Valerie Taylor named Director of Argonne National Lab’s Math & CS Division

Alumna Valerie Taylor (EE M.S. '86/Ph.D. '91) has been appointed the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.  Taylor has received numerous awards for distinguished research and leadership and authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in the area of high performance computing, with a focus on performance analysis and modeling of parallel scientific applications.  Argonne’s MCS Division produces next-generation technologies and software to tackle the challenges of big data generated by high-performance computing and large, experimental facilities.

Matthias Vallentin and Vern Paxson take a “VAST” Step Forward in Cyber Security

Postdoctoral researcher Matthias Vallentin is developing VAST,  a  forensic analysis tool  designed to help prioritize the investigation of computer security breaches.  It complements Bro, a security tool  devised by Prof. Vern Paxson when he was a graduate student 22 years ago and which is now used worldwide, to instantly collect huge volumes of log data that a hack might compromise.  “Maybe the external machine also appeared in a phishing email, which contained a PDF attachment. Not only that, but the PDF also includes a malicious payload, which upon opening, sends sensitive information from the employee’s computer to a cyber criminal.  VAST supports this iterative process to reconstruct the complete picture and presents it on a platter” explains Vallentin.  The function, development, and industrial potential of these tools are discussed in a Berkeley Research article.

Raghav Chandra's UrbanClap dominates India's on-demand services ecosystem

Alumnus Raghav Chandra (EECS B.S. '11) and his second start-up, UrbanClap, are the subject of a Live Mint article describing the formation and rise of the most funded start-up in the still nascent hyperlocal segment of the on-demand services sector in India.  UrbanClap, which aggregates 107 local services and 65,000 providers, and enables customers to request services online through its website or mobile application, raised $36.6M in funding during the first 2 years after its inception.  Raghav, who was active in GamesCrafters as a student, became a software engineer at Yelp and Twitter, and founded the startup Buggi, before meeting his current partners to co-found UrbanClap.

Student startup culture is in The House

A number of EECS alumni and faculty have been invited to guest lecture for a DeCal course called "Build the Future" (CS 198), designed in collaboration with startup institute The House, to get undergraduate students engaged with the Berkeley entrepreneurial ecosystem and to use their time on campus creatively.  CS majors Jimmy Liu and Zuhayeer Musa (who run a company called Bash) helped develop the course, CS Prof. Scott Shenker is the faculty advisor, and Cameron Baradar (B.S.’15 EECS) is executive director of The House.  Speakers will include CS Prof. Joe Hellerstein, EE Prof. Kurt Keutzer, co-founder of Oculus Jack McCauley (B.S.’86, EECS), and founder of inDinero Jessica Mah (B.S.’10 EECS).

Startup Trifacta gives customers an intuitive, agile new way of working with data

Trifacta, a data wrangling startup co-founded by Prof. Joe Hellerstein (also company CSO and CS alumnus--M.S. '92), is one of the companies profiled by Computer Weekly in an article titled "Silicon Valley startups aim to make big data capture and prep slicker."  Customers of Trifacta, which specializes in sorting out data and getting it into shape for analysis, includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, PepsiCo, Walmart, and soon Google (Cloud Dataprep). Other CS alumni on the Trifacta team include co-founder and CXO Jeffrey Heer (B.S. '01/M.S. '04/Ph.D. '08) and Vice President of Products Wei Zheng (B.A. '99).  

Andrew Ng on why Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02), Chief Scientist at Baidu, founder of Google Brain, co-founder of Coursera, and Stanford adjunct professor, describes in a video on Inside HPC how artificial intelligence is transforming the industrial landscape.  He compares the impact of AI to that of electricity, which radically transformed industry after industry when it was introduced.

Gary Hornbuckle, founder of Applicon, Inc. has died

Alumnus Gary Dean Hornbuckle (EE B.S. '61/M.S. '62/Ph.D. '67), a pioneer in the computing industry who formed a number of his own companies, passed away on March 1, 2017.  He spent 2 years on the research staff at M.I.T. before forming Applicon, Inc. in 1969, one of the first Computer Aided Design systems manufacturing companies.  When Applicon was acquired by Schlumberger in 1980 it had over $100 million in annual revenue.  He went on to found and serve as president of five additional technology companies in Texas and California before retiring in 2000.

Sarah Bergbreiter engineers submillimeter-sized robotic systems

EECS alumna Sarah Bergbreiter (M.S. '04/Ph.D. '07) is  the subject of a profile  by the A. James Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland celebrating female engineering faculty during women's history month.  Sarah is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Institute for Systems Research, and the Director of the Maryland Robotics Center in charge of both the Micro Robotics Lab and the multi-user Robot Realization Lab.  She has received  PECASE, NSF CAREER, and DARPA Young Faculty Awards, and has also been named one of 25 women in robotics you should know about.

Anca Dragan and Yoky Matsuoka are taking charge in 2017

CS Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan and EECS alumna Yoky Matsuoka (B.S. '93) are among Interesting Engineering's "17 Awesome Women Engineers" who are revolutionizing the engineering field in 2017.  Anca is described as "one of the rising stars of the robotics scene" as the head of the InterACT Lab at UC Berkeley which specializes in human/robotics interactions, algorithms and compatible artificial intelligence systems."  Yoky is "a hot commodity among major tech companies" as the CTO of Alphabet Nest.

Gary May selected to be Chancellor of UC Davis

Dr. Gary May has been selected to become the 7th Chancellor of UC Davis. Dr. May is an alumnus of EECS (M.S. ’88 and Ph.D. ’92) and was one of the founding members of the Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students (BGESS) group. In 2010, he was named Outstanding Electrical Engineering Alumnus of UC Berkeley. Dr. May is currently the dean of the College of Engineering at Georgia Tech where he serves as the college’s chief academic officer, leading more than 400 faculty members and more than 13,000 students. The UC Board of Regents will vote on the terms of the proposed appointment during a special meeting at UCLA on Feb. 23. If the board approves the appointment, May will assume the chancellorship on August 1, 2017.