News

Berkeley distinguished by number of graduating startup founders

According to Crunchbase News,  UC Berkeley graduated 108 startup founders--not including business school graduates --who raised $1M or more after May 1, 2018.   This makes Berkeley the top-ranked public university, and the third-ranked university of any kind after Stanford and MIT, in founding graduates.  In the Crunchbase tally of all funded founders graduating from public universities (including those with business school degrees), Berkeley (with 240) had more than three times the number of funded founders than second-ranked UCLA (with 85).  Berkeley News notes that you would have to combine the second- through fifth-ranked schools (UCLA, Michigan, Illinois and Washington)  to get to Berkeley’s level. “Berkeley is the original question-the-status-quo, do-disruptive-thinking place,” says Caroline Winnet of Berkeley SkyDeck. “I like to say that we don’t just think outside the box. There is no box.”

Joseph Gonzalez: at the intersection of machine learning and data systems

EECS Assistant Prof. Joseph Gonzalez is the focus of a profile for the Association for Computing Machinery's "People of ACM" series.  Gonzalez, who works at the intersection of machine learning and data systems, desribes how and why his field has grown over time, where it might be heading, and what challenges might need to be addressed in the future.  "Today progress is largely limited by creativity and our budget for compute resources and data," he says. "Machine learning frameworks...provide the necessary abstractions to hide the complexity of differentiation, optimization, and parallel computation, freeing the modern data scientist to focus on the learning problem. These frameworks build on advances in data systems and scientific computing to unlock new parallel hardware."

Elizaveta Tremsina is 2019 ACM SRC Grand Finals Winner

A paper written by recent graduate Elizaveta Tremsina (B.S. '19 CS/Physics/Applied Math) has taken third place in the undergraduate category of the 2019 ACM Student Research Competition (SRC) Grand Finals.  The paper, titled "Your Story Recorded in a Magnet: Micromagnetic Simulations of Spin-Orbit Torque in Multi-layer Structures," was a continuation of the first place poster she presented at the 2018 Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing.    "I am extremely thankful to the Berkeley EECS department for the amazing 4.5 years and for the unique chance to participate in cutting-edge research with Dr. Salahuddin's group and also attend the Tapia conference (my first one back in 2016 and last year)," she said. "I hope that more Berkeley undergrads participate in this competition in the future, be it at Tapia or other ACM conferences."  Tremsina was presented with her award at the ACM awards banquet last weekend.

Nadia Heninger wins Borg Early Career Award

EECS alumna Nadia Heninger (B.S. '04) has won the 2019 Borg Early Career Award (BECA).  The BECA  is given to a woman in computer science and/or engineering who has made significant research contributions and who has contributed to her profession, especially in the outreach to women.  After graduation, Heninger earned a Ph.D. from Princeton and is currently an associate professor in Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego.  She is known for her work on freezing powered-down security devices to slow their fading memories and allow their secrets to be recovered via a cold boot attack, for her discovery that weak keys for the RSA cryptosystem are in widespread use by internet routers and other embedded devices, and for her research on how failures of forward secrecy in bad implementations of the Diffie–Hellman key exchange may have allowed the NSA to decrypt large amounts of internet traffic via the Logjam vulnerability.

Alexei Efros, Ren Ng and Kameshwar Poolla win EECS outstanding teaching awards

The winners of the 2019 EECS teaching awards have been announced:  Alexei Efros has won the Diane S. McEntyre Award for Excellence in Teaching Computer Science "for captivating lectures and engaging teaching in computer vision courses;"  Ren Ng has won the Jim and Donna Gray Faculty Award for Undergraduate Teaching "for exceptionally inspiring and engaging teaching in computer graphics courses;" and Kameshwar Poolla has won the Electrical Engineering Award for Outstanding Teaching "for outstanding lectures and inspiring mentorship of undergraduates and graduate students."  We are fortunate to have such dedicated and talented faculty to define the character of the EECS department and guide the future of their fields.

Mark D. Hill wins ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award

CS alumnus Mark D. Hill (Ph.D. '87, advisers: David Patterson and Alan J. Smith) has won the ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award, considered the most prestigious award in the computer architecture community.  Hill, who is currently a professor at the University of Wisconsin—Madison, was cited "for contributions to memory consistency models and memory system design."  Widely regarded as the leading memory systems researcher in the world today, Hill made seminal contributions to the fields of cache memories, memory consistency models, transactional memory, and simulation.   His thesis advisor, David Patterson, won the Eckert-Mauchly award in 2008.  It will be presented at the 2019 ACM/IEEE International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA) in June.

Rikky Muller and Ren Ng named 2019 Hellman Faculty Fellows

Assistant Profs. Rikky Muller (EE) and Ren Ng (CS) have been selected to receive awards from the Hellman Faculty Fellows Fund.  The fund supports "substantially the research of promising assistant professors who show capacity for great distinction in their research."   Muller won for "Networks of Neural Dust" and Ng won for "Oz Vision:  New Principles for Color Display, and An Experimental Platform for Neuroscience."

Alvin Cheung wins 2019 ACM SIGSOFT Distinguished Paper Award

Assistant Prof. Alvin Cheung has won an Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Software Engineering (SIGSOFT) Distinguished Paper Award at the 2019 International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE).  The paper, titled "View-Centric Performance Optimization for Database-Backed Web Applications," was co-authored by his student at the University of Washington, Cong Yan, and colleagues at the University of Chicago: Junwen Yang, Chengcheng Wan, and Shan Lu.

The Essential Interview: Ken Goldberg

Prof. Ken Goldberg is the subject of an interview in Robotics Business Review (RBR) Insider with the tag line "Working at the intersection of art, robotics, and social media, Dr. Ken Goldberg shares his thoughts on making robots less clumsy when grabbing objects."  Goldberg has a joint appointment in IEOR and is the Director of the CITRIS People and Robots Initiative as well as the AUTOLAB.  He says "my proudest moment was when I was hired at UC Berkeley in 1995. Since I was a kid in the 1960’s I’ve always idolized Berkeley including the Free Speech Movement – and social justice movements during a time when its students questioned authority. Berkeley is a public university and has this amazing reputation in terms of innovation and rigor, not only in the sciences and engineering, but also in the arts, humanities and social sciences."

Tianshi Wang and Jaijeet Roychowdhury win UCNC 2019 Best Paper Award

A paper co-authored by freshly minted alumnus Tianshi Wang (Ph.D. '19, winner of the 2019 EECS David Sakrison Memorial Prize for "truly outstanding research") and Prof. Jaijeet Roychowdhury has won Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Unconventional Computation and Natural Computation (UCNC) 2019.  The paper, titled "OIM: Oscillator-based Ising Machines for Solving Combinatorial Optimisation Problems" will be presented at the conference in Japan next week.