(photo Tiberio Uricchio)

Caffe team wins Everingham Prize at ICCV 2017

The Caffe team researchers ('13 alumnus and current GSR Yangqing Jia, grad student Evan Shelhamer,  '17 alumnus Jeff Donahue, '15 alumnus Sergey Karayev, grad student Jonathan Long, former postdocs Ross Girshick and Sergio Guadarrama, and Prof. in Residence Trevor Darrell) have been awarded the Mark Everingham Prize at the International Conference on Computer Vision (ICCV) 2017.  Caffe is a deep learning framework made with expression, speed, and modularity in mind,  developed by Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) and by community contributors. The Everingham Prize is bestowed by the IEEE technical committee on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI) and is given to individuals or groups "who have made a selfless contribution of significant benefit to other members of the computer vision community."  The Caffe team won "for providing an open-source deep learning framework that enabled the community to use, train and share deep convolutional neural networks. Caffe has had a huge impact, both academic and commercial. "
Mattel Kamigami (TechCrunch)

Mattel releases Dash foldable robot bugs

Mattel has launched a line of biologically inspired foldable robot bugs designed in collaboration with Dash Robots, a spin-off of the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab (BML).  The researchers at BML, under the direction of Prof. Ron Fearing, draw inspiration from nature to build more efficient robotics.  The new toys, called  Kamigami, let kids build their own robotic bugs, like mantises, ladybugs and scorpions.  Each $50 kit contains parts of a six-legged robot (with an accelerometer, gyroscope, and IR transmitter/receiver) and foldable plastic origami sheets to transform each robot into a different creature.

Rebecca Chery presenting her project (photo: Daniel McGlynn)

Rebecca Chery meets PREP design challenge

The experiences of EECS freshman Rebecca Chery, a participant in the Pre-Engineering Program (PREP), are described in a Berkeley Engineering article titled "PREP by design."  PREP is a three-week program that gives incoming engineering majors a head start on academics, networking and professional development. Chery's team used equipment at the Jacobs Institute makerspace to create a phone case with a keyfob inside that would trigger a door to open once the phone case detected a sensor in close proximity. The prototype was chosen by the PREP students as their favorite project from the design challenge.

UltraSoC appoints Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli as Chairman

EE Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli has been appointed Non-Executive Chairman of UltraSoC, a pioneering semiconductor IP technology start-up based in Cambridge, UK.  The appointment comes as the company drives accelerating adoption of its IP for debug during chip design, and of its embedded intelligent analytics capabilities for monitoring wider system performance on all processor platforms: in particular the open-source RISC-V architecture.  Sangiovanni-Vincentelli helped to found both Cadence Design Systems and Synopsys – the two industry leaders in Electronic Design Automation (EDA).   CEO Rupert Baines says “We are excited to welcome Alberto into the Chairman role and are convinced that his background as a serial entrepreneur and distinguished academic makes him the ideal choice for guiding UltraSoC’s future growth and direction.” UltraSoC’s technology is now enhancing safety, security and power for system design, in applications including automotive, enterprise IT, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Engineering and Computer Science programs make US News global universities Top 10

U.C. Berkeley ranked #5 in Engineering and #8 in Computer Science on the 2018 U.S. News and World Report list of Best Global Universities.  Rankings are based on reputation, citations, research, publications, and collaboration.  Tsinghua University was top ranked on both lists.  Berkeley ranked #2 and #3 for global research reputation in Engineering and CS, respectively, and the campus was ranked fourth-best global university overall.

Berkeley DeepDrive Releases 36,000 Nexar Videos to Research Community

Berkeley DeepDrive (BDD) and Nexar announced the release of 36,000 high frame-rate videos of driving, in addition to 5,000 pixel-level semantics-segmented labeled images, and invited public and private institution researchers to join the effort to develop accurate automotive perception and motion prediction models.  The BDD Industry Consortium, led by EE Prof. Trevor Darrell , investigates state-of-the-art technologies in computer vision and machine learning for automotive applications. Nexar, as a member of the consortium, contributes video and images captured by its road safety AI camera application deployed in over 100 countries worldwide.  The Nexar driving data will be used for academic research (for activities like training and validating models for real world applications) as well as open crowdsourced research challenges based on parts of the driving data.

Dan Garcia
Dan Garcia

Dan Garcia weighs in on necessary skills for coders

Teaching Prof. Dan Garcia is featured in an EdSurge article titled "Engineers, Recruiters and Professors Weigh In: Future Programmers Need Writing Skills, Too," in which he discusses how career goals should shape a student's skill set.  Although not all successful coders need to be proficient writers, flexibility is important.  “There are careers where someone doesn't need [to write]… but we want students to be able to go to any position. Maybe they want to just be a coder [at first], but later they decide to be an academic or on the documentation side or in management,” says Garcia. “My point is you never know when you need to write.”

In a somewhat related Daily Cal article, undergrad Sanil Rajput ponders the correlation between copy editing and computer science, putting forth a theory that "Copy editors make excellent coders."

Bryan Catanzaro talks AI

EECS alumnus Bryan Catanzaro (Ph.D. '11) is interviewd by Byron Reese for episode 13 of his series Voices in AI.  Catanzaro, who is the head of Applied AI Research at NVIDIA, discusses sentience, transfer learning, speech recognition, autonomous vehicles, and economic growth.  "I like to think about artificial intelligence as making tools that can perform intellectual work.  Hopefully, those are useful tools that can help people be more productive in things that they need to do," he says.

OSA Honorary Member Amnon Yariv

Amnon Yariv named 2017 Honorary Member of the Optical Society

EE alumnus Amnon Yariv (B.S '54/M.S. '56/Ph.D. '58) has been named a 2017 Honorary Member of the Optical Society (OSA).  Honorary Membership is the most distinguished of all OSA Member categories and is awarded to individuals who have made unique, seminal contributions to the field of optics.  Yariv was elected for pioneering scientific and engineering contributions to photonics and quantum electronics that have profoundly impacted lightwave communications and the field of optics as a whole. His research has focused on creating the mathematical tools and building blocks underpinning guided wave optics, the backbone of today's optoelectronic technologies. This endeavor led to the proposal and demonstration of the distributed feedback laser -- the main light source and information carrier of internet traffic -- and started the field of optoelectronic integrated circuits.  Yariv, who is currently a professor at the California Institute of Technology, received the National Medal of Science in 2010.

A chick embryo with birth defects (Science Signaling)

Chunlei Liu's research may help prevent birth defects linked to fever during early pregnancy

EE Associate Prof. Chunlei Liu has co-authored a study which has identified a specific molecular pathway that links maternal fever early in pregnancy to some congenital heart and cranial facial birth defects.  The findings, which were published in the journal Science Signaling, suggest a portion of congenital birth defects could be prevented if fevers are treated through the judicious use of acetaminophen during the first trimester.  Among their discoveries, the scientists found that neural crest cells—which are critical building blocks for the heart, face and jaw—contain temperature-sensitive properties.  “With electrical magnetic waves coupled with engineered ion channel proteins, we are able to impact specific biological cells remotely without affecting other biochemical environments,” Liu said. “The technique can be applied to study many different cell types and their roles at various developmental stages.”  The research was conducted in collaboration with scientists at Duke Universiy.