Jelani Nelson wins ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award

CS Professor Jelani Nelson has won the ACM Eugene L. Lawler Award for Humanitarian Contributions within Computer Science and Informatics. The biannual award is given to those who have made a “significant contribution through the use of computing technology.” Nelson is cited “for founding and developing AddisCoder, a nonprofit organization which teaches programming to underserved students from all over Ethiopia.” Founded in 2011, the program began as a free intensive summer program for high school students. The program’s student body is 40% female and includes students from each of the 11 regions of Ethiopia. AddisCoder alums have matriculated into top universities, including Harvard, MIT, and Princeton, and have joined companies like Google.


Shafi Goldwasser named Fellow of the Royal Society

CS Professor Shafi Goldwasser has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society, the UK’s national academy of sciences. Goldwasser joins a cohort of eighty researchers, innovators and communicators from around the world as the newest Fellows of the Royal Society. Fellows are selected “for their substantial contributions to the advancement of science … ” Goldwasser is known for her seminal work in cryptography, for which she won the Turing Award in 2012. Foreign Members of the Royal Society join the ranks of Stephen Hawking, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, Albert Einstein, Lise Meitner, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar and Dorothy Hodgkin.


Stuart Russell wins ACM’s AAAI Allen Newell Award

CS Professor Stuart Russell has won the AAAI Allen Newell Award from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). The award is given to individuals who have made significant contributions to the field of artificial intelligence. Russell was cited “for a series of foundational contributions to Artificial Intelligence, spanning a wide range of areas such as logical and probabilistic reasoning, knowledge representation, machine learning, reinforcement learning, and the ethics of AI.” His 1995 textbook with Peter Norvig, “Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach” is considered the most popular textbook on the subject. Russell received the IJCAI Award for Research Excellence in 2022, and in 2021 he was named an Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. He is an ACM Fellow, and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI), respectively.


Gireeja Ranade and Sophia Shao win NSF CAREER Awards

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded two EECS assistant professors, Gireeja Ranade and Sophia Shao, with Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards. The awards are part of NSF's prestigious CAREER Program, which supports early-career faculty “who have the potential to serve as academic role models” and leaders in their field. Ranade received a grant of $422,181 to explore new non-linear control strategies, while Shao received a grant of $600,000 to fund her work on improving the performance of computing platforms.

William Kahan raising a glass in celebration of IEEE Standard 754
(Photo: Berkeley EECS)

IEEE Standard 754 Milestone Dedication honors William Kahan

A dedication ceremony was held to honor EECS Emeritus Professor William Kahan for his contribution to the development of IEEE Standard 754. The ceremony, which took place on Wednesday, May 3rd, included remarks from Dean Liu, Chair Tomlin, and CS Professor Jim Demmel. A new commemorative plaque was unveiled in Soda Hall, next to the IEEE plaque that celebrates Berkeley EECS’ contribution to RISC. The new plaque celebrates Kahan and others’ work in the development of IEEE Standard 754, which was originally conceived in 1978. Kahan and his colleagues revolutionized numerical computing, creating arithmetic and standard data types that improved software reliability and portability. The IEEE 754 standard is widely used for numerical computing and is still being improved today.


Gireeja Ranade honored for outstanding mentorship of GSIs

EECS Teaching Professor Gireeja Ranade has received the Faculty Award for Outstanding Mentorship of GSIs. The annual award, which is sponsored by the Graduate Council’s Advisory Committee for GSI Affairs and the GSI Teaching & Resource Center, recognizes faculty who have provided GSIs outstanding teaching and pedagogical mentorship at Berkeley and in preparing for teaching in future careers.


Berkeley EECS graduate programs lead US News Rankings

The U.S. News & World Report ranked both the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science graduate programs at Berkeley EECS among the top three graduate programs in the nation for 2023. Computer Science is ranked #1, tied with MIT and Stanford. Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering are ranked #2, tied with Stanford. The magazine based its rankings on responses from 202 engineering schools across the country, including data from fall 2022 and early 2023. This year, U.S. News included non-responders from the 220 schools surveyed, so long as they reported enough data to be eligible in 2022.


Venkatesan Guruswami wins 2022 Guggenheim Fellowship

CS Professor Venkatesan Guruswami has won the 2023 Guggenheim Fellowship for his research proposal on mathematical computer science titled, “Mathematical Structure and Efficient Algorithms:  The Polymorphic Gateway.” The fellowship is awarded by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation on the basis of "prior achievement and exceptional promise." Professor Guruswami is a Chancellor’s Professor and a senior scientist at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. “I’m really delighted and grateful to be chosen for this Fellowship, and honored to join its distinguished roster of past recipients,” said Guruswami.

Jelani Nelson receives ACM-SIGACT Distinguished Service Award

CS Professor Jelani Nelson has won the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group for Algorithms and Computation Theory (ACM-SIGACT) Distinguished Service Award. Nelson was cited “for outstanding contributions to broadening participation in computer science, and in theoretical computer science in particular.” Awarded annually, the SIGACT Distinguished Service Award is given to those who have made "substantial contributions to the Theoretical Computer Science community.” Nelson founded AddisCoder, a summer program that aims to introduce high school students in developing countries to the fundamentals of computational thinking. The program, which began in Ethiopia, has educated more than 500 students and has recently extended to Jamaica. Nelson also co-founded the David Harold Blackwell Summer Research Institute, whose internship opportunities serve undergraduates across the U.S. with the goal of increasing African American students that pursue graduate studies in mathematical sciences.

A diptych of the best prize recipients. Left: Nathan Brooks presenting; Right: the remaining authors posing for a photo at SPEC 2022
Left to right: Nathan Brooks, Samantha Coday, Rose Abramson, Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, Nathan Ellis, and Margaret Blackwell

EECS Grads win IEEE COMPEL Best Paper Award

Graduate students Nathan Brooks, Samantha Coday, Maggie Blackwell, Rose Abramson, and post-doc Nathan Ellis have won the IEEE COMPEL Best Paper Award for their paper, "Operation of Flying Capacitor Multilevel Converters At and Above Resonance." The paper was presented at the 23rd IEEE Workshop on Control and Modeling for Power Electronics (COMPEL), which took place in Tel Aviv, Israel. COMPEL is the premier conference on the latest advances in modeling, simulation, analysis, and control of power electronics devices, circuits and systems. The criteria for the award are based on the quality of the technical results, write-up, and presentation. The paper describes a new method for operating flying capacitor multilevel converters at and above resonance, which has proven to be more efficient and with better performance than existing methods. In addition to the best paper award, the group, advised by Professor Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, organized and presented a tutorial at the IEEE 7th Southern Power Electronics Conference (SPEC) in December 2022.