Berkeley named on list of 10 Best Cities for Techies

The city of Berkeley took the #6 spot on Livability's ranking of "2019 10 Best Cities for Techies."  Cities were judged on factors that included: the proximity to top engineering, technology, and computer science degree programs; state internet coverage; top startup accelerators, incubators, and growth; and top environments for entrepreneurs.  "Prestigious University of California, Berkeley, ranks third among the best computer science programs worldwide, focusing on research to build the future of the tech industry. Almost 70 percent of the city’s population has a college degree, and its robust startup scene provides a myriad of opportunities for industry up-and-comers."

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.

Women in Data Science will take the challenge to make a difference

The 2nd Annual Women in Data Science (WiDS) 2019 Datathon will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2019 in Soda Hall.  The challenge will be to create a model that can detect oil palm plantations in high-resolution satellite imagery to help build awareness about deforestation and oil palm plantations.  The Datathon is a chance for women to meet other participants, form teams, learn the basics of participating in Kaggle competitions, and get a jump start on Datathon submissions with the help of technical mentors and domain experts.  Mentors who have some knowledge about deforestation, data science, image analysis, or have experience with technical project management, Kaggle competitions, or hackathons in general are welcome.  Tickets required.

The shutdown and Berkeley: Q&A with Vice Chancellor Randy Katz

EE Prof. Randy Katz, now the Vice Chancellor for Research at Berkeley, answers questions  about how the standoff over President Trump’s border wall is affecting UC Berkeley’s research enterprise so far, and what will happen if the shutdown continues much longer.  "If people decide to leave the field, the scientific brain trust, we will sacrifice our ability to be in the forefront of science and scholarship. Once we cede leadership in science, we will handicap our nation’s ability to stay ahead," he said.

Barbara Grosz joins the Embedded EthiCS team

1997 Distinguished CS Alumna Barbara Grosz (M.S. '71/Ph.D. '77, adviser: Martin Graham), the Higgins Professor of Natural Sciences at Harvard, is part of the Embedded EthiCS @ Harvard team, which aims to bring  "ethical reasoning into the computer science curriculum."  Embedded EthiCS  is a collaboration between philosophers and computer scientists at Harvard, led by faculty from both fields. Post-doctoral fellows and advanced graduate students meet weekly for a teaching lab to develop Embedded EthiCS modules.  The aim of Embedded EthiCS is to teach students to consider not merely what technologies they could create, but whether they should create them.  "The Embedded EthiCS distributed pedagogy embeds philosophers directly into computer science courses to teach students how to think through the ethical and social implications of their work."

UC Berkeley’s Fastest-Growing Class Is Data Science 101

The Wall Street Journal has published an article titled "UC Berkeley’s Fastest-Growing Class Is Data Science 101," about the creation of the new Division of Data Science and Information at Berkeley.  It discusses the popular introductory course Data Sciences 101, the new Data Science major,  and how the field of Data Science is exploding.   "Berkeley’s goal isn’t just to train data scientists, but to get students from other disciplines, including the humanities and social sciences, to also learn what a data orientation can do for their work."

Berkeley announces transformative Division of Data Science and Information

UC Berkeley today announced its plan to form a new interdisciplinary academic unit to coordinate and foster the growth of various programs related to informatics — which encompasses computing as well as societal implications of information technologies — across the campus. This new unit, provisionally named the Division of Data Science and Information, will provide a framework to facilitate collaborations between researchers from different disciplines.  A global search has begun for a new associate provost to head the new division beginning on July 1, 2019.   

EECS grad students, faculty, and alumni to participate in 2018 Rising Stars

CS graduate students Sarah Chasins (advisor: Ras Bodik), Orianna DeMasi (BIDS), Sandy Huang (advisors: Anca Dragan/Pieter Abbeel), and postdoc Angjoo Kanazawa (advisors: Jitendra Malik/Alyosha Efros/Trevor Darrell) will be participating in the Rising Stars career-building workshop for women in EECS, which will be held from Oct. 28-30, 2018 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachussetts.    Chasin's topic is “Helena: A Web Automation Language for End Users,” DeMasi's is " Developing a Dialog System to Augment SMS Helpline Counselor Training,” Huang's is “Enabling Robot Transparency with Informative Actions,” and Kanazawa's is “Perceiving Deformable Shapes: Humans, Animals, and Birds.”  Speakers include EECS Profs. Laura Waller and Katherine Yelick, as well as postdoc Farnaz Niroui and alumnus Anantha Chandrakasan (B.S. '89/M.S. '90/Ph.D. '94).

prof. david wagner

Data is "the coin of the realm"

Prof. David Wagner is at the center of an article in the San Francisco Chronicle titled "Data science, the ‘new Latin’ for students, in demand in Silicon Valley."  Data science is one of the fastest-growing fields of study at Berkeley, but the field is in such demand that jobs far outstrip the supply of graduates in the Bay Area.  “Data science is the new Latin for university students,” said Wagner.  At one time, to be a college-educated person, “you had to learn Latin because that was the language of scholarly study,” Wagner said. “Now, data is the coin of the realm.”

Berkeley is #1 university open source contributor

UC Berkeley is the top ranked university in the third annual Octoverse Report list of "Open source contributions made by employees of different organizations," with 2700 contributions.  Berkeley is the fourth ranked organization overall--after Microsoft, Google, and Red Hat.  The Octoverse Report is a roundup of GitHub data across global repositories from the last 12 months.  Four other universities made the top ten:  the University of Washington  (6th place with 1800 contributions), MIT (8th place with 1700), UMich and Stanford (tied 9th with 1600 contributions each) .