Tsu-Jae King Liu wins IEEE Founders Medal

Berkeley Engineering Dean and EECS Professor Tsu-Jae King Liu has won the IEEE Founders Medal. The IEEE Founders Medal recognizes outstanding contributions to the electrical and electronics engineering profession through leadership, planning, and administration. The award consists of a gold medal, a bronze replica, a certificate, and an honorarium. Recipients are major industry administrators or managers of complex scientific missions. Additional consideration may be given for service to the IEEE beyond normal expectations. Dean Liu was honored “for leadership in the advancement and commercialization of nanometer semiconductor technologies and the promotion of microelectronics workforce development.”

Ren Ng named 2024 Optica Fellow

CS Associate Professor Ren Ng has been elected as an Optica Fellow. Optica (formerly OSA) has inducted 129 members from 26 countries to the Society’s class of 2024 Fellows. Founded in 1916, Optica is a global society that works to advance the science and technology of light. Ng was honored “for pioneering work developing light field cameras, as well as seminal contributions in 3D view synthesis and human visual perception.” Ng was named a Sloan Fellow in 2017 and a Hellman Fellow in 2019, the same year that he received the Jim and Donna Gray Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching of Computer Science.


Chenming Hu wins the Taiwan Presidential Science Prize

Professor Emeritus Chenming Hu, former chief technology officer at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC), has been awarded the Taiwan Presidential Science Prize "for advancing Taiwan's Semiconductor Industry." The award, established in 2001, is presented every two years to the most distinguished scientists in Taiwan and is given to innovative researchers who have made monumental contributions to international research in the fields of mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and applied sciences. Particular emphasis is given to scholars whose work has had a major impact on these fields in Taiwan. The award was presented to Hu by Taiwan President Tsai Ing-wen. Hu, alongside Berkeley EECS colleagues, pioneered the FinFET transistor, which is widely used in high-performance processors around the world.


New open-source platform helps speed up the development of interactive 3D scenes

A team led by CS Assistant Professor Anjoo Kanazawa has created Nerfstudio, an open-source platform to help speed up the development of Neural Radiance Fields (NeRFs). NeRFs are a type of 3D imaging technology that can be used to create photorealistic 3D models of objects and scenes from a series of images. The plug-and-play framework, called Nerfstudio, makes it easier for researchers to create and train NeRFs, allowing users to run NeRFs on real-world data. “Advancements in NeRF have contributed to its growing popularity and use in applications such as computer vision, robotics, visual effects and gaming. But support for development has been lagging,” said Kanazawa. “The Nerfstudio framework is intended to simplify the development of custom NeRF methods, the processing of real-world data and interacting with reconstructions.”


NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg interviewed on The Robot Brains Podcast

NASA astronaut and EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (M.S.’11, Ph.D.’13 EECS) was interviewed by The Robot Brains Podcast while aboard the International Space Station (ISS). CS Professor Pieter Abbeel, who is the brains behind the podcast as well as Woody’s Ph.D. advisor, interviewed Woody about life on the ISS, the scientific experiments being conducted in the low-orbit space station, living in a weightless environment, and the promising impact ISS research could have on humanity. “As a young kid, I thought being an astronaut would be the coolest job. I had no idea how to achieve that goal. It seemed far too improbable of a goal to set my heart on. But I could pursue things I found interesting and challenging and pursue passions. You enabled one of those… I can’t thank you enough for your open-mindedness. I’m so lucky and blessed to have this opportunity.”

Dan Garcia joins CRA-WP board

CS Teaching Professor Dan Garcia has joined the board of directors of The Computing Research Association’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP). The CRA-WP was established in 1991 with the goal of increasing the participation of women in computing research, though its current mission broadly supports underrepresented populations to improve access, opportunities, and experiences of those in computing research and higher education.


Sophia Shao and Nika Hagthalab win Google Research Scholar Awards

CS Assistant Professors Sophia Shao and Nika Haghtalab have won Google Research Scholar Awards. The Google Research Scholar Program provides financial support for world-class research conducted by professors in the early stage of their academic careers. Shao’s research interests include computer architecture, focusing on specialized accelerators, heterogeneous architecture, and agile VLSI design methodology. Haghtalab’s research interests include machine learning, algorithms, economics, and society, contributing to an emerging mathematical foundation for learning and decision-making systems in the presence of economic and societal forces.

Two photos, side-by-side. Photo of Logan Horowitz left, Haifah Sambo right.

Two graduate students receive technical awards at IEEE APEC

Two Berkeley EECS graduate students, Haifah Sambo and Logan Horowitz, received separate Technical Session Best Presentation Awards at the 2023 IEEE Applied Power Electronics Conference (APEC), after a rigorous review process that highlights the conference's most innovative technical solutions. Sambo received a Technical Lecture Award, for her oral presentation of her paper, "Autotuning of Resonant Switched-Capacitor Converters for Zero Current Switching and Terminal Capacitance Reduction," while Horowitz received a Technical Dialogue Award, for his poster presentation paper of his paper "Decoupling Device for Small Commutation Loop and Improved Switching Performance with Large Power Transistors." APEC focuses on the practical and applied aspects of the power electronics business and is the premier conference in the field. The technical program includes peer-reviewed papers that cover all areas of technical interest for practicing power electronics professionals. Both Sambo and Horowitz are advised by Professor Robert Pilawa-Podgurski. 
Two photos, side-by-side. Photo of Professor Arias left, Professor Pister right.

Novel agriculture-tech platform developed by Ana Arias and Kristofer Pister featured in Berkeley Engineer

Professors Ana Arias and Kristofer Pister were featured in the Spring 2023 issue of Berkeley Engineer, showcasing their recent development of a tracking system for agricultural land which uses a novel printed sensor array and a wireless communications platform. The technology, dubbed the SmartStake system, uses stake-mounted sensors to provide an inexpensive alternative to cavity ring-down spectroscopy, a state-of-the-art but far more costly method for measuring gases like nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas that plays a role in climate change. They hope their system, co-developed with Whendee Silver, Professor of Ecosystem Ecology and Biogeochemistry, may someday transform biofuel agriculture by enabling farmers to fine-tune agricultural practices to lower nitrous oxide emissions, while also optimizing fertilizer and irrigation usage. Berkeley Engineer is published twice yearly by Berkeley Engineering’s Office of Marketing & Communications and distributed to more than 50,000 alumni, faculty, donors and friends, highlighting the excellence of faculty, alumni and students and bringing their work to life through news and research stories.

Photo of Professor Hellerstein

Joseph Hellerstein wins SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award

Professor Joseph Hellerstein was awarded the 2023 SIGMOD Edgar F. Codd Innovations Award, citing innovative contributions in extensible query processing, interactive data analytics, and declarative approaches to networking and distributed computing. The award is given for innovative and highly significant contributions of enduring value to the development, understanding, or use of database systems and databases. Until 2003, this award was known as the “SIGMOD Innovations Award.” In 2004, SIGMOD, with the unanimous approval of ACM Council, decided to rename the award to honor Dr. E.F. (Ted) Codd (1923 – 2003) who invented the relational data model and was responsible for the significant development of the database field as a scientific discipline. SIGMOD, otherwise known as the the ACM Special Interest Group on Management of Data, is concerned with the principles, techniques and applications of database management systems and data management technology. Its members include software developers, academic and industrial researchers, practitioners, users, and students. SIGMOD sponsors the annual SIGMOD/PODS conference, one of the most important and selective in the field.