industry

Recognition by and interaction with companies in the field.

The tale of Lester Mackey's pursuit of the Netflix Prize

In October 2006, Netflix announced "The Netflix Prize," a $1M competition where teams of programmers raced to make the Netflix recommendation engine 10% more accurate.  The nail-biting competition is profiled in an article for Thrilllist which prominently features participant and CS alumnus Lester Mackey (Ph.D. '12), then an undergraduate at Princeton.   "It was so much fun," he said. "The contest was structured so well. We had to learn so much to be competitive and I met so many people along the way."  The winners beat the second place team by only 20 minutes.   Mackey is now a researcher at Microsoft Research New England and an adjunct professor of Statistics at Stanford University.

Paul Jacobs is UC Berkeley's 2017 Alumnus of the Year

EECS alumnus Paul E. Jacobs (B.S. '84/M.S. '86/Ph.D. '89) has been named U.C. Berkeley's 2017 Alumnus of the Year.  After graduating from Berkeley, Paul rose up the ranks at Qualcomm, which had been co-founded by his father, and is currently serving as Executive Chairman.  He won the IEEE Weber Managerial Leadershiip Award in 2014 and the Distinguished Industry Leader Award in 2015.  Paul has donated millions of dollars to the College of Engineering and CITRIS, endowed an engineering professorship, served on a number of important University boards, and funded the creation of the eponymous Jacob's Hall.

UC Berkeley alumni are 2017's most wanted tech employees

According to an analysis by online recruiting company HiringSolved, UC Berkeley has the most undergraduate and graduate alumni hired by the 25 biggest Silicon Valley employers in 2017.  Using data from more than 10,000 public profiles for tech workers hired or promoted into new positions in 2016 and the first two months of 2017, the company determined that Berkeley alumni were hired more frequently than any other, followed by Stanford, CMU, and USC.  A Quartz Media article attributes some of that success to the close relationships our faculty and administrators have with Bay Area tech firms.  HiringSolved also determined which skills were the best indicators for getting entry-level jobs and the most likely job titles for new graduate applicants.

Sanjay Mehrotra is Micron's new President and CEO

Alumnus Sanjay Mehrotra (EECS B.S. '78/M.S. '80) has been named Micron's new President and CEO.  Mehrotra co-founded SanDisk in 1988 and led the company through several strategic acquisitions (including SMART Storage Systems, Fusion-io, Schooner, and FlashSoft, that helped transform the company from a component supplier into a systems provider) until WD purchased it for $19 billion in early 2015.  He  joined WD's board after the acquisition to help lead the integration of the two companies until he stepped down in February 2017.   He holds 70 patents in non-volatile memory design and flash memory systems.

Google TPUs are built for inference

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson co-authored and presented a report on Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) at a regional seminar of the National Academy of Engineering, held at the Computer History Museum in Menlo Park on April 5, 2017.   TPUs, which have been deployed in Google datacenters since 2015, are printed-circuit cards which are inserted into existing servers and act as co-processors tailored for neural-network calculations.  Prof. Patterson says that TPUs are "an order of magnitude faster than contemporary CPUs and GPUs" with an even larger relative performance per watt.  According to an article for the IEEE Spectrum, TPUs are "built for doing inference," having hardware that operates on 8-bit integers rather than the higher-precision floating-point numbers used in CPUs and GPUs.

Denis Yip named CEO of Digital China Holdings Limited

Alumnus Denis Shing Fai Yip (B.S. '90/M.S. '91) has been named Chief Executive Officer of Digital China Holdings Limited.  He will focus on integrating big data and cloud computing technologies into the company's global industrial system.  Mr. Yip has been involved with information management, software, and global sales and services in industry worldwide for 26 years.  He has been Global Senior Vice President and the President of Greater China of EMC since 2006 and was in charge of the overall business operations in mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. The business grew more than 8 times over the tenure of his EMC career and he was a key figure in the integration of DELL and EMC in the Greater China region.

Valerie Taylor named Director of Argonne National Lab’s Math & CS Division

Alumna Valerie Taylor (EE M.S. '86/Ph.D. '91) has been appointed the next director of the Mathematics and Computer Science (MCS) division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory.  Taylor has received numerous awards for distinguished research and leadership and authored or co-authored more than 100 papers in the area of high performance computing, with a focus on performance analysis and modeling of parallel scientific applications.  Argonne’s MCS Division produces next-generation technologies and software to tackle the challenges of big data generated by high-performance computing and large, experimental facilities.

Baiyu Chen awarded top prize at Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge

CS graduate student Baiyu Chen (advisor: Alexei Efros) and Anthony Barrs were awarded top prize and $50,000 for their design at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge.  Their idea, profiled in an article for Fortune, was to construct a "Hyperlane," or a single platform the size of four interstate lanes that would run parallel to pre-existing highways in order for self-driving cars to travel at high speeds with no chance of getting into a jam.

Startup Trifacta gives customers an intuitive, agile new way of working with data

Trifacta, a data wrangling startup co-founded by Prof. Joe Hellerstein (also company CSO and CS alumnus--M.S. '92), is one of the companies profiled by Computer Weekly in an article titled "Silicon Valley startups aim to make big data capture and prep slicker."  Customers of Trifacta, which specializes in sorting out data and getting it into shape for analysis, includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, PepsiCo, Walmart, and soon Google (Cloud Dataprep). Other CS alumni on the Trifacta team include co-founder and CXO Jeffrey Heer (B.S. '01/M.S. '04/Ph.D. '08) and Vice President of Products Wei Zheng (B.A. '99).  

Immerex Virtual Reality Lab coming soon to Cory Hall

Thanks to a generous gift from the entertainment virtual reality company Immerex, a new lab is being outfitted for Berkeley’s accelerating work in AR/VR – augmented reality and virtual reality. The new lab, which will be located in Cory Hall, will be named the Immerex Virtual Reality Lab and provide collaboration space for Berkeley faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Augmented Cognition.