Valerie Taylor named Director of Argonne National Lab’s Math & CS Division

Alumna Valerie Taylor (EE M.S. '86/Ph.D. '91) has been appointed the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.  Taylor has received numerous awards for distinguished research and leadership and authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in the area of high performance computing, with a focus on performance analysis and modeling of parallel scientific applications.  Argonne’s MCS Division produces next-generation technologies and software to tackle the challenges of big data generated by high-performance computing and large, experimental facilities.

Baiyu Chen awarded top prize at Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge

CS graduate student Baiyu Chen (advisor: Alexei Efros) and Anthony Barrs were awarded top prize and $50,000 for their design at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge.  Their idea, profiled in an article for Fortune, was to construct a "Hyperlane," or a single platform the size of four interstate lanes that would run parallel to pre-existing highways in order for self-driving cars to travel at high speeds with no chance of getting into a jam.

Startup Trifacta gives customers an intuitive, agile new way of working with data

Trifacta, a data wrangling startup co-founded by Prof. Joe Hellerstein (also company CSO and CS alumnus--M.S. '92), is one of the companies profiled by Computer Weekly in an article titled "Silicon Valley startups aim to make big data capture and prep slicker."  Customers of Trifacta, which specializes in sorting out data and getting it into shape for analysis, includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, PepsiCo, Walmart, and soon Google (Cloud Dataprep). Other CS alumni on the Trifacta team include co-founder and CXO Jeffrey Heer (B.S. '01/M.S. '04/Ph.D. '08) and Vice President of Products Wei Zheng (B.A. '99).  

Immerex Virtual Reality Lab coming soon to Cory Hall

Thanks to a generous gift from the entertainment virtual reality company Immerex, a new lab is being outfitted for Berkeley’s accelerating work in AR/VR – augmented reality and virtual reality. The new lab, which will be located in Cory Hall, will be named the Immerex Virtual Reality Lab and provide collaboration space for Berkeley faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Augmented Cognition.

Andrew Ng on why Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02), Chief Scientist at Baidu, founder of Google Brain, co-founder of Coursera, and Stanford adjunct professor, describes in a video on Inside HPC how artificial intelligence is transforming the industrial landscape.  He compares the impact of AI to that of electricity, which radically transformed industry after industry when it was introduced.

Gary Hornbuckle, founder of Applicon, Inc. has died

Alumnus Gary Dean Hornbuckle (EE B.S. '61/M.S. '62/Ph.D. '67), a pioneer in the computing industry who formed a number of his own companies, passed away on March 1, 2017.  He spent 2 years on the research staff at M.I.T. before forming Applicon, Inc. in 1969, one of the first Computer Aided Design systems manufacturing companies.  When Applicon was acquired by Schlumberger in 1980 it had over $100 million in annual revenue.  He went on to found and serve as president of five additional technology companies in Texas and California before retiring in 2000.

A new understanding of the world through grassroots Data Science education

Vani Mandava, the Director of Data Science at Microsoft Research, has written an article about the innovative course Foundations of Data Science taught by CS Assistant Teaching Prof. John DeNero and Ani Adhikari, a Teaching Professor in the Department of Statistics.  Mandava examines the motives and experiences of the students, and describes the aim of Berkeley’s Data Science Education Program (supported in part by Microsoft) to make data science an integral feature of a liberal education and a core interdisciplinary capacity available to all Berkeley undergraduates.

Anca Dragan and Yoky Matsuoka are taking charge in 2017

CS Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan and EECS alumna Yoky Matsuoka (B.S. '93) are among Interesting Engineering's "17 Awesome Women Engineers" who are revolutionizing the engineering field in 2017.  Anca is described as "one of the rising stars of the robotics scene" as the head of the InterACT Lab at UC Berkeley which specializes in human/robotics interactions, algorithms and compatible artificial intelligence systems."  Yoky is "a hot commodity among major tech companies" as the CTO of Alphabet Nest.

EECS joins 5G Innovators Initiative to explore the Industrial Internet of Things

UC Berkeley has joined Honeywell and GE as initial participants in the 5G Innovators Initiative (5GI2), an open industry initiative designed to create transformative experiences that change lives, businesses and society, launched by Ericsson  and Intel Corporation.  The first segment of 5GI2 will focus on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and develop pilots for application of technologies including augmented and virtual reality for first responder drone surveillance of hazardous environments and other uses.  CS Prof. Ion Stoica, Director of RISELab, says "We pride ourselves for interdisciplinary collaboration and believe we are in a unique position to explore new applications, use cases, and business models for 5G that will ultimately realize its potential."

Five EECS faculty among investigators awarded $14.5 million by CZ Biohub

Prof. Michel Maharbiz, Prof. Yun Song, Associate Prof. Laura Waller, Assistant Prof. Rikky Muller, and Assistant Prof. Nir Yosef are among the  thirteen UC Berkeley faculty chosen to receive up to $1.5 million each over the next five years by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.   The investigator awards are the first individual grants by the CZ Biohub as it seeks to foster unconventional scientific exploration and encourage researchers to invent new tools to accelerate the pace of discovery.  “I am humbled and speechless,” said Prof. Maharbiz. “This is an ambitious endeavor and I can’t wait to get started and be part of it. I really do believe we, collectively, can make a big impact on diseases over the next decade, and I’m really excited to be a part of this.”