06/03/10 — Who wouldn't want a robot that could make your bed or do the laundry? A team of Berkeley researchers has brought us one important step closer by, for the first time, enabling an autonomous robot to reliably fold piles of previously unseen towels. Robots that can do things like assembling cars have been around for decades. The towel-folding robot, however, is doing something very new, according to the researchers, doctoral student Jeremy Maitin-Shepard and assistant professor Pieter Abbeel, both of UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences.
05/27/10 2010 National Public Radio — On Wednesday, Apple overtook Microsoft as the world's most valuable technology company, at least by one Wall Street measure -- market capitalization. Michele Norris talks with Kyle Conroy, a computer science student at the University of California, Berkeley about a table he's compiled that looks at how much money you might have today had you invested in Apple stock instead of buying Apple products, such as iMacs and iPods.
05/05/10 — Picture this: The security of computers worldwide hangs in the balance. Cult-like followers of the Greek philosopher Pythagoras are suspected of a nefarious plot to crack the cryptographic code protecting virtually everyone's digital data. Who ya gonna call? In his debut thriller, Tetraktys, Ari Juels (Ph.D'96 EECS) crafted a stereotype-shattering sleuth to take on the bad guys. His fictional hero: an intrepid young doctoral candidate schooled in the classics and studying computer science at-you guessed it-UC Berkeley's College of Engineering.
04/07/10 — The health care reform bill enacted last month is the most far-reaching domestic policy the nation has seen in decades. Only time will tell us all the ramifications of this historic legislation. As the acting dean of the College of Engineering I ask, how can engineers help patients, physicians and providers make the best use of the changes ahead?
04/07/10 — Clean and green technologies are on the rise in Silicon Valley. Electric car startups like Tesla Motors and solar cell and biofuel innovators are snapping up commercial space, while established companies like Applied Materials are growing their clean energy divisions. “Over the past six years, clean tech's portion of venture [capital] investments has grown from merely 3 percent to more than 25 percent,” reported the San Jose Mercury News in January. The newspaper went on to pronounce clean and green technologies the next great wave of innovation in Silicon Valley. It's no surprise to five Berkeley Engineering alumni who work in the up-and-coming sector.
04/06/10 National Science Foundation — Berkeley Engineering professor Jose Carmena has been selected to receive one the NSF's most prestigious awards in support of early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education and build a firm foundation for a lifetime of integrated contributions to research and education.
03/22/10 San Francisco Business Times — Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will receive about $13.5 million over five years from the National Cancer Institute to develop computational models that predict breast cancer responses to therapeutic agents. The new Center for Cancer Systems Biology will be co-directed by Joe Gray, director of the lab's life sciences division and an adjunct professor of laboratory medicine at UCSF, and Claire Tomlin, a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at UC Berkeley.
03/15/10 Wall Street Journal — A connection to the University of California at Berkeley - and a lengthy record for innovations - seem to be winning attributes in this year's big computing prizes. Eric Brewer and Charles Thacker have both.
03/15/10 Department of State — Opinion Space, an interactive site hosted on State.gov that seeks to foster global conversations on foreign affairs, was developed jointly by the Department of State and UC Berkeley's Center for New Media and is accessible to anyone around the world. According to Berkeley Engineering professor and BCNM director Ken Goldberg, "Opinion Space is designed to 'depolarize' discussions by including all participants on a level playing field." Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has called Opinion Space an example of "21st century statecraft."
03/09/10 ACM — UC Berkeley alumnus and Microsoft Corporation researcher Charles Thacker has won the $250,000 Turing Award, one of technology's most coveted prizes, for his work helping design and build what is widely considered the first modern personal computer. Thacker said he would probably donate the money to his alma mater.
02/22/10 Computerworld — If you want to have a high-paying job on graduation day, study computer science. That's the advice coming out of the top U.S. computer science programs. "We feel that the bust is over, and the number of computer science students is going to keep increasing," says Kate Riley, director of operations for the Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences Department at UC Berkeley. Undergraduate enrollment in UC Berkeley's EECS degree program is up 8% from last year.
02/03/10 — Their ingenious designs integrate mechanical and electrical systems into working prototypes that may zoom, zing, fly, agitate, pull, dispense or write their way into engineering glory. At the end of every semester, students in ME 102 "Mechatronics" demonstrate their final mechanical engineering design projects for the public during an open house in Etcheverry Hall. "It was almost overwhelming to see what the students could not only dream up but also fabricate and test in such a short amount of time," says graduate student instructor Sarah Wodin-Schwartz.
01/19/10 FOXNews.com — Tech wizards at UC Berkeley's Department of Electrical Engineering are developing mini-robots to help locate earthquake survivors easily, cheaply, and quickly, without jeopardizing the lives of rescuers. They're made of cardboard, plastic, and parts of computers and bits of old toys, and operated by remote control. The goal of the project: to develop swarms of the cheap, diminutive robots that can hunt down the survivors of disasters and relay the location of survivors back to the surface.
01/18/10 ABC News — Earthquake rescues could be made safer and faster with a new robot being developed at UC Berkeley by engineering grad students Paul Birkmeyer and Kevin Peterson with Professor Ron Fearing.
12/15/09 — Malware is tough to defeat. Once a piece of malicious software such as a virus or worm attacks, it might take days or weeks before computer security professionals release a fix or other countermeasure, says EECS associate professor Dawn Song (Ph.D.'02 EECS). But Song -- named one of Technology Review's 2009 Young Innovators Under 35 -- has created what she calls a "game-changing" technology in the security landscape, significantly cutting the amount of time it takes security analysts to address a malware problem.
12/15/09 — "Fun. Easy to learn. Can relate to it." That's what students were saying about a new introductory computing course at Berkeley, established by Dan Garcia, Brian Harvey, Colleen Lewis (B.S.'05 EECS) and George Wang, that will alter the way young people perceive the field. Called "The Beauty and Joy of Computing," the two-unit freshman/sophomore seminar teaches non-majors basic programming skills while exploring big picture topics such as abstraction, world-changing applications and the social implications of computing.
11/13/09 — Next month, representatives from around the world will convene at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen in hopes of providing the broad outline for a new agreement that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions to sustainable levels. It is critical that, unlike Kyoto, the new agreement simultaneously provide for sustainable growth and energy utilization.
09/04/09 — "Practice makes perfect" is the maxim drummed into anyone struggling to learn a new motor skill, be it riding a bike or developing a killer backhand in tennis. New research by UC Berkeley assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences Jose Carmena and colleagues now reveals that the brain can also achieve this motor memory with a disembodied device. The study provides hope that physically disabled people could one day master control of artificial limbs with greater ease.
06/04/09 — Last year, Connie Chang-Hasnain and graduate student researcher Linus Chuang were searching for a better lab recipe for growing nanowires, conductive threads so thin that every atom they contain has a significant effect on their overall electrical properties. Following the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) technique for creating semiconductor crystal nanowires, they deposited successive layers of gallium arsenide onto a silicon wafer substrate. But in one low-temperature batch, an area of the silicon lacked the usual gold nanoparticles from which each crystal grows. Under careful examination of the region, they didn't find what they were expecting. Instead of uniform-diameter threads sticking up, they saw tall, needle-like pyramids with hexagonal bases and sharp points. They had discovered a new nanostructure.
06/04/09 — A music video that playfully celebrates all things nano has become a megahit for three Berkeley Engineering graduate students and their Cal team.