News

From global experience to collective perspective: Li Yang Kat

EECS Master of Engineering (MEng) student Li Yang Kat, who is originally from Singapore and has studied abroad in Sweden and South Korea, loves the human aspect of engineering and is passionate about sharing his fondness for STEM with other students. He says that his experiences overseas have broadened his world view and feels that understanding other's perspectives will make him a better engineer.  “A good engineer is technically competent, but taking the time to understand the needs of our users, dedicating ourselves to continuously improve our skills, and always demonstrating utmost integrity are the hallmarks of a great engineer,” said Kat.

Darrell, Dragan, Goldberg, Katz and Russell to participate in Robotics + AI 2020 TC Session

EECS Profs. Trevor Darrell, Anca Dragan, Ken Goldberg, Randy Katz and Stuart Russell are slated to participate in "TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI 2020" on March 3rd.  The single-day event will focus on "Minds and Machines: The Future of Robotics," and will feature "on-stage, live interviews and demos with the world's leading technologists, founders and investors, as well as workshops, audience Q&A with speakers, and highly curated networking."  The event is sponsored by online publishing company TechCrunch in partnership with UC Berkeley, Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR), CITRIS, the Sutardja Center, and the Fung Institute.

Warren Hoburg graduates from NASA's Artemis astronaut training program

EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '13, advisor: Pieter Abbeel) will be among the first candidates to graduate under NASA's Artemis astronaut basic training program on Friday, Jan. 10, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Starting next week, Hoburg will be eligible for spaceflight assignments to the International Space Station, missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars.  He earned a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro) from MIT before attending Berkeley, and returned to MIT as an assistant professor in AeroAstro after graduation.  Hoburg is also a commercial pilot who served on the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit and Yosemite Search and Rescue.

Celebrating 150 Years of Women at Berkeley

2020 is the 150th anniversary of the first year women students were admitted to UC Berkeley.  EECS Emerita Director of Diversity and unofficial department historian Sheila Humphreys is co-chairing the History Steering Committee for the year-long campus celebration, for which she will be collecting, creating and archiving information about the history of the contributions of women to UC Berkeley.  The EECS department will post stories throughout the year, highlighting the extraordinary women of EECS and the impact they have made on our community and the world.  If you have any information or ideas to share, please contact 150w@berkeley.edu or upload them to the 150W History Project website.

Kirk Tramble, one of three generations of Cal Bears

Alumnus Kirk Tramble (B.S. EECS 1993) is both the son and father of proud UC Berkeley alumni.  His father, Thomas, earned a B.A. in Sociology/African American Studies in 1971, and his son, Gabriel, graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies in 2018.  The family is profiled in a Cal Alumni article which compares their experiences as Black students at Cal during three different eras.  Kirk arrived on campus at a time when academic support for students of color was at an all-time high, and watched as everything changed after the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, when the percentage of black students dropped from 8% to 2%.  “The response [to Prop 209] was to ultimately shut down many of the programs that were the highest serving programs for African Americans on campus,” he said.  He and his father now administer a scholarship offered by the African American Initiative to encourage and support Black students at Cal.

After Parkland shooting, Kai Koerber fights for mental health resources in schools

CS-intended major Kai Koerber, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and now an advocate for mental health education, is the subject of an interview in an episode of Fiat Vox, the Berkeley News podcast.  Koerber was a high school senior in February 2018 when he huddled in a closet to escape the gunman, a former student, who killed 17 people in one of the deadliest school shootings in the country.  He decided to take a stand and speak authentically about gun violence and mental health, contributing the perspective of a young black person living in the South.  That April, he founded Societal Reform Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting mental health in schools by implementing programs that teach students of all ages to “mitigate emotions, relax, learn and grow as human beings.”

Jake Tibbetts and SIGNAL win 2019 SGS&C Best Student Game

Computer Science and Global Studies double major, Jake Tibbetts, and the UC Berkeley Project on Nuclear Gaming (PONG) were awarded Best Student Game at the 2019 Serious Games Showcase and Challenge (SGS&C) for their work on SIGNAL.  SIGNAL is an online three-player experimental wargame in which three countries, some armed with nuclear weapons, attempt to achieve national goals through diplomacy and conflict.  It is designed to help understand the impact of emerging technologies on strategic stability and nuclear risk reduction. Tibbetts, who specializes in Peace and Conflict Studies, is a member of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC), a five-year program to develop a new generation of laboratory-integrated nuclear experts.  SGS&C is the premier venue for recognition of excellence in the field of Serious Games development.

RISC-V grows globally as an alternative to Arm

RISC-V, a royalty-free microprocessor architecture first developed at Berkeley, is emerging as a rival to Arm, the most successful microchip architecture in the world.   The first RISC-V chip was built in 2011 as part of the open source Peer Lab Project by CS Prof. and alumnus Krste Asanović (Ph.D. '98, advisor: John Wawrzynek), CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson, and CS alumni Andrew Waterman (M.S. 11/Ph.D. '16, advisors: David Patterson/Krste Asanović) and Yunsup Lee (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '16, advisor: Krste Asanović).  Asanović, Waterman and Lee went on to found SiFive, "the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized silicon on RISC-V."   Asanović explains that the architecture has gained momentum "not because it's 10% faster. It's because it's a new business model."  Chip designers traditionally have to find a seller to make their microprocessors, but now designers can select RISC-V and "all suppliers compete for your business.  You can add your own extensions without obtaining permission" or paying license fees.

Robot BLUE named one of 100 greatest innovations of 2019

An affordable, human-friendly robot developed by EECS Prof. Pieter Abbeel and Project Blue is among Popular Science’s “Best of What’s New” innovations for 2019.  BLUE (Berkeley robot for Learning in Unstructured Environments) uses artificial intelligence and deep reinforcement learning algorithms to adapt to and operate safely in unpredictable settings, including the common household.  The list is  Popular Science's ranking of the year’s top 100 technologies and products, which highlight feats of engineering, breakthrough software and other acclaim-worthy discoveries from the past year.  BLUE is projected to ship to consumers in the next few years,

Dawn Song named 2019 ACM Fellow

EECS Prof. and alumna Dawn Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar) has been  selected as a 2019 Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).    Song was cited "For contributions to security and privacy" and is now part of an elite group that represents less than 1% of the Association’s global membership.  As one of the world’s foremost experts in computer security and trustworthy artificial intelligence, Song founded a startup to build a new platform based on a paradigm in which people control their data and are compensated for its use by corporations. She was named to both the 2019 WIRED25 list of innovators and Inc.com's list of the 100 most innovative businesswomen in 2019.   Fellows will be honored at an awards banquet in June.