News

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EECS and Statistics Prof. Michael I. Jordan wins inaugural World Laureates Association Prize

EECS and Statistics Prof. Michael I. Jordan has been named the inaugural winner of the World Laureates Association (WLA) Prize in Computer Science or Mathematics. Funded by Sequoia China and established in Shanghai in 2021, the WLA Prize aims to recognize and support eminent researchers and technologists worldwide for their contributions to science, with the overarching goal of supporting global science, advancing technology, addressing humanity’s challenges and promoting the long-term progress of society. The prize is accompanied by a monetary award of $1.4 million (RMB 10 million). Prof. Jordan was recognized “For fundamental contributions to the foundations of machine learning and its application." Prof. Jordan is the director of the Center for the Theoretical Foundations of Learning, Inference, Information, Intelligence, Mathematics and Microeconomics at Berkeley (CLIMB). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering,  American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society. He is also a fellow of the AAAI, ACM, ASA, CSS, IEEE, IMS, ISBA and SIAM.

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Ruzena Bajcsy receives Slovak Medal of Honor

EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy has been awarded the Slovak Medal of Honor. Bajcsy was recognized for her scientific achievements, leading by example, and setting a positive image of the Slovak Republic abroad. The medal was presented at the Consulate in New York by Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. 

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New institute combines machine learning and chemistry to tackle climate change

The Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet (BIDMaP), led by Chemistry Prof. Omar M. Yaghi, brings together CS Profs. Christian Borgs, Joseph Gonzalez, Jennifer Listgarten, Jennifer Chayes, and Kathy Yelick, along with faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Statistics, respectively, to affect climate change by combining machine learning and chemistry. The institute aims to develop a new field of machine learning for experimental science, creating algorithms and designing platforms to optimize the discovery, development, and deployment of technology. “This is what we need to accelerate discovery at a rate that will save us from the worst effects of climate change,” said Jennifer Chayes, EECS prof., associate provost for CDSS and dean of the School of Information. “BIDMaP will bring together the founder of an important new field in chemistry and the best artificial intelligence and machine learning group in the world to imagine and create a better future.”

Berkeley EECS continues to compete in US News & World Report rankings

Once again Berkeley Electrical Engineering ranked #1, and Computer Engineering ranked #2, in the 2022 US News and World Report graduate school rankings. EE tied with MIT and Stanford as the top graduate Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering program in the nation, while Computer Engineering tied in second place with Stanford after MIT. The tuition for both Master’s programs at MIT and Stanford cost over $55.5K annually, while Berkeley's costs $11.4K in-state and $26.5 out-of-state per year. Berkeley was ranked as the third best Engineering school overall.

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IEEE award renamed in honor of Lotfi Zadeh

The IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies has been renamed in honor of the late Lotfi Zadeh. Beginning in 2022, the award will be named the Lotfi A. Zadeh Award for Emerging Technologies. Prof. Zadeh was known as the “father of fuzzy logic.” Previously known as the Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, this award was established in 1919 to recognize outstanding contributions to emerging technologies. The first recipient of this award will be presented in 2024.

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Constance Chang-Hasnain wins 2022 Welker Award

EE alumna and EECS Prof. Emerita Constance Chang-Hasnain (Ph.D. '87) has won the 2022 Welker Award at Compound Semiconductor Week (CSW). She was cited “For pioneering contributions to VCSEL photonics, nano-photonics and high contrast metastructures for optical communications and optical sensing.” Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, or VCSELs, are used in many consumer electronics, including 3D smartphone sensors and cars. Established in 1976 in honor of Heinrich Welker, the pioneer of III-V compound semiconductors, the Welker Award is given to those who have made outstanding contributions to the field of III-V compound semiconductors. Prof. Chang-Hasnain currently serves as Chairperson and founder of Berxel Photonics Co. Ltd. She is an NAI Fellow, an IEEE Fellow, and an NAE member. In 2021, she was elected president of Optica (formerly known as the Optical Society of America). 

95 Female-identifying first year students hold an ice cream social with CS advisors in the Cory Hall courtyard

CS Kickstart thrives amid return to in-person outreach

Now in its 11th consecutive year, CS Kickstart held its one-week computer science immersion program earlier this month, ushering in over 95 attendees to the program, a record turnout. The program is designed to introduce female-identifying first-year students to computer science at Berkeley and aims to add more diversity to the field. Completely student-run, they host workshops in Python, web development, electrical engineering, and data science; panel discussions featuring current Ph.D. students and faculty speakers like CS Prof. John DeNero;  field trips, like a community-building experience with the Oakland Athletics, and tours, panels, and Q&A sessions with industry partners, such as SAP Academy and Stitch Fix. “It was amazing to see CS Kickstart held in person again this year and with more students than in previous years!” said EECS Director of Student Diversity, Audrey Sillers.

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Pieter Abbeel interviewed as Featured ACM Member

CS Prof. Pieter Abbeel has been interviewed as a Featured ACM Member. As part of the “People of ACM” bulletin, Abbeel details the groundbreaking work that led to his 2021 ACM Prize in Computing, and the direction of the field of AI and robotics in the warehousing industry and beyond. Given the different specializations required to pursue AI, he gives the following advice to the next generation of AI researchers: “In terms of foundations, basic mathematics such as calculus, probability, linear algebra are very important, and also optimization,” said Abbeel. “Taking physics classes can be very helpful, as it teaches you the skill of abstracting real world problem settings into equations." Prof. Abbeel is the director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab and co-director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) lab, in addition to Co-Founder, President, and Chief Scientist of Covariant, a Berkeley-based AI robotics company.

Prof. Arias wearing her doctoral hat.

Ana Arias receives honorary doctorate from Tampere University

EE Prof. Ana Claudia Arias has been conferred an honorary doctorate from Tampere University in Finland. Prof. Arias is one of 14 distinguished individuals to receive an honorary doctorate at Tampere University's inaugural conferment ceremony, including Ban Ki-Moon, former secretary general of the United Nations. Tampere University, as it is known today, was established in 2019 after the merger between the University of Tampere and Tampere University of Technology. The honorary doctorate, among the new Tampere University’s highest recognitions, is awarded for "excellence in fields represented at the Univesity and other exceptional scientific, artistic or social merits." As part of its three-day ceremony to "highlight the value of and respect for research and education," honorary doctors receive the "doctoral hat" as a symbol of academic freedom. 

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‘Bro’ wins USENIX Security Test of Time Award

CS Prof. Vern Paxson has won the USENIX Security Test of Time Award. Originally published in 1998, Prof. Paxson’s paper, “Bro: A System for Detecting Network Intruders in Real-Time,” was selected for its lasting impact on the research community and by traditional publication metrics; as of this writing, “Bro” has been cited 3852 times according to Google Scholar. “The paper belongs in the compendium of ‘must read’ classic papers for any graduate security course,” according to the award committee. The award will be presented at the 31st USENIX Security Symposium, which takes place in Boston, MA this year.