News

The Berkeley Campus is Open

Visit the UC Berkeley COVID-19 resources website for the latest testing and access information.  Cory and Soda Halls are open but we will likely have limited in-person/on-site staffing during the first two weeks of the Spring 2022 semester.  Although most classes will be conducted remotely during this time, we anticipate in-person instruction to resume on January 31st.

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Girish Pahwa wins 2022 IEEE EDS Early Career Award

Girish Pahwa has won the 2022 IEEE Electron Device Society (EDS) Early Career Award. Dr. Pahwa is an assistant professional researcher at Berkeley EECS and is currently the executive director of the Berkeley Device Modeling Center (BDMC), whose leadership includes EE Profs. Chenming Hu and Sayeef Salahuddin. His research interests include device modeling, simulation, and benchmarking of emerging nanoscale technologies. Awarded annually, the EDS Early Career Award recognizes and supports technical development within the EDS field of interest. Recipients are given a plaque and a check for $1,000 at the EDS Awards Dinner, held in conjunction with the international Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), which will be held in San Francisco, CA this year.

Prof. Bayen points to traffic congestion that has been smoothed by CIRCLES vehicles on an I-24 MOTION testbed monitor.

Alexandre Bayen leads massive AI traffic experiment

An interdisciplinary team of industry and academic researchers led by EECS Prof. Alexandre Bayen has completed its most ambitious real-time traffic experiment to date. The project was led by the CIRCLES Consortium, an effort led by UC Berkeley and Vanderbilt University, involving collaborators from five universities and multiple government agencies. The experiment tested 100 partially automated vehicles in real traffic with the aim of improving overall traffic flow. Operating out of a massive control center designed to monitor one section of I-14 in Nashville, TN, the researchers used AI to build on existing adaptive cruise control systems to smooth phantom jams collaboratively. Their results show a positive energy impact. “Driving is very intuitive. If there’s a gap in front of you, you accelerate. If someone brakes, you slow down. But it turns out that this very normal reaction can lead to stop-and-go traffic and energy inefficiency,” said Prof. Bayen. “That’s precisely what AI technology is able to fix—it can direct the vehicle to things that are not intuitive to humans, but are overall more efficient.” 

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Prabal Dutta wins 2022 ACM SenSys Test of Time Award

EECS Associate Prof. Prabal Dutta has won the 2022 ACM SenSys Test of Time Award. The paper by Dutta, Dawson-Haggerty (Ph.D. ‘14), Chen, Liang, and Terzis titled, “Design and Evaluation of a Versatile and Efficient Receiver-Initiated Link Layer for Low-Power Wireless,”  was recognized “for pioneering the use of synchronous transmissions in low-power protocols by exploiting their benefits at the MAC layer and pushing the limits of radio operation.” Established in 2014, the “ToTA” recognizes papers that are at least 10 years old and have demonstrated long-lasting impact on network embedded sensing system science and engineering. “It's a real testament that so much of the field traces its roots to Berkeley,” said Dutta.

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Research team led by Boubacar Kanté creates Berkeley surface-emitting lasers (BerkSELs)

A research team led by EE Prof. Boubacar Kanté has created a new type of semiconductor laser, accomplishing an elusive goal in the field of optics: the ability to emit a single mode of light while maintaining the ability to scale up in size and power. The team showed that a structured semiconductor device implementing what they call an “open-Dirac potential” functions as a perfect, scalable laser cavity. They demonstrate that the laser emits a consistent, single wavelength, regardless of the size of the cavity. “Increasing both size and power of a single-mode laser has been a challenge in optics since the first laser was built in 1960,” said Kanté. “Six decades later, we show that it is possible to achieve both these qualities in a laser. I consider this the most important paper my group has published to date.”

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Sophia Shao wins Intel Rising Star Award

EECS Assistant Prof. Sophia Shao is among the 15 recipients of the Intel Rising Star Award this year. Awarded annually, the Intel Rising Star Award (RSA) program supports early-career faculty whose research is groundbreaking and demonstrates the potential to disrupt industries. Recipients are chosen for “innovative teaching methods and for increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in computer science and engineering.” Prof. Shao’s research focuses on improving the scalability, efficiency, and programmability of heterogeneous platforms from edge devices to data centers. In collaboration with senior technical leaders at Intel, Prof. Shao plans to explore the intersection of architectural prototyping, algorithm development, and programming support for heterogeneous accelerators: “As we enter the golden age of computer architecture, there are tremendous opportunities to innovate across the stack in the hardware community. I'm excited to work with our students, faculty members, and industry collaborators to build novel systems together!" said Shao. 

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Laura Waller balances work, life, research, and family in a feature by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

EECS Prof. Laura Waller is the subject of a feature by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative titled, “A Day in the Life of an Imaging Scientist: Laura Waller.” In it, Prof. Waller describes her day-to-day while she juggles raising a family, cultivating creativity and collaboration in her labs, and mentoring her graduate students through the pandemic. Waller is known for her work in computational imaging. In 2021, she was elected a Fellow of The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) for her work in computational microscopy. In the same year, she won the Adolph Lomb Medal presented by Optica (formerly the Optical Society of America). “I really love this field, because it’s very creative. There are new ideas and new things to think about all the time, but it’s also grounded in real applications.”

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Sophia Shao wins the 2022 IEEE TCCA Young Computer Architect Award

Assistant Prof. Sophia Shao has won the IEEE Technical Committee on Computer Architecture (TCCA) Young Computer Architect Award, which recognizes outstanding research contributions by an individual in the field of Computer Architecture, and who received their Ph.D. within the last six years. Shao's work focuses on specialized accelerators, heterogeneous architecture, and agile VLSI design methodology. The award was presented last week at the 49th edition of the International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA '22) in New York City, New York. 

Leslie Field wins 2022 Mark Shannon Grand Challenges Award

EECS alumna Leslie Field (M.S. '88/Ph.D. 91, advisor: Richard White), the first woman to earn a doctorate from the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center (BSAC), has won the 2022 Mark Shannon Grand Challenges Award.  This award recognizes "long-term contributions of members of our technical community with a vision to address humanity's pressing issues."  Field is the Founder and CEO of Bright Ice Initiative, Inc., an environmental nonprofit which aims to address the urgent need for terrestrial glacial ice preservation.  During her career, she has developed new formulations for unleaded gasoline, new silicon-glass bonding processes, and pioneered surface micromachining and microfluidic systems.  She also contributed to the development of microwave and optical cross-point switches. She turned her attention to climate change in 2006 and founded Ice911 Research (later renamed AIP) two years later.   Field received a B.S. and M.S. in Chemical Engineering from MIT prior to enrolling at Berkeley.  She is the founder and a managing member of SmallTech Consulting, LLC, where she leads a diverse collaborative team working on MEMS and nanotechnology-based challenges.  She also serves as an Adjunct Lecturer and Consulting Professor Stanford University.

Dan Klein and Angjoo Kanazawa win 2022 Bakar Fellows Spark Awards

EECS Prof. Dan Klein and Assistant Prof. Angjoo Kanazawa have won 2022 Bakar Fellows Spark Awards.  These awards are designed to accelerate Berkeley faculty-led research "to tangible, positive societal impact through commercialization."  Bakar Fellows become part of a campus ecosystem that provides support and programs to assist them in introducing discoveries to the market.  Klein is developing a device that will allow users to communicate through computers by "silent speech"--that is, mouthing words without vocalizations. This technology, which may take the form of a headset that can track a user's facial muscles and translate it into sound, would benefit people with special needs as well as make it easier for everyone to hold private phone conversations in public.  Kanazawa plans to build 360 consumer cameras that can capture 4K video at 90 frames per second using an artificial intelligence framework and the latest volumetric neural rendering techniques.

Ruzena Bajcsy and Klara Nahrstedt first mother-daughter pair elected to NAE

EECS Prof. Emerita Ruzena Bajcsy and her daughter, Klara Nahrstedt, are the first mother-daughter pair to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).  Bajcsy has been a member of the NAE since 1997 and Nahrstedt, the Chair of the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, was elected in February.  The two sat down for a Fireside Chat at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications last month to discuss the accomplishment.  “I’m a proud mother,” Bajcsy said. “And I’m thrilled to have been in this profession we have both shared.”  Bajcsy is known for her work in human-centered computer control, cognitive science, robotics, image processing, and artificial vision, as well as her cross-disciplinary leadership.  Nahrstedt researches security across shared systems, including multimedia distributed systems, wired and wireless networks, mobile systems, power grids, and edge-cloud systems.  Both women faced daunting challenges during  their careers. “We were ridiculed, and we were doubted. But you have to be strong,” Bajcsy said.  They emphasized that building a strong support network was critical to success.  “I learned that because of my mother,” said Nahrsted, "and through it I quickly believed I could do whatever I put my mind to.”  Following in their footsteps, Bajcsy's granddaughter and Nahrstedt's niece, Andrea Bajcsy, is currently a doctoral candidate at Berkeley EECS, in her final term.  She is slated to start as an Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon in Fall 2023.