News

Silvio Micali's new public ledger: ALGORAND

Alumnus Silvio Micali (CS PhD '82, CS Distinguished Alumni 2006) has published a paper called ALGORAND The Efficient and Democratic Ledger where he lays out a groundbreaking new vision of a decentralized and secure way to manage a shared ledger that provides a beautifully elegant solution to the Byzantine General’s problem.  Micali, the Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT, is the recipient of the Turing Award,  the Goedel Prize, and the RSA prize in cryptography.  His new research is profiled in an article titled "Move over Bitcoin - MIT Cryptographer Silvio Micali and his Public Ledger ALGORAND...The Future of Blockchain?

Stephen Director named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Alumnus Stephen W. Director (EE M.S. '67/Ph.D. '68) has been elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors this year.  The title recognizes "academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society."  Director is a pioneer in the field of elec­tronic design automation and has patented methods for max­i­mizing the yield during the man­u­fac­turing of inte­grated cir­cuits.  Director is Provost Emeritus in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Northeastern University.

Algorithm probes how AIs reason

Quartz  explores an algorithm devised by CS Prof. Trevor Darrell, L&S CS undergraduate student Dong Huk Park, CS grad student Lisa Anne Hendricks, and postdoc Marcus Rohrbach, along with researchers in the Max Planck Institute for Informatics,  in an article titled "We don’t understand how AI make most decisions, so now algorithms are explaining themselves." Engineers have developed deep learning systems that ‘work’ without necessarily knowing why they work or being able to show the logic behind a system’s decision.   The algorithm uses a “pointing and justification” system, to point to the data used to make a decision and justify why it was used that way.

New ultrasonic sensors can improve security of fingerprint recognition on smartphones

EE Prof. Bernhard Boser is profiled in an article in the Cal Aggie titled "Fingerprint recognition on smartphones unsafe and hackable" in which he discusses a new ultrasonic imaging process developed at UC Berkeley and UC Davis to more securely protect personal information than current finger recognition technologies.  This new technology, which combines an ultrasonic sensor in air and an ultrasonic sensor in tissue, captures a fingerprint in 3D to uniquely identify a person.  It images both the ridges and valleys of a fingerprint surface as well as the subsurface structure of the skin,  distinguishing between layers of tissue by analyzing the densities of live and dead skin cells.  "This imaging process can look at the surface of fingerprints and inside the finger,” Boser said. “There are more patterns inside the finger that can’t be put onto glass screen of a phone.”

Jun-Yan Zhu creates algorithms for the artistically challenged

CS graduate student Jun-Yan Zhu (adviser: Alexei Efros) is the subject of an article in California Magazine titled "Paint by Numbers: Algorithms for the Artistically Challenged."  Zhu and his team apply the tools of machine learning to computer graphics.  For example, in the team's most recent project, they developed software that lets users easily create realistic images from the crudest brushstrokes.  Their research projects have yielded potential applications from improving online searching and e-commerce to art and fashion.

Computational Imaging proposal accepted for collaborative research initiative

A Computational Imaging research proposal submitted by EE Associate Prof. Laura Waller, EE Associate Prof. Michael Lustig, CS Assistant Prof. Ren Ng, CS Assistant Prof. Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, and CS Associate Prof. Benjamin Rechts has been accepted as part of a set of cross-disciplinary activities planned for development by Berkeley Research.  Berkeley Research ran eight faculty forums on a wide range of topics and received 30 proposals which were reviewed by a faculty panel and discussed with the Deans.  The selected projects "hold great promise for Berkeley to be at the forefront of developing a positive vision for the future."

Ali Javey's team's Wearable Sweat Bio-sensor

Prof. Ali Javey and his team's presentation at the 2016 International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) is profiled in an EE Times article titled "Sweating Big Human-Body Data Challenge." This year, IEDM papers  explored a number of technologies to make flexible and printable electronics,  and Prof. Javey's team's paper stood out. Unlike conventional wearable devices, the team has zeroed in on the idea of attaching sweat biosensors — like a patch — on the body to collect sweat as it appears, for “real-time perspiration analysis.”

Berkeley AI Research Lab logo

NVIDIA Delivers AI Supercomputer to Berkeley

Earlier this year NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang delivered a NVIDIA DGX-1 AI supercomputer in a box to the Berkeley AI Research Lab (BAIR). BAIR’s research is at the cutting edge of multi-modal deep learning, human-compatible AI and connecting AI with other scientific disciplines and the humanities. According to Prof. Pieter Abbeel, “More compute power directly translates into more ideas being investigated, tried out, tuned to actually get them to work.”

Salto the wall-jumping robot is the most vertically agile ever built

EECS Prof. Ronald Fearing, EECS PhD student Justin Yim, post doc Dr. Mark Plecnik, and ME PhD student Duncan Haldane have created Salto, the most vertically agile jumping robot.  Salto can repeatedly jump 1 meter vertically at almost two times per second.  Salto is featured in the premier issue of Science Robotics (Dec. 6).