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EECS News Spring 2008

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Ruzena Bajcsy has been chosen to serve on the primary private-sector policy advisory body of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Prof. Bajcsy's appointment to the agency's Visiting Committee on Advanced Technology (VCAT) was announced by James M. Turner, NIST deputy director. The VCAT was sssssssestablished by Congress in 1988 to review and make recommendations on NIST's policies, organization, budget and programs.
August 14
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Dawn Song and Michael Gastpar have won the Okawa Foundation Research Grant for 2008. The Okawa Foundation for Information and Telecommunications was established in 1986, and every year awards this research grant to a select few for their accomplishments and promise in this area. This prestigious award comes with a $10,000 research gift. More>>
August 14
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Ali Javey was featured in a Berkeley Lab News article titled "A First in Integrated Nanowire Sensor Circuitry". Prof. Javey, head of the research team from the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab have created the world's first all-integrated sensor circuit based on nanowire arrays, combining light sensors and electronics made of different crystalline materials. Their method can be used to reproduce numerous such devices with high uniformity. More>>
August 6
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EECS student Lauren Jones was on the NBC Today Show as a member of the "Nerd Girls" which was founded by Dr. Karen Panetta, a professor of engineering at Tufts University. The "Nerd Girls" seek to shatter stereotypes and attract girls to technology careers. Lauren is completing her master's degree at the Berkeley Wireless Research Center. More>>
July 29
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Susan Graham is one of three winners of the Harvard Medal, given each year for outstanding service to that university. Prof. Graham was awarded the medal for her contributions as "Past President of the Overseers and elected director of the Harvard Alumni Association, pioneering professor of computer science at Berkeley, providing wise leadership and counsel on alumni affairs, on the growing role of engineering and technology, on the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, and on the governance of the University."
July 22

The 2008 SIAM Activity Group on Optimization Prize has been awarded to Alexandre d'Aspremont, Laurent El Ghaoui, Michael Jordan, and Gert Lanckriet for their paper titled, "A Direct Formulation for Sparse PCA Using Semidefinite Programming." This paper was awarded because "The authors very nicely connect several ideas at the forefront of applied optimization, including semi-definite relaxation, robust optimization, and compressed sensing." The SIAM Activity Group on Optimization Prize is awarded once every three years to the author(s) of the most outstanding paper on a topic in optimization over the preceding four-year period.
July 21
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Maneesh Agrawala has been selected to receive the 2008 SIGGRAPH Significant New Researcher Award in recognition of his outstanding early contributions of novel visualization techniques and user interaction models across a range of problem domains. SIGGRAPH also produces a video describing the winner's work, which we will be shown after the conference.
July 17
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Costis Daskalakis, Paul Goldberg (U. of Liverpool), and Christos Papadimitriou have won the first Game Theory and Computer Science Prize for their paper, "The Complexity of Computing a Nash Equilibrium". The citation is as follows: "This paper made key conceptual and technical contributions in an illustrious line of work on the complexity of computing Nash equilibrium. It also highlights the necessity of constructing practical algorithms that compute equilibria efficiently on important subclasses of games." More>>
July 16
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The research of James O'Brien was featured in a Contra Costa Times article titled, "UC professor creates the Dark side". Prof. O'Brien is the Yoda behind the key technology in LucasArts' upcoming Star Wars video game, "The Force Unleashed." It's not every professor who can give a Jedi his chops. More>>
July 15
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Ernie Kuh has received the 2009 IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award. The citation reads: "For outstanding contributions to theory and practice in circuits and systems and for pioneering work in electronics design automation." The award is given for outstanding contributions to the fundamentals of any aspect of electronic circuits and systems that has a long-term significance or impact. More>>
July 7
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Jitendra Malik and EECS alumnus Christoph Bregler have won the 2008 Longuet-Higgins prize for "Fundamental Contributions in Computer Vision That have Stood the Test of Time". The award will be given at IEEE CVPR 2008, Anchorage, Alaska. The citation reads: "Tracking people with twists and exponential maps. An inspired application of kinematic modeling techniques from robotics to the challenge of tracking people in motion from a single camera view, including a memorable model-based analysis of the Muybridge motion study videos." This is the second consecutive award for Prof. Malik - he was a co-winner of the 2007 prize for his paper with Jianbo Shi on "Normalized Cuts and Image Segmentation." More>>
June 30
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Kam Lau won the 2009 IEEE David Sarnoff Award. The award is given for exceptional contributions to electronics; the citation reads: "For seminal contributions to improved dynamics of quantum well semiconductor lasers." This is the second major award in optoelectronics garnered by Prof. Lau this year, following the Nicholas Holonyak Award from Optical Society of America earlier this year.
June 23
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Richard M. Karp has been awarded the 2008 Kyoto Prize, an international award that honors significant contributions to the scientific, cultural and spiritual development of humanity. He has been selected to receive the award for his fundamental contributions to the theory of computational complexity, which he began developing in the early 1970s by establishing the theory of NP-completeness. In addition to creating many practical computer algorithms of his own, Prof. Karp's work has exerted profound influence on the guiding principles behind the analysis and design of algorithms used in many scientific disciplines. More>>
SF Gate
June 20
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Ali Javey has been selected to present his research at the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 14th annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium. This event will bring together engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines. The participants--from industry, academia, and government--were nominated by fellow engineers or organizations and chosen from more than 230 applicants. The symposium will examine emerging nanoelectric devices, cognitive engineering, drug delivery systems, and understanding and countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. More>>
June 18
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Tsu-Jae King-Liu and Ali Niknejad were presented plaques commemorating donations from Agilent Technologies for research laboratory equipment by Zena Fong of Agilent (far right). For 2008 Prof. King-Liu received $250k for an Analog Circuits undergraduate teaching laboratory and in 2007 Prof. Niknejad received $500k for a RF and Microwave teaching laboratory. Over the past 8 years Agilent has donated $3.2M to EECS for equipment for labs, memberships to research centers, research grants and fellowships.
June 13
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On June 6, 2008 a reception was held in the Hearst Memorial Mining Building to honor the departure of the current EECS Chair, Edward A. Lee (2006-2008), and to welcome the new Chairs, Stuart J. Russell and Associate Chair, Costas J. Spanos.

Also, it was a rare opportunity to have five EECS chairs (current and former) present at one time, Jitendra Malik (2004-2006) Stuart J. Russell (current chair), Edward A. Lee (2006-2008), Lotfi A. Zadeh (1963-1968), David Hodges (1989-1990) and Shankar Sastry (2000-2004).
June 9
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Koushik Sen has won an NSF Faculty Early Career Award for his project "Scalable Automated Software Testing and Repair". This prestigious award supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research and excellent education which should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.
June 8
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Jan Rabaey has won the 2008 IEEE Circuits and Systems Society Mac Van Valkenburg award. The Van Valkenburg award is the most prestigious award offered by the IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society. It was awarded to Prof. Rabaey "for seminal contributions to the fields of VLSI implementation of signal processing and communication algorithms, design methodologies and computer-aided design tools, configurable computing, and low-power digital and RF circuit and system design, and for his dedication to undergraduate and graduate education."
June 6
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Over 600 people attended the Tribute to Honor Jim Gray, UC Berkeley alumnus and researcher, held at Zellerbach Auditorium on Saturday, May 31. The tribute celebrated his achievements on campus and in the field of computer science and was organized and sponsored by friends and family of Jim Gray, EECS, UC Berkeley, the ACM, IEEE, Sun Microsystems and USENIX. Webcast of the event is available at berkeley.webcast.
Daily Californian
Seattle Times
LA Times
The Chronicle of Higher Education
Oracle Technology Network Blog
June 2
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Anthony Joseph has been elected to Association for Computing Machinery Council as Member-At-Large, against a very strong slate. Elected members are recognized for significant accomplishments or achieved a significant impact on the computing field.
May 27
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Dave Patterson has been named the 2008 winner of the ACM-IEEE CS Eckert-Mauchly Award. This award is given for seminal contributions to RISC microprocessor architectures, RAID storage systems design, and reliable computing, and for leadership in education and in disseminating academic research results into successful industrial products. More>>
May 15
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EECS undergrad student Matt Johnson is one of five finalists for the University Medal. Established in 1871 by California Governor Henry Huntly Haight, the University Medal honors the most distinguished graduating senior on the Berkeley campus. Johnson will be starting the EECS Ph.D. program at MIT in the Fall, and when asked where he sees himself in ten years, he stated "I hope to be married to my girlfriend, Lily, and back at Berkeley as a faculty member!" More>>
May 13
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Three of our computer science graduate students, Chetan Nandakumar, advisor Jitendra Malik, Arlo Faria, advisor Nelson Morgan, and AJ Shankar, advisor Rastilav Bodik tied for first place at the 10th annual UC Berkeley Business Plan Competition at the Haas School of Business. Their entry, called Implicit Interfaces, is a revolutionary new search technology that leverages computer vision and machine learning techniques. More>>
May 9
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Leon Chua's theory on memory resistors, nicknamed "memristor" is featured in a Nature.com news article titled, "Found: the missing circuit element". In 1971 Prof. Chua postulated the existence of memristors, essentially resistors with memory. Now, 37 years later, researchers at HP Labs in Palo Alto have created a memristor circuit that could revolutionize computing.
NY Times
Wall St. Journal (registration may be required)
SF Chronicle
May 1
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Ruzena Bajcsy has been elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation's oldest and most prestigious honorary societies and independent policy research centers. The Academy honors excellence by electing to membership remarkable men and women who have made preeminent contributions to their fields, and to the world. More>>
April 28
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EECS alumna Valerie Taylor, Ph.D. '91 has been elected to the board of the Computing Research Association. Currently she is Professor and head of the Department of Computer Science at Texas A&M University. Her research interests are in high performance computing, with particular emphasis on the performance analysis and modeling of parallel and distributed applications. More>>
April 25
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David Wagner led a California-commissioned study last year of the three major electronic voting systems. The findings of this study were featured in several news articles about the serious vulnerabilities in each system that would allow someone with access to just one of the machines to spread a virus that would infect all the other machines in the system and essentially control the outcome.
c|net News
PC World
April 10
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US News and World Report 2009 The latest rankings from U.S. News & World Report, "America's Best Graduate Schools 2009" have placed our Computer Science program at #1, tied with Stanford and MIT. Our Electrical Engineering program was #2, tied with Stanford. MIT came in first in this category. In Subareas (Theory and Systems), we came in first and our Programming Languages ranked #2 (behind CMU). Our undergraduate Electrical Engineering program has been ranked #2. UC Berkeley's graduate and undergraduate Engineering program overall ranked #3 (behind MIT and Stanford). More>>
March 31
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Kam Lau has been selected to receive the 2008 Nick Holonyak Award from the Optical Society of America "for seminal contributions to high-speed direct modulation of semiconductor lasers through enhanced differential optical gain." More>>
March 31
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Christos Papadimitriou has been awarded the 2008 Katayanagi Prize for Research Excellence (formerly known as the Katayanagi Senior Prize in Computer Science). The prize is "awarded annually to an established researcher with a record of outstanding and sustained achievement". The prize carries a $20,000 honorarium. More>>
March 26
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Pravin Variaya has been selected to receive the prestigious 2008 AACC (American Automatic Control Council) Richard E. Bellman Control Heritage Award. The Bellman Award is given for distinguished career contributions to the theory or application of automatic control. It is the highest recognition of professional achievement for U.S. control systems engineers and scientists. More>>
March 25
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Allen Yang, postdoc researcher in Prof. Shankar Sastry's Heterogeneous Sensor Network (HSN) group is featured in a Wired.com article titled "Engineers Test Highly Accurate Face Recognition". This new facial-recognition algorithm is able to recognize faces with 90-95 percent accuracy, even if the eyes, nose and mouth are obscured and could mark a quantum leap in face-recognition technology. More>>
March 25
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The Micromechanical Flying Insect (MFI) project of EECS Prof. Ronald Fearing is featured in an article titled "Biomimetics: Design by Nature", in the April 2008 issue of National Geographic. The key to making his micromechanical flying insect work, Fearing said, isn't to attempt to copy the fly, but to isolate the structures crucial to its feats of flying, while keeping a sharp eye out for simpler "and perhaps better" ways to perform its highly complex operations. More>>
March 20
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Dave Patterson has won the 2007 ACM Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in the computing field, extending from his tenure on several federal policy boards to his multiple awards for teaching excellence. More>>
March 19
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Intel and Microsoft are partnering with the new Parallel Computing Lab to accelerate developments in parallel computing and advance the powerful benefits of multi-core processing to mainstream consumer and business computers. David Patterson is the director, and principal investigators include Krste Asanovic, Ras Bodik, James Demmel, Kurt Keutzer, John Kubiatowicz, Koushik Sen, and Katherine Yelick. Berkeley was ranked #1 in a competition with 25 other computer science departments. Intel and Microsoft expect to invest a combined $10 million over the next five years to the UC Berkeley Parallel Computing Lab. More>>
March 17
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David Wagner was featured in an Innovations article titled "Debugging Election Codes". Prof. Wagner was the principal investigator of a joint UCB-UC Davis "top-to-bottom review" of voting machine systems code, commissioned by California Secretary of State Debra Bowen. The team found major vulnerabilities. More>>
March 11
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The U.S. Army Research Laboratory has established a Collaborative Technology Alliance in the area of Micro Autonomous Systems and Technology (MAST). The Berkeley MAST team includes EECS Profs. Michel Maharbiz, Clark Nguyen, Kris Pister, Ronald Fearing, Claire Tomlin, and Shankar Sastry, and includes 8 other universities and NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. The goal of the MAST project is to enable the autonomous operation of a collaborative ensemble of multifunctional, mobile microsystems. The MAST project, including options, provides funding of up to $89 million over the next 10 years. More>>
March 7
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EECS grad student Juliet Rubinstein won the SPIE Optical Microlithography conference's Best Student Paper Award for her paper with Prof. Andy Neureuther titled "Post Decomposition Assessment of Double Patterning Layout".
February 29
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Vern Paxson has won the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award, "Awarded to the outstanding young computer professional of the year". He was selected for his work in measuring and characterizing the Internet. This award is accompanied by a prize of $35,000. The candidate must have been 35 years of age or less at the time the qualifying contribution was made. More>>
February 25
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John Canny has been chosen by the Digital Media and Learning Competition for a project using cell phones to teach English to children in India. "Cell phones are the PCs of the developing world," said Canny. "It's the fastest growing technology platform in the region". This project will receive the top allocation of $238,000 and is funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. More>>
February 25
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The RAD (Reliable Adaptive Distributed Systems) Lab project was featured in a Wall Street Journal article titled Trying to Figure Out How to Put a Google In Every Data Center. Armando Fox is the director and other faculty include Michael Jordan, Anthony Joseph, Randy Katz, David Patterson, Scott Shenker and Ion Stoica. Through this project the RAD Lab team is trying to take the mystery out of Google's data centers with the goal of building and running data centers as easy an engineering feat as putting up a new building and turning on the lights.
February 20
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Sanjit A. Seshia and Yun. S. Song have been selected to receive the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant awarded to researchers across the nation who have shown excellence early in their career, giving each a two-year, $50,000 grant to spend for their respective academic interests. More>>
February 19
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Ernest S. Kuh has been selected to win the European Design and Automation Association (EDAA) Lifetime Achievement Award. The Lifetime Achievement Award is given to individuals who made outstanding contributions to the state of the art in electronic design, automation and testing of electronic systems in their life. More>>
February 19
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The IEEE has named Alan Jay Smith as the recipient of its 2008 Reynold B. Johnson Information Storage Systems Award. This award, sponsored by the IBM Almaden Research Center, recognizes Smith's contributions to the performance analysis of computer storage systems, including improvements to disk caches, data prefetching, file migration, device interconnect, workload analysis, data placement and performance analysis methodology which has led to improvements in the efficiency of information storage technology.
February 13
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Ken Goldberg and EECS student Tavi Nathanson's research project called “Jester 4.0: Jokes for Your Sense of Humor” was featured in a UC Newscenter article titled “So an EECS prof and an undergrad walk into a computer lab…”.  Jester matches your taste in humor to that of other users via a process known as collaborative filtering, which also drives the recommendations of sites like Amazon and Netflix. Jester is built on a complex algorithm called Eigentaste, which the campus patented in 2003.
February 13
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The IMPACT (Integrated Modeling, Process, and Computation for Technology) research project has just been funded for an $8.8M budget over the next four years. IMPACT's objective is to bring together world-class researchers dedicated to the creation of knowledge and tools that will enable IC design and IC manufacturing to cooperate smoothly as IC technologies move past the 45nm node. The PI is Kameshwar Poolla. Other EECS professors involved are Elad Alon, Nathan Cheung, Chenming Hu, Michael Lieberman, Andy Neureuther, Tsu-Jae King Liu, and Costas Spanos. The sponsors are UC Discovery and the following companies: AMD, Applied Materials, ASML, Cadence, Canon, Ebara, Hitachi Global Storage, IBM, Intel , KLA-Tencor, Magma Design, Marvell, Mentor Graphics, Novellus, Panoramic, Sandisk, Spansion, Synopsys, Tokyo TEL, and Xilinx.
February 7
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David Wagner was quoted in a NPR article titled, 20 Calif. Counties Scrap Electronic Vote Machines. A study led by Prof. Wagner revealed that e-voting is not as secure and reliable as it should be. As a result, electronic voting machines were decertified across California. He is also listed on the UC Berkeley NewsCenter Faculty Experts webpage. More>>
February 5
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Craigslist has established the first endowed faculty chair in New Media at the Berkeley Center for New Media (BCNM) with a donation of $1.6 million. Prof. Ken Goldberg is the Director and BCNM Executive Committee members include EECS professors Maneesh Agrawala and Shankar Sastry. The donation, which will support research, symposia and lectures, will be matched with $1.5 million from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for a total of $3.1 million. More>>
February 1
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An article about the Biomimetic Millisystems Lab's (Prof. Ron Fearing, Director) research on developing a directional adhesive inspired by the gecko appeared in Science Daily titled, "Climbing The Walls? New Adhesive Mimics Gecko Toe Hairs". Prof. Fearing and his colleagues are part of a Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team supported by the National Science Foundation and specifically tasked in 2003 with developing synthetic adhesives that perform like gecko hairs. The article is also featured in the UC Berkeley NewsCenter. More>>
January 30
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The Mu Chapter of Eta Kappa Nu (Electrical and Computer Engineering Honor Society) is a recipient of the Outstanding Chapter Award for 2006-2007. This coveted award is a mark of great distinction for a college chapter. The Berkeley (Mu) chapter is among the most active engineering societies at Cal, providing academic services to fellow undergraduates.
January 18
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Ernest Kuh is to be inducted to the Silicon Valley Hall of Fame for 2008. The Silicon Valley Engineering Council Award Committee selects inductees for their outstanding professional achievement and significant contributions to the Silicon Valley community.
January 7


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