Dear Friends of CITRIS,
We have come a long way in the past five years. The opening of our headquarters in Berkeley, Sutardja Dai Hall, marked our emergence as a major force for promoting technology-related solutions to broad social challenges. More recently, we have boosted our ability to encourage collaborative research among academia, industry, and government with the launch of our Invention Lab and Foundry. These outstanding facilities fuel our missions in healthcare, intelligent infrastructure, and energy efficiency by providing expert guidance and access to prototyping and manufacturing for promising new ideas emerging from all four CITRIS campuses. The Foundry, a unique technology incubator program, is going strong in its first year, with six teams already creating prototypes and raising capital to fund their ventures. In the Invention Lab, students have tools at their fingertips to design, develop and test creative new ideas. The recently launched CITRIS Impact Report highlights CITRIS’s contribution to the research profile of the University and to its overall financial health, as well as our impact on the California economy.
CITRIS also continues to foster students’ educational growth with the re-launch of our academic program in Big Data (covered in this issue of the CITRIS Signal). The Designated Emphasis in Computational Science and Engineering (DECSE) adds value to PhDs in 20 different departments from astronomy to political science. DECSE is currently helping 40 students understand and employ advanced computational methods to exploit the gigantic and complex data sets now available in so many fields of research.
The second story in the CITRIS Signal focuses on research at UCSC and UC Merced in the exciting field of machine vision. By creating algorithms that blend computer knowledge with that of natural perceptual expertise, researchers may be on a path that allows for more accurate identification of images, useful in numerous fields.
Just as CITRIS has embarked on exciting new projects, I will also be forging a new path in the coming year. After serving as CITRIS Director for six years, I will transition to a new role as Special Advisor to the Chancellor on Sustainability and lead the Berkeley Energy and Climate Institute. Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor of Research, Graham Fleming, recently announced the formation of a committee of faculty from all four CITRIS campuses and outside members to search for my successor. I will continue as CITRIS Director until a new director is appointed. The recent appointment of Camille Crittenden as Deputy Director will guarantee a smooth transition.
I am proud to be part of CITRIS in these exciting times. It is a tremendous honor to serve as the director of such a vibrant and outstanding community of staff, faculty, researchers and students. I will take many fond memories with me when I assume my new role in BECI, but I look forward to both maintaining a strong association with CITRIS and to watching it reach even greater heights, as I know it will.
Paul K. Wright
Director, CITRIS and the Banatao Institute@CITRIS Berkeley
Download the PDF of the newsletter here.