ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award

Paper by Koushik Sen wins ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award

The paper titled "CUTE: a concolic unit testing engine for C", authored by Prof. Koushik Sen (EECS), Darko Marinov (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Gul Agha (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) has been chosen to receive an ACM SIGSOFT (Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Software Engineering) Impact Paper Award. The award is given annually and “recognizes the breadth and vitality of the software engineering community."

Caroline Lemieux and Daniel Fried named 2019 Google PhD Fellows

CS graduate students Caroline Lemieux (adviser: Koushik Sen) and Daniel Fried (adviser: Daniel Klein) have won 2019 Google PhD Fellowships.  The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize outstanding graduate students doing exceptional work in computer science and related research areas.  Fellowships are awarded to students who "represent the future of research" in those fields. Lemieux, who won in the field of Programming Technology and Software Engineering, has interests which center around improving, or helping developers to improve, the correctness, reliability, and understanding of software systems.  Fried, who won in the Natural Language Processing category,  is interested in grounding language in perception and interaction, and in structured prediction.

Mendel Rosenblum wins Inaugural ACM Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award

CS alumnus Mendel Rosenblum (MS '89/PhD '92) has been honored with the inaugural ACM Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award.  Rosenblum, who is currently a professor at Stanford, is being recognized "for reinventing the virtual machine for the modern era and thereby revolutionizing datacenters and enabling modern cloud computing."   He is a co-founder of VMware,  where helped design and build virtualization technology for commodity computing platforms.  The Breakthrough in Computing Award "recognizes individuals or groups who have made surprising, disruptive, or leapfrog contributions to computing ideas or technologies." Rosenblum will formally receive the award at ACM’s annual Awards Banquet in June.

UC Berkeley undergraduates launch soundproof karaoke pod startup

A team of three undergraduates, including EECS junior Aayush Tyagi, launched Oki Karaoke in September 2018 — a startup that aims to bring Asia’s soundproof karaoke pods to the United States. The startup is currently working to install its first booth, which will operate by charging customers by the minute, in Westfield San Francisco Centre in mid- to late June. “The new format of karaoke that we bring, namely the more intimate and spontaneous experience of a booth, makes karaoke more palatable for the American market, where privacy is a bigger concern,” said co-founder Noha Adriany.

ECE Distinguished Alumni

Professor Constance Chang-Hasnain wins UC Davis ECE Distinguished Alumni Award

The Electrical and Computer Engineering department (ECE) at UC Davis has awarded Prof. Constance Chang-Hasnain with the ECE Distinguished Alumni Award. The award recognizes outstanding alumni “whose professional and personal achievements bring special honor to the department.” In 2018, in addition to being elected as the Vice-President of Optical Society of America, Prof. “Connie” Chang-Hasnain was also inducted as a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and was a recipient of the prestigious Okawa Prize, “for pioneering and outstanding research of VCSEL photonics through the development of their novel functions for optical communications and optical sensing.”

2019 American Academy of Arts and Sciences Member

Claire Tomlin elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Professor Claire Tomlin (Ph.D. ‘98) has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The academy is one of the oldest learned societies in the United States and serves the nation as a champion of scholarship, civil dialogue and useful knowledge. Members are nominated and elected by peers, and membership has been considered a high honor of scholarly and societal merit ever since the academy was founded in 1780. Professor Tomlin was also inducted into the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) earlier this year, “For contributions to design tools for safety-focused control of cyberphysical systems.” In 2017, she won the IEEE Transportation Technologies Award.

Nolan Pokpongkiat wins third place David L. Kirp Prize

Third-year Computer Science undergraduate Nolan Pokpongkiat is the third place winner of the KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize, funded by the U.C. Berkeley Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.  The prize recognizes "students who have developed innovative strategies to increase opportunities for children and youth, as well as students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the future of children and youth."  Pokpongkiat co-founded Helix, a non-profit organization with the goal of diversifying the healthcare field by empowering young people to pursue futures in medicine. As Managing Director, Nolan brought together a team to design a month-long summer program where high school students spend a week living at UC Berkeley training in basic clinical skills, getting CPR-certified, and learning about possible healthcare careers. Then, through partnerships with UCSF Health, John Muir Health, and Kaiser Permanente, along with a network of over 160 medical professionals, students rotate through shadowing placements in the hospital, on the ambulance, and in community clinics for the remainder of the month.

EECS department mourns the loss of Jean Paul Jacob and Elwyn Berlekamp

The EECS department lost two beloved faculty emeriti this month:  Jean Paul Jacob on April 7 and Elwyn Berlekamp on April 9.  Jacob was born in Brazil and spent a number of years working in industry before attending Berkeley (MS '65/PhD '66, advisor: Elijah Polak).  He was a world expert on Informatics and had a career at IBM that spanned over 40 years.  He returned to Berkeley as Faculty-in-Residence in 1971 where he actively promoted diversity initiatives and helped found the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) in 2001.  Jacob won the EE Distinguished Alumni award in 1992.  Berlekamp was known for his work in coding theory and was one of the founders of combinatorial game theory.  He co-invented  the Berlekamp-Welch algorithm (which finds the shortest linear feedback shift register for a given binary output sequence) and the Berlekamp-Massey algorithm (which is used to implement Reed–Solomon error correction).  He bought out the controlling interest in Axcom Trading Advisors in 1989 and vastly increased the returns after rewriting the trading algorithms: returns to all investors in 1990 exceeded 55%, net of all trading costs and performance fees. He sold his interest in Axcom in December 1990.

Meet Blue, the low-cost, human-friendly robot designed for AI

Meet Blue, a new low-cost, human-friendly robot conceived and built by a team of researchers led by CS Prof. Pieter Abbeel, postdoc Stephen McKinley, and grad student David Gealy. Blue was designed to use recent advances in AI and deep reinforcement learning to master intricate human tasks, all while remaining affordable and safe enough that every artificial intelligence researcher — and eventually every home — could have one.  “AI has done a lot for existing robots, but we wanted to design a robot that is right for AI,” Abbeel said. “Existing robots are too expensive, not safe around humans and similarly not safe around themselves – if they learn through trial and error, they will easily break themselves. We wanted to create a new robot that is right for the AI age rather than for the high-precision, sub-millimeter, factory automation age.”

Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli

Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli wins Physical Design Lifetime Achievement Award

Professor Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli has been awarded the 2019 International Symposium on Physical Design Lifetime Achievement Award. The ISPD Lifetime Achievement Award is the highest distinction in the field of physical design automation and is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the field over multiple decades. The purpose of the award is to recognize lifetime achievements and contributions in terms of research work, education, and professional service. Previous recipients of this award include former EECS Chair and COE Dean, Ernest S. Kuh.