Prof. Eric Paulos

Eric Paulos engages in Living Room Light Exchange

Prof. Eric Paulos is featured in an East Bay Express article titled “Living Room Light Exchange Salon Series: Where Tech and Art Converge”. At the intersection of technology and art, the “Living Room Light Exchange” is a 2 year old salon series in which some 40 intellectual tech workers and artists gather in various living rooms for discussions in which art and tech are not assumed to be inherently opposed. Prof. Paulos gave a presentation about possibilities of technologies that function like works of art, such as "Energy Parasites:" toylike devices that stick onto busses, escalators, and public fountains, harvesting their energy for later uses, such as charging one's phone.

Looking at the Top in Tech: Virginia Smith

Grad student Virginia Smith has experienced periods where she felt somewhat isolated during her study of CS, a field that still has relatively few women. She recently joined forces with Ph.D. alumna Gitanjali Swamy and former Chair Tsu-Jae King Liu to form a round table of influential women in tech to think about how to increase diversity at the top levels. She has also written an article about this work.  Read about Virginia's experiences and endeavors.

Prof. Bjorn Hartmann

Björn Hartmann appointed Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation (JIDI)

Prof. Björn Hartmann, whose research in Human-Computer Interaction focuses on the creation and evaluation of user interface design tools, end-user programming environments, and crowdsourcing systems, has been appointed Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation (JIDI). JIDI is UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary hub for learning and making at the intersection of design and technology, extending broadly across campus, serving as a hub where engineers, artists, and makers of all kinds can gather and collaborate.

Sergey Levine, Wei Gao, Alex Hegyi and Oriol Vinayls named Top Innovators Under 35

Assistant Prof. Sergey Levine (former postdoc of Associate Prof. Pieter Abbeel), Wei Gao (postdoc with Prof. Ali Javey), and alumni Alex Hegyi (EECS M.S. ' 12/Ph.D.  '13) and Oriol Vinayls (Ph.D. EECS '13) made the MIT Technology Review's 2016 list of 35 Top Innovators Under 35. One of Prof. Levine’s projects is to improve motor control of robotic hands, allowing the robot to observe its own tasks and engineer its behavior to perform the tasks correctly. He is also interested in using deep learning to train autonomous drones and vehicles. Wei Gao published a major paper with Javey on the wearable sweat sensor in January that received global attention. Alex Hegyi, now at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto has developed a camera that records parts of the spectrum of light that you can’t see. Oriol Vinyals, now at Google DeepMind in London is working to create computers that can teach themselves how to play and win complex games—not by hard-coding the rules but by enabling them to learn from experience.

Berkeley EECS at 2016 ACM Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference

Last week 18 undergraduates, three graduate students, two faculty, and four staff from UC Berkeley’s EECS Department attended the 2016 ACM Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference in Austin, Texas.  In addition to making new connections with diversity leaders in academia and industry, Berkeley EECS participants reconnected with several EECS alumni: Jeffrey Forbes (Associate Dean at Duke University), Beth Trushkowsky (Assistant Professor at Harvey Mudd College), Valerie Taylor (Associate Dean at Texas A & M), and Hakim Weatherspoon (Associate Professor at Cornell). Teaching Professor Dan Garcia co-led a birds-of-a-feather session for Hispanics in Computing, and was a panelist on a session titled “Engaging Students of Color in Computer Science", which reflected on the department's recent efforts to broaden participation in computing.  *Dr. Raquel Romano of Google, and former LBL Postdoc, delivered a Keynote on "Redefining Inclusion: Technology as an Act of Service." *  EECS Director of Diversity Tiffany Reardon presented a poster highlighting the department’s support of women in undergraduate computing.  A highlight of the conference for many of us was seeing David Patterson receive the Richard Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing.  For years Professor Patterson has been an ardent supporter of the Tapia Conference as past Conference Chair, serving on the steering committee and funding large UC Berkeley contingents to attend the event. Well deserved, Dave! Berkeley students and faculty have attended every Tapia conference since the first one, in 2001. 

Jitendra Malik and Fei-Fei Li of Stanford

Jitendra Malik featured in NY Times article

Prof. Jitendra Malik is featured in a NY Times article titled “A Lesson of Tesla Crashes? Computer Vision Can’t Do It All Yet”. Prof. Malik, a researcher in computer vision for three decades, responded to a fatal crash in May of a man in Ohio driving a Tesla electric car equipped with an Autopilot driver-assistance system. While using this system, the man crashed into a tractor-trailer. Prof. Malik advised, “Knowing what I know about computer vision, I wouldn’t take my hands off the steering wheel.” Tesla and Ford are listening. (Picture: Prof. Jitendra Malik and Fei-Fei Li of Stanford)

Christos Papadimitriou wins ABZ Gold Platinum ETH Medal for CS and CS Education

ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) has awarded CS  Prof. Christos Papadimitriou the ABZ Gold Platinum Medal at a ceremony in Switzerland. This Medal is awarded to individuals who have fundamentally contributed to the development of computer science and the practice of computer science education.  Previous recipients include Niklaus Wirth, Donald Knuth, David Harel, and Ronald Rivest.

CITRIS and Jacob institute logos

CITRIS Invention Lab and Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation launch joint Maker Pass

The CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) Invention Lab and the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation are launching a new joint Maker Pass enabling UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff access to both facilities seamlessly. The CITRIS Invention Lab (Prof. Eric Paulos, co-founder and current director) was designed to support innovation by providing the knowledge and tools to rapidly design and prototype novel interactive products, embedded sensing systems and integrated mobile devices. The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation (Prof. Björn Hartmann, Interim Faculty Director) is an interdisciplinary hub for learning and making at the intersection of design and technology with design studios and access to tools for prototyping, iteration and fabrication. Prof. Costas Spanos is the Director of CITRIS and the Banatao Institute.

ActiveClean: a tool that uses machine learning to clean dirty data in big data sets

AMPLab researchers Sanjay Krishnan, Prof. Michael Franklin, Prof. Ken Goldberg, Eugene Wu, and Jiannan Wang have developed ActiveClean, a system that uses machine learning to improve the process of removing dirty data by analyzing a user's prediction model to decide which mistakes to edit first, while updating the model as it works.  The demonstration paper titled "ActiveClean: An Interactive Data Cleaning Framework For Modern Machine Learning" received the Best Demo Award at SIGMOD 2016.

ActiveClean is profiled in an I Programmer article and the development team led byEugene Wu (now at Columbia) will present its research on Sept. 7 in New Delhi, at the 2016 conference on Very Large Data Bases.

National Science Foundation logo

EECS professors lead team for new $4.6 M NSF project VeHICaL

Profs. Sanjit Seshia, Ruzena Bajcsy, Shankar Sastry, Björn Hartmann, Claire Tomlin and Tom Griffiths are the principal investigators of a new large National Science Foundation project that will tackle the problem of designing “human Cyber-Physical Systems (h-CPS)”, cyber-physical systems that work in concert with humans. The research outcome of the project, called Verified Human Interfaces, Control, and Learning for Semi-Autonomous Systems, or VeHICaL, will have applications in emerging technologies such as semi-autonomous cars and autonomous aerial vehicles (drones). NSF has awarded $4.6M for this project.