News

EECS Remembers Jason Rossilli

The Department is sorry to share the news that EECS major Jason Rossilli passed away at his home late last week.  Jason was close with many of his peers, staff and faculty in the department.  We are deeply saddened by his loss.   News of the passing of a member of our community will no doubt impact all of us. Talking to a professional counselor can be very helpful.  Students may reach a Tang Center Counselor at 510-642-9494, or may visit them at 2222 Bancroft Way for drop-in counseling between 10am-4:30pm. ESS also has three dedicated psychologists available with drop-in counseling hours in 241 Bechtel on Tuesdays 2-4pm, and Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am-12pm.  Faculty and staff may reach a counselor through the campus Employee Assistance Program: (510) 643-7754.

Xinyun Chen wins 2020 Facebook Fellowship

Third year CS graduate student Xinyun Chen (advisor: Dawn Song) has been awarded a 2020 Facebook Fellowship.  Chen was recognized in the Machine Learning category for her work in neural program synthesis and adversarial machine learning.  Her goal is to increase the accessibility of programming to general users, and enhance the security and trustworthiness of machine learning models.   Chen has interned at both Facebook AI Research and Google Brain.

After Parkland shooting, Kai Koerber fights for mental health resources in schools

CS-intended major Kai Koerber, a survivor of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and now an advocate for mental health education, is the subject of an interview in an episode of Fiat Vox, the Berkeley News podcast.  Koerber was a high school senior in February 2018 when he huddled in a closet to escape the gunman, a former student, who killed 17 people in one of the deadliest school shootings in the country.  He decided to take a stand and speak authentically about gun violence and mental health, contributing the perspective of a young black person living in the South.  That April, he founded Societal Reform Corporation, a nonprofit dedicated to supporting mental health in schools by implementing programs that teach students of all ages to “mitigate emotions, relax, learn and grow as human beings.”

Jake Tibbetts and SIGNAL win 2019 SGS&C Best Student Game

Computer Science and Global Studies double major, Jake Tibbetts, and the UC Berkeley Project on Nuclear Gaming (PONG) were awarded Best Student Game at the 2019 Serious Games Showcase and Challenge (SGS&C) for their work on SIGNAL.  SIGNAL is an online three-player experimental wargame in which three countries, some armed with nuclear weapons, attempt to achieve national goals through diplomacy and conflict.  It is designed to help understand the impact of emerging technologies on strategic stability and nuclear risk reduction. Tibbetts, who specializes in Peace and Conflict Studies, is a member of the Nuclear Science and Security Consortium (NSSC), a five-year program to develop a new generation of laboratory-integrated nuclear experts.  SGS&C is the premier venue for recognition of excellence in the field of Serious Games development.

Jaijeet Roychowdhury and Tianshi Wang win 2019 Nokia Bell Labs Prize

EECS Prof. Jaijeet Roychowdhury and his graduate student Tianshi Wang have won First Place in the 2019 Nokia Bell Labs Competition for their work on  “A Classical Spin on Quantum Computing.”  The pair have created a new type of processor element that will be significantly more efficient in computing the answers to discrete optimization problems. Their innovation will complement conventional digital processors (CPUs and GPUs) by efficiently tackling a wide range of computationally hard problems of importance in many diverse areas, including 5G communication systems; complex tasks in planning, scheduling and control; and even the discovery of new drugs.  The first place finish comes with a prize of $100K.

Student research projects to be highlighted at Data Science Showcase

The Data Science Showcase, which will highlight the amazing ways that students are using data science to advance discovery and impact across campus and beyond in over 30+ projects, will be held this Thursday, December 5, from 12 noon to 3:30 pm in Sutardja Dai Hall.  The Showcase will kick off with a series of presentations in the Banatao Auditorium, followed by posters, demonstrations, and light refreshments in the adjoining Kvamme Atrium.  RSVP requested.

Ashwin Pananjady wins inaugual IMS Lawrence Brown PhD Student Award

EECS graduate student Ashwin Pananjady (advisors: Martin Wainwright and Thomas Courtade) is one of the three inaugural recipients of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics (IMS) Lawrence D. Brown PhD Student Award.  Pananjady, who studies fundamental problems spanning statistics, information theory, optimization, and machine learning, will present his research at a special invited session during the 10th World Congress in Probability and Statistics (WC2020), to be held in Seoul, Korea, next year.

Shruti Agarwal to participate on SMPTE Hollywood "deepfakes" panel

EECS graduate student Shruti Agarwal (advisor: Hany Farid) will participate in the November 19th meeting of the Hollywood Section of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) on the topic of "Digital Humans and Deepfakes: Creative Promise and Peril."  Agarwal, whose research is in the field of multimedia forensics, will be part of a panel that will describe the history of digital humans and deepfakes, the challenges involved in creating them convincingly, and if/how news and entertainment professionals can spot them.  The meeting will be held in tandem with the Radio, Television, Digital Newsroom Association (RTDNA).

Two EECS papers win 2019 ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards

Two papers co-authored by Berkeley EECS authors won ACM SIGPLAN Distinguished Paper Awards at the Conference on Object-Oriented Programming, Systems, Languages, and Applications (OOPSLA) 2019.  "Duet: An Expressive Higher-Order Language and Linear Type System for Statically Enforcing Differential Privacy" co-authored by Prof. Dawn Song (Ph.D. '02, advisor: Doug Tygar), graduate student Lun Wang, undergraduate researcher Pranav Gaddamadugu, and alumni Neel Somani (CS B.A.  '19), Nikhil Sharma (EECS B.S. '18/M.S. '19),  and Alex Shan (CS B.A. '18), along with researchers in Vermont and Utah, and "Aroma: Code Recommendation via Structural Code Search" co-authored by Prof. Koushik Sen (along with authors at Facebook and UC Irvine), won two of the five honors awarded at the top programming language conference, part of the ACG SIGPLAN conference on Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) in October.  

Ren Ng weighs in on why your photos are about to get a lot better

CS Prof. Ren Ng is quoted in a New York Times article titled "The Reason Your Photos Are About to Get a Lot Better."  The article describes how computational photography is driving the future of phone cameras.  “Most photos you take these days are not a photo where you click the photo and get one shot,” said Ng. “These days it takes a burst of images and computes all of that data into a final photograph.”  He and his students are researching new techniques in computational photography, like applying portrait-mode effects to videos.  One type of effect could be to set the recorded footage to automatically focus on whomever is speaking.  “These are examples of capabilities that are completely new and emerging in research that could completely change what we think of that’s possible,” said Ng.