Beauty and Joy of Computing curriculum receives grant from InfoSys

The Beauty and Joy of Computing, an introductory computer science curriculum taught by Prof. Dan Garcia has received a $311,975 grant from InfoSys for a Professional Development week “BJCpalooza” for teachers to be held July 17-21, 2017 at UC Berkeley. Approximately 200 high school teachers from across the United States will be attending. Prof. Garcia will also be giving the keynote talk at the 2017 ACM TURC (SIGCSE) China, a new leading international forum at the intersection of computer science and the learning sciences, seeking to improve practice and theories of CS education.

Meet Ray, the Real-Time Machine-Learning Replacement for Spark

CS Prof. Michael Jordan, graduate students Philipp Moritz and Robert Nishihara, and research in the RISELab are featured in a Datanami article titled "Meet Ray, the Real-Time Machine-Learning Replacement for Spark."  Ray is one of the first technologies to emerge from RISELab, the successor to AMPLab and its host of influential distributed technologies including Spark, Mesos, and Tachyon. Ray is a new distributed framework designed to enable Python-based machine learning and deep learning workloads to execute in real-time with MPI-like power and granularity. This framework is ostensibly a replacement for Spark, which is seen as too slow for some real-world AI applications.

The Beauty & Joy of Computing featured in the New York Times

Dr. Daniel Garcia and his course "CS10: The Beauty and Joy of Computing" (BJC) are featured in a New York Times article about curricula designed to develop computational thinking in students.  The article, titled "Learning to Think Like a Computer," covers strategies at a number of top institutions and highlights BJC, a CS course for nonmajors which focuses on the abstract principles underpinning computing instead of just teaching students to code.  “The idea of abstraction,” Dan says, “is to hide the details.”  Concealing layers of information makes it possible to get at the intersections of things, improving aspects of a complicated system without understanding and grappling with each part.  The abstraction of computational thinking allows advances without having to redesign from scratch and offers a new language and orientation to tackle problems in many other areas of life.

Paper authored by EECS alumni receives 2017 NSDI Test-of-Time Award.

The paper “X-Trace: A Pervasive Network Tracing Framework”, authored by EECS alumi Rodrigo Fonseca (Ph.D. ’08) and George Porter (Ph.D. ’08) and Professors Randy Katz, Scott Shenker, and Ion Stoica, has received the 2017 Networked Systems Design and Implementation (NSDI) Test-of-Time Award. X-Trace was not the first tracing framework, but it was influential given that it was effectively the first framework for end-to-end tracing to focus on generality and pervasiveness. The researchers implemented X-Trace in protocols and software systems, and in their prize-winning paper, they set out to explain three different use scenarios: domain name system (DNS) resolution; a three-tiered photo-hosting website; and a service accessed through an overlay network.

Tsu-Jae King Liu talks chip efficiency on Moore's Law Panel

EE Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, who participated in a semiconductor "Moore's Law" panel discussion at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, is featured in an Electronic Design article  titled "Forget Scaling. Moore's Law Panel Talks Power Consumption."  Tsu-Jae, who helped pioneer the Finfet transistor in 1998, describes some of the ways that transistors and integrated circuits will be evolving and how they might be used in future innovations.

Matthias Vallentin and Vern Paxson take a “VAST” Step Forward in Cyber Security

Postdoctoral researcher Matthias Vallentin is developing VAST,  a  forensic analysis tool  designed to help prioritize the investigation of computer security breaches.  It complements Bro, a security tool  devised by Prof. Vern Paxson when he was a graduate student 22 years ago and which is now used worldwide, to instantly collect huge volumes of log data that a hack might compromise.  “Maybe the external machine also appeared in a phishing email, which contained a PDF attachment. Not only that, but the PDF also includes a malicious payload, which upon opening, sends sensitive information from the employee’s computer to a cyber criminal.  VAST supports this iterative process to reconstruct the complete picture and presents it on a platter” explains Vallentin.  The function, development, and industrial potential of these tools are discussed in a Berkeley Research article.

Eli Yablonovitch to receive IEEE William R. Cherry Award

Prof. Eli Yablonovitch has been awarded the IEEE William R. Cherry Award, which is the highest IEEE Award for solar cells. This award recognizes an individual engineer or scientist who has devoted a part of their professional life to the advancement of the science and technology of photovoltaic energy conversion. The nominee must have made significant contributions to the science and/or technology of PV energy conversion, with dissemination by substantial publications and presentations. Prof. Yablonovitch is receiving this award for his contributions to research, engineering and entrepreneurship realizing photovoltaic technologies capturing the "ins and outs" of photons and application of these technologies in silicon and III-V solar cells.

Jan Rabaey to receive two honorary doctorates

Prof. Jan Rabaey will be receiving two honorary doctorates. The first one is for scientific merit from the University of Antwerp in Belgium on March 30, 2017.  The second one will follow on May 20 from the Tampere University of Technology. The title of Honorary Doctor is the highest recognition that a university can award. In the early 1990s, Prof. Rabaey developed the ‘infopad’, the forerunner of the iPad and tablet computers. He is currently conducting research into the human intranet, which involves connecting the human body to sensors and devices that communicate with the human brain.

Dan Garcia's research group GameCrafters featured in PBS Newshour article

Prof. Dan Garcia was interviewed in a PBS Newshour article titled “This Pi Day, use math to beat your friends at classic toy games”. To celebrate Pi Day, mathematicians and physicists explored three classic toys, hula hoops, yo-yo’s and Connect Four on ways to be the most successful with each toy. To count how many possible ways a real game of Connect Four could end, Prof. Garcia’s  research group called GamesCrafters created a program to simulate all the moves. GamesCrafters “strongly solved” the game and found 4,531,985,219,092, or 4.53 trillion combinations to Connect Four are possible.

Student startup culture is in The House

A number of EECS alumni and faculty have been invited to guest lecture for a DeCal course called "Build the Future" (CS 198), designed in collaboration with startup institute The House, to get undergraduate students engaged with the Berkeley entrepreneurial ecosystem and to use their time on campus creatively.  CS majors Jimmy Liu and Zuhayeer Musa (who run a company called Bash) helped develop the course, CS Prof. Scott Shenker is the faculty advisor, and Cameron Baradar (B.S.’15 EECS) is executive director of The House.  Speakers will include CS Prof. Joe Hellerstein, EE Prof. Kurt Keutzer, co-founder of Oculus Jack McCauley (B.S.’86, EECS), and founder of inDinero Jessica Mah (B.S.’10 EECS).