students

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Hannah Joo receives Brooke Owens Fellowship

Hannah Joo, an undergraduate student studying computer science and cognitive science at Berkeley, has won a Brooke Owens Fellowship. Along with 47 undergraduate women and gender minorities from all over the world, Hannah will receive “space and aviation internships, senior mentorships, and a lifelong professional network.” In her freshman year, Hannah joined Space Enterprise at Berkeley, a student-run rocket team. With limited engineering and coding experience, she found her passion at the intersection of avionics and computer science, culminating in a summer internship with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory last year. Now in her 3rd-year, Hannah will intern with SpaceX. The Brooke Owens Fellowship was founded in 2016 to honor the memory of D. Brooke Owens, a beloved industry pioneer, and accomplished pilot, who passed away at age 35 after battling cancer.

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Yicheng Zhu wins NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship

EECS Ph.D. student Yicheng Zhu (advisor: Robert Pilawa-Podgurski) has won an NVIDIA Graduate Fellowship. Zhu, whose research interests include enabling technologies for high-performance electric power conversion, is one of five recipients of the fellowship, which awards up to $50,000 to each recipient in support of research in areas such as accelerated computing, with fellows tackling projects in deep learning, robotics, computer vision, computer graphics, circuits, autonomous vehicles, and programming systems. Awardees are selected from a highly competitive, global applicant pool and will participate in a summer internship with NVIDIA. Spanning 22 years, NVIDIA has awarded $6 million to nearly 200 students to support graduate research. “Our fellowship recipients are among the most talented graduate students in the world,” said NVIDIA Chief Scientist Bill Dally. “They’re working on some of the most important problems in computer science, and we’re delighted to support their research.” Zhu’s research will explore extreme-performance hybrid switched-capacitor voltage regulation modules for ultra-high-power GPUs, which enables highly efficient and ultra-compact vertical power delivery with fast transient response.

EECS grads students pose by the finished artwork.

EECS graduate students turn e-waste into art

EECS graduate students use leftover printed circuit boards (PCBs) to create art. The result is a beautiful Cal EECS bear in Berkeley blue, centered over the letters E-E-C-S in green, all made up of PCBs, on a towering six by seven plywood base held together by very-high-bond (VHB) double-sided tape. Rahul Iyer, an EECS Ph.D. student advised by EE Prof. Pilawa-Podgurski, had the idea over Thanksgiving break to make use of what would otherwise be e-waste. With the help of Rod Bayliss III, Maggie Blackwell, Sahana Krishnan and Nathan Brooks, all Ph.D. students advised by Pilawa, they set out to repurpose the leftover PCBs, first by printing the silhouette of the Cal bear on a mounting board, tracing the outline of the bear, and then using VHB to tape the PCBs onto the mounting board, filling in the outline. “It was a great bonding activity over Thanksgiving break, especially recollecting projects and past memories when we came across some of the boards,” said Rahul. “I’m so glad I had an opportunity to share in this creative endeavor with my peers. Looking forward to another project in a few years when we collect more PCBs!”

An illustration of Alishba Imran by Mar Bertran
Illustration by Mar Bertran

Alishba Imran named in Teen Vogue’s 21 under 21

Alishba Imran, a 1st-year undergraduate student studying computer science, was named in Teen Vogue’s 21 under 21. The list recognizes those “who have made a substantial impact in both their communities and the world.” Imran, an undergraduate researcher in CS Prof. Ken Goldberg’s AUTOLab, focuses her work on using machine learning to solve real-world problems, like tracking counterfeit medication in the supply chain or using machine learning and physics to develop renewable energy storage devices. “I think the best things to work on are at the intersection of what you're good at, what you enjoy, and are a way for you to create value for the world,” said Imran.

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Fred Zhang wins Best Student Paper at SODA 2023

Theory Ph.D. student Fred Zhang (advisor: Jelani Nelson) has won the Best Student Paper Award at ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms (SODA) 2023. The paper titled, “Online Prediction in Sub-linear Space'' was co-authored by Binghui Peng of Columbia University. The ACM-SIAM Symposium on Discrete Algorithms, or “SODA,” conference showcases “research topics related to design and analysis of efficient algorithms and data structures for discrete problems.” 

Berkeley EECS continues to compete in US News & World Report rankings

Once again Berkeley Electrical Engineering ranked #1, and Computer Engineering ranked #2, in the 2022 US News and World Report graduate school rankings. EE tied with MIT and Stanford as the top graduate Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering program in the nation, while Computer Engineering tied in second place with Stanford after MIT. The tuition for both Master’s programs at MIT and Stanford cost over $55.5K annually, while Berkeley's costs $11.4K in-state and $26.5 out-of-state per year. Berkeley was ranked as the third best Engineering school overall.

95 Female-identifying first year students hold an ice cream social with CS advisors in the Cory Hall courtyard

CS Kickstart thrives amid return to in-person outreach

Now in its 11th consecutive year, CS Kickstart held its one-week computer science immersion program earlier this month, ushering in over 95 attendees to the program, a record turnout. The program is designed to introduce female-identifying first-year students to computer science at Berkeley and aims to add more diversity to the field. Completely student-run, they host workshops in Python, web development, electrical engineering, and data science; panel discussions featuring current Ph.D. students and faculty speakers like CS Prof. John DeNero;  field trips, like a community-building experience with the Oakland Athletics, and tours, panels, and Q&A sessions with industry partners, such as SAP Academy and Stitch Fix. “It was amazing to see CS Kickstart held in person again this year and with more students than in previous years!” said EECS Director of Student Diversity, Audrey Sillers.

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Laura Waller balances work, life, research, and family in a feature by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

EECS Prof. Laura Waller is the subject of a feature by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative titled, “A Day in the Life of an Imaging Scientist: Laura Waller.” In it, Prof. Waller describes her day-to-day while she juggles raising a family, cultivating creativity and collaboration in her labs, and mentoring her graduate students through the pandemic. Waller is known for her work in computational imaging. In 2021, she was elected a Fellow of The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for her work in computational microscopy. In the same year, she won the Adolph Lomb Medal presented by Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America). “I really love this field, because it’s very creative. There are new ideas and new things to think about all the time, but it’s also grounded in real applications.”

CS Grad Xin Lyu

Xin Lyu wins CCC 2022 Best Student Paper Award

CS graduate student Xin Lyu (advisors: Jelani Nelson and Avishay Tal) has won the Best Student Paper Award at the Computational Complexity Conference (CCC) 2022. The solo-authored paper titled “Improve Pseudorandom Generators for AC^0 Circuits” was one of two co-winners of the Best Student Paper Award at CCC, which is an annual conference on the inherent difficulty of computational problems in terms of the resources they require. Organized by the Computational Complexity Foundation, CCC is the premier specialized publication venue for research in complexity theory.

Rod Bayliss and Vivek Nair win 2022 Hertz Fellowships

EECS graduate students Roderick Bayliss III (advisor: Robert Pilawa-Podgurski) and Vivek Nair (advisor: Dawn Song) have been selected to receive 2022 Hertz Fellowships.  One of the most prestigious awards of its kind, Hertz Fellowships support PhD students whose research show "the greatest potential to tackle society's most urgent problems." Bayliss is developing more efficient and power-dense types of power converters—devices that change the current, voltage or frequency of electrical energy—and inductors, which store energy, to help reduce the world’s dependence on fossil fuels. He earned his B.S. and M.Eng. in Electrical Engineering from MIT.  Nair is developing cutting-edge cryptographic techniques to defend digital infrastructure against sophisticated cyberthreats. He was the youngest-ever recipient of a B.A. and Master's in computer science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and is the founder of Multifactor.com.  Their fellowships will fund up to five years of graduate research with "the freedom to pursue innovative ideas wherever they may lead."  Hertz Fellows also receive lifelong professional support, including mentoring and networking with a powerful community of more than 1,200 researchers.