News

Tsu-Jae Liu wins 2019 AAEOY Asian American Distinguished Science and Technology Award

EE Prof. and Dean of Engineering Tsu-Jae King Liu has won a 2019 Asian American Distinguished Science and Technology Award  for "contributions to nanometer-scale field-effect transistor and micro-electro-mechanical relay technology for digital computation and memory applications.”   The award is part of the annual DiscoverE National Engineers Week program hosted by CIE/USA, and was presented at the 2019 Asian American Engineer of the Year  Award and Conference (AAEOY) on August 16th.

Prof. Raluca Ada Popa

Raluca Ada Popa named Bakar Fellow

EECS Prof. Raluca Ada Popa has been selected for the Bakar Fellows Program, which supports faculty working to apply scientific discoveries to real-world issues in the fields of engineering, computer science, chemistry, and biological and physical sciences. With her Bakar Fellows Spark Award, Prof. Popa will design and build a data encryption platform that will enable collaborative machine learning studies by performing these multi-party computations under encryption.

Simons Institute announces Richard M. Karp Distinguished Lecture Series

The Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing has announced the creation of the Richard M. Karp Distinguished Lectures, named in honor of CS Prof. Emeritus Richard Karp, the Institute’s Founding Director. The series will feature talks by leading researchers in the foundations of computing including Sanjeev Arora (Ph.D. '94, advisor: Umesh Vazirani), Faith Ellen (Ph.D. '82, advisor: Richard Karp), Dan Gusfield (B.S. '73/Ph.D. '80, advisor: Richard Karp), Mike Luby (Ph.D. '83, advisor: Richard Karp), Antony P.-C. Ng (Ph.D. '92, advisor: Richard Brayton), Prabhakar Raghavan (Ph.D. '86, advisor: Clark Thompson), CS Prof. Scott Shenker, Vijay Vazirani (Ph.D. '84, advisor: Manuel Blum), and Karp, himself.  The lecture series will be launched in the Fall.

GauGAN AI art tool wins two major awards at SIGGRAPH 2019 Real-Time Live Competition

A viral real-time AI art application, co-created by three current and former graduate students of CS Prof. Alexei Efros, has won two coveted awards--Best in Show and Audience Choice--at the SIGGRAPH 2019 Real-Time Live Competition.  The interactive application, called GauGAN, was co-created by Ph.D. candidate Taesung Park during a summer internship at NVIDIA, along with alumni and NVIDIA researchers Jun-Yan Zhu (Ph.D. '17,  ACM SIGGRAPH Outstanding Doctoral Disseration winner) and Ting-Chun Wang (Ph.D. '17), as well as NVIDIAs Ming-Yu Liu.  GauGAN is the first semantic image synthesis model that can turn rough sketches into stunning, photorealistic landscape scenes.

You can’t squash this roach-inspired robot

Research co-authored by grad student Justin Yim and EE Profs. Ron Fearing and Robert Full, among others, has resulted in the creation of a small cockroach-inspired robot so hardy that it can survive being crushed underfoot.  The robot, which is about the size of a large postage stamp, is made of a thin sheet of a piezoelectric material called polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF).  Applying electric voltage to PVDF causes it to expand or contract, creating oscillations that propel the device forward.  The robot can sail along the ground at a speed of 20 body lengths per second, said to be the fastest pace among insect-scale robots.  Their paper was published in the journal Science Robotics.

Jerome R. Singer has died

EECS and Biophysics Prof. Emeritus Jerome "Jay" R. Singer passed away on July 30, 2019 at age 97.   He became a pioneer in the field of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) when he and two of his students co-created the first practicable MRI apparatus (then called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance - NMR) which was used to directly image blood flow in arteries and veins.  Singer's career at Berkeley as a professor of engineering science spanned 25 years.  He was also an Adjunct Professor of Radiology at UCSF and helped to found eight companies.  Singer had published more than 100 scientific papers and two books, and had been awarded over 20 patents.   Memorial services will be held in October in Berkeley.  For information regarding the date, time and location, please contact singer@singersf.com

Bill Kramer to Lead Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

CS alumnus Bill Kramer (Ph.D. 2008, advisors: David Culler and James Demmel) has been selected as the next director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), a joint research center of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.  Kramer, currently project director and PI of the Blue Waters Project and the senior associate director for  NCSA @Scale Science and Technology at Urbana-Champaign, begins his role in  fall 2019.  Kramer has also held leadership rolls at LBNL, NASA Ames, and NERSC.

Valerie Taylor named 2019 Argonne Distinguished Fellow

EECS alumna Valerie Taylor (M.S. '86/Ph.D. '91, advisor: David Messerschmitt), currently the director of the Mathematics and Computer Science division of Argonne National Laboratory, has been named a 2019 Argonne Distinguished Fellow.  Distinguished Fellows hold the highest scientific and engineering rank at the laboratory.  Taylor, whose research focuses in the areas of performance analysis and modeling of parallel, scientific applications, was a member of the EECS faculty at Northwestern University for 11 years before joining the Computer Science department at Texas A&M.  She has collaborated professionally with Argonne for most of her career.

Kathy Yelick looks back and ahead

Kathy Yelick has announced that she will be stepping down as Associate Laboratory Director of the Computing Sciences organization at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), a position she has held for nine years. Yelick, who was also the Director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) from 2008 to 2012, is the subject of an HPC interview where she talks about her time at LBNL and what the future holds.

New tech breakthough will allow drones to fly for days

Prof. Eli Yablonovitch is the co-author of a paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) that describes a groundbreaking discovery which has allowed researchers to raise the efficiency of thermophotovoltaics from 23% (where it has stayed for 15 years) to an unprecedented 29%. This ultralight alternative power source could allow drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to operate continuously for days.  The paper, "Ultraefficient thermophotovoltaic power conversion by band-edge spectral filtering," co-authored by a 10-person research team that includes postdoc Luis Pazos-Outon, details how a highly reflective mirror installed on the back of a photovoltaic cell can reflect low energy infrared photons to reheat the thermal source, providing a second chance for a high-energy photon to be created and generate electricity.