S. Shankar Sastry

Research Expertise and Interest

embedded and cyberphysical systems, artificial intelligence, AR/VR, computer science, robotics, arial robots, cybersecurity, cyber defense, homeland defense, nonholonomic systems, control of hybrid systems, sensor networks, interactive visualization, robotic telesurgery, rapid prototyping

Research Description

S. Shankar Sastry was the Dean of Engineering  from 2008-2018. He  has also been the Faculty Director of the Blum Center of Developing Economies since 2007. He was the Director of the Center for Information Technology in the Interests of Society from 2005-2008. He was Chairman, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences from 2001-2005. He was the  Director of the Information Technology Office at DARPA. (with the equivalent military rank of a Major General) from 1999-2001.  From 1996–1999, he was the Director of the Electronics Research Laboratory at Berkeley, an organized research unit on the Berkeley campus conducting research in computer sciences and all aspects of electrical engineering.

Dr. Sastry received his Ph.D. degree in 1981 from the University of California, Berkeley. He was on the faculty of MIT as Asst. Professor from 1980–1982 and at Harvard University as a chaired Gordon Mc Kay professor in 1994. He has received honorary doctorates from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm (2008), University of Waterloo, Canada (2016), and the Politecnico di Torino (2018) and an MA Honoris Causa from Harvard in 1994. 

His areas of research are embedded and autonomous software, AI, robotics,  computer vision,  nonlinear and adaptive control and learning,  robotic vehicles in the air, ground and underwater,  control of hybrid systems, robotic surgery, and biological motor control and prosthetics. 

Generalized Principal Component Analysis co-authored with R. Vidal and Yi Ma is his latest book, published by Springer Verlag in 2016. He has coauthored over 550 technical papers and 10 books, including Adaptive Control: Stability, Convergence, and Robustness (with M. Bodson, Prentice Hall, 1989),  A Mathematical Introduction to Robotic Manipulation (with R. Murray and Z. Li, CRC Press, 1994),  Nonlinear Systems: Analysis, Stability, and Control (Springer Verlag: ANalysis, Stability, and Control), An Invitation to #-D Vision: From Images to Geometric Models (with Y. Ma, S. Soatto, and J. Kosecka, Springer Verlag, 2003). He has co-edited Hybrid Control II, Hybrid Control IV and Hybrid Control V (with P. Antsaklis, A. Nerode, and W. Kohn, Springer Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 1995, 1997, and 1999, respectively) and co-edited Hybrid Systems: Computation and Control (with T.Henzinger, Springer-Verlag Lecture Notes in Computer Science, 1998) and Essays in Mathematical Robotics (with Baillieul and Sussmann, Springer-Verlag IMA Series).

Dr. Sastry has served as Associate Editor for numerous publications, including IEEE Proceedings, IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control; IEEE Control Magazine; IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems; the Journal of Mathematical Systems, Estimation and Control; IMA Journal of Control and Information; the International Journal of Adaptive Control and Signal Processing; Journal of Biomimetic Systems and Materials.

Dr. Sastry was elected into the National Academy of Engineering in 2001 “for pioneering contributions to the design of hybrid and embedded systems.” He also received the President of India Gold Medal in 1977, the IBM Faculty Development award for 1983–1985, the NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award in 1985 and the Eckman Award of the of the American Automatic Control Council in 1990, an M.A. (honoris causa) from Harvard in 1994, Fellow of the IEEE in 1994, the Distinguished Alumnus Award of the Indian Institute of Technology in 1999, and the David Marr prize for the best paper at the International Conference on Computer Vision in 1999. He is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2004).  He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the International House at Berkeley in 2017 and the Berkeley Citation in 2018. He received the Chang-Lin Tien Education Leadership Award from the Asia Pacific Fund in 2010. 

He is currently on the corporate boards of C3 IoT, HCL Technologies and Lexmark. He is the Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of Eriksholm, the research arm of Oticon. 


In the News

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 C3.ai to leverage the convergence of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and the internet of things (IoT) to transform societal-scale systems.

Students think big ideas in tackling societal problems

Closing out almost nine months of intense competition, UC Berkeley’s annual Big Ideas contest honored this year’s crop of outstanding social projects last week during a special awards celebration at the Blum Center for Developing Economies.

Berkeley hosts manufacturing brainstorm

Leaders from academia, government and industry gathered at UC Berkeley Monday to discuss partnership strategies to re-establish the United States as a global leader in advanced manufacturing.

Cybersecurity center developing techniques to attack the attackers

A UC Berkeley-led center to defend cyberspace is taking a proactive approach to securing the nation’s networks against attacks. Researchers from the Team for Research in Ubiquitous Secure Technology (TRUST), funded by the National Science Foundation, are developing systems with built-in immune systems that can recognize and protect against invasions. They are also influencing policy and have worked on pioneering California legislation requiring companies to notify individuals whose private information may have been compromised.

Agilent helps launch new synthetic biology center

Agilent Technologies Inc. has signed up to support the newly launched Synthetic Biology Institute (SBI), which will help advance efforts to engineer cells and biological systems in ways that could transform health and medicine, energy, the environment and new materials.

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.

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.
March 26, 2020
William J. Broad
Electrical engineering and computer sciences professor S. Shankar Sastry is going to be co-directing a new $367 million public-private research consortium with the artificial intelligence firm C3.ai and other elite universities, to work on finding A.I. solutions to global problems. The first goal of the C3.ai Digital Transformation Institute, managed jointly by Berkeley and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, will be targeting ways to slow the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. "I cannot imagine a more important use of A.I.," says Thomas M. Siebel, the founder and chief executive of C3.ai, who is backing the project along with Microsoft Corp. According to this reporter: "The new institute will seek new ways of slowing the pathogen's spread, speeding the development of medical treatments, designing and repurposing drugs, planning clinical trials, predicting the disease's evolution, judging the value of interventions, improving public health strategies and finding better ways in the future to fight infectious outbreaks."
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