News

Chelsea Finn wins 2018 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award

Recent graduate Chelsea Finn (Ph.D. '18, advisors: Pieter Abbeel and Sergey Levine), has won the prestigious ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award. This award is presented annually to "the author(s) of the best doctoral dissertation(s) in computer science and engineering."  In her dissertation, "Learning to Learn with Gradients," Finn introduced algorithms for meta-learning that enable deep networks to solve new tasks from small datasets, and demonstrated how her algorithms can be applied in areas including computer vision, reinforcement learning and robotics.  Finn  is currently a research scientist at Google Brain, a post-doc at the Berkeley AI Research Lab (BAIR), and an acting assistant professor at Stanford.  Last year's recipient, Aviad Rubinstein, was also a Berkeley EECS alum.

John Canny named new CS Division Chair

Prof. John Canny will become the new Chair of the Computer Science Division on July 1, 2019.   Canny joined the Berkeley faculty in 1987.  He received a B.S. in CS and Theoretical Physics (1979) and a B.E. in EE (1980), both from Adelaide University in Australia, and an M.S. (1983) and a Ph.D. (1987) from MIT.   He has made significant contributions to various areas of CS and mathematics including AI, robotics, computer graphics, human-computer interaction, computer security, computational algebra, and computational geometry.   He will replace outgoing Chair James Demmel.

Introducing the New CS Faculty: Alvin Cheung, Hany Farid, Nilah Ioannidis, Jelani Nelson, and Aditya Parameswaran

Five new Computer Science faculty will be joining the EECS department in June:   Assistant Prof. Alvin Cheung, whose research interests include database management and programming systems; Prof. Hany Farid, who will have a joint appointment with the I-School; Assistant Prof. Nila Ioannidis, who will have a joint appointment with the Center for Computational Biology; Prof. Jelani Nelson in computing theory; and Assistant Prof. Aditya Parameswaran, who will also have a joint appointment with the I-School.

Scott Shenker National Academy of Sciences
Professor Scott Shenker

Scott Shenker elected to the National Academy of Sciences

Prof. Scott Shenker has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS).  Membership is awarded in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original scientific research. Prof Shenker is a fellow of the ACM and IEEE, as well as a member of the National Academy of Engineering. In 2017, he was named a Berkeley Visionary by the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce, and also received the ACM Paris Kanellakis Award “for pioneering contributions to fair queueing in packet-switching networks, which had a major impact on modern practice in computer communication.”

Berkeley CS wins major award to integrate ethics into undergraduate curriculum

The EECS Computer Science program is one of the inaugural recipients of the "Responsible Computer Science Challenge" award, an ambitious $3.5 million initiative designed to help integrate ethics into undergraduate computer science education.  The CS Division, which was the only leading CS program selected, will combine forces with the Division of Data Sciences to continue to develop and scale a curriculum that will "equip students to recognize and grapple with the complex, high-stakes questions" that arise in today's world.  Since technologies like facial recognition can help find missing children or perpetuate bias, and social media platforms can be used to both build human rights movements and hack elections, students need to learn how to reason clearly about what technology should and should not do.  Berkeley students will be active participants in developing and testing the new course material.  "We hope the toolkit we’re developing at Berkeley can help other colleges and universities integrate ethics into their classes at scale," said EECS chair James Demmel.

Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

Stuart Russell wins Andrew Carnegie Fellowship

Prof. Stuart Russell has been elected as an Andrew Carnegie Fellow. Also called the “Brainy Award,” the Andrew Carnegie Fellowship awards recipients with a grant of up to $200,000 in order to “devote significant time to research, writing, and publishing in the humanities and social sciences — work that will benefit all of us.”  The award’s objective “is to offer fresh perspectives on the humanities and solutions to the urgent issues of today.”

ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award

Paper by Koushik Sen wins ACM SIGSOFT Impact Paper Award

The paper titled "CUTE: a concolic unit testing engine for C", authored by Prof. Koushik Sen (EECS), Darko Marinov (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Gul Agha (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) has been chosen to receive an ACM SIGSOFT (Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Software Engineering) Impact Paper Award. The award is given annually and “recognizes the breadth and vitality of the software engineering community."

Caroline Lemieux and Daniel Fried named 2019 Google PhD Fellows

CS graduate students Caroline Lemieux (adviser: Koushik Sen) and Daniel Fried (adviser: Daniel Klein) have won 2019 Google PhD Fellowships.  The Google PhD Fellowship Program was created to recognize outstanding graduate students doing exceptional work in computer science and related research areas.  Fellowships are awarded to students who "represent the future of research" in those fields. Lemieux, who won in the field of Programming Technology and Software Engineering, has interests which center around improving, or helping developers to improve, the correctness, reliability, and understanding of software systems.  Fried, who won in the Natural Language Processing category,  is interested in grounding language in perception and interaction, and in structured prediction.

Mendel Rosenblum wins Inaugural ACM Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award

CS alumnus Mendel Rosenblum (MS '89/PhD '92) has been honored with the inaugural ACM Charles P. “Chuck” Thacker Breakthrough in Computing Award.  Rosenblum, who is currently a professor at Stanford, is being recognized "for reinventing the virtual machine for the modern era and thereby revolutionizing datacenters and enabling modern cloud computing."   He is a co-founder of VMware,  where helped design and build virtualization technology for commodity computing platforms.  The Breakthrough in Computing Award "recognizes individuals or groups who have made surprising, disruptive, or leapfrog contributions to computing ideas or technologies." Rosenblum will formally receive the award at ACM’s annual Awards Banquet in June.

Nolan Pokpongkiat wins third place David L. Kirp Prize

Third-year Computer Science undergraduate Nolan Pokpongkiat is the third place winner of the KIDS FIRST: David L. Kirp Prize, funded by the U.C. Berkeley Institute for the Study of Societal Issues.  The prize recognizes "students who have developed innovative strategies to increase opportunities for children and youth, as well as students who have demonstrated a commitment to improving the future of children and youth."  Pokpongkiat co-founded Helix, a non-profit organization with the goal of diversifying the healthcare field by empowering young people to pursue futures in medicine. As Managing Director, Nolan brought together a team to design a month-long summer program where high school students spend a week living at UC Berkeley training in basic clinical skills, getting CPR-certified, and learning about possible healthcare careers. Then, through partnerships with UCSF Health, John Muir Health, and Kaiser Permanente, along with a network of over 160 medical professionals, students rotate through shadowing placements in the hospital, on the ambulance, and in community clinics for the remainder of the month.