News

Srinivasan Keshav named IIT Delhi 2019 Distinguished Alumnus

CS alumnus Srinivasan Keshav (Ph.D. '91, advisor: Domenico Ferrari) has won a 2019 Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi Distinguished Alumni Award.  Keshav is a Professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo, Canada. He is known for his cutting-edge research in the areas of computer networking and energy informatics and currently focuses on research on blockchains for transactive energy.  His work has been cited more than 16,000 times and he holds 73 patents worldwide. He has been the co-director of the Information Systems and Science for Energy (ISS4E) Laboratory at the University of Waterloo since 2010.

Feng Zhou helping NetEase find new life beyond games

CS alumnus Feng Zhou (Ph.D. '07, advisor: Eric Brewer) is the subject of a Bloomberg article titled "The U.S.-trained coder is helping NetEase find new life beyond games."  To help the company remain competitive, NetEase Youdao CEO Zhou is creating an all-in-one learning platform to tap the lucrative overlap between education and technology.  Addressing the pressure many Chinese families feel to prepare children for college entrance exams starting as early as Kindergarten, Zhou says courses can be taught through high-speed live-streaming, enabling smooth communication between teacher and student. Artificial intelligence-powered tutors can grade homework and use data to evaluate student test results.  “That’s what we have always been good at,” said Zhou. “Almost every industry in China has been transformed by the internet, but that’s not yet the case for education.”

Paper by Vasily Volkov and James Demmel wins SC19 Test of Time Award

A paper by alumnus Vasily Volkov (Ph.D. '16), now at Nvidia, and his advisor Prof. James Demmel has won the 2019 ACM/IEEE Supercomputing Conference (SC19) Test of Time Award.   The paper, "Benchmarking GPUs to Tune Dense Linear Algebra," which won the SC08 Best Student Paper Award when it was published, describes a first-of-its-kind vision of GPU architectures as a vector machine. The authors defined techniques to achieve greater efficiency and performance, detailing an optimization pattern that is found today in many high-performance GPU codes.  The paper has been cited almost a thousand times and has had a tremendous impact on the field.  The award, which recognizes an outstanding paper that has deeply influenced the HPC discipline, is one of the most prestigious in the SC conference series and will be presented at the 2019 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis in Colorado in November.

Sergey Levine, Francis Bach, and Pieter Abbeel are top 3 most prolific NeurIPS 2019 authors

Two EECS faculty and one alumnus are the authors with the most number of papers accepted to the upcoming 2019 Thirty-third Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS), one of the most popular and influential AI conferences in the world.  CS Prof. Sergey Levine took the top spot with 12 papers, alumnus Francis Bach (Ph.D. '05, advisor: Michael Jordan) was the second most prolific contributor with 10 papers, and Prof. Pieter Abbeel placed third with nine.  Only one in five of the 6,743 papers submitted to the conference this year were accepted.  Registration to be one of the 8,000 attendees at  last year's NeurIPS (formerly NIPS) conference sold out in 12 minutes.  A lottery has been implemented for this year's conference, which will take place in December.

Francesca Giardine to participate in REU Symposium

Research conducted by EECS SUPERB-CISE participant Francesca Giardine will be presented at the Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Symposium in Alexandria, VA in October.  Giardine's project, "Sustainable Energy and Localized Future (SELF) Dataset Development," supervised by Dan Kammen (ERG), describes the development of a database containing infrastructure information about under-resourced communities in the San Joaquin Valley that will help to determine which new resources should be provided to which areas.  The goal of the EECS Summer Undergraduate Program in Engineering Research at Berkeley (SUPERB) Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) program is to prepare and motivate diverse, competitive candidates for graduate study.  The symposium is sponsored by the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).

Campus Memorial to honor six from EECS community

The Berkeley Campus Memorial, which will be held on Tuesday, September 10, from 12 noon to 1 pm, will honor 6 members of the EECS community who died this year:  alumna and ICSI member Sally Floyd (M.S. '87/Ph.D. '89, advisor: Richard Karp),  alumnus and EECS faculty-in-residence/advisor to CITRIS Jean Paul Jacob (MS '65/PhD '66, advisor: Elijah Polak),  EECS and Mathematics Prof. Emeritus Elwyn Berlekamp, EECS and Biophysics Prof. Emeritus Jerome Singer, BWRC staff Tom Boot, and CS undergraduate student Daniel Leahy.  The memorial gathering will be held at the flagpole west of California Hall.

EE and CS place 2nd and 3rd in 2020 US News undergraduate engineering rankings

The US News and World Report has ranked both the EE and CS engineering programs among the top 3 undergraduate programs in the country for 2020.  Berkeley once again took the #2 spot in the Electrical/Electronic/Communications (EEC) category, while moving up one spot to #3 from its 2019 ranking in the Computer engineering category.   Berkeley EECS ranks just behind MIT in the EEC category and behind MIT and CMU in the Computer category.   Berkeley Engineering programs were ranked #3 overall in the country.

Sally Floyd, an inventor of Random Early Detection, has died

CS alumna Sally Floyd (M.S. '87/Ph.D. '89, advisor: Richard Karp), best known as one of the inventors of Random Early Detection (RED), an active queue management scheme widely credited with saving the internet from collapse in the 1990s, has died at age 69.  Floyd graduated from Berkeley with a B.A. in Sociology in 1971 and, after taking a two-year course in electronics at Meritt College, spent the next decade working as a computer systems engineer at BART.  She returned to Berkeley as a graduate student in 1984 and was known as an outstanding advisor to members of the CS Reentry Program, a department project which prepared  "older" women and minorities, who had bachelor's degrees in non-technical fields, for competitive admission to graduate STEM programs.  The creation of the RED algorithm, which was built on work started by Van Jacobson in the 1980s,  founded the field of Active Queue Management (AQM).  Floyd and Jacobson's 1993 paper describing how RED could control congestion on the internet continues to play a vital role in its stability and has been cited in more than 9,100 articles. “That’s truly huge,” said Prof. Vern Paxson, who had been mentored by Floyd as a graduate student, “up there with the most fundamental papers in computer networking.”

Transportation for aging Americans

Elderly Americans need transportation alternatives more than ever, but many are intimidated by ride-hailing apps.  EECS Prof. Alexandre Bayen and David Lindeman of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) and the Banatao Institute, are quoted in a New York Times article, "Older People Need Rides. Why Aren’t They Using Uber and Lyft?," that discusses some of the opportunities and obstacles for seniors.

Richard Din innovates unique course to help students connect more deeply with entrepreneurs

EECS alumnus Richard Din (B.S. EECS/B.A. Econ '08),  the co-founder of revolutionary food-delivery app Caviar, has imagined and helped to create a small, select, new course being offerred fall semester through the Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology (SCET).  The course, which cannot be documented or attended by visitors, will host diverse and unique speakers from the tech industry who will share personal stories about their startups, including sensitive details about “co-founder fights, investor drama, and running out of money.”  “When it’s off the record," said Din, "then you can be more candid about finer details and tell more interesting stories.” Students interested in taking the course must be nominated by a professor. Professors can send nominations to Jennifer Nice at jennifernice@berkeley.edu.