EECS faculty participate in Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation Hub

Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy, Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan, Prof. Ken Goldberg, and Dean Shankar Sastry are members of a Berkeley team participating in a new $253 million national consortium, the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub, led by the Department of Defense.  The ARM consortium, which has academic and industrial partners in 31 states, is organizing domestic capabilities in robotics technology to amplify U.S. manufacturing.  According to an article in Berkeley Engineering titled "Berkeley a regional center in new robotics manufacturing consortium," the Berkeley team is focussing on hybrid robotics, co-robotics, and assessing the environmental and resource issues associated with robotics manufacturing technology.

HKN receives 2015-2016 IEEE-HKN Outstanding Chapter Award

The UC Berkeley chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) has been named recipient the 2015-2016 IEEE-HKN Outstanding Chapter Award. This award is presented to IEEE-HKN chapters in recognition of excellence in their chapter administration and programs. Main criteria for being selected for this award are to improve professional development; raise instructional and institutional standards; encourage scholarship and creativity; provide a public service, and generally further the established goals of IEEE-HKN.

RISELab Kicks Off

The CS Division has launched RISELab (Real-time Intelligence with Secure Execution Laboratory), the latest in its series of five-year intensive research labs in computer science. RISELab’s mission is to improve how machines make intelligent decisions based on real-time input.  It is the successor of AMPLab,  a pioneering Big Data effort, which launched widely used open source projects including Apache Spark, Apache Mesos and Alluxio.  RISELab is supported by sponsors that include Amazon Web Services, Ant Financial, Capital One, Ericsson, GE Digital, Google, Huawei, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and VMWare.

Leslie Field develops technology to deal with climate change

EECS alumna Leslie Field (M.S. ’88, Ph.D. ’91) is featured in a Berkeley Engineering news article titled “One big reflective band-aid”. After watching Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006, Field was inspired to develop a technology to deal with climate change. The following year she began testing ideas to increase the reflective capacity of ice in a small lake in the Sierra Nevada and founded Ice911, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing systems to be deployed on the planet’s receding ice sheets.

Bob Jewett rules billiards

Alumnus Bob Jewett (EECS BS '75/M.S. '79) is profiled in a Berkeley Engineer article titled "Bob Jewett's double life" which describes the retired HP/Agilent/Keysight engineer's life-long fascination with the rules and science of billiards.  Bob has published hundreds of articles on subjects like table friction, shots that depend on spin, and calculating the best approach to a shot.

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.

Tobias Boelter finds vulnerability in WhatsApp

Computer Science graduate student Tobias Boelter has found a security loophole in the popular messaging app WhatsApp that could allow encrypted messages to be read and  intercepted.  Facebook, which acquired WhatsApp in 2014, had emphasized security and end-to-end encryption as a primary selling point.  This flaw may be an inadvertent error or a deliberate backdoor.  Tobias writes "Facebook does not deny that there is a vulnerability that can be used to 'wiretap' targeted conversations by, for example, governments with access to WhatsApp’s servers. And despite WhatsApp’s recent public statements, the vulnerability cannot be avoided by verifying fingerprints or checking a checkbox in the WhatsApp settings."

The search is on for interim dean of new Division of Data Science

Although it is too early to know the candidates, interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ has announced that a member of faculty will be appointed interim dean of the new Division of Data Science at UC Berkeley.   Cathryn Carson, co-chair of the faculty advisory board, said the appointment of an interim dean is an important initial step in advancing the research and education of data science on campus.  CS Prof. David Culler said UC Berkeley has already been developing the foundations of the new field, which lies at the intersection of computer science and statistics.  Culler said the purpose of the new division is not only to distinguish the field with importance but also to integrate data science with all other divisions in the school. He added that the faculty advisory board hopes to include the division in the College of Letters and Sciences as well as the College of Engineering and that the position will give data science “a seat at the table” when deans are discussing on-campus issues.

Silvio Micali's new public ledger: ALGORAND

Alumnus Silvio Micali (CS PhD '82, CS Distinguished Alumni 2006) has published a paper called ALGORAND The Efficient and Democratic Ledger where he lays out a groundbreaking new vision of a decentralized and secure way to manage a shared ledger that provides a beautifully elegant solution to the Byzantine General’s problem.  Micali, the Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT, is the recipient of the Turing Award,  the Goedel Prize, and the RSA prize in cryptography.  His new research is profiled in an article titled "Move over Bitcoin - MIT Cryptographer Silvio Micali and his Public Ledger ALGORAND...The Future of Blockchain?

Asad Abidi named inaugural holder of Abdus Salam Chair

Alumnus Asad A. Abidi (EE MS '78/PhD '81, EE Distinguished Alumni 2015) will be the inaugural holder of the Abdus Salam Chair in the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) in Pakistan.  The Chair is named in honor of theoretical physicist Abdus Salam, the first Pakistani and first Muslim to receive a Nobel Prize in science.  Abidi, who is a professor of electrical engineering at UCLA and the founding dean of LUMS, is known for his groundbreaking research in single-chip radios.   He  won the IEEE Pederson Award in Solid-State Circuits—which was named in honor of EECS Prof. Donald O. Pederson—in 2008.