News

Campus Shutdown Notice

In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we have decided to close our administrative offices starting Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.  Cory and Soda Hall are closed.  Classes are being held remotely.  All events in Cory and Soda Halls will either be cancelled or held remotely, and staff will be working remotely during this time.

Eliahu Jury has passed away

EECS Prof. Emeritus and control systems pioneer, Eliahu Ibrahim Jury, who was active in the department from 1954 to 1981, passed away on September 20th at the age of 97.  Jury was born in Baghdad, Iraq, of Jewish parentage, and went to college first in Beirut, then in Palestine, where he obtained his undergraduate degree in 1947.  He moved to the U.S. to attend graduate school, earning an M.S. from Harvard and an Sc.D. from Columbia in electrical engineering in 1953 (the first time this degree was conferred at Columbia).  His dissertation, "Analysis and Synthesis of Sampled-Data Control Systems," was one of the first documents to deal with the synthesis of sampled-data feedback systems.  He joined his friend Lotfi Zadeh at UC Berkeley the following year, and was made full professor in 1964.  During his 28 years at Berkeley, Jury flourished, making a number of groundbreaking contributions to the field of discrete-time systems and control, including the Jury stability table, his authoritative book "Theory and Application of the z -Transform Method," and the theory of inners, which made of the cover of the July 1975 issue of the Proceedings of the IEEE.  He received the American Society of Engineers (ASME) Rufus Oldenburger Medal, for lifetime achievements in automatic control, in 1986.  He retired from Berkeley in 1981, and moved to Florida where he joined the faculty at the University of Miami.  The EECS Eliahu Jury Award, which is presented to graduate students or recent alumni "for outstanding achievement in the area of systems, communications, control, or signal processing," is named in his honor.

Alessandro Chiesa receives 2020 Okawa Research Grant

CS Assistant Prof. Alessandro Chiesa has been selected as a 2020 Okawa Foundation Research Grant recipient for his work on the "Foundations of Quantum and Non-Signaling Proofs (Post-Quantum Zero-Knowledge Proofs for Secure Distributed Systems)."  Okawa Research Grants are awarded to Asian and American scholars for studies and analyses in the fields of information and telecommunications.  Winners receive a $10K prize which is usually awarded in an autumn ceremony in San Francisco, but the event has been cancelled this year because of COVID-19.

Cecilia Aragon: Flying Free

CS alumna Cecilia Aragon (Ph.D. '04, advisors: Shankar Sastry and Marti Hearst) has written a memoir titled "Flying Free," which describes how she shook off the tethers of discrimination and her debilitating fear of heights to become the first Latina pilot to win a spot on the United States Unlimited Aerobatic Team, which represented the U.S. at the World Aerobatic Championships in 1991.  The daughter of a Chilean father and Filipina mother, Aragon earned her B.S. in Mathematics at Caltech before coming to Berkeley.  She was president of the student organization Women in Computer Science and Engineering (WICSE) in 1985 before dropping out.  After conquering her fears, she returned to Berkeley to complete her dissertation, "Improving Aviation Safety with Information Visualization:  Airflow Hazard Display for Helicopter Pilots," in 2004.  Aragon then spent nine years at the NASA Ames Research Center designing software for projects that included missions to Mars, before leaving to be a staff scientist/visiting faculty at LBNL for another 15 years. She then became the first Latina full professor at the University of Washington (UW), where has worked for the past ten years in the Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering, founding and co-directing the UW Data Science Masters Degree program.  Aragon was named Berkeley Computer Science Distinguished Alumna in 2013.  She co-authored a previous book, "Writers in the Secret Garden:  Fanfiction, Youth, and New Forms of Mentoring," released by MIT Press in 2019.

Tiffany Chien and Jason Zhou named 2021 Siebel Scholars

EECS 5th Yr Masters students Tiffany Chien and Jason Zhou have been selected for the Siebel Scholars Foundation class of 2021.   They are among 92 distinguished engineering students from the "world’s leading graduate schools of business, computer science, bioengineering, and energy science" to win Siebel Scholars awards this year,  including eight from UC Berkeley.  Siebel Scholars are chosen for their "outstanding academic achievement and demonstrated leadership."  Chien is building a flexible simulation framework for calcium neuron imaging, simulating the 3D physical sample and the lens-less imaging system, and Zhou is interested in swarm intelligence, deep learning and robotics; his research has applications toward defense and disaster relief.

Boubacar Kanté wins 2020 Moore Inventor Fellowship

EECS Associate Prof. Boubacar Kanté has been selected by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation to be among its 2020 cohort of Moore Inventor Fellows. The fellowship supports "scientist-inventors who create new tools and technologies with a high potential" to accelerate progress in scientific discovery, environmental conservation and patient care.  Kanté's pioneering work in quantum topological optics includes the invention of the world’s first topological light sources and lasers.   The award will total $825,000 over three years to fund the invention of a new quantum platform that will develop compact sources for robust and energy efficient computing, sensing and imaging using light.

Ana Claudia Arias to participate in new $20M AI food systems research institute

EECS Prof. Ana Claudia Arias has been selected to participate in a new food systems research institute funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF),  US Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).  The award of $20M over five years will aim to improve US food systems to address issues such as pandemic-driven food system security and safety; improving crop yield, quality and nutrition; decreasing energy and water resource consumption; and increasing production and eliminating food waste.  The objective of the new USDA-NIFA Institute for Artificial Intelligence for Next-Generation Food Systems (AIFS) will focus on the creation of digital replicas of complex food systems, so-called “digital twins,” which can be safely manipulated and optimized in a virtual world and deployed in the physical world afterwards, reducing costs of experiments and accelerating development of new technologies.  A team of ten researchers from the UC Berkeley Next Generation Food Systems Center will combine forces with researchers from five other institutions including UC Davis, Cornell, UIUC, UC ANR, and the USDA, to staff the new center.

Michael Jordan and the implications of algorithmic thinking

CS Prof. Michael I. Jordan is featured in This Week in Machine Learning & AI (TWIML AI) Podcast episode #407 titled "What are the Implications of Algorithmic Thinking? with Michael I. Jordan."   He discusses his current exploration into the intersection of economics and AI, and how machine learning systems could be used to create value and empowerment across many industries through “markets.”  The interview also touches on the potential of “interacting learning systems” at scale, the valuation of data, and the commoditization of human knowledge into computational systems.  Jordan's career, and the ways it has been influenced by other fields like philosophy, is also explored.  Jordan received the 2020 IEEE John von Neumann Medal for "outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology" earlier this year.

John Davis to participate in BESAC panel on "Black in STEM - in the face of two pandemics"

EECS alumnus John S. Davis II (Ph.D. '00, advisor: Edward Lee) will be participating in the Black Engineering and Science Alumni Club (BESAC)'s homecoming week panel on "Black in STEM -  in the face of two pandemics."  This virtual moderated panel, which will be held on October 17th,  will discuss the impact that both the CoVID-19 pandemic and the events underlying the Black Lives Matter movement have had on the Black community.   Davis is a senior privacy engineer at Google where he has published work to aid CoVID-19 researchers in datamining symptom search terms in Google while simultaneously protecting user privacy.  He joined Google in 2019 after eight years as a senior information scientist at the Rand Corporation, and seven years as a staff researcher at IBM’s Watson Research Center.  The panel will discuss topics ranging from engineering projects by UC Berkeley alumni and faculty to meet the moment of the CoVID-19 pandemic, efforts to address the disparate effects of CoVID-19 on the Black community, and wide-ranging initiatives to redress the impacts of systemic racism.   Registration is required to receive the Zoom log-in.

Dan Garcia in his home studio

Dan Garcia's creative video lessons keep students engaged

CS Teaching Prof. Dan Garcia is featured in NBC Bay Area for his innovative teaching style which keep his students engaged in online learning.  He has "transformed his mancave into a studio," where he films and edits his creative virtual lessons, and then uploads them for students to watch.  Known for rapping his own lyrics to songs from the musical Hamilton in giant lecture halls, Garcia has adapted to using a green screen to film and edit his one hour video lessons, incorporating a variety of voices.  His extra efforts have been lauded by students stuck in their rooms during the fall semester.

Gitanjali Swamy is one of the most Influential Indian Women in Technology in 2020

EECS alumna Gitanjali Swamy (Ph.D. '96, advisor: Robert Brayton) has been named one of the most Influential Women in Technology in 2020 by India's Analytics Insight magazine.   She was recognized for "helping enterprises realize their potential through the 'Innovation of Things (IoT).'"  Swamy is the Managing Partner of IoTask, which provides consulting and other advisory services (including a complete methodological guide at the policy and business-planning stage) in areas like Internet of Things, Mobile, and Analytics. She focuses on innovation for environmental, social, governance (ESG) and public-private projects.  Swamy also currently serves as the representative to the EQUALS Coalition of the United Nations, where she chairs the Gender Equitable Investment Working Committee, Research Fellow, and Director at Harvard’s Private Capital Research Institute and the Co-founder of UC Berkeley’s Witi@UC Initiative.  She has founded, built and was Board Director for a number of innovation enterprises, for which she led investment execution from seed stage to over US$1 billion. She was also involved in the formation of MIT’s Opencourseware, the Auto-ID consortium, and the MIT Engine investment vehicle, and has held operating roles at MathWorks and Mentor Graphics.