11/18/10 CITRIS — Dr. Gary Baldwin, Director of Special Projects at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society, passed away on November 16, 2010, after a short battle with cancer. He will be remembered for his dedication to the CITRIS mission and his earlier work with the GigaScale Systems Research Center. Details regarding memorial services will soon be announced.
10/05/10 — Berkeley faculty know their material. Yet to teach it so that students not only understand but find inspiration and wonder in it, takes special talent and dedication. In April, civil and environmental engineering professor Juan Pestana-Nascimento and associate professor Dan Klein of electrical engineering and computer sciences joined two other faculty members elsewhere on campus in receiving the Berkeley 2010 Distinguished Teaching Award. In the award's 51-year history, only 236 faculty have received it, among the thousands who have taught Berkeley courses.
10/01/10 IEEE Spectrum — An interview with Ken Goldberg, a robotics professor at UC Berkeley, exploring the historical, philosophical and technical aspects of telepresence robots.
10/01/10 PRWeb — James Demmel, UC Berkeley professor of mathematics and of computer sciences, has been named the recipient of the 2010 IEEE Computer Society Sidney Fernbach Award for his contributions to high-performance linear algebra software. The software he has helped develop is used by hundreds of sites worldwide, including all U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories, NASA research laboratories, many universities, and companies in the aerospace, environmental, pharmaceutical and other industries.
09/20/10 Popular Science — Using a Nokia N8 smartphone and a CellScope -- developed by Berkeley Engineering's Daniel Fletcher and winner of a PopSci Best of What's New award in 2008 -- the team behind the Wallace & Gromit series has made the world's smallest stop-motion animation film. Nokia commissioned the film in celebration of CellScope's potential to improve medicine in the developing world. The film features a 0.35-inch-tall Dot as she runs through an obstacle course made of British currency and rides a bumblebee.
09/17/10 Siebel Foundation — Computer Science graduate students David Wong and Jerry Zhang are recipients of the Siebel Scholarship for the Class of 2011. Both are enrolled in the 5th Year Master's Degree program. The Siebel Scholars Program was established by the Siebel Foundation to recognize the most talented students at the world's leading graduate schools of business, computer science, and bioengineering.
09/15/10 Discovery News — The wireless world we live in runs on batteries. That fancy smart phone is nothing more than a few ounces of dead weight in your pocket without a charged battery. But are we paying a high environmental price for all of this battery-operated convenience? "We take into account environmental impact because there is, to a significant degree, a battery recycling industry out there, [and] there are now conferences that deal with nothing but environmental impact and recycling of used batteries," said Elton Cairns, a rechargeable battery and fuel cell expert at UC Berkeley.
09/08/10 — Over the last decade, the line between real and virtual in motion pictures has grown even blurrier with the rise of computer-generated imagery (CGI). If CGI is done well, you could be looking at a pixilated Brad Pitt, not the hunky star himself, and you'd be none the wiser. Any visual effects supervisor will tell you that one of CGI's biggest challenges is replicating faces. Humans look at faces every day and expertly distinguish fact from fiction. But technology is catching up, thanks, in part, to a Berkeley engineer. Paul Debevec (Ph.D.'96 EECS) is a friendly, congenial academic with a love of movies who has engineered an ingenious system to make digital animation, in particular human faces, more realistic.
08/31/10 The New York Times — Hewlett-Packard said Tuesday that it would commercialize a new computer memory technology called memristors with Hynix, the South Korean chip maker. The agreement to build the memory chips validates the work of Leon O. Chua, a UC Berkeley electrical engineering professor. In 1971, he proposed a fourth basic circuit element (the other three are the resistor, capacitor and inductor) and called it a memristor, or memory resistor, as a simpler alternative to transistors that would allow more computer memory to be packed in even smaller devices.
08/29/10 ABC News — More 3D movies than ever are in theaters now and manufacturers are selling 3D TVs. Yet surprisingly little is known about the effects of stereo vision on our brains. Researchers at Berkeley are applying cutting-edge technology to find out what happens when 3D is not produced correctly. UC Berkeley Visual Science Professor Martin Banks' lab is breaking new ground in studying the way we perceive depth. Enabling test subjects to see two screens at once using mirrors, his team has established some of the things that lead to bad 3D
08/24/10 Popular Science — A team of UC Berkeley researchers interested in domestic applications for robotics has shown that Willow Garage's PR2 robot can be a handy household companion, namely laundry-folding. Now, they've shown that if you give PR2 a sock it can employ its keen ability for repetitive hand motions to that other regularly recurring chore: pairing socks.
08/09/10 — Artificial skin that bestows the sense of touch on prosthetic limbs. Nanochips that control the latest smart phones and devices. Sheets of low cost solar cells as easy to install as unrolling a carpet. All future scenarios, yes, but ones that EECS associate professor Ali Javey is working to realize in the next decade or so. Javey, a chemist by training, develops new electronic materials and methods of processing existing materials destined for future applications.
08/08/10 ABC News — Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed a laser backpack that scans its surroundings and creates an instant 3D model. The modeling tool, built by a team led by electrical engineering professor Avideh Zakhor, can make video games more realistic and buildings more energy efficient.
07/30/10 Forbes.com — Marvell's Weili Dai takes her place on Forbes' list of entrepreneurs, innovators and businesspeople who left home and made their mark in the U.S. Dai arrived in Silicon Valley from China at age 17 in 1978, coming of age at the same time as the U.S. tech hub. She moved in with her grandparents before going on to study at the University of California at Berkeley. Today Marvell Technology, the semiconductor design company she went on to cofound 15 years ago with her Indonesian-Chinese husband and his brother, employs 5,000 worldwide and trades on the Nasdaq with an $11 billion market cap. The trio donated the funds for a building named after them at Berkeley
06/17/10 BusinessWire — Yissum Research Development Company Ltd., the technology transfer arm of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, introduces solid organic electric battery based upon treated potatoes. This simple, sustainable, robust device can potentially provide an immediate inexpensive solution to electricity needs in parts of the world lacking electrical infrastructure. A group of scientists, including Prof. Boris Rubinsky at UC Berkeley, study the electrolytic process in living matter for use in various applications, including the generation of electric energy for self-powered implanted medical electronic devices
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 — 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.
04/07/10 — 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?