UC Regents vote to establish College of Computing, Data Science, and Society

The UC Board of Regents today voted to establish UC Berkeley’s College of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS), the campus’s first new college in more than 50 years. The vote is the result of a three-year process to transform the Division of Computing, Data Science and Society into a college, which, in its new organizational structure, will be able to more effectively form new programs and partnerships, support instruction and research and foster identity and community among faculty, students and alumni. The college includes the Data Science Undergraduate Studies program, the Department of Statistics, the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, the Center for Computational Biology and the Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet. CDSS shares the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences with the College of Engineering, the Social Science Data Lab (D-Lab) with the Social Sciences division, and the Computational Precision Health program with UC San Francisco (UCSF). “We are thrilled to announce a new college at Berkeley that connects our excellent research and education in computing, data science and statistics with the many data-intensive disciplines across our campus,” said Chancellor Christ. “Infusing the power of data science across multiple disciplines, from basic and applied sciences to the arts and humanities, will help us to fully realize its potential to benefit society, help address our world’s most intractable problems, and achieve our most visionary goals. At Berkeley, we have the opportunity and responsibility to educate data science students from diverse backgrounds to become the ethical leaders we need in private industry, the public service sector, and education.”

Jelani Nelson wins ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award

CS Professor Jelani Nelson has won the ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics. The biannual award is given to those who have made a “significant contribution through the use of computing technology.” Nelson is cited “for founding and developing AddisCoder, a nonprofit organization which teaches programming to underserved students from all over Ethiopia.” Founded in 2011, the program began as a free intensive summer program for high school students. The program’s student body is 40% female and includes students from each of the 11 regions of Ethiopia. AddisCoder alums have matriculated into top universities, including Harvard, MIT, and Princeton, and have joined companies like Google.


Shafi Goldwasser named Fellow of the Royal Society

CS Professor Shafi Goldwasser has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences. Goldwasser joins a cohort of eighty researchers, innovators and communicators from around the world as the newest Fellows of the Royal Society. Fellows are selected “for their substantial contributions to the advancement of science … ” Goldwasser is known for her seminal work in cryptography, for which she won the Turing Award in 2012. Foreign Members of the Royal Society join the ranks of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Dorothy Hodgkin.


Stuart Russell wins ACM’s AAAI Allen Newell Award

CS Professor Stuart Russell has won the AAAI Allen Newell Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. Russell was cited “for a series of foundational contributions to Artificial Intelligence, spanning a wide range of areas such as logical and probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, machine learning, reinforcement learning, and the ethics of AI.” His 1995 textbook with Peter Norvig, “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach” is considered the most popular textbook on the subject. Russell received the IJCAI Award for Research Excellence in 2022, and in 2021 he was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He is an ACM Fellow, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), respectively.


BWRC grads receive Apple PhD Fellowships

Three Berkeley EECS graduate students from the Berkeley Wireless Research Center (BWRC) were selected to receive Apple Ph.D. Fellowships in Integrated Systems for 2023-24. Hesham Beshary (Advisor: Niknejad), Liz Murray (Advisor: Rikky Muller) and Biqi (Rebekah) Zhao (Advisors: Alon/Muller/Lustig/Liu) will receive financial support covering the fees and stipend of their degree program at Berkeley, as well as continued professional interaction through Apple internships. The fellowship recognizes top students with expressed interest in IC engineering, SoC design, Verification, Test, and Computer Architecture.

(Photo: Sheila Humphreys)

9th Annual Berkeley-Stanford meetup celebrates the 45th anniversary of WiCSE

The 9th Annual Berkeley-Stanford Women in EECS research meetup took place on Saturday, April 29th in the Wozniak Lounge, Soda Hall. The meetup offers all female-identifying, transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming graduate students a chance to learn about each other’s research and to network with alums from industry and academia. The daylong event featured a panel of faculty from both Berkeley and Stanford, as well as recent alums in industry. Throughout the day graduate students presented their research highlights. Stanford EE Assistant Professor Dorsa Sadigh (EECS Ph.D. ‘17), gave a keynote speech. The meetup marked the 45th anniversary of Berkeley’s Women in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (WiCSE). Professor Susan Graham, the first woman appointed to the CS faculty in 1971, shared remarks on the history and value of WiCSE. “What a wonderful group of students!" said Graham. "I was impressed with the brief research talks, and with the conversations I had."

(Photo by Adam Lau/Berkeley Engineering)

Berkeley EECS faculty to join NSF-backed AI cybersecurity institute

Five Berkeley EECS faculty members have joined the newly formed AI Institute for Agent-based Cyber Threat Intelligence and Operation (ACTION), which is backed by the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF will invest $140 million into seven new National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes, of which ACTION is a key institute that will use AI to address risks in cybersecurity. The UC Berkeley team will be led by CS Professor Dawn Song, as well as Professors Stuart Russell, Pieter Abbeel, David Wagner, and Bin Yu. “UC Berkeley’s team aims to develop both new foundational technologies in learning and reasoning, as well as their novel applications in the cybersecurity domain, to significantly improve state-of-the-art technologies throughout the life cycle of cyber defense,” said Song.


Gireeja Ranade and Sophia Shao win NSF CAREER Awards

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded two EECS assistant professors, Gireeja Ranade and Sophia Shao, with Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards. The awards are part of NSF's prestigious CAREER Program, which supports early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models” and leaders in their field. Ranade received a grant of $422,181 to explore new non-linear control strategies, while Shao received a grant of $600,000 to fund her work on improving the performance of computing platforms.

William Kahan raising a glass in celebration of IEEE Standard 754
(Photo: Berkeley EECS)

IEEE Standard 754 Milestone Dedication honors William Kahan

A dedication ceremony was held to honor EECS Emeritus Professor William Kahan for his contribution to the development of IEEE Standard 754. The ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, May 3rd, included remarks from Dean Liu, Chair Tomlin, and CS Professor Jim Demmel. A new commemorative plaque was unveiled in Soda Hall, next to the IEEE plaque that celebrates Berkeley EECS’ contribution to RISC. The new plaque celebrates Kahan and others’ work in the development of IEEE Standard 754, which was originally conceived in 1978. Kahan and his colleagues revolutionized numerical computing, creating arithmetic and standard data types that improved software reliability and portability. The IEEE 754 standard is widely used for numerical computing and is still being improved today.


Gireeja Ranade honored for outstanding mentorship of GSIs

EECS Teaching Professor Gireeja Ranade has received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs. The annual award, which is sponsored by the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs and the GSI Teaching & Resource Center, recognizes faculty who have provided GSIs outstanding teaching and pedagogical mentorship at Berkeley and in preparing for teaching in future careers.