News

Claire Tomlin elected to the NAE

EE alumna and Prof. Claire Tomlin (Ph.D. '98, adviser: Shankar Sastry) has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  NAE is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer.  Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature" and to "the pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education."  Tomlin was cited “For contributions to design tools for safety-focused control of cyberphysical systems.”

Rebecca Sorla Portnoff: Coding against sex trafficking

In an effort to catch sex traffickers, CS alumna Rebecca Sorla Portnoff (Ph.D. '17, adviser: David Wagner) creates computer codes that help identify similarities in traffickers’ online ads and find the Bitcoin accounts they use to buy the ads.  She works for THORN: Digital Defenders of Children, an organization that builds technology to fight the sexual abuse of children.  UC Berkeley News has created a video about her work.

Thomas Philip joins Graduate School of Education faculty

EECS alumnus Thomas Philip (B.S. '98) has joined the faculty of the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Education as an associate professor. He is interested in how teachers make sense of power and hierarchy in classrooms, schools and society, and how they navigate and ultimately transform classrooms and institutions toward more equitable, just, and democratic practices and outcomes. In particular, he is studying the possibilities and tensions that emerge with the use of digital learning technologies in classrooms.

Michael Orshansky named to eSilicon Technical Advisory Board

EECS alumnus Michael Orshansky (B.S./M.S./Ph.D. '01, adviser: Chenming Hu) has been named to the technical advisory board of eSilicon, a leading provider of FinFET ASICs, market-specific IP platforms and 2.5D packaging solutions.  Orshansky, who is currently a faculty fellow at the Department of  Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Texas, researches approximate computing for on-chip machine learning acceleration.  The board will focus on guiding the company’s development work associated with artificial intelligence ASICS.

HP Names Yoky Matsuoka to Board of Directors

2014 CS Distinguished Alumna, Yoky Matsuoka (B.S. '93), has been appointed to the Board of Directors of HP Inc.  Matsuoka was the founder of Google[x], the company's innovative research and development lab, before serving as CTO of Google Alphabet's Nest business.  She was also a senior executive at Apple and an endowed professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington.  The HP Board of Directors is said to be one of the most diverse of any technology company in the U.S.

'Ambidextrous' robots could dramatically speed e-commerce

CS Prof. Ken Goldberg and members of the AUTOLAB including postdoc Jeffrey Mahler (Ph.D. '18), grad students Matthew Matl and Michael Danielczuk, and undergraduate researcher Vishal Satish, have published a paper in Science Robotics which presents new algorithms to compute robust robot pick points, enabling robot grasping of a diverse range of products without training.  They trained reward functions for a parallel-jaw gripper and a suction cup gripper on a two-armed robot, and found that their system cleared bins with up to 25 previously unseen objects at a rate of over 300 picks per hour with 95 percent reliability.

Pulkit Agrawal, Jacob Andreas, and Cathy Wu join MIT faculty

CS alumni Pulkit Agrawal (M.S. '14/Ph.D. '18, adviser: Jitendra Malik) and Jacob Andreas (Ph.D. '18, adviser: Daniel Klein ) will join the MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science,  and EE alumna Cathy Wu (Ph.D. '18, adviser: Alexandre Bayen)  will join the MIT Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, as assistant professors.  Agrawal, who co-founded SafelyYou, Inc., studies topics spanning robotics, deep learning, computer vision, and computational neuroscience.  Andreas, who was a member of the Berkeley Natural Language Processing Group and the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab, focuses on using language as a scaffold for more efficient learning and as a probe for understanding model behavior.  Wu, who was recently awarded the Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award, focuses on research involving machine learning, robotics, intelligent systems, and mixed-autonomy mobility.

Cathy Wu wins CUTC’s Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award

Recent EE alumna Cathy Wu (Ph.D. '18, adviser: Alexandre Bayen) has won the Council of University Transportation Centers (CUTC)’s Milton Pikarsky Memorial Award.  This honor, which recognizes the best Doctoral dissertation in the field of science and technology in transportation studies each year, was awarded for Wu's dissertation titled “Learning and Optimization for Mixed Anatomy Systems – A Mobility Context.”  “This is a great honor,” says Wu. “I feel very fortunate to have been able to study optimization challenges at very different layers of our complex transportation systems in the context of self-driving vehicles, from congestion to routing to questions touching on planning and policy.”

Ken Thompson to be inducted into 2019 National Inventors Hall of Fame

CS alumnus Ken Thompson (B.S.‘65/M.S.‘66) is a member of the 2019 class of inductees into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for creating the UNIX Operating System. Thompson and Dennis Ritchie's creation of the UNIX operating system and the C programming language were pivotal developments in the progress of computer science. Today, 50 years after its beginnings, UNIX and UNIX-like systems continue to run machinery from supercomputers to smartphones. The UNIX operating system remains the basis of much of the world's computing infrastructure, and C language -- written to simplify the development of UNIX -- is one of the most widely used languages today.

Barbara Grosz joins the Embedded EthiCS team

1997 Distinguished CS Alumna Barbara Grosz (M.S. '71/Ph.D. '77, adviser: Martin Graham), the Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences at Harvard, is part of the Embedded EthiCS @ Harvard team, which aims to bring  "ethical reasoning into the computer science curriculum."  Embedded EthiCS  is a collaboration between philosophers and computer scientists at Harvard, led by faculty from both fields. Post-doctoral fellows and advanced graduate students meet weekly for a teaching lab to develop Embedded EthiCS modules.  The aim of Embedded EthiCS is to teach students to consider not merely what technologies they could create, but whether they should create them.  "The Embedded EthiCS distributed pedagogy embeds philosophers directly into computer science courses to teach students how to think through the ethical and social implications of their work."