When Will the Robots Rebel?

Associate Prof. Pieter Abbeel and the Robot Learning Lab are profiled in a comprehensive article for Datamation titled "Artificial Intelligence: When Will the Robots Rebel?"  The article covers the foundational tools of AI, like machine learning, and delves into subjects like the human desire to replicate itself, the singularity, and the possibility of robot rebellion.  It also looks at the ways AI currently impacts our lives and how it might change our future.

EECS faculty participate in Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation Hub

Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy, Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan, Prof. Ken Goldberg, and Dean Shankar Sastry are members of a Berkeley team participating in a new $253 million national consortium, the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub, led by the Department of Defense.  The ARM consortium, which has academic and industrial partners in 31 states, is organizing domestic capabilities in robotics technology to amplify U.S. manufacturing.  According to an article in Berkeley Engineering titled "Berkeley a regional center in new robotics manufacturing consortium," the Berkeley team is focussing on hybrid robotics, co-robotics, and assessing the environmental and resource issues associated with robotics manufacturing technology.

The search is on for interim dean of new Division of Data Science

Although it is too early to know the candidates, interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ has announced that a member of faculty will be appointed interim dean of the new Division of Data Science at UC Berkeley.   Cathryn Carson, co-chair of the faculty advisory board, said the appointment of an interim dean is an important initial step in advancing the research and education of data science on campus.  CS Prof. David Culler said UC Berkeley has already been developing the foundations of the new field, which lies at the intersection of computer science and statistics.  Culler said the purpose of the new division is not only to distinguish the field with importance but also to integrate data science with all other divisions in the school. He added that the faculty advisory board hopes to include the division in the College of Letters and Sciences as well as the College of Engineering and that the position will give data science “a seat at the table” when deans are discussing on-campus issues.

Algorithm probes how AIs reason

Quartz  explores an algorithm devised by CS Prof. Trevor Darrell, L&S CS undergraduate student Dong Huk Park, CS grad student Lisa Anne Hendricks, and postdoc Marcus Rohrbach, along with researchers in the Max Planck Institute for Informatics,  in an article titled "We don’t understand how AI make most decisions, so now algorithms are explaining themselves." Engineers have developed deep learning systems that ‘work’ without necessarily knowing why they work or being able to show the logic behind a system’s decision.   The algorithm uses a “pointing and justification” system, to point to the data used to make a decision and justify why it was used that way.

Prof. Clark Nguyen

Clark Nguyen selected to receive the 2017 Robert Bosch Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems Award

Prof. Clark Nguyen has been selected to receive the 2017 Robert Bosch Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems Award. This award was established by the IEEE Electron Devices Society in 2014 to recognize and honor advances in the invention, design, and/or fabrication of micro or nano- electromechanical systems and/or devices. The contributions honored by this award are innovative and useful for practical applications. Prof. Nguyen is being honored for pioneering research on high-frequency MEMS vibrating systems and for extraordinary efforts in support of MEMS in industry, government, and teaching.

New ultrasonic sensors can improve security of fingerprint recognition on smartphones

EE Prof. Bernhard Boser is profiled in an article in the Cal Aggie titled "Fingerprint recognition on smartphones unsafe and hackable" in which he discusses a new ultrasonic imaging process developed at UC Berkeley and UC Davis to more securely protect personal information than current finger recognition technologies.  This new technology, which combines an ultrasonic sensor in air and an ultrasonic sensor in tissue, captures a fingerprint in 3D to uniquely identify a person.  It images both the ridges and valleys of a fingerprint surface as well as the subsurface structure of the skin,  distinguishing between layers of tissue by analyzing the densities of live and dead skin cells.  "This imaging process can look at the surface of fingerprints and inside the finger,” Boser said. “There are more patterns inside the finger that can’t be put onto glass screen of a phone.”

Computational Imaging proposal accepted for collaborative research initiative

A Computational Imaging research proposal submitted by EE Associate Prof. Laura Waller, EE Associate Prof. Michael Lustig, CS Assistant Prof. Ren Ng, CS Assistant Prof. Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, and CS Associate Prof. Benjamin Rechts has been accepted as part of a set of cross-disciplinary activities planned for development by Berkeley Research.  Berkeley Research ran eight faculty forums on a wide range of topics and received 30 proposals which were reviewed by a faculty panel and discussed with the Deans.  The selected projects "hold great promise for Berkeley to be at the forefront of developing a positive vision for the future."

Tsu-Jae King Liu

Tsu-Jae King Liu selected to receive Aldert van der Ziel award

Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu has been selected to receive the Aldert van der Ziel award by the International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium- ISDRS 2016 van der Ziel Committee. This award is given for distinguished educational and research contributions to the field of electronic devices and materials. Past recipients of this prestigious award include Arthur Milnes, Lester Eastman, Herbert Kroemer (Nobel Laureate Physics 2000), Michael Shur, Marvin White, Jim Plummer, Ben Streetman, Dieter Schroder and Mark S. Lundstrom, Chenming Hu, and Robert Dutton.

Ali Javey's team's Wearable Sweat Bio-sensor

Prof. Ali Javey and his team's presentation at the 2016 International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) is profiled in an EE Times article titled "Sweating Big Human-Body Data Challenge." This year, IEDM papers  explored a number of technologies to make flexible and printable electronics,  and Prof. Javey's team's paper stood out. Unlike conventional wearable devices, the team has zeroed in on the idea of attaching sweat biosensors — like a patch — on the body to collect sweat as it appears, for “real-time perspiration analysis.”

Center for Advancing Women in Technology logo

Center for Advancing Women in Technology launches Technology Pathways Initiative

Center for Advancing Women in Technology (CAWIT) in collaboration with  U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University and San José State University, through $3M in investment from Intel Corporation, KLA-Tencor Foundation, and Salesforce, will launch the Technology Pathways Initiative (TPI), to increase participation of women in CS fields through the development of new interdisciplinary CS degree programs at three pilot campuses in 2017. Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu has been developing the Women In Technology workshop at UC Berkeley.