News

Shafi Goldwasser wins 2021 FOCS Test of Time Award

CS alumna and Prof. Shafi Goldwasser (Ph.D. '84, advisor: Manuel Blum) has won the 2021 Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS) Test of Time Award.  This award "recognizes papers published in past Annual IEEE Symposia on Foundations of Computer Science (FOCS) for their substantial, lasting, broad, and currently relevant impact. Papers may be awarded for their impact on Theory of Computing, or on Computer Science in general, or on other disciplines of knowledge, or on practice."  Goldwasser is among five co-authors who won the award in the 30 year category for their groundbreaking complexity theory paper "Approximating Clique is Almost NP-Complete," which used the classification of approximation problems to show that some problems in NP remain hard even when only an approximate solution is needed. 

Stuart Russell to lead new Kavli Center for Ethics, Science, and the Public

EECS Prof. Stuart Russell is slated to direct the future Kavli Center for Ethics, Science, and the Public, which aims to make ethics and social equity more central to scientific decision-making, and which will try to ensure that the public has a greater say in future scientific advances.  The new center will combine forces with a sister center at the University of Cambridge, UK, to connect scientists, ethicists, and the public, in necessary and intentional discussions about the potential impacts of scientific discoveries.  “In addition to answering fundamental questions about the ethics of science, the Kavli Center is going to create a generation of scientific leaders who have seen how other scientific disciplines grapple with ethical problems and who have real training in the philosophical analysis of these questions,” said Russell. “It’s not just about changing public policy, it’s about changing what it means to be a good scientist in every discipline that can have an impact on the public.”

Google Doodle honors Lotfi Zadeh, father of fuzzy logic

EECS Prof. Emeritus Lotfi Zadeh (1921 - 2017) is being honored with a Google Doodle feature today.  In 1964, Zadeh conceived a new mathematical concept called fuzzy logic which offered an alternative to rigid yes-no logic in an effort to mimic how people see the world.  He proposed using imprecise data to solve problems that might have ambiguous or multiple solutions by creating sets where elements have a degree of membership. Considered controversial at the time, fuzzy logic has been hugely influential in both academia and industry, contributing to, among other things, "medicine, economic modelling and consumer products such as anti-lock braking, dishwashers and elevators."   Zadeh's seminal paper, "Fuzzy Sets -- Information and Control," was submitted for publication 57 years ago today.

Michael Jordan calls for a more practical and advantageous approach to AI

CS Prof. Michael Jordan has co-written an article in Wired titled "The Turing Test Is Bad for Business" in which he argues that now that "computers are able to learn from data and...interact, infer, and intervene in real-world problems, side by side with humans," humans should not try to compete with them but "focus on how computers can use data and machine learning to create new kinds of markets, new services, and new ways of connecting humans to each other in economically rewarding ways."  Jordan wrote the article because many AI investors are focusing on technologies with the goal of exceeding human performance on specific tasks, such as natural language translation or game-playing. “From an economic point of view, the goal of exceeding human performance raises the specter of massive unemployment,” he said. “An alternative goal for AI is to discover and support new kinds of interactions among humans that increase job possibilities.”

Pravin Varaiya wins 2022 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal

EECS Prof. Emeritus and alumnus Pravin Varaiya (Ph.D. 1966, advisor: Lotfi Zadeh), who is currently a Professor in the Graduate School, has won the 2022 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal.  This major IEEE Corporate Award recognizes "exceptional achievement in systems engineering and systems science." Varaiya, who is known for his contributions to stochastic control, hybrid systems and the unification of theories of control and computation, was cited “for seminal contributions to the engineering, analysis, and design of complex energy, transportation, and communication systems.”

UC Berkeley Announces Intel oneAPI Center of Excellence for Deep Learning

Berkeley EECS is happy to announce the launch of the Center for Energy Efficient Deep Learning (CEEDL), a new Intel oneAPI Center of Excellence (CoE) with Prof. Kurt Keutzer as Principal Investigator and Prof. Joey Gonzalez as co-PI. This center will focus on producing energy-efficient algorithms and implementations for deep learning’s most computationally-intensive workloads. As computing grows to become an increasingly significant portion of an organization’s energy budget, deep-learning workload compute demands are also becoming insatiable. The CEEDL’s charter includes developing energy-efficient algorithms for challenging workloads such as training recommendation systems and natural language understanding systems. The center will use the oneAPI Deep Neural Network Library (oneDNN) and the oneAPI Collective Communications Library (oneCCL) to optimize this work. While high-level algorithms are useful, these algorithms must be implemented on an ever-increasing variety of computational platforms to be impactful. oneAPI’s open, unified heterogeneous programming will significantly ease the development of portable implementations across multiple types of architectures: CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and other accelerators.

CDSS and Cal Performances present: "Place and Displacement: Bias in Our Algorithms and Society"

The Division of Computing, Data Science, and Society (CDSS) is excited to announce an upcoming event in collaboration with Cal Performances. On October 28, "Place and Displacement: Bias in Our Algorithms and Society" will feature Cal Artist-in-Residence Angélique Kidjo in conversation with CDSS Associate Provost Jennifer Chayes, EECS Assistant Professor Nika Haghtalab and Computer Science PhD Student Devin Guillory (advisor: Trevor Darrell). The group will discuss the intersection of artificial intelligence and art, computing tools' reflection of the biases of the people and data used to train them, and promising interventions that could make algorithms more just.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in person at Zellerbach Hall from 4:00 to 5:30 pm PST on Thursday, October 28. It will also be live-streamed. Registration is required and now open!
professor ruzena bajcsy

Ruzena Bajcsy wins PAMI Azriel Rosenfeld Lifetime Achievement Award

EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy has won the PAMI Azriel Rosenfeld Lifetime Achievement Award.  This award is presented biennially by the IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee for Pattern Analysis and Machine Learning (TCPAMI) to honor outstanding "researchers in Computer Vision who have made major contributions to the field over their career and who have influenced the field in an extraordinary way."  Bajcsy founded the pioneering General Robotics, Automation, Sensing, and Perception (GRASP) Lab in the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania in 1978.  The GRASP Lab was one of the first groups to foster interdisciplinary research between computer and cognitive scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers, and psychologists.  Her robotics research focused on computer vision, tactile perception, and the problem of system identification. Her work in medical imaging involved coupling a digital anatomy atlas with elastic matching algorithms in order to automatically identify anatomic structures of the brain.  This now standard technology was first used in X-ray tomography and later with MRI and positron image tomography.  At Berkeley, Bajcsy was the founding director of the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) in 2001, a collaboration between four University of California campuses.   Before coming to Berkeley, she headed the NSF Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate.  EECS Prof. Jitendra Malik, one of the speakers at ICCV 2021 where the award was announced, said "Ruzena has been a pioneer in so many ways, with her work on active perception, medical image analysis, robotics and her mentorship of generations of researchers in whom she has inculcated the highest of values. Her career is full of many, many 'firsts.'"

Stewart Russell selected as 2021 BBC Reith Lecturer

CS Prof. Stewart Russell has been selected as the 2021 BBC Reith Lecturer.  Considered among the most prestigious lecture series across all fields, Reith Lectures are delivered annually by leading authorites invited by the BBC "to advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest."   Russell will deliver four lectures this fall, held in four locations across the UK, on the subject of "Living With Artificial Intelligence." The series, which will be and broadcast on Radio 4 and the World Service as well as made available on BBC Sounds, will "explore the impact of AI on our lives and discuss how we can retain power over machines more powerful than ourselves."  The first lecture, titled "The Biggest Event in Human History," will be held in London and will cover the birth of AI; the second lecture, in Manchester, will cover "AI in Warfare;" the third, in Ediburgh, will cover "AI in the Economy;" and the final lecture, in Newcastle, is titled "AI: A Future for Humans?"  Russell, who is the Director of the Berkeley Center for Human-Compatible AI, has developed a new global seismic monitoring system for the nuclear-test-ban treaty and is currently working to ban lethal autonomous weapons.  His book "Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach" is the standard text in AI, used in 1500 universities in 135 countries.

Anca Dragan, Raluca Popa, and Thomas Courtade win 2020 EECS Teaching Awards

The 2019-20 EECS Teaching Awards recognize three members of our faculty whose extraordinary performances kept students focused and engaged during a particularly difficult year.  The CS Diane McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching was presented to Anca Dragan in the spirit of McEntyre who was know for her "dedication to teaching and her innovative programs for women in mathematics and computer science." Students said Dragan was "passionate, dedicated, inclusive, and enthusiastic," and "literally the most entertaining and helpful professor I’ve ever had." The CS Jim and Donna Gray Faculty Award for excellence in undergraduate teaching went to Raluca Ada Popa. She was commended by students for her passion, clarity, care, and enthusiasm, and was described as an "AMAZING" and entertaining lecturer who "encourages a lot of class discussion and gets us involved, even over zoom."   The EE Award for Outstanding Teaching, which recognizes innovation and excellence in curriculum and teaching methods, publication of quality textbooks, graduate and undergraduate advising, and personal inspiration of students, was presented to Thomas Courtade.  He was described by students as "a brilliant instructor" whose "ability to teach the fundamental core concepts of this content is incredible." He was also said to be "amazing when it comes to interacting with students. It is hard to believe how many people are in the class, because he makes it feel very personal."