Students

July 2015

Stanford Professor Ada Poon gave 22 female high school students a chance to explore introductory concepts about electricity and electronics during a week-long program called Girlz Gone Wireless (GGW).

Offered for the first time this summer at Stanford, the program was hosted Professor Poon and her lab members in the Stanford Electrical Engineering (EE) department. The week-long workshop gave the 9th and 10th grade students a chance to build various projects using the lab equipment, tools, and kits.

The five day program culminated with each student building their own cell phone charger and a wireless speaker.

Professor William Cruz of Los Medanos College and Stanford EE PhD candidate Kamal Aggarwal (pictured below, back row) led the daily sessions. EE's Instructional Labs Manager, Steven Clark, provided hardware and tools.

Other Stanford faculty, staff, and researchers also presented lectures and shared personal experiences at the Girlz Gone Wireless sessions, covering topics like solar cells, wireless medical devices, and interaction design.

Anjali Datta and Irena Tammy Fischer-Hwang, both EE PhD candidates, encouraged the participants to consider joining organizations that would help them grow as students and professionals. They introduced the GGW to three relevant groups: WEE (Women in Electrical Engineering), WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), and SWE (Society of Women Engineers).

Girlz Gone Wireless was free and open to local students with a minimum 3.5 GPA interested in engineering.

Participants were enthusiastic about experiencing the lab environment, and learning and applying the concepts. "On Monday I didn't know what any of the tools or meters were for, and now I know what they are and how to use all of them," one student said.

Professor Poon hopes that many of the young women will set their sites on studying electrical engineering.

"I hope they'll find the lessons interesting and experience fewer hurdles with studying EE or any other engineering field," Poon said. "So many girls applied for the program but we had to limit it because of the size of our lab," she added. "I know it's a commitment for the students and their parents to come every day, especially during their summer."

Professor Poon closed the program by giving each participant a certificate and encouraging them to continue to grow their interest in engineering.

Several Girlz Gone Wireless participants pose with Professor Ada Poon (far right, front row), Prof. William Cruz of Los Medanos College, and Stanford EE PhD candidate Kamal Aggarwal (back row).

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Professor Poon's Lab works on implantable bio-medical devices. The wireless, rechargeable devices may assist in controlling prosthetic limbs for amputees; providing medicine or therapeutic relief; and possibly treating diseases with electronics rather than medication.

Visit EE Student Organizations page to learn more about WEE (Women in EE) and other student organizations.

Stanford's Office of Science Outreach (OSO) assisted in this program.

July 2015

The Innovation Transfer Program at the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy is providing financial support for 11 new teams trying to put university research to work. The Innovation Transfer Program is in its first year.

Of the 11 teams that have been awarded, three are led by EE faculty advisors.

  • Humblade is an embedded sensor that provides online monitoring of wind power generators, and eventually pipeline, trains, planes and other critical infrastructure. Advisor: Boris Murmann.
  • Spark Thermionics will prototype a device to convert heat to electricity with record-setting efficiency, and is scalable from watts to megawatts. Advisor: Roger Howe.
  • Vorpal (awarded in fall 2014) is developing a handheld device for sterilizing liquids using pulsed electric field technology as an energy-efficient alternative to pasteurization and other means of purification. Advisor: Juan Rivas-Davila.

The Energy Innovation Transfer Program at the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy provides financial support for clean energy technologies.

 

Read full Stanford Report article.

Centennial TA Award winners
June 2015

PhD candidates Steven Bell and Jayant Charthad received the 2015 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award. The Centennial award program recognizes outstanding teaching by TA's in the Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering schools.

Nominated by faculty, peers, and previous students, each will receive a $500 prize and certificate in a June ceremony.

About Steven
Steven is the Head TA for ENGR40M, a wildly popular "maker" course. With Mark Horowitz as lead faculty, the course was re-vamped and taught to a small group of students in Spring of 2014. By Fall quarter, 120 students were enrolled. The current semester has 277 students enrolled; the highest enrollment to date.

Steven worked with his Ph.D advisor Mark Horowitz to create E40M. He created some of the lab assignments, and has worked tirelessly improving all of them to be more clear and fun for the students. He also manages the lab sessions and creates homework assignments, improving the clarity and educational value whenever possible.

A few comments from Steven's nominators include:

PhD candidate Steven Bell
  • "Steven's contributions have been essential to the course's success. Keenly aware that our students are beginners, Steven has worked tirelessly to improve the accessibility of our subject."
  • "He's also always looking to see how the class can be made better. He doesn't just fix current problems, but looks to see how such problems can be avoided in the future. Not only is he hardworking and organized, but he's a wonderful teacher. When explaining concepts to students, he presents them in an easy to understand way and checks in with the students to be sure they are actually understanding what he's saying."
  • "[I]t is clear that he thinks deeply about ways of teaching the introductory concepts in E40M more effectively. None of these efforts are required of a CA or head CA, but they speak to his commitment to improving the educational experience for both students and fellow teaching staff."

 


 

About Jayant

PhD candidate Jayant Charthad
Jayant has been TA for several courses, including EE101B, EE114/214A, 214B, Physics105 and Physics64. Jayant assisted Professor Amin Arbabian with redesigning EE101B's lab. The result was such a success, the course was adjusted to match the lab. Prof. Arbabian states, "Jayant's "secret sauce" is his deep understanding of the technical material, ability to break down complex concepts into smaller pieces and an amazing talent in explaining fundamentals -- and most of important of all -- true passion for teaching."

 

A few comments from Jayant's nominators include:

  • "Jayant's responses were lengthy, often going above and beyond the scope of the question to make sure the student would appreciate the problem in the greater context of IC design and to help the student develop intuition."
  • "He understands that learning is a journey and serves as a wonderful guide through the process. His humble nature makes him intrinsically approachable and helps transform apprehensive freshmen in electrical engineering into inquisitive explorers, itching for intellectual discovery. Long after lab hours have ended, Jayant is always there and welcoming of our questions."
  • "From my experience in this class, I do think Jayant influenced my decision to pursue circuits as my B.S. and M.S. concentrations."

Congratulations to Steven and Jayant! Their efforts are recognized and greatly valued by the Electrical Engineering department.

April 2015

"Electricity for All" is the course Kristen Pownell, a junior in EE, designed for the Stanford Splash program. As nearly 50 students filed into her classroom, Kristen grew more enthused to share the fun and potential of Electrical Engineering.

Kristen's "students" were 7th-9th graders participating in Stanford's Splash program. The Splash program brings more than 2,000 high school and middle school students to Stanford's campus for a two-day learning extravaganza. Classes are taught by Stanford undergraduates, graduate students, and community members.

"Electricity for All" was designed to teach basic EE principles like current, voltage, and resistance. In addition to introducing and talking through the principles, Kristen brought a simple LED flashlight project for each student to make and take home.

Excitement grew as the room went dark and each student was able to turn on and off their handmade LED flashlight, basking in the glow of their new EE knowledge.

 

Kristen Pownell (EE '16) was assisted by 3 other undergraduates. They plan to continue teaching Splash courses and sharing the fantastic possibilities of EE.

 

Read more about Stanford's Splash program.

May 2015

Kristen Lurie (EE PhD '15), pictured center, received the Best Paper Award from the Engineering in Urology Society (EUS). Kristen will present her paper, "Scanning fiber technology for rapid volumetric optical coherence tomography cystoscopy" at the American Urology Association conference in May.

Kristen is a research assistant at the Stanford Biomedical Optics group; Professor Ellerbee's research lab. The majority of Kristen's work is dedicated to development of an algorithm for computer vision and biomedical optical systems to enable new visualizations of the bladder wall.

Tahereh Marvdashti (EE PhD '16), pictured left, has been awarded an International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Education Scholarship. Tahereh's research focus area is "Label-free assessment of molecular and structural abnormalities for early skin cancer detection."

 

Congratulations to Kristen and Tahereh!

May 2015

In April, Fuse partnered with Texas Instruments (TI) and IEEE to host a Make-a-Thon. Iliana Bray, an EE undergraduate, led the event and chose the term "Make-a-Thon" to emphasize the creative process in electrical engineering. The daylong event was held in the Packard Atrium.

The Make-a-Thon attracted both EE students and students considering EE; all exhibited their "maker spirit." Nearly fifty students joined together and spent their Saturday deconstructing, reconstructing, transmitting and fine-tuning various projects. Several participants are currently enrolled in EE101B and E40.

The morning began with a workshop lead by a TI engineer, Rick Chelminski. The students created alarm clocks using TI's MSP430 Launch Pad. After the sponsor-provided lunch, the students were free to work on their own projects, using a variety of sensors provided by TI that could connect with the LaunchPads.

Many students formed groups for their projects, embodying the collaborative spirit of creating. A few student projects included:

  • a plant moisture monitoring system, which alerts the user when the plant needs to be watered,
  • a motion-activated music player
  • and a theremin.

Students from the Internet of Things (IoT) used this opportunity to continue working on long-term projects, including:

  • smart sprinklers
  • and a remote-controlled microwave.

Everyone enjoyed exploring how various devices and sensors could help them realize their goals. A panel of judges gave prizes to several teams, based on their project and presentation. Overall, the Make-a-Thon was an exciting, engaging event, leaving students and sponsors looking forward to future Make-a-Thons.

DiscoverEE Days poster session
March 2014

Twenty-nine current Electrical Engineering graduate students recently presented their latest research posters at DiscoverEE Days – an annual welcome for newly admitted EE PhD students.

Students from all three EE research areas were invited to present, and the best poster in each area received a "best poster" award provided by the EE Student Life Committee. Posters were judged by a small group of EE and SoE faculty and staff based on four categories: research originality, importance and potential impact; content (explanation of concepts, results and insights); oral presentation; and visual quality.

Following are the winners of the poster presentation and honorable mentions in each category, and the winning posters will be on display in the Packard Atrium March 24-28:

Hardware/Software Systems

Winner: Gage Hills, "Rapid Co-optimization of Processing and Circuit Design to Overcome Carbon Nanotube Variations"

Honorable Mention: Mahmoud Saadat, "A Closed-loop Reconfigurable Switched-Capacitor DC-DC Converter for Sub-mW Energy Harvesting Applications"

Honorable Mention: Hyungmin Cho, "Quantitative Evaluation of Soft Error Injection Techniques for Robust System Design"

Information Systems & Science

Winner: Alexandros Manolakos & Mainak Chowdhury, "Robust Design and Performance of a Noncoherent SIMO System using Energy Measurements"

Winner: Ka-Kit Lam, "Near-optimal Assembly for Shotgun Sequencing with Noisy Reads"

Honorable Mention: David Chen, "Memory-Efficient Image Databases for Mobile Visual Search"

Physical Technology & Science

Winner: Max Shulaker, "Carbon Nanotube Computer: Transforming Scientific Discoveries into Working Systems"

Honorable Mention: Amal El-Ghazaly, "Post-Fabrication Voltage Control and Redirection of Magnetic Anisotropy"

Honorable Mention: Feifei Lian, "Thermal and Electrical Transport in Monodispersed Carbon Nanotube Films"

Honorable Mention: Sam Emaminejad, "Applications of Ultra Dielectrophoresis for Microfluidic Sample Preparation and Proteomics"

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