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.


Berkeley EECS to honor Joseph Gier with memorial sculpture

A community is defined by the heroes it chooses to celebrate. We invite you to join the EECS department in recognizing a previously overlooked hero, Berkeley EE Prof. Joseph T. Gier, the University of California's first tenured Black professor. Raised in Oakland by a single mother, Gier came to Berkeley as an undergraduate in 1930, and earned two degrees (B.S. ME '33 and M.Eng. '40) before becoming an EE lecturer in 1944, associate professor with tenure in 1952, and full professor in 1958. He was a world authority on thermal and luminous radiation, and an inventor of devices used in the early days of aerospace exploration and solar power harvesting.  He was also said to be an extraordinary teacher and role model during a period of deep national segregation and social unrest.  We have commissioned artist Dana King to create a bronze monument representing Gier and his contributions to ensure that his profound legacy is restored to the life of the Berkeley campus, and to permanently establish him as a mainstay in our cultural narrative.  We hope to raise $150K to fund the creation, installation and upkeep of the sculpture, which will be placed at the entrance of Blum Hall.

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.


Sophia Shao, Prabal Dutta, and Deepak Pathak win 2022 Okawa Foundation Research Grants

EECS Assistant Prof. Sophia Shao, Associate Prof. Prabal Dutta, and alumnus Deepak Pathak have won 2022 Okawa Foundation Research Grants. The Okawa Foundation for Information and Telecommunications recognizes "studies and analyses in the fields of information and telecommunications." Shao, whose research interests are in computer architecture, was awarded for her work on building domain-specific systems at scale. Dutta, whose research interests include energy-efficient cyber-physical systems and applications of sensor networks and Internet-of-things technology, was awarded for his work on a new kind of radio architecture, called “backsplatter,” and combining it with conventional radios. Pathak, who is now an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, was recognized for his work “Towards Continually Improving Robots in the Wild.” They comprise three of the seven U.S. recipients who were awarded $10,000 grants this year.

Prof. Bayen points to traffic congestion that has been smoothed by CIRCLES vehicles on an I-24 MOTION testbed monitor.

Alexandre Bayen leads massive AI traffic experiment

An interdisciplinary team of industry and academic researchers led by EECS Prof. Alexandre Bayen has completed its most ambitious real-time traffic experiment to date. The project was led by the CIRCLES Consortium, an effort led by UC Berkeley and Vanderbilt University, involving collaborators from five universities and multiple government agencies. The experiment tested 100 partially automated vehicles in real traffic with the aim of improving overall traffic flow. Operating out of a massive control center designed to monitor one section of I-14 in Nashville, TN, the researchers used AI to build on existing adaptive cruise control systems to smooth phantom jams collaboratively. Their results show a positive energy impact. “Driving is very intuitive. If there’s a gap in front of you, you accelerate. If someone brakes, you slow down. But it turns out that this very normal reaction can lead to stop-and-go traffic and energy inefficiency,” said Prof. Bayen. “That’s precisely what AI technology is able to fix—it can direct the vehicle to things that are not intuitive to humans, but are overall more efficient.” 


Dawn Song and David Wagner win ACM CCS Test-of-Time Award

CS Profs. Dawn Song and David Wagner have won the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control (SIGSAC) Test-of-Time Award. The 2011 paper titled, “Android Permissions Demystified,” by Felt, Chin, Hanna, Song and Wagner, was the first paper to examine real-world security issues in Android applications' use of permissions. The paper has been cited 1985 times and is still taught in graduate courses today. The award was presented at the ACM Conference on Computer and Communications Security (CCS), the flagship conference of the ACM SIGSAC, which took place in Los Angeles this year.


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.” 


Prabal Dutta wins 2022 ACM SenSys Test of Time Award

EECS Associate Prof. Prabal Dutta has won the 2022 ACM SenSys Test of Time Award. The paper by Dutta, Dawson-Haggerty (Ph.D. ‘14), Chen, Liang, and Terzis titled, “Design and Evaluation of a Versatile and Efficient Receiver-Initiated Link Layer for Low-Power Wireless,”  was recognized “for pioneering the use of synchronous transmissions in low-power protocols by exploiting their benefits at the MAC layer and pushing the limits of radio operation.” Established in 2014, the “ToTA” recognizes papers that are at least 10 years old and have demonstrated long-lasting impact on network embedded sensing system science and engineering. “It's a real testament that so much of the field traces its roots to Berkeley,” said Dutta.

Berkeley EECS mourns the loss of Dave Hodges

EECS Prof. Emeritus and alumnus David A. Hodges (M.S. 1961; Ph.D. 1966) passed away on November 13th. He was 85. A former engineering dean and EECS department chair, Prof. Hodges began his career at Bell Telephone Laboratories before joining the EECS faculty in 1970 where his pioneering contributions to the design of integrated circuit (IC) chips and use of silicon-based metal-oxide-semiconductor (MOS) technology challenged the conventional wisdom of the era. His landmark research led to the rapid development of devices, technologies, and standards that not only were instrumental to the growth of the semiconductor industry in Silicon Valley but continue to have a tremendous impact today. After 28 years of active service wherein he supervised 27 completed doctoral dissertations, 91 completed master's degrees, co-authored 3 books, 130 technical publications, and 6 patents, Prof. Hodges remained a stalwart of the department, mentoring and championing new faculty and shaping the department culture for decades to come. Prof. Hodges was a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the NAE. He won the IEEE Education Medal (1997), the Berkeley Citation (1998), and was inducted into the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame (2013). A tremendous teacher, collaborator, colleague, and mentor, Prof. Hodges will be dearly missed.