EE Student Information

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 EE Student Information, Spring & Summer Quarters 19-20: FAQs and Updated EE Course List.

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Graduate

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium: Programming Should Be More Than Coding

Topic: 
Programming Should Be More Than Coding
Abstract / Description: 

Writing a program involves three tasks:

  1. Deciding what the program should do.
  2. Deciding how the program should do it.
  3. Coding: Implementing these decisions in code.

Too often, all three are combined into the process of coding. This talk explains why they should be separated, and discusses how to perform the first two.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium: Seth Stephens-Davidowitz

Topic: 
TBA
Abstract / Description: 

I discuss using Google search data to analyze social issues. In particular, I suggest using Google search data on taboo subjects, where polls might give misleading information. For example, I compare area-level Google searches for racial animus to area-level vote information to calculate the effects of race on Barack Obama. I also discuss using Google search data to help measure child abuse and depression and predict election turnout.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, October 1, 2014 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium: Faults, Scaling, and Erlang concurrency

Topic: 
Faults, Scaling, and Erlang concurrency
Abstract / Description: 

This talk shows the intimate relationship between faults and scaling.

We argue that systems that are designed for fault-tolerance will be easy to scale. Achieving fault-tolerance requires things like non-shared memory, which as a side effect makes them easy to scale.

We discuss the history of fault-tolerant systems and define six underlying principles that any system must have in order to achieve a reasonable measure of fault tolerance.

We show how these six principles are implemented in Erlang.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, September 24, 2014 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Information Systems Lab Colloquium: Cellular Interference Alignment

Topic: 
Cellular Interference Alignment
Abstract / Description: 

Despite the famous ''everybody eats half of the cake'' promise, schemes achieving 1/2 DoFs per user in general fully connected Gaussian networks require precoding over a signal space of asymptotically large diversity, e.g., over an infinite number of dimensions for time-frequency varying fading channels, or over an infinite number of rationally independent signal levels. In this talk we consider a recently proposed scenario inspired to the regular lattice-like topology of cellular systems where the promised optimal DoFs are achieved with linear ''one-shot'' precoding (i.e., over a single time-frequency slot). We consider the uplink of a symmetric cellular system, and consider both sectorization and isotropic cells, where interfrerence comes form the neighboring sectors (in the first case) or from the neighboring cells (in the second case). At the base station receiver side, we consider a message-passing scheme where nearby base stations can exchange already decoded messages. Notice that this network architecture is much simpler and involve much less backhaul rate requirements than the classical ''Wyner model'' type of networks, with fully centralized receiver processing. Our alignment & (local) interference cancellation solution achieves the optimal DoFs for the second configurations with M antennas at each transmitter and receiver, and in the isotropic cell scenario with M = 2 antennas. For the latter case, we also present non-trivial achievable DoFs schemes in the case where the mobiles have 2 antennas and the base stations have 3 and 4 antennas. Furthermore, in order to avoid signaling scheme relying on the strength of interference, we further introduce the notion of topologically robust schemes, which are able to guarantee a minimum rate (or DoFs) irrespectively of the strength of the interfering links. Towards this end, for the MxM sector case, we propose an alignment scheme which is topologically robust and still achieves the same optimum DoFs. Finally, we present a novel DoFs uplink-downlink duality result which proves that whatever DoFs can be achieved in the uplink the decoded message sharing and alignment scheme, they can be also achieved in the downlink through a ''dual'' precoding scheme that involves only cooperation among neighboring base stations, which are required to share ''quantized'' versions of their dirty-paper coded signals. In contrast to virtually any known result on downlink DoFs, this scheme required dirty-paper coding which cannot be replaced with the more familiar linear zero-forcing precoding.

This is joint work with Vasilis Ntranos (USC), and Mohammad Maddah-Ali (Bell Labs).

Date and Time: 
Friday, September 26, 2014 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Information Systems Lab Colloquium: Compressive Light Field Imaging and Display Systems

Topic: 
Compressive Light Field Imaging and Display Systems
Abstract / Description: 

With rapid advances in optical fabrication, digital processing power, and computational perception, a new generation of display technology is emerging: compressive displays exploring the co-design of optical elements and computational processing while taking particular characteristics of the human visual system into account. We will review advances in this field and give an outlook on next-generation compressive display and imaging technology. In contrast to conventional technology, compressive displays aim for a joint-design of optics, electronics, and computational processing that together exploit compressibility of the presented data. For instance, light fields show the same 3D scene from different perspectives - all these images are very similar and therefore compressible. By combining displays that use multilayer architectures or directional backlighting combined with optimal light field factorizations, limitations of existing devices, for instance resolution, depth of field, and field of view, can be overcome. In addition to light field display and projection, we will discuss a variety of technologies for compressive super-resolution and high dynamic range image display as well as compressive light field imaging and microscopy.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 6, 2014 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Information Systems Lab Colloquium: Why do Structured Codes help in Streaming Communication?

Topic: 
Why do Structured Codes help in Streaming Communication?
Abstract / Description: 

An increasing number of applications are streaming in nature. Information packets must be encoded and transmitted sequentially in real-time, and the receiver should reproduce the source stream under strict delay constraints. The study of fundamental limits and coding schemes in such communication systems is a fertile area of research. In this talk we will show how certain judiciously constructed structured codes can yield substantial gains over baseline schemes in streaming systems.

The first part of the talk will focus on channel coding over packet erasure channels. We will present a new family of streaming-codes that achieve significant performance gains over the practically relevant Gilbert-Elliott (GE) channel model. We will discuss how a certain “deterministic approximation” to the GE channel provides insights into the optimality of these codes. We will also discuss the operational significance of column-distance and column-span metrics in this setup, and show that our proposed codes achieve a near optimal tradeoff between these. In the second part of the talk we will study sequential coding of correlated sources over a packet erasure channel, using an information theoretic framework. We will discuss the performance of baseline schemes such as predictive coding and random binning, present a novel hybrid scheme, and discuss its optimality. If time permits I will also briefly discuss another recent work on broadcasting to multiple receivers with different demands over packet erasure channels.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 30, 2014 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Information Systems Lab Colloquium: Powering Implanted Microelectronic Devices

Topic: 
Powering Implanted Microelectronic Devices
Abstract / Description: 

The physics of wave propagation, emergent from Maxwell's equations, impose fundamental bounds on the efficiency of power transfer over biological tissue. Theoretical analysis of these bounds yields insight on performance that can be achieved in specific powering configurations as well as new design concepts that may enhance efficiency. Our approach is inspired by the ideas underlying Shannon's information-theoretic channel capacity. Shannon first defined abstract source and channel models, and then sought to find the maximum information rate that can be reliably transmitted without regard for the details of implementation. By analogy, we adopt an analytically simple model for the channel, source, and receiver; and solve for the optimal source structure, and derive a global upper bound on the efficiency of power transfer. For powering deep-tissue devices, the optimal solution exhibits the properties of an immersion lens. To synthesize the optimal source, we propose and demonstrate the concept of a planar immersion lens based on metasurfaces. In this talk, I will describe the journey of solving this optimal-source problem in the past six years. I will also discuss engineering and experimental challenges to realizing such interfaces in animal models, including a pacemaker that is smaller than a grain of rice. These tiny devices can act as bioelectronic medicines, capable of precisely modulating local activity, that may be more effective treatments than drugs, which act globally throughout the body. I will conclude the talk with my thoughts on how information theory can play a role in realizing such bioelectronic medicines.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 13, 2014 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Information Systems Lab Colloquium: Explicit and almost sure conditions for K/2 degrees of freedom

Topic: 
Explicit and almost sure conditions for K/2 degrees of freedom
Abstract / Description: 

It is well known that in K-user constant single-antenna interference channels K/2 degrees of freedom (DoF) can be achieved for almost all channel matrices. It is also known that almost all channel matrices admit K/2 DoF, but explicit conditions available guaranteeing K/2 DoF are satisfied only on a set of Lebesgue measure zero. We close this gap by identifying explicit conditions for K/2 DoF, which are satisfied for Lebesgue almost all channel matrices. We also provide a construction of corresponding asymptotically DoF-optimal input distributions. The main technical tool used is a recent breakthrough result by Hochman in fractal geometry. We conclude by discussing connections between interference alignment and additive combinatorics.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 9, 2014 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Information Systems Lab Colloquium: Relative Entropy Relaxations for Signomial Optimization

Topic: 
Relative Entropy Relaxations for Signomial Optimization
Abstract / Description: 

Signomial programs (SPs) are optimization problems specified in terms of signomials, which are weighted sums of exponentials composed with linear functionals of a decision variable. SPs are non-convex optimization problems in general, and families of NP-hard problems can be reduced to SPs. In this paper we describe a hierarchy of convex relaxations to obtain successively tighter lower bounds of the optimal value of SPs. This sequence of lower bounds is computed by solving increasingly larger-sized relative entropy optimization problems, which are convex programs specified in terms of linear and relative entropy functions. Our approach relies crucially on the observation that the relative entropy function – by virtue of its joint convexity with respect to both arguments – provides a convex parametrization of certain sets of globally nonnegative signomials with efficiently computable nonnegativity certificates via the arithmetic-geometric-mean inequality. By appealing to representation theorems from real algebraic geometry, we show that our sequences of lower bounds converge to the global optima for broad classes of SPs. Finally, we also demonstrate the effectiveness of our methods via numerical experiments. (Joint work with Parikshit Shah)

Date and Time: 
Thursday, September 25, 2014 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

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