News

Campus Shutdown Notice

In light of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, we have decided to close our administrative offices starting Monday, March 16, 2020 until further notice.  Cory and Soda Hall are closed.  Classes are being held remotely.  All events in Cory and Soda Halls will either be cancelled or held remotely, and staff will be working remotely during this time.

Leon Chua wins 2020 Julius Springer Prize

Prof. Emeritus Leon O. Chua has been awarded the 2020 Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics.  Chua has contributed to cellular neural and nonlinear networks, nanoelectronics, nonlinear circuits and systems, nonlinear dynamics, bifurcation theory, and chaos theory. In 1971, he postulated a passive component named the memristor as the 4th passive electronic device derived from fundamental considerations.  37 years later, this device--with as predicted electrical characteristics--was experimentally found by a team at HP in 2008.  The award, which recognizes researchers who have made an outstanding and innovative contribution to the field of applied physics, comes with a prize of $5K and will be presented at the Magnus-Haus in Berlin, Germany on 18 September 2020.  The presentation will be accompanied by a public lecture given by Chua.

EECS 150W: Valerie Taylor, winner of the 2020 EE Distinguished Alumni Award

Valerie Taylor (EECS Ph.D. '91, advisor: David Messerschmitt), one of the winners of the 2020 EE Distinguished Alumni Award to be presented next week, is also the subject of our February EECS 150W profile in honor of Black History Month.  Taylor grew up in a STEM-forward family and attended Purdue before coming to Berkeley for her doctorate.    She had never seen a black woman professor before she began teaching at Northwestern University in 1992.  She is now the Director of the Mathematics and Computer Science Division of Argonne National Laboratory (where she is a Distinguished Fellow), and the Executive Director of the Center for Minorities and People with Disabilities in IT (CMD-IT).  Her honors include the CRA A. Nico Habermann Award and the  Richard A. Tapia Achievement Award.

EECS Remembers Jason Rossilli

The Department is sorry to share the news that EECS major Jason Rossilli passed away at his home late last week.  Jason was close with many of his peers, staff and faculty in the department.  We are deeply saddened by his loss.   News of the passing of a member of our community will no doubt impact all of us. Talking to a professional counselor can be very helpful.  Students may reach a Tang Center Counselor at 510-642-9494, or may visit them at 2222 Bancroft Way for drop-in counseling between 10am-4:30pm. ESS also has three dedicated psychologists available with drop-in counseling hours in 241 Bechtel on Tuesdays 2-4pm, and Wednesdays and Thursdays 10am-12pm.  Faculty and staff may reach a counselor through the campus Employee Assistance Program: (510) 643-7754.

Covariant-enabled robots go live

Pieter Abbeel, the co-founder, president and chief scientist of the start-up Covariant, is featured in a number of articles appearing in major publications this week.  The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Wired Magazine, the Verge, the MIT Technology Review, and the IEEE Spectrum all feature articles about robots trained using Covariant's AI technologies that will be deployed  to perform complex tasks in live warehouse environments in the next few years.  Covariant uses deep reinforcement learning techniques to train robots to distinguish between materials that are particularly difficult to discern through a lens, like highly reflective metallic surfaces, transparent plastics, and easily deformable surfaces like cloth and polypropylene, with an unparalleled 99% accuracy.

Doug Tygar has passed away

Prof. Doug Tygar (CS B.A. '82) unexpectedly passed away on January 16th.   As a Professor of Computer Science and a Professor of Information Management and Systems, he made unique and significant contributions to the fields of usable computer security, cryptography, privacy, and digital rights management.  He co-founded the Secure Machine Learning research group in 2004, which focused on defining how machine learning algorithms can be dishonestly manipulated, and how to make them more robust, culminating in a recently published book, Adversarial Machine Learning, with a colleague and two former students.  He also helped to create and co-teach the first offering of the undergraduate Computer Security class at Berkeley (CS 161), and most recently helped to craft and launch the School of Information’s Master of Information and Cybersecurity in 2018.  He will be sorely missed.  Memorial information will be provided at a later date.

EECS kicks off Berkeley 150W with ten "first" women

In celebration of the anniversary of 150 Years of Women at Berkeley (150W) in 2020, the EECS department will profile a number of remarkable women who have studied or worked here.  This month, Berkeley EECS is highlighting ten trailblazing women who were the first to reach important milestones over the past 50 years.  Learn how professors Susan Graham, Avideh Zakhor, Shafi Goldwasser and Tsu-Jae King Liu, and alumnae Kawthar Zaki, Carol Shaw, Paula Hawthorn, Barbara Simons, Deborah Estrin, and Susan Eggers, broke through glass ceilings on campus, in their fields, in industry, and in the world.

From global experience to collective perspective: Li Yang Kat

EECS Master of Engineering (MEng) student Li Yang Kat, who is originally from Singapore and has studied abroad in Sweden and South Korea, loves the human aspect of engineering and is passionate about sharing his fondness for STEM with other students. He says that his experiences overseas have broadened his world view and feels that understanding other's perspectives will make him a better engineer.  “A good engineer is technically competent, but taking the time to understand the needs of our users, dedicating ourselves to continuously improve our skills, and always demonstrating utmost integrity are the hallmarks of a great engineer,” said Kat.

Darrell, Dragan, Goldberg, Katz and Russell to participate in Robotics + AI 2020 TC Session

EECS Profs. Trevor Darrell, Anca Dragan, Ken Goldberg, Randy Katz and Stuart Russell are slated to participate in "TechCrunch Sessions: Robotics + AI 2020" on March 3rd.  The single-day event will focus on "Minds and Machines: The Future of Robotics," and will feature "on-stage, live interviews and demos with the world's leading technologists, founders and investors, as well as workshops, audience Q&A with speakers, and highly curated networking."  The event is sponsored by online publishing company TechCrunch in partnership with UC Berkeley, Berkeley Artificial Intelligence Research (BAIR), CITRIS, the Sutardja Center, and the Fung Institute.

Warren Hoburg graduates from NASA's Artemis astronaut training program

EECS alumnus Warren “Woody” Hoburg (M.S. '11/Ph.D. '13, advisor: Pieter Abbeel) will be among the first candidates to graduate under NASA's Artemis astronaut basic training program on Friday, Jan. 10, at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. Starting next week, Hoburg will be eligible for spaceflight assignments to the International Space Station, missions to the Moon, and ultimately, missions to Mars.  He earned a B.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics (AeroAstro) from MIT before attending Berkeley, and returned to MIT as an assistant professor in AeroAstro after graduation.  Hoburg is also a commercial pilot who served on the Bay Area Mountain Rescue Unit and Yosemite Search and Rescue.

Celebrating 150 Years of Women at Berkeley

2020 is the 150th anniversary of the first year women students were admitted to UC Berkeley.  EECS Emerita Director of Diversity and unofficial department historian Sheila Humphreys is co-chairing the History Steering Committee for the year-long campus celebration, for which she will be collecting, creating and archiving information about the history of the contributions of women to UC Berkeley.  The EECS department will post stories throughout the year, highlighting the extraordinary women of EECS and the impact they have made on our community and the world.  If you have any information or ideas to share, please contact 150w@berkeley.edu or upload them to the 150W History Project website.