News

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.

Rebecca Sorla Portnoff: Coding against sex trafficking

In an effort to catch sex traffickers, CS alumna Rebecca Sorla Portnoff (Ph.D. '17, adviser: David Wagner) creates computer codes that help identify similarities in traffickers’ online ads and find the Bitcoin accounts they use to buy the ads.  She works for THORN: Digital Defenders of Children, an organization that builds technology to fight the sexual abuse of children.  UC Berkeley News has created a video about her work.

Ken Goldberg and Eric Brewer on AI, Automation and the Future of Work

CS Profs. Ken Goldberg and Eric Brewer appeared in a live NewRetirement podcast to discuss Artificial Intelligence, Robots, Automation and the Future of Work.  The interview covered the history of technological revolutions, what’s happening now with technology like self-driving cars, AI, robotics, and automation and how it may impact society, industries, companies and individuals. Their opinions about where we are today and ideas like the Singularity may surprise you.

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.

Michael Stonebraker to deliver opening keynote at Data Summit

ACM A.M. Turing Award Laureate and database technology pioneer Prof. Emeritus Michael Stonebraker will deliver the opening keynote at Data Summit 2019, titled “Big Data, Technological Disruption, and the 800-Pound Gorilla in the Corner.”  Stonebraker was the main architect of the INGRES relational DBMS, and the object-relational DBMS, POSTGRES, developed at U.C. Berkeley. The Data Summit brings together corporations, government agencies, and public institutions to learn about the leading technologies and strategies for succeeding in this increasingly data-driven world.

HP Names Yoky Matsuoka to Board of Directors

2014 CS Distinguished Alumna, Yoky Matsuoka (B.S. '93), has been appointed to the Board of Directors of HP Inc.  Matsuoka was the founder of Google[x], the company's innovative research and development lab, before serving as CTO of Google Alphabet's Nest business.  She was also a senior executive at Apple and an endowed professor at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Washington.  The HP Board of Directors is said to be one of the most diverse of any technology company in the U.S.

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.

Students take another step toward an autonomous future

A team of Berkeley undergraduates that includes CS major Gan Tu,  EECS majors Philipp Wu (EE/ME), Malhar Patel, and Bradley Qu, and EECS minor Travis Brashears (Engineering Physics major), are building autonomous backpack-sized mobile robots for a project called Autonomous Motion at Cal (AMAC).  Their aim is to create autonomous vehicles that will be able to navigate the densely populated UC Berkeley campus.

Lydia Liu wins inaugural Ada Lovelace Fellowship

CS grad student Lydia Liu (advisers: Michael Jordan and Moritz Hardt) has won the inaugural Microsoft Research Ada Lovelace Fellowship.  The new three-year fellowship is for PhD students at North American universities who are members of groups underrepresented in computing and pursuing research aligned to the topics carried out by Microsoft Research.  Liu's research aims to establish theoretical foundations for machine learning algorithms to achieve reliable and robust performance. The fellowship comes with a $42K stipend, tuition for three years, and an invitation to the PhD Summit, a two-day workshop where fellows will meet with Microsoft researchers and other top students to share their research.