News

May 2016

Early results show that the quality of optical materials grown from diamondoid seeds is consistently high, says Stanford's Jelena Vuckovic, a professor of electrical engineering who is leading this part of the research with Steven Chu, professor of physics and of molecular and cellular physiology.

"Developing a reliable way of growing the nanodiamonds is critical," says Vuckovic, who is also a member of Stanford Bio-X and SystemX. "And it's really great to have that source and the grower right here at Stanford. Our collaborators grow the material, we characterize it and we give them feedback right away. They can change whatever we want them to change."

 

Excerpted from Stanford News. Read full article.

June 2016

Join us in congratulating the efforts of five extraordinary staff. Each month, the Staff Gift Card program acknowledges staff – who have been nominated by peers, students, and faculty – for their professional contributions that are above and beyond their everyday roles. We encourage you to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card.

 

Please make time to congratulate the awardees listed below, with excerpts from their nominations.

 

Doug Chaffee, ISL Faculty Administrator

  • Doug goes above and beyond in everything he does.
  • He is dependable, resourceful, and plans with foresight and detail.

Dr. Joyce Farrell, Senior Research Engineer

  • Dr. Farrell displays professionalism and determination in planning, executing, and piloting major events.
  • She balances both industry and academic needs, providing a collaborative, discoverable environment for each.

Marie Hamel, Faculty Administrator

  • Marie is constantly going above and beyond what is expected of her. She is a lovely person and makes it fun to work in the EE Department.
  • Her performance is outstanding; I'm grateful for her dedicated efforts and achievements on our affiliate programs.

Andrea Kuduk, Administrative Associate

  • Andrea is an enormously reliable resource. She has taken on a big administrative overload, and is just superb!
  • She is always willing to help – from assisting colleagues, to helping faculty with research activity.

Edwin Mendoza, Faculty and Staff Affairs Administrator

  • Edwin is a terrific team player! He is always courteous and interested in helping out for the greater good.
  • He makes an extra effort to resolve problems. His dedication and hard work is appreciated by each of his colleagues.

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months. Nominate a deserving staff person today!

June 2016

Amin Arbabian was awarded the Tau Beta Pi Undergraduate Teaching Award. Charles Guan (EE BS '16) and Vikram Prasad (EE BS '16) presented Amin with the award during the EE commencement ceremony, June 12, 2016.

Professor Arbabian "combines stellar research with an intuition-driven method of teaching, embedding real-life applications and contemporary thought into our education," stated Vikram Prasad.

Co-presenter, Charles Guan added, "At every level, he has been fully invested in us and our learning. His passion for teaching is apparent in every class and in the way he makes time for students outside the classroom."

  

Congratulations to Amin and to the 2016 graduates!

 

Additional Articles and Information:

June 2016

Audrey Bowden has been selected to win one of two 2016 Stanford Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Awards.

The Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize recognizes not only excellence in teaching but also the ability to inspire personal and intellectual development beyond the classroom. This may include, but is not limited to, encouraging critical and analytical thinking, taking an active interest in students as individuals, and influencing the way students think about the world.

Every year, members of Phi Beta Kappa present an award to an outstanding member of the faculty. Nominations are accepted from members of the senior class. The winner is then selected by a committee of previous award winners and Phi Beta Kappa Council members.

Audrey was presented with the award at the Phi Beta Kappa Graduation Ceremony at the Bing Concert Hall on Friday, June 10th. She was also acknowledged at the Electrical Engineering Commencement on Sunday, June 12.

 

Additional Articles and Information: 

 

June 2016

Stephen P. Boyd was honored "for his signature course, Convex Optimization, which attracts more than 300 Stanford students each year, is taught at more than 100 universities and, over the past 20 years has had a profound influence on how researchers and engineers think about convex models to solve problems."

He was commended "for revolutionizing the way mathematical optimization is taught and applied in engineering and the social and natural sciences worldwide," and "for his new course on linear algebra for freshmen and sophomores – anticipated to become a cornerstone in undergraduate engineering mathematics."

Stephen will receive his award on Sunday, June 12, 2016 during the 125th Commencement ceremony.

The Gores Award is the University's highest award for excellence in teaching. The Walter J. Gores Awards recognize undergraduate and graduate teaching excellence. As the University's highest award for teaching, the Gores Award celebrates achievement in educational activities that include lecturing, tutoring, advising, and discussion leading.

 

Excerpts from the Stanford News. Read full article.

June 2016

Andrea Montanari has been selected to receive the 2016 IEEE Information Theory Society James L. Massey Research & Teaching Award for Young Scholars

Andrea's research focuses on developing efficient algorithms to make sense of large amounts of noisy data, extract information from observations, and estimate signals from measurements. This effort spans several disciplines including statistics, computer science, information theory, machine learning. He is also working on applications of these techniques to healthcare data analytics.

2016 marks the second year of the James L. Massey Research & Teaching Award for Young Scholars. The award is named in honor of James L. Massey, who was an internationally acclaimed pioneer in digital communications and a revered teacher and mentor to an entire generation of communications engineers. He was one of the outstanding researchers and leaders of the IEEE Information Theory Society over a period of 50 years. This award recognizes "outstanding achievement in research and teaching by young scholars in the Information Theory community."

 

Congratulations Andrea!
Read his EE SPOTLIGHT article.

 

June 2016

Kartik Venkat (PhD '15) has won the 2016 Thomas M. Cover Dissertation Award. The title of his thesis is "Relations Between Information and Estimation: A Unified View."

The Thomas M. Cover Award was established by the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2013. It is awarded annually to the author of an outstanding doctoral dissertation contributing to the mathematical foundations of any of the information sciences within the purview of the Society. Including, but not limited to, Shannon theory, source and channel encoding theory, data compression, learning theory, quantum information theory and computing, complexity theory, and applications of information theory in probability and statistics.

Kartik completed his PhD December 2015. In 2015, he also received the Marconi Young Scholars Award, at which time he planned to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities to apply his work to real world problems, taking "deep ideas in research and using them to transform the way an industry is viewed."

 

Congratulations to Kartik!

Read Kartik's EE Spotlight article

June 2016

Professor emeritus Calvin Quate has won the 2016 Kavli Nanoscience Prize, along with Gerd Binnig, former member of IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, and Christoph Gerber, of the University of Basel, for the invention of atomic force microscopy.

Throughout his career, Quate invented transformational imaging and sensing technologies that continue to be used in research labs around the world, and even on the surface of Mars. Along with Ross Lemons, he developed the scanning acoustic microscope in the early 1970s. The atomic force microscope (AFM) came in 1986, after working with Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber, who share the Kavli Prize with Quate.

The atomic force microscope uses a stylus with a small tip – less than 30 nanometers wide – to move across the surface of an object, bobbing up and down as it passes over the topography of the surface. When the stylus tip crosses a change in the surface, force passes from the stylus to an attached cantilever, which flexes. Instruments record the cantilever's flexing to create an image accurate to the atomic level.

An example of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is on display in the atrium of the Packard Building. 

 The Kavli Prize is a partnership among The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Winners of each prize will receive a gold medal and share $1 million (U.S.), given during an awards ceremony in Oslo.


Read full Stanford News article.

 

May 2016

EE PhD candidates Spyridon Baltsavias and Junyi Wang have been selected as one of eight winning teams in the 2016 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship.

Their proposal "Advanced Ultrasound Sensing in the Modern Wireless World: a Miniaturized Ultrasound Transducer System for Biomedical Applications" was reviewed by Qualcomm Research's top engineers. Spyridon and Junyi were then invited to present to a panel of executive judges. Winning students receive a one year fellowship and are mentored by Qualcomm engineers to help facilitate the success of the proposed research.

Congratulations to Spyridon, Junyi, and their advisors, Professors Amin Arbabian and Butrus T. Khuri-Yakub. A description of their winning proposal follows:

 Ultrasound is an invaluable technology that is widely used today in hospitals as an imaging and diagnostic tool. An example ultrasound system is the ultrasonic endoscope, which doctors use to probe the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of a patient and diagnose a variety of diseases and cancers affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year. Existing systems however have several limitations: they tend to be bulky and power-hungry, while procedures are expensive, and even traumatic for patients.

What if we could take the technology from the stationary, bulky form factor, and shrink it down to a disposable pill that can be swallowed at the convenience of the patient? This idea resulted in our proposal for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, where we introduced our miniature ultrasonic ingestible pill, to be demonstrated as a promising alternative to the GI endoscopic procedure. We envision our system to operate as follows: after the pill is swallowed by a patient, it travels through the intestinal system. By emitting and receiving ultrasound waves, ultrasonic "cameras" around the pill take images of the walls of the tract, as well as deeper layers and even surrounding organs. Then the captured images are wirelessly transmitted to a device worn by the patient, such as a smartphone, and can be used by medical experts for diagnosis and screening for bleeding, cancerous tissue, and other diseases.

Although ambitious, we believe our idea to be feasible through the combination of advanced electronics and advanced imaging techniques. Using flexible capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) developed by Professor Butrus T. Khuri-Yakub's research group, and an application-specific-integrated-circuit (ASIC) with RF wireless capabilities, jointly being designed by Prof. Amin Arbabian's and Prof. Khuri-Yakub's groups, we aim to bring this project to fruition and develop a platform that could in the future enable a vast array of exciting new biomedical and consumer applications on and inside the human body.

May 2016

Recently published in Lab on a Chip, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor Audrey Bowden and Gennifer Smith, a PhD student in electrical engineering, detail their new low-cost, portable device that would allow patients to get consistently accurate urine test results at home, easing the workload on primary care physicians.

Other do-it-yourself systems are emerging, but Bowden and Smith's approach is inexpensive and reliable, in part because they base their system on the same tried and trusted dipstick used in medical offices.

Their approach uses an easy-to-assemble black box that allows a smartphone camera to capture video that accurately analyzes color changes in a standard paper dipstick.

 

Excerpts from Stanford News, May 16, 2016.

Read full Stanford News article

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February 2014

Three staff members each received a $50 Visa card in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as part of the department’s 2014 Staff Gift Card Bonus Program. The EE department received several nominations in January, and nominations from 2013 were also considered.

Following are January’s gift card recipients and some of the comments from their nominators:

Ann Guerra, Faculty Administrator

  • “She is very kind to students and always enthusiastic to help students… every time we need emergent help, she is willing to give us a hand.”
  • “Ann helps anyone who goes to her for help with anything, sometimes when it’s beyond her duty.” 

Teresa Nguyen, Student Accounting Associate

  • “She stays on top of our many, many student financial issues, is an extremely reliable source of information and is super friendly.”
  • “Teresa’s cheerful disposition, her determination, and her professionalism seem to go above and beyond what is simply required.”

Helen Niu, Faculty Administrator

  • “Helen is always a pleasure to work with.”
  • “She goes the extra mile in her dealings with me, which is very much appreciated.”

The School of Engineering once again 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 next month, and past nominations will still be eligible for future months. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visitinghttps://gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.

Ann Guerra  Teresa Nguyen  Helen Niu

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