Five EECS faculty among investigators awarded $14.5 million by CZ Biohub

Prof. Michel Maharbiz, Prof. Yun Song, Associate Prof. Laura Waller, Assistant Prof. Rikky Muller, and Assistant Prof. Nir Yosef are among the  thirteen UC Berkeley faculty chosen to receive up to $1.5 million each over the next five years by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.   The investigator awards are the first individual grants by the CZ Biohub as it seeks to foster unconventional scientific exploration and encourage researchers to invent new tools to accelerate the pace of discovery.  “I am humbled and speechless,” said Prof. Maharbiz. “This is an ambitious endeavor and I can’t wait to get started and be part of it. I really do believe we, collectively, can make a big impact on diseases over the next decade, and I’m really excited to be a part of this.”

Yongdong Wang named Global Senior Vice President at Microsoft

Alumnus Yongdong Wang (CS Ph.D. '92),  currently Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group, has been named Microsoft's Global Senior Vice President.  Wang joined Microsoft in 2009, founding the Microsoft Asia-Pacific R&D Group in Beijing, and took on the additional role of managing director of Applications & Services Group East Asia.

EECS faculty participate in Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Innovation Hub

Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy, Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan, Prof. Ken Goldberg, and Dean Shankar Sastry are members of a Berkeley team participating in a new $253 million national consortium, the Advanced Robotics Manufacturing (ARM) Innovation Hub, led by the Department of Defense.  The ARM consortium, which has academic and industrial partners in 31 states, is organizing domestic capabilities in robotics technology to amplify U.S. manufacturing.  According to an article in Berkeley Engineering titled "Berkeley a regional center in new robotics manufacturing consortium," the Berkeley team is focussing on hybrid robotics, co-robotics, and assessing the environmental and resource issues associated with robotics manufacturing technology.

HKN receives 2015-2016 IEEE-HKN Outstanding Chapter Award

The UC Berkeley chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) has been named recipient the 2015-2016 IEEE-HKN Outstanding Chapter Award. This award is presented to IEEE-HKN chapters in recognition of excellence in their chapter administration and programs. Main criteria for being selected for this award are to improve professional development; raise instructional and institutional standards; encourage scholarship and creativity; provide a public service, and generally further the established goals of IEEE-HKN.

RISELab Kicks Off

The CS Division has launched RISELab (Real-time Intelligence with Secure Execution Laboratory), the latest in its series of five-year intensive research labs in computer science. RISELab’s mission is to improve how machines make intelligent decisions based on real-time input.  It is the successor of AMPLab,  a pioneering Big Data effort, which launched widely used open source projects including Apache Spark, Apache Mesos and Alluxio.  RISELab is supported by sponsors that include Amazon Web Services, Ant Financial, Capital One, Ericsson, GE Digital, Google, Huawei, Intel, IBM, Microsoft and VMWare.

Tobias Boelter finds vulnerability in WhatsApp

Computer Science graduate student Tobias Boelter has found a security loophole in the popular messaging app WhatsApp that could allow encrypted messages to be read and  intercepted.  Facebook, which acquired WhatsApp in 2014, had emphasized security and end-to-end encryption as a primary selling point.  This flaw may be an inadvertent error or a deliberate backdoor.  Tobias writes "Facebook does not deny that there is a vulnerability that can be used to 'wiretap' targeted conversations by, for example, governments with access to WhatsApp’s servers. And despite WhatsApp’s recent public statements, the vulnerability cannot be avoided by verifying fingerprints or checking a checkbox in the WhatsApp settings."

The search is on for interim dean of new Division of Data Science

Although it is too early to know the candidates, interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Carol Christ has announced that a member of faculty will be appointed interim dean of the new Division of Data Science at UC Berkeley.   Cathryn Carson, co-chair of the faculty advisory board, said the appointment of an interim dean is an important initial step in advancing the research and education of data science on campus.  CS Prof. David Culler said UC Berkeley has already been developing the foundations of the new field, which lies at the intersection of computer science and statistics.  Culler said the purpose of the new division is not only to distinguish the field with importance but also to integrate data science with all other divisions in the school. He added that the faculty advisory board hopes to include the division in the College of Letters and Sciences as well as the College of Engineering and that the position will give data science “a seat at the table” when deans are discussing on-campus issues.

Silvio Micali's new public ledger: ALGORAND

Alumnus Silvio Micali (CS PhD '82, CS Distinguished Alumni 2006) has published a paper called ALGORAND The Efficient and Democratic Ledger where he lays out a groundbreaking new vision of a decentralized and secure way to manage a shared ledger that provides a beautifully elegant solution to the Byzantine General’s problem.  Micali, the Ford Professor of Engineering at MIT, is the recipient of the Turing Award,  the Goedel Prize, and the RSA prize in cryptography.  His new research is profiled in an article titled "Move over Bitcoin - MIT Cryptographer Silvio Micali and his Public Ledger ALGORAND...The Future of Blockchain?

Kylan Nieh makes Forbes 30 Under 30 in enterprise technology

Alumnus Kylan Nieh (CS BA/Business BS 2014) has made the 2017 Forbes 30 Under 30: Enterprise Technology list.  While still a student, Kylan started his own public speaking and leadership course at the Haas School of Business and became the youngest recipient of the Business Teacher of the Year Award in 2014.  After graduation, Kylan became the youngest Senior Product Manager at LinkedIn Students.

Imperva names Roger Sippl to board of directors

Imperva has named alumnus Roger Sippl (CS BS '77 ) to its board of directors.  Sippl is a Silicon Valley software pioneer, entrepreneur and innovator.  He founded Informix Software (now part of IBM) in 1980, when he was just 24, to develop and commercialize SQL relational database software.  He subsequently took two more companies through IPO: The Vantive Corporation, which became part of PeopleSoft/Oracle, and Visigenic Software, which was acquired by Borland.  Sippl received the CS Distinguished Alumni award in 1995.