Stephen Director named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

Alumnus Stephen W. Director (EE M.S. '67/Ph.D. '68) has been elected as a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors this year.  The title recognizes "academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development, and the welfare of society."  Director is a pioneer in the field of elec­tronic design automation and has patented methods for max­i­mizing the yield during the man­u­fac­turing of inte­grated cir­cuits.  Director is Provost Emeritus in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Northeastern University.

Imperva names Roger Sippl to board of directors

Imperva has named alumnus Roger Sippl (CS BS '77 ) to its board of directors.  Sippl is a Silicon Valley software pioneer, entrepreneur and innovator.  He founded Informix Software (now part of IBM) in 1980, when he was just 24, to develop and commercialize SQL relational database software.  He subsequently took two more companies through IPO: The Vantive Corporation, which became part of PeopleSoft/Oracle, and Visigenic Software, which was acquired by Borland.  Sippl received the CS Distinguished Alumni award in 1995.

Algorithm probes how AIs reason

Quartz  explores an algorithm devised by CS Prof. Trevor Darrell, L&S CS undergraduate student Dong Huk Park, CS grad student Lisa Anne Hendricks, and postdoc Marcus Rohrbach, along with researchers in the Max Planck Institute for Informatics,  in an article titled "We don’t understand how AI make most decisions, so now algorithms are explaining themselves." Engineers have developed deep learning systems that ‘work’ without necessarily knowing why they work or being able to show the logic behind a system’s decision.   The algorithm uses a “pointing and justification” system, to point to the data used to make a decision and justify why it was used that way.

Prof. Clark Nguyen

Clark Nguyen selected to receive the 2017 Robert Bosch Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems Award

Prof. Clark Nguyen has been selected to receive the 2017 Robert Bosch Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems Award. This award was established by the IEEE Electron Devices Society in 2014 to recognize and honor advances in the invention, design, and/or fabrication of micro or nano- electromechanical systems and/or devices. The contributions honored by this award are innovative and useful for practical applications. Prof. Nguyen is being honored for pioneering research on high-frequency MEMS vibrating systems and for extraordinary efforts in support of MEMS in industry, government, and teaching.

Nicholas Weaver concludes "the Russians stole the data"

Alumnus Nicholas Weaver (CS B.A. '95/ Ph.D. '03), who now works at the International Computer Science Institute (ICSI) as a security expert, was interviewed by Leandra Bernstein of ABC 33/40 for an in-depth article titled Questions remain over Russian responsibility for passing stolen DNC emails to WikiLeaks.  "All the evidence, both public and still secret, points towards the Russians having stolen the emails, while there is effectively no evidence for any competing hypothesis," Nicholas said.

New ultrasonic sensors can improve security of fingerprint recognition on smartphones

EE Prof. Bernhard Boser is profiled in an article in the Cal Aggie titled "Fingerprint recognition on smartphones unsafe and hackable" in which he discusses a new ultrasonic imaging process developed at UC Berkeley and UC Davis to more securely protect personal information than current finger recognition technologies.  This new technology, which combines an ultrasonic sensor in air and an ultrasonic sensor in tissue, captures a fingerprint in 3D to uniquely identify a person.  It images both the ridges and valleys of a fingerprint surface as well as the subsurface structure of the skin,  distinguishing between layers of tissue by analyzing the densities of live and dead skin cells.  "This imaging process can look at the surface of fingerprints and inside the finger,” Boser said. “There are more patterns inside the finger that can’t be put onto glass screen of a phone.”

Jacobs Hall receives LEED Platinum certification for sustainability

Jacobs Hall, home of the  Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation has received a Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.  LEED scores buildings on how well they meet various measures of sustainability and Platinum is the highest level of certification possible. Jacobs Hall is the first UC Berkeley facility to achieve platinum status.

Jun-Yan Zhu creates algorithms for the artistically challenged

CS graduate student Jun-Yan Zhu (adviser: Alexei Efros) is the subject of an article in California Magazine titled "Paint by Numbers: Algorithms for the Artistically Challenged."  Zhu and his team apply the tools of machine learning to computer graphics.  For example, in the team's most recent project, they developed software that lets users easily create realistic images from the crudest brushstrokes.  Their research projects have yielded potential applications from improving online searching and e-commerce to art and fashion.

Valerie Taylor named ACM fellow

Alumna Valerie Taylor (EE M.S. '86/Ph.D. '91), now a computer science professor at Texas A&M University, has been named a 2016 Fellow by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).  Taylor is one of 53 ACM members honored for their contributions to computer science. She is being lauded for her “leadership in broadening participation in computing" and is the subject of an article in Black Enterprise.