Professor King Liu speaking behind a podium

Professor Tsu-Jae King Liu Reappointed as Dean of the College of Engineering

Tsu-Jae King Liu’s leadership of the nation’s top public school of engineering is continuing for a second term. Chancellor Carol Christ and Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost Benjamin Hermalin announced on August 1st in a campus message that Liu has accepted her reappointment as dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. “We extend our sincere congratulations to Tsu-Jae on her reappointment, effective as of July 1, 2023,” they stated in a campus announcement. “Her exceptional leadership, vision and unwavering commitment to the college and to UC Berkeley have set a remarkable precedent, and we look forward to seeing Berkeley Engineering’s continued growth and success under her leadership and guidance.” King Liu is the Roy W. Carlson Distinguished Professorship in Engineering in EECS. Her research activities are presently in advanced materials, fabrication processes and devices for energy-efficient electronics. She has authored or co-authored over 500 publications and holds over 90 patents. Professor Liu is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and serves on the board of directors for Intel Corporation. “My goal is for Berkeley Engineering to exemplify excellence in all that we do to benefit people and society through innovation and collaboration,” said Liu. “I look forward with excitement to seeing all that we will accomplish together as a community in the years ahead.”


New open-source platform helps speed up the development of interactive 3D scenes

A team led by CS Assistant Professor Anjoo Kanazawa has created Nerfstudio, an open-source platform to help speed up the development of Neural Radiance Fields (NeRFs). NeRFs are a type of 3D imaging technology that can be used to create photorealistic 3D models of objects and scenes from a series of images. The plug-and-play framework, called Nerfstudio, makes it easier for researchers to create and train NeRFs, allowing users to run NeRFs on real-world data. “Advancements in NeRF have contributed to its growing popularity and use in applications such as computer vision, robotics, visual effects and gaming. But support for development has been lagging,” said Kanazawa. “The Nerfstudio framework is intended to simplify the development of custom NeRF methods, the processing of real-world data and interacting with reconstructions.”


U.S. Senate Hearing: Stuart Russell testifies on AI regulation

CS Professor Stuart Russell testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation about the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI). In the July 25 hearing, Russell argued that AI is a powerful technology that has the potential to do great good or great harm, and he urged the Senate to take a proactive approach to regulating AI. Russell's testimony focused on three key areas of AI regulation: transparency, accountability, and safety. “My research over the last decade has focused on the problem of control: how do we maintain power, forever, over entities that will eventually become more powerful than us? How do we ensure that AI systems are safe and beneficial for humans? These are not purely technological questions. In both the short term and the long term, regulation has a huge role to play in answering them,” said Russell.

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(Photo: UC Berkeley Public Affairs)

AI-dating app co-founded by Berkeley CS Students featured on "The Today Show"

Charis Zhang, Oliver Johansson, and Tobias Worledge, three Berkeley CS undergraduates, have co-founded RIZZ!, an AI-dating app that uses AI to generate witty and charming messages. The app, which was featured on “The Today Show,” has helped users drastically reduce the time between chatting online and meeting in person. “Traditionally it might take you a week, but with RIZZ!, it might take two to three days to get a date,” said Zhang.


NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg interviewed on The Robot Brains Podcast

NASA astronaut and EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (M.S.’11, Ph.D.’13 EECS) was interviewed by The Robot Brains Podcast while aboard the International Space Station (ISS). CS Professor Pieter Abbeel, who is the brains behind the podcast as well as Woody’s Ph.D. advisor, interviewed Woody about life on the ISS, the scientific experiments being conducted in the low-orbit space station, living in a weightless environment, and the promising impact ISS research could have on humanity. “As a young kid, I thought being an astronaut would be the coolest job. I had no idea how to achieve that goal. It seemed far too improbable of a goal to set my heart on. But I could pursue things I found interesting and challenging and pursue passions. You enabled one of those… I can’t thank you enough for your open-mindedness. I’m so lucky and blessed to have this opportunity.”

Alyosha Efros wins the Thomas S. Huang Memorial Prize

CS Professor Alyosha Efros has won the Thomas S. Huang Memorial Prize. The Huang Memorial Prize was established in 2020 by IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI). The prize, which is awarded annually at the IEEE / CVF Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR), recognizes exemplary research, teaching, mentoring, and service to the computer vision community. Thomas S. Huang was a pioneering scholar “who left deep impressions in multiple fields including computer vision and image processing, and a role model who contributed to the growth and well-being of several generations of researchers in the community.” The award includes a cash prize of $3,000 and a commemorative plaque.


Shafi Goldwasser wins Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing

A team led by CS Professor Shafi Goldwasser has won the 2023 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. The 1988 paper, "Completeness Theorems for Non-Cryptographic Fault-Tolerant Distributed Computation," by Michael Ben-Or, Shafi Goldwasser, and Avi Wigderson was among the three papers to receive the award. Awarded annually, the Dijkstra Prize, which is jointly sponsored by the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) and the EATCS Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC), recognizes papers whose significance and impact on the theory and practice of distributed computing has been evident for at least 10 years. The prize includes an award of $2,000. Shafi Goldwasser is the director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received the Turing Award in 2012.

Dan Garcia joins CRA-WP board

CS Teaching Professor Dan Garcia has joined the board of directors of The Computing Research Association’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP). The CRA-WP was established in 1991 with the goal of increasing the participation of women in computing research, though its current mission broadly supports underrepresented populations to improve access, opportunities, and experiences of those in computing research and higher education.


Sophia Shao and Nika Hagthalab win Google Research Scholar Awards

CS Assistant Professors Sophia Shao and Nika Haghtalab have won Google Research Scholar Awards. The Google Research Scholar Program provides financial support for world-class research conducted by professors in the early stage of their academic careers. Shao’s research interests include computer architecture, focusing on specialized accelerators, heterogeneous architecture, and agile VLSI design methodology. Haghtalab’s research interests include machine learning, algorithms, economics, and society, contributing to an emerging mathematical foundation for learning and decision-making systems in the presence of economic and societal forces.

A gavel held by a judge in a courtroom.

UC Berkeley to develop the first statewide database of police misconduct

The California state legislature has allocated $6.87 million in its 2023-24 budget to UC Berkeley to develop a first-of-its-kind, statewide database of police misconduct and use-of-force records. The Police Records Access Project will be led by the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and the Graduate School of Journalism and will partner with other organizations like the EPIC Data Lab, to collect, curate, and make accessible records that were unlocked for the public by a 2019 state law. The project aims to help communities, journalists, public defenders, prosecutors, and police departments develop a deeper understanding of California policing.