News

EECS undergraduate programs are ranked #2 and #3 in 2018 by U.S. News

Once again, the EECS Department is one of the top ranked in the nation.  Our Computer Science undergraduate program ranked 2nd (after MIT),  up from 4th place in 2017, and our Electrical/Electronic/Communications undergraduate program came in at #3 (after MIT and Stanford), holding steady from last year.

John DeNero (photo: Phillip Downey)

John DeNero named inaugural Charles and Dianne Giancarlo Teaching Fellow

CS Assistant Teaching Professor John DeNero is the inaugural recipient of the Charles and Dianne Giancarlo Teaching Fellowship.  This fellowship supports excellence in undergraduate teaching in EECS and was made possible by a generous donation from alumnus Charles Giancarlo (EE M.S. '80)  and his wife, Dianne (co-founder of the Women’s Achievement Network and Development Alliance).  The College of Engineering will be hosting a reception to celebrate the appointment on September 19th.

CS Prof. Scott Shenker

Scott Shenker wins 2017 Berkeley Visionary Award

CS Prof. Scott Shenker has won a  2017 Visionary Award from the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.  The award was created to acknowledge entrepreneurs and "celebrate people with the imagination and persistence to innovate in the City of Berkeley."  Shenker co-founded Nicira,  a company focused on software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization, which was sold to VMware in 2012 for $1.26 billion.   The award will be presented at ceremony at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre on September 11th.

Jeff Mahler and Ken Goldberg (photo: Jason LeCras for The New York Times)

Ken Goldberg and Jeff Mahler explain how warehouse robots will learn on their own

CS/IEOR Prof. Ken Goldberg, director of the AUTOLAB, and his EE graduate student Jeff Mahler, are profiled in a  New York Times article titled "In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own," about researchers who are using neural networks and machine learning to teach robots to grab things they have never encountered before.   The AUTOLAB robot was trained by being shown hundreds of purely digital objects, after which it could pick up items that weren’t represented in its digital data set.  “We’re learning from simulated models and then applying that to real work,” said Goldberg,

Hallac Scholar Alex Montanez

Alex Montanez wins inaugural Hallac Scholarship

EECS sophomore Alex Montanez is part of the inaugural class of Hallac Scholars.  The program, sponsored by the global asset management firm BlackRock, combines scholarship, mentorship and internship to help students learn how engineers can use their skills to develop innovative tech for delivering financial services.  Although Montanez was fascinated by computers, his junior high and high school didn’t offer any computer science or engineering classes, and had no computer club.  He had to learn almost everything on his own. As a BlackRock intern next summer, he’ll serve on the science team that works on Aladdin as well as on developing apps used by the firm’s clients. “I wanted to know how computers and electronics worked because they were everywhere. I’m interested in the impact computers have in helping people,” he says.

Armen Chouldjian demonstrating his BART web app

Armen Chouldjian helps increase BART's safety and reliability

EECS senior Armen Chouldjian was one of 11 engineering interns, selected from more than 200 college applicants around the nation, to work in the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) Maintenance and Engineering Department.  His summer project was to take information-dense reports generated from various BART computer systems and make them more readable and accessible.  He and his partner, Anuj Shah, went far beyond that, creating an internal web application that is already being used for greater efficiency and quicker diagnosis and resolution of problems.  “It’s a win-win,” said Chouldjian. “I get to play with cool technology and it ends up helping people.”

Joint CS and IEOR Profs. Michael Jordan and Pieter Abbeel

Pieter Abbeel and Michael Jordan appointed joint faculty in IEOR

CS Profs. Pieter Abbeel and Michael Jordan, two of the best-known experts in machine learning, have been appointed as joint faculty in the department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) in addition to their primary appointments in EECS (and Statistics for Jordan).  "Profs. Abbeel and Jordan are terrific colleagues that bring extremely valuable perspectives to our interests in robotics, automation, machine learning, and data science," states Ken Goldberg, Chair of IEOR.  Abbeel's work has been featured in many popular press outlets, including BBC, New York Times, MIT Technology Review, Discovery Channel, SmartPlanet and Wired.  In a recent article in Science, Jordan was named the currently most influential computer scientist in the world.

Startup institute, The House (Joshua Jordan/Daily Cal)

Berkeley ranks second in most venture capital-backed entrepreneurs in 2017

For the second year in a row, U.C. Berkeley has ranked No. 2 among the 50 undergraduate programs that produce the most venture capital-backed entrepreneurs, according to PitchBook’s 2017-18 report.  The report distinguishes undergraduate and MBA programs, compares Ivy League colleges to other universities and analyzes numbers such as companies per sector, female founders and total capital raised by founders’ companies. This year, UC Berkeley produced 1,089 entrepreneurs and 961 companies.

Prof. David Wagner teaching CS C8 (photo: SF Chronicle)

UC Berkeley rises to the challenge of Data Science demand

Prof. David Wagner, who co-teaches CS C8: The Foundations of Data Science, and Prof. David Culler, interim dean of the new Division of Data Sciences,  are featured in a San Francisco Chronicle article titled "Universities rush to add data science majors as demand explodes."   As worplace demand for data scientists and data enigineers continues to soar,  student enrollment in CS C8 has more than tripled since 2016. The Division of Data Sciences was established in the College of Engineering in December,  and a data science undergraduate major--the first new undergraduate major the College of Letters & Science in 16 years--is in the works.  “No program has grown this fast at Berkeley,” said Culler.

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson

David Patterson responds to former Google employee's memo about diversity

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson published an opinion piece in Wired in response to former Google employee James Damore’s memo, in which Damore stressed that women are biologically different and not suited to working in technology companies like Google.  Patterson, along with Maria Klawe of Harvey Mudd College and John Hennessy of Stanford, highlighted four main points in rebuttal to Damore’s memo: 1) implicit bias exists, 2) members of underrepresented groups are discouraged by daily biases not experienced by others, 3) a shortage of software engineers will limit the growth of the industry, and 4) it's more effective to discuss these issues face-to-face than via electronic communication.