News

Dawn Song is building a world where data privacy exists online

CS alumna and Prof. Down Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar) is the subject of a New York Times article titled "Building a World Where Data Privacy Exists Online."  One of the world’s foremost experts in computer security and trustworthy artificial intelligence, Song founded a startup called Oasis Labs to build a new platform based a paradigm in which people control their data and are compensated for its use by corporations.  She and her colleagues believe that by marrying specialized computer chips and blockchain technology, they can build a system that provides greater scalability and privacy protection.  Song made the Wired25  list top 25 innovators for 2019 in October.

Berkeley to host Art + Nature Symposium this weekend

Design Innovation from Nature, a new collaboration among the Colleges of Environmental Design, Letters & Science, and Engineering at Berkeley, will be holding an Art + Nature Symposium co-hosted by the University of Tokyo this weekend, November 9-10, 2019.   The symposium will explore how biological models stimulate the curiosity of today’s designers and researchers, and will bring together various lectures by experts from the fields of art, architecture, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, robotics, and biology.  Two of the lectures will by EECS Profs. Ron Fearing and Robert Full.

Ming Wu wins 2020 IEEE EDS Robert Bosch MEMS Award

EE Prof. Ming Wu has been named the 2020 recipient of the IEEE Electron Devices Society (EDS) Robert Bosch Micro and Nano Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) Award.  The award was established in 2014 "to recognize and honor advances in the invention, design, and/or fabrication of micro- or nano- electromechanical systems and/or devices" with the proviso that individual contributions "be innovative and useful for practical applications."  Wu was selected "For pioneering contributions in MEMS optical switches and optoelectronic tweezers.”

2019 ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award

Ion Stoica wins ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award

Ion Stoica has won the ACM SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award. Created in 2001 by ACM SIGOPS, the award is named in honor of Mark Weiser, a computing visionary recognized for his research accomplishments during his career at Xerox PARC. Recipients are selected for “contributions that are highly creative, innovative, and possibly high-risk, in keeping with the visionary spirit of Mark Weiser.”

Prof. Raluca Ada Popa

Raluca Ada Popa named a visionary in MIT TR's list of 35 Innovators Under 35

Raluca Ada Popa has been named a Visionary in the MIT Technology Review's list of 35 Innovators Under 35.  Popa found a way to make computation on encrypted data practical.  Her systems secure computers by making data indecipherable to intruders instead of just relying on firewalls to keep them out.  She says her encryption techniques allow systems to operate as if they’ve been blindfolded. They’re able to compute on data without actually seeing it—which is opening the cybersecurity field to a host of new applications.  Her innovations are in use by companies like IBM.

Dawn Song and Hany Farid make WIRED25 list of innovators for 2019

CS Profs Dawn Song and Hany Farid are among Wired Magazine's list of 25 People Who Are Racing to Save Us (WIRED25 list of innovators for 2019). Song is the co-founder and CEO of Oasis Labs, a startup built around differential privacy—cryptographic techniques that allow companies to incorporate data into their algorithms without seeing the individual data points.   Song believes blockchain technology can help offer a secure home for data that doesn’t require trusting any one company with the keys to it.   Her system would enable you to copy your medical data to a location where researchers who are working to cure diseases could access it without compromising your privacy.  Farid is a pioneer of image science, having been one of the first to develop methods to detect when digital photos have been manipulated. He is now one of the leading authorities on Deepfakes: images, videos, or audio files fabricated or altered by machine learning.  Lately, Deepfakes have been used to mislead and manipulate the public during politicial elections.  “This used to be a boutique little field, but now we’re defending democracy,” says Farid.

"Oracle-Guided Component-Based Program Synthesis" wins 2020 ICSE Most Influential Paper Award

The paper "Oracle-Guided Component-Based Program Synthesis," co-authored by alumnus Susmit Jha (M.S./Ph.D. '11), Sumit Gulwani (Ph.D. '05, advisor: George Necula), EECS Prof. Sanjit A. Seshia, and Ashish Tiwari--and part of Susmit Jha's Ph.D. dissertation advised by Sanjit Seshia--will receive the 2020 Most Influential Paper Award by the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE). ICSE is the premier conference on software engineering and this award recognizes the paper judged to have had the most influence on the theory or practice of software engineering during the 10 years since its original publication. The citation says, in part, that the paper: "...has made a significant impact in Software Engineering and beyond, inspiring subsequent work not only on program synthesis and learning, but also on automated program repair, controller synthesis, and interpretable artificial intelligence."

Using deep learning to expertly detect hemorrhages in brain scans

A computer algorithm co-developed by Vision Group alumnus Weicheng Kuo (Ph.D. '19), post doc Christian Hӓne, their advisor Prof. Jitendra Malik, and researchers at UCSF, bested two out of four expert radiologists at finding tiny brain hemorrhages in head scans, an advance that one day may help doctors treat patients with traumatic brain injuries, strokes and aneurysms.  The algorithm found some small abnormalities that the experts missed, noted their location within the brain, and classified them according to subtype.  The researchers used of a type of deep learning known as a fully convolutional neural network (FCN) to train the algorithm on a relatively small number of images that were packed with data.  Each small abnormality was manually delineated at the pixel level. The richness of this data — along with other steps that prevented the model from misinterpreting random variations, or “noise,” as meaningful — created an extremely accurate algorithm.

Corelight raises $50m for network traffic analysis in the cloud

Corelight, a start-up founded by CS Prof. Vern Paxson, has secured an additional $50 million in Series C financing for its network traffic analysis (NTA) solutions for cybersecurity.  The company has raised a total of $84 million to date, with investment from General Catalyst, Accel, Osage University Partners and Riverbed Technology Co-founder (and former Berkeley CS professor) Steve McCanne. It has more than doubled in size since its Series B in September 2018.  Corelight  is built on an open source framework called Zeek (formerly Bro), which Paxson began developing in 1995.  Zeek is now widely regarded as the gold standard for both network security management (NSM) and NTA, and has been deployed by thousands of organizations around the world.
Alexandra von Meier

Alexandra von Meier explains why locally sourced power may be the solution to California's vulnerable energy grid

EE Adjunct Prof. Alexandra von Meier, who is the director of the CITRIS California Institute for Energy and Environment (CIEE)’s Electric Grid program, is the subject of a Berkeley News interview titled "Our energy grid is vulnerable. Locally sourced power may be the answer."   In light of last week's massive PG&E power outage, Von Meier discusses why the current power grid is a fire hazard, why solar power is not a practical alternative during a power outage, and ways to make the grid safer.  She also explains how one of CIEE's research projects, EcoBlock, which is looking into stand-alone microgrids of electrical generation and storage that could be shared among multiple households on a city block, might offer a possible solution.