Ruzena Bajcsy receives Slovak Medal of Honor

EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy has been awarded the Slovak Medal of Honor. Bajcsy was recognized for her scientific achievements, leading by example, and setting a positive image of the Slovak Republic abroad. The medal was presented at the Consulate in New York by Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová. 


New institute combines machine learning and chemistry to tackle climate change

The Bakar Institute of Digital Materials for the Planet (BIDMaP), led by Chemistry Prof. Omar M. Yaghi, brings together CS Profs. Christian Borgs, Joseph Gonzalez, Jennifer Listgarten, Jennifer Chayes, and Kathy Yelick, along with faculty from the Department of Chemistry and Statistics, respectively, to affect climate change by combining machine learning and chemistry. The institute aims to develop a new field of machine learning for experimental science, creating algorithms and designing platforms to optimize the discovery, development, and deployment of technology. “This is what we need to accelerate discovery at a rate that will save us from the worst effects of climate change,” said Jennifer Chayes, EECS prof., associate provost for CDSS and dean of the School of Information. “BIDMaP will bring together the founder of an important new field in chemistry and the best artificial intelligence and machine learning group in the world to imagine and create a better future.”

Berkeley EECS continues to compete in US News & World Report rankings

Once again Berkeley Electrical Engineering ranked #1, and Computer Engineering ranked #2, in the 2022 US News and World Report graduate school rankings. EE tied with MIT and Stanford as the top graduate Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering program in the nation, while Computer Engineering tied in second place with Stanford after MIT. The tuition for both Master’s programs at MIT and Stanford cost over $55.5K annually, while Berkeley's costs $11.4K in-state and $26.5 out-of-state per year. Berkeley was ranked as the third best Engineering school overall.


IEEE award renamed in honor of Lotfi Zadeh

The IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies has been renamed in honor of the late Lotfi Zadeh. Beginning in 2022, the award will be named the Lotfi A. Zadeh Award for Emerging Technologies. Prof. Zadeh was known as the “father of fuzzy logic.” Previously known as the Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, this award was established in 1919 to recognize outstanding contributions to emerging technologies. The first recipient of this award will be presented in 2024.

95 Female-identifying first year students hold an ice cream social with CS advisors in the Cory Hall courtyard

CS Kickstart thrives amid return to in-person outreach

Now in its 11th consecutive year, CS Kickstart held its one-week computer science immersion program earlier this month, ushering in over 95 attendees to the program, a record turnout. The program is designed to introduce female-identifying first-year students to computer science at Berkeley and aims to add more diversity to the field. Completely student-run, they host workshops in Python, web development, electrical engineering, and data science; panel discussions featuring current Ph.D. students and faculty speakers like CS Prof. John DeNero;  field trips, like a community-building experience with the Oakland Athletics, and tours, panels, and Q&A sessions with industry partners, such as SAP Academy and Stitch Fix. “It was amazing to see CS Kickstart held in person again this year and with more students than in previous years!” said EECS Director of Student Diversity, Audrey Sillers.


Pieter Abbeel interviewed as Featured ACM Member

CS Prof. Pieter Abbeel has been interviewed as a Featured ACM Member. As part of the “People of ACM” bulletin, Abbeel details the groundbreaking work that led to his 2021 ACM Prize in Computing, and the direction of the field of AI and robotics in the warehousing industry and beyond. Given the different specializations required to pursue AI, he gives the following advice to the next generation of AI researchers: “In terms of foundations, basic mathematics such as calculus, probability, linear algebra are very important, and also optimization,” said Abbeel. “Taking physics classes can be very helpful, as it teaches you the skill of abstracting real world problem settings into equations." Prof. Abbeel is the director of the Berkeley Robot Learning Lab and co-director of the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR) lab, in addition to Co-Founder, President, and Chief Scientist of Covariant, a Berkeley-based AI robotics company.


‘Bro’ wins USENIX Security Test of Time Award

CS Prof. Vern Paxson has won the USENIX Security Test of Time Award. Originally published in 1998, Prof. Paxson’s paper, “Bro: A System for Detecting Network Intruders in Real-Time,” was selected for its lasting impact on the research community and by traditional publication metrics; as of this writing, “Bro” has been cited 3852 times according to Google Scholar. “The paper belongs in the compendium of ‘must read’ classic papers for any graduate security course,” according to the award committee. The award will be presented at the 31st USENIX Security Symposium, which takes place in Boston, MA this year.


Laura Waller balances work, life, research, and family in a feature by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

EECS Prof. Laura Waller is the subject of a feature by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative titled, “A Day in the Life of an Imaging Scientist: Laura Waller.” In it, Prof. Waller describes her day-to-day while she juggles raising a family, cultivating creativity and collaboration in her labs, and mentoring her graduate students through the pandemic. Waller is known for her work in computational imaging. In 2021, she was elected a Fellow of The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for her work in computational microscopy. In the same year, she won the Adolph Lomb Medal presented by Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America). “I really love this field, because it’s very creative. There are new ideas and new things to think about all the time, but it’s also grounded in real applications.”

Natacha Crooks is an assistant professor in UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. (Photo/ Natacha Crooks)

Berkeley EECS team wins $5M to advance blockchain research and education

A team of UC Berkeley researchers led by Assistant Prof. Natacha Crooks has won $5M to advance blockchain research and education programs. The team, which includes CS Profs. Sanjam Garg, Dawn Song, and Shafi Goldwasser, along with members of Berkeley Haas, Berkeley Law, and Imperial College London will launch a new center that advances decentralization technology. The international, interdisciplinary center aims to help democratize access to data and ensure that data remains secure. “Decentralization technology facilitates the egalitarian exchange of data between people who don’t trust each other," said Prof. Crooks. “We have to build decentralized technology that is truly scalable, private and secure.” The funding is provided by the Algorand Foundation as part of the Algorand Centres of Excellence (ACEs) Program, which has awarded a total of $50M to 10 universities from around the world.

EECS alum Paul E. Debevec

Paul Debevec to receive Emmy for Lifetime Achievement

EECS alumnus Paul Debevec (Ph.D. ‘96, advisor: Jitendra Malik) will receive the Charles F. Jenkins Lifetime Achievement Award at the Television Academy’s 74th Engineering, Science & Technology Emmy Awards. The award recognizes Debevec for his pioneering work on high dynamic range imaging, image-based lighting, and photogrammetry–techniques that are now standard within the VFX industry for computer-rendered images and graphics. Debevec is also recognized for his work with LED lighting, which “further laid the groundwork” for its use in virtual production, and “has seen a rapid growth as a tool for lighting actors on virtual stages," according to the Television Academy. Debevec is currently the director of research, creative algorithms, and technology at Netflix, and is an adjunct research professor at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies. He received ACM SIGGRAPH's first Significant New Researcher Award in 2001, a Scientific and Engineering Academy Award in 2010, and the SMPTE Progress Medal in 2017. Debevec co-authored the 2005 book, "High Dynamic Range Imaging," chaired the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival, served as Vice President of ACM SIGGRAPH, as well as co-chair of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Sci-Tech Council.