News

Nolan Pokpongkiat wins third place David L. Kirp Prize

Third-year Computer Science undergraduate Nolan Pokpongkiat is the third place winner of the KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize, funded by the U.C. Berkeley Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.  The prize recognizes "students who have developed innovative strategies to increase opportunities for children and youth, as well as students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the future of children and youth."  Pokpongkiat co-founded Helix, a non-profit organization with the goal of diversifying the healthcare field by empowering young people to pursue futures in medicine. As Managing Director, Nolan brought together a team to design a month-long summer program where high school students spend a week living at UC Berkeley training in basic clinical skills, getting CPR-certified, and learning about possible healthcare careers. Then, through partnerships with UCSF Health, John Muir Health, and Kaiser Permanente, along with a network of over 160 medical professionals, students rotate through shadowing placements in the hospital, on the ambulance, and in community clinics for the remainder of the month.

Meet Blue, the low-cost, human-friendly robot designed for AI

Meet Blue, a new low-cost, human-friendly robot conceived and built by a team of researchers led by CS Prof. Pieter Abbeel, postdoc Stephen McKinley, and grad student David Gealy. Blue was designed to use recent advances in AI and deep reinforcement learning to master intricate human tasks, all while remaining affordable and safe enough that every artificial intelligence researcher — and eventually every home — could have one.  “AI has done a lot for existing robots, but we wanted to design a robot that is right for AI,” Abbeel said. “Existing robots are too expensive, not safe around humans and similarly not safe around themselves – if they learn through trial and error, they will easily break themselves. We wanted to create a new robot that is right for the AI age rather than for the high-precision, sub-millimeter, factory automation age.”

Largest, fastest array of microscopic ‘traffic cops’ for optical communications

Prof. Ming Wu, post-doc Kyungmok Kwon, and grad students Johannes Henriksson and Jianheng Luo (along with co-lead author Tae Joon Seok of the Gwangju Institute) have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently than ever.  The photonic switch is built with more than 50,000 microscopic “light switches” etched into a silicon wafer. Each light switch directs one of 240 tiny beams of light to either make a right turn when the switch is on, or to pass straight through when the switch is off. This optical “traffic cop” could one day revolutionize how information travels through data centers and high-performance supercomputers that are used for artificial intelligence and other data-intensive applications.

Two papers selected as 2018 IEEE Micro Top Picks

Two papers by EECS faculty have been named 2018 IEEE Micro Top Picks by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture (SIGARCH).  The papers were "A Hardware Accelerator for Tracing Garbage Collection," co-authored by Profs. Krste Asanović and John Kubiatowicz (along with Martin Maas), and "FireSim: FPGA-Accelerated Cycle-Exact Scale-Out System Simulation in the Public Cloud," co-authored by Profs. Borivoje Nikolić, Randy Katz, Jonathan Bachrach, and Krste Asanović (along with Karandikar, Mao, Kim, Biancolin, Amid, Lee, Pemberton, Amaro, Schmidt, Chopra, Huang and Kovacs).  Top Picks represent "the most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and potential for long-term impact."  The papers will be published in IEEE Micro's annual “Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences” issue in May/June 2019.

4 EECS faculty and 3 alumni to participate in Fields Institute symposium celebrating work of Stephen Cook

CS Prof. Shafi Goldwasser, CS Profs. Emeriti Richard Karp,  Manuel Blum and Christos Papadimitriou, and alumni Michael Sipser (2016 CS Distinguished Alumnus, PhD '80, advisor: Manuel Blum), Scott Aaronson (CS PhD '04, advisor: Umesh Vazirani), and James Cook (CS PhD '14, advisor: Satish Rao) will all be speaking at The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences Symposium on 50 Years of Complexity Theory: A Celebration of the Work of Stephen Cook.  The symposium, which will be held May 6-9, 2019 in Toronto, Canada, celebrates 50 years of NP-Completeness and the outstanding achievements of Stephen Cook and his remarkable influence on the field of computing.

 2019 Okawa Foundation Grant Winners
2019 Okawa Foundation Grant Winners

Raluca Popa and Moritz Hardt win 2018 Okawa Research Grants

CS Assistant Professors Raluca Popa and Moritz Hardt have won 2018 Okawa Research Foundation Grants. Okawa Research Grants are bestowed for "studies and analyses in the fields of information and telecommunications." Popa’s research interests are in secure collaborative learning. Hardt’s research interests are in machine learning in social dynamics. The award will be presented in San Francisco in the fall.

photos of Fox, Jordan, and Patterson

Profs. Armando Fox, Michael Jordan, and David Patterson win IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) Influential Paper Award

At the 2019  IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), the Influential Paper Award was won by the 2009 paper "Predicting Multiple Metrics for Queries: Better Decisions Enabled by Machine Learning" by Archana Ganapathi, Harumi A. Kuno, Umeshwar Dayal, Janet L. Wiener, Armando Fox, Michael I. Jordan, and David A. Patterson.  This paper presented a data engineering methodology that has become the foundation for using machine learning to understand system behavior, espeicially in the vital areas of database optimization and data warehousing.  After receiving her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Berkeley, Archana Ganapathi has gone on to lead data strategy and analytics at Splunk.

Alexei Efros, Anca Dragan, Ken Goldberg, and Michael Jordan to participate in TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI event

CS Profs. Alexei Efros, Ken Goldberg and Michael Jordan, and Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan, will be participating in the TechCrunch (TC) Sessions: Robotics + AI 2019 event on April 18 .  The day-long event includes "on-stage, live interviews and demos with the world's leading technologists, founders and investors on robotics and AI, workshops on key topics, and focused networking."  Efros (Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research--BAIR--Lab)and Dragan (InterACT Lab, BAIR Lab, and Center for Human-Compatible AI) are featured speakers.  Goldberg and Jordan will be part of a panel exploring "Artificial Intelligence: Minds, Economies and Systems that Learn."

Ali Ghodsi is one of the 10 coolest data science and machine learning CEOs

CS Adjunct Prof. Ali Ghodsi is on Solutions Review's list of "The 10 Coolest Data Science and Machine Learning CEOs."  Ghodsi is the CEO and co-founder of Databricks, and responsible for the growth and international​ ​expansion of the company.  He previously served as the VP of Engineering and Product​ ​Management before taking the role of CEO in January 2016.  Ghodsi is on the board of the RiseLab and  was one of the creators of the open source project Apache Spark.

Negative capacitance found

A research paper by EECS Prof. Sayeef Salahuddin's group that shows direct measurement of Negative Capacitance was highlighted in an article in Nature Electronics titled "Negative capacitance found."   Negative Capacitance is a new state of ferroelectric material that was discovered by Salahuddin in 2008 and promises to significantly improve energy efficiency in electronics.