News

Edward Lee and Sanjit Seshia win Cyber-Physical Systems (TCCPS) awards

Two EECS professors have won awards from the IEEE Technical Committee on Cyber-Physical Systems (TCCPS).  Edward Lee won the Technical Achievement Award, which recognizes significant contributions to the field sustained throughout the recipient's career, ‘‘for pioneering and fundamental contributions to the design, modeling and simulation of cyber-physical systems.’’  The previous winner was Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli in 2017.  Sanjit Seshia won the Mid-Career Award, which recognizes a mid-career researcher who has made outstanding contributions to the field, ‘‘for fundamental contributions to formal methods for cyber-physical systems design and to cyber-physical systems education.’’  The previous recipient was Prof. Alexandre Bayen in 2018.

With a hop, a skip and a jump, Salto leaps over obstacles with ease

Salto the robot, first unveiled in 2016 by the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab, is now equipped with a slew of new skills, giving it the ability to bounce in place like a pogo stick and jump through obstacle courses like an agility dog. Salto can even take short jaunts around campus, powered by a radio controller.  Salto creators Justin Yum, Eric Wang and Ronald S. Fearing will describe the robot’s new skills today (Tuesday, May 21) at the 2019 International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Montreal.

Jeff Bokor rises to position of EECS Chair

Prof. Jeffrey Bokor, the current Chair of the EE Division, will assume the post of EECS Department Chair on July 1, 2019.  Bokor earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1975, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford in 1976 and 1980, respectively.  His research interests include physical electronics and nanotechnology.  He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1993 and served as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering from 2012-2017.  He currently holds a joint appointment as a Senior Scientist in the Materials Science Division at LBNL.  He will replace outgoing EECS Chair James Demmel.

Chelsea Finn wins 2018 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award

Recent graduate Chelsea Finn (Ph.D. '18, advisors: Pieter Abbeel and Sergey Levine), has won the prestigious ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award. This award is presented annually to "the author(s) of the best doctoral dissertation(s) in computer science and engineering."  In her dissertation, "Learning to Learn with Gradients," Finn introduced algorithms for meta-learning that enable deep networks to solve new tasks from small datasets, and demonstrated how her algorithms can be applied in areas including computer vision, reinforcement learning and robotics.  Finn  is currently a research scientist at Google Brain, a post-doc at the Berkeley AI Research Lab (BAIR), and an acting assistant professor at Stanford.  Last year's recipient, Aviad Rubinstein, was also a Berkeley EECS alum.

John Canny named new CS Division Chair

Prof. John Canny will become the new Chair of the Computer Science Division on July 1, 2019.   Canny joined the Berkeley faculty in 1987.  He received a B.S. in CS and Theoretical Physics (1979) and a B.E. in EE (1980), both from Adelaide University in Australia, and an M.S. (1983) and a Ph.D. (1987) from MIT.   He has made significant contributions to various areas of CS and mathematics including AI, robotics, computer graphics, human-computer interaction, computer security, computational algebra, and computational geometry.   He will replace outgoing Chair James Demmel.

Introducing the New CS Faculty: Alvin Cheung, Hany Farid, Nilah Ioannidis, Jelani Nelson, and Aditya Parameswaran

Five new Computer Science faculty will be joining the EECS department in June:   Assistant Prof. Alvin Cheung, whose research interests include database management and programming systems; Prof. Hany Farid, who will have a joint appointment with the I-School; Assistant Prof. Nila Ioannidis, who will have a joint appointment with the Center for Computational Biology; Prof. Jelani Nelson in computing theory; and Assistant Prof. Aditya Parameswaran, who will also have a joint appointment with the I-School.

Soham Phade and Venkat Anantharam win GameNets Best Paper Award

Graduate student Soham Phade and his advisor, Venkat Anantharam, have won the Best Paper Award at the 9th EAI International Conference on Game Theory for Networks (GameNets 2019).  Their paper, titled "Optimal Resource Allocation over Networks via Lottery-Based Mechanisms," was in the Games for Economy and Resource Allocation category.  Phade's current focus is on "designing market-based mechanisms and algorithms on presumably more accurate models of human behavior from psychology and decision theory, for increasing human welfare and for building more efficient commercial systems that interact with humans."

Scott Shenker National Academy of Sciences
Professor Scott Shenker

Scott Shenker elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Prof. Scott Shenker has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  Membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original scientific research. Prof Shenker is a fellow of the ACM and IEEE, as well as a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2017, he was named a Berkeley Visionary by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, and also received the ACM Paris Kanellakis Award “for pioneering contributions to fair queueing in packet-switching networks, which had a major impact on modern practice in computer communication.”

Vasuki Narasimha Swamy named 2019 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar

Graduate student Vasuki Narasimha Swamy (advisor: Anant Sahai) has been recognized as a 2019 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar for her work designing robust wireless protocol frameworks for ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC).  Paul Baran Young Scholarships, which are awarded to just a handful of young researchers throughout the world every year, recognize those who have demonstrated "exceptional capability and potential."  In addition to her innovations to URLLC networks, Swamy helped to co-found BiasBusters, an organization that addresses implicit bias issues in the EECS department.  The mission of the Marconi Society is to "inspire innovations in the Internet and communications that benefit humankind.”

Berkeley CS wins major award to integrate ethics into undergraduate curriculum

The EECS Computer Science program is one of the inaugural recipients of the "Responsible Computer Science Challenge" award, an ambitious $3.5 million initiative designed to help integrate ethics into undergraduate computer science education.  The CS Division, which was the only leading CS program selected, will combine forces with the Division of Data Sciences to continue to develop and scale a curriculum that will "equip students to recognize and grapple with the complex, high-stakes questions" that arise in today's world.  Since technologies like facial recognition can help find missing children or perpetuate bias, and social media platforms can be used to both build human rights movements and hack elections, students need to learn how to reason clearly about what technology should and should not do.  Berkeley students will be active participants in developing and testing the new course material.  "We hope the toolkit we’re developing at Berkeley can help other colleges and universities integrate ethics into their classes at scale," said EECS chair James Demmel.