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).

Paul Debevec: A Name You Absolutely Need to Know in CG, VFX, Animation, and VR

Alumnus Paul Debevec (Ph.D. 1996) is the subject of a Cartoon Brew interview titled "Paul Debevec: A Name You Absolutely Need to Know in CG, VFX, Animation, and VR." Paul's insights into virtual cinematography, image-based lighting (IBL), and the crafting of photoreal virtual humans inspired several films, including The Matrix, Spider-Man 2, and Avatar, along with games and real-time rendered content.   Paul is now an adjunct research professor at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies (USC ICT) and just began as a senior staff engineer in the GoogleVR Daydream team, working at the intersection of virtual reality and real-time rendering.  The interview explores why his research has had such a major influence on computer graphics, animation, vfx, and vr.

How Bill Marczak found spyware that could control anybody's iPhone

CS graduate student Bill Marczak (adviser: Vern Paxson) is the subject of a Vanity Fair article titled "How a grad stduent found spyware that could control anybody's iPhone from anywhere in the world."  Last summer, Bill stumbled across a program that could spy on your iPhone’s contact list and messages—and even record your calls. Illuminating shadowy firms that sell spyware to corrupt governments across the globe, Bill’s story reveals the new arena of cyber-warfare.

Bill just presented his dissertation talk and will likely stay on another year as a postdoc working with Prof. Paxson.

Ana Claudia Arias and Rikky Muller

Ana Arias and Rikky Muller selected as NAE Gilbreth Lecturers

Associate Professor Ana Claudia Arias and Assistant Professor Rikky Muller have been selected as Gilbreth Lecturers at the upcoming National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) National Meeting on Thursday, February 9, 2017. Encouraging an interest in engineering careers among middle and high school students is a high priority for the president of NAE so the meeting audience typically includes 100-200 students from local schools.

Prof. Claire Tomlin

Claire Tomlin receives honorary doctorate from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Prof. Claire Tomlin has been chosen to receive an honorary doctorate from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, Sweden. KTH is one of Europe’s leading technical and engineering universities and a key center of intellectual talent and innovation. Prof. Tomlin is recognized as an exceptional, inspiring teacher with strong international commitment and drive as a research leader and visionary. As an internationally renowned instructor, researcher and leader, Prof. Tomlin has furthered KTH’s activities through various collaborations in hybrid regulation systems, cyberphysical systems, and neighboring areas of information and communications technology and software engineering.

Scott Beamer receives 2016 SPEC Kaivalya Dixit Distinguished Dissertation Award

Dr. Scott Beamer's dissertation titled "Undertanding and Improving Graph Algorithm Performance" has been selected to receive the 2016 Standard Performance Evaluation Corp (SPEC) Kaivalya Dixit Distinguished Dissertation Award.  The award recognizes outstanding doctoral dissertations in the field of computer benchmarking, performance evaluation, and experimental system analysis in general.  Papers are evaluated on scientific originality, scientific significance, practical relevance, impact, and quality of the presentation.

Among other comments, the members of the committee were impressed with Beamer's deep understanding of open-source graphs, with the quality of the implementations, with the creation of a graph benchmark suite that is already been used, that is relevant for High Performance Computing, and that is likely to have further impact in the future. The committee also remarked on the clarity and simplicity of the ideas presented in the document.

The award will be presented at the International Conference on Performance Engineering (ICPE) in April.

Jose Carmena and Bora Nikolic elected IEEE Fellows class of 2017

Professors Jose Carmena and Borivoje Nikolic have been elected as IEEE Fellows Class 2017. An IEEE Fellow is a distinction reserved for select IEEE members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed fitting of this prestigious grade elevation. Prof. Carmena is recognized for contributions to the neural basis of motor skill learning and neuroprosthetic systems. Prof. Nikolic is recognized for contributions to energy-efficient design of digital and mixed-signal circuits.

Dave Hodges receives IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award

Professor Emeritus David Hodges has been selected to receive the prestigious IEEE Richard M. Emberson Award. This award is given for exemplified loyal and dedicated service to IEEE, especially its Technical Activities. Prof. Hodges is receiving this award for effective leadership in advancing IEEE's goals for excellence in publications, conferences, and awards.

Expanding Data Science Education

Student Jerry Lin has penned an Op-Ed in the Daily Cal titled "UC Berkeley should expand data science education" in which he describes why he supports the creation of  a College of Computing and Data Sciences, a cross-disciplinary program between EECS and statistics.  "This college would house associated majors that currently do not have an institutional home (such as Cognitive Science) while cross-listing existing courses across various departments into a logical, intuitive map, making it easy for students to navigate the data science landscape in a truly interdisciplinary fashion."  Lin discusses the difficulty non-CS students face when trying to enroll in data science classes vital to their fields of study.  "The interdisciplinary nature of data science demands accessibility," Lin writes, and this new college could be "a vision for the 21st century."

Researchers Develop New Parallel Computing Method

CS postdoctoral fellow Jeff Regier (adviser: Michael Jordan) along with researchers from Julia Computing, Intel,  NERSC, LBNL, and JuliaLabs@MIT have developed a new parallel computing method to dramatically scale up the process of cataloging astronomical objects. This major improvement leverages 8,192 Intel Xeon processors in Berkeley Lab’s Cori supercomputer and Julia, the high-performance, open-source scientific computing language to deliver a 225x increase in the speed of astronomical image analysis.

The code used for this analysis is called Celeste.  “Astronomical surveys are the primary source of data about the Universe beyond our solar system,” said Jeff. “Through Bayesian statistics, Celeste combines what we already know about stars and galaxies from previous surveys and from physics theories, with what can be learned from new data. Its output is a highly accurate catalog of galaxies’ locations, shapes and colors. Such catalogs let astronomers test hypotheses about the origin of the Universe, as well as about the nature of dark matter and dark energy.”

More detail can be found in an article on HPC Wire "Researchers Develop New Parallel Computing Method."