Ruzena Bajcsy celebrated with bobblehead at 2018 Grace Hopper Conference

The life and career of EECS Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy were celebrated with a commemorative bobblehead doll in her image at the 2018 Grace Hopper Conference (GHC) in Houston, Texas, last week.  Bajcsy was recognized alongside Engineering and CS legends Grace Hopper, Annie Easley, and Mae Jemison by GHC sponsor Liberty Mutual Insurance.  Bajcsy is renowned for her innovations in robotics and computer vision, specifically the development of improved robotic perception and the creation of better methods to analyze medical images.  In addition to founding the General Robotics and Active Sensory Perception (GRASP) Laboratory at UPenn, she headed the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate from 1999–2001, with authority over a $500 million budget.

Elizaveta Tremsina places first in Tapia 2018 poster session

Undergraduate Elizaveta Tremsina, a member of the EECS Honors Program who is triple-majoring in CS, Physics and Applied Math, took first place in the Microsoft-sponsored student research poster competition at the 2018 ACM Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing.  Her project, titled "Your Story Recorded in a Magnet: Micromagnetic Simulations of Spin-Orbit Torque in Multi-layer Structures," was overseen by Prof. Sayeef Salahuddin.  She was part of one of the largest delegations of EECS students, staff, and faculty ever to participate in the Tapia conference,  known as the premier venue to acknowledge, promote and celebrate diversity in computing.   This year's conference, which was held last week in Orlando, Florida, promoted the theme "Diversity: Roots of Innovation."

Nico Deshler will present at Council on Undergraduate Research REU Symposium

Research undertaken by undergraduate student Nico Deshler will be presented at the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Symposium in Alexandria, VA, on October 28-29.   Deshler's project, "Multi-Sensor Arrays: Augmenting 3D Reconstruction Volumes for Mask-Based Computational Cameras," was done as part of the CS Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley (SUPERB) under the mentorship of Prof. Laura Waller and EECS PhD student, Kristina Monakhova.  The goal of the EECS SUPERB Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) program is to prepare and motivate diverse, competitive candidates for graduate study.

David Wang and Samantha Wathugala named 2019 Siebel Scholars

CS graduate students David Wang and Samantha Wathugala have been named to the Siebel Scholars Foundation’s 2019 class.  The Siebel Scholars program recognizes top students at the world’s leading graduate schools of bioengineering, business, computer science and energy science, and comes with a $35,000 award.  Wathugala applies state-of-the-art deep learning techniques to object detection, grasping and manipulation in an unstructured domain, using a toy-collecting robot.  Wang uses deep learning to build accurate, reliable systems for precision irrigation and autonomous driving.

Audrey Sillers wins Wil Zeilinger Staff Excellence Award

Director of Student Diversity and EECS Undergraduate Affairs, Audrey Sillers, is the recipient of the 2018 EECS/ERSO Wil Zeilinger Staff Excellence Award.  The Zeilinger Award is the most prestigious staff honor in the EECS department and is presented annually to the staff member who best embodies "a spririt of service cheerfully given for the general good."  Over the course of Audrey's 12 year career in EECS, she has worked her way up through 5 positions,  sharing her calm, focus, warmth and dedication with everyone she has encountered.  Among her many achievements is the creation of the EECS Wellness Committee, designed to find ways to help people feel more welcome, comfortable, and supported in the department. 

Blockchain’s Energy Web Foundation names Hervé Touati as first CEO

CS alumnus Hervé Touati (Ph.D. '90, advisor: Robert Brayton) has been named the first CEO of the Energy Web Foundation (EWF), a global nonprofit focused on "unleashing blockchain’s potential to accelerate the transition to a decentralized, democratized, decarbonized, and resilient energy system."  EWF, the world's largest energy blockchain consortium (with a  network of more than 70 affiliates), is building the shared, digital infrastructure—an open-source, scalable blockchain platform—specifically designed for the energy sector’s regulatory, operational, and market needs.  Touati, who comes to the EWF from Shell, is an energy industry veteran with more than two decades of executive-level experience.

Jun-Yan Zhu wins ACM SIGGRAPH Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award

CS alumnus Jun-Yan Zhu (Ph.D. '17, advisor: Alexei Efros) has won the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques (SIGGRAPH) Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award. Zhu is a pioneer in the use of modern machine learning in computer graphics. His dissertation is arguably the first to systematically attack the problem of natural image synthesis using deep neural networks. As such, his work has already had an enormous impact on the field, with several of his contributions, most notably CycleGAN, becoming widely-used tools not just for researchers in computer graphics and beyond, but also for visual artists.

Constantinos Daskalakis wins Rolf Nevanlinna Prize

CS alumnus Constantinos Daskalakis (Ph.D. '08, advisor: Christos Papadimitriou) has won the Rolf Nevanlinna Prize at the International Congress of Mathematicians, one of the highest awards in theoretical computer science.  Daskalakis, who is currently a professor at MIT,  was cited for his work on game theory and machine learning.  He is profiled in a Quanta Magazine article titled "A Poet of Computation Who Uncovers Distant Truths," that describes his fruitful time at Berkeley with Papadimitriou.

Ming Wu and Steven Conolly named Bakar Fellows

EECS Profs. Ming Wu and Steven Conolly been selected for the Bakar Fellows Program, which supports faculty working to apply scientific discoveries to real-world issues in the fields of engineering, computer science, chemistry and biological and physical sciences.  Wu's fellowship support will be used accelerate commercialization of his invention: a high-performing silicon photonic switch for data center networks.  Conolly's laboratory is developing a high-resolution three-dimensional imaging method, Magnetic Particle Imaging, which does not use any radiation and has unprecedented sensitivity.

Nancy Amato is first woman to lead UI computer science department

CS alumna Nancy Amato (M.S. '88, advisor: Manuel Blum) has been chosen to lead the highly ranked University of Illinois Department of Computer Science — the first woman to hold that position.  She will oversee a fast-growing department that has 80 faculty members and more than 2,400 students, plus 700 online, and is ranked fifth in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.  As a professor at Texas A&M, Amato's research focused on motion planning in robotics, parallel algorithms and bio-informatics.  She led an influential group within the Computing Research Association (CRA) to bring more women into the field and runs an undergraduate summer research program that matches students from underrepresented groups with faculty members. She received the CRA Habermann Award in 2014 for her efforts to involve more women and underrepresented minorities in computing research.