NexGen 7T fMRI scanner

NIH bestows $13.4 million grant to build NexGen 7T fMRI brain scanner

A team of U.C. Berkeley researchers including Associate Prof. Chunlei Liu, Prof. Ana Arias, and Associate Prof. Michael Lustig, has been awarded a $13.43 million grant by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as part of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies® (BRAIN) Initiative.  The team will use the money to build the NexGen 7T, an innovative functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanner designed to provide the highest resolution images of the brain ever obtained.  Liu, an MR imaging specialist,  is the project co-leader along with physicist David Feinberg of the Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute.  The new scanner, which will boost resolution by a factor of 20, will give neuroscientists the ability to focus on cortical layers where most neuronal circuitry resides as well as to better identify large-scale circuitry connecting different regions of the brain.   Arias is an expert on flexible electronics and Lustig has developed new ways to speed up MRI scanning. The researchers will collaborate with Siemens to insure that the design can be quickly ramped up to produce next-generation scanners for researchers around the world.

Alex Stamos (photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Alex Stamos hunts down Russian political ads on Facebook

EECS alumnus and security expert Alex Stamos (B.S. '01) is profiled in an article in Recode about his role as Facebook's Chief Security Officer.  He is currently leading their internal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and co-authored a paper explaining how Russia carried out its misinformation campaign. The article describes Stamos's experiences as CSO of Yahoo and his efforts to protect the internet's rank-and-file users. “We’ve been asking people to pay attention to us for over 20 years. And they are,” he said. “We have the world’s attention. What are we going to do with it?”

Mark Liu, the new Chair of TSMC

Mark Liu named Chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC)

Alumnus Mark Liu (EE M.S. '80/Ph.D. '83) has been named Chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's biggest foundry chipmaker.  He is succeeding Morris Chang, who is retiring.  Chang, known as the "father of Taiwan's chip industry,' built TSMC (an Apple Inc. supplier) into a business worth $185 billion.   Liu had been President and Co-CEO of TSMC since 2013.  The company, which has thrived on booming demand for chips used in smartphones, now seeks to diversify its customer base and move into emerging industries such as artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.

Garth Gibson, Vector Institute (Matthew Plexman)

Garth Gibson named CEO of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence

CS alumnus Garth Gibson  (M.S. '84/B.S. '91) has been named CEO of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Toronto, Canada.  The newly-formed Vector has received $50-million funding from Ontario and $85-million-plus from more than 30 companies, including Shopify Inc., Magna International Inc., Canada's big banks and U.S. tech giants including Google Inc.  Gibson, who is a native of Canada, has held several senior positions at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, where he is a computer-science professor and established the school's Parallel Data Lab and Petascale Data Storage Institute.

Alumnus Nikunj Oza

Nikunj Oza presents NASA's perspectives on Deep Learning

CS alumnus Nikunj Oza (M.S. '98/Ph.D. '01), now a research scientist in the Intelligent Systems Division of the NASA Ames Research Center, talks about NASA's perspectives on Deep Learning for an HPC User Forum video.  He presents a broad overview of work at NASA in data sciences, data mining, and machine learning, and delineates the roles of NASA, academia, and industry in advancing machine learning to help solve NASA's problems.

Prof. Jan Rabaey

Jan Rabaey wins 2017 SRC Aristotle Award

EE Prof. Jan Rabaey has won the 2017 Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Aristotle Award.  The award recognizes SRC-supported faculty whose deep commitment to the educational experience of SRC students has had a profound and continuing impact on their professional performance and, consequently, a significant impact for members over a long period of time.   Rabaey was cited for having "made high-impact contributions to a number of fields, including advanced wireless systems, low power integrated circuits, sensor networks, and ubiquitous computing.  His current interests include the conception of the next-generation integrated wireless systems, as well as the exploration of the interaction between the cyber and the biological world."  The award was presented at  TECHCON 2017 on September 12th.

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson

David Patterson responds to former Google employee's memo about diversity

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson published an opinion piece in Wired in response to former Google employee James Damore’s memo, in which Damore stressed that women are biologically different and not suited to working in technology companies like Google.  Patterson, along with Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College and John Hennessy of Stanford, highlighted four main points in rebuttal to Damore’s memo: 1) implicit bias exists, 2) members of underrepresented groups are discouraged by daily biases not experienced by others, 3) a shortage of software engineers will limit the growth of the industry, and 4) it's more effective to discuss these issues face-to-face than via electronic communication.

Charles Giancarlo, the new CEO of Pure Storage

Charles Giancarlo named CEO of Pure Storage

EE Alumnus Charles Giancarlo (M.S. '80) has been named Chief Executive Officer of Pure Storage, the market's leading independent all-flash data platform vendor for the cloud era.   Giancarlo previously served in senior executive roles at Silver Lake Partners and Cisco Systems, Inc.  "Charlie is an exceptionally talented leader with a three-decade track record of driving growth and innovation at leading global technology companies," said outgoing CEO Scott Dietzen.

Nima Jafarian, VP of Management & Marketing at PowerSphyr

Nima Jafarian appointed VP of Product Management & Marketing at PowerSphyr

EE alumnus Nima Jafarian (B.S. '04) has been appointed Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at PowerSphyr, one of the world’s most innovative providers of wireless power technology.   He is responsible for leading product management and marketing for SkyCurrent™, a ground-breaking wireless power system which combines near-field and far-field technology in a single system to deliver wireless power to electronic devices without cords or cable.  Jafarian began his career at National Semiconductor developing BiCMOS processes for power management ICs and subsequently held marketing and R&D roles with Analog Devices and Peregrine Semiconductor.  Prior to joining PowerSphyr, he spent five years at Lumileds in global product management and channel marketing.

Andrew Ng is one of the world's leading authorities on AI

Andrew Ng is one of 7 leaders shaping the AI revolution

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02, adviser: Michael Jordan) has been singled out by as one of 7 leaders shaping the AI revolution.  Ng founded the “Google Brain” project, which developed massive-scale deep learning algorithms.  He led the AI group at Baidu, China’s largest search engine company, which directed research into advertising, maps, take-out delivery, voice and internet searching, security, consumer finance, among others. Ng also co-founded Coursera, an online education company that has raised more than $200 million venture capital funding.  He is also currently an adjuct professor at Stanford.