News

Sergey Levine, Nilah Ioannidis, and Dorsa Sadigh awarded 2022 Okawa Research Grants

EECS Associate Prof. Sergey Levine, Assistant Prof. Nilah Ioannidis, and alumna Dorsa Sadigh have won 2022 Okawa Research Grants.  These grants recognize "studies and analyses in the fields of information and telecommunications." Levine is doing research on "Offline Reinforcement Learning: Robust and Reliable Decisions from Data," Ioannidis is working on "Genome-Scale Learning of Molecular Phenotypes for Personal Genome Interpretation," and Sadigh, who is now an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Stanford, is studying "Adaptive Human-Robot Interaction."  They comprise three of the seven U.S. recipients who were awarded $10K grants this year.

Ruzena Bajcsy and Eric Brewer named 2021 AAAS Fellows

EECS Prof. Emeriti Ruzena Bajcsy and Eric Brewer have been named 2021 Honorary Fellows of  the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), one of the scientific community’s highest honors.  Bajcsy, who was elected in the Engineering category, is known for her pioneering and multidisciplinary contributions to machine perception, robotics and artificial intelligence. Her work in the area of active perception revolutionized the field of robotic sensing and vision, as well as the area of elastic matching, which has advanced the field of medical imaging.  Brewer, who is currently the vice-president of infrastructure at Google, was elected in the Information, Computing and Communication category. He is known for his design and development of highly scalable internet services, and innovations in bringing information technology to developing regions.

Marti Hearst inducted into 2021 ACM SIGIR Academy inaugural class

CS alumna Prof. Marti Hearst (B.A. '85/M.S '89./Ph.D. '94,  advisor: Robert Wilensky), whose primary appointment is in the School of Information, has been named to the 2021 inaugural class of the ACM Special Interest Group on Information Retrieval (SIGIR) Academy. SIGIR Academy membership recognizes the "principal leaders in IR" who have made "significant, cumulative contributions" to the development of the field, and whose "efforts have shaped the discipline and/or industry through significant research, innovation, and/or service."  Hearst literally wrote the first book on Search User Interfaces in 2009.   She is known for her early work on automating sentiment analysis and word sense disambiguation, including the invention of an algorithm known as "Hearst patterns" which is widely used in commercial text mining applications including ontology learning.  She also developed a now well-known approach to automatic segmentation of text into topical discourse boundaries, called TextTiling.  Hearst is an Edge Foundation contributing author and a member of the Usage panel of the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language. Her current research interests include user interfaces for search engines, information visualization, natural language processing, and MOOCs.

2022 Diversity in Tech Symposium: Advancing Climate Resilience - March 10-11th

A number of EECS faculty and students are slated to participate in the 2022 Diversity in Tech Symposium, which will be held virtually on March 10 & 11.  This year's theme is "Advancing Climate Resilience."  EECS Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, dean of Berkeley Engineering, will warm up the audience with a fireside chat on the symposium's topic;  EECS Prof. Costas Spanos, director of the CITRIS and Banatao Institute, will welcome participants to the second day of the event;  Adjunct Prof. Sascha von Meier will participate in the UC Berkeley-hosted panel Getting to zero: Trends in the built environment; and senior EECS major Katherine Shu will represent WiCSE in a presentation on the Career Fair.  The symposium is open to the public and anyone interested in climate innovation and action, and the advancement of women and underrepresented communities working in technology fields, is encouraged to attend.

Jelani Nelson wins 2022 CRA-E Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award

CS Prof. Jelani Nelson has won the 2022 Computing Research Association Education (CRA-E) Undergraduate Research Faculty Mentoring Award.  This award recognizes "individual faculty members who have provided exceptional mentorship, undergraduate research experiences and, in parallel, guidance on admission and matriculation of these students to research-focused graduate programs in computing."  Nelson was cited for exceptional mentoring of undergraduate students at a time when "interest in graduate school and research careers is relatively low" and graduate students are crucially needed for "the health of the computing research pipeline."  The award will be presented at a conference later this year.

Tuff Pupil: A Hip Hop Series about Global STEM Issues

CS Profs. John Kubiatowicz and Ken Goldberg, along with Berkeley's Director of Research IT, Ken Lutz, have collaborated with the Lawrence Hall of Science (LHS) and the Lawrence Berkeley Lab (LBL) to create an animated series called "Tuff Pupil" which teaches children, ages 7 to 10,  about important cyber security concepts and other global STEM issues. Familiarizing children with these topics has become even more critical since the full-scale adoption of computers for remote learning in response to the pandemic.  Tuff Pupil has so far launched three 5-minute animated video episodes featuring "high school hip hop duo" Taye and Flori (Tommy Soulati Shepherd and Kaitlin McGaw of Grammy-nominated Alphabet Rock) who rap about data privacy in catchy ways that evoke the Schoolhouse Rock shorts of the 1970s and 80s. Parents, educators, librarians and community leaders are encouraged to share these videos with children in their "homes, schools and youth organizations to support conversations about how to safely and smartly use the internet."  New episodes are planned for 2022 which will demystify everyday phenomena related to "data science, climate disruption, contagion, clean energy, and artificial intelligence."

Laura Waller, Sarah Chasins and Nilah Ioannidis named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators

CS Associate Prof. Laura Waller, and Assistant Profs. Sarah Chasins and Nilah Ioannidis, are among the newest cohort of scientists to be named Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigators.  The Chan Zuckerberg Biohub Investigator Program, open to faculty from Stanford, UCSF, and UC Berkeley, funds "innovative, visionary research with the goal of building and sustaining an engaged, interactive, and collaborative community of researchers that spans across disciplines and across the three campuses to help solve critical challenges in biomedicine."  Waller leads the Computational Imaging Lab, which develops new methods for optical imaging designed jointly with optics and computational algorithms; Chasins' research focuses on programming languages and program synthesis, with an emphasis on work that brings together programming systems, HCI, and data science; and Ioannidis works on computational methods for personal genome interpretation, including machine learning tools to predict the clinical significance of rare genetic variants of unknown significance and statistical methods to link genetic variation with personal complex disease risks.  Recipients  receive $1M in unrestricted gift funds over a nonrenewable 5-year term ($200,000 per year).

Dave Patterson wins 2022 NAI Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson has won the 2022 Charles Stark Draper Prize for Engineering from the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  Recognized as one of the world's preeminent awards for engineering achievement, the prize "honors an engineer whose accomplishment has significantly impacted society by improving the quality of life, providing the ability to live freely and comfortably, and/or permitting the access to information."  Patterson, and his co-recipients, John Hennessy, Stephen Furber, and Sophie Wilson, were cited "for contributions to the invention, development, and implementation of reduced instruction set computer (RISC) chips."  Patterson began the seminal Berkeley RISC project in 1980 to design a basic, neutral, freely-available set of microprocessor instructions that could be used in different types of machines and which could be optimized for different characteristics, like efficiency, physical size, and monetary cost.  When different devices are capable of running the same machine code, a better quality, higher-performance machine can replace a less expensive, lower-performance machine without having to replace software.  The open-source Berkeley RISC design was later commercialized by Sun Microsystems as the SPARC architecture, and inspired the ARM architecture used in virtually all new computer chips in the world today.  The biennial Draper prize is open to both NAE members and non-members worldwide, and comes with a $500K cash award.

Anantha Chandrakasan wins 2022 IEEE Mildred Dresselhaus Medal

EECS alumnus Anantha Chandrakasan (B.S. '89/M.S. '90/Ph.D. '94, advisor: C. V. Ramamoorthy), has been awarded the 2022 IEEE Mildred Dresselhaus Medal.  The award recognizes "outstanding technical contributions in science and engineering, of great impact to IEEE fields of interest."   Chandrakasan, who is currently an EECS professor at MIT and the dean of the MIT School of Engineering, was cited for his “contributions to ultralow-power circuits and systems, and leadership in academia and advancing diversity in the profession.”  He spearheaded a number of initiatives that opened opportunities for students, postdocs, and faculty to conduct research, explore entrepreneurial projects, and engage with EECS. These programs include “SuperUROP,” a year-long independent research program that provides tools for students to do publication-quality research; the Rising Stars program, an annual event that convenes graduate and postdoc women for the purpose of sharing advice about the early stages of an academic career; and StartMIT, an independent activities period class that provides students and postdocs the opportunity to learn from and interact with industrial innovation leaders. Chandrakasan is also known for his leadership of the MIT Energy-Efficient Circuits and Systems Group, whose research projects have addressed security hardware, energy harvesting, and wireless charging for the internet of things; energy-efficient circuits and systems for multimedia processing; and platforms for ultra-low-power biomedical electronics.  He also serves as co-chair of the MIT–IBM Watson AI Lab, the MIT-Takeda Program, and the MIT and Accenture Convergence Initiative for Industry and Technology, and chairs the MIT Climate and Sustainability Consortium. 

Woody Hoburg receives assignment for NASA’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission

EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '13, advisor: Pieter Abbeel), one of the first graduates of NASA's Artemis astronaut basic training program in 2020, has been assigned to launch on the agency’s SpaceX Crew-6 mission – the sixth crew rotation flight aboard a Crew Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station.  Hoburg will pilot the spacecraft when it is expected to launch from a Falcon 9 rocket at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 2023.  This will be his first mission into space.  At the time of his selection as an astronaut, Hoburg was a commercial pilot and an assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics at MIT.  His research focused on efficient methods for design of engineering systems.