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News and Awards
Annual Kailath Lecture featured Elwyn Berlekamp
On Friday, April 5, 2013, Elwyn Berlekamp¸ Professor of Mathematics and of EECS, UC Berkeley, delivered this year’s Kailath Lecture. Berlekamp, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering, is well known for his work in information theory and combinatorial game theory and various entrepreneurial ventures.
The Annual Kailath Lecture and Colloquium Series was endowed in 2005 by a group of Kailath's former students and associates to honor him on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Its aim is to foster greater awareness of the power of the mathematics-based disciplines of information theory, communications, computation, control and signal processing to address challenging problems in engineering and, increasingly, the physical, biological and social sciences.
The Colloquium speakers this year were Sergio Verdu, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton, speaking on Converses in Information Theory; and Helmut Bölcskei, Professor of Electrical Engineering at ETH, Zurich, speaking on Compressive System Identification.
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February EE staff gift card program awardees announced
Four Electrical Engineering staff members each received a $50 gift card in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as part of the department’s February Staff Gift Card Bonus Program. The committee received 8 new nominations in February, which were added to the pool of 12 still eligible from January.
Following are the February awardees, in addition to some comments from their nominators:
· “Vickie is always willing to help, no matter what the situation.”
· “Despite the constant interruptions throughout her day, she is always pleasant and helpful.”
· “Vickie is ALWAYS and RELIABLY ready to help – and CHEERFULLY.”
· “And, her coffee is great, too!”
· “I asked Kelly for help and she immediately stepped in to make the needed changes and additions.”
· “Not only did she give a number of hours of her time, she came up with ideas on how to make it even better and trained me for the future.”
· “Exceptional effort on short notice to help me with a funding situation”
· “She was both extremely kind and willing to make time for me even on short notice.”
· “He always drops what he is doing and comes to my office.”
· “He provides quiet but excellent customer service by ensuring that my many visitors are wirelessly connected.”
· “He takes the time to write things out for me.”
The School of Engineering recently gave the EE department several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond. More people will be recognized in March, and nominations from the last few months will still be eligible for future months. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visiting https://gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.
2013-2014 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship
The IBM Ph.D. Fellowship Awards Program is an intensely competitive worldwide program, which honors exceptional Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. These include: computer science and engineering (including cyber security and cloud computing), electrical and mechanical engineering, physical sciences (including chemistry, material sciences, and physics), mathematical sciences (including analytics of massive scale data with uncertainty, operations research, and optimization), public sector and business sciences (including urban policy and analytics, social technologies, learning systems and natural language understanding), and service science, management, and engineering (SSME). Additionally, IBM pays special attention to an array of focus areas. For details on the focus areas, see frequently asked questions.
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The spark within: light-emitting bioprobe fits in a single cell
If engineers at Stanford have their way, biological research may soon be transformed by a new class of light-emitting probes small enough to be injected into individual cells without harm to the host. Welcome to biophotonics, a discipline at the confluence of engineering, biology and medicine in which light-based devices – lasers and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) – are opening up new avenues in the study and influence of living cells.
The team described their probe in a paper published online February 13 by the journal Nano Letters. It is the first study to demonstrate that sophisticated engineered light resonators can be inserted inside cells without damaging the cell. Even with a resonator embedded inside, a cell is able to function, migrate and reproduce as normal.
APPLICATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
The researchers call their device a “nanobeam,” because it resembles a steel I-beam with a series of round holes etched through the center. These beams, however, are not massive, but measure only a few microns in length and just a few hundred nanometers in width and thickness. It looks a bit like a piece from an erector set of old. The holes through the beams act like a nanoscale hall of mirrors, focusing and amplifying light at the center of the beam in what are known as photonic cavities. These are the building blocks for nanoscale lasers and LEDs.
“Devices like the photonic cavities we have built are quite possibly the most diverse and customizable ingredients in photonics,” said the paper’s senior author, Jelena Vuckovic, a professor of electrical engineering. “Applications span from fundamental physics to nanolasers and biosensors that could have profound impact on biological research.”
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