Data Science

June 2, 2022

New UC Berkeley initiative uses AI Research to solve climate problems

For years, UC Berkeley snow hydrologist Manuela Girotto has combined disparate remote sensing datasets from satellites into models to understand snow as a water resource. In an era of extreme drought and climate change, her work is increasingly urgent. A recent rapid expansion of available observations from space could unlock important insights. But integrating that amount of data into researchers’ existing models is difficult. So when Berkeley computer science doctoral candidate Colorado Reed reached out asking how artificial intelligence could help, she saw an opportunity.
March 21, 2022

‘Off label’ use of imaging databases could lead to bias in AI algorithms, study finds

Significant advances in artificial intelligence (AI) over the past decade have relied upon extensive training of algorithms using massive, open-source databases. But when such datasets are used “off label” and applied in unintended ways, the results are subject to machine learning bias that compromises the integrity of the AI algorithm, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Texas at Austin.
March 1, 2022

HYPPO: Leveraging Prediction Uncertainty to Optimize Deep Learning Models for Science

Leveraging support from the Laboratory Directed Research and Development (LDRD) program at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), a team of researchers in the Computing Sciences Area has developed a new software tool for conducting hyperparameter optimization (HPO) of deep neural networks while taking into account the prediction uncertainty that arises from using stochastic optimizers for training the models.
December 9, 2021

New Kavli Center at UC Berkeley to foster ethics, engagement in science

UC Berkeley announced that the campus will be home to a new Kavli Center for Ethics, Science, and the Public, which, alongside a second center at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom, will connect scientists, ethicists, social scientists, science communicators and the public in necessary and intentional discussions about the potential impacts of scientific discoveries.
August 5, 2021

Leaping squirrels! Parkour is one of their many feats of agility

Videos of squirrels leaping from bendy branches across impossibly large gaps, parkouring off walls, scrambling to recover from tricky landings are not just more YouTube content documenting the antics of squirrels. Researchers at UC Berkeley are capturing video of squirrels as part of their research to understand the split-second decisions squirrels make to elude deadly predators, research that could help with development of robots with better agility and control.
July 29, 2021

UC Berkeley, Georgia Tech and USC launch new National AI Research Institute

The National Science Foundation has awarded $20 million over five years to the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley and the University of Southern California to establish the National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Institute for Advances in Optimization. The award is among 11 new National AI Research Institutes announced today by NSF.
July 20, 2021

A machine learning breakthrough uses satellite images to improve lives

More than 700 imaging satellites are orbiting the earth, and every day they beam vast oceans of information to databases on the ground. There’s just one problem: Only those with considerable wealth and expertise can access it. Now, a UC Berkeley team has devised a machine learning system to tap the problem-solving potential of satellite imaging that could bring access and analytical power to researchers and governments worldwide.
July 13, 2021

Computing and Data Sciences Improve What We Know About Wildfires and How to Fight Them

Our understanding, planning, and response to wildfires benefit from connections with data and computing sciences. Recent developments in machine learning and simulations can help first responders detect fires earlier, predict fires’ paths and limit blazes quickly. Through collaborations with practitioners in other fields like microbiology and forest management, these tools are answering previously intractable questions about fires that can inform policy and practice. 
July 9, 2021

New AI strategy enables robots to rapidly adapt to real world environments

Delivery services may be able to overcome snow, rain, heat and the gloom of night, but a new class of legged robots is not far behind. Artificial intelligence algorithms developed by a team of researchers from UC Berkeley, Facebook and Carnegie Mellon University are equipping legged robots with an enhanced ability to adapt to and navigate unfamiliar terrain in real time.
May 28, 2021

‘Eye in the sky’ sensors reduce stress of in-home dementia care

People caring around the clock for a parent, spouse or other loved one with dementia are at a high risk for clinical anxiety, depression, social isolation and even suicidal ideation, according to longitudinal research from UC Berkeley. But thanks to a blend of artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioral science, relief may be on the horizon.
February 25, 2021

Light unbound: Data limits could vanish with new optical antennas

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a new way to harness properties of light waves that can radically increase the amount of data they carry. They demonstrated the emission of discrete twisting laser beams from antennas made up of concentric rings roughly equal to the diameter of a human hair, small enough to be placed on computer chips.
May 8, 2020

To climb like a gecko, robots need toes

Robots with toes? Experiments suggest that climbing robots could benefit from having flexible, hairy toes, like those of geckos, that can adjust quickly to accommodate shifting weight and slippery surfaces.
April 14, 2020

Learning to learn

When children play with toys, they learn about the world around them — and today’s robots aren’t all that different. At UC Berkeley’s Robot Learning Lab, groups of robots are working to master the same kinds of tasks that kids do: placing wood blocks in the correct slot of a shape-sorting cube, connecting one plastic Lego brick to another, attaching stray parts to a toy airplane.
April 7, 2020

Creating informed responses: Berkeley’s computing and data science in action

In a live webcast on Tuesday, April 7, an interdisciplinary cast of Berkeley faculty members joined Nobel laureate Saul Perlmutter, director of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science, and Michael Lu, dean of Berkeley’s School of Public Health, to discuss how data is guiding our society’s response to the pandemic and how more and better data is needed to help us emerge from the crisis.
March 26, 2020

COVID-19 first target of new AI research consortium

The University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) are the headquarters of a bold new research consortium established by enterprise AI software company to leverage the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the internet of things (IoT) to transform societal-scale systems.
August 13, 2019

Meet Berkeley’s new data science leader

As a Microsoft technical fellow, Jennifer Tour Chayes has made a name for herself as an expert in the field of network science and a leader of multidisciplinary labs that bring data science tools to bear on a wide range of problems. In January, she will leave her current position at Microsoft to become UC Berkeley’s first associate provost for the Division of Data Science and Information and Dean of the School of Information. 
April 9, 2019

Meet Blue, the low-cost, human-friendly robot designed for AI

Enter Blue, a new low-cost, human-friendly robot conceived and built by a team of researchers at the University of California, Berkeley. Blue was designed to use recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and deep reinforcement learning to master intricate human tasks, all while remaining affordable and safe enough that every artificial intelligence researcher — and eventually every home — could have one.
February 11, 2019

Literally Switching Strategies to Handle the Internet Data Flood

Cloud applications and the ever-increasing demand by large enterprises to transmit and analyze “big data” are stretching the capacity of even the largest data center servers as traditional switches become data flow bottlenecks. Ming Wu has invented a new optical, or photonic, switch capable of record-breaking speed that can be fabricated as integrated circuits so they can be mass-produced, keeping the cost per device low.
July 12, 2018

Kathy Yelick Testifies on 'Big Data Challenges and Advanced Computing Solutions'

NEWS & EVENTS News Archived News CS In the News InTheLoop Seminars & Events Kathy Yelick Testifies on 'Big Data Challenges and Advanced Computing Solutions' JULY 12, 2018 Contact: John German,, +1 510-486-6601 Kathy Yelick, Associate Laboratory Director for Computing Sciences at Berkeley Lab, was one of four witnesses testifying before the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Science, Space, and Technology at 7 a.m. PDT / 10 a.m. EDT on Thursday, July 12. The discussion focused on big-data challenges and advanced computing solutions.
February 21, 2017

Megamovie project to crowdsource images of August solar eclipse

With only six months to go before one of the most anticipated solar eclipses in a lifetime, the University of California, Berkeley, and Google are looking for citizen scientists to document and memorialize the event in a “megamovie,” and help scientists learn about the sun in the process.
March 18, 2016

Three new Signatures Innovation Fellows announced

Three faculty members have been selected as 2016-17 Signatures Innovation Fellows, receiving as much as $100,000 per year each for up to two years to pursue commercially promising data science and software projects.

January 19, 2016

Big Thinking About Big Data

To Michael Jordan, the smart way to extract and analyze key information embedded in mountains of “Big Data” is to ignore most of it. Instead, zero in on collections of small amounts of data.

January 11, 2016

Will computers ever truly understand what we’re saying?

From Apple’s Siri to Honda’s robot Asimo, machines seem to be getting better and better at communicating with humans. But some neuroscientists caution that today’s computers will never truly understand what we’re saying.

December 14, 2015

Seeing Through the Big Data Fog

Joe Hellerstein and his students developed a new programming model for distributed computing which MIT Technology Review named one of the 10 technologies “most likely to change our world”.

November 30, 2015

The AMP Lab Stands Up to Big Data

The AMP Lab, launched in 2011 by Michael Franklin and colleagues in computer science, has already had an outsized impact on industry. 

November 17, 2015

Seeking Data Wisdom

Bin Yu’s statistical strategies work hand in hand with intense computation to penetrate storms of data.

October 5, 2015

Urban Infrastructure - Making Cities Smarter

Alexei Pozdnoukhov, a Signatures Innovation Fellow, leads research to use cellular data to aid traffic planning and operations. Fully developed, the technology could aid both traffic control and planning to keep pace with changes in transportation habits.

August 24, 2015

More gentrification, displacement in Bay Area forecast

The San Francisco Bay Area’s transformation into a sprawling, exclusive and high-income community with less and less room for its low-income residents is just beginning, according to UC Berkeley researchers who literally have it all mapped out.

May 7, 2015

UC Berkeley begin monitoring tremors on San Andreas Fault

UC Berkeley seismologists were surprised last August to see a dramatic increase in faint tremors occurring under the San Andreas Fault near Parkfield, in Central California, about 10 hours after a magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Napa

April 21, 2015

UC Berkeley launches the Signatures Innovation Fellows Program

In an effort to support UC Berkeley faculty interested in commercial applications of their research, UC Berkeley is launching a new program in the data science and software areas. The new Signatures Innovation Fellows program was recently established with the generous support of UC Berkeley alumnus Bobby Yazdani.

January 14, 2015

Tropical paradise inspires virtual ecology lab

An international collaboration including Neil Davies, Director of UC Berkeley's Gump Station, is preparing to create a digital representation of of the Pacific island of Moorea to create a virtual lab to test and hypothesize the impact of human activities. 

October 2, 2014

Funding for big-data projects in ecology, astronomy & microscopy

Three professors at UC Berkeley will receive $1.5 million over the next five years from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation as part of the foundation’s Data-Driven Discovery Initiative. The initiative, one of the largest privately funded data scientist programs of its kind, is committed to enabling new types of scientific breakthroughs by supporting interdisciplinary, data-driven researchers.

August 22, 2014

Berkeley air-monitoring project wins White House nod

The White House has given a public nod to a ground-breaking UC Berkeley air-monitoring project and its new collaboration with a Colorado public media platform, which aims to build a citizen-science story-corps to help monitor carbon emissions in the Bay Area.

August 14, 2014

New tool makes a single picture worth a thousand – and more – images

A photo is worth a thousand words, but what if the image could also represent a thousands of other images? New software developed by UC Berkeley computer scientists seeks to tame the sea of visual data in the world by generating a single photo that can represent massive clusters of images.

July 18, 2014

Scientists enlist big data to guide conservation efforts

Despite a deluge of new information about the diversity and distribution of plants and animals around the globe, “big data” has yet to make a mark on conservation efforts to preserve the planet’s biodiversity. But that may soon change.

July 11, 2014

Tapping real-time financial data can improve economic policymaking

Measuring the nation’s economic health has long been a slow, costly and imprecise exercise, but researchers at the University of California, Berkeley have helped develop a new way to measure real-time consumer behavior that could vastly improve economic policymaking.

June 18, 2014

Information School team app for West African fishermen snags sustainable fishing prize

Trolling for real-world solutions to support ocean fisheries, the U.S. State Department sponsored a “Fishackathon” at five sites across the country. A team from UC Berkeley’s School of Information, working out of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, took home the national grand prize for a mobile app designed to help West African fishermen.

April 19, 2014

Seismic early-warning: What Mexico has, California is lacking

Mexico, Japan, Taiwan, Romania, Turkey and several other seismically active countries operate early warning systems - but not the United States. Although the technology is available along the west coast and a demonstration system is operating, a public alert system does not exist.

April 18, 2014

Student ‘hackers’ design new ways to research the Free Speech Movement

Students were invited recently to develop a compelling user interface to the Bancroft Library’s FSM Digital Archive, and shared their results 12 days later before a panel of judges. It’s hoped that HackFSM will spur future efforts to make online collections more accessible and useful to scholars and the public.

April 14, 2014

Can New Understanding Avert Tragedy?

Solomon Hsiang's research provides a “ground–level” view of climate’s current and likely future role in such social stresses as child mortality, crime and social upheaval.

March 11, 2014

Making Sense of Big Data

Ben Recht was recently honored by the White House with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, recognizing some of the most promising young researchers.

February 19, 2014

NuSTAR takes first peek into core of supernova

Astronomers for the first time have peered into the heart of an exploding star in the final minutes of its existence. The feat is one of the primary goals of NASA’s NuSTAR mission.

January 8, 2014

BOSS Measures the Universe to One-Percent Accuracy

Today the Baryon Oscillation Spectroscopic Survey (BOSS) Collaboration announced that BOSS has measured the scale of the universe to an accuracy of one percent. This and future measures at this precision are the key to determining the nature of dark energy.
December 13, 2013

Big turnout for launch of big-data center

A throng turned out for Thursday’s high-spirited launch of the Berkeley Institute for Data Science. Designed to help researchers across the disciplines harness data in order to spur discoveries and create knowledge, the center for data-related teaching and collaboration will be housed in Doe Library.

November 13, 2013

New data science institute to help scholars harness ‘big data’

In a world awash in data, UC Berkeley is meeting the flood head-on by establishing a new institute to support faculty, researchers and students in their efforts to mine this information in areas as diverse as astronomy and economics, genetics and demography.

May 6, 2013

Scrutinizing Space Storms for a Calmer Life on Earth

Thomas Immel and his team at the Space Sciences Lab will design, build and operate two instruments and oversee development of two others to be loaded on a solar-powered satellite for a two-year science mission tentatively set to launch in 2017.

April 3, 2013

Computers that can identify you by your thoughts

Instead of typing your password, in the future you may only have to think your password, according to School of Information researchers. A new study explores the feasibility of brainwave-based computer authentication as a substitute for passwords.

March 25, 2013

Making Art Out of Earthquakes

UC Berkeley’s Ken Goldberg, Professor of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, is featured in The Atlantic for his recent work, Bloom - “an Internet-based earthwork”.

January 28, 2013

Earthquake alert system may be coming

The San Francisco Chronicle recently reported on the work of Richard M. Allen, Director of the UC Berkeley Seismological Laboratory, for helping to develop an early warning system that flashes imminent danger when a damaging earthquake is about to strike.

September 28, 2012

Pushing innovations to industry's doorstep

A tiny laser that could enable smaller and faster smart phones and tablets. A glucosamine-like supplement that targets the underlying cause of multiple sclerosis. These are among research projects getting a boost this year from a UC grants program.

July 5, 2012

Chemical engineers use lasers to put new spin on computing

Researchers at UC Berkeley and the City College of New York are using lasers to control the spin state of semiconductor materials, a development that could lead to the creation of even faster and smaller electronic devices. The researchers hope to see spintronics move beyond memory devices to the logic circuits that are the heart of modern computers.

May 31, 2012

A new tool to attack the mysteries of high-temperature superconductivity

Using ultrafast lasers, Berkeley Lab scientists have tackled the long-standing mystery of how Cooper pairs form in high-temperature superconductors. With pump and probe pulses spaced just trillionths of a second apart, the researchers used photoemission spectroscopy to map rapid changes in electronic states across the superconducting transition.

May 23, 2012

"Tree of Life" to harness big data, visualize complex relationships

UC Berkeley plant biologist Chelsea Specht is part of a unique collaboration to develop software that visualizes enormous amount of data across all of life, allowing scientists to see, at a glance, how organisms are related. The effort is supported by a $2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

May 22, 2012

Wearable electronics - the next fashion fad?

Advances in materials science and electrical engineering have paved the way for a new type of electronic device: one that can bend and fold just like a piece of paper. Ana Claudia Arias, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, hopes to take this innovation to the next level. Her goal: "wearable electronics."

May 9, 2012

Floating robots use GPS-enabled smartphones to track water flow

A fleet of 100 floating robots took a trip down the Sacramento Riveron Wednesday in a field test organized by UC Berkeley engineers. The devices, equipped with GPS-enabled smartphones, demonstrated the next generation of water monitoring technology.

May 2, 2012

Bringing the electric grid into the 21st century

Researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are working on a project that would modernize the grid and essentially bring it into the Internet age by using automated control software to manage demand in real time.

May 1, 2012

Q&A with Richard Karp

Establishing a new research institute at a top-tier university is a major undertaking that required a great deal of teamwork to pull off. In a recent interview, Richard Karp, founding director of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing, gave the inside story on how it all came together.

April 3, 2012

NSF grant funds computer-assisted programming project

UC Berkeley engineers, led by computer scientist Ras Bodik, will join the University of Pennsylvania and seven other research institutions in a project to make computer programming faster, easier and more intuitive.

March 20, 2012

Better organic electronics

At Berkeley Lab’s Molecular Foundry, scientists have provided the first experimental determination of the pathways by which electrical charge is transported from molecule-to-molecule in an organic thin film.

December 5, 2011

Record massive black holes discovered lurking in monster galaxies

UC Berkeley astronomer Chung-Pei Ma, graduate student Nicholas McConnell and colleagues have discovered the largest black holes to date ‑- two monsters with masses equivalent to 10 billion suns that are threatening to consume anything, even light, within a region five times the size of our solar system.

September 22, 2011

Scientists use brain imaging to reveal the movies in our mind

Imagine tapping into the mind of a coma patient, or watching one’s own dream on YouTube. With a cutting-edge blend of brain imaging and computer simulation, UC Berkeley scientists are bringing these futuristic scenarios within reach. Using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) and computational models, researchers have succeeded in decoding and reconstructing people’s dynamic visual experiences – in this case, watching Hollywood movie trailers.

September 12, 2011

Ferroelectrics could pave way for ultra-low power computing

UC Berkeley engineers have shown that by using ferroelectric materials, they can pump up the charge accumulated at a capacitor for a given voltage, a phenomenon called negative capacitance. The achievement could reduce the power draw of today’s electronics, and break the bottleneck that has stalled improvements in computer clock speed.

September 7, 2011

Success of amphibian social networking spawns Reptile BioBlitz

Photos and observations posted to the website of the Global Amphibian BioBlitz now cover more than 700 species: 10 percent of the world’s frog, toad and salamander species that the social networking effort hopes to track. This success has now spawned a Reptile BioBlitz.

August 25, 2011

‘Supernova of a generation’ discovered by Berkeley scientists

Skywatchers should get their binoculars and telescopes ready. Scientists at UC Berkeley and Berkeley Lab caught a supernova soon after its explosion. The supernova, located in the Big Dipper constellation, is appearing brighter than any other supernova of its type in the last 30 years. Earthlings might even be able to see it with good binoculars in 10 days’ time.

August 23, 2011

Storing vertebrates in the cloud

UC Berkeley is leading an effort to take information on the vertebrate collections in museums around the world and store it in the cloud for easy use by researchers and citizen scientists alike.

July 25, 2011

NSF launches new cyberinfrastructure project to succeed TeraGrid

The NSF has launched a massive five-year, $121 million project involving 17 institutions, including UC Berkeley, to bring advanced digital services to the nation’s scientists and engineers. Collectively known as the Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE), the new project replaces the TeraGrid, which for 10 years provided researchers with computational and data resources in an open infrastructure to support scientific discovery.

July 1, 2011

Magnetic memory and logic could achieve ultimate energy efficiency

Information theory dictates that a logical operation in a computer must consume a minimum amount of energy. Today’s computers consume a million times more energy per operation than this limit, but magnetic computers with no moving electrons could theoretically operate at the minimum energy, called the Landauer limit, according to UC Berkeley electrical engineers.

June 7, 2011

New Intel lab will focus on secure computing

Intel Labs announced a second Intel Science and Technology Center to open at UC Berkeley with a focus on secure computing. Funded by $15 million over five years, the new center will encourage tighter collaboration between university thought leaders and Intel.
May 23, 2011

Radical new Intel transistor based on UC Berkeley’s FinFET

In early May, Intel announced a radical new transistor design: a 3D device that will enable the production of integrated-circuit chips that operate faster with less power. The breakthrough has its roots in research begun in 1997 by a team led by Berkeley electrical engineers Chenming Hu, Jeff Bokor and Tsu-Jae King Liu.

May 8, 2011

Graphene optical modulators could lead to ultrafast communications

UC Berkeley researchers have shown that graphene, a one-atom-thick layer of crystallized carbon, can be tuned electrically to modify the amount of photons absorbed. This ability to switch light on and off is the fundamental characteristic of a network modulator, opening the door to optical computing in handheld electronics.

March 24, 2011

UC Berkeley, UCSF join forces to advance frontier of brain repair

Researchers at UC Berkeley and UCSF have launched the joint Center for Neural Engineering and Prostheses to develop technology that can translate brain signals into movements controlling prosthetic limbs, circumventing damaged or missing neural circuits in people suffering from disabling conditions.

August 13, 2010

Einstein@Home's pulsar discovery proves value of volunteer computing

One of the world's most popular volunteer computing projects, Einstein@Home, has discovered an unusual pulsar from data captured by the giant radio dish in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The project, built on UC Berkeley's BOINC platform, demonstrates the scientific value of volunteer computing.
February 23, 2010

NSF awards $24.5 million for center to stem increase of electronics power draw

The NSF has awarded $24.5 million to UC Berkeley researchers to head an ambitious, multi-institutional center that could one day lead to a million-fold reduction in power consumption by electronics. The researchers said such a dramatic increase in energy efficiency could allow the digital revolution to continue well beyond the limits that would otherwise be imposed by its growing demand for energy.
May 30, 2006

RAD Lab wins backing from five major IT firms

The UC Berkeley announced a new influx of industry support for its Reliable, Adaptive and Distributed systems laboratory, or RAD Lab, which will be dedicated to creating the next generation of Internet design tools.