News

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.

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.

3rd place winners of the 2017 Greylock Hackfest

Berkeley team takes 3rd place in Greylock Hackfest

Undergraduate students Jian Lu (EECS junior), Walt Leung (CS sophomore), Jiayi Chen (CS junior), and Malhar Patel (EECS junior) placed 3rd at the Greylock Hackfest in July.  Their platform, BeAR, allows multiple users to connect to the same #AR (augmented reality) session.  The Hackfest, sponsored by Greylock Partners, allows 45 teams of up to four university students the opportunity to show what they can build to a panel of tech industry  judges.  Hacks are judged based on five different criteria: level of difficulty, aesthetics, originality, usefulness, and your project’s “WOW factor.”

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)."

Charles Giancarlo, the new CEO of Pure Storage

Charles Giancarlo named CEO of Pure Storage

EE Alumnus Charles Giancarlo (M.S. '80) has been named Chief Executive Officer of Pure Storage, the market's leading independent all-flash data platform vendor for the cloud era.   Giancarlo previously served in senior executive roles at Silver Lake Partners and Cisco Systems, Inc.  "Charlie is an exceptionally talented leader with a three-decade track record of driving growth and innovation at leading global technology companies," said outgoing CEO Scott Dietzen.

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. 

Nima Jafarian, VP of Management & Marketing at PowerSphyr

Nima Jafarian appointed VP of Product Management & Marketing at PowerSphyr

EE alumnus Nima Jafarian (B.S. '04) has been appointed Vice President of Product Management and Marketing at PowerSphyr, one of the world’s most innovative providers of wireless power technology.   He is responsible for leading product management and marketing for SkyCurrent™, a ground-breaking wireless power system which combines near-field and far-field technology in a single system to deliver wireless power to electronic devices without cords or cable.  Jafarian began his career at National Semiconductor developing BiCMOS processes for power management ICs and subsequently held marketing and R&D roles with Analog Devices and Peregrine Semiconductor.  Prior to joining PowerSphyr, he spent five years at Lumileds in global product management and channel marketing.

Andrew Ng is one of the world's leading authorities on AI

Andrew Ng is one of 7 leaders shaping the AI revolution

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02, adviser: Michael Jordan) has been singled out by NewsCenter.io as one of 7 leaders shaping the AI revolution.  Ng founded the “Google Brain” project, which developed massive-scale deep learning algorithms.  He led the AI group at Baidu, China’s largest search engine company, which directed research into advertising, maps, take-out delivery, voice and internet searching, security, consumer finance, among others. Ng also co-founded Coursera, an online education company that has raised more than $200 million venture capital funding.  He is also currently an adjuct professor at Stanford.

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."