News

Gene Yang named new national ambassador for Young People’s Literature

EECS alumni Gene Luen Yang (CS B.A. '95) has been selected as the new national ambassador for Young People’s Literature. This literary ambassador program was created in 2008 “to raise national awareness of the importance of young people’s literature as it relates to literacy, education and the betterment of the lives of young people”. After graduating UC Berkeley in 1995, Yang went to work as a computer engineer for two years but came to the realization he was meant to teach. He left his job as an engineer to teach computer science at a high school. During this time he also wrote stories and began self-publishing comic books and in 2006 began winning awards and gaining notoriety for his graphic novels.

Dan Garcia honored as a Tech Diversity Champion by the Level Playing Field Institute

The Level Playing Field Institute (LPFI) honored Teaching Prof. Dan Garcia as a Tech Diversity Champion at their Annual Fairness Matters Forum 2015 held at Twitter’s headquarters in San Francisco. LPFI is committed to eliminating the barriers faced by underrepresented people of color in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and fostering their untapped talent for the advancement of our nation. This event focused on the progress toward diversifying tech and celebrated those who are working to create a more inclusive tech ecosystem.

Numbers of Underrepresented Groups Grow in EECS

In 2011 EECS partnered with the campus Division of Equity & Inclusion on a new strategic planning initiative to improve the numbers and create a more welcoming environment for women and underrepresented groups in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Today, thanks to the founding work of EECS Diversity Director Emerita Sheila Humphreys, the work of EECS Associate Director of Diversity & Achievement Tiffany Reardon's tireless efforts championing diversity and inclusion efforts, and the support and leadership of Prof. Tsu-Jae King Liu, the first woman Chair of EECS, over the past 4 years the percentage of undergraduate women in EECS has grown more than twice as fast as the growth of the overall student population, and the percentage of underrepresented minorities has been 3 to 5 times the overall rate.

Jeffrey Forbes named Chair of the ACM Education Policy Committee

EECS alumni Jeffrey Forbes (Ph.D. ’00, advisor Prof. Stuart Russell) has been named Chair of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Education Policy Committee. Created in 2007, the ACM Education Policy Committee is a high-level committee of acclaimed computer scientists and educators dedicated to improving opportunities for quality education in computer science and computing education around the world. Prof. Forbes is an Associate Dean of the Trinity College of Arts and Sciences at Duke University and has served as Program Director for the Education and Workforce program in the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering.

Pejman Mar Ventures creates new competition for UC Berkeley entrepreneurs

Venture capital firm Pejman Mar Ventures has created a new competition for UC Berkeley entrepreneurs who demonstrate passion and dedication to making their vision a reality. They are offering $250,000 to back up a startup founded by a Berkeley student, faculty member or alum in exchange for 10 percent of the company. In the past 18 months they have funded 7 companies in which the founders were from Stanford, MIT and Carnegie Mellon. Applicants have until Oct. 1 to apply and a winner will be chosen by Oct. 30.

CS 61A named among Top 5 CS Classes in the US by Bloomberg Business

An article featured in Bloomberg Business titled “Five of the Best Computer Science Classes in the U.S” has named EECS CS 61A in the top 5. The number of college graduates who got degrees in computer science in 2011 was 2,000% higher than it was in 1970 according to the U.S. Dept. of Education. This course is taught by Asst. Teaching Prof. John De Nero. A notable alumni of this program is Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, ’86.

Matei Zaharia and John Duchi win ACM dissertation awards

EECS alumni Matei Zaharia (advisor Profs. Scott Shenker & Ion Stoica) and John Duchi (advisor Prof. Michael Jordan) have won ACM (Assoc. for Computing Machinery) dissertation awards. Matei won the 2014 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for his thesis “An Architecture for Fast and General Data Processing on Large Clusters”, and fellow AMPLab alum John Duchi won Honorable Mention for his thesis “Multiple Optimality Guarantees in Statistical Learning”. Matei and John are now faculty members at MIT and Stanford, respectively.

Dan Garcia consultant for film documentary “CODE: Debugging the gender gap”

A new documentary film titled “CODE: Debugging the gender gap” is premiering in NY next week. With 63% of college entrants female, why are on 18% majoring in computer science? And with Black and Latino enrollment in four-year colleges at an all-time high, why are less than 2% majoring in computer science? This documentary addresses the digital divide in the tech industry regarding gender and ethnicity. Prof. Dan Garcia was a key consultant for the producers. The film debuts April 19th at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

Another event related to this topic but separate from the film is “Breaking Through Gender Stereotypes with Dr. Jean-luc Doumont. In his talk, Dr. Doumont challenges received ideas about genders and about how one can fight stereotypes. This event is on Thursday, April 16, Noon-1:30pm, Banatao Auditorium, SD Hall.

Tiffany Reardon receives Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award

Tiffany Reardon,  Associate Director of EECS Diversity and Achievement,  has been selected to receive the 2015 Chancellor's Outstanding Staff Award. This is the highest honor bestowed upon staff by the Chancellor, in recognition of individuals and teams who, in addition to performing all their normal job duties with excellence, also demonstrate exceptional initiative in contributing to the UC Berkeley campus community. Tiffany has worked collaboratively across EECS to foster an inclusive and supportive community for students and staff, and has been a major factor in our successful efforts to increase student diversity in our undergraduate and graduate programs.