News

New Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence is launched

The Center for Human-Compatible Artificial Intelligence, which will focus on ensuring that AI systems are beneficial to humans, is being lead by  Prof. Stuart Russell, a long-time advocate of incorporating human values in the design of AI.  Associate Prof. Pieter Abbeel and Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan will serve as co-principal investigators along with cognitive scientist Tom Griffiths and faculty from Cornell and the University of Michigan.  The center was made possible by a grant of $5.5 million from the Open Philanthropy Project, as well as grants from the Leverhulme Trust and the Future of Life Institute.

Tea 1 cafe

New café called Tea 1 opens in Cory Hall

As a way to provide more facetime between busy faculty and students in EECS, a new café called Tea 1 has opened in Cory Hall. After town hall discussions with EECS students, faculty and staff it was determined that a café would provide a more relaxed atmosphere for students to see faculty in a different context than lectures or office hours. Retrofitting the room to accommodate the café was paid for by private funds raised by former EECS department chair Tsu-Jae King Liu.

Cameron Baradar

Cameron Baradar opens doors to "The House"

Looking at the entrepreneurial aspirations of UC Berkeley’s students in what is often called around campus the “innovation ecosystem”, EECS alumni Cameron Baradar (B.S. ’15) has opened the doors to The House, a startup institute across the street from campus on Bancroft Ave. Currently on campus there are over 40 clubs across engineering, design and entrepreneurship, two entrepreneurship centers, a design institute, a maker space and the world’s largest collegiate hackathon. Under the mentorship of Prof. Scott Shenker, Cameron sees The House as a backbone for the emerging infrastructure providing startup founders with what they need and when they need it to be successful.

Ruzena Bajcsy

Ruzena Bajcsy is named in list of “Seven over 70”

Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy has been named on MIT Technology Review’s  “Seven over 70” list, giving recognition to innovators over 70 who are still working. Prof. Bajcsy is a roboticist still actively publishing at the age of 83. She is also director emerita of CITRIS (Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society) and her current research focuses on AI, computational biology and biosystems.

MIT TR35 logo

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.

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