A Berkeley Bash

David Patterson

Hoping to start a new tradition, I’m giving a Last Lecture on Friday May 6, 2016 at 4PM, which is shortly before I retire. (The premise of these is that if this were the last public lecture you would give, what would you say.) My title is “How to Be a Bad Professor” (abstract), and it is followed by a reception.

There will also be a one-day symposium on Saturday May 7 (agenda) with talks by colleagues and former students on the future of topics associated with my 40 years at UC Berkeley, such as the microprocessors, storage, cloud computing, data science, and machine learning.

Please sign up to the event of interest, and feel free to invite other interested parties. Both events will be held at the International House at UC Berkeley.

P.S. Those who sign up for the symposium before April 7 will get a commemorative book with perspectives by Stanford President John Hennessy, National Medal of Science Winner Richard Tapia, former UCSC Chancellor Karl Pister, and other luminaries.

ASPIRE Professor Wins SIAG/Supercomputing Best Paper Prize


Congratulations to  Professors James Demmel, Laura Grigori, Mark Hoemmen, and Julien Langou on being selected to receive the 2016 SIAG/Supercomputing Best Paper Prize for their paper, “Communication-Optimal Parallel and Sequential QR and LU Factorizations,” published in SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing 2012.

The SIAG/Supercomputing Best Paper Prize will be awarded for the first time at the SIAM Conference on Parallel Processing for Scientific Computing (SC16), to be held April 12-15, 2016, at UniversitéPierre et Marie Curie, Cordeliers Campus, Paris, France.

The SIAG/SC Best Paper Prize, established in 2015, is awarded to the authors of the most outstanding paper, as determined by the prize committee, in the field of parallel scientific and engineering computing. Candidate papers must be nominated by at least two individuals and must have been published in English in a peer-reviewed journal bearing a publication date within the four calendar years prior to the year of the award and making significant contributions in parallel scientific and engineering computing.

Click Here to see the paper

RISC-V-based photonic processor in Nature

Krste Asanovic

A multi-university team led by Vladimir Stojanović and Krste Asanović has demonstrated the world’s first microprocessor that can use light to communicate with the external world.  This chip was fabricated in a foundry using a standard CMOS process, and features the RISC-V open instruction set architecture developed in the ASPIRE lab, together with photonic I/O for more energy-efficient data transmission.  A paper covering this major technical achievement will appear in print tomorrow in the journal Nature.


Passing the Baton

David Patterson

I’m turning 68 today; 4 of my 6 Ph.D. students are graduating; and the start of the 5-year successor to the AMP and ASPIRE Labs is imminent. Thus, I’ve decided that the time is right to retire from UC Berkeley to allow a recent PhD with a fresh perspective to fill my position in the next great project.

While I’m open to interesting new challenges, starting in July my tentative plan (which sounds pretty good) is graduating my remaining students while continuing to coach interested faculty, revise textbooks, consult, travel, play soccer on Sundays, and attend the free faculty lunch on Mondays.

Reflecting upon the past 4 decades, when I joined UC Berkeley in 1976, we clearly trailed what was then called the “Big 3”: Stanford, MIT, and CMU.

Today, we don’t.

I believe we’ve leapfrogged the competition because of:
• Our practice of attracting and nurturing great young faculty;
• Our radical teamwork on research projects, which no other top program enjoys; and
• Our tradition of working in ways that are best for the department versus for our area or for ourselves.

We’ve advanced not only without sacrificing undergraduate education, we’ve actually increased both the number of students per capita and the quality of their education, thereby fulfilling the UC mission of helping Californians to achieve the American dream. That mission enabled my 2 sons, my 2 sisters, and me to earn 9 degrees from 5 UC campuses.

The extraordinary UC Berkeley students, faculty, and staff clearly made my career. I thank them for 40 years of inspiration and collaboration.

Scott Beamer Wins Best Paper Award at the 2015 IEEE International Symposium on Workload Characterization


The paper “Locality Exists in Graph Processing: Workload
Characterization on an Ivy Bridge Server”, co-authored by EECS
graduate student Scott Beamer and Profs. Krste Asanovic and David
Patterson received the Best Paper Award at the 2015 IEEE International
Symposium on Workload Characterization.

Conference link: http://www.iiswc.org/iiswc2015/index.html

Congratulations, Scott!

Save The Date! 3rd RISC-V Workshop January 5-6, 2016


Please Save the Date and plan on joining us for the 3rd RISC-V workshop hosted courtesy of Oracle at the Oracle Conference Center in Redwood Shores, CA, January 5-6, 2016. This workshop will be the first event run by the newly formed RISC-V Foundation. The goals of the workshop are for the community to share information about recent activity in the various RISC-V projects underway around the globe, and to build consensus on future steps in the evolution of RISC-V.

Registration opens October 2015.

For more information about joining the RISC-V Foundation, please contact Rick O’Connor, Executive Director via email at rickoco@riscv.org.

Read more about RISC-V at http://www.riscv.org