Davis singles out UC Berkeley information technology project
to be fourth California Institute for Science and Innovation,
with funding to be sought next year
Robert Sanders, Media Relations
- Gov. Gray Davis today (Thursday, Dec. 7) established three
new California Institutes for Science and Innovation and said
he will ask the state Legislature to fund a fourth center
at the University of California, Berkeley. Awarded $100 million
each over the next four years are the California Institute
for Bioengineering, Biotechnology and Quantitative Biomedical
Research, centered at UC San Francisco but with major research
components at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz; the California
Nanosystems Institute at UCLA; and the California Institute
for Telecommunications and Information Technology at UC San
fourth, which Davis endorsed for funding next year, is UC
Berkeley's Center for Information Technology Research in the
Interest of Society (CITRIS). The center's projects - involving
engineers, scientists and scholars from UC Berkeley, as well
as from UC Davis, UC Santa Cruz and UC Merced - would have
a major impact on California's economy, quality of life and
future success. Davis proposed funding three California institutes
last January to help the state maintain its premier standing
in science and technology and to provide the technological
foundations for the state's future economic growth.
goal of CITRIS, conceived by UC Berkeley faculty members in
the College of Engineering, is to bring the highly touted
benefits of information technology, or IT, to aspects of society
that tend to get overlooked, such as transportation, education,
emergency preparedness and health care.
project is about solving society's most challenging problems,
about improving the quality of people's lives," said UC Berkeley
Chancellor Robert M. Berdahl.
will be a great deal of very interesting and high-impact technology
springing out of CITRIS that will benefit all areas of society,"
added A. Richard Newton, dean of the UC Berkeley College of
Engineering and a professor of electrical engineering and
and private donors have pledged CITRIS more than $170 million
over four years, including nearly $50 million from industry
and more than $120 million in individual donations. Along
with the $100 million from the state and an expected $80-plus
million in private and federal research grants and contracts,
CITRIS would receive total funding of more than $350 million
over four years.
the corporate sponsors are Agilent Technologies Inc., BroadVision
Inc., Conexant Systems Inc., Ericsson, Hewlett-Packard Co.,
IBM, Infineon Technologies AG, Intel Corp., Marvell Technology
Group Ltd., Microsoft Corp., Nortel Networks Corp., STMicroelectronics,
Sun Microsystems Inc. and Texas Instruments Inc.
projects range from the design of information systems for
emergency and disaster response in an earthquake to life-saving
medical alert sensors, to "smart" buildings that automatically
adjust their internal environment, saving both energy and
pollution costs. Project computer scientists also will create
smart classrooms for distance learning to allow UC Merced's
new students to tap into the teaching talent at UC Berkeley.
project is an opportunity for emergent technologies to meet
real world applications," said Randy Katz, director of CITRIS
and a professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences.
"So many projects are pushed by the technology. CITRIS has
turned this around, so that the applications are a pull on
of CITRIS has to do with scaling to real people, like a policeman
trying to find out what's happening after an earthquake,"
added James Demmel, professor of computer science at UC Berkeley
and chief scientist and associate director of CITRIS.
close collaboration with industry built into CITRIS will ensure
that key research insights and developments will be disseminated
rapidly to benefit the citizens and industries of California.
Many of the fruits of CITRIS will be published on the Web,
free to all, including the source code of any software created,
the content of databases and any other copyrightable material.
of the first goals of CITRIS is to create Societal-scale Information
Systems (SIS) - networks that might reach broadly across the
state and nation, like specialized versions of the Internet,
tying together devices ranging from tiny sensors to hand-held
data pads, desktop computers and room-sized supercomputers,
and connect with wireless networks.
also must be reliable and secure, able to diagnose and fix
themselves and available even when part of the network is
down. Novices and experts both must be able to use them.
systems would become the backbone of other projects, including
smart classrooms, smart buildings and an urban SIS for transportation
planning, emergency and disaster response and environmental
monitoring. Other networks would handle data from thousands
of medical sensors, such as heart monitors, and relay problems
to emergency medical personnel for quick response.
of these applications depend on the development of "smart
dust" - small, cheap sensors with built-in wireless communications
and onboard computers. Such devices are now under development
by UC Berkeley teams using the latest MEMS, wireless and mini-processor
collaborators from UC Davis are working on major research
projects in optical networking and have strong experience
in environmental applications. UC Santa Cruz has a unique
environmental monitoring network around Monterey Bay. The
CITRIS project harnesses the expertise of civil and mechanical
engineers and social scientists in addition to computer scientists.
"We hope to make ethical issues as high a priority as engineering
decisions," said Demmel.
UC Berkeley, a significant portion of the money will go toward
building two new buildings. One would include a hub for distance
learning courses, including a tele-laboratory accessible through
the Internet that can be used by industry scientists or high
school teachers to learn engineering fabrication, robotics
and even chip design.
buildings also would be prototype smart buildings where environmental
monitors and sensors are tied into a single wireless network
that keeps track of energy use, the condition of the structure
and where people are in an emergency.
Newton and Demmel are confident the CITRIS group will fulfill
its promises on schedule, in part because much of the technology
is already under development at laboratories on the UC campuses.
The new challenge will be channeling these projects into a
defined set of goals.
technology is what ties all these enormously different projects
together," Demmel said, "and together they will have much
more impact than any one project or department could have
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