News

CS 61A (Brian Ly/Daily Cal)

CS 61A course enrollment reaches a record 1,762

Enrollment in CS 61A, The Structure & Interpretation of Computer Programs,  has increased from 1,568 students last fall to 1,762 students this semester.  CS 61A is a popular introductory coding class--a requirement for EECS majors--co-taught by Assistant Teaching Professor Jon DeNero and Prof. Paul Hilfinger.  The live lecture attendance is expected to drop as students discover that lectures are being webcasted three different times for about 600 students each time.  “We have enough funding and enough TAs [over 50] and, as of yesterday, I think we have enough rooms,” DeNero said.  Additional student support is provided by discussion sections, expanded small group-mentoring sections, and pilot online versions of discussions and labs.  Last fall, 60 percent of the students rated their class experience 5/5.

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)."

The M.E.T. class of 2021 (photo: Noah Berger)

M.E.T. program welcomes inaugural class

The Management, Engineering, & Technology (M.E.T.) program welcomed it's inaugural class of 40 students this week--drawn from about 2,500 applicants.  Undergrads who are admitted to M.E.T. combine courses at the Haas School of Business with one of three engineering tracks, including EECS.  While they take classes in both subjects throughout their 4 years at Berkeley, they will study together in a tight-knit cohort. The collaboration aims to build deep leadership and technology skills, and lay the groundwork for the next generation of entrepreneurs, CEOs, and Silicon Valley leaders.  The class of 2021 is made up of 30% women. 

Berkeley is one of the best computer science colleges for women

U.C. Berkeley made StudySoup's list of the top 20 female-friendly computer science programs in the country.  The graduate student group WICSE (Women in Computer Science and Engineering) is credited for the ranking because they are working to "build a more inclusive environment in the industry. In addition to outreach programs for younger students, the organization partners with research institutions and corporate partners to host workshops and network events."

EECS takes first and second place in 2017 ARWU rankings

U.C. Berkeley has been ranked best in the world in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and second best in Computer Science and Engineering, in the Academic Rankings of World Universities (ARWU), an assessment of 500 top institutions around the globe by ShanghaiRanking.   EE's score was 333.5, beating out  Stanford  (315.5) and MIT (310.9).   CS had a total score of 251.9, beating Stanford (243.8) but coming in under MIT (357.4).   Berkeley was ranked the No. 1 public university overall, and placed in the top 10 in 20 of the 52 subjects ranked.

CS Assistant Teaching Prof. Josh Hug

Thank you, Josh Hug

In an article for the Daily Cal, undergraduate Taylor Choe thanks CS Assistant Teaching Prof. Josh Hug for helping her overcome her negative first impression of Berkeley and discover what makes it so special.   "My mindset going into CS 61B was definitely not a positive one. I struggled with 61A and felt discouraged, making me really come to dislike computer science." she wrote.  But Dr. Hug made her fall in love with computer science and helped her find faith in the public school system.   "You could tell that he wanted to be at lecture and wasn’t thinking about being somewhere else. His projects, homeworks and labs were entertaining and engaging, displaying the time and thought that went into each of them. He constantly emphasized the importance of being an honest person in addition to being an honest programmer. He was somehow able to make a 1,400-person class feel a little smaller. And I don’t think there is anything more you can ask of a professor, especially at a school as large as UC Berkeley."

David Culler named Interim Dean for the Division of Data Sciences

Prof. David Culler has been appointed the Interim Dean for the newly created Division of Data Sciences.  The purpose of the new division is to bring techniques to bear in statistics, mathematics, and computer science on new sources of data.  One of their goals is the creation of an undergraduate data science major and data science minor.   Prof. Culler's duties will include fostering a cooperative atmosphere among the relevant faculties; working with the administration to form an advisory board with representation of key external constituencies; advancing fundraising efforts in concert with broader campus fundraising objectives; and enlisting a team of Berkeley faculty members who will work with him to develop the initiative. He will begin his new role on July 1, 2017 for a two-year term.

Certificate in Design Innovation is launched

A new certificate program, the Berkeley Certificate in Design Innovation (BCDI),  is the result of a cross-disciplinary, cross-departmental partnership between the College of Environmental Design, the College of Engineering, the Haas School of Business and the College of Letters and Science’s Arts and Humanities Division.  It offers all undergraduates at Cal an opportunity to foster a critical mindset, collaboratively define problems, and develop the technical proficiency to innovate broadly outside of their major.  CS Associate Professor and BCDI advisor Eric Paulos says “I can’t wait to see what this cross pollination of design methods, materials, tools and most of all people will bring to not just UC Berkeley but to our communities – from the local to the global.”  BCDI will be hosting an open house event on Friday, April 21 at noon at Jacobs Hall for prospective students to learn more about the Certificate, meet faculty members involved, and hear from guest speakers and UC Berkeley alumni.

BiasBusters at the Community Grants Showcase

BiasBusters @ Cal EECS will make a presentation at this year's Community Grants Showcase:  Changing Social Norms on April 19, 2017.  BiasBusters @ Cal EECS focuses on engaging EECS faculty, staff, and students to shift culture and increase the inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in our community.   The program, modeled on Google’s Bias Busting @ Work program, was initiated by Director of Diversity and Achievement Tiffany Reardon and is organized by graduate students Vasuki Swamy and Regina Eckert.  Regular workshops are led by volunteers in the EECS community who have been trained as program facilitators in an effort to promote self-awareness about unconscious bias and teach how to address it in our department and daily lives.  The grant was sponsored by the PATH to Care Center with support from the Violence Prevention Collaborative.

The Beauty & Joy of Computing featured in the New York Times

Dr. Daniel Garcia and his course "CS10: The Beauty and Joy of Computing" (BJC) are featured in a New York Times article about curricula designed to develop computational thinking in students.  The article, titled "Learning to Think Like a Computer," covers strategies at a number of top institutions and highlights BJC, a CS course for nonmajors which focuses on the abstract principles underpinning computing instead of just teaching students to code.  “The idea of abstraction,” Dan says, “is to hide the details.”  Concealing layers of information makes it possible to get at the intersections of things, improving aspects of a complicated system without understanding and grappling with each part.  The abstraction of computational thinking allows advances without having to redesign from scratch and offers a new language and orientation to tackle problems in many other areas of life.