Campus Shutdown Notice

In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we have decided to close our administrative offices starting Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.  Cory and Soda Hall are closed.  Classes are being held remotely.  All events in Cory and Soda Halls will either be cancelled or held remotely, and staff will be working remotely during this time.

Mike Stonebraker wins 2020 C&C Prize

EECS Prof. Emeritus Michael Stonebraker has won the prestigious NEC Computers and Communications (C&C) Prize "For Pioneering Contributions to Relational Database Systems." The prize is awarded "to distinguished persons in recognition of outstanding contributions to research and development and/or pioneering work in the fields of semiconductors, computers, and/or telecommunications and in their integrated technologies."  In the early 1970's, Stonebraker and Prof. Eugene Wong began researching Relational Database Management Systems (RDBMS), which culminated in the creation of the Interactive Graphics and Retrieval System (INGRES), a practical and efficient implementation of the relational model running on Unix-based DEC machines.  It included a number of key ideas still widely used today, including B-trees, primary-copy replication, the query rewrite approach to views and integrity constraints, and the idea of rules/triggers for integrity checking in an RDBMS.  Stonebraker, Wong, and Prof. Larry Rowe, founded a startup called Relational Technology, Inc. (renamed Ingres Corporation), which they sold to Computer Associates in the early 1990's for $311M.  Stonebraker's student, Robert Epstein (Ph.D. '80), founded the startup Sybase, which created the code used as a basis for the Microsoft SQL Server.  Stonebraker also created Postgres in the late 1980's, which made it easier for programmers to modify or add to the optimizer, query language, runtime, and indexing frameworks.  It broadened the commercial database market by improving both database programmability and performance, making it possible to push large portions of a number of applications inside the database, including geographic information systems and time series processing.  Stonebraker retired from Berkeley in 2000 to found more companies and become an adjunct professor at MIT.  His achievements have been recognized with an IEEE John von Neumann Medal in 2005, ACM A.M. Turing Award in 2014, and ACM SIGMOD Systems Award in 2015.

An interview with Tapia 2020 keynote speaker Colin Parris

EE alumnus Colin Parris (M.S. '87, Ph.D. '94, advisor: Domenico Ferrari), the Ken Kennedy keynote speaker at the 2020 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference, is the subject of a CMDIT interview.  He talks about his childhood, the value of diversity in technological fields, and what young people interested in tech careers should know.  His keynote lecture, titled "How Digital Technology Will Shape the Future of Business," discussed how AI's physical/digital marriage can accelerate business growth and create new opportunities for people who want to find solutions to some of the world's biggest problems.  Parris is currently the Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer at GE Digital.

Ana Claudia Arias to participate in new $20M AI food systems research institute

EECS Prof. Ana Claudia Arias has been selected to participate in a new food systems research institute funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF),  US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  The award of $20M over five years will aim to improve US food systems to address issues such as pandemic-driven food system security and safety; improving crop yield, quality and nutrition; decreasing energy and water resource consumption; and increasing production and eliminating food waste.  The objective of the new USDA-NIFA Institute for Artificial Intelligence for Next-Generation Food Systems (AIFS) will focus on the creation of digital replicas of complex food systems, so-called “digital twins,” which can be safely manipulated and optimized in a virtual world and deployed in the physical world afterwards, reducing costs of experiments and accelerating development of new technologies.  A team of ten researchers from the UC Berkeley Next Generation Food Systems Center will combine forces with researchers from five other institutions including UC Davis, Cornell, UIUC, UC ANR, and the USDA, to staff the new center.

Gitanjali Swamy is one of the most Influential Indian Women in Technology in 2020

EECS alumna Gitanjali Swamy (Ph.D. '96, advisor: Robert Brayton) has been named one of the most Influential Women in Technology in 2020 by India's Analytics Insight magazine.   She was recognized for "helping enterprises realize their potential through the 'Innovation of Things (IoT).'"  Swamy is the Managing Partner of IoTask, which provides consulting and other advisory services (including a complete methodological guide at the policy and business-planning stage) in areas like Internet of Things, Mobile, and Analytics. She focuses on innovation for environmental, social, governance (ESG) and public-private projects.  Swamy also currently serves as the representative to the EQUALS Coalition of the United Nations, where she chairs the Gender Equitable Investment Working Committee, Research Fellow, and Director at Harvard’s Private Capital Research Institute and the Co-founder of UC Berkeley’s Witi@UC Initiative.  She has founded, built and was Board Director for a number of innovation enterprises, for which she led investment execution from seed stage to over US$1 billion. She was also involved in the formation of MIT’s Opencourseware, the Auto-ID consortium, and the MIT Engine investment vehicle, and has held operating roles at MathWorks and Mentor Graphics.  

Dawn Tilbury and Feng Zhou to present keynotes at BCS 2020

EECS alumni Dawn Tilbury (EE PhD '94, advisor: Shankar Sastry) and Feng Zhou (CS PhD '07, advisor: Eric Brewer) have been selected to present keynote addresses at the Berkeley China Summit (BCS) 2020 conference, which will be held virtually on September 18-19th.  BCS is  a full-day conference that aims to connect China’s businesses and investors with the technology, engineering, and business innovation expertise on the UC Berkeley campus and across the Bay Area.  This year's theme is "Redefine & Reconnect: Technology Empowering the World," which will a focus on the impact business, technology and culture have on "innovation in the Enterprise Service, Entrepreneurship, Healthcare and Senior Care sectors."  Tilbury is currently the head of the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate of Engineering.  Zhou founded Youdao, Inc. (NYSE: DAO.US), a Chinese company that provides "learning services and products" for online courses, NetEase Cloud Classroom, and Chinese University MOOC, in addition to online marketing services.

Margo Seltzer, Keith Bostic and Mike Olson

BerkeleyDB wins 2020 SIGMOD Systems Award

The creators of BerkeleyDB (BDB) have won the 2020 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD) Systems Award for their "seminal work in embodying simplicity, quality, and elegance in a high-performance key-value store that has impacted many systems and applications over the last 25 years."   BDB is a software library that originated as an effort to free up the user space utilities in BSD, UC Berkeley's free version of the Unix operating system.  It used revolutionarily simple function-call APIs for data access and management, which allowed developers to create custom solutions at a fraction of the usual cost.  Keith Bostic, a member of Berkeley's Computer Science Research Group (CSRG), and his wife, graduate student Margo Seltzer (Ph.D. '92, advisor: Michael Stonebraker), co-founded Sleepycat Software, Inc. to provide commercial support for BDB.  Seltzer served as CTO, Bostic as VP Eng and Product Architect, and former Berkeley student and BDB co-developer Mike Olson (who later co-founded Cloudera) was the first full-time employee and later served as CEO.  Seltzer, Bostic, and Olson are among the 16 developers cited for the award. BDB ships in every copy of Linux and BSD; drove most LDAP servers, and powered a large portion of the Web 1.0.

Paper by Peter Mattis to be presented at ACM SIGMOD conference

A paper co-written by EECS alumnus Peter Mattis (B.S. '97) is being presented at the 2020 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Management of Data (SIGMOD) International Conference on Management of Data this month.  The paper, titled "CockroachDB: The Resilient Geo-Distributed SQL Database," describes a cloud-native, distributed SQL database called CockroachDB, that is designed to store copies of data in multiple locations in order to deliver speedy access.  The database is being developed at Cockroach Labs, a company co-founded in 2015 by a team of former Google employees that included Mattis, who is also the current CTO, and fellow-alumnus Spencer Kimball (CS B.A. '97), currently the company CEO.  Cockroach Labs employs a number of Cal alumni including Ceilia La (CS B.A. '00) and Yahor Yuzefovich (CS B.A. '18).

EECS researchers discover ferroelectricity at the atomic scale

A team of researchers led by EE Prof. Sayeef Salahuddin and his graduate student, Suraj Cheema, have managed to grow an ultra-thin material on silicon that can power tiny electronic devices at the atomic scale.  Prior to this fundamental breakthrough, the thinnest conventional material that could demonstrate stable ferroelectricity was 3 nanometers thick.  The new ultrathin material, made of doped hafnium oxide just 1 nanometer thick (equivalent to the size of two atomic building blocks), can demonstrate even stronger ferroelectricity than material several times thicker.  This means it can efficiently power increasingly smaller devices, including memory and logic chips, batteries and sensors, with lower amounts of energy.  The findings were published in the April 22 issue of Nature.

Chenming Hu took transistors into the third dimension to save Moore's Law

EECS Prof. and alumnus Chenming Hu (M.S. '70/Ph.D. '73) is the subject of an IEEE Spectrum article titled "The father of FinFets: Chenming Hu took transistors into the third dimension to save Moore's Law" (Volume: 57 , Issue: 5 , May 2020).    Hu devised a way around a limitation in semiconductor design that threatened to keep transistors from getting smaller by innovating a technology called FinFET (Fin Field-Effect Transistors) in the IEEE Spectrum.  His idea was to raise  the channel through which current flows so that it sticks out above the surface of the chip like the fin of a shark.   Hu, who extended manufacturers' ability to miniaturize chips beyond what was expected by decades, won the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2016 and the IEEE Medal of Honor in 2020.   The article charts Hu's winding career path, the nature of his research and the impact of his contributions.

Chenming Hu donates IEEE Medal of Honor winnings to EECS department

EE Prof. and alumnus Chenming Hu (M.S. '70, Ph.D. '73), who won the 2020 IEEE Medal of Honor, has chosen to donate his $50K prize to the EECS department.   Hu, who was cited “for a distinguished career of developing and putting into practice semiconductor models, particularly 3D device structures, that have helped keep Moore’s Law going over many decades," is also the subject of an IEEE Spectrum article.  He was hired on the Berkeley faculty in 1976 and has been called the "Father of the 3D Transistor" due to his development of the Fin Field Effect Transistor in 1999.  Intel, the first company to implement FinFETs in its products, called the invention the most radical shift in semiconductor technology in more than 50 years.