education

Bill Kramer to Lead Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center

CS alumnus Bill Kramer (Ph.D. 2008, advisors: David Culler and James Demmel) has been selected as the next director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC), a joint research center of Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.  Kramer, currently project director and PI of the Blue Waters Project and the senior associate director for  NCSA @Scale Science and Technology at Urbana-Champaign, begins his role in  fall 2019.  Kramer has also held leadership rolls at LBNL, NASA Ames, and NERSC.

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.”

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.

Moses Surumen plugs Kenya’s skills gap with peer to peer learning

Moses Surumen, who graduated with a degree in EECS this week, has been sharing his knowledge with peers in Kenya for the past two years, helping them develop the skills to solve challenges back home.  Surumen, who has 10 siblings, grew up in Kajiado, a Masai area south of Nairobi.  In 2017, he implemented a program called M-Soma, running a six-week summer course for Kenyan high school graduates in computer science.  “We were building skills the way Berkeley does, providing the best skeletal code for setting up the platform and building onto that several features they wanted to use,” he explains.  Surumen has accepted a position at Qualcomm but plans to continue to explore how to scale his project to work in different African countries.

Jeff Bokor rises to position of EECS Chair

Prof. Jeffrey Bokor, the current Chair of the EE Division, will assume the post of EECS Department Chair on July 1, 2019.  Bokor earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 1975, and his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford in 1976 and 1980, respectively.  His research interests include physical electronics and nanotechnology.  He joined the Berkeley faculty in 1993 and served as Associate Dean for Research in the College of Engineering from 2012-2017.  He currently holds a joint appointment as a Senior Scientist in the Materials Science Division at LBNL.  He will replace outgoing EECS Chair James Demmel.

Berkeley CS wins major award to integrate ethics into undergraduate curriculum

The EECS Computer Science program is one of the inaugural recipients of the "Responsible Computer Science Challenge" award, an ambitious $3.5 million initiative designed to help integrate ethics into undergraduate computer science education.  The CS Division, which was the only leading CS program selected, will combine forces with the Division of Data Sciences to continue to develop and scale a curriculum that will "equip students to recognize and grapple with the complex, high-stakes questions" that arise in today's world.  Since technologies like facial recognition can help find missing children or perpetuate bias, and social media platforms can be used to both build human rights movements and hack elections, students need to learn how to reason clearly about what technology should and should not do.  Berkeley students will be active participants in developing and testing the new course material.  "We hope the toolkit we’re developing at Berkeley can help other colleges and universities integrate ethics into their classes at scale," said EECS chair James Demmel.

EECS department honored with NCWIT Transformation (NEXT) Award for increasing women’s participation in computing

The L&S CS Major in the EECS Department has won the second place 2019 NCWIT Extension Services Transformation (NEXT) Award for Excellence in Promoting Women in Undergraduate Computing.  The team includes Director of Undergraduate Instruction Christopher Hunn, Director of Diversity Audrey Sillers, and CS Scholars Program Associate Director Charlene Hughes. The award comes with a prize of $50K to be used for diversity efforts.  NEXT awards are given to ES client organizations (department, departments, or college) that demonstrate a strong commitment to and proven results in recruiting and retaining women into undergraduate computing programs.  Between 2013 and spring 2018, the number of female Berkeley CS majors grew from 103 to 452. L&S CS produces more female CS graduates than all but three other universities in the nation, and the L&S CS major ranks 15th in the nation in terms of proportion of women in the major.  The award will be presented at the NCWIT Summit in May.

A Salute to Early Women in STEM at UC Berkeley

In celebration of Women's History Month, Sheila Humphreys, the EECS Emerita Director of Diversity, has published an essay in the EECS Newsletter titled "A Salute to Early Women in STEM at UC Berkeley."  This essay is the first part of a series of writings about the history of diversity in engineering at UC Berkeley, seen primarily through the lens of  Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.  It covers the first women researchers, faculty, and grad students in STEM at UC Berkeley including Agnes Morgan, Marian Diamond, Susan Graham, Avideh Zakhor, Lillian Gilbreth, and Kawthar Zaki.

Support EECS for Big Give on Thursday, March 14th!

Support the EECS Department for Big Give 2019 on March 14th! Big Give is Berkeley's annual 24-hour online fundraising campaign in which alumni, students, parents, faculty, staff, and friends help their favorite EECS programs by donating between 9 pm on Wednesday, March 13 and 9 pm on Thursday, March 14. Our family of supporters help sustain our vital mission to enrich the community and prepare all of our students to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Berkeley Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering are #1 and #2 in 2020 US News graduate rankings

In the U.S. News and World Report graduate rankings for 2020, Berkeley Computer Engineering was ranked #1 (beating out MIT and CMU) and Electrical/Electronic/Communications Engineering was ranked #2.    The College of Engineering maintained its #3 ranking from the last few years.  U.S. News rankings are based on  data from statistical surveys of more than 2,054 programs and from reputation surveys sent to more than 22,018 academics and professionals, conducted in fall 2018 and early 2019.