Campus Reopening Notice

Starting June 16th, vaccinated EECS faculty, staff, and students can voluntarily return to their offices, labs and other research spaces in Cory and Soda Halls if they follow the procedures outlined in the EECS Safety Manual.  Building restrictions for non-affiliated collaborators, event attendees, and visitors will continue but be loosened over time. Cory and Soda Halls will open during the first week in August.  We are not hosting events or activities until we receive more clarity about regulatory requirements and are able to resume full operations. Most employees will return to campus on July 12th, and in-person instruction will resume for the Fall semester on August 25th, unless otherwise specified by campus. Please continue to check the University Coronavirus Updates and Resources for latest information.

UC Berkeley ranked one of the best colleges for Electrical Engineering in 2020 by Gradreports

UC Berkeley ranked a very close second on Gradreports' list of "25 Best Colleges for Electrical Engineering 2020."  The rankings are based on the median salary of students who graduated with a B.S. in EE one year after college.  Graduates of MIT and Berkeley both earned a median salary of $116,600 but the median debt carried by MIT students was $614 less than that of Berkeley (at $14,347).  By contrast, graduates of third-ranked Carnegie Mellon earned median salaries that were $17,600 less than Berkeley salaries, and carried $9,424 more in debt.  Gradreports' methodology was based on data reported by the US Department of Education in November 2019.

Microrelays: On the path to making bigger quantum computers

Research on Microrelays presented at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) by Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu and alumna/graduate student, Xiaoer Hu (M.S. '18), is highlighted in an IEEE Spectrum article titled "4 Ways to Make Bigger Quantum Computers."  It is difficult to scale quantum computers because quantum-computer processors must operate inside cryogenic enclosures at near absolute zero, but the electronics needed for readout and control don’t work at such temperatures and must reside outside the refrigerator.  King Liu and Hu have developed micrometer-scale electromechanical relays as ultralow-power alternatives to transistors that operate better when cooled to 4 kelvins than at room temperature.  Freezing temperatures solve two of the mechanical problems the devices encounter:  the reaction of ambient oxygen on electrode surfaces, and the way that microscale relays tend to stick together.  “We didn’t suspect ahead of time that these devices would operate so well at cryogenic temperatures,” says King Liu. “In retrospect, we should have.”

EECS 150W: Valerie Taylor, winner of the 2020 EE Distinguished Alumni Award

Valerie Taylor (EECS Ph.D. '91, advisor: David Messerschmitt), one of the winners of the 2020 EE Distinguished Alumni Award to be presented next week, is also the subject of our February EECS 150W profile in honor of Black History Month.  Taylor grew up in a STEM-forward family and attended Purdue before coming to Berkeley for her doctorate.    She had never seen a black woman professor before she began teaching at Northwestern University in 1992.  She is now the Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory (where she is a Distinguished Fellow), and the Executive Director of the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT).  Her honors include the CRA A. Nico Habermann Award and the  Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award.

Roger Fujii wins IEEE CS 2020 Richard E. Merwin Award

EECS alumnus Roger U. Fujii (M.S. '68) has won the IEEE Computer Society (IEEE CS) 2020 Richard E. Merwin Award for Distinguished Service.  The Merwin Award is the Computer Society's highest-level volunteer service award, and is presented to "individuals for outstanding volunteer service to the profession at large, including significant service to the IEEE CS."  Fujii was cited "for his sustained and innovative leadership contributions to IEEE Computer Society standards, strategic activities, and financial transformation."  He is currently  the president of Fujii Systems, Inc., a provider of services in the development of large, trusted systems, and the Vice President-Elect of IEEE CS Technical Activities.  He is also an IEEE volunteer who has served in many capacities for over 30 years.

EECS kicks off Berkeley 150W with ten "first" women

In celebration of the anniversary of 150 Years of Women at Berkeley (150W) in 2020, the EECS department will profile a number of remarkable women who have studied or worked here.  This month, Berkeley EECS is highlighting ten trailblazing women who were the first to reach important milestones over the past 50 years.  Learn how professors Susan Graham, Avideh Zakhor, Shafi Goldwasser and Tsu-Jae King Liu, and alumnae Kawthar Zaki, Carol Shaw, Paula Hawthorn, Barbara Simons, Deborah Estrin, and Susan Eggers, broke through glass ceilings on campus, in their fields, in industry, and in the world.

Warren Hoburg graduates from NASA's Artemis astronaut training program

EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '13, advisor: Pieter Abbeel) will be among the first candidates to graduate under NASA's Artemis astronaut basic training program on Friday, Jan. 10, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Starting next week, Hoburg will be eligible for spaceflight assignments to the International Space Station, missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars.  He earned a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro) from MIT before attending Berkeley, and returned to MIT as an assistant professor in AeroAstro after graduation.  Hoburg is also a commercial pilot who served on the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit and Yosemite Search and Rescue.

Kirk Tramble, one of three generations of Cal Bears

Alumnus Kirk Tramble (B.S. EECS 1993) is both the son and father of proud UC Berkeley alumni.  His father, Thomas, earned a B.A. in Sociology/African American Studies in 1971, and his son, Gabriel, graduated with a B.A. in Media Studies in 2018.  The family is profiled in a Cal Alumni article which compares their experiences as Black students at Cal during three different eras.  Kirk arrived on campus at a time when academic support for students of color was at an all-time high, and watched as everything changed after the passage of Proposition 209 in 1996, when the percentage of black students dropped from 8% to 2%.  “The response [to Prop 209] was to ultimately shut down many of the programs that were the highest serving programs for African Americans on campus,” he said.  He and his father now administer a scholarship offered by the African American Initiative to encourage and support Black students at Cal.

RISC-V grows globally as an alternative to Arm

RISC-V, a royalty-free microprocessor architecture first developed at Berkeley, is emerging as a rival to Arm, the most successful microchip architecture in the world.   The first RISC-V chip was built in 2011 as part of the open source Peer Lab Project by CS Prof. and alumnus Krste Asanović (Ph.D. '98, advisor: John Wawrzynek), CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson, and CS alumni Andrew Waterman (M.S. 11/Ph.D. '16, advisors: David Patterson/Krste Asanović) and Yunsup Lee (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '16, advisor: Krste Asanović).  Asanović, Waterman and Lee went on to found SiFive, "the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized silicon on RISC-V."   Asanović explains that the architecture has gained momentum "not because it's 10% faster. It's because it's a new business model."  Chip designers traditionally have to find a seller to make their microprocessors, but now designers can select RISC-V and "all suppliers compete for your business.  You can add your own extensions without obtaining permission" or paying license fees.

Dawn Song named 2019 ACM Fellow

EECS Prof. and alumna Dawn Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar) has been  selected as a 2019 Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).    Song was cited "For contributions to security and privacy" and is now part of an elite group that represents less than 1% of the Association’s global membership.  As one of the world’s foremost experts in computer security and trustworthy artificial intelligence, Song founded a startup to build a new platform based on a paradigm in which people control their data and are compensated for its use by corporations. She was named to both the 2019 WIRED25 list of innovators and's list of the 100 most innovative businesswomen in 2019.   Fellows will be honored at an awards banquet in June.

Mark McKelvin wins BEYA Most Promising Engineer in Industry Award

EECS  alumnus Mark Lee McKelvin Jr (M.S.  '05, Ph.D. '11, advisor: Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli), has won the 2020 BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year Award) STEM Most Promising Engineer in Industry Award.  The award, which is sponsored by Career Communications Group (publisher of "US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine") is considered among the most competitive awards in U.S. science, engineering and technology managament.  After graduating, McKelvin worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a software systems engineer for five years before becoming an engineering specialist at the Aerospace Corporation. The award will be presented at the 34th BEYA STEM Conference in February 2020.