EE Student Information

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EE Student Information, Spring Quarter through Academic Year 2020-2021: FAQs and Updated EE Course List.

Updates will be posted on this page, as well as emailed to the EE student mail list.

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Graduate

Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) - Revealing New Chemical and Physical Views of the Cosmos

Topic: 
The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) - Revealing New Chemical and Physical Views of the Cosmos
Abstract / Description: 

The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) has already provided a new and exciting views of the Universe even before it has reached Full Science Observations. With the availability of both Science Verification data and PI data that are now publically available to the scientific community, we have only touched the surface of what is possible with the current array of ALMA capabilities. In this presentation, I will highlight the capabilities of this groundbreaking new facility which is providing order of magnitude improvements in sensitivity, resolution and bandwidth than any current astronomical observatory operating at these wavelengths. ALMA is open to wide variety of scientific investigation and has already challenged our current understanding of star and planet formation, investigations into general relativity and uncovered a molecular complexity in a variety of astronomical conditions that have no terrestrial counterpart. ALMA is capable of testing current physical and chemical theory in the most extreme environments imaginable. Finally, I will present an opportunity to get involved in the future of the ALMA observatory as it is constantly being expanded to meet the needs of the scientific community.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 4:15pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 201

ISL Colloquium: Finite blocklength information theory: two recent results

Topic: 
Finite blocklength information theory: two recent results
Abstract / Description: 

Finite blocklength information theory attempts to elucidate the fundamental performance-delay tradeoffs. Initial results (which I will overview) showed fluctuations of rate around the Shannon capacity to be Gaussian with variance inversely proportional to square root of the blocklength. Many subsequent results refined and strengthened this central-limit theorem (CLT) type analysis.

More recently it was discovered that some quite natural channel coding and data compression problems exhibit non-CLT type behavior. This talk will focus on two such results. Both effects arise due to the presence of multiplicative component in the channel noise. Besides theoretical interest, these results are practically insightful for the wireless communication systems as follows:

1) Analysis based on outage-capacity imposes contradicting assumptions: the blocklength should be small enough for the channel state to be almost constant, and it should be large enough for Shannon coding theorem to be effective. Practically, however, this method "just works". The first result explains why.

2) A classical result of Kennedy shows that the optimal energy efficiency (-1.59 dB per bit) is achievable even under multiplicative noise. Practically, this may suggest that the channel-state information (CSI) is useless for improving energy efficiency. Our second result shows this to be only true when communicating with huge packets of order 10^8 bits.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

The Reality of Solar

Topic: 
The Reality of Solar
Abstract / Description: 

Last year over 47,500 MW of solar electric systems were installed worldwide, which is enough to provide all the electricity needs of about 16 million homes for the next 25 years. The photovoltaic industry is projected to continue to grow rapidly to become the #1 source of energy worldwide by 2060. SunPower, a 30 year old Stanford-founded company, has been at the epicenter of this revolution. At SunPower's heart is its unique solar cell technology. In addition, SunPower has evolved to add unique solar systems design, manufacturing and installation, and is continuing to evolve to include storage and energy management. Tom Werner, SunPower CEO, will talk about the technology, the evolution of the company and the solar market, and future opportunities.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium: Searching for Dark-Matter Axions

Topic: 
Searching for Dark-Matter Axions
Abstract / Description: 

The axion is a hypothetical elementary particle whose existence would explain the baffling absence of CP violation in the strong interactions. Axions also happen to be a compelling dark-matter candidate. Even if dark-matter axions were to comprise the overwhelming majority of mass in the universe, they would be extraordinarily difficult to detect. However, several experiments, either under construction or taking data, would be sensitive to even the more pessimistically coupled axions. This talk describes the current state of these searches.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 7, 2015 - 4:00pm to 5:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 201

IT-Forum: Control Information

Topic: 
Control Information
Abstract / Description: 

Control provides a conceptually interesting area for understanding the nature of information beyond traditional communication problems. After all, both control and communication are about the reduction of uncertainty ---- in communication it is about informing the beholder so that its idea of the world is closer to reality while in control, it is about changing the world so that it more closely conforms to the idea of a beholder. Building by analogy with communication's standard picture of a source, channel, and destination/sink, this talk will discuss the source-nature of control systems, the channel-nature of control systems, and also the sink-nature of control systems. This sink-nature in particular, is something that we don't normally think about in communication systems. For control, however, it is natural to consider it and I will talk about a concept that we have developed recently that we call "control capacity."

Joint work with Gireeja Ranade and Se Yong Park.

Date and Time: 
Friday, April 3, 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium: Deep Learning For Dummies

Topic: 
Deep Learning For Dummies
Abstract / Description: 

While once considered a research dead-end, artificial neural networks are making a huge resurgence. Over the past decade, neural network researchers have leveraged a combination of novel research and hardware advances to drastically advance the state of the art in neural networking. This new area, called Deep Learning, has shown promise in tasks such as facial, speech, and handwriting recognition, and may hold promise for cyber-security use-cases as well. This talk will explain how Deep Learning works at a fundamental level - starting with basic concepts and building up gently until the audience understand the complete picture. It will also attempt to shed light on how the human brain works, since the Deep Learning approach is thought to mimic how the brain stores, retrieves and classifies information.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 1, 2015 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

SmartGrid Seminar: Raj Pai

Topic: 
Electric Vehicles, plug-in hybrids, opportunity or threat for Electric Utilities?
Abstract / Description: 

It is a given that every auto manufacturer is building a full electric or plug-in hybrid model. Looking ahead, better batteries, faster charging options will drive accelerated adoption. Utilities have reacted by rolling out some charging stations or with limited programs to handle EVs on the distribution network. Utilities could play a proactive role and view this as an opportunity to consume significant portion of transportation energy revenues. Could this help them offset sinking demand and drive new revenue growth? Of course there remain challenges - insufficient vehicle-charging infrastructure, cost of batteries is still a concern, and a lack of consumer confidence in the new technology. However, forward looking utilities can address these challenges head on with attractive long term financing for at-home charging stations, partnering with EV manufacturers, consumer rebates for off-peak charging, and others to accelerate adoption and increase consumer confidence. In this presentation, we will discuss a case study how a progressive utility is conducting initial trials for demand & pricing based program for EV charging.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 28, 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 270

SmartGrid Seminar: Amir Kavousian

Topic: 
Data-Driven Management of Large, Distributed Energy Systems – The Case of Residential Solar Networks
Abstract / Description: 

Solar industry is at a critical point in its lifetime. The industry is experiencing exponential growth (residential solar market doubled in 2013). At the same time, as the large-scale deployment of residential solar systems was triggered by financial incentives starting in 2007, a large number of systems are entering their preventive and corrective maintenance periods. Typical residential solar contracts require solar companies to operate and maintain the systems for up to 20 years. With hundreds of thousands of systems distributed across several states and climates, the role of data in the operation of solar networks is becoming increasingly important.

This presentation explains data-driven operation of one of the largest residential solar fleets in the United States. The focus is on developing the data infrastructure and analytical methods to quickly and proactively identify operational issues and their root cause. The data-driven insights are fed back into operations, customer relations management, sales, marketing, product, and design teams. We demonstrate how advanced statistical methods can be deployed to predict production issues and hypothesize their root causes. In particular, we explain a novel method to estimate the long-term, gradual decrease in solar systems productivity, known as performance degradation. The process involves a full cycle of data collection, integration, hypotheses setup, field experiments, calibration, and visualization.

The audience of this talk includes data scientists, operations analysts, investors, and executives of large, distributed renewable energy networks.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 14, 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 300

SmartGrid Seminar: Richard O'Neill

Topic: 
Challenges in Electricity Markets
Abstract / Description: 

We examine the history of government energy policy, the forecasting paradox, the geopolitics of energy policy and recent surprises. Next, we examine the failures and successes in the evolution of electricity markets, and potential improvements from a smarter grid. Finally, we ask the question have we gotten better at seeing the future.


SmartGrid website

 

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 300

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