News

Paul Jacobs is UC Berkeley's 2017 Alumnus of the Year

EECS alumnus Paul E. Jacobs (B.S. '84/M.S. '86/Ph.D. '89) has been named U.C. Berkeley's 2017 Alumnus of the Year.  After graduating from Berkeley, Paul rose up the ranks at Qualcomm, which had been co-founded by his father, and is currently serving as Executive Chairman.  He won the IEEE Weber Managerial Leadershiip Award in 2014 and the Distinguished Industry Leader Award in 2015.  Paul has donated millions of dollars to the College of Engineering and CITRIS, endowed an engineering professorship, served on a number of important University boards, and funded the creation of the eponymous Jacob's Hall.

UC Berkeley alumni are 2017's most wanted tech employees

According to an analysis by online recruiting company HiringSolved, UC Berkeley has the most undergraduate and graduate alumni hired by the 25 biggest Silicon Valley employers in 2017.  Using data from more than 10,000 public profiles for tech workers hired or promoted into new positions in 2016 and the first two months of 2017, the company determined that Berkeley alumni were hired more frequently than any other, followed by Stanford, CMU, and USC.  A Quartz Media article attributes some of that success to the close relationships our faculty and administrators have with Bay Area tech firms.  HiringSolved also determined which skills were the best indicators for getting entry-level jobs and the most likely job titles for new graduate applicants.

Google TPUs are built for inference

CS Prof. Emeritus David Patterson co-authored and presented a report on Tensor Processing Units (TPUs) at a regional seminar of the National Academy of Engineering, held at the Computer History Museum in Menlo Park on April 5, 2017.   TPUs, which have been deployed in Google datacenters since 2015, are printed-circuit cards which are inserted into existing servers and act as co-processors tailored for neural-network calculations.  Prof. Patterson says that TPUs are "an order of magnitude faster than contemporary CPUs and GPUs" with an even larger relative performance per watt.  According to an article for the IEEE Spectrum, TPUs are "built for doing inference," having hardware that operates on 8-bit integers rather than the higher-precision floating-point numbers used in CPUs and GPUs.

Baiyu Chen awarded top prize at Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge

CS graduate student Baiyu Chen (advisor: Alexei Efros) and Anthony Barrs were awarded top prize and $50,000 for their design at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge.  Their idea, profiled in an article for Fortune, was to construct a "Hyperlane," or a single platform the size of four interstate lanes that would run parallel to pre-existing highways in order for self-driving cars to travel at high speeds with no chance of getting into a jam.

Startup Trifacta gives customers an intuitive, agile new way of working with data

Trifacta, a data wrangling startup co-founded by Prof. Joe Hellerstein (also company CSO and CS alumnus--M.S. '92), is one of the companies profiled by Computer Weekly in an article titled "Silicon Valley startups aim to make big data capture and prep slicker."  Customers of Trifacta, which specializes in sorting out data and getting it into shape for analysis, includes the Royal Bank of Scotland, the Luxembourg Stock Exchange, PepsiCo, Walmart, and soon Google (Cloud Dataprep). Other CS alumni on the Trifacta team include co-founder and CXO Jeffrey Heer (B.S. '01/M.S. '04/Ph.D. '08) and Vice President of Products Wei Zheng (B.A. '99).  

Andrew Ng on why Artificial Intelligence is the new electricity

CS alumnus Andrew Ng (Ph.D. '02), Chief Scientist at Baidu, founder of Google Brain, co-founder of Coursera, and Stanford adjunct professor, describes in a video on Inside HPC how artificial intelligence is transforming the industrial landscape.  He compares the impact of AI to that of electricity, which radically transformed industry after industry when it was introduced.

A new understanding of the world through grassroots Data Science education

Vani Mandava, the Director of Data Science at Microsoft Research, has written an article about the innovative course Foundations of Data Science taught by CS Assistant Teaching Prof. John DeNero and Ani Adhikari, a Teaching Professor in the Department of Statistics.  Mandava examines the motives and experiences of the students, and describes the aim of Berkeley’s Data Science Education Program (supported in part by Microsoft) to make data science an integral feature of a liberal education and a core interdisciplinary capacity available to all Berkeley undergraduates.

Anca Dragan and Yoky Matsuoka are taking charge in 2017

CS Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan and EECS alumna Yoky Matsuoka (B.S. '93) are among Interesting Engineering's "17 Awesome Women Engineers" who are revolutionizing the engineering field in 2017.  Anca is described as "one of the rising stars of the robotics scene" as the head of the InterACT Lab at UC Berkeley which specializes in human/robotics interactions, algorithms and compatible artificial intelligence systems."  Yoky is "a hot commodity among major tech companies" as the CTO of Alphabet Nest.

EECS joins 5G Innovators Initiative to explore the Industrial Internet of Things

UC Berkeley has joined Honeywell and GE as initial participants in the 5G Innovators Initiative (5GI2), an open industry initiative designed to create transformative experiences that change lives, businesses and society, launched by Ericsson  and Intel Corporation.  The first segment of 5GI2 will focus on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT) and develop pilots for application of technologies including augmented and virtual reality for first responder drone surveillance of hazardous environments and other uses.  CS Prof. Ion Stoica, Director of RISELab, says "We pride ourselves for interdisciplinary collaboration and believe we are in a unique position to explore new applications, use cases, and business models for 5G that will ultimately realize its potential."

Five EECS faculty among investigators awarded $14.5 million by CZ Biohub

Prof. Michel Maharbiz, Prof. Yun Song, Associate Prof. Laura Waller, Assistant Prof. Rikky Muller, and Assistant Prof. Nir Yosef are among the  thirteen UC Berkeley faculty chosen to receive up to $1.5 million each over the next five years by the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub.   The investigator awards are the first individual grants by the CZ Biohub as it seeks to foster unconventional scientific exploration and encourage researchers to invent new tools to accelerate the pace of discovery.  “I am humbled and speechless,” said Prof. Maharbiz. “This is an ambitious endeavor and I can’t wait to get started and be part of it. I really do believe we, collectively, can make a big impact on diseases over the next decade, and I’m really excited to be a part of this.”