News

Theresa Meng wins IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal

2010 EECS distinguished alumna Theresa Huai-Ying Meng (M.S. '85/Ph.D. '88) has won the 2019 IEEE Alexander Graham Bell Medal.  The award is presented to an individual or team for "exceptional contributions to communications and networking sciences and engineering."  Meng, who is a Professor Emerita at Stanford University and founder of Atheros Communications Inc., won "for technical contributions to and leadership in the development of wireless semiconductor technology."  Meng is following in the footsteps of graduate advisor, David Messerschmitt, who won the award in 1999.

Elad Alon, Sayeef Salahuddin and Dawn Song elected IEEE Fellows class of 2019

Profs. Elad Alon, Sayeef Salahuddin and Dawn Song have been elected to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellows class of 2019.  An IEEE Fellowship 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.  Alon was elected for contributions to mixed-signal integrated circuit design and methodology, Salahuddin for contributions to low power electronic and spintronic devices, and Song for contributions to systems security and privacy.

Microrobots fly, walk and jump into the future

EE alumnus and Prof. Kris Pister (M.S.’89, Ph.D.’92), his grad student Daniel Drew, and research being done in the Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center (BSAC), are featured in a Berkeley Engineering articled titled "Microrobots fly, walk and jump into the future."  Roughly the size and weight of a postage stamp, micro-robots consist of a mechanical structure, propulsion system, motion-tracking sensor and multiple wires that supply power and communication signals.  They evolved from Pister’s invention of “smart dust,” tiny chips roughly the size of rice grains packed with sensors, microprocessors, wireless radios and batteries. Pister likes to refer to his microrobots as “smart dust with legs.”  “We’re pushing back the boundaries of knowledge in the field of miniaturization, robotic actuators, micro-motors, wireless communication and many other areas,” says Pister. “Where these results will lead us is difficult to predict.”

Study shows playing high school football changes the teenage brain

A research study led by EE Prof. Chunlei Liu (senior author) and postdoc Nan-Ji Gong (first author), which is the cover story of the November issue of Neurobiology of Disease, found that a single season of high school football may be enough to cause microscopic changes in the structure of the brain.  The team (which included researchers from Duke and UNC Chapel Hill) used a new type of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to take brain scans of 16 high school players, ages 15 to 17, before and after a season of football. They found significant changes in the structure of the grey matter in the front and rear of the brain, where impacts are most likely to occur, as well as changes to structures deep inside the brain.  This is one of the first studies to look at how impact sports affect the brains of children at this critical age.

Deep Learning Pioneer Bryan Catanzaro on the Importance of Research

EECS alumnus Bryan Catanzaro (Ph.D. '11 advisor: Kurt Keutzer), the Vice President of Applied Deep Learning Research at NVIDIA, is one of the subjects of a Forbes series on the AI innovators "who have dedicated their life’s work to improving the human condition through technology advancements."  Catanzaro has worked alongside deep learning pioneers Adam Coates and Andrew Ng at Baidu, creating the next generation of systems for deep learning training and developing end-to-end deep learning-based speech recognition models. In the interview, he talks about one of the most important conferences in the researching world (NeurIPS 2018) and why research is important to help build out the future of AI.

Tsu-Jae King Liu

Tsu-Jae King Liu inducted into 2019 Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame

EE Prof. and Dean of Engineering Tsu-Jae King Liu as been elected to the 2019 Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) Hall of Fame.  Inductees must have demonstrated significant engineering or technical achievements, provided significant guidance in new and developing fields of engineering-based technology, and/or have managed or directed an organization making noteworthy contributions in design, manufacturing, production, or service through the uses of engineering principles and applications.  They also must have contributed significantly to one or more technical societies and accomplished significant community service activities (or have provided noteworthy advice to governmental committees, etc.).  King Liu is known for her contributions to nanoscale MOS transistors, memory devices, and MEMS devices. Other EECS inductees include Profs. Randy Katz (2018), Chenming Hu (2017), Paul Gray (2015), David Hodges (2012), and David Patterson (2005).

Skin-like sensor maps blood-oxygen levels anywhere in the body

A new flexible sensor developed by Berkeley EE researchers can map blood-oxygen levels over large areas of skin, tissue and organs, potentially giving doctors a new way to monitor healing wounds in real time.  The research group, which includes Prof. Ana Claudia Arias, Yasser Khan, Donggeon Han, Adrien Pierre, Jonathan Ting, Xingchun Wang and Claire Lochner (plus researchers from Cambridge Display Technology Ltd), have created a lightweight, thin, and flexible oximeter made of organic electronics printed on bendable plastic that molds to the contours of the body.  The sensor, which is described in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is made of an alternating array of printed light-emitting diodes and photodetectors and can detect blood-oxygen levels anywhere it is placed. The sensor shines red and infrared light into the skin and detects the ratio of light that is reflected back.

Ming Wu to step down as faculty director of the NanoLab

EE Prof. Ming Wu will be stepping down as faculty director of the Berkeley Marvell Nanofabrication Laboratory (NanoLab) at the end of 2018.  He took up the position in 2008 after his predecessor, EE Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, became associate dean of research at the College of Engineering.  At the time, a new state-of-the-art clean room research facility was in its final stages of construction in Sutardja Dai Hall.  Under Wu’s leadership, multiple capabilities were added to the NanoLab – including a suite of high-resolution spectroscopy and microscopy tools.

Berkeley computer theorists show path to verifying that quantum beats classical

UC Berkeley computer theorists led by CS Prof. Umesh Vazirani,  published a proof of random circuit sampling (RCS) as a verification method to prove quantum supremacy in a paper published Monday, Oct. 29, in the journal Nature Physics.  Quantum supremacy is the term that describes a quantum computer’s ability to solve a computational task that would be prohibitively difficult for any classical algorithm.  “Besides being a milestone on the way to useful quantum computers, quantum supremacy is a new kind of physics experiment to test quantum mechanics in a new regime. The basic question that must be answered for any such experiment is how confident can we be that the observed behavior is truly quantum and could not have been replicated by classical means. That is what our results address,” said Vazirani.

Barbara Simons to be awarded Athena Lifetime Achievement Award

2005 CS Distinguished Alumna Barbara Simons (Ph.D. '81) will be receiving the Athena Lifetime Achievement Award at the CITRIS Women in Tech Symposium on Friday, 11/16.  Simons, who is a past president of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), is board chair of Verified Voting, a non-partisan organization that advocates for reliable and secure voting practices.  She is the author of “Broken Ballots: Will Your Vote Count?” and is a long-time champion for programs to increase diversity in computer science and engineering.  She will not be able to attend the conference but will make an appearance in a short video.