News

From global experience to collective perspective: Li Yang Kat

EECS Master of Engineering (MEng) student Li Yang Kat, who is originally from Singapore and has studied abroad in Sweden and South Korea, loves the human aspect of engineering and is passionate about sharing his fondness for STEM with other students. He says that his experiences overseas have broadened his world view and feels that understanding other's perspectives will make him a better engineer.  “A good engineer is technically competent, but taking the time to understand the needs of our users, dedicating ourselves to continuously improve our skills, and always demonstrating utmost integrity are the hallmarks of a great engineer,” said Kat.

After Parkland shooting, Kai Koerber fights for mental health resources in schools

CS-intended major Kai Koerber, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and now an advocate for mental health education, is the subject of an interview in an episode of Fiat Vox, the Berkeley News podcast.  Koerber was a high school senior in February 2018 when he huddled in a closet to escape the gunman, a former student, who killed 17 people in one of the deadliest school shootings in the country.  He decided to take a stand and speak authentically about gun violence and mental health, contributing the perspective of a young black person living in the South.  That April, he founded Societal Reform Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting mental health in schools by implementing programs that teach students of all ages to “mitigate emotions, relax, learn and grow as human beings.”

Jake Tibbetts and SIGNAL win 2019 SGS&C Best Student Game

Computer Science and Global Studies double major, Jake Tibbetts, and the UC Berkeley Project on Nuclear Gaming (PONG) were awarded Best Student Game at the 2019 Serious Games Showcase and Challenge (SGS&C) for their work on SIGNAL.  SIGNAL is an online three-player experimental wargame in which three countries, some armed with nuclear weapons, attempt to achieve national goals through diplomacy and conflict.  It is designed to help understand the impact of emerging technologies on strategic stability and nuclear risk reduction. Tibbetts, who specializes in Peace and Conflict Studies, is a member of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC), a five-year program to develop a new generation of laboratory-integrated nuclear experts.  SGS&C is the premier venue for recognition of excellence in the field of Serious Games development.

Jaijeet Roychowdhury and Tianshi Wang win 2019 Nokia Bell Labs Prize

EECS Prof. Jaijeet Roychowdhury and his graduate student Tianshi Wang have won First Place in the 2019 Nokia Bell Labs Competition for their work on  “A Classical Spin on Quantum Computing.”  The pair have created a new type of processor element that will be significantly more efficient in computing the answers to discrete optimization problems. Their innovation will complement conventional digital processors (CPUs and GPUs) by efficiently tackling a wide range of computationally hard problems of importance in many diverse areas, including 5G communication systems; complex tasks in planning, scheduling and control; and even the discovery of new drugs.  The first place finish comes with a prize of $100K.

Student research projects to be highlighted at Data Science Showcase

The Data Science Showcase, which will highlight the amazing ways that students are using data science to advance discovery and impact across campus and beyond in over 30+ projects, will be held this Thursday, December 5, from 12 noon to 3:30 pm in Sutardja Dai Hall.  The Showcase will kick off with a series of presentations in the Banatao Auditorium, followed by posters, demonstrations, and light refreshments in the adjoining Kvamme Atrium.  RSVP requested.

Ashwin Pananjady wins inaugual IMS Lawrence Brown PhD Student Award

EECS graduate student Ashwin Pananjady (advisors: Martin Wainwright and Thomas Courtade) is one of the three inaugural recipients of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award.  Pananjady, who studies fundamental problems spanning statistics, information theory, optimization, and machine learning, will present his research at a special invited session during the 10th World Congress in Probability and Statistics (WC2020), to be held in Seoul, Korea, next year.

Shruti Agarwal to participate on SMPTE Hollywood "deepfakes" panel

EECS graduate student Shruti Agarwal (advisor: Hany Farid) will participate in the November 19th meeting of the Hollywood Section of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) on the topic of "Digital Humans and Deepfakes: Creative Promise and Peril."  Agarwal, whose research is in the field of multimedia forensics, will be part of a panel that will describe the history of digital humans and deepfakes, the challenges involved in creating them convincingly, and if/how news and entertainment professionals can spot them.  The meeting will be held in tandem with the Radio, Television, Digital Newsroom Association (RTDNA).

Two EECS papers win 2019 ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards

Two papers co-authored by Berkeley EECS authors won ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards at the Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA) 2019.  "Duet: An Expressive Higher-Order Language and Linear Type System for Statically Enforcing Differential Privacy" co-authored by Prof. Dawn Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar), graduate student Lun Wang, undergraduate researcher Pranav Gaddamadugu, and alumni Neel Somani (CS B.A.  '19), Nikhil Sharma (EECS B.S. '18/M.S. '19),  and Alex Shan (CS B.A. '18), along with researchers in Vermont and Utah, and "Aroma: Code Recommendation via Structural Code Search" co-authored by Prof. Koushik Sen (along with authors at Facebook and UC Irvine), won two of the five honors awarded at the top programming language conference, part of the ACG SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) in October.  

Ren Ng weighs in on why your photos are about to get a lot better

CS Prof. Ren Ng is quoted in a New York Times article titled "The Reason Your Photos Are About to Get a Lot Better."  The article describes how computational photography is driving the future of phone cameras.  “Most photos you take these days are not a photo where you click the photo and get one shot,” said Ng. “These days it takes a burst of images and computes all of that data into a final photograph.”  He and his students are researching new techniques in computational photography, like applying portrait-mode effects to videos.  One type of effect could be to set the recorded footage to automatically focus on whomever is speaking.  “These are examples of capabilities that are completely new and emerging in research that could completely change what we think of that’s possible,” said Ng.

Pragya Kushwaha wins 2019 IEEE EDS Early Career Award

EECS Postdoctoral researcher Pragya Kushwaha, currently working with Prof. Chenming Hu and Prof. Sayeef Salahuddin in the Berkeley Short-channel IGFET Model (BSIM) group, has won a prestigious 2019 IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) Early Career Award.  This award is presented annually to an IEEE EDS member who has made early career contributions to the field.  Kushwaha develops compact models for emerging electronic devices, now considered the industry standard.  The models are used by circuit designers to predict device behavior (i.e., current, power, and noise) to simulate their circuits during design before fabrication. This honor was previously won by BSAC Postdoc Chen Yang in 2010.