News

Harry Huskey and the Bendix G-15 in 1988 (Dan Coyro -- Santa Cruz Sentinel file)

Harry Huskey is dead at age 101

Computer pioneer Harry Huskey, who designed the G15--which might be called the first "personal computer"--at Berkeley in 1954, has died.  He taught and conducted research into computer language in the EE department from 1954 to 1967, when he left to found and direct the computer center at U.C. Santa Cruz.  Starting in the 1940s, he worked on the Eniac (the country’s first general-purpose programmable electronic computer), the Automatic Computing Engine, and the SWAC, before designing the G-15.  It was manufactured and sold by Bendix Aviation Corporation as the first computer designed to be used by a single person without the intervention of other operators.  At 950 lbs and the size of a refrigerator, it was much smaller than the other room-sized computers at the time, and cost just under $50,000 (or could be rented for about $1,500 a month),  a fraction of the millions of dollars that other systems cost.  At 101 years old, he was one of the last surviving scientists in the vanguard of the computer revolution.

Raghav Chandra's UrbanClap dominates India's on-demand services ecosystem

Alumnus Raghav Chandra (EECS B.S. '11) and his second start-up, UrbanClap, are the subject of a Live Mint article describing the formation and rise of the most funded start-up in the still nascent hyperlocal segment of the on-demand services sector in India.  UrbanClap, which aggregates 107 local services and 65,000 providers, and enables customers to request services online through its website or mobile application, raised $36.6M in funding during the first 2 years after its inception.  Raghav, who was active in GamesCrafters as a student, became a software engineer at Yelp and Twitter, and founded the startup Buggi, before meeting his current partners to co-found UrbanClap.

Student startup culture is in The House

A number of EECS alumni and faculty have been invited to guest lecture for a DeCal course called "Build the Future" (CS 198), designed in collaboration with startup institute The House, to get undergraduate students engaged with the Berkeley entrepreneurial ecosystem and to use their time on campus creatively.  CS majors Jimmy Liu and Zuhayeer Musa (who run a company called Bash) helped develop the course, CS Prof. Scott Shenker is the faculty advisor, and Cameron Baradar (B.S.’15 EECS) is executive director of The House.  Speakers will include CS Prof. Joe Hellerstein, EE Prof. Kurt Keutzer, co-founder of Oculus Jack McCauley (B.S.’86, EECS), and founder of inDinero Jessica Mah (B.S.’10 EECS).

Startup Trifacta gives customers an intuitive, agile new way of working with data

Trifacta, a data wrangling startup co-founded by Prof. Joe Hellerstein (also company CSO and CS alumnus--M.S. '92), is one of the companies profiled by Computer Weekly in an article titled "Silicon Valley startups aim to make big data capture and prep slicker."  Customers of Trifacta, which specializes in sorting out data and getting it into shape for analysis, includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, PepsiCo, Walmart, and soon Google (Cloud Dataprep). Other CS alumni on the Trifacta team include co-founder and CXO Jeffrey Heer (B.S. '01/M.S. '04/Ph.D. '08) and Vice President of Products Wei Zheng (B.A. '99).  

Ankur Aggarwal makes Forbes 30 Under 30 in healthcare

Alumnus Ankur Aggarwal (EECS M.Eng.'12) has been named in Forbes magazine's 30 Under 30 list,  a compilation of the brightest young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers across 20  industries.  Ankur and his college roommates teamed up to found TowerView Health, which sells a smart pill box with custom trays of medication.

Kylan Nieh makes Forbes 30 Under 30 in enterprise technology

Alumnus Kylan Nieh (CS BA/Business BS 2014) has made the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30: Enterprise Technology list.  While still a student, Kylan started his own public speaking and leadership course at the Haas School of Business and became the youngest recipient of the Business Teacher of the Year Award in 2014.  After graduation, Kylan became the youngest Senior Product Manager at LinkedIn Students.

Imperva names Roger Sippl to board of directors

Imperva has named alumnus Roger Sippl (CS BS '77 ) to its board of directors.  Sippl is a Silicon Valley software pioneer, entrepreneur and innovator.  He founded Informix Software (now part of IBM) in 1980, when he was just 24, to develop and commercialize SQL relational database software.  He subsequently took two more companies through IPO: The Vantive Corporation, which became part of PeopleSoft/Oracle, and Visigenic Software, which was acquired by Borland.  Sippl received the CS Distinguished Alumni award in 1995.

Quantenna, co-founded by alumna Andrea Goldsmith, goes public

EECS alumna Prof. Andrea Goldsmith (B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. ’94) co-founded Quantenna in 2005 to build a product and company around her research in adaptive multiple-antenna (MIMO) wireless communications. After seed funding for Quantenna was secured from Sequoia Capital in March of 2006, Goldsmith took a leave of absence from Stanford to lead the company’s technical strategy and development in the role of CTO. She continued in this role through June 2009. She is currently chairing the company’s technical advisory board. Quantenna has continued innovating to remain at the cutting edge of WiFi technology. Quantenna chipsets are now deployed with 15 major carriers throughout the world, including AT&T, DirectTV, Comcast, Orange, Swisscom, and Telefonica.  The company employs 275 people worldwide, with revenues this year expected to exceed $110M. The company went public on Oct. 28, 2016 as QTNA, with the founders, company executives, and early employees ringing the closing Nasdaq bell. Quantenna’s stock has risen 15% since its IPO. Andrea Goldsmith is also the Stephen Harris Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford. 

Startup: The Dot

A device and startup created by former CS students Kunal Chaudhary, Grant Empey, and Rishabh Parikh (along with ME alumus Anuj Chaudhary), are the focus of a California Magazine article titled "A Little Dotty: Berkeley Startup Has a New Way to Make Your House Smart."  Their creation, the Dot, is a $20 sandwich of circuit boards and chips housed in a black plastic case about the size and shape of a hockey puck. Functionally, it’s an electronic beacon that pairs with a smartphone via Bluetooth and can be programmed to perform a variety of functions based on where you are and who you are.  It has attracted interest from more than 1,700 donors, and is backed by two of Berkeley’s startup incubator programs, CITRIS Foundry and The House.  The Dot is also featured in an Inc.com article titled "How This University Sets Students Up for Entrepreneurial Success."

Matt Au

Matt Au is the new CTO of SideChef

EECS alumni Matt Au (B.A. CS 2002) has been announced as the Chief Technology Officer of the cooking app start-up SideChef. SideChef is an interactive step-by-step cooking app that assists in the kitchen just like a virtual sous chef. With real time recipe navigation that includes hands-free voice commands, detailed photos, how-to videos, and built-in automatic timers, beginners have the tools to learn essential skills to cook with confidence, while intermediate and advanced cooks hone their abilities and contribute to the community with their own recipes.