News

Assistant Prof. Sergey Levine (photo: NVIDIA)

Sergey Levine explains how deep learning will unleash robotics

CS Assistant Prof. Sergey Levine explores how deep learning will unleash robotics in an NVIDIA AI Podcast which first aired on Sept 1st.  “One of the most important things is that you have to somehow communicate to the robot what it means to succeed,” Levine said in a conversation with AI Podcast host Michael Copeland. “That’s one of the most basic things …You need to tell it what it should be doing.”  He points out that it’s important that the robots don’t just repeat what they learn in training, but understand why a task requires certain actions. “If you want to get a robot to do interesting things, you kind of need it to learn on its own,” Levine said

Lotfi Zadeh, 1921-2017

Lotfi Zadeh has passed away

CS Prof. Lotfi Zadeh, known as the Father of Fuzzy Logic, passed away on the morning of September 6, 2017.  He was 96.  Zadeh touched many lives and had a tremendous impact on many scientific and technological fields.  He is best known as the founder of fuzzy mathematics, fuzzy set theory, fuzzy logic, Z numbers and Z-transform.   He won many awards including the IEEE Medal of Honor,  the Honda Prize, the Okawa Prize, and the IEEE Hamming Medal.  He was a founding member of the Eurasian Academy and a member of the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame.  A state funeral will be held in his birth city of Baku, Azerbaijan.  Memorial arrangements in the U.S. are pending.

Edward A. Lee publishes new book, "Plato and the Nerd"

EE Prof. Edward A. Lee has published his first book for a general audience, Plato and the Nerd: The Creative Partnership of Humans and Technology  (MIT Press, 2017).  In it, Lee observes that engineering is a deeply intellectual and fundamentally inventive process and that the producers of digital technology have an unsurpassed medium for creativity.   Janos Sztipanovits writes in his review "Lee's book is a brilliant articulation of the unique and increasingly important role technology plays in the evolution of mankind. He offers a deeply optimistic perspective with clarity and intellectual rigor without ever losing accessibility."  Lee has previously coauthored several textbooks on topics including digital communication, signal processing, embedded systems, and software modeling.

CS 61A (Brian Ly/Daily Cal)

CS 61A course enrollment reaches a record 1,762

Enrollment in CS 61A, The Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs,  has increased from 1,568 students last fall to 1,762 students this semester.  CS 61A is a popular introductory coding class--a requirement for EECS majors--co-taught by Assistant Teaching Professor Jon DeNero and Prof. Paul Hilfinger.  The live lecture attendance is expected to drop as students discover that lectures are being webcasted three different times for about 600 students each time.  “We have enough funding and enough TAs [over 50] and, as of yesterday, I think we have enough rooms,” DeNero said.  Additional student support is provided by discussion sections, expanded small group-mentoring sections, and pilot online versions of discussions and labs.  Last fall, 60 percent of the students rated their class experience 5/5.

Andrew Ng and Prof. Pieter Abbeel

Heroes of Deep Learning: Andrew Ng interviews Pieter Abbeel

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02), one of the world's leading authorities on AI, interviews EE Prof. Pieter Abbeel for Heroes of Deep Learning, an interview series from Ng's cousera course, Deep learning AI.  “Work in Artificial Intelligence in the EECS department at Berkeley involves foundational research in core areas of knowledge representation, reasoning, learning, planning, decision-making, vision, robotics, speech and language processing," Abbeel says. "There are also significant efforts aimed at applying algorithmic advances to applied problems in a range of areas, including bioinformatics, networking and systems, search and information retrieval. There are active collaborations with several groups on campus, including the campus-wide vision sciences group, the information retrieval group at the I-School and the campus-wide computational biology program. There are also connections to a range of research activities in the cognitive sciences, including aspects of psychology, linguistics, and philosophy. Work in this area also involves techniques and tools from statistics, neuroscience, control, optimization, and operations research. Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab (BAIR)."

Katherine Yelick to keynote ACM Europe Conference

CS Prof. Katherine Yelick will give the HPC keynote on Exascale computing at the upcoming ACM Europe Conference. Yelick also serves as Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  The event, which will take place on Sept. 7-8 in Barcelona, Spain, will focus on the themes of Cybersecurity and High Performance Computing.

Grant Ho, Mobin Javed, Vern Paxson and David Wagner win 2017 Internet Defense Prize

CS graduate student Grant Ho, Aashish Sharma (LBNL),  CS alumna Mobin Javed (Ph.D. 2016), and CS Profs. Vern Paxson and David Wagner have won the 2017 Internet Defense Prize, worth $100,000, for their paper "Detecting Credential Spearphishing in Enterprise Settings."  CS graduate student Thurston Dang,  Petros Maniatis (Google Brain), and Prof. David Wagner, were finalists for their paper "Oscar: A Practical Page-Permissions-Based Scheme for Thwarting Dangling Pointers."  The award, which is funded by Facebook and offered in partnership with USENIX, recognizes research that meaningfully makes the internet more secure.

Anca Dragan is one of this year's 35 Innovators Under 35

CS Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan has been named one of 2017's 35 Innovators Under 35  by MIT Technology Review.   Each year, exceptionally talented young innovators are singled out for the honor because their work is thought to offer the greatest potential to transform the world.   Dragan was nominated in the Visionary category for "Ensuring that robots and humans work and play well together" and is profiled in an MIT Technology Review article.  She will also be recognized at a special ceremony at EmTech MIT.

Sergey Levine, Pieter Abbeel, and Chelsea Finn partner with NVAIL to take deep learning to the next level

Assistant Prof. Sergey Levine, Prof. Pieter Abbeel, and graduate student Chelsea Finn are featured in a CSO article highlighting research they presented at the International Conference on Machine Learning (ICML).  The research was done in partnership with the NVIDIA AI Labs (NVAIL) programme.  Levine’s team wants to help intelligent agents learn faster and require less training by teaching deep neural networks to learn more like humans.  “Look at how people do it,” said Levine. “We never learn things entirely from scratch. We draw on our past experience to help us learn new skills quickly. So we’re trying to get our learning algorithms to do the same.”  Levine and his team have been using an NVIDIA DGX-1 system to train their algorithms how to coordinate movement and visual perception.

NVAIL helps keep AI pioneers ahead of the curve with support for students, assistance from researchers and engineers, and gives them access to the industry’s most advanced GPU computing power.

Ken Goldberg joins ROBO Global Board

CS Prof. Ken Goldberg has joined the Strategic Advisory Board of ROBO Global, creator of the first benchmark index to track the global robotics, automation and artificial intelligence market.  Goldberg leads research in geometric algorithms and machine learning for robotics and in applications from surgery to manufacturing.  “Ken is truly one of the brightest minds in robotics and automation,” said Travis Briggs, CEO of ROBO Global. “His insight and expertise is sought after all over the world. We’re honored to have him on our team helping ROBO bring innovative solutions to investors in the US, Europe and Asia. ”