News

Tomás Vega rises to a disability challenge

Tomás Vega, a senior computer science and cognitive science major, was part of a team that participated in the first collegiate Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) event and which was profiled in a Jewish News article titled "Cal students pull a marathon to engineer disability solutions."  His team, led by Berkeley alumnus Pierluigi Mantovani, designed a special pair of gloves to help a Berkeley filmmaker with very limited use of his hands navigate a computer screen.  The filmmaker, who had to use a joystick with his lower lip to navigate, can now perform the same task by just slightly moving his wrists.  The gloves use electromyography, which detects signals from his muscles.   “When someone tells you, ‘Thank you for changing my life, for improving the quality of my life,’ there’s nothing like that,” Vega said.

Anca Dragan wants more human-centered AI4ALL

At the Berkeley AI Research (BAIR) Camp this year, Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan will lead AI4ALL, a Berkeley education program designed to introduce high potential, low income high schoolers to humanistic AI.  In an article titled "The future of AI needs to have more people in it" she discusses the importance of creating AI with humans in mind and the value of diverse approaches to the field.

Valerie Taylor named ACM fellow

Alumna Valerie Taylor (EE M.S. '86/Ph.D. '91), now a computer science professor at Texas A&M University, has been named a 2016 Fellow by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).  Taylor is one of 53 ACM members honored for their contributions to computer science. She is being lauded for her “leadership in broadening participation in computing" and is the subject of an article in Black Enterprise.

Center for Advancing Women in Technology logo

Center for Advancing Women in Technology launches Technology Pathways Initiative

Center for Advancing Women in Technology (CAWIT) in collaboration with  U.C. Berkeley, San Francisco State University and San José State University, through $3M in investment from Intel Corporation, KLA-Tencor Foundation, and Salesforce, will launch the Technology Pathways Initiative (TPI), to increase participation of women in CS fields through the development of new interdisciplinary CS degree programs at three pilot campuses in 2017. Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu has been developing the Women In Technology workshop at UC Berkeley.

Colleen Lewis looks at social justice and equity within CS

Alumna Prof. Colleen Lewis (EECS B.S. '05/CS M.S. '09), now teaching at Harvey Mudd College, is profiled in an article about the award-winning women attending the 2016 Grace Hopper Conference.  Colleen won the 2016 Denise Denton Emerging Leader ABIE Award for young tenure-track faculty doing research involving engineering or physical sciences, who positively influence and promote diversity.  Colleen created CSTeachingTips.org, a National Science Foundation funded website that offers tips for teaching computer science.

Alexandria Finley's graceful pas de deux of ballet and EECS

EECS sophomore Alexandria Finley has been selected to compete in the 2016 Genée International Ballet Competition as one of the 10 participants sponsored by the Royal Academy of Dance.  One hundred dancers will compete over 10 days this December in Sydney, Australia, at the Genée,  one of the most prestigious ballet competitions in the world.  Alexandria describes how she balances her passions for dance, computer science, and physics in an interview with Heather Levien.

Adrienne Porter Felt, protecting us from internet hackers

Software engineer Adrienne Porter Felt (CS Ph.D. 2012), now the tech lead manager for Google Chrome's usable security team, is the subject of a woprogrammer article at Medium.  Adrienne wrote her dissertation on permissions systems as part of the Security Research Group (under Prof. David Wagner),  and taught introductory computer classes at the Self-Paced Center.  In the article, she describes how she got into computer science, her research into using permissions to restrict the damage that rogue apps can do, and her latest efforts on HTTPS adoption. 

Looking at the Top in Tech: Virginia Smith

Grad student Virginia Smith has experienced periods where she felt somewhat isolated during her study of CS, a field that still has relatively few women. She recently joined forces with Ph.D. alumna Gitanjali Swamy and former Chair Tsu-Jae King Liu to form a round table of influential women in tech to think about how to increase diversity at the top levels. She has also written an article about this work.  Read about Virginia's experiences and endeavors.

Berkeley EECS at 2016 ACM Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference

Last week 18 undergraduates, three graduate students, two faculty, and four staff from UC Berkeley’s EECS Department attended the 2016 ACM Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference in Austin, Texas.  In addition to making new connections with diversity leaders in academia and industry, Berkeley EECS participants reconnected with several EECS alumni: Jeffrey Forbes (Associate Dean at Duke University), Beth Trushkowsky (Assistant Professor at Harvey Mudd College), Valerie Taylor (Associate Dean at Texas A & M), and Hakim Weatherspoon (Associate Professor at Cornell). Teaching Professor Dan Garcia co-led a birds-of-a-feather session for Hispanics in Computing, and was a panelist on a session titled “Engaging Students of Color in Computer Science", which reflected on the department's recent efforts to broaden participation in computing.  *Dr. Raquel Romano of Google, and former LBL Postdoc, delivered a Keynote on "Redefining Inclusion: Technology as an Act of Service." *  EECS Director of Diversity Tiffany Reardon presented a poster highlighting the department’s support of women in undergraduate computing.  A highlight of the conference for many of us was seeing David Patterson receive the Richard Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing.  For years Professor Patterson has been an ardent supporter of the Tapia Conference as past Conference Chair, serving on the steering committee and funding large UC Berkeley contingents to attend the event. Well deserved, Dave! Berkeley students and faculty have attended every Tapia conference since the first one, in 2001. 

Haile Shavers is the Literal Face of Diversity in Tech

CS Scholar Haile Shavers is the subject of an interview by Youth Radio/The Huffington Post in which she discusses her experiences as a black woman undergraduate studying computer science.  Haile graces a billboard on Broadway and 22nd Street in Oakland, sponsored by the Kapor Center for Social Impact, which reads "As Oakland becomes more tech, let’s ensure tech becomes more Oakland."