News

Jose Carmena, Michel Maharbiz and Laura Waller selected to receive grants from federal government BRAIN Initiative

The research teams of Profs. Jose Carmena and Michel Maharbiz and Associate Prof. Laura Waller have been selected to receive grants from the federal governments Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative that started three years ago by President Barack Obama. Profs. Carmena and Maharbiz will receive $225K from the National Eye Institute to test newly developed wireless sensors, dubbed neural dust, to record activity in the central nervous system. Prof. Waller received $225K from the National Eye Institute and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke to develop compressive light field microscopy to optogenetically track neural activity.

professor ruzena bajcsy

Ruzena Bajcsy awarded NAE Simon Ramo Founders Award

Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy has been awarded the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Simon Ramo Founders Award. This award acknowledges outstanding professional, educational, and personal achievements to the benefit of society. Prof. Bajcsy has led pioneering research in electrical and computing engineering for nearly 50 years, and is honored for two groundbreaking contributions: active perception, the basic principle and methodology that combines sensing and perception with the control of sensors to build intelligent robots; and computational anatomy, the discipline that has enabled many exciting developments in medical imaging that have clinical and research applications. The impact of her work has spread far beyond the lab, spanning scientific, engineering, and health fields. Bajcsy has also been responsible for the establishment of significant institutions that promote STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) education. She is the second woman to receive the Simon Ramo Founders Award.

professor anca dragan

Anca Dragan named in Robohub’s list of “25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About”

Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan has been named in Robohub’s list of “25 Women in Robotics You Need to Know About”, a list compiled in celebration of Ada Lovelace Day. Addressing the lack of visibility of women in STEM (science, technology, engineering or math), Suw Charman-Anderson started Ada Lovelace Day (ALD) on October 11, 2009, a day internationally celebrating the achievements of women in these fields. Augusta Ada King-Noel, Countess of Lovelace was an English mathematician and writer chiefly know for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer called the “Analytical Engine”. Her notes on the engine include what is recognized as the first algorithm intended to be carried out by a machine, and as a result is often regarded as the first computer programmer.

Transistor with a working 1-nanometer gate.

Ali Javey featured in AAAS news article titled "Smallest. Transistor. Ever."

Prof. Ali Javey was featured in an AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) EurekAlert! news article titled “Smallest. Transistor. Ever. ”. The research team led by Prof. Javey at the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has created a transistor with a working 1-nanometer gate. A strand of human hair is about 50,000 nanometers thick.

Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu and Prof. Claire Tomlin

Tsu-Jae King Liu and Claire Tomlin receive CITRIS Athena Award

Professors Tsu-Jae King Liu and Claire Tomlin have been selected to receive the inaugural Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) Athena Awards for Women in Technology for Academic Leadership. This award was established to recognize the accomplishments of technology leaders and organizations fostering interest in computer science for the next generation of women and girls. Prof. King Liu was previously the Chair of EECS, Associate Dean for Research and Associate Dean for Academic Planning, and was elected to the Intel Board of Directors in July and named Vice Provost for Academic and Space Planning in September. For the past 2 years, Prof. Tomlin has developed and led a summer program for Girls in Engineering, which has served more than 200 students from 60 Bay Area schools. She is a pioneer in hybrid systems for collision avoidance and avionics safety, as well as applications in other domains such as military operations, business strategies, and power grid control.  She has won numerous awards and honors.

Prof. Eric Paulos

Eric Paulos engages in Living Room Light Exchange

Prof. Eric Paulos is featured in an East Bay Express article titled “Living Room Light Exchange Salon Series: Where Tech and Art Converge”. At the intersection of technology and art, the “Living Room Light Exchange” is a 2 year old salon series in which some 40 intellectual tech workers and artists gather in various living rooms for discussions in which art and tech are not assumed to be inherently opposed. Prof. Paulos gave a presentation about possibilities of technologies that function like works of art, such as "Energy Parasites:" toylike devices that stick onto busses, escalators, and public fountains, harvesting their energy for later uses, such as charging one's phone.

Looking at the Top in Tech: Virginia Smith

Grad student Virginia Smith has experienced periods where she felt somewhat isolated during her study of CS, a field that still has relatively few women. She recently joined forces with Ph.D. alumna Gitanjali Swamy and former Chair Tsu-Jae King Liu to form a round table of influential women in tech to think about how to increase diversity at the top levels. She has also written an article about this work.  Read about Virginia's experiences and endeavors.

Prof. Bjorn Hartmann

Björn Hartmann appointed Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation (JIDI)

Prof. Björn Hartmann, whose research in Human-Computer Interaction focuses on the creation and evaluation of user interface design tools, end-user programming environments, and crowdsourcing systems, has been appointed Director of the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation (JIDI). JIDI is UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary hub for learning and making at the intersection of design and technology, extending broadly across campus, serving as a hub where engineers, artists, and makers of all kinds can gather and collaborate.

Sergey Levine, Wei Gao, Alex Hegyi and Oriol Vinayls named Top Innovators Under 35

Assistant Prof. Sergey Levine (former postdoc of Associate Prof. Pieter Abbeel), Wei Gao (postdoc with Prof. Ali Javey), and alumni Alex Hegyi (EECS M.S. ' 12/Ph.D.  '13) and Oriol Vinayls (Ph.D. EECS '13) made the MIT Technology Review's 2016 list of 35 Top Innovators Under 35. One of Prof. Levine’s projects is to improve motor control of robotic hands, allowing the robot to observe its own tasks and engineer its behavior to perform the tasks correctly. He is also interested in using deep learning to train autonomous drones and vehicles. Wei Gao published a major paper with Javey on the wearable sweat sensor in January that received global attention. Alex Hegyi, now at Xerox PARC in Palo Alto has developed a camera that records parts of the spectrum of light that you can’t see. Oriol Vinyals, now at Google DeepMind in London is working to create computers that can teach themselves how to play and win complex games—not by hard-coding the rules but by enabling them to learn from experience.

Berkeley EECS at 2016 ACM Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference

Last week 18 undergraduates, three graduate students, two faculty, and four staff from UC Berkeley’s EECS Department attended the 2016 ACM Richard Tapia Diversity in Computing Conference in Austin, Texas.  In addition to making new connections with diversity leaders in academia and industry, Berkeley EECS participants reconnected with several EECS alumni: Jeffrey Forbes (Associate Dean at Duke University), Beth Trushkowsky (Assistant Professor at Harvey Mudd College), Valerie Taylor (Associate Dean at Texas A & M), and Hakim Weatherspoon (Associate Professor at Cornell). Teaching Professor Dan Garcia co-led a birds-of-a-feather session for Hispanics in Computing, and was a panelist on a session titled “Engaging Students of Color in Computer Science", which reflected on the department's recent efforts to broaden participation in computing.  *Dr. Raquel Romano of Google, and former LBL Postdoc, delivered a Keynote on "Redefining Inclusion: Technology as an Act of Service." *  EECS Director of Diversity Tiffany Reardon presented a poster highlighting the department’s support of women in undergraduate computing.  A highlight of the conference for many of us was seeing David Patterson receive the Richard Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing.  For years Professor Patterson has been an ardent supporter of the Tapia Conference as past Conference Chair, serving on the steering committee and funding large UC Berkeley contingents to attend the event. Well deserved, Dave! Berkeley students and faculty have attended every Tapia conference since the first one, in 2001.