News

You can’t squash this roach-inspired robot

Research co-authored by grad student Justin Yim and EE Profs. Ron Fearing and Robert Full, among others, has resulted in the creation of a small cockroach-inspired robot so hardy that it can survive being crushed underfoot.  The robot, which is about the size of a large postage stamp, is made of a thin sheet of a piezoelectric material called polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).  Applying electric voltage to PVDF causes it to expand or contract, creating oscillations that propel the device forward.  The robot can sail along the ground at a speed of 20 body lengths per second, said to be the fastest pace among insect-scale robots.  Their paper was published in the journal Science Robotics.

Jerome R. Singer has died

EECS and Biophysics Prof. Emeritus Jerome "Jay" R. Singer passed away on July 30, 2019 at age 97.   He became a pioneer in the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) when he and two of his students co-created the first practicable MRI apparatus (then called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance - NMR) which was used to directly image blood flow in arteries and veins.  Singer's career at Berkeley as a professor of engineering science spanned 25 years.  He was also an Adjunct Professor of Radiology at UCSF and helped to found eight companies.  Singer had published more than 100 scientific papers and two books, and had been awarded over 20 patents.   Memorial services will be held in October in Berkeley.  For information regarding the date, time and location, please contact singer@singersf.com

Kathy Yelick looks back and ahead

Kathy Yelick has announced that she will be stepping down as Associate Laboratory Director of the Computing Sciences organization at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), a position she has held for nine years. Yelick, who was also the Director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) from 2008 to 2012, is the subject of an HPC interview where she talks about her time at LBNL and what the future holds.

New tech breakthough will allow drones to fly for days

Prof. Eli Yablonovitch is the co-author of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that describes a groundbreaking discovery which has allowed researchers to raise the efficiency of thermophotovoltaics from 23% (where it has stayed for 15 years) to an unprecedented 29%. This ultralight alternative power source could allow drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to operate continuously for days.  The paper, "Ultraefficient thermophotovoltaic power conversion by band-edge spectral filtering," co-authored by a 10-person research team that includes postdoc Luis Pazos-Outon, details how a highly reflective mirror installed on the back of a photovoltaic cell can reflect low energy infrared photons to reheat the thermal source, providing a second chance for a high-energy photon to be created and generate electricity.

IEEE EDS Celebrated Member

Leon Chua becomes Celebrated Member of EDS

Prof. Emeritus Leon O. Chua has been named a Celebrated Member of the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS), an honor which recognizes "Fundamental Contributions to the Field of Electron Devices for the Benefit of Humanity."  An IEEE Fellow since 1974, Chua is just the 9th person to join this elite group, which includes Nobel Laureates George Smith and Herb Kroemer. Chua is widely known for his invention of the Memristor and the Chua’s Circuit. The award will be presented at the 2019 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in December.

2019 DFIETI Scott Schenker Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli and Scott Shenker named Distinguished Fellows of the International Engineering and Technology Institute

Professors Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli and Scott Shenker have been named Distinguished Fellows of the International Engineering and Technology Institute (IETI) for 2019.  They are among 15 professors elected this year, joining well-known experts from all over the world, including Nobel Prize and Turing Award Laureates. Founded in 2015, IETI is a non-profit organization that promotes the innovations of Science, Engineering and Technology across the world. 

 

2019 VLDB Early Career Award

Aditya Parameswaran wins VLDB Early Career Award

Prof. Aditya Parameswaran wins the Very Large Data Bases (VLDB) Early Career Award, which recognizes a researcher who has demonstrated research impact through a specific technical contribution of high significance since completing the Ph.D. The VLDB Endowment is a non-profit organization incorporated in the United States for the sole purpose of promoting and exchanging scholarly work in databases and related fields throughout the world. Prof. Parameswaran is cited "for developing tools for large-scale data exploration, targeting non-programmers.” 

2019 EECS PECASE Winners

Anca Dragan and Alvin Cheung win Presidential Early Career awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)

Profs. Anca Dragan and Alvin Cheung have been awarded the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), which is the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. Established in 1996, the PECASE acknowledges the contributions scientists and engineers have made to the advancement of science, technology, education, and mathematics (STEM) education and to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education, and community outreach. Prof. Dragan was nominated by the National Science Foundation and Prof. Cheung was nominated by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Michael Jordan on the goals and remedies for AI

CS Prof. Michael Jordan has written a commentary in the Harvard Data Science Review (HDSR) titled "Dr. AI or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Economics" (a play on the title of the film Dr. Strangelove).  In it, he  argues that instead of trying to put "‘thought’ into the computer, and expecting that ‘thinking computers’ will be able to solve our problems and make our lives better," he explores the prospect of bringing microeconomics "into the blend of computer science and statistics that is currently being called ‘AI.'"

New RIOS Lab to expand RISC open-source ecosystem

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson, his former graduate student Zhangxi Tan (PhD '13), and Lin Zhang of the Tsinghua-UC Berkeley Shenzhen Institute (TBSI), have been chosen to co-direct the new RISC-V International Open Source (RIOS) Laboratory, an non-profit research lab launched by the TBSI.  RIOS aims to expand and elevate the capabilities of Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) microprocessors.  Patterson, who is currently a distinguished engineer at Google, coined the term RISC in the early 1980s to describe a computer architecture that allowed microprocessors to operate far more efficiently with simple, general instructions.  Nearly all of the 16 billion microprocessors produced annually are RISC processors.