News

Alistair Sinclair and Shafi Goldwasser win inaugural STOC Test of Time awards

CS Profs. Alistair Sinclair and Shafi Goldwasser have won inaugural Test of Time awards at the 2021 Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), sponsored by the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory (SIGACT).  Sinclair won the 20 Year award for his paper, “A polynomial-time approximation algorithm for the permanent of a matrix with non-negative entries," which solved a problem that had been open for decades. Goldwasser won the 30 Year award for "Completeness theorems for non-cryptographic fault-tolerant distributed computation," which showed how to compute a distributed function even if up to one-third of the participants may be failing, misbehaving, or malicious.  The awards were presented at the 2021 STOC conference in June.

Shafi Goldwasser wins 2021 FOCS Test of Time Award

CS alumna and Prof. Shafi Goldwasser (Ph.D. '84, advisor: Manuel Blum) has won the 2021 Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS) Test of Time Award.  This award "recognizes papers published in past Annual IEEE Symposia on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS) for their substantial, lasting, broad, and currently relevant impact. Papers may be awarded for their impact on Theory of Computing, or on Computer Science in general, or on other disciplines of knowledge, or on practice."  Goldwasser is among five co-authors who won the award in the 30 year category for their groundbreaking complexity theory paper "Approximating Clique is Almost NP-Complete," which used the classification of approximation problems to show that some problems in NP remain hard even when only an approximate solution is needed. 

Madhu Sudan wins 2022 IEEE Hamming Medal

2003 Distinguished CS Alumnus Madhu Sudan (Ph.D. '92, advisor: Umesh Vazirani) has won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Hamming Medal.  This award recognizes "exceptional contributions to information sciences, systems, and technology."   Sudan was cited “for fundamental contributions to probabilistically checkable proofs and list decoding of Reed-Solomon codes.”  He won the Berkeley EECS Sakrison Memorial Award for his graduate thesis, worked as a researcher at both the IBM Watson Research Center and Microsoft Research, was a professor of EECS and the Associate Director of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) at MIT, and is now a professor at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS).  Sudan is known for his contributions to theoretical computer science, particularly for advancing the theory of probabilistically checkable proofs, which is a way to recast a mathematical proof in computer language for additional checks on its validity, and for developing error-correcting codes.

Deborah Estrin wins 2022 IEEE John von Neumann Medal

2008 Distinguished CS Alumna Deborah Estrin (B.S. EECS '80) has won the prestigious Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) John von Neumann Medal.  The award recognizes “outstanding achievements in computer-related science and technology.”  Estrin, whose research interests include technologies for caregiving, immersive health, small data, participatory sensing and public interest technology, was cited for “her leadership in mobile and wireless sensing systems technologies and applications, including personal health management.”  Now a professor at Cornell, Estrin was the founding director of the National Science Foundation Center for Embedded Networked Sensing (CENS) at UCLA, where she pioneered the development of mobile and wireless systems to collect and analyze real-time data about the physical world. She also co-founded the nonprofit startup Open mHealth, which creates open data sharing standards and tools that allow developers of health applications to store, process, and visualize data.

Loza Tadesse named to Forbes 30 Under 30

A postdoc working in Prof. Laura Waller's Computational Imaging Lab, Loza Tadesse, has been included in the Forbes 2022 list of 30 Under 30 in Healthcare.  Tadesse was cited for "developing diagnostics for extreme environments. To that end, she has developed a rapid system using machine learning and a light scattering approach that can identify infectious bacteria much faster which will lead both to better treatments and less reliance on the use of broad spectrum antibiotics."   She co-founded Frontiers in Science for Africa (SCIFRO) which "works with institutions in Africa to enable African high school and college students to innovate affordable technologies that solve local problems in areas of health and energy." Tadesse received her PhD in BioE from Stanford last year and has accepted a faculty position in MIT's engineering department.

Christopher Hunn and Antoine Davis win 2020/2021 Advising and Student Services Awards

The EECS Director of Undergraduate Student Instruction, Christopher Hunn, and the EECS Director of Undergraduate Affairs, Antoine Davis, have won 2020 and 2021 Advising and Student Services Awards.   These awards are presented by the UC Berkeley Council of Advising and Student Support to "recognize the positive and innovative impact our recipients have on student learning, engagement, and belonging on the Berkeley campus."   Hunn won an Equity Champion Award for coaching TAs, undergraduates (especially CS Scholars and CS Mentors), graduates, staff (including student services personnel), and faculty "with evidence-based practices that have increased student engagement, success, self-efficacy, and belonging."   Davis won an Outstanding Advising or Student Services Administrator, Director, or Manager Award for supporting  and strengthening his staff team and the EECS and CS undergraduate populations, particularly during the pandemic, with his unique blend of humor and calm positivity.  "His relaxed approach fosters an environment where we are able to engage in self-reflection and open-mindedness toward each other and our students."  The winners will be celebrated at a virtual ceremony on December 15th.

Google Doodle honors Lotfi Zadeh, father of fuzzy logic

EECS Prof. Emeritus Lotfi Zadeh (1921 - 2017) is being honored with a Google Doodle feature today.  In 1964, Zadeh conceived a new mathematical concept called fuzzy logic which offered an alternative to rigid yes-no logic in an effort to mimic how people see the world.  He proposed using imprecise data to solve problems that might have ambiguous or multiple solutions by creating sets where elements have a degree of membership. Considered controversial at the time, fuzzy logic has been hugely influential in both academia and industry, contributing to, among other things, "medicine, economic modelling and consumer products such as anti-lock braking, dishwashers and elevators."   Zadeh's seminal paper, "Fuzzy Sets -- Information and Control," was submitted for publication 57 years ago today.

Pravin Varaiya wins 2022 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal

EECS Prof. Emeritus and alumnus Pravin Varaiya (Ph.D. 1966, advisor: Lotfi Zadeh), who is currently a Professor in the Graduate School, has won the 2022 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal.  This major IEEE Corporate Award recognizes "exceptional achievement in systems engineering and systems science." Varaiya, who is known for his contributions to stochastic control, hybrid systems and the unification of theories of control and computation, was cited “for seminal contributions to the engineering, analysis, and design of complex energy, transportation, and communication systems.”

Xiaoye Li and Richard Vuduc win 2022 SIAG/SC Best Paper Prize

CS alumni Xiaoye Sherry Li (Ph.D. '96, advisor: James Demmel) and Richard Vuduc (Ph.D. '03, advisor: James Demmel) have, along with Piyush Sao of Georgia Tech, won the 2022 Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Activity Group on Supercomputing (AG/SC) Best Paper Prize.  This prize recognizes "the author or authors of the most outstanding paper in the field of parallel scientific and engineering computing published in English in a peer-reviewed journal." Their paper, "A communication-avoiding 3D algorithm for sparse LU factorization on heterogeneous systems,” was published in 2018 in the IEEE International Parallel and Distributed Processing Symposium (IPDPS).  Li is now a Senior Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) where she works on diverse problems in high performance scientific computations, including parallel computing, sparse matrix computations, high precision arithmetic, and combinatorial scientific computing.  Vuduc, now an Associate Professor in the School of Computational Science and Engineering at Georgia Tech, is interested in high-performance computing, with an emphasis on algorithms, performance analysis, and performance engineering.

professor ruzena bajcsy

Ruzena Bajcsy wins PAMI Azriel Rosenfeld Lifetime Achievement Award

EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy has won the PAMI Azriel Rosenfeld Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award is presented biennially by the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee for Pattern Analysis and Machine Learning (TCPAMI) to honor outstanding "researchers in Computer Vision who have made major contributions to the field over their career and who have influenced the field in an extraordinary way."  Bajcsy founded the pioneering General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Lab in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.  The GRASP Lab was one of the first groups to foster interdisciplinary research between computer and cognitive scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers, and psychologists.  Her robotics research focused on computer vision, tactile perception, and the problem of system identification. Her work in medical imaging involved coupling a digital anatomy atlas with elastic matching algorithms in order to automatically identify anatomic structures of the brain.  This now standard technology was first used in X-ray tomography and later with MRI and positron image tomography.  At Berkeley, Bajcsy was the founding director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) in 2001, a collaboration between four University of California campuses.   Before coming to Berkeley, she headed the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate.  EECS Prof. Jitendra Malik, one of the speakers at ICCV 2021 where the award was announced, said "Ruzena has been a pioneer in so many ways, with her work on active perception, medical image analysis, robotics and her mentorship of generations of researchers in whom she has inculcated the highest of values. Her career is full of many, many 'firsts.'"