News

Marti Hearst and team place second in 2016 PoetiX competition

Prof. Marti Hearst and a team in the I School are featured in a Berkeley School of Information article titled “Teaching a Computer to Write Poetry”. The discipline of Natural Language Processing aims to analyze and understand human language.  Computers are learning to respond using human language, but poetry presents unique challenges. Poetry evokes feelings and emotion more than just the written word, and sonnets follow a strict scheme of rhyme, meter and metaphor.  Computer-generated sonnets from this team placed second in the 2016 “PoetiX”, a competition of only computer-generated traditional sonnets: fourteen line poems, in iambic pentameter, in either “Shakespearean” or “Petrarchan” form.

Berkeley EE and CS Shine in World Rankings

Our Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Divisions both ranked third in the 2016 Academic Ranking of World UniversitiesUC Berkeley was once again named the top public university worldwide.  The ARWU annually ranks more than 1,200 universities on the quality of both faculty and research.

EECS came in third after Stanford and MIT in both fields.  The CS top five was rounded out by Harvard and Princeton,  while Nanyang University and Georgia Tech followed Berkeley in the EE top five.

Simit: a brand new language for more efficient simulations

Incoming CS Assistant Professor Jonathan Ragan-Kelley, alumnus Shoaib Kamil (Ph.D. CS 2012 under Profs. Armando Fox and Kathy Yelick) and alumnus Wojciech Matusik (B.S. EECS 1997), along with other researchers at MIT CSAIL, Adobe, U. of Toronto, Texas A&M, and U. of Texas have developed Simit,  a programming language that can speed up computer simulations 200-fold or reduce the code they require by 90 percent.

The language has applications outside simulations, and there are even plans for it to augment machine learning, data analytics, optimization and robotics in addition to a version of Google's PageRank algorithm.

Michel Maharbiz, Jose Carmena, Elad Alon and Jan Rabaey build the first implantable dust-sized wireless sensors

Prof. Michel Maharbiz and Jose Carmena's paper on Neural Dust is featured by the online journal Neuron (Vol. 91, Issue 3, August 2016) in an article titled "Wireless Recording in the Peripheral Nervous System with Ultrasonic Neural Dust". They, with Profs. Elad Alon and Jan Rabaey and a team of engineers,  have built the first dust-sized, wireless sensors that can be implanted in the body that could monitor internal nerves, muscles or organs in real time. And because they are batteryless, they could also be used to stimulate nerves and muscles, opening the door to “electroceuticals’ to treat disorders such as epilepsy , to stimulate the immune system or bring down inflammation. Articles have also appeared in:

Scientific American -  "Neural Dust" Could Enable a Fitbit for the Nervous System

UC Berkeley NewsSprinkling of neural dust opens door to electroceuticals

C|NET - Beyond Fitbit: 'Neural dust' puts invisible cyborg tech deep inside you

Popular Science - Wireless 'Neural Dust' Could Monitor Your Brain

jacobs institute for design innovation, uc berkeley

Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation in the spotlight

The Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation was spotlighted in an article in the California Council on Science & Technology (CCST) website titled “UC Berkeley and UC San Diego Explore Engineering Education of the Future through Making”. The Jacobs Institute is UC Berkeley’s interdisciplinary hub for students, teachers and practitioners who work at the intersection of design and technology to turn insights into prototypes and through testing and iteration design solutions that benefit people and society.  Prof. Björn Hartmann is the interim faculty director.

Dave Patterson wins the 2016 Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award

Prof. Dave Patterson has won the 2016 Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award for Scientific Scholarship, Civic Science and Diversifying Computing. This award is awarded yearly to an individual who demonstrates significant leadership, commitment and contributions to diversifying computing. This award will be presented at the 2016 Tapia Conference.

Sanjam Garg and Nir Yosef awarded Okawa Foundation Research Grants

Prof. Sanjam Garg and Nir Yosef have been awarded Okawa Foundation Research Grants for 2016. This award recognizes promising young faculty members in the fields of information and telecommunications. Prof. Garg, whose research interests are in cryptography, security and more broadly theoretical computer science is awarded for his work on software obfuscation. Prof. Yosef, whose research interests are in utilizing high-throughput genomic data sets, and immune cells, covering various aspects of their biology, is awarded for his work on annotating the regulatory genome of mammalian cells.

Tsu-Jae King Liu appeals to Silicon Valley to collaborate to increase the number of women in computer technology

EECS Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu and Belle Wei (Chair of Engineering Education and Innovative Learning at San Jose State) penned an article for the Mercury News titled "Closing tech workforce gap calls for interdisciplinary model."   In it, they argue that there is a desperate need to increase the future number of computer scientists in the US workforce and this need can be met by women if Silicon Valley companies increase their efforts to collaborate with university educators. "Our educators are up to the task. What they need is incentive and support, along with resources to help them transcend outdated disciplinary divides...We need leaders across a broad spectrum of industry to identify the knowledge and skill sets that new employees will need to succeed."

Stuart Russell would like intelligent machines to share our values

Prof. Stuart Russell is featured in an article on the Tech Republic’s online forum titled “We can't prevent AI changing the world but we can stop robots cooking cats”. With the prospect that computers and robots will become as smart as humans and eventually surpass human intelligence, Prof. Russell says it’s time to begin working on how to get these intelligent machines to share our values.

Ken Goldberg is teaching a robot to "learn" surgical tasks on its own

The research work of Prof. Ken Goldberg is featured in an IEEE Spectrum article titled “Would You Trust a Robot Surgeon to Operate on You?” Today’s surgical robots extend the surgeon’s capacities; they filter out hand tremors and allow maneuvers that even the best surgeon couldn’t pull off with laparoscopic surgery’s typical long-handled tools. Using a da Vinci robotic surgical system Prof. Goldberg is teaching it how to independently perform a surgical task.