News

Sergey Levine, Francis Bach, and Pieter Abbeel are top 3 most prolific NeurIPS 2019 authors

Two EECS faculty and one alumnus are the authors with the most number of papers accepted to the upcoming 2019 Thirty-third Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), one of the most popular and influential AI conferences in the world.  CS Prof. Sergey Levine took the top spot with 12 papers, alumnus Francis Bach (Ph.D. '05, advisor: Michael Jordan) was the second most prolific contributor with 10 papers, and Prof. Pieter Abbeel placed third with nine.  Only one in five of the 6,743 papers submitted to the conference this year were accepted.  Registration to be one of the 8,000 attendees at  last year's NeurIPS (formerly NIPS) conference sold out in 12 minutes.  A lottery has been implemented for this year's conference, which will take place in December.

Francesca Giardine to participate in REU Symposium

Research conducted by EECS SUPERB-CISE participant Francesca Giardine will be presented at the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Symposium in Alexandria, VA in October.  Giardine's project, "Sustainable Energy and Localized Future (SELF) Dataset Development," supervised by Dan Kammen (ERG), describes the development of a database containing infrastructure information about under-resourced communities in the San Joaquin Valley that will help to determine which new resources should be provided to which areas.  The goal of the EECS Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley (SUPERB) Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) program is to prepare and motivate diverse, competitive candidates for graduate study.  The symposium is sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).

Campus Memorial to honor six from EECS community

The Berkeley Campus Memorial, which will be held on Tuesday, September 10, from 12 noon to 1 pm, will honor 6 members of the EECS community who died this year:  alumna and ICSI member Sally Floyd (M.S. '87/Ph.D. '89, advisor: Richard Karp),  alumnus and EECS faculty-in-residence/advisor to CITRIS Jean Paul Jacob (MS '65/PhD '66, advisor: Elijah Polak),  EECS and Mathematics Prof. Emeritus Elwyn Berlekamp, EECS and Biophysics Prof. Emeritus Jerome Singer, BWRC staff Tom Boot, and CS undergraduate student Daniel Leahy.  The memorial gathering will be held at the flagpole west of California Hall.

EE and CS place 2nd and 3rd in 2020 US News undergraduate engineering rankings

The US News and World Report has ranked both the EE and CS engineering programs among the top 3 undergraduate programs in the country for 2020.  Berkeley once again took the #2 spot in the Electrical/Electronic/Communications (EEC) category, while moving up one spot to #3 from its 2019 ranking in the Computer engineering category.   Berkeley EECS ranks just behind MIT in the EEC category and behind MIT and CMU in the Computer category.   Berkeley Engineering programs were ranked #3 overall in the country.

Carlos Biaou wins Sather Gate Young Volunteer Award

EECS graduate student Carlos Biaou (M.S. '18, advisor: Vivek Subramanian) has won a UC Berkeley Sather Gate Young Volunteer Award.  Berkeley volunteer awards are given to "people who give generously of their time and expertise to serve the Berkeley community."   Biaou was the president of the Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students association (BGESS) from 2017 to 2019.  He won the Pillar of the Community Award from the Latino/a Association for Graduate Students in Engineering and Science at Berkeley (LAGSES) earlier this year "For his commitment to building community across organizations on campus."  Biaou is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow studying various degradation processes in perovskite solar cells. 

Bruce Hajek named ECE Illinois department head

EECS alumnus Bruce Hajek (Ph.D. '79, advisor: Eugene Wong), who has been on the faculty of the Grainger College of Engineering, and a researcher in the Coordinated Science Laboratory, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 40 years, has been named head of UIUC's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).  Hajek is an internationally renowned expert in the field of communications networks and served as Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, and as President of the IEEE Information Theory Society.

Arth Vidyarthi selected Forbes Under 30 Summit scholar

EECS sophomore Arth Vidyarthi has been selected to participate in the 2019 Forbes Under 30 Summit scholarship program.  The summit, which brings together "the best minds across industries, venture capitalism, public policy and more to learn, network, collaborate, recruit and exchange ideas," will be held in Detroit at the end of October. The scholarship program grants students the chance to participate in networking opportunities and provides free access to the summit.  “Philanthropy is one of the areas being focused on at this year’s summit," said Vidyarthi, "and I’d love to find out more about the way technology is being used to revolutionize the way it’s being carried out.”

Sally Floyd, an inventor of Random Early Detection, has died

CS alumna Sally Floyd (M.S. '87/Ph.D. '89, advisor: Richard Karp), best known as one of the inventors of Random Early Detection (RED), an active queue management scheme widely credited with saving the internet from collapse in the 1990s, has died at age 69.  Floyd graduated from Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology in 1971 and, after taking a two-year course in electronics at Meritt College, spent the next decade working as a computer systems engineer at BART.  She returned to Berkeley as a graduate student in 1984 and was known as an outstanding advisor to members of the CS Reentry Program, a department project which prepared  "older" women and minorities, who had bachelor's degrees in non-technical fields, for competitive admission to graduate STEM programs.  The creation of the RED algorithm, which was built on work started by Van Jacobson in the 1980s,  founded the field of Active Queue Management (AQM).  Floyd and Jacobson's 1993 paper describing how RED could control congestion on the internet continues to play a vital role in its stability and has been cited in more than 9,100 articles. “That’s truly huge,” said Prof. Vern Paxson, who had been mentored by Floyd as a graduate student, “up there with the most fundamental papers in computer networking.”

Transportation for aging Americans

Elderly Americans need transportation alternatives more than ever, but many are intimidated by ride-hailing apps.  EECS Prof. Alexandre Bayen and David Lindeman of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute, are quoted in a New York Times article, "Older People Need Rides. Why Aren’t They Using Uber and Lyft?," that discusses some of the opportunities and obstacles for seniors.

New chip could lead to cheaper and better medical imaging devices and self-driving cars

Berkeley researchers, including EECS Prof. Ming Wu and his former postdoc Youming Wang,  have created the fastest silicon-based, programmable two-dimensional optical phased array, built on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS).  They achieved a resonance frequency of 55 kilohertz that corresponded to a response time of 5.7 microseconds, almost 1,000 times faster than a traditional optical phased array built on liquid crystal. With a large array of 25,600 pixels packed onto a chip that is 3.1 by 3.2 millimeters, the device can also capture very high-resolution images of its surroundings and lead to cheaper and more efficient medical-imaging devices, optical communications and holographic televisions, as well as more robust LiDAR sensors for self-driving cars.  "Being able to program these chips allows us to go beyond scanning, we can program our arrays to be more like human eyes. This allows us to generate and perceive arbitrary patterns like our eyes do; we can track individual objects instead of just rotating scanning,” said Wu.