Sameera Vemulapalli named runner-up for 2018 Alice T. Schafer Prize

Math and L&S CS major Sameera Vemulapalli has been named Runner-up for the 2018 Alice T. Schafer Prize for Excellence in Mathematics by an Undergraduate Woman. The Schafer Prize is awarded annually by the Association for Women in Mathematics (AWM) to the most outstanding woman mathematics undergraduate in the United States.  Vemulpalli, who is currently finishing her senior year, was judged on  the quality of her performance in advanced mathematics courses and special programs,  her demonstrated real interest in mathematics ability for independent work in mathematics, and her performance in mathematical competitions at the local or national level.

Keshab Parhi named AAAS Fellow

EECS alumnus Keshab Parhi (Ph.D. '88) has been named a 2017 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) fellow in recognition of his contributions to science and technology, scientific leadership and extraordinary achievements across disciplines.  He is currently the Edgar F. Johnson Professor of Electronic Communication and a Distinguished McKnight University Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Minnesota.  His research interests include communications, signal processing and networking, computer engineering, VLSI and circuits, biomedical and biological computational methods, devices, and system.

Allen Tang (second from left) and team (David Filiberti via Citadel)

Allen Tang's team wins data science competition

EECS Master's student Allen Tang (also alumnus, B.A. CS/Statistics/ORMS) and his Berkeley teammates have won the Data Open Championship at the New York Stock Exchange.  The winners receive a $100,000 cash prize and possible job interviews with Citadel, a Chicago-based hedge fund firm. The competition was comprised of 20 one-day competitions from Stanford to MIT to Oxford, with the best performers competing in the week-long finale.  The Berkeley team of four applied data science to a meaningful problem in education--the impact of opening charter schools--to find where more funding would have the biggest effect. They worked 16-hour days during the week and produced a 20-page report and presentation on how charter schools have a negative impact in the short-term but outperform public schools in the long-term because of a survivorship bias. Only good charters stay in the system while bad ones close.

Randy Katz inducted into Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame

Prof. Randy Katz has been inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame "for his contributions to storage and computer systems, distinguished national service, and by his exemplary mentorship and teaching that have contributed to the Silicon Valley technical community and industries."  Katz, who is also an alumnus (M.S. '78/Ph.D. '80), co-developed the redundant array of inexpensive disks (RAID) concept for computer storage along with Prof. Emeritus David Patterson and fellow alumnus Garth Gibson, in their 1988 SIGMOD Conference paper "A Case for Redundant Arrays of Inexpensive Disks (RAID)."  Silicon Valley Engineering Council (SVEC) Hall of Fame inductees have demonstrated significant engineering or technical achievements, provided significant guidance in new and developing fields of engineering-based technology, and/or have managed or directed an organization making noteworthy contributions in design, manufacturing, production, or service through the uses of engineering principles and applications.

Thomas Budinger wins IEEE Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology

Prof. Thomas Budinger has won the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology.  The award is presented "for exceptional contributions to technologies and applications benefitting healthcare, medicine, and the health sciences."  Budinger, who was the founding chair of the Bioengineering department, a division director at LBNL and Director of the Magnetic Resonance Science Center at UCSF,  is cited “For pioneering contributions to tomographic radiotracer imaging."

Eli Yablonovitch wins IEEE Edison Medal

Prof. Eli Yablonovitch has been awarded the 2018 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Edison Medal.  Named for Thomas Edison and presented since 1909, the IEEE Edison Medal is awarded for a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering, or the electrical arts.  Yablonovitch, who co-founded the field of of photonic crystals, was cited for "For leadership, innovations, and entrepreneurial achievements in photonics, semi-conductor lasers, antennas, and solar cells.”

Profs. Sanjit Seshia and Pieter Abbeel

Pieter Abbeel and Sanjit Seshia elected 2018 IEEE fellows

Profs. Pieter Abbeel and Sanjit Seshia have been elected fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) class of 2018.  The objectives of the IEEE, the world's largest association of technical professionals, are the educational and technical advancement of electrical and electronic engineering, telecommunications, computer engineering and allied disciplines.  The Fellow grade is the highest level of membership and is conferred by the IEEE Board of Directors in recognition of a high level of demonstrated extraordinary accomplishment.  Abbeel was selected "for contributions to apprenticeship and reinforcement learning for robotics and autonomous systems" and Seshia was selected for "for contributions to formal methods for inductive synthesis and algorithmic verification."

Institute for Advanced Study appoints Mark Heising to board of trustees

EE alumnus Mark Heising (M.S. '83) has been appointed to the board of trustees for The Institute for Advanced Study (IAS).  The IAS is one of the world’s leading centers for curiosity-driven basic research and serves as a model for protecting and promoting independent inquiry, prompting the establishment of similar institutes around the world, and underscoring the importance of academic freedom worldwide. Heising is the founder and managing director of Medley Partners, an investment firm based in San Francisco.  He previously worked as a chip design engineer and founded VLSI Cores--which designed and licensed cryptographic integrated circuits. He holds six U.S. patents in cryptography, compression, and data communications.

Woody Hoburg is 2017 R&D 100 Innovator of the Year

EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (MS'11, Ph.D.'13) was named R&D Magazine’s 2017 Innovator of the Year at the 55th annual R&D 100 Awards last Friday.  Hoburg recently left  his position as an assistant professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at MIT when he was selected by NASA to join the 2017 Astronaut Candidate Class.  At MIT, Hoburg led a team that created an inexpensive, unpiloted aerial vehicle (UAV) that can keep itself aloft for more than five days — longer than any gasoline-powered autonomous aircraft has remained in flight. The technology, which has a variety of applications including providing wide-ranging communications support in the event of a natural disaster, is currently under development for the U.S. Air Force.

Bernd Sturmfels wins 2018 George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics

CS Prof. Bernd Sturmfels has won the 2018 George David Birkhoff Prize in Applied Mathematics for "his instrumental role in creating the field of applied algebraic geometry." This prize is jointly awarded by the American Math Society (AMS) and the Society for Industrial and Applied Math (SIAM) every 3 years for "an outstanding contribution to applied mathematics in the highest and broadest sense." Previous winners include Emmanuel Candes, Bjorn Engquist, and many other luminaries.