CS Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan

Anca Dragan wants autonomous cars to understand people

CS Assistant Prof. Anca Dragan is one of the subjects of a San Francisco Chronicle article titled "Humanizing cars, sensitizing humans,"  about how the rise of robot vehicles will require reprogramming our relationship with them.  Dragan was interviewed for the section on "emotional intelligence" and what a robot car sees.  She said driverless cars will need to predict what humans on the road will do — and figure out how to behave appropriately around them.  Dragan is testing a computer model of an autonomous vehicle which nudges toward the adjacent lane and detects whether the simulated human driver hits the brakes or the accelerator, fairly similar to how most people change lanes.  “Those reactions tell it about your driving style, so it can anticipate whether it should merge or let you go first,” she said. “We’re excited to see that the car can ‘reason’ properly about people.”

Jacobs Hall receives 2017 AIA Education Facility Design Award of Merit

The American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s Committee on Architecture for Education (CAE) has awarded the Jacobs Institute of Design Innovation a 2017 Award of Merit.  "Education continues to evolve, and the projects from this year’s Education Facility Design Awards program...represent the state-of-the-art learning environments being developed in today's learning spaces,” states the AIA. “These projects showcase innovation across the entire learning continuum, displaying how today's architects are creating cutting-edge spaces that enhance modern pedagogy.”  Jacobs Hall is devoted to introducing design innovation at the center of engineering education and university life, and is designed as an interdisciplinary hub for students and teachers who love working at the intersection of design and technology.  It is "both a team-based, project-centric educational space and a compelling symbol to the region of the University’s commitment to enlightened, sustainable innovation."

Arvind Sridhar

Arvind Sridhar awarded Davidson Fellows scholarship

Management, Entrepreneurship, & Technology Program (M.E.T.) student Arvind Sridhar (CS/Business) has been awarded a $25,000 Davidson Fellows scholarship.  The award is presented annually by the Davidson Institute for Talent Development to 20 students based on “significant work” in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, literature, music and philosophy. Sridhar’s scholarship was granted based on a study he undertook at the Stanford University School of Medicine over the summer.  He sought to create algorithms and computational models that would allow doctors to diagnose the health of cardiac tissue using only images and videos of a tissue sample, and then use an injectable hydrogel, which mimics the heart’s micro-environment, to anchor and nourish stem cells to parts of the heart, allowing them to enable cardiac regeneration.

Alumnus Nikunj Oza

Nikunj Oza presents NASA's perspectives on Deep Learning

CS alumnus Nikunj Oza (M.S. '98/Ph.D. '01), now a research scientist in the Intelligent Systems Division of the NASA Ames Research Center, talks about NASA's perspectives on Deep Learning for an HPC User Forum video.  He presents a broad overview of work at NASA in data sciences, data mining, and machine learning, and delineates the roles of NASA, academia, and industry in advancing machine learning to help solve NASA's problems.

Pulkit Agrawal (photo: Nitesh Mor)

Pulkit Agrawal is teaching machines how to be curious

CS Ph.D. student Pulkit Agrawal (advisers: Jitendra Malik and Jack Gallant) is the subject of a Quant Magazine article titled "Clever Machines Learn How to Be Curious."  Agrawal is working at the Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research Lab with CS grad student Deepak Pathak, Pathak's adviser Prof. Trevor Darrell, and CS Prof. Alexei A. Efros,  to design experimental machine-learning algorithms which aim to "make a machine curious."  They equipped their learning agent with what they call an intrinsic curiosity module (ICM) designed to pull it forward through a video game without going haywire, despite having no prior understanding of the game. “You can think of curiosity as a kind of reward which the agent generates internally on its own, so that it can go explore more about its world,” Agrawal said.

CS Prof. Kathy Yelick

Kathy Yelick Charts the Promise and Progress of Exascale Science

CS Prof. Katherine Yelick is the subject of an interview in HPCwire in which she discusses the promise and progress of exascale science.  The article follows on the heels of Yelick's keynote address on "Breakthrough Science at the Exascale" at the ACM Europe Conference in Barcelona, Spain, earlier this month.  The fastest supercomputers in the world today solve problems at the petascale—that is a quadrillion calculations each second.  Exascale computing refers to systems capable of at least  one exaFLOPS, or a billion billion calculations per second.  Yelick's research interestes include parallel programming languages, compilers, algorithms and automatic performance tuning.   She is the Associate Laboratory Director (ALD) for Computing Sciences at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).

Joey Davis (Photo: Mandana Sassanfar)

Joey Davis becomes assistant professor of biology at MIT

CS alumnus Joey Davis (B.A. '03) has been hired as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).   Davis investigates how cells maintain a delicate internal balance of assembling and dismantling their own machinery, particularly macromolecules. He is also developing a series of new research techniques, some involving cryo-electron microscopy, a method to image large macromolecules at high resolution. Davis was a dual major in CS and biological engineering while at Berkeley.

EECS Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy

Ruzena Bajcsy wins 2017 John Scott Award

EECS Prof. Ruzena Bajcsy has won the 2017 John Scott Award which has been presented by the City of Philadelphia since 1822 to "the most deserving men and women whose inventions have contributed in some outstanding way to the comfort, welfare and happiness of mankind."  Bajcsy's award is for her contributions to robotics and engineering science, including the development of improved robotic perception and the creation of better methods to analyze medical images.  Many luminaries have received the award including Marie Curie, Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers, Jonas Salk and Glenn Seaborg.  Bajcsy will share the award with Warren Ewens (theoretical population genetics) and Masatoshi Nei (evolutionary theory).

EECS undergraduate programs are ranked #2 and #3 in 2018 by U.S. News

Once again, the EECS Department is one of the top ranked in the nation.  Our Computer Science undergraduate program ranked 2nd (after MIT),  up from 4th place in 2017, and our Electrical/Electronic/Communications undergraduate program came in at #3 (after MIT and Stanford), holding steady from last year.

John DeNero (photo: Phillip Downey)

John DeNero named inaugural Charles and Dianne Giancarlo Teaching Fellow

CS Assistant Teaching Professor John DeNero is the inaugural recipient of the Charles and Dianne Giancarlo Teaching Fellowship.  This fellowship supports excellence in undergraduate teaching in EECS and was made possible by a generous donation from alumnus Charles Giancarlo (EE M.S. '80)  and his wife, Dianne (co-founder of the Women’s Achievement Network and Development Alliance).  The College of Engineering will be hosting a reception to celebrate the appointment on September 19th.