EECS Grads win another IEEE COMPEL Best Paper Award

EECS graduate students Yicheng Zhu and Jiarui Zou, and post-docs Ting Ge and Nathan Ellis have won the 2023 IEEE Control and Modeling for Power Electronics (COMPEL) Best Paper Award. Their paper, "A 48-V-to-1-V Switching Bus Converter for Ultra-High-Current Applications,” demonstrated a new dc-dc power converter topology and control technique for data center power delivery applications, capable of sourcing 1200 A of current at 1 V supply voltage. The hardware prototype used to validate the concept achieved the highest power density and efficiency combination of any prior work, academic or industrial. Next, the researchers are working with industry partners to transition this record-breaking concept to next-generation GPU/CPU computing platforms for AI and machine learning applications. IEEE COMPEL is the premier control and modeling conference for power electronics, having brought together world experts in the field for the last 24 years. Three best papers were selected this year from the total accepted 84 papers, based on originality, contribution to the field, and quality of presentation at the conference. 

Kurt Keutzer receives DAC Most Influential Paper Award

EECS Professor Kurt Keutzer has received a Design Automation Conference (DAC) Most Influential Paper Award. Keutzer’s 1987 paper, “Dagon: technology binding and local optimization by DAG matching” was selected as the most influential DAC paper of the 1980s. Recipients must have previously published DAC papers between 1964 and 2000, which have “demonstrated substantial academic and/or industrial impact in one or more of DAC’s research topics at the time. 
Clinical research coordinator Max Dougherty connects a neural data port in Ann’s head to the speech neuroprosthesis system as part of a study led by Dr. Ed Chang at UCSF.

Berkeley EECS pioneers AI brain implant to restore speech

A team of researchers from UCSF and Berkeley EECS have developed an implantable AI-powered device that can translate brain signals into modulated speech and facial expressions. The device, a multimodal speech prosthesis, and digital avatar, was developed to help a woman who had lost the ability to speak due to a stroke. The results have the potential to help countless others who are unable to speak due to paralysis or disease. The breakthrough study, published in the journal Nature, was led by UCSF neurosurgeon Edward Chang, EE Assistant Professor Gopala Anumanchipalli and Ph.D. student Kaylo Littlejohn. “This study heavily uses tools that we developed here at Berkeley, which in turn are inspired by the neuroscientific insights from UCSF,” said Gopala. “This is why Kaylo is such a key liaison between the engineering and the science and the medicine — he’s both involved in developing these tools and also deploying them in a clinical setting. I could not see this happening anywhere else but somewhere that is the best in engineering and the best in medicine, on the bleeding edge of research.”


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.”


Venkat Anantharam and Cheuk-Ting Li win 2023 IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award

EE Professor Venkat Anantharam and Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Professor Cheuk-Ting Li have won the 2023 IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award. The award is given annually “for an outstanding publication in the fields of interest to the Society appearing anywhere during the preceding four calendar years.” The paper “A unified framework for one-shot achievability via the Poisson matching lemma,” by Li and Anantharam, appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory in February 2021, when Li was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley EECS. Li is now an assistant professor at the CUHK. Anantharam, who is an IEEE Fellow, received this award once before in 2008 for the paper “Bits Through Queues.”

Photo of Vivek Nair, left, and photo of Dawn Song, right.

EECS researchers explore unprecedented privacy risks of VR

An article produced by the College of Computing, Data Science, and Society highlighted the increasingly frought landscape of user privacy in the emerging world of Virtual Reality (VR) devices. The article cites two papers published by faculty, students, and visitors affiliated with the Berkeley Center for Responsible, Decentralized Intelligence. Led by CS Ph.D student Vivek Nair and Professor Dawn Song, the research showed that users of such devices can be identified using just minutes of their head and hand movements. Movement data, which is collected and shared with companies and other players to fuel these worlds, can be used to infer dozens of details from age to disability status. One paper demonstrates that body movements are as singular and reliable an identifier as fingerprints, which was accepted for publication at the USENIX Security Symposium. Another found that use of headset data could accurately identify or infer more than 25 characteristics, including location, age and height, which will be published for the Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium. “We've done an extensive job of proving that there is a privacy risk here and that it is a different kind of privacy risk than what we have seen on the web,” Nair said. “These kinds of approaches for how to either transform the data or control who has access to it, that's going to be our main focus moving forward." Berkeley RDI is a multi-disciplinary initiative aimed at advancing the science, technology and education of decentralization and empowering a responsible digital economy. This work is part of the center’s Metaverse security and privacy research effort.

Photo of Professor Boubacar Kanté

Boubacar Kanté and EECS researchers develop all-silicon quantum light source

A team of researchers led by Professor Boubacar Kanté has demonstrated the first on-demand quantum light source using silicon, an advancement towards creating photons in ways that would reliably feed quantum networks, or a quantum internet. “The possibility to use silicon as a source of quantum light signifies that current large-scale Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) chip manufacturing processes at the core of today’s optoelectronics and artificial intelligence (AI) devices may be directly used for future quantum systems,” Kanté said. He elaborated further: "In this work, we successfully embedded for the first time an atomic defect in silicon the size of atoms (1 angstrom) in a silicon photonic cavity (1 micron) with the size of less than one-tenth of a human hair. The cavity forces the atom to be brighter, and it emits photons at a faster rate. Those are necessary ingredients for scalable quantum light sources for the future [quantum] internet." This research was published in Nature Communications on June 7th, 2023. The study was led by post-doctoral scholars Walid Redjem and Wayesh Qarony, and Yertay Zhiyenbayev, a third-year Ph.D. student in Kanté’s group. Other co-authors include Schenkel, Vsevolod Ivanov, Christos Papapanos, Wei Liu, Kaushalya Jhuria, Zakaria Al Balushi, Scott Dhuey, Adam Schwartzberg and Liang Tan. The National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy provided the primary support for the study. Additional funding came from the Office of Naval Research, the Moore Inventor Fellows program and UC Berkeley’s Bakar Fellowship.

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. 
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.


Alane Suhr receives honorable mention for ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award

EECS Assistant Professor Alane Suhr has received an honorable mention for the 2022 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award. Suhr’s dissertation, “Reasoning and Learning in Interactive Natural Language Systems,” was honored “for formulating and designing algorithms for continual language learning in collaborative interactions, and designing methods to reason about context-dependent language meaning.” Suhr’s research is focused on natural language processing, machine learning, and computer vision. Suhr will be joining Berkeley EECS as an assistant professor in July 2023.