research

Tsu-Jae King Liu and Katherine Yelick elected to the NAE

Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu and Prof. Katherine Yelick have been elected to the National Academy of Engineers (NAE).  Election to membership in the NAE is among the highest forms of recognition of notable accomplishments in engineering. Prof. King Liu was recognized for "contributions to the fin field effect transistor (FinFET) and its application to nanometer complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology," and Prof. Yelick was recognized for "software innovation and leadership in high-performance computing."

Five EECS faculty among investigators awarded $14.5 million by CZ Biohub

Prof. Michel Maharbiz, Prof. Yun Song, Associate Prof. Laura Waller, Assistant Prof. Rikky Muller, and Assistant Prof. Nir Yosef are among the  thirteen UC Berkeley faculty chosen to receive up to $1.5 million each over the next five years by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.   The investigator awards are the first individual grants by the CZ Biohub as it seeks to foster unconventional scientific exploration and encourage researchers to invent new tools to accelerate the pace of discovery.  “I am humbled and speechless,” said Prof. Maharbiz. “This is an ambitious endeavor and I can’t wait to get started and be part of it. I really do believe we, collectively, can make a big impact on diseases over the next decade, and I’m really excited to be a part of this.”

The Sharing Economy for the Smart Grid

On February 14th, Prof. Kameshwar Poollawill lead a Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC) webinar titled "The Sharing Economy for the Smart Grid."  Funded by the DOE, this free, public webinar will explore sharing economy opportunities in the electricity sector.  The presentation will also discuss control technology platforms necessary for the physical exchange of power, and market platforms necessary to trade electricity storage.

Nexar Hires Professor Trevor Darrell as Chief Scientist

Professor in Residence Trevor Darrell has been hired as Chief Scientist at Nexar, the world's first over-the-top vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network that turns smartphones into Artificial Intelligence Dashcams.  In parallel to his work in EECS, Darrell will lead research in the area of machine vision deep learning and vehicle path prediction, including leveraging the company's pool of rare large-scale driving data sets that contain video and telemetry of a variety of real-world driving environments to develop automotive applications.

When Will the Robots Rebel?

Associate Prof. Pieter Abbeel and the Robot Learning Lab are profiled in a comprehensive article for Datamation titled "Artificial Intelligence: When Will the Robots Rebel?"  The article covers the foundational tools of AI, like machine learning, and delves into subjects like the human desire to replicate itself, the singularity, and the possibility of robot rebellion.  It also looks at the ways AI currently impacts our lives and how it might change our future.

EECS faculty participate in Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation Hub

Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy, Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan, Prof. Ken Goldberg, and Dean Shankar Sastry are members of a Berkeley team participating in a new $253 million national consortium, the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub, led by the Department of Defense.  The ARM consortium, which has academic and industrial partners in 31 states, is organizing domestic capabilities in robotics technology to amplify U.S. manufacturing.  According to an article in Berkeley Engineering titled "Berkeley a regional center in new robotics manufacturing consortium," the Berkeley team is focussing on hybrid robotics, co-robotics, and assessing the environmental and resource issues associated with robotics manufacturing technology.

RISELab Kicks Off

The CS Division has launched RISELab (Real-time Intelligence with Secure Execution Laboratory), the latest in its series of five-year intensive research labs in computer science. RISELab’s mission is to improve how machines make intelligent decisions based on real-time input.  It is the successor of AMPLab,  a pioneering Big Data effort, which launched widely used open source projects including Apache Spark, Apache Mesos and Alluxio.  RISELab is supported by sponsors that include Amazon Web Services, Ant Financial, Capital One, Ericsson, GE Digital, Google, Huawei, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and VMWare.

Leslie Field develops technology to deal with climate change

EECS alumna Leslie Field (M.S. ’88, Ph.D. ’91) is featured in a Berkeley Engineering news article titled “One big reflective band-aid”. After watching Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth” in 2006, Field was inspired to develop a technology to deal with climate change. The following year she began testing ideas to increase the reflective capacity of ice in a small lake in the Sierra Nevada and founded Ice911, a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing systems to be deployed on the planet’s receding ice sheets.

Tobias Boelter finds vulnerability in WhatsApp

Computer Science graduate student Tobias Boelter has found a security loophole in the popular messaging app WhatsApp that could allow encrypted messages to be read and  intercepted.  Facebook, which acquired WhatsApp in 2014, had emphasized security and end-to-end encryption as a primary selling point.  This flaw may be an inadvertent error or a deliberate backdoor.  Tobias writes "Facebook does not deny that there is a vulnerability that can be used to 'wiretap' targeted conversations by, for example, governments with access to WhatsApp’s servers. And despite WhatsApp’s recent public statements, the vulnerability cannot be avoided by verifying fingerprints or checking a checkbox in the WhatsApp settings."

The search is on for interim dean of new Division of Data Science

Although it is too early to know the candidates, interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ has announced that a member of faculty will be appointed interim dean of the new Division of Data Science at UC Berkeley.   Cathryn Carson, co-chair of the faculty advisory board, said the appointment of an interim dean is an important initial step in advancing the research and education of data science on campus.  CS Prof. David Culler said UC Berkeley has already been developing the foundations of the new field, which lies at the intersection of computer science and statistics.  Culler said the purpose of the new division is not only to distinguish the field with importance but also to integrate data science with all other divisions in the school. He added that the faculty advisory board hopes to include the division in the College of Letters and Sciences as well as the College of Engineering and that the position will give data science “a seat at the table” when deans are discussing on-campus issues.