EECS Grads win another IEEE COMPEL Best Paper Award

EECS graduate students Yicheng Zhu and Jiarui Zou, and post-docs Ting Ge and Nathan Ellis have won the 2023 IEEE Control and Modeling for Power Electronics (COMPEL) Best Paper Award. Their paper, "A 48-V-to-1-V Switching Bus Converter for Ultra-High-Current Applications,” demonstrated a new dc-dc power converter topology and control technique for data center power delivery applications, capable of sourcing 1200 A of current at 1 V supply voltage. The hardware prototype used to validate the concept achieved the highest power density and efficiency combination of any prior work, academic or industrial. Next, the researchers are working with industry partners to transition this record-breaking concept to next-generation GPU/CPU computing platforms for AI and machine learning applications. IEEE COMPEL is the premier control and modeling conference for power electronics, having brought together world experts in the field for the last 24 years. Three best papers were selected this year from the total accepted 84 papers, based on originality, contribution to the field, and quality of presentation at the conference. 

Dean Liu presents the Berkeley Citation, a framed certificate signed by Chancellor Christ, to Ruzena Bajcsy.

Ruzena Bajcsy awarded Berkeley Citation

EECS Professor Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy was awarded the Berkeley Citation, the university’s highest honor, at a special event on Tuesday, Sept. 5. The surprise announcement was made at the end of a special event to commemorate The Past and Future of Robotics and Machine Learning Based on 250 Years of Research Experience. Tsu-Jae King Liu, dean of the College of Engineering, presented the award. The Berkeley Citation is awarded to distinguished individuals whose contributions to UC Berkeley go beyond the call of duty and whose achievements exceed the standards of excellence in their fields. Bajcsy, whose storied career spans over 50 years, conducted seminal research in the areas of human-centered computer control, cognitive science, robotics, computerized radiological/medical image processing, and computer vision. Among her numerous awards and firsts, Bajcsy was the first-ever woman to receive a Ph.D. in electrical engineering in the United States. She is renowned for her intellectual leadership, tireless work ethic, and inspiring approach to research and mentorship. Bajcsy is widely considered the foremost role model of generations of educators and researchers in computer science and engineering.

Clinical research coordinator Max Dougherty connects a neural data port in Ann’s head to the speech neuroprosthesis system as part of a study led by Dr. Ed Chang at UCSF.

Berkeley EECS pioneers AI brain implant to restore speech

A team of researchers from UCSF and Berkeley EECS have developed an implantable AI-powered device that can translate brain signals into modulated speech and facial expressions. The device, a multimodal speech prosthesis, and digital avatar, was developed to help a woman who had lost the ability to speak due to a stroke. The results have the potential to help countless others who are unable to speak due to paralysis or disease. The breakthrough study, published in the journal Nature, was led by UCSF neurosurgeon Edward Chang, EE Assistant Professor Gopala Anumanchipalli and Ph.D. student Kaylo Littlejohn. “This study heavily uses tools that we developed here at Berkeley, which in turn are inspired by the neuroscientific insights from UCSF,” said Gopala. “This is why Kaylo is such a key liaison between the engineering and the science and the medicine — he’s both involved in developing these tools and also deploying them in a clinical setting. I could not see this happening anywhere else but somewhere that is the best in engineering and the best in medicine, on the bleeding edge of research.”


New open-source platform helps speed up the development of interactive 3D scenes

A team led by CS Assistant Professor Anjoo Kanazawa has created Nerfstudio, an open-source platform to help speed up the development of Neural Radiance Fields (NeRFs). NeRFs are a type of 3D imaging technology that can be used to create photorealistic 3D models of objects and scenes from a series of images. The plug-and-play framework, called Nerfstudio, makes it easier for researchers to create and train NeRFs, allowing users to run NeRFs on real-world data. “Advancements in NeRF have contributed to its growing popularity and use in applications such as computer vision, robotics, visual effects and gaming. But support for development has been lagging,” said Kanazawa. “The Nerfstudio framework is intended to simplify the development of custom NeRF methods, the processing of real-world data and interacting with reconstructions.”


U.S. Senate Hearing: Stuart Russell testifies on AI regulation

CS Professor Stuart Russell testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation about the regulation of artificial intelligence (AI). In the July 25 hearing, Russell argued that AI is a powerful technology that has the potential to do great good or great harm, and he urged the Senate to take a proactive approach to regulating AI. Russell's testimony focused on three key areas of AI regulation: transparency, accountability, and safety. “My research over the last decade has focused on the problem of control: how do we maintain power, forever, over entities that will eventually become more powerful than us? How do we ensure that AI systems are safe and beneficial for humans? These are not purely technological questions. In both the short term and the long term, regulation has a huge role to play in answering them,” said Russell.


NASA astronaut Warren “Woody” Hoburg interviewed on The Robot Brains Podcast

NASA astronaut and EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (M.S.’11, Ph.D.’13 EECS) was interviewed by The Robot Brains Podcast while aboard the International Space Station (ISS). CS Professor Pieter Abbeel, who is the brains behind the podcast as well as Woody’s Ph.D. advisor, interviewed Woody about life on the ISS, the scientific experiments being conducted in the low-orbit space station, living in a weightless environment, and the promising impact ISS research could have on humanity. “As a young kid, I thought being an astronaut would be the coolest job. I had no idea how to achieve that goal. It seemed far too improbable of a goal to set my heart on. But I could pursue things I found interesting and challenging and pursue passions. You enabled one of those… I can’t thank you enough for your open-mindedness. I’m so lucky and blessed to have this opportunity.”


Venkat Anantharam and Cheuk-Ting Li win 2023 IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award

EE Professor Venkat Anantharam and Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) Professor Cheuk-Ting Li have won the 2023 IEEE Information Theory Society Paper Award. The award is given annually “for an outstanding publication in the fields of interest to the Society appearing anywhere during the preceding four calendar years.” The paper “A unified framework for one-shot achievability via the Poisson matching lemma,” by Li and Anantharam, appeared in the IEEE Transactions on Information Theory in February 2021, when Li was a postdoctoral fellow at Berkeley EECS. Li is now an assistant professor at the CUHK. Anantharam, who is an IEEE Fellow, received this award once before in 2008 for the paper “Bits Through Queues.”

Alyosha Efros wins the Thomas S. Huang Memorial Prize

CS Professor Alyosha Efros has won the Thomas S. Huang Memorial Prize. The Huang Memorial Prize was established in 2020 by IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI). The prize, which is awarded annually at the IEEE / CVF Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition Conference (CVPR), recognizes exemplary research, teaching, mentoring, and service to the computer vision community. Thomas S. Huang was a pioneering scholar “who left deep impressions in multiple fields including computer vision and image processing, and a role model who contributed to the growth and well-being of several generations of researchers in the community.” The award includes a cash prize of $3,000 and a commemorative plaque.


Shafi Goldwasser wins Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing

A team led by CS Professor Shafi Goldwasser has won the 2023 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. The 1988 paper, "Completeness Theorems for Non-Cryptographic Fault-Tolerant Distributed Computation," by Michael Ben-Or, Shafi Goldwasser, and Avi Wigderson was among the three papers to receive the award. Awarded annually, the Dijkstra Prize, which is jointly sponsored by the ACM Symposium on Principles of Distributed Computing (PODC) and the EATCS Symposium on Distributed Computing (DISC), recognizes papers whose significance and impact on the theory and practice of distributed computing has been evident for at least 10 years. The prize includes an award of $2,000. Shafi Goldwasser is the director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She received the Turing Award in 2012.

Dan Garcia joins CRA-WP board

CS Teaching Professor Dan Garcia has joined the board of directors of The Computing Research Association’s Committee on Widening Participation in Computing Research (CRA-WP). The CRA-WP was established in 1991 with the goal of increasing the participation of women in computing research, though its current mission broadly supports underrepresented populations to improve access, opportunities, and experiences of those in computing research and higher education.