News

Alex Stamos (photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images)

Alex Stamos hunts down Russian political ads on Facebook

EECS alumnus and security expert Alex Stamos (B.S. '01) is profiled in an article in Recode about his role as Facebook's Chief Security Officer.  He is currently leading their internal investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and co-authored a paper explaining how Russia carried out its misinformation campaign. The article describes Stamos's experiences as CSO of Yahoo and his efforts to protect the internet's rank-and-file users. “We’ve been asking people to pay attention to us for over 20 years. And they are,” he said. “We have the world’s attention. What are we going to do with it?”

Mark Liu, the new Chair of TSMC

Mark Liu named Chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC)

Alumnus Mark Liu (EE M.S. '80/Ph.D. '83) has been named Chairman of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC), the world's biggest foundry chipmaker.  He is succeeding Morris Chang, who is retiring.  Chang, known as the "father of Taiwan's chip industry,' built TSMC (an Apple Inc. supplier) into a business worth $185 billion.   Liu had been President and Co-CEO of TSMC since 2013.  The company, which has thrived on booming demand for chips used in smartphones, now seeks to diversify its customer base and move into emerging industries such as artificial intelligence and autonomous driving.

Dust in the Machine

Chancellor's Professor of Electrical Engineering and Neuroscience Jose Carmena, and Prof. Michel Maharbiz, are the subjects of a California Magazine article titled "Dust in the Machine," about brain-machine interface (BMI) research.  In 2013, Carmena, Maharbiz, then-graduate student Dongjin Seo (Ph.D. '16), Prof. Jan Rabaey, and Prof. Elad Alon published a paper on a new kind of implantable bioelectronics--a neural interface called "neural dust"--that was the size of a 1-millimeter cube, wireless, battery-less, and small enough to be placed in the peripheral nervous system and muscles.  The article describes BMI systems and subsequent technological advances and challenges.  Carmena is also co-director of the Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses at Berkeley and UCSF.

Shahin Farshchi (Huffington Post)

Shahin Farshchi on making the ‘impossible’ possible through feats of engineering

EECS alumnus Shahin Farshchi (B.S. '02) is the subject of one of a series of Iranian Americans’ Contributions Project (IACP) interviews that explore the personal and professional backgrounds of prominent Iranian-Americans who have made seminal contributions to their fields. Farshchi is currently a Partner at Lux Capital Management where he has sourced many of the firm's investments in energy and technology.  In "Shahin Farshchi: Making the ‘Impossible’ Possible Through Feats of Engineering,"  he describes his intercultural childhood in the Bay Area and Iran, and discusses his philosophy, career, and outlook on developing technologies.  Before Lux, Farshchi held engineering positions at Aurorasoft, Telegenisys, General Motors, and Intelligent Control Systems.  He has published research on wireless biosignal telemetry.

Garth Gibson, Vector Institute (Matthew Plexman)

Garth Gibson named CEO of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence

CS alumnus Garth Gibson  (M.S. '84/B.S. '91) has been named CEO of the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Toronto, Canada.  The newly-formed Vector has received $50-million funding from Ontario and $85-million-plus from more than 30 companies, including Shopify Inc., Magna International Inc., Canada's big banks and U.S. tech giants including Google Inc.  Gibson, who is a native of Canada, has held several senior positions at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Mellon University, where he is a computer-science professor and established the school's Parallel Data Lab and Petascale Data Storage Institute.

Alumnus Nikunj Oza

Nikunj Oza presents NASA's perspectives on Deep Learning

CS alumnus Nikunj Oza (M.S. '98/Ph.D. '01), now a research scientist in the Intelligent Systems Division of the NASA Ames Research Center, talks about NASA's perspectives on Deep Learning for an HPC User Forum video.  He presents a broad overview of work at NASA in data sciences, data mining, and machine learning, and delineates the roles of NASA, academia, and industry in advancing machine learning to help solve NASA's problems.

Joey Davis (Photo: Mandana Sassanfar)

Joey Davis becomes assistant professor of biology at MIT

CS alumnus Joey Davis (B.A. '03) has been hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).   Davis investigates how cells maintain a delicate internal balance of assembling and dismantling their own machinery, particularly macromolecules. He is also developing a series of new research techniques, some involving cryo-electron microscopy, a method to image large macromolecules at high resolution. Davis was a dual major in CS and biological engineering while at Berkeley.

Anupama Kaul

Anupama Kaul named director of the UNT PACCAR Technology Institute

Anupama Kaul (EE Ph.D. 2000) has been named director of the University of North Texas College of Engineering’s PACCAR (Pacific Car and Foundry Company) Technology Institute.  Kaul was a task manager at Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology before joining the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) as associate dean for research and graduate studies in the College of Engineering, and the AT&T Distinguished Professor.  She will now be the PACCAR professor in engineering and a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, with a joint appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UNT.  “I am honored to serve as director of the PACCAR Technology Institute and look forward to the exciting ways in which the institute will embrace interdisciplinary research in strategic areas of national and global significance, with nanotechnology as a core enabling element,” she said.

Sam Blackman

Sam Blackman is dead at 41

EE alumnus Sam Blackman (M.S.E. '99)  died over the weekend of a reported cardiac arrest at age 41.  He was the chief executive and co-founder of AWS Elemental, and considered one of the highest-profile tech executives in Portland.  He worked at Silicon Graphics and Intel, and spent six years designing integrated circuit products at Pixelworks, before leaving to form Elemental.  He is credited with building it into one of the city's biggest startup successes.  Amazon bought Elemental in 2015 for $296 million.

Andrew Ng and Prof. Pieter Abbeel

Heroes of Deep Learning: Andrew Ng interviews Pieter Abbeel

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02), one of the world's leading authorities on AI, interviews EE Prof. Pieter Abbeel for Heroes of Deep Learning, an interview series from Ng's cousera course, Deep learning AI.  “Work in Artificial Intelligence in the EECS department at Berkeley involves foundational research in core areas of knowledge representation, reasoning, learning, planning, decision-making, vision, robotics, speech and language processing," Abbeel says. "There are also significant efforts aimed at applying algorithmic advances to applied problems in a range of areas, including bioinformatics, networking and systems, search and information retrieval. There are active collaborations with several groups on campus, including the campus-wide vision sciences group, the information retrieval group at the I-School and the campus-wide computational biology program. There are also connections to a range of research activities in the cognitive sciences, including aspects of psychology, linguistics, and philosophy. Work in this area also involves techniques and tools from statistics, neuroscience, control, optimization, and operations research. Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab (BAIR)."