News

Schematic of a solar-powered electrolysis cell (Clarissa Towle/Berkeley Lab)

Ali Javey helps demonstrate efficient, light-powered production of fuel via artificial photosynthesis

Research co-authored by EE Prof. Ali Javey has demonstrated that the power of photosynthesis can be harnessed to convert carbon dioxide into fuels and alcohols at efficiencies far greater than plants. The achievement marks a significant milestone in the effort to move toward sustainable sources of fuel.  The study, titled "Efficient solar-driven electrochemical CO2 reduction to hydrocarbons and oxygenates," was led by Berkeley Lab postdoctoral fellow Gurudayal and co-authored by LBLpostdoctoral researcher James Bullock, who works in Javey's lab, among others.  “This is a big step forward in the design of devices for efficient CO2 reduction and testing of new materials, and it provides a clear framework for the future advancement of fully integrated solar-driven CO2-reduction devices,” said Berkeley Lab chemist Frances Houle,  who was not part of the study.

CS Prof. Kathy Yelick

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

CS Prof. Katherine Yelick is the subject of an interview in HPCwire in which she discusses the promise and progress of exascale science.  The article follows on the heels of Yelick's keynote address on "Breakthrough Science at the Exascale" at the ACM Europe Conference in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month.  The fastest supercomputers in the world today solve problems at the petascale—that is a quadrillion calculations each second.  Exascale computing refers to systems capable of at least  one exaFLOPS, or a billion billion calculations per second.  Yelick's research interestes include parallel programming languages, compilers, algorithms and automatic performance tuning.   She is the Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

Prof. Jan Rabaey

Jan Rabaey wins 2017 SRC Aristotle Award

EE Prof. Jan Rabaey has won the 2017 Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Aristotle Award.  The award recognizes SRC-supported faculty whose deep commitment to the educational experience of SRC students has had a profound and continuing impact on their professional performance and, consequently, a significant impact for members over a long period of time.   Rabaey was cited for having "made high-impact contributions to a number of fields, including advanced wireless systems, low power integrated circuits, sensor networks, and ubiquitous computing.  His current interests include the conception of the next-generation integrated wireless systems, as well as the exploration of the interaction between the cyber and the biological world."  The award was presented at  TECHCON 2017 on September 12th.

EE Prof. Edward A. Lee

Symposium will celebrate the scholarship of Edward A. Lee

The Edward A. Lee Festschrift Symposium will be held on October 13th at the Berkeley City Club to celebrate the scholarship and teaching of Edward A. Lee, the Robert S. Pepper Distinguished Professor in EECS.  The theme of the symposium is "Principles of Modeling" and is dedicated to Lee's devotion to research that centers on the role of models and the  principled use of models in science and engineering.  Speakers include Hans Vangheluwe , Jie Liu , Radu Grosu , Thomas Henzinger, Janette Cardoso, and Richard Murray.

EECS Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy

Ruzena Bajcsy wins 2017 John Scott Award

EECS Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy has won the 2017 John Scott Award which has been presented by the City of Philadelphia since 1822 to "the most deserving men and women whose inventions have contributed in some outstanding way to the comfort, welfare and happiness of mankind."  Bajcsy's award is for her contributions to robotics and engineering science, including the development of improved robotic perception and the creation of better methods to analyze medical images.  Many luminaries have received the award including Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Jonas Salk and Glenn Seaborg.  Bajcsy will share the award with Warren Ewens (theoretical population genetics) and Masatoshi Nei (evolutionary theory).

John DeNero (photo: Phillip Downey)

John DeNero named inaugural Charles and Dianne Giancarlo Teaching Fellow

CS Assistant Teaching Professor John DeNero is the inaugural recipient of the Charles and Dianne Giancarlo Teaching Fellowship.  This fellowship supports excellence in undergraduate teaching in EECS and was made possible by a generous donation from alumnus Charles Giancarlo (EE M.S. '80)  and his wife, Dianne (co-founder of the Women’s Achievement Network and Development Alliance).  The College of Engineering will be hosting a reception to celebrate the appointment on September 19th.

CS Prof. Scott Shenker

Scott Shenker wins 2017 Berkeley Visionary Award

CS Prof. Scott Shenker has won a  2017 Visionary Award from the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.  The award was created to acknowledge entrepreneurs and "celebrate people with the imagination and persistence to innovate in the City of Berkeley."  Shenker co-founded Nicira,  a company focused on software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization, which was sold to VMware in 2012 for $1.26 billion.   The award will be presented at ceremony at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre on September 11th.

Jeff Mahler and Ken Goldberg (photo: Jason LeCras for The New York Times)

Ken Goldberg and Jeff Mahler explain how warehouse robots will learn on their own

CS/IEOR Prof. Ken Goldberg, director of the AUTOLAB, and his EE graduate student Jeff Mahler, are profiled in a  New York Times article titled "In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own," about researchers who are using neural networks and machine learning to teach robots to grab things they have never encountered before.   The AUTOLAB robot was trained by being shown hundreds of purely digital objects, after which it could pick up items that weren’t represented in its digital data set.  “We’re learning from simulated models and then applying that to real work,” said Goldberg,

Joint CS and IEOR Profs. Michael Jordan and Pieter Abbeel

Pieter Abbeel and Michael Jordan appointed joint faculty in IEOR

CS Profs. Pieter Abbeel and Michael Jordan, two of the best-known experts in machine learning, have been appointed as joint faculty in the department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) in addition to their primary appointments in EECS (and Statistics for Jordan).  "Profs. Abbeel and Jordan are terrific colleagues that bring extremely valuable perspectives to our interests in robotics, automation, machine learning, and data science," states Ken Goldberg, Chair of IEOR.  Abbeel's work has been featured in many popular press outlets, including BBC, New York Times, MIT Technology Review, Discovery Channel, SmartPlanet and Wired.  In a recent article in Science, Jordan was named the currently most influential computer scientist in the world.

Prof. David Wagner teaching CS C8 (photo: SF Chronicle)

UC Berkeley rises to the challenge of Data Science demand

Prof. David Wagner, who co-teaches CS C8: The Foundations of Data Science, and Prof. David Culler, interim dean of the new Division of Data Sciences,  are featured in a San Francisco Chronicle article titled "Universities rush to add data science majors as demand explodes."   As worplace demand for data scientists and data enigineers continues to soar,  student enrollment in CS C8 has more than tripled since 2016. The Division of Data Sciences was established in the College of Engineering in December,  and a data science undergraduate major--the first new undergraduate major the College of Letters & Science in 16 years--is in the works.  “No program has grown this fast at Berkeley,” said Culler.