Sophia Shao wins Intel Rising Star Award

EECS Assistant Prof. Sophia Shao is among the 15 recipients of the Intel Rising Star Award this year. Awarded annually, the Intel Rising Star Award (RSA) program supports early-career faculty whose research is groundbreaking and demonstrates the potential to disrupt industries. Recipients are chosen for “innovative teaching methods and for increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science and engineering.” Prof. Shao’s research focuses on improving the scalability, efficiency, and programmability of heterogeneous platforms from edge devices to data centers. In collaboration with senior technical leaders at Intel, Prof. Shao plans to explore the intersection of architectural prototyping, algorithm development, and programming support for heterogeneous accelerators: “As we enter the golden age of computer architecture, there are tremendous opportunities to innovate across the stack in the hardware community. I'm excited to work with our students, faculty members, and industry collaborators to build novel systems together!" said Shao. 


Raluca Ada Popa featured in People of ACM

CS Prof. Raluca Ada Popa was interviewed as a Featured ACM Member as part of the "People of ACM" bulletin. As the Co-Director of RISELab and SkyLab, two labs aiming to build secure intelligent systems for the cloud and for the sky of cloud, she spoke about her research interests, which include security, systems, and applied cryptography. “I love both to build systems that can solve a real-world problem and to reason about deep mathematical concepts,” she said. Aiming to predict the direction of her research, she outlined her renewed focus on confidential computing, a major shift in the cloud computing landscape, which she said “will revolutionize data systems in industry in the coming years…[through] the combination of hardware security via hardware enclaves and cryptographic techniques. Many organizations have a lot of confidential data that they cannot share between different teams in their organization or different organizations. Sharing it would enable better medical studies, better fraud detection, increased business effectiveness, and other benefits.”


Michael I. Jordan wins inaugural World Laureates Association Prize

EECS and Statistics Prof. Michael I. Jordan has been named the inaugural winner of the World Laureates Association (WLA) Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics. Funded by Sequoia China and established in Shanghai in 2021, the WLA Prize aims to recognize and support eminent researchers and technologists worldwide for their contributions to science, with the overarching goal of supporting global science, advancing technology, addressing humanity’s challenges and promoting the long-term progress of society. The prize is accompanied by a monetary award of $1.4 million (RMB 10 million). Prof. Jordan was recognized “For fundamental contributions to the foundations of machine learning and its application." Prof. Jordan is the director of the Center for the Theoretical Foundations of Learning, Inference, Information, Intelligence, Mathematics and Microeconomics at Berkeley (CLIMB). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering,  American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. He is also a fellow of the AAAI, ACM, ASA, CSS, IEEE, IMS, ISBA and SIAM.


Ruzena Bajcsy receives Slovak Medal of Honor

EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy has been awarded the Slovak Medal of Honor. Bajcsy was recognized for her scientific achievements, leading by example, and setting a positive image of the Slovak Republic abroad. The medal was presented at the Consulate in New York by Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. 


New institute combines machine learning and chemistry to tackle climate change

The Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet (BIDMaP), led by Chemistry Prof. Omar M. Yaghi, brings together CS Profs. Christian Borgs, Joseph Gonzalez, Jennifer Listgarten, Jennifer Chayes, and Kathy Yelick, along with faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Statistics, respectively, to affect climate change by combining machine learning and chemistry. The institute aims to develop a new field of machine learning for experimental science, creating algorithms and designing platforms to optimize the discovery, development, and deployment of technology. “This is what we need to accelerate discovery at a rate that will save us from the worst effects of climate change,” said Jennifer Chayes, EECS prof., associate provost for CDSS and dean of the School of Information. “BIDMaP will bring together the founder of an important new field in chemistry and the best artificial intelligence and machine learning group in the world to imagine and create a better future.”

Berkeley EECS continues to compete in US News & World Report rankings

Once again Berkeley Electrical Engineering ranked #1, and Computer Engineering ranked #2, in the 2022 US News and World Report graduate school rankings. EE tied with MIT and Stanford as the top graduate Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering program in the nation, while Computer Engineering tied in second place with Stanford after MIT. The tuition for both Master’s programs at MIT and Stanford cost over $55.5K annually, while Berkeley's costs $11.4K in-state and $26.5 out-of-state per year. Berkeley was ranked as the third best Engineering school overall.


IEEE award renamed in honor of Lotfi Zadeh

The IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies has been renamed in honor of the late Lotfi Zadeh. Beginning in 2022, the award will be named the Lotfi A. Zadeh Award for Emerging Technologies. Prof. Zadeh was known as the “father of fuzzy logic.” Previously known as the Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, this award was established in 1919 to recognize outstanding contributions to emerging technologies. The first recipient of this award will be presented in 2024.


Constance Chang-Hasnain wins 2022 Welker Award

EE alumna and EECS Prof. Emerita Constance Chang-Hasnain (Ph.D. '87) has won the 2022 Welker Award at Compound Semiconductor Week (CSW). She was cited “For pioneering contributions to VCSEL photonics, nano-photonics and high contrast metastructures for optical communications and optical sensing.” Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, are used in many consumer electronics, including 3D smartphone sensors and cars. Established in 1976 in honor of Heinrich Welker, the pioneer of III-V compound semiconductors, the Welker Award is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of III-V compound semiconductors. Prof. Chang-Hasnain currently serves as Chairperson and founder of Berxel Photonics Co. Ltd. She is an NAI Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, and an NAE member. In 2021, she was elected president of Optica (formerly known as the Optical Society of America). 

95 Female-identifying first year students hold an ice cream social with CS advisors in the Cory Hall courtyard

CS Kickstart thrives amid return to in-person outreach

Now in its 11th consecutive year, CS Kickstart held its one-week computer science immersion program earlier this month, ushering in over 95 attendees to the program, a record turnout. The program is designed to introduce female-identifying first-year students to computer science at Berkeley and aims to add more diversity to the field. Completely student-run, they host workshops in Python, web development, electrical engineering, and data science; panel discussions featuring current Ph.D. students and faculty speakers like CS Prof. John DeNero;  field trips, like a community-building experience with the Oakland Athletics, and tours, panels, and Q&A sessions with industry partners, such as SAP Academy and Stitch Fix. “It was amazing to see CS Kickstart held in person again this year and with more students than in previous years!” said EECS Director of Student Diversity, Audrey Sillers.


Pieter Abbeel interviewed as Featured ACM Member

CS Prof. Pieter Abbeel has been interviewed as a Featured ACM Member. As part of the “People of ACM” bulletin, Abbeel details the groundbreaking work that led to his 2021 ACM Prize in Computing, and the direction of the field of AI and robotics in the warehousing industry and beyond. Given the different specializations required to pursue AI, he gives the following advice to the next generation of AI researchers: “In terms of foundations, basic mathematics such as calculus, probability, linear algebra are very important, and also optimization,” said Abbeel. “Taking physics classes can be very helpful, as it teaches you the skill of abstracting real world problem settings into equations." Prof. Abbeel is the director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab and co-director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) lab, in addition to Co-Founder, President, and Chief Scientist of Covariant, a Berkeley-based AI robotics company.