of systems for deep learning training and developing end-to-end deep learning-based speech recognition models. In the interview, he talks about one of the most important conferences in the researching world (NeurIPS 2018) and why research is important to help build out the future of AI.

Tsu-Jae King Liu

Tsu-Jae King Liu inducted into 2019 Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame

EE Prof. and Dean of Engineering Tsu-Jae King Liu as been elected to the 2019 Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) Hall of Fame.  Inductees must have demonstrated significant engineering or technical achievements, provided significant guidance in new and developing fields of engineering-based technology, and/or have managed or directed an organization making noteworthy contributions in design, manufacturing, production, or service through the uses of engineering principles and applications.  They also must have contributed significantly to one or more technical societies and accomplished significant community service activities (or have provided noteworthy advice to governmental committees, etc.).  King Liu is known for her contributions to nanoscale MOS transistors, memory devices, and MEMS devices. Other EECS inductees include Profs. Randy Katz (2018), Chenming Hu (2017), Paul Gray (2015), David Hodges (2012), and David Patterson (2005).

Skin-like sensor maps blood-oxygen levels anywhere in the body

A new flexible sensor developed by Berkeley EE researchers can map blood-oxygen levels over large areas of skin, tissue and organs, potentially giving doctors a new way to monitor healing wounds in real time.  The research group, which includes Prof. Ana Claudia Arias, Yasser Khan, Donggeon Han, Adrien Pierre, Jonathan Ting, Xingchun Wang and Claire Lochner (plus researchers from Cambridge Display Technology Ltd), have created a lightweight, thin, and flexible oximeter made of organic electronics printed on bendable plastic that molds to the contours of the body.  The sensor, which is described in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is made of an alternating array of printed light-emitting diodes and photodetectors and can detect blood-oxygen levels anywhere it is placed. The sensor shines red and infrared light into the skin and detects the ratio of light that is reflected back.

Diane Greene makes Americas 50

CS alumnus Diane Greene (M.S. '88), the CEO of Google Cloud, has been named to Data Economy's list of Americas 50: The world’s first top 50 North, Central and South American influencers.  The list highlights "personalities who are leading data centres, cloud, edge computing and data through charting new innovations or technological breakthroughs, sheer investment or business acumen, or exceptional entrepreneurial skillsets."

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."

Ming Wu to step down as faculty director of the NanoLab

EE Prof. Ming Wu will be stepping down as faculty director of the Berkeley Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory (NanoLab) at the end of 2018.  He took up the position in 2008 after his predecessor, EE Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, became associate dean of research at the College of Engineering.  At the time, a new state-of-the-art clean room research facility was in its final stages of construction in Sutardja Dai Hall.  Under Wu’s leadership, multiple capabilities were added to the NanoLab – including a suite of high-resolution spectroscopy and microscopy tools.

Mike Nelson joins Xcalar as Chief Scientist

CS alumnus Mike Nelson (Ph.D. '88, advisor: John Ousterhout), has become Chief Scientist at Xcalar, a fast-growing big data processing and virtual data warehouse platform.  While at Berkeley, Neslon was a key member of the team that developed the Sprite Distributed Operating System.  He was a fellow and one of the first engineers at VMware, where he was the lead architect of VMkernel, an operating system designed to run virtual machines that is the foundation for all VMware server products. At Xcalar, he will be responsible for spearheading the company's Cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) efforts.

Berkeley computer theorists show path to verifying that quantum beats classical

UC Berkeley computer theorists led by CS Prof. Umesh Vazirani,  published a proof of random circuit sampling (RCS) as a verification method to prove quantum supremacy in a paper published Monday, Oct. 29, in the journal Nature Physics.  Quantum supremacy is the term that describes a quantum computer’s ability to solve a computational task that would be prohibitively difficult for any classical algorithm.  “Besides being a milestone on the way to useful quantum computers, quantum supremacy is a new kind of physics experiment to test quantum mechanics in a new regime. The basic question that must be answered for any such experiment is how confident can we be that the observed behavior is truly quantum and could not have been replicated by classical means. That is what our results address,” said Vazirani.

Barbara Simons to be awarded Athena Lifetime Achievement Award

2005 CS Distinguished Alumna Barbara Simons (Ph.D. '81) will be receiving the Athena Lifetime Achievement Award at the CITRIS Women in Tech Symposium on Friday, 11/16.  Simons, who is a past president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), is board chair of Verified Voting, a non-partisan organization that advocates for reliable and secure voting practices.  She is the author of “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?” and is a long-time champion for programs to increase diversity in computer science and engineering.  She will not be able to attend the conference but will make an appearance in a short video.