News

EECS alum Paul E. Debevec

Paul Debevec to receive Emmy for Lifetime Achievement

EECS alumnus Paul Debevec (Ph.D. ‘96, advisor: Jitendra Malik) will receive the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Television Academy’s 74th Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Awards. The award recognizes Debevec for his pioneering work on high dynamic range imaging, image-based lighting, and photogrammetry–techniques that are now standard within the VFX industry for computer-rendered images and graphics. Debevec is also recognized for his work with LED lighting, which “further laid the groundwork” for its use in virtual production, and “has seen a rapid growth as a tool for lighting actors on virtual stages," according to the Television Academy. Debevec is currently the director of research, creative algorithms, and technology at Netflix, and is an adjunct research professor at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. He received ACM SIGGRAPH's first Significant New Researcher Award in 2001, a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award in 2010, and the SMPTE Progress Medal in 2017. Debevec co-authored the 2005 book, "High Dynamic Range Imaging," chaired the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival, served as Vice President of ACM SIGGRAPH, as well as co-chair of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sci-Tech Council. 

CS Grad Xin Lyu

Xin Lyu wins CCC 2022 Best Student Paper Award

CS graduate student Xin Lyu (advisors: Jelani Nelson and Avishay Tal) has won the Best Student Paper Award at the Computational Complexity Conference (CCC) 2022. The solo-authored paper titled “Improve Pseudorandom Generators for AC^0 Circuits” was one of two co-winners of the Best Student Paper Award at CCC, which is an annual conference on the inherent difficulty of computational problems in terms of the resources they require. Organized by the Computational Complexity Foundation, CCC is the premier specialized publication venue for research in complexity theory.

Berkeley EECS paper wins 2022 ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Award

A paper co-authored by CS Prof. Alvin Cheung has won the ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper at the 43rd Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI) 2022. The paper titled, “Synthesizing Analytical SQL queries from Computation Demonstration,” introduces a tool called Sickle, a new end-user specification, programming by computation demonstration, for greater efficiency in analytical SQL queries. PLDI is the premier forum in the field of programming languages and programming systems research, covering the areas of design, implementation, theory, applications, and performance.

Ion Stoica wins 2023 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award

CS Prof. Ion Stoica has won the 2023 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award. Presented annually, the IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1986 for outstanding contributions to the integration of computers and communications. The award is named in honor of Dr. Koji Kobayashi, who has been a leading force in advancing the integrated use of computers and communications. Stoica was cited “for contributions to the design of cloud and computer network services.” Stoica’s research is focused on cloud computing and networked computer systems. He is the Executive Chairman and co-founder of Databricks and an ACM Fellow. Previous winners of this award include Profs. Kannan Ramchandran and Jean Walrand, and the late Prof. Emeritus Elwyn Berlekamp.

Jennifer Chayes elected as honorary member of the London Mathematical Society

CS Prof. Jennifer Chayes, the Associate Provost of the Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS), and the Dean of the School of Information has been elected to become an Honorary Member of the London Mathematical Society (LMS). Each year, the Council of the LMS considers the election of Honorary Members of the Society amongst distinguished mathematicians who are not normally resident within the United Kingdom. Chayes was cited for “fundamental contributions to many of the most prominent topics in the mathematics, computation, and application of network science, data science, and allied areas,” and credited for co-inventing “the field of graphons.”

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Sophia Shao wins the 2022 IEEE TCCA Young Computer Architect Award

Assistant Prof. Sophia Shao has won the IEEE Technical Committee on Computer Architecture (TCCA) Young Computer Architect Award, which recognizes outstanding research contributions by an individual in the field of Computer Architecture, and who received their Ph.D. within the last six years. Shao's work focuses on specialized accelerators, heterogeneous architecture, and agile VLSI design methodology. The award was presented last week at the 49th edition of the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA '22) in New York City, New York. 

Leslie Field wins 2022 Mark Shannon Grand Challenges Award

EECS alumna Leslie Field (M.S. '88/Ph.D. 91, advisor: Richard White), the first woman to earn a doctorate from the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC), has won the 2022 Mark Shannon Grand Challenges Award.  This award recognizes "long-term contributions of members of our technical community with a vision to address humanity's pressing issues."  Field is the Founder and CEO of Bright Ice Initiative, Inc., an environmental nonprofit which aims to address the urgent need for terrestrial glacial ice preservation.  During her career, she has developed new formulations for unleaded gasoline, new silicon-glass bonding processes, and pioneered surface micromachining and microfluidic systems.  She also contributed to the development of microwave and optical cross-point switches. She turned her attention to climate change in 2006 and founded Ice911 Research (later renamed AIP) two years later.   Field received a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT prior to enrolling at Berkeley.  She is the founder and a managing member of SmallTech Consulting, LLC, where she leads a diverse collaborative team working on MEMS and nanotechnology-based challenges.  She also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer and Consulting Professor Stanford University.

Dan Klein and Angjoo Kanazawa win 2022 Bakar Fellows Spark Awards

EECS Prof. Dan Klein and Assistant Prof. Angjoo Kanazawa have won 2022 Bakar Fellows Spark Awards.  These awards are designed to accelerate Berkeley faculty-led research "to tangible, positive societal impact through commercialization."  Bakar Fellows become part of a campus ecosystem that provides support and programs to assist them in introducing discoveries to the market.  Klein is developing a device that will allow users to communicate through computers by "silent speech"--that is, mouthing words without vocalizations. This technology, which may take the form of a headset that can track a user's facial muscles and translate it into sound, would benefit people with special needs as well as make it easier for everyone to hold private phone conversations in public.  Kanazawa plans to build 360 consumer cameras that can capture 4K video at 90 frames per second using an artificial intelligence framework and the latest volumetric neural rendering techniques.

Ruzena Bajcsy and Klara Nahrstedt first mother-daughter pair elected to NAE

EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy and her daughter, Klara Nahrstedt, are the first mother-daughter pair to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  Bajcsy has been a member of the NAE since 1997 and Nahrstedt, the Chair of the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, was elected in February.  The two sat down for a Fireside Chat at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications last month to discuss the accomplishment.  “I’m a proud mother,” Bajcsy said. “And I’m thrilled to have been in this profession we have both shared.”  Bajcsy is known for her work in human-centered computer control, cognitive science, robotics, image processing, and artificial vision, as well as her cross-disciplinary leadership.  Nahrstedt researches security across shared systems, including multimedia distributed systems, wired and wireless networks, mobile systems, power grids, and edge-cloud systems.  Both women faced daunting challenges during  their careers. “We were ridiculed, and we were doubted. But you have to be strong,” Bajcsy said.  They emphasized that building a strong support network was critical to success.  “I learned that because of my mother,” said Nahrsted, "and through it I quickly believed I could do whatever I put my mind to.”  Following in their footsteps, Bajcsy's granddaughter and Nahrstedt's niece, Andrea Bajcsy, is currently a doctoral candidate at Berkeley EECS, in her final term.  She is slated to start as an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon in Fall 2023.

Kam Lau named 2022 Caltech Distinguished Alumni

EECS Prof. Emeritus Kam Lau has received the 2022 California Institute of Technology (Caltech) Distinguished Alumni Award (DAA).  Caltech's highest honor, the DAA is presented each year "to a small number of alumni in recognition of personal and professional accomplishments that have made a noteworthy impact in a field, on the community, or in society more broadly."  Lau was cited for "his innovations in and commercialization of laser diode and radio-over-fiber technologies that broadly enable today's wireline and wireless high-speed internet access as well as enabling progress in interplanetary exploration, radio astronomy, and particle physics research, and for his remarkable artistic contributions to the Chinese ink painting movement." While still in high school, Lau joined the first wave of the New Ink Painting Movement in Hong Kong, blending traditional Chinese ink and wash painting with a modern sensibility.   He earned three degrees from Caltech: a B.S. and M.S. in 1978,  and a Ph.D. in 1981.  He joined Ortel Corporation as a founding staff member and taught at Columbia University for two years before coming to Berkeley. His development of the ultra-stable radio frequency (RF) over fiber system made ultra-precise, long-distance synchronization of antennas possible, and enabled both ground-based communication networks and spaceborne planetary radar imaging systems.