News

Katherine Yelick wins Outstanding Leadership in HPC Award

EECS Prof. Katherine Yelick was honored with an HPCwire Editor’s Choice Award for Outstanding Leadership in HPC at the 2019 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC19).  Yelick, who serves as the Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and who was the director of the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC)  from 2008 to 2012,  is widely recognized for her leadership in research to improve the programmability of high performance computing (HPC) through innovations to programming languages and runtime systems.  Her contributions to design and compiler research were key to the success of patrician global address space (PGAS) for expressing applications with irregular communication patterns on parallel machines, and she is well known for co-inventing the Unified Parallel-C and Titanium languages.

Hopper-Dean awards EECS department $2M for diversity initiatives

The Hopper-Dean Foundation has awarded the EECS department $2 million over two years to support diversity initiatives in computer science.  The gift follows the success of a $1M grant awarded by Hopper-Dean in 2016 to include and support more CS students from underrepresented groups at Berkeley.   The grant will fund initiatives targeting high school students (Beauty & Joy of Computing), community college students (Transfer-To-Excellence), 1st and 2nd year undergraduates (CS Kickstart, CS Scholars, CS Mentors), 2nd and 3rd year undergraduates (Teaching at Scale), and 1st year graduates (EECS Graduate Fellows).  These initiatives have shown real results.  In just the past two years, the number of women who graduated in CS and EECS majors increased by 47%, and the number of underrepresented minority students increased by 43%.  Over the past eight years, the number of women enrolled in the EECS graduate program has more than doubled and minority graduate students increased by more than 50%.

Mark McKelvin wins BEYA Most Promising Engineer in Industry Award

EECS  alumnus Mark Lee McKelvin Jr (M.S.  '05, Ph.D. '11, advisor: Alberto L. Sangiovanni-Vincentelli), has won the 2020 BEYA (Black Engineer of the Year Award) STEM Most Promising Engineer in Industry Award.  The award, which is sponsored by Career Communications Group (publisher of "US Black Engineer and Information Technology magazine") is considered among the most competitive awards in U.S. science, engineering and technology managament.  After graduating, McKelvin worked at Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a software systems engineer for five years before becoming an engineering specialist at the Aerospace Corporation. The award will be presented at the 34th BEYA STEM Conference in February 2020.

NTT Research partners with the Simons Institute

NTT Research has announced that it has entered into a three-year Industrial Partnership with the UC Berkeley Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing.  The partnership, which will extend from September  2019 through August  2021, will enable NTT Research’s Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab to join all Simons Institute events, invite select Simons program participants and fellows to one-day visits to NTT Research, and hold a dedicated desk in the Calvin Lab.  The Simons Institute brings the world’s top theoretical computer scientists together with the next generation of scholars to explore problems about the nature and limits of computation.

Ashwin Pananjady wins inaugual IMS Lawrence Brown PhD Student Award

EECS graduate student Ashwin Pananjady (advisors: Martin Wainwright and Thomas Courtade) is one of the three inaugural recipients of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award.  Pananjady, who studies fundamental problems spanning statistics, information theory, optimization, and machine learning, will present his research at a special invited session during the 2020 http://www.wc2020.org/ (WC2020), to be held in Seoul, Korea, next year.

CS cohort to lead Data Systems revolution at Berkeley

Recently hired Prof. Jelani Nelson and Assistant Profs. Raluca Ada Popa, Joseph Gonzalez,  Alvin Cheung, Aditya Parameswaran, and Natacha Crooks, have joined veteran Profs. Joseph Hellerstein and Ion Stoica to form a new cohort of faculty at Berkeley who will conduct academic research into systems to analyze and manage data.   The group, which also includes IEOR Assistant Prof. Barna Saha, will focus on diverse facets of data systems, from protecting data security, to developing systems for massively-scalable machine learning, to working with data distributed across the globe.  “Data systems have become the foundation not only of computer science, but of modern society.  And they are changing fast,” said Hellerstein. “This amazing new cohort is evidence of Berkeley’s commitment to drive diverse innovation and train the next generation of data systems engineers.”

Shruti Agarwal to participate on SMPTE Hollywood "deepfakes" panel

EECS graduate student Shruti Agarwal (advisor: Hany Farid) will participate in the November 19th meeting of the Hollywood Section of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) on the topic of "Digital Humans and Deepfakes: Creative Promise and Peril."  Agarwal, whose research is in the field of multimedia forensics, will be part of a panel that will describe the history of digital humans and deepfakes, the challenges involved in creating them convincingly, and if/how news and entertainment professionals can spot them.  The meeting will be held in tandem with the Radio, Television, Digital Newsroom Association (RTDNA).

Two EECS papers win 2019 ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards

Two papers co-authored by Berkeley EECS authors won ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards at the Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA) 2019.  "Duet: An Expressive Higher-Order Language and Linear Type System for Statically Enforcing Differential Privacy" co-authored by Prof. Dawn Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar), graduate student Lun Wang, undergraduate researcher Pranav Gaddamadugu, and alumni Neel Somani (CS B.A.  '19), Nikhil Sharma (EECS B.S. '18/M.S. '19),  and Alex Shan (CS B.A. '18), along with researchers in Vermont and Utah, and "Aroma: Code Recommendation via Structural Code Search" co-authored by Prof. Koushik Sen (along with authors at Facebook and UC Irvine), won two of the five honors awarded at the top programming language conference, part of the ACG SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) in October.  

Dawn Song is building a world where data privacy exists online

CS alumna and Prof. Down Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar) is the subject of a New York Times article titled "Building a World Where Data Privacy Exists Online."  One of the world’s foremost experts in computer security and trustworthy artificial intelligence, Song founded a startup called Oasis Labs to build a new platform based a paradigm in which people control their data and are compensated for its use by corporations.  She and her colleagues believe that by marrying specialized computer chips and blockchain technology, they can build a system that provides greater scalability and privacy protection.  This year, Song made the Wired25  list top 25 innovators as well as Inc.'s second annual Female Founders 100 list as a "Money Mover."

Berkeley to host Art + Nature Symposium this weekend

Design Innovation from Nature, a new collaboration among the Colleges of Environmental Design, Letters & Science, and Engineering at Berkeley, will be holding an Art + Nature Symposium co-hosted by the University of Tokyo this weekend, November 9-10, 2019.   The symposium will explore how biological models stimulate the curiosity of today’s designers and researchers, and will bring together various lectures by experts from the fields of art, architecture, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, robotics, and biology.  Two of the lectures will by EECS Profs. Ron Fearing and Robert Full.