Randy H Katz

Randy H. Katz

Title
Professor of Computer Science; Vice Chancellor for Research
Department
Division of Computer Science/EECS
Phone
(510) 642-8778
Research Expertise and Interest
trusted and reliable network computing, smart cities, data science, smart buildings, smart grids
Research Description

I am interested in the design of large, complex, network-oriented applications and systems. Most recently, I have become concerned with the architecture of such systems in support of data-intensive large-scale computation associated with machine learning workloads.

My most recent project, as part of the RiseLab, is focused on exploiting "serverless computing", a way to harness lightweight low cost stateless virtual machine images typically found in cloud computing environments, to perform long running data-intensive computations. See https://rise.cs.berkeley.edu/projects/cirrus/.

My research style is engineering-oriented, prototype- and artifact-driven, and highly interdisciplinary, leading to extensive collaboration with other faculty. Our methodology depends critically on the three step process of (1) evaluating existing systems to understand their performance and capability limitations, (2) extensive simulation-based analyses to explore the design space of new solutions and architectures, and (3) implementation and measurement of the most attractive design to uncover its implementation complexities and to validate the simulation models used in the preceeding step. In a typical project, these steps are iterated two to three times.

In the News

October 9, 2018

Randy Katz: The 2018 Nobel Prizes and use-inspired research

Vice Chancellor Randy Katz writes about the 2018 recipients of the Nobel Prize with deep roots to UC Berkeley. Jim Allison, honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, performed his award-winning research as director of Berkeley’s Cancer Research Laboratory. Frances Arnold, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, conducted her doctoral work here under the guidance of Professor Emeritus Harvey Blanch. And Paul Romer, a professor at Berkeley in the 1990s, won the Nobel Prize in Economics.

In the News

October 9, 2018

Randy Katz: The 2018 Nobel Prizes and use-inspired research

Vice Chancellor Randy Katz writes about the 2018 recipients of the Nobel Prize with deep roots to UC Berkeley. Jim Allison, honored with the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, performed his award-winning research as director of Berkeley’s Cancer Research Laboratory. Frances Arnold, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, conducted her doctoral work here under the guidance of Professor Emeritus Harvey Blanch. And Paul Romer, a professor at Berkeley in the 1990s, won the Nobel Prize in Economics.

Featured in the Media

Please note: The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or positions of UC Berkeley.
April 29, 2020
Joel Rubin, Amina Khan
Emergency shelter-in-place orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic have closed laboratories and disrupted research projects all over the world, leaving scientists scrambling to protect their work and prepare to resurrect it. Discussing the problem, electrical engineering and computer sciences professor Randy Katz, vice chancellor for research, says that a break of a few weeks isn't likely to cause irreparable damage, but the losses will be hard to avoid if the rules are in place for months." Animals don't live forever," he says, noting that one example is the necessity of testing mice bred to have a particular genetic condition or disease at a certain age, which gives researchers limited time frames for their work. Another example is disrupted work by Berkeley scientists to measure snowpack at field stations in the Sierra Nevada Mountains. That data guides state officials who decide how much water will be available for consumption or crop irrigation. "We obviously need to go when there is snow," he says. "If we wait too long, the opportunity is lost." Also weighing in on the disruptions, astronomy professor Alex Filippenko says he thought he was safe when he got special permission to take a last look at supernovas and other celestial objects related to their study of the current rate of expansion in the universe from a remote observing room on campus connected to the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii's Mauna Kea, but then he heard that first night that the telescope was being shut down. He scrambled to make other plans, but by the time he'll be able to look again, he says, those phenomena will have vanished.
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