News

Feisal Jaffer named global head of Hilton’s LXR Hotels and Resorts

EECS alumnus Feisal Jaffer (B.S. '97) is the new global head for Hilton’s luxury LXR Hotels and Resorts brand. He previous held positions as senior vice president of business development for Capella Hotel Group, part of Pontiac Land Group, and Pontiac’s senior vice president for acquisitions and development.  Hilton launched the LXR brand in 2018, which comprises independent hotels in resort locations.

Yamilée Toussaint Beach wins Educational Innovation Abie Award in Honor of A. Richard Newton

Yamilée Toussaint Beach, founder and CEO of STEM From Dance (SFD), is the third recipient of the Educational Innovation Abie Award in Honor of A. Richard Newton, an award which honors the life and career of a beloved EECS professor and alumnus.  A. Richard Newton (Ph.D. '78, advisor: Donald O. Pederson) led the founding of CITRIS in 1999, and served as EECS chair and Engineering dean before his early death from pancreatic cancer in 2007.  Beach won for her efforts to harness the power of dance to inspire and support young women of color from low-income backgrounds to develop the confidence, skills, and awareness necessary to obtain STEM degrees. She launched SFD in 2012, using seed funding won from Teach For America’s Social Innovation Award. Since then, SFD has partnered with over 25 schools and community centers, serving over 400 girls.

Leslie Field addresses UN on climate Ice911 Research

EE alumna Leslie Field (M.S. '88/Ph.D. '91, advisor: Richard White) gave an insightful and inspirational presentation on Ice911 Research at the inaugural Global Climate Restoration Forum held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York yesterday.  Field is the Founder and CEO of Ice911 Research, a non-profit focused on developing a technique to preserve and rebuild polar and glacial ice and polar habitat using a localized and ecologically respectful material, like floating sand, to reflect sunlight and stave off one of the effects of global warming.

Paper by Vasily Volkov and James Demmel wins SC19 Test of Time Award

A paper by alumnus Vasily Volkov (Ph.D. '16), now at Nvidia, and his advisor Prof. James Demmel has won the 2019 ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference (SC19) Test of Time Award.   The paper, "Benchmarking GPUs to Tune Dense Linear Algebra," which won the SC08 Best Student Paper Award when it was published, describes a first-of-its-kind vision of GPU architectures as a vector machine. The authors defined techniques to achieve greater efficiency and performance, detailing an optimization pattern that is found today in many high-performance GPU codes.  The paper has been cited almost a thousand times and has had a tremendous impact on the field.  The award, which recognizes an outstanding paper that has deeply influenced the HPC discipline, is one of the most prestigious in the SC conference series and will be presented at the 2019 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis in Colorado in November.

Sergey Levine, Francis Bach, and Pieter Abbeel are top 3 most prolific NeurIPS 2019 authors

Two EECS faculty and one alumnus are the authors with the most number of papers accepted to the upcoming 2019 Thirty-third Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), one of the most popular and influential AI conferences in the world.  CS Prof. Sergey Levine took the top spot with 12 papers, alumnus Francis Bach (Ph.D. '05, advisor: Michael Jordan) was the second most prolific contributor with 10 papers, and Prof. Pieter Abbeel placed third with nine.  Only one in five of the 6,743 papers submitted to the conference this year were accepted.  Registration to be one of the 8,000 attendees at  last year's NeurIPS (formerly NIPS) conference sold out in 12 minutes.  A lottery has been implemented for this year's conference, which will take place in December.

Campus Memorial to honor six from EECS community

The Berkeley Campus Memorial, which will be held on Tuesday, September 10, from 12 noon to 1 pm, will honor 6 members of the EECS community who died this year:  alumna and ICSI member Sally Floyd (M.S. '87/Ph.D. '89, advisor: Richard Karp),  alumnus and EECS faculty-in-residence/advisor to CITRIS Jean Paul Jacob (MS '65/PhD '66, advisor: Elijah Polak),  EECS and Mathematics Prof. Emeritus Elwyn Berlekamp, EECS and Biophysics Prof. Emeritus Jerome Singer, BWRC staff Tom Boot, and CS undergraduate student Daniel Leahy.  The memorial gathering will be held at the flagpole west of California Hall.

Carlos Biaou wins Sather Gate Young Volunteer Award

EECS graduate student Carlos Biaou (M.S. '18, advisor: Vivek Subramanian) has won a UC Berkeley Sather Gate Young Volunteer Award.  Berkeley volunteer awards are given to "people who give generously of their time and expertise to serve the Berkeley community."   Biaou was the president of the Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students association (BGESS) from 2017 to 2019.  He won the Pillar of the Community Award from the Latino/a Association for Graduate Students in Engineering and Science at Berkeley (LAGSES) earlier this year "For his commitment to building community across organizations on campus."  Biaou is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow studying various degradation processes in perovskite solar cells. 

Bruce Hajek named ECE Illinois department head

EECS alumnus Bruce Hajek (Ph.D. '79, advisor: Eugene Wong), who has been on the faculty of the Grainger College of Engineering, and a researcher in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 40 years, has been named head of UIUC's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).  Hajek is an internationally renowned expert in the field of communications networks and served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and as President of the IEEE Information Theory Society.

Sally Floyd, an inventor of Random Early Detection, has died

CS alumna Sally Floyd (M.S. '87/Ph.D. '89, advisor: Richard Karp), best known as one of the inventors of Random Early Detection (RED), an active queue management scheme widely credited with saving the internet from collapse in the 1990s, has died at age 69.  Floyd graduated from Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology in 1971 and, after taking a two-year course in electronics at Meritt College, spent the next decade working as a computer systems engineer at BART.  She returned to Berkeley as a graduate student in 1984 and was known as an outstanding advisor to members of the CS Reentry Program, a department project which prepared  "older" women and minorities, who had bachelor's degrees in non-technical fields, for competitive admission to graduate STEM programs.  The creation of the RED algorithm, which was built on work started by Van Jacobson in the 1980s,  founded the field of Active Queue Management (AQM).  Floyd and Jacobson's 1993 paper describing how RED could control congestion on the internet continues to play a vital role in its stability and has been cited in more than 9,100 articles. “That’s truly huge,” said Prof. Vern Paxson, who had been mentored by Floyd as a graduate student, “up there with the most fundamental papers in computer networking.”

Richard Din innovates unique course to help students connect more deeply with entrepreneurs

EECS alumnus Richard Din (B.S. EECS/B.A. Econ '08),  the co-founder of revolutionary food-delivery app Caviar, has imagined and helped to create a small, select, new course being offerred fall semester through the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET).  The course, which cannot be documented or attended by visitors, will host diverse and unique speakers from the tech industry who will share personal stories about their startups, including sensitive details about “co-founder fights, investor drama, and running out of money.”  “When it’s off the record," said Din, "then you can be more candid about finer details and tell more interesting stories.” Students interested in taking the course must be nominated by a professor. Professors can send nominations to Jennifer Nice at jennifernice@berkeley.edu.