RISC-V grows globally as an alternative to Arm

RISC-V, a royalty-free microprocessor architecture first developed at Berkeley, is emerging as a rival to Arm, the most successful microchip architecture in the world.   The first RISC-V chip was built in 2011 as part of the open source Peer Lab Project by CS Prof. and alumnus Krste Asanović (Ph.D. '98, advisor: John Wawrzynek), CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson, and CS alumni Andrew Waterman (M.S. 11/Ph.D. '16, advisors: David Patterson/Krste Asanović) and Yunsup Lee (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '16, advisor: Krste Asanović).  Asanović, Waterman and Lee went on to found SiFive, "the first fabless semiconductor company to build customized silicon on RISC-V."   Asanović explains that the architecture has gained momentum "not because it's 10% faster. It's because it's a new business model."  Chip designers traditionally have to find a seller to make their microprocessors, but now designers can select RISC-V and "all suppliers compete for your business.  You can add your own extensions without obtaining permission" or paying license fees.

Trevor Darrell joins checkout-free company Grabango

EECS Prof. Trevor Darrell has been appointed chief scientist at Grabango, a provider of checkout-free technology for brick-and-mortar stores.  Darrell is an expert in computer vision, machine learning and perception-based human computer interfaces, and leads the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (BAIR).  He helped develop Convolutional Architecture for Fast Feature Embedding (Caffe), a deep-learning framework used by computer vision researchers around the world.  Grabango announced earlier this year that it had signed four separate agreements with multibillion-dollar retail partners, presiding over a combined 29-million square feet of shopping space.

NTT Research partners with the Simons Institute

NTT Research has announced that it has entered into a three-year Industrial Partnership with the UC Berkeley Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing.  The partnership, which will extend from September  2019 through August  2021, will enable NTT Research’s Cryptography and Information Security (CIS) Lab to join all Simons Institute events, invite select Simons program participants and fellows to one-day visits to NTT Research, and hold a dedicated desk in the Calvin Lab.  The Simons Institute brings the world’s top theoretical computer scientists together with the next generation of scholars to explore problems about the nature and limits of computation.

Corelight raises $50m for network traffic analysis in the cloud

Corelight, a start-up founded by CS Prof. Vern Paxson, has secured an additional $50 million in Series C financing for its network traffic analysis (NTA) solutions for cybersecurity.  The company has raised a total of $84 million to date, with investment from General Catalyst, Accel, Osage University Partners and Riverbed Technology Co-founder (and former Berkeley CS professor) Steve McCanne. It has more than doubled in size since its Series B in September 2018.  Corelight  is built on an open source framework called Zeek (formerly Bro), which Paxson began developing in 1995.  Zeek is now widely regarded as the gold standard for both network security management (NSM) and NTA, and has been deployed by thousands of organizations around the world.

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.”

Hany Farid and Alexei Efros team up with Facebook to improve accountability

EECS Profs. Hany Farid and Alexei Efros will be working with Facebook to help develop new methods to improve detection of fake content, fake news and misinformation campaigns. Facebook has launched $7.5 million partnership with three universities, including UC Berkeley, to create the technology.  Farid is a long-time crusader for holding social media companies accountable for removing and preventing harmful content, and Efros specializes in artificial intelligence, graphics and computer vision.  Some immediate steps that can be taken include having the company hire more people to monitor the site, charging a nominal fee to use the service, redefining Facebook and other tech giants as publishers--rather than as platforms, and creating unambiguous rules.

Ali Ghodsi is one of the 10 coolest data science and machine learning CEOs

CS Adjunct Prof. Ali Ghodsi is on Solutions Review's list of "The 10 Coolest Data Science and Machine Learning CEOs."  Ghodsi is the CEO and co-founder of Databricks, and responsible for the growth and international​ ​expansion of the company.  He previously served as the VP of Engineering and Product​ ​Management before taking the role of CEO in January 2016.  Ghodsi is on the board of the RiseLab and  was one of the creators of the open source project Apache Spark.

Nine papers make four Top 10 lists in TOPBOTS AI research rankings

9 papers co-authored by 6 EECS faculty, 13 students,  3 post docs, and 3 alumni have made it into the Top 10 research papers ranked by TOPBOTS in four categories of AI Research. TOPBOTS is the largest publication, community, and educational resource for business leaders applying AI to their enterprises.  3 papers co-authored by Sergey Levine made the #1, #3, and #9 spots in "What Are Major Reinforcement Learning Achievements & Papers From 2018?"  A paper co-authored by Moritz Hardt ranked #5 in "Top 2018 AI research papers" and #3 in  "Recent Breakthrough Research Papers In AI Ethics." A paper co-authored by Jitendra Malik ranked #7 in the Top 2018 papers and #5 in "10 Cutting Edge Research Papers In Computer Vision & Image Generation."  The #2 Top 2018 paper was co-authored by David Wagner, and a paper co-authored by Alexei Efros ranked #9 in the Computer Vision category.

Diane Greene wins 2019 Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award

CS alumna Diane Greene (M.S. '88) has won a 2019 U. C. Berkeley Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award.  This award "recognizes an alumnus/a whose remarkable professional achievements reflect the excellence of a UC Berkeley education" and is co-presented every year by the UC Berkeley Foundation and the Cal Alumni Association.  Greene recently served as the CEO of Google's cloud business and was a founder and CEO of VMware.  She will be formally presented with her award at the Berkeley Charter Gala on May 16, 2019.

Introducing the 2019 EECS Distinguished Alumni

The EECS Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize the valuable contributions of its most distinguished alumni. The 2019 EE distinguished alumni are Sharad Malik (M.S. '87/EE Ph.D '90, advisor: Robert k. Brayton), Chair of Electrical Engineering at Princeton; and Dr. Ahmad Bahai (EE Ph.D '94, advisor: Pravin Varaiya), CTO of Texas Instruments. The 2019 CS distinguished alumni are Andrew Ng (CS Ph.D. '03, adviser: Michael Jordan), Stanford Professor; and Dr. Amin Vahdat (B.S. '92/ CS Ph.D.'98, advisor: Thomas Anderson), Technical Lead for networking at Google, and Google Fellow. The award presentation will be at BEARS on February 14, 2019.