News

Margaret Yau named Crafton Hills College Professor of the Year

Alumna Margaret Yau (B.S. EECS '04) has been named a 2017-18 Professor of the Year by Crafton Hills College, a community college in Yucaipa, California.  She was part of the Undergraduate Research Apprentice Program (URAP) from 2002-4, won a Jim and Donna Gray scholarship in 2003, and became a CRA Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Finalist in 2004.  After graduating with high honors, Yau earned an M.S. from UCSD before taking a position at Crafton Hills in 2011.  “I really enjoy helping the students learn,” she said. “I especially like the ‘light bulb moment’ when they understand some concept or skill. That’s something I find rewarding.”

Tiffany Perumpail wins Teaching Effectiveness Award

EECS undergraduate Tiffany Perumpail has won a Teaching Effectiveness Award (TEA) from the UC Berkeley Graduate Division.  This very competitive award is bestowed annually by the Graduate Council’s Faculty Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs.  Applicants submit essays in which they identify a problem they encountered in teaching, explain their strategy and rationale in devising a solution, and assess the effectiveness of the solution. Perumpail's essay, about her experience TAing CS61A, is titled "Improvement of Academic Intern Experience and Performance in Introductory Computer Science."  

Shankar Sastry on universities and the digital transformation of society

Prof. Shankar Sastry, dean of the College of Engineering, has written an article in Berkeley Engineer magazine about the radical transformation of technology and our world.  He explores how new technologies are impacting different sectors of society and how universities can help, not just through cutting edge research, but also by addressing growing concerns about privacy, social issues, law, and economics.  "Our challenge going forward is to meld these new technologies with economic, business, legal, behavioral and many other tools and advances to design a society we will be glad to live in, even in the face of dramatic changes in how we work and live. This indeed will be our mantra going forward in Inventing the Future," he said.

Emerald Templeton and Eric Fraser win BSA Excellence in Management Awards

Emerald Templeton, the Director of L&S CS Undergraduate Affairs, and Eric Fraser,  Assistant Dean and Director of Information Technology in the College of Engineering, have won  Berkeley Staff Assembly (BSA) Excellence in Management (EIM) Awards.   This year’s theme was “Building Pride & Trust In Our Changing Community,” recognizing managers and supervisors whose leadership encourages respect, dignity, confidence, inclusion, and empowerment amid changing times.  Templeton was cited for being "dynamic, trustworthy, and inclusive in her decision making" as well as being "a strong and outspoken manager," and Fraser was credited for being "generous with his time, providing excellent advice, and never failing to help in any matter." The EIM awards honor managers and supervisors exclusively.  Nominations must originate from staff directly supervised by the nominee and include supporting signatures from at least one-half of these staff.  The winners were honored at a ceremony on May 31st.

Eric Schmidt urges Californians to support UC

1997 CS Distinguished Alumnus Eric Schmidt (M.S. ’79, Ph.D. ‘82), the former executive chairman of Google, has penned an article for the Sacramento Bee titled "You don’t need to be the head of Google to know what needs to be done about the UC."  In it, he describes how public funding for the University of California has shrunk as student enrollment has surged, and why Californians need to support public education.   "Budgets are moral documents – they reveal our true values," he says. "Putting more resources into higher education, sustaining what the state’s founders started, is not only an economic no-brainer – it’s the right thing to do."

Shankar Sastry Awarded Berkeley Citation

Prof. Shankar Sastry was awarded the Berkeley Citation, one of the university's highest honors, at the College of Engineering's 2018 Commencement ceremony on March 15th.  It celebrated Sastry's tenure of more than a decade as the dean of engineering, which is ending this year.  The award, which was kept as a surprise, honors Sastry’s achievements and leadership. As dean, he helped lead the growth of the college’s educational and support programs for students, fostered opportunities for world-class research faculty, and increased Berkeley Engineering’s footprint, through the creation of new buildings, institutes and alliances and partnerships with other university and research partners.  “The last decade has been remarkable,” said Vice Chancellor Oscar Dubón, “thanks in no small part to Shankar’s vision, energy and enthusiasm for Berkeley and its students. With creative new approaches, he met the challenge of preparing our graduates for a changing world, increasing our focus on design, entrepreneurship, hands-on learning, and integrating business or clinical skills with engineering.”

Kevin Wang tackles technology with TEALS program

Alumnus Kevin Wang (B.S. '02) is mentioned in an Observer Reporter article titled "Trinity tackles technology with TEALS program."  Wang, who went on to earn an M.Ed. in Technology, Innovation, and Education (TIE) from Harvard, created a Microsoft Philanthropies program called Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) to showcase technology's influence to students .  TEALS is a grassroots program designed to help high schools teach computer science by recruiting, training, and mentoring teams of high tech professionals who partner with classroom teachers.  It is currently being implemented at Trinity High School in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Kristin Stephens-Martinez is new assistant professor of practice at Duke

CS alumna Kristin Stephens-Martinez (M.S. '13/Ph.D. '17 advisors: Vern Paxson/Armando Fox) is a new Assistant Professor of the Practice in the Department of Computer Science at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.  Her research interests lie at the intersection of education and computer science, focusing on using data available in large classrooms--both local and MOOCs.  She received the Outstanding GSI (OGSI) Award from the UC Berkeley Graduate Division in 2013 and began her career at Duke in the spring  where she co-taught CompSci 101: Introduction to Computer Science.  She was profiled for a Duke Computer Science article titled "New Faculty: Kristin Stephens-Martinez Takes a 'Meaning-full' Approach to Data Science" in March.

Introducing the new L&S Data Science Major

A new Data Science major in the College of Letters and Science has been approved, effective Fall 2018. This is part of Berkeley’s active engagement with the burgeoning field of data science, which has the potential to shape numerous fields of study and practice.  The major is designed to equip students to draw sound conclusions from data in context, using knowledge of statistical inference, computational processes, data management strategies, domain knowledge, and theory.  Students will learn to carry out analyses of data through the full cycle of the investigative process in scientific and practical contexts, as well as gain an understanding of the human and ethical implications of data analysis and integrate that knowledge into their work.   The College of Engineering also has plans for a Data Science major, which is currently undergoing design and review.  A minor is also under consideration for students in both colleges. More than 3,000 students enroll in data science courses at Berkeley every year.

Lea Kissner leads Google's internal privacy strike force

EECS alumna Lea Kissner (B.S. '02) is the subject of a Gizmodo article describing her visit to a class at Berkeley this week where she discussed her job as a Principal Engineer at Google leading the security and privacy teams for infrastructure and social products.  One team of 90 employees with different backgrounds and skill sets, called NightWatch, reviews almost all of the products that Google launches for potential privacy flaws.  The article also covers some of the obstacles she has faced and her involvement chairing a discussion topic on Practical Privacy Protection at the OURSA conference in San Francisco today. “I want to tell people things we’ve learned. I want to build the world I want to live in, and the world I want to live in includes things like products being designed respectfully of users and systems being designed respectfully for users. I don’t think everybody has to learn everything the hard way,” Kissner tells me later. Then, the mathematician in her kicks in and she adds, “It’s very inefficient if nothing else.”