Black History in EECS: Joseph Thomas Gier

Meet EE Prof. Joseph Gier (1910-1961), the first tenured black professor in the U. C. system and the first tenured black faculty member in a STEM field—and the second in any field—at a top-ranked, predominantly white university in the country.  He was also a world expert in the field of thermal and luminous radiation, particularly infrared measurement, and was considered by many at the time to be the “best laboratory instructor ever to teach in electrical engineering at Berkeley.”

2019 IEEE Computer Society Pioneer: Jitendra Malik
Prof. Jitendra Malik

Jitendra Malik wins the 2019 IEEE Computer Society Pioneer Award

Prof. Jitendra Malik has won the 2019 IEEE Computer Society Pioneer Award. The Computer Pioneer Award was established in 1981 by the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society to recognize and honor the vision of those people whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to early concepts and developments in the electronic computer field, which have clearly advanced the state-of-the-art in computing. Malik, who is known for his research in computer vision, is honored “For a leading role in developing Computer Vision into a thriving discipline through pioneering research, leadership, and mentorship.” The award consists of a silver medal, which will be presented at an IEEE Computer Society event later this year.


GridWatch monitors electrical power grids using smart phones

A research team from Lab11, led by Associate Prof. Prabal Dutta and PhD student Noah Klugman, have created a new suite of technologies called GridWatch that uses the sensors on smartphones to monitor an electrical grid and measure outages, grid frequency, and voltage sags and spikes.   They launched an app in Ghana last year called DumsorWatch, that uses a variety of data from phone sensors (power charging, movement, WiFi signals, etc) to determine probabilistically whether a nearby electrical grid is working.  The team also includes PhD student Joshua Adkins, research scientist Matt Podolsky, and Professor Jay Taneja from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

2019 Sloan Fellowships: Moritz Hardt and Sergey Levine

Moritz Hardt and Sergey Levine win Sloan Research Fellowships

Assistant Profs. Moritz Hardt and Sergey Levine have been awarded 2019 Alfred O. Sloan Research Fellowships. They are among 126 early-career scholars who represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Winners receive $70,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research. Hardt and Levine were both selected in the Computer Science category. Hardt’s research aims to make the practice of machine learning more robust, reliable, and aligned with societal values. The goal of Levine’s research is to develop artificial intelligence systems that are flexible, general, and adaptable. “Sloan Research Fellows are the best young scientists working today,” said foundation president Adam Falk. “Sloan Fellows stand out for their creativity, for their hard work, for the importance of the issues they tackle, and the energy and innovation with which they tackle them.”



Rikky Muller receives NSF CAREER award

EE Assistant Prof. Rikky Muller is the recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) award for her project titled "Intelligent, Closed-Loop Neural Interfaces."  The award, which is expected to total $500k, is a continuing  grant which has been approved on scientific / technical merit for the period of February 15, 2019 to January 31, 2024.  Muller will be a keynote speaker at the Berkeley Annual Research Symposium (BEARS) on Thursday.

Eli Yablonovitch wins 2019 OSA Frederic Ives Medal / Jarus W. Quinn Prize

EE Prof. Eli Yablonovitch has won the prestigious Frederic Ives Medal / Jarus W. Quinn Prize from the Optical Society of America (OSA).  It is the highest award presented by the OSA and recognizes overall distinction.  Yablonitch, along with Sanjeev John, founded the field of photonic crystals in 1987.  He and his team were the first to create a 3-dimensional structure that exhibited a full photonic bandgap, which has been named Yablonovite.  His seminal paper reporting inhibited spontaneous emission in photonic crystals is said to be among the most highly cited papers in physics and engineering.

Claire Tomlin elected to the NAE

EE alumna and Prof. Claire Tomlin (Ph.D. '98, adviser: Shankar Sastry) has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.  Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."  Tomlin was cited “For contributions to design tools for safety-focused control of cyberphysical systems.”

Ken Goldberg and Eric Brewer on AI, Automation and the Future of Work

CS Profs. Ken Goldberg and Eric Brewer appeared in a live NewRetirement podcast to discuss Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Automation and the Future of Work.  The interview covered the history of technological revolutions, what’s happening now with technology like self-driving cars, AI, robotics, and automation and how it may impact society, industries, companies and individuals. Their opinions about where we are today and ideas like the Singularity may surprise you.

Michael Stonebraker to deliver opening keynote at Data Summit

ACM A.M. Turing Award Laureate and database technology pioneer Prof. Emeritus Michael Stonebraker will deliver the opening keynote at Data Summit 2019, titled “Big Data, Technological Disruption, and the 800-Pound Gorilla in the Corner.”  Stonebraker was the main architect of the INGRES relational DBMS, and the object-relational DBMS, POSTGRES, developed at U.C. Berkeley. The Data Summit brings together corporations, government agencies, and public institutions to learn about the leading technologies and strategies for succeeding in this increasingly data-driven world.

Alexandre Bayen joins Mobility panel at World Economic Forum

EE Prof. Alexandre Bayen will be part of a panel at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, today titled "Meeting the Challenges of the New Mobility."  Bayen, who is the director of the Institute of Transportation Studies (ITS), will discuss the societal impacts of the New Mobility, the massive ongoing transformation in how the world moves people, things, and data. The panel is hosted by the Oliver Wyman Forum.