Black History in EECS: Joseph Thomas Gier

Meet EE Prof. Joseph Gier (1910-1961), the first tenured black professor in the U. C. system and the first tenured black faculty member in a STEM field—and the second in any field—at a top-ranked, predominantly white university in the country.  He was also a world expert in the field of thermal and luminous radiation, particularly infrared measurement, and was considered by many at the time to be the “best laboratory instructor ever to teach in electrical engineering at Berkeley.”

Diane Greene wins 2019 Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award

CS alumna Diane Greene (M.S. '88) has won a 2019 U. C. Berkeley Campanile Excellence in Achievement Award.  This award "recognizes an alumnus/a whose remarkable professional achievements reflect the excellence of a UC Berkeley education" and is co-presented every year by the UC Berkeley Foundation and the Cal Alumni Association.  Greene recently served as the CEO of Google's cloud business and was a founder and CEO of VMware.  She will be formally presented with her award at the Berkeley Charter Gala on May 16, 2019.

2019 IEEE Computer Society Pioneer: Jitendra Malik
Prof. Jitendra Malik

Jitendra Malik wins the 2019 IEEE Computer Society Pioneer Award

Prof. Jitendra Malik has won the 2019 IEEE Computer Society Pioneer Award. The Computer Pioneer Award was established in 1981 by the Board of Governors of the IEEE Computer Society to recognize and honor the vision of those people whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The award is presented to outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to early concepts and developments in the electronic computer field, which have clearly advanced the state-of-the-art in computing. Malik, who is known for his research in computer vision, is honored “For a leading role in developing Computer Vision into a thriving discipline through pioneering research, leadership, and mentorship.” The award consists of a silver medal, which will be presented at an IEEE Computer Society event later this year.


2019 Sloan Fellowships: Moritz Hardt and Sergey Levine

Moritz Hardt and Sergey Levine win Sloan Research Fellowships

Assistant Profs. Moritz Hardt and Sergey Levine have been awarded 2019 Alfred O. Sloan Research Fellowships. They are among 126 early-career scholars who represent the most promising scientific researchers working today. Their achievements and potential place them among the next generation of scientific leaders in the U.S. and Canada. Winners receive $70,000, which may be spent over a two-year term on any expense supportive of their research. Hardt and Levine were both selected in the Computer Science category. Hardt’s research aims to make the practice of machine learning more robust, reliable, and aligned with societal values. The goal of Levine’s research is to develop artificial intelligence systems that are flexible, general, and adaptable. “Sloan Research Fellows are the best young scientists working today,” said foundation president Adam Falk. “Sloan Fellows stand out for their creativity, for their hard work, for the importance of the issues they tackle, and the energy and innovation with which they tackle them.”



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.