News

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.

CS Prof. Scott Shenker

Scott Shenker wins 2017 Berkeley Visionary Award

CS Prof. Scott Shenker has won a  2017 Visionary Award from the Berkeley Chamber of Commerce.  The award was created to acknowledge entrepreneurs and "celebrate people with the imagination and persistence to innovate in the City of Berkeley."  Shenker co-founded Nicira,  a company focused on software-defined networking (SDN) and network virtualization, which was sold to VMware in 2012 for $1.26 billion.   The award will be presented at ceremony at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre on September 11th.

Jeff Mahler and Ken Goldberg (photo: Jason LeCras for The New York Times)

Ken Goldberg and Jeff Mahler explain how warehouse robots will learn on their own

CS/IEOR Prof. Ken Goldberg, director of the AUTOLAB, and his EE graduate student Jeff Mahler, are profiled in a  New York Times article titled "In the Future, Warehouse Robots Will Learn on Their Own," about researchers who are using neural networks and machine learning to teach robots to grab things they have never encountered before.   The AUTOLAB robot was trained by being shown hundreds of purely digital objects, after which it could pick up items that weren’t represented in its digital data set.  “We’re learning from simulated models and then applying that to real work,” said Goldberg,

Joint CS and IEOR Profs. Michael Jordan and Pieter Abbeel

Pieter Abbeel and Michael Jordan appointed joint faculty in IEOR

CS Profs. Pieter Abbeel and Michael Jordan, two of the best-known experts in machine learning, have been appointed as joint faculty in the department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR) in addition to their primary appointments in EECS (and Statistics for Jordan).  "Profs. Abbeel and Jordan are terrific colleagues that bring extremely valuable perspectives to our interests in robotics, automation, machine learning, and data science," states Ken Goldberg, Chair of IEOR.  Abbeel's work has been featured in many popular press outlets, including BBC, New York Times, MIT Technology Review, Discovery Channel, SmartPlanet and Wired.  In a recent article in Science, Jordan was named the currently most influential computer scientist in the world.

Startup institute, The House (Joshua Jordan/Daily Cal)

Berkeley ranks second in most venture capital-backed entrepreneurs in 2017

For the second year in a row, U.C. Berkeley has ranked No. 2 among the 50 undergraduate programs that produce the most venture capital-backed entrepreneurs, according to PitchBook’s 2017-18 report.  The report distinguishes undergraduate and MBA programs, compares Ivy League colleges to other universities and analyzes numbers such as companies per sector, female founders and total capital raised by founders’ companies. This year, UC Berkeley produced 1,089 entrepreneurs and 961 companies.