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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.” 

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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.

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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.” 

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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.

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Sophia Shao wins Intel Rising Star Award

EECS Assistant Prof. Sophia Shao is among the 15 recipients of the Intel Rising Star Award this year. Awarded annually, the Intel Rising Star Award (RSA) program supports early-career faculty whose research is groundbreaking and demonstrates the potential to disrupt industries. Recipients are chosen for “innovative teaching methods and for increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science and engineering.” Prof. Shao’s research focuses on improving the scalability, efficiency, and programmability of heterogeneous platforms from edge devices to data centers. In collaboration with senior technical leaders at Intel, Prof. Shao plans to explore the intersection of architectural prototyping, algorithm development, and programming support for heterogeneous accelerators: “As we enter the golden age of computer architecture, there are tremendous opportunities to innovate across the stack in the hardware community. I'm excited to work with our students, faculty members, and industry collaborators to build novel systems together!" said Shao. 

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New institute combines machine learning and chemistry to tackle climate change

The Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet (BIDMaP), led by Chemistry Prof. Omar M. Yaghi, brings together CS Profs. Christian Borgs, Joseph Gonzalez, Jennifer Listgarten, Jennifer Chayes, and Kathy Yelick, along with faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Statistics, respectively, to affect climate change by combining machine learning and chemistry. The institute aims to develop a new field of machine learning for experimental science, creating algorithms and designing platforms to optimize the discovery, development, and deployment of technology. “This is what we need to accelerate discovery at a rate that will save us from the worst effects of climate change,” said Jennifer Chayes, EECS prof., associate provost for CDSS and dean of the School of Information. “BIDMaP will bring together the founder of an important new field in chemistry and the best artificial intelligence and machine learning group in the world to imagine and create a better future.”

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‘Bro’ wins USENIX Security Test of Time Award

CS Prof. Vern Paxson has won the USENIX Security Test of Time Award. Originally published in 1998, Prof. Paxson’s paper, “Bro: A System for Detecting Network Intruders in Real-Time,” was selected for its lasting impact on the research community and by traditional publication metrics; as of this writing, “Bro” has been cited 3852 times according to Google Scholar. “The paper belongs in the compendium of ‘must read’ classic papers for any graduate security course,” according to the award committee. The award will be presented at the 31st USENIX Security Symposium, which takes place in Boston, MA this year.

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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.”

Natacha Crooks is an assistant professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. (Photo/ Natacha Crooks)

Berkeley EECS team wins $5M to advance blockchain research and education

A team of UC Berkeley researchers led by Assistant Prof. Natacha Crooks has won $5M to advance blockchain research and education programs. The team, which includes CS Profs. Sanjam Garg, Dawn Song, and Shafi Goldwasser, along with members of Berkeley Haas, Berkeley Law, and Imperial College London will launch a new center that advances decentralization technology. The international, interdisciplinary center aims to help democratize access to data and ensure that data remains secure. “Decentralization technology facilitates the egalitarian exchange of data between people who don’t trust each other," said Prof. Crooks. “We have to build decentralized technology that is truly scalable, private and secure.” The funding is provided by the Algorand Foundation as part of the Algorand Centres of Excellence (ACEs) Program, which has awarded a total of $50M to 10 universities from around the world.