Junior AI researchers are in demand by universities and industry

Assistant Teaching Prof. and EE alumna Gireeja Ranade (MS '09/PhD '14, advisor: Anant Sahai) is part of an article in Nature titled "Junior AI researchers are in demand by universities and industry."  Ranade worked at Microsft Research in Washington after graduating from Berkeley but before joining the EECS faculty.  She discusses some of the projects she worked on, the impact that they had, and how they have influenced her teaching.  "I loved the idea that it would be different from an academic postdoc and give me exposure to real problems. It makes you more aware of the issues that product teams face; it helps you see the real challenges," she said.

Jordan Edmunds named 2019 Hertz Fellow

EE graduate student Jordan Edmunds (advisor: Michel Maharbiz), has been named a 2019 fellow by the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing groundbreaking applied science with real-world benefits for all humanity.   Edmunds, whose current work focuses on neural interfaces, has produced more than 120 instructional videos on electrical engineering topics, and regularly interacts with community middle school students via Berkeley’s Be a Scientist program. Hertz Foundation awards allow fellows "the freedom to pursue innovative research wherever it may lead."

Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

Stuart Russell wins Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

Prof. Stuart Russell has been elected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Also called the “Brainy Award,” the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship awards recipients with a grant of up to $200,000 in order to “devote significant time to research, writing, and publishing in the humanities and social sciences — work that will benefit all of us.”  The award’s objective “is to offer fresh perspectives on the humanities and solutions to the urgent issues of today.”

ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award

Paper by Koushik Sen wins ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award

The paper titled "CUTE: a concolic unit testing engine for C", authored by Prof. Koushik Sen (EECS), Darko Marinov (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Gul Agha (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) has been chosen to receive an ACM SIGSOFT (Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Software Engineering) Impact Paper Award. The award is given annually and “recognizes the breadth and vitality of the software engineering community."

Caroline Lemieux and Daniel Fried named 2019 Google PhD Fellows

CS graduate students Caroline Lemieux (adviser: Koushik Sen) and Daniel Fried (adviser: Daniel Klein) have won 2019 Google PhD Fellowships.  The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize outstanding graduate students doing exceptional work in computer science and related research areas.  Fellowships are awarded to students who "represent the future of research" in those fields. Lemieux, who won in the field of Programming Technology and Software Engineering, has interests which center around improving, or helping developers to improve, the correctness, reliability, and understanding of software systems.  Fried, who won in the Natural Language Processing category,  is interested in grounding language in perception and interaction, and in structured prediction.

Mendel Rosenblum wins Inaugural ACM Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award

CS alumnus Mendel Rosenblum (MS '89/PhD '92) has been honored with the inaugural ACM Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award.  Rosenblum, who is currently a professor at Stanford, is being recognized "for reinventing the virtual machine for the modern era and thereby revolutionizing datacenters and enabling modern cloud computing."   He is a co-founder of VMware,  where helped design and build virtualization technology for commodity computing platforms.  The Breakthrough in Computing Award "recognizes individuals or groups who have made surprising, disruptive, or leapfrog contributions to computing ideas or technologies." Rosenblum will formally receive the award at ACM’s annual Awards Banquet in June.

UC Berkeley undergraduates launch soundproof karaoke pod startup

A team of three undergraduates, including EECS junior Aayush Tyagi, launched Oki Karaoke in September 2018 — a startup that aims to bring Asia’s soundproof karaoke pods to the United States. The startup is currently working to install its first booth, which will operate by charging customers by the minute, in Westfield San Francisco Centre in mid- to late June. “The new format of karaoke that we bring, namely the more intimate and spontaneous experience of a booth, makes karaoke more palatable for the American market, where privacy is a bigger concern,” said co-founder Noha Adriany.

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.