News

EECS department mourns the loss of Jean Paul Jacob and Elwyn Berlekamp

The EECS department lost two beloved faculty emeriti this month:  Jean Paul Jacob on April 7 and Elwyn Berlekamp on April 9.  Jacob was born in Brazil and spent a number of years working in industry before attending Berkeley (MS '65/PhD '66, advisor: Elijah Polak).  He was a world expert on Informatics and had a career at IBM that spanned over 40 years.  He returned to Berkeley as Faculty-in-Residence in 1971 where he actively promoted diversity initiatives and helped found the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) in 2001.  Jacob won the EE Distinguished Alumni award in 1992.  Berlekamp was known for his work in coding theory and was one of the founders of combinatorial game theory.  He co-invented  the Berlekamp-Welch algorithm (which finds the shortest linear feedback shift register for a given binary output sequence) and the Berlekamp-Massey algorithm (which is used to implement Reed–Solomon error correction).  He bought out the controlling interest in Axcom Trading Advisors in 1989 and vastly increased the returns after rewriting the trading algorithms: returns to all investors in 1990 exceeded 55%, net of all trading costs and performance fees. He sold his interest in Axcom in December 1990.

Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli wins Physical Design Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli has been awarded the 2019 International Symposium on Physical Design Lifetime Achievement Award. The ISPD Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest distinction in the field of physical design automation and is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field over multiple decades. The purpose of the award is to recognize lifetime achievements and contributions in terms of research work, education, and professional service. Previous recipients of this award include former EECS Chair and COE Dean, Ernest S. Kuh.  

Largest, fastest array of microscopic ‘traffic cops’ for optical communications

Prof. Ming Wu, post-doc Kyungmok Kwon, and grad students Johannes Henriksson and Jianheng Luo (along with co-lead author Tae Joon Seok of the Gwangju Institute) have built a new photonic switch that can control the direction of light passing through optical fibers faster and more efficiently than ever.  The photonic switch is built with more than 50,000 microscopic “light switches” etched into a silicon wafer. Each light switch directs one of 240 tiny beams of light to either make a right turn when the switch is on, or to pass straight through when the switch is off. This optical “traffic cop” could one day revolutionize how information travels through data centers and high-performance supercomputers that are used for artificial intelligence and other data-intensive applications.

Two papers selected as 2018 IEEE Micro Top Picks

Two papers by EECS faculty have been named 2018 IEEE Micro Top Picks by the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer Architecture (SIGARCH).  The papers were "A Hardware Accelerator for Tracing Garbage Collection," co-authored by Profs. Krste Asanović and John Kubiatowicz (along with Martin Maas), and "FireSim: FPGA-Accelerated Cycle-Exact Scale-Out System Simulation in the Public Cloud," co-authored by Profs. Borivoje Nikolić, Randy Katz, Jonathan Bachrach, and Krste Asanović (along with Karandikar, Mao, Kim, Biancolin, Amid, Lee, Pemberton, Amaro, Schmidt, Chopra, Huang and Kovacs).  Top Picks represent "the most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and potential for long-term impact."  The papers will be published in IEEE Micro's annual “Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences” issue in May/June 2019.

4 EECS faculty and 3 alumni to participate in Fields Institute symposium celebrating work of Stephen Cook

CS Prof. Shafi Goldwasser, CS Profs. Emeriti Richard Karp,  Manuel Blum and Christos Papadimitriou, and alumni Michael Sipser (2016 CS Distinguished Alumnus, PhD '80, advisor: Manuel Blum), Scott Aaronson (CS PhD '04, advisor: Umesh Vazirani), and James Cook (CS PhD '14, advisor: Satish Rao) will all be speaking at The Fields Institute for Research in Mathematical Sciences Symposium on 50 Years of Complexity Theory: A Celebration of the Work of Stephen Cook.  The symposium, which will be held May 6-9, 2019 in Toronto, Canada, celebrates 50 years of NP-Completeness and the outstanding achievements of Stephen Cook and his remarkable influence on the field of computing.

 2019 Okawa Foundation Grant Winners
2019 Okawa Foundation Grant Winners

Raluca Popa and Moritz Hardt win 2018 Okawa Research Grants

CS Assistant Professors Raluca Popa and Moritz Hardt have won 2019 Okawa Research Foundation Grants. Okawa Research Grants are bestowed for "studies and analyses in the fields of information and telecommunications." Popa’s research interests are in secure collaborative learning. Hardt’s research interests are in machine learning in social dynamics. The award will be presented in San Francisco in the fall.

photos of Fox, Jordan, and Patterson

Profs. Armando Fox, Michael Jordan, and David Patterson win IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE) Influential Paper Award

At the 2019  IEEE International Conference on Data Engineering (ICDE), the Influential Paper Award was won by the 2009 paper "Predicting Multiple Metrics for Queries: Better Decisions Enabled by Machine Learning" by Archana Ganapathi, Harumi A. Kuno, Umeshwar Dayal, Janet L. Wiener, Armando Fox, Michael I. Jordan, and David A. Patterson.  This paper presented a data engineering methodology that has become the foundation for using machine learning to understand system behavior, espeicially in the vital areas of database optimization and data warehousing.  After receiving her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Berkeley, Archana Ganapathi has gone on to lead data strategy and analytics at Splunk.

A Salute to Early Women in STEM at UC Berkeley

In celebration of Women's History Month, Sheila Humphreys, the EECS Emerita Director of Diversity, has published an essay in the EECS Newsletter titled "A Salute to Early Women in STEM at UC Berkeley."  This essay is the first part of a series of writings about the history of diversity in engineering at UC Berkeley, seen primarily through the lens of  Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.  It covers the first women researchers, faculty, and grad students in STEM at UC Berkeley including Agnes Morgan, Marian Diamond, Susan Graham, Avideh Zakhor, Lillian Gilbreth, and Kawthar Zaki.

Alexei Efros, Anca Dragan, Ken Goldberg, and Michael Jordan to participate in TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI event

CS Profs. Alexei Efros, Ken Goldberg and Michael Jordan, and Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan, will be participating in the TechCrunch (TC) Sessions: Robotics + AI 2019 event on April 18 .  The day-long event includes "on-stage, live interviews and demos with the world's leading technologists, founders and investors on robotics and AI, workshops on key topics, and focused networking."  Efros (Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research--BAIR--Lab)and Dragan (InterACT Lab, BAIR Lab, and Center for Human-Compatible AI) are featured speakers.  Goldberg and Jordan will be part of a panel exploring "Artificial Intelligence: Minds, Economies and Systems that Learn."

Ali Ghodsi is one of the 10 coolest data science and machine learning CEOs

CS Adjunct Prof. Ali Ghodsi is on Solutions Review's list of "The 10 Coolest Data Science and Machine Learning CEOs."  Ghodsi is the CEO and co-founder of Databricks, and responsible for the growth and international​ ​expansion of the company.  He previously served as the VP of Engineering and Product​ ​Management before taking the role of CEO in January 2016.  Ghodsi is on the board of the RiseLab and  was one of the creators of the open source project Apache Spark.