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Sergey Levine, Oriol Vinyals and Wei Gao named on MIT TR35

Prof. Sergey Levine, EECS alumni Oriol Vinyals and EECS postdoc Wei Gao (working with Ali Javey) have been named on MIT Technology Review’s 2016 TR35 (Innovators Under 35) who push the edge of science, creating new approaches to tackling technology challenges. In the “Pioneers” category Prof. Levine teaches robots to watch and learn from their own successes, supervising it’s own learning, and Oriol Vinyals is working to create computers that can teach themselves how to play and win complex games by enabling them to learn from experience. In the “Inventors” category, Wei Gao is building sweatbands that monitor your health on a molecular level.

Sylvia Ratnasamy is one of “10 women in networking/communications that you should WATCH”

Prof. Sylvia Ratnasamy has been selected by Networking Women for their inaugural list of “10 women in networking/communications that you should WATCH”. Over 100 people around the world submitted nominations for this list and the women nominated have all had impact on the networking field, early in their careers. Prof. Ratnasamy’s research focuses on the design and implementation of networked systems. She co-lead the SPAN Center for networking research. She is a recipient of the ACM Grace Murray Hopper award, the ACM SIGCOMM Test-of-Time award, the ACM SIGCOMM Rising Star award, and the Alfred P. Sloan research fellowship.

Marti Hearst and team place second in 2016 PoetiX competition

Prof. Marti Hearst and a team in the I School are featured in a Berkeley School of Information article titled “Teaching a Computer to Write Poetry”. The discipline of Natural Language Processing aims to analyze and understand human language.  Computers are learning to respond using human language, but poetry presents unique challenges. Poetry evokes feelings and emotion more than just the written word, and sonnets follow a strict scheme of rhyme, meter and metaphor.  Computer-generated sonnets from this team placed second in the 2016 “PoetiX”, a competition of only computer-generated traditional sonnets: fourteen line poems, in iambic pentameter, in either “Shakespearean” or “Petrarchan” form.

Berkeley EE and CS Shine in World Rankings

Our Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Divisions both ranked third in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World UniversitiesUC Berkeley was once again named the top public university worldwide.  The ARWU annually ranks more than 1,200 universities on the quality of both faculty and research.

EECS came in third after Stanford and MIT in both fields.  The CS top five was rounded out by Harvard and Princeton,  while Nanyang University and Georgia Tech followed Berkeley in the EE top five.

Simit: a brand new language for more efficient simulations

Incoming CS Assistant Professor Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, alumnus Shoaib Kamil (Ph.D. CS 2012 under Profs. Armando Fox and Kathy Yelick) and alumnus Wojciech Matusik (B.S. EECS 1997), along with other researchers at MIT CSAIL, Adobe, U. of Toronto, Texas A&M, and U. of Texas have developed Simit,  a programming language that can speed up computer simulations 200-fold or reduce the code they require by 90 percent.

The language has applications outside simulations, and there are even plans for it to augment machine learning, data analytics, optimization and robotics in addition to a version of Google's PageRank algorithm.

Jacques I. Pankove, discoverer of LEDs, has passed away

EECS Alumnus Jacques I. Pankove (BS EE 1944/MS EE 1948), who received the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus award in 2000 for building the first  gallium nitride light-emitting diode (LED), died on July 12, 2016 at the age of 94.

A refugee of Czarist Russia, Pankove grew up in Marseilles before emigrating to the US after the Nazi invasion of France.  While at Berkeley, Pankove built a Morse code Translator, showing his creativity involving diverse disciplines: software (how to decipher the dot and dash code), electronic circuits, and optics (to make luminous characters appear at a central visual spot).  He  left Berkeley to earn a PhD in Physics from the University of Paris but returned to the EECS Department in 1968 as a visiting McKay Lecturer.   He subsequently took a job working on transistors at RCA Lab where he and Edward Miller demonstrated the first blue electroluminescence from zinc-doped gallium nitride.

In addition to being a prolific inventor with over 90 US patents, Pankove authored a seminal textbook Optical Processes in Semiconductors in 1972 using his class notes as a lecturer at Berkeley.

EECS partners with Haas School of Business to form new undergraduate program

A new undergraduate program that integrates the study of engineering and business, the Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology Program (M.E.T.), will be taught at Berkeley’s top-ranked Haas School of Business and the College of Engineering.  The Business + EECS track combines study in these two areas so that students can pursue interests in creating new technologies, software or mobile apps, as well as ventures that take these products to market and deliver significant social impact.

M.E.T. students will enroll in one program but earn two Bachelor of Science degrees, one in engineering and one in business administration. The integrated curriculum consists of liberal arts, engineering and business courses and can be completed in four years.

Michel Maharbiz, Jose Carmena, Elad Alon and Jan Rabaey build the first implantable dust-sized wireless sensors

Prof. Michel Maharbiz and Jose Carmena's paper on Neural Dust is featured by the online journal Neuron (Vol. 91, Issue 3, August 2016) in an article titled "Wireless Recording in the Peripheral Nervous System with Ultrasonic Neural Dust". They, with Profs. Elad Alon and Jan Rabaey and a team of engineers,  have built the first dust-sized, wireless sensors that can be implanted in the body that could monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time. And because they are batteryless, they could also be used to stimulate nerves and muscles, opening the door to “electroceuticals’ to treat disorders such as epilepsy , to stimulate the immune system or bring down inflammation. Articles have also appeared in:

Scientific American -  "Neural Dust" Could Enable a Fitbit for the Nervous System

UC Berkeley NewsSprinkling of neural dust opens door to electroceuticals

C|NET - Beyond Fitbit: 'Neural dust' puts invisible cyborg tech deep inside you

Popular Science - Wireless 'Neural Dust' Could Monitor Your Brain

jacobs institute for design innovation, uc berkeley

Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation in the spotlight

The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation was spotlighted in an article in the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST) website titled “UC Berkeley and UC San Diego Explore Engineering Education of the Future through Making”. The Jacobs Institute is UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary hub for students, teachers and practitioners who work at the intersection of design and technology to turn insights into prototypes and through testing and iteration design solutions that benefit people and society.  Prof. Björn Hartmann is the interim faculty director.

Women In Technology Roundtable group pictures

EECS Women In Technology take matters into their own hands

The Women in Technology (WIT) Leadership Round Table, started by Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, EECS grad student Virginia Smith, EECS alumna Gitanjali Swamy and Sheila Humphreys is featured in Medium, an online community of writers, in an article titled “Women in Technology: How a Handful of Leaders in Tech are Taking Matters into Their Own Hands”, written by Virginia Smith.  Aimed at developing sustainable solutions to increase the presence of women in technology, WIT is bringing together technology leaders in academia, industry, and non-profits to spark solutions-oriented discussion among women who can go back to their organizations and immediately make change.