Allen J. Lichtenberg has died

EECS Prof. Emeritus Allen Joseph Lichtenberg passed away on February 21, 2023, at age 92. Lichtenberg’s research is associated with high-temperature plasma, nonlinear dynamics, and energy utilization. He had been a part of this research since the inception of these fields,  publishing over 150 articles in the area. His monograph, “Phase Space Dynamics of Particles,” was published by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. in 1969 and was later translated into Russian. His second book, “Regular and Stochastic Motion,” co-authored by Michael Lieberman, was published by Springer-Verlag in 1983 and was also translated into Russian. A second edition was published in 2005, with translations into Chinese and Japanese. Lichtenberg received his A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1952, and his M.S. degree from MIT in 1954. In September 1957 he joined the Department of Electrical Engineering (pre-EECS) as an Acting Assistant Professor. He left in 1959 to obtain his Ph.D. degree in Applied Physics from Oxford University. He returned to the Berkeley campus in 1961. From 1965-1966 he was a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellow and studied radiation from high-temperature plasmas and phase-space concepts in particle dynamics. He held a Miller Research Professorship during 1968-1969, and he chaired the newly formed campus Energy and Resources Graduate Group from 1974-1978.


Rikky Muller and Jaijeet Roychowdhury win 2023 Bakar Prize

EE Profs. Rikky Muller and Jaijeed Roychowdhury have been named winners of the 2023 Bakar Prize. Given annually, the Bakar Prize is designed to give a boost to former fellows as they translate their research into real-world applications, providing additional resources to help transition their work to applications in industry. Muller’s group developed EarEEG, which uses lightweight in-ear earbuds to detect the brain’s electrical activity in a non-invasive way. Roychowdhury’s group invented an Oscillator Ising Machine (OIM), which addresses the scale and expense of “Quantum Annealing” in Quantum computing.


Angjoo Kanazawa wins 2023 Sloan Research Fellowship

CS Assistant Prof. Angjoo Kanazawa has been selected as a 2023 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Computer Science. Awarded annually since 1955, the Sloan fellowships honor "the most promising scientific researchers working today...extraordinary U.S. and Canadian researchers whose creativity, innovation, and research accomplishments make them stand out as the next generation of scientific leaders."  Kanazawa's research lies at the intersection of computer vision, computer graphics, and machine learning. She is focused on building systems that can capture, perceive, and understand the complex ways that people and animals interact dynamically with the 3-D world–and can use that information to correctly identify the content of 2-D photos and video portraying scenes from everyday life. Sloan Fellows receive $75,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research.


Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli wins BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge Award

EE Prof. Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli has won the 15th BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Information and Communication Technologies. He was cited “for ‘radically transforming' the design of the chips that power today’s electronic devices, giving rise to ‘the modern semiconductor industry.’” Prof. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli transformed chip design in three fundamental ways: first, he created simulation tools that sped up electronic circuit design and fabrication; second, he invented a program to automate circuit design with hardware programming languages, eliminating the need for what was once a complicated and arduous process; and finally, he developed algorithms to geometrically optimize circuit placement for performance and energy efficiency. From this body of work, he founded two companies, Cadence and Synopsys, both of which are instrumental to the semiconductor industry today, and continue to provide technology to companies like Apple, GM, Intel, Tesla and Boeing. He received 28 nominations for this award, both individual and institutional, from all over the world. The Frontiers of Knowledge Award was established in 2008 with the goal of promoting “the value of knowledge as a public good without frontiers, the best instrument to take on the great global challenges of our time and expand the worldviews of individuals for the benefit of all humanity.” Each recipient is awarded €400,000.


Scott Shenker wins 2023 IEEE Computer Society Women of ENIAC Computer Pioneer Award

CS Prof. Emeritus Scott Shenker has won the 2023 IEEE Computer Society Women of ENIAC Computer Pioneer Award. Established in 1981, the Computer Pioneer Award was created "to recognize and honor the vision of those people whose efforts resulted in the creation or expansion and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals whose main contribution to the concepts and development of the computer field was made at least fifteen years earlier." Shenker was cited “for pioneering contributions to scheduling and management of packet-switched networks, impacting the theory and practice of communication networks.” Shenker won the IEEE Internet Award in 2006. He is an IEEE Fellow, an ACM Fellow, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.


Alexandre Bayen and Ali Javey named 2023 IEEE Fellows

EE Profs. Alexandre Bayen and Ali Javey have been named 2023 IEEE Fellows. Elevation to IEEE Fellow is conferred upon senior members of IEEE with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. Prof. Bayen was recognized “for contributions to distributed parameter systems control, with applications to mobile sensing and automotive systems.” Prof. Javey was recognized “for contributions to 1D and 2D semiconductor transistors and wearable biochemical sensors.”


Berkeley EECS to honor Joseph Gier with memorial sculpture

A community is defined by the heroes it chooses to celebrate. We invite you to join the EECS department in recognizing a previously overlooked hero, Berkeley EE Prof. Joseph T. Gier, the University of California's first tenured Black professor. Raised in Oakland by a single mother, Gier came to Berkeley as an undergraduate in 1930, and earned two degrees (B.S. ME '33 and M.Eng. '40) before becoming an EE lecturer in 1944, associate professor with tenure in 1952, and full professor in 1958. He was a world authority on thermal and luminous radiation, and an inventor of devices used in the early days of aerospace exploration and solar power harvesting.  He was also said to be an extraordinary teacher and role model during a period of deep national segregation and social unrest.  We have commissioned artist Dana King to create a bronze monument representing Gier and his contributions to ensure that his profound legacy is restored to the life of the Berkeley campus, and to permanently establish him as a mainstay in our cultural narrative.  We hope to raise $150K to fund the creation, installation and upkeep of the sculpture, which will be placed at the entrance of Blum Hall.


Sophia Shao, Prabal Dutta, and Deepak Pathak win 2022 Okawa Foundation Research Grants

EECS Assistant Prof. Sophia Shao, Associate Prof. Prabal Dutta, and alumnus Deepak Pathak have won 2022 Okawa Foundation Research Grants. The Okawa Foundation for Information and Telecommunications recognizes "studies and analyses in the fields of information and telecommunications." Shao, whose research interests are in computer architecture, was awarded for her work on building domain-specific systems at scale. Dutta, whose research interests include energy-efficient cyber-physical systems and applications of sensor networks and Internet-of-things technology, was awarded for his work on a new kind of radio architecture, called “backsplatter,” and combining it with conventional radios. Pathak, who is now an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, was recognized for his work “Towards Continually Improving Robots in the Wild.” They comprise three of the seven U.S. recipients who were awarded $10,000 grants this year.

Michael Lieberman wins AVS Plasma Prize

EECS Prof. Emeritus Michael A. Lieberman has won the AVS Plazma Prize. The Plasma Science & Technology Division (PSTD) of AVS (formerly the American Vacuum Society) awards its annual Plasma Prize for outstanding scientific and technical contributions to the fields of plasma science and technology. Prof. Lieberman was recognized for “his foundational contributions to the field of low temperature plasmas and plasma processing.” The award consists of a certificate, cash prize, and an honorary lecture to be given at an AVS International Symposium.

Prof. Bayen points to traffic congestion that has been smoothed by CIRCLES vehicles on an I-24 MOTION testbed monitor.

Alexandre Bayen leads massive AI traffic experiment

An interdisciplinary team of industry and academic researchers led by EECS Prof. Alexandre Bayen has completed its most ambitious real-time traffic experiment to date. The project was led by the CIRCLES Consortium, an effort led by UC Berkeley and Vanderbilt University, involving collaborators from five universities and multiple government agencies. The experiment tested 100 partially automated vehicles in real traffic with the aim of improving overall traffic flow. Operating out of a massive control center designed to monitor one section of I-14 in Nashville, TN, the researchers used AI to build on existing adaptive cruise control systems to smooth phantom jams collaboratively. Their results show a positive energy impact. “Driving is very intuitive. If there’s a gap in front of you, you accelerate. If someone brakes, you slow down. But it turns out that this very normal reaction can lead to stop-and-go traffic and energy inefficiency,” said Prof. Bayen. “That’s precisely what AI technology is able to fix—it can direct the vehicle to things that are not intuitive to humans, but are overall more efficient.”