News

Leslie Field develops technology to deal with climate change

EECS alumna Leslie Field (M.S. ’88, Ph.D. ’91) is featured in a Berkeley Engineering news article titled “One big reflective band-aid”. After watching Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006, Field was inspired to develop a technology to deal with climate change. The following year she began testing ideas to increase the reflective capacity of ice in a small lake in the Sierra Nevada and founded Ice911, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing systems to be deployed on the planet’s receding ice sheets.

Bob Jewett rules billiards

Alumnus Bob Jewett (EECS BS '75/M.S. '79) is profiled in a Berkeley Engineer article titled "Bob Jewett's double life" which describes the retired HP/Agilent/Keysight engineer's life-long fascination with the rules and science of billiards.  Bob has published hundreds of articles on subjects like table friction, shots that depend on spin, and calculating the best approach to a shot.

Ankur Aggarwal makes Forbes 30 Under 30 in healthcare

Alumnus Ankur Aggarwal (EECS M.Eng.'12) has been named in Forbes magazine's 30 Under 30 list,  a compilation of the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers across 20  industries.  Ankur and his college roommates teamed up to found TowerView Health, which sells a smart pill box with custom trays of medication.

Tobias Boelter finds vulnerability in WhatsApp

Computer Science graduate student Tobias Boelter has found a security loophole in the popular messaging app WhatsApp that could allow encrypted messages to be read and  intercepted.  Facebook, which acquired WhatsApp in 2014, had emphasized security and end-to-end encryption as a primary selling point.  This flaw may be an inadvertent error or a deliberate backdoor.  Tobias writes "Facebook does not deny that there is a vulnerability that can be used to 'wiretap' targeted conversations by, for example, governments with access to WhatsApp’s servers. And despite WhatsApp’s recent public statements, the vulnerability cannot be avoided by verifying fingerprints or checking a checkbox in the WhatsApp settings."

The search is on for interim dean of new Division of Data Science

Although it is too early to know the candidates, interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ has announced that a member of faculty will be appointed interim dean of the new Division of Data Science at UC Berkeley.   Cathryn Carson, co-chair of the faculty advisory board, said the appointment of an interim dean is an important initial step in advancing the research and education of data science on campus.  CS Prof. David Culler said UC Berkeley has already been developing the foundations of the new field, which lies at the intersection of computer science and statistics.  Culler said the purpose of the new division is not only to distinguish the field with importance but also to integrate data science with all other divisions in the school. He added that the faculty advisory board hopes to include the division in the College of Letters and Sciences as well as the College of Engineering and that the position will give data science “a seat at the table” when deans are discussing on-campus issues.

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?

Asad Abidi named inaugural holder of Abdus Salam Chair

Alumnus Asad A. Abidi (EE MS '78/PhD '81, EE Distinguished Alumni 2015) will be the inaugural holder of the Abdus Salam Chair in the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan.  The Chair is named in honor of theoretical physicist Abdus Salam, the first Pakistani and first Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in science.  Abidi, who is a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA and the founding dean of LUMS, is known for his groundbreaking research in single-chip radios.   He  won the IEEE Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits—which was named in honor of EECS Prof. Donald O. Pederson—in 2008.

Kylan Nieh makes Forbes 30 Under 30 in enterprise technology

Alumnus Kylan Nieh (CS BA/Business BS 2014) has made the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30: Enterprise Technology list.  While still a student, Kylan started his own public speaking and leadership course at the Haas School of Business and became the youngest recipient of the Business Teacher of the Year Award in 2014.  After graduation, Kylan became the youngest Senior Product Manager at LinkedIn Students.

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.

Imperva names Roger Sippl to board of directors

Imperva has named alumnus Roger Sippl (CS BS '77 ) to its board of directors.  Sippl is a Silicon Valley software pioneer, entrepreneur and innovator.  He founded Informix Software (now part of IBM) in 1980, when he was just 24, to develop and commercialize SQL relational database software.  He subsequently took two more companies through IPO: The Vantive Corporation, which became part of PeopleSoft/Oracle, and Visigenic Software, which was acquired by Borland.  Sippl received the CS Distinguished Alumni award in 1995.