Seminar / Colloquium

REU Presentation Day

Topic: 
REU Final Presentations
Abstract / Description: 

Please join us for the Electrical Engineering REU Final Presentation Day.

The oral session will begin at 12noon in AllenX Auditorium; the poster session will begin at 2:30pm in Packard Atrium.


Research areas include:

  • Circuits and Physical Systems,
  • Materials and Devices, and
  • Signals and Information Systems

Thank you for supporting the EE REU Program!

Read about Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU)

 

Date and Time: 
Thursday, August 31, 2017 - 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: 
AllenX 101 Auditorium; Packard Atrium

REU Seminar: How to Make a Good Poster Workshop

Topic: 
How to Make a Good Poster Workshop
Abstract / Description: 

Learn how to design an effective research poster.

This informative session will provide plenty of insights into poster design for REU students, answer all their questions, and provide helpful tools for future poster making. 

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, August 22, 2017 - 3:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Design, stability and control of ad-hoc microgrids [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Design, stability and control of ad-hoc microgrids
Abstract / Description: 

Microgrids are a promising and viable solution for integrating the distributed generation resources in future power systems. Similar to large-scale power systems, microgrids are prone to a range of instability mechanisms and are naturally fragile with respect to disturbances. However, existing planning and operation practices employed in large scale transmission grids usually cannot be downscaled to small low-voltage microgrids. This talk will discuss the concept of ad-hoc microgrids that allow for arbitrary interconnection and switching with guaranteed stability. Although the problem of microgrid stability and control has received a lot of attention in the last years, vast majority of existing works assumed that the network configuration is given and fixed. Moreover, only few works have accounted for electromagnetic delays that will be shown to play a critical role in the context of stability.

The talk will introduce a new mathematical framework for characterization and certification of stability in an ad-hoc setting and derive the formal design constraints for both DC and AC networks. In the context of low-voltage DC network, the corresponding derivations will employ the Brayton-Moser potential theory and result in simple conditions on load capacitances that guarantee both small-signal and transient stability. Whereas for AC microgrids, the singular perturbation analysis will be used to derive simple relations for the droop coefficient of neighboring networks. The talk will conclude with a discussion of key open problems and challenges.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 101

REU Seminar: Research-to-Technology-to-Startup and the Internet of Things

Topic: 
Research-to-Technology-to-Startup and the Internet of Things
Abstract / Description: 

Andrew Scheuermann earned a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at Stanford working on silicon electronics and renewable energy technologies under Professor Paul McIntyre and Chris Chidsey. He subsequently founded and currently leads as CEO Arch Systems, a venture-backed company scaling up a modular platform for the so-called industrial internet of things. Andrew was also one of the early team members that helped build StartX, now one of the top startup accelerators in the world, and was selected as Forbes 30 under 30 in 2016.

In this seminar, Andrew will share his own experience moving from research to technology development to starting a company, and attempt to answer more of your questions than just pontificate about the general case of such transitions. He will also provide a special lens into what is happening with the new set of technologies called the 'industrial internet of things'. Andrew will highlight what challenges remain unsolved for research, what areas require research to technology development, and where new startup ventures may be possible.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, August 15, 2017 - 10:00am
Venue: 
AllenX 101 Auditorium

REU Seminar: Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Asking Hard Research Questions

Topic: 
Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy Asking Hard Research Questions
Abstract / Description: 

In this seminar we will discuss what it's like to do science & engineering research, how to be a productive researcher, and how to ask (hard) research questions. We will also discuss the importance of creativity, collaborations, and social skills for researchers. We will explore the importance of focused long-term research, what parts of "publish or perish" culture make sense, and why running a research team is a lot like running a small company. Examples will come from Prof. Pop's 20+ year research career and from recent research news, including anecdotes and lessons from Nobel prize-winning discoveries.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, August 8, 2017 - 10:00am
Venue: 
AllenX 101 Auditorium

REU Seminar: Quantum nanophotonics

Topic: 
Quantum nanophotonics: from inverse design to implementation
Abstract / Description: 

By completely opening the parameter space in nanophotonics design, new functionalities and better performance relative to traditional optoelectronics can be achieved. We have recently developed an inverse approach to design nanophotonic structures based only on their desired performance. Moreover, constraints including structure robustness, fabrication error, and minimum feature sizes can be incorporated in design, without need to have an optics expert as a designer. Such structures are fully fabricable using modern lithography and nanofabrication techniques. We have also demonstrated devices designed using this approach, including ultra-compact and efficient wavelength and power splitters on the silicon platform. Beyond integrated photonics, this approach can also be applied to design quantum photonic circuits. For example, we are working on inverse design of nanoresonators that can localize photons efficiently into sub-wavelength volumes and lead to studies of new regimes of light-matter interaction, and new applications in computing, communications, and sensing. While our traditional quantum nanophotonics platform is based on quantum dots inside photonic crystal cavities, we have recently focused on color centers in diamond and silicon carbide, which could potentially bring these experiments to room temperature and facilitate scaling to large quantum networks.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 10:00am
Venue: 
AllenX 101 Auditorium

REU Seminar: Soft Electronic Systems for Biomedical Devices

Topic: 
Soft Electronic Systems for Biomedical Devices
Abstract / Description: 

Conventional electronic devices are mechanically stiff and therefore cannot seamlessly interface with the body, which is mechanically soft. In this talk, I will review new advances in the field of stretchable electronics, where advances in materials science, mechanics, and electronics combine to produce mechanically soft and stretchable electronic systems with advanced sensing functionality. This new class of devices can form excellent interfaces with body parts, including the brain, heart, and skin. In this talk, Professor Fan will discuss specifically the use of these electronic platforms as next generation electrodes, skin-like tattoos, catheters, and bio-resorbable sensors

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 10:00am
Venue: 
AllenX 101 Auditorium

REU Seminar: Engineering Consulting

Topic: 
Engineering Consulting: Solving Other People’s Engineering Problems
Abstract / Description: 

In many industries, engineering consultants are hired to solve challenging technical problems that cannot be solved in-house. But what exactly does this process involve, and how do these professionals find a solution to these problems? In this talk, Dr. Jessica Piper will give an overview of the engineering consulting profession and Exponent Inc, the largest engineering consulting firm in the world. The talk will also cover interesting examples of real cases from the Electrical Engineering & Computer Science group, including example work in optics and consumer electronics.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, July 11, 2017 - 10:00am
Venue: 
AllenX 101 Auditorium

REU Orientation 2017

Topic: 
Orientation Begins – Welcome EE Undergrads!
Abstract / Description: 

REU Orientation 

The Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program is 10 weeks long. Orientation provides answers to any questions participating students have, including how to get paid, and requirements for the final presentation.

 

Date and Time: 
Thursday, June 29, 2017 - 10:00am
Venue: 
AllenX 101 Auditorium

Research Perspectives on Smart Electric Distribution Systems [SLAC-Stanford SmartGrid]

Topic: 
Research Perspectives on Smart Electric Distribution Systems
Abstract / Description: 

Electric distribution systems are transforming from a traditionally passive element to an active component of the Smart Grid with a hitherto unprecedented availability of new technologies, data, control, and options for end-users to participate in the daily operations of the grid. To realize the full potential of this transformation there is a dire need for new architectures, markets, tools, techniques, and testbeds. In that regard, this talk presents a comprehensive approach based on cyber-physical-social system to energy management in the emerging smart distribution system with new research results from on-going efforts. Topics of aggregators, incentive pricing, customer-side intelligence, and sustainability metrics as well as aspects of current and future trends in this research will be addressed.

Date and Time: 
Friday, June 16, 2017 - 2:00pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 101

Pages

Applied Physics / Physics Colloquium

Protecting Quantum Superpositions in Superconducting Circuits [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
Protecting Quantum Superpositions in Superconducting Circuits
Abstract / Description: 

Can we prolong the coherence of a two-state manifold in a complex quantum system beyond the coherence of its longest-lived component? This question is the starting point in the construction of a scalable quantum computer. It translates in the search for processes that operate as some sort of Maxwell's demon, reliably correcting the errors resulting from the coupling between qubits and their environment. The presentation will review recent experiments that tested the dynamical protection, by Josephson circuits, of a logical qubit memory based on superpositions of particular coherent states of a superconducting resonator.


 

APPLIED PHYSICS/PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM

Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200. Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Winter 2016/2017, Committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, S. Zhang

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

Coherent Defects in Diamond [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
Coherent Defects in Diamond
Abstract / Description: 

Engineering coherent systems is a central goal of quantum science and quantum information processing. Point defects in diamond known as color centers are a promising physical platform. As atom-like systems, they can exhibit excellent spin coherence and can be manipulated with light. As solid-state defects, they can be produced at high densities and incorporated into scalable devices. Diamond is a uniquely excellent host: it has a large band gap, can be synthesized with sub-ppb impurity concentrations, and can be isotopically purified to eliminate magnetic noise from nuclear spins. Specifically, the nitrogen vacancy (NV) center has been used to has been used to demonstrate basic building blocks of quantum networks and quantum computers, and has been demonstrated to be a highly sensitive, non-invasive magnetic probe capable of resolving the magnetic field of a single electron spin with nanometer spatial resolution. However, realizing the full potential of these systems requires the ability to both understand and manipulate diamond as a material. I will present two recent results that demonstrate how carefully tailoring the diamond host can dramatically improve the performance of color centers for various applications.

First, currently-known color centers either exhibit long spin coherence times or efficient, coherent optical transitions, but not both. We have developed new methods to control the diamond Fermi level in order to stabilize a new color center, the neutral charge state of the silicon vacancy (SiV) center, which exhibits both the excellent optical properties of the negatively charged SiV center and the long spin coherence times of the NV center, making it a promising candidate for applications as a single atom quantum memory for long distance quantum communication.

Second, color centers placed close to the diamond surface can have strong interactions with molecules and materials external to the diamond. However, uncontrolled surface termination and contamination can degrade the color center properties and give rise to noise that obscures the signal of interest. I will describe our recent efforts to stabilize shallow NV centers within 5 nm of the surface using new surface processing and termination techniques. These highly coherent, shallow NV centers will provide a platform for sensing and imaging down to the scale of single atoms.


 

APPLIED PHYSICS/PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM

Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200. Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Winter 2016/2017, Committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, S. Zhang

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 23, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

Morphogenesis: Geometry, Physics and Biology [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
Morphogenesis: Geometry, Physics and Biology
Abstract / Description: 

A century after the publication of D'Arcy Thompson's eponymous classic, "On growth and form," his vision has finally begun to permeate into the fabric of modern biology. Within this backdrop, I will discuss the geometry and physics of biological morphogenesis, with a particular focus on regulated differential growth, using examples from a range of scales: macromolecular assemblies, single cells, and multicellular tissues. Along the way, I will also discuss aspects of morphometries, the quantification of biological shape, and morphogramming, the design of bioinspired shape.


 

APPLIED PHYSICS/PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM

Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200. Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Winter 2016/2017, Committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, S. Zhang

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 16, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

New Probes of Old Structure: Cosmology with 21cm Intensity Mapping and the Cosmic Microwave Background [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
New Probes of Old Structure: Cosmology with 21cm Intensity Mapping and the Cosmic Microwave Background
Abstract / Description: 

Current cosmological measurements have left us with deep questions about our Universe: What caused the expansion of the Universe at the earliest times? How did structure form? What is Dark Energy and does it evolve with time? New experiments like CHIME, HIRAX, and ACTPol are poised to address these questions through 3-dimensional maps of structure and measurements of the polarized Cosmic Microwave Background. In this talk, I will describe how we will use 21cm intensity measurements from CHIME and HIRAX to place sensitive constraints on Dark Energy between redshifts 0.8 -- 2.5, a poorly probed era corresponding to when Dark Energy began to impact the expansion history of the Universe. I will also discuss how we will use data from new instruments on the ACT telescope to constrain cosmological parameters like the total neutrino mass and probe structure at late times.


 

APPLIED PHYSICS/PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM

Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200. Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Winter 2016/2017, Committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, S. Zhang

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 9, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

A Research-validated Approach to Transforming upper-division Physics Courses [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
A Research-validated Approach to Transforming upper-division Physics Courses
Abstract / Description: 

TBA


 

APPLIED PHYSICS/PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM

Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200. Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Winter 2016/2017, Committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, S. Zhang

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 2, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

Humanity's First Interstellar Mission [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
Humanity's First Interstellar Mission
Abstract / Description: 

All propulsion systems that leave the Earth are based on chemical reactions with a few adding ion engines. Chemical reactions, at best, have an efficiency compared to rest mass of 10-9 (or about 1eV per bond). All the mass in the universe converted to chemical reactions would not propel even a single proton to relativistic speeds. While chemistry will get us to Mars, it will not allow interstellar capability in any reasonable mission time. Barring new physics, we are left with few solutions, other than science fiction and imaginary propulsion. Recent advances in photonics and directed energy systems now allow us to realize the possibility of relativistic flight. With spacecraft from fully-functional gram-level wafer-scale systems ("wafer sats") capable of speeds greater than c/4 that could reach the nearest star in 20 years to spacecraft for large missions capable of supporting human life with masses more than 105 kg (100 tons) for rapid interplanetary transit that could reach speeds of greater than 1000 km/s can be realized. With this technology spacecraft can be propelled to speeds currently unimaginable. Photonics, like electronics, and unlike chemical propulsion is an exponential technology with a current double time of about 20 months. It is this that is the key. In addition, the same photon driver can be used for many other purposes such as planetary defense, space debris vaporization and de-orbiting, beaming energy to distant spacecraft, beaming power for high Isp ion engine missions, asteroid mining, sending power back to Earth for high value needs, stand-off composition analysis, long range laser communications, SETI searches, kilometer class telescopes among others. This would be a profound change in human capability, one whose non-scientific implications would be enormous. Known as Starlight, NASA began our Phase I funding in April 2015. On April 12, 2016 the Breakthrough Foundation announced that they would support this effort with a 100M$ Research and Development program called Breakthrough Starshot that would explore the fundamental technology underlying this. On May 12, 2016 NASA announced Phase II funding. On May 23 the FY 2017 congressional appropriations request directs NASA to study the feasibility of an interstellar mission to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the moon landing using quoting our NASA program as one option. I will discuss the idea of relativistic flight generally, the many technical challenges ahead, our current laboratory prototypes and data as well as the transformative implications of this program.


 

APPLIED PHYSICS/PHYSICS COLLOQUIUM

Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200. Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Winter 2016/2017, Committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, S. Zhang

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

In Search of Cosmic-Ray Antinuclei from Dark Matter [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
In Search of Cosmic-Ray Antinuclei from Dark Matter
Abstract / Description: 

Cosmic-ray antiprotons have been a valuable tool for dark matter searches since the 1970's. Recent years have seen increased theoretical and experimental effort towards the first-ever detection of cosmic-ray antideuterons, in particular as an indirect signature of dark matter annihilation or decay in the Galactic halo. In contrast to other indirect detection signatures, which have been hampered by the large and uncertain background rates from conventional astrophysical processes, low-energy antideuterons provide an essentially background-free signature of dark matter, and low-energy antiprotons are a vital partner for this analysis. I will discuss the currently planned or ongoing experiments that will be sensitive to antideuteron flux levels predicted for dark matter, focusing on the balloon-borne GAPS experiment, which exploits a novel detection technique utilizing exotic atom capture and decay to provide both a sensitive antideuteron search and a precision antiproton measurement in an unprecedented low-energy range. I will finish by looking ahead to the tantalizing prospect of cosmic antihelium measurements, as a probe of both cosmic-ray and dark matter physics.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 18, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

Controlling and Exploring Quantum Matter Using Ultracold Atoms in Optical Lattices [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
Controlling and Exploring Quantum Matter Using Ultracold Atoms in Optical Lattices
Abstract / Description: 

More than 30 years ago, Richard Feynman outlined the visionary concept of a quantum simulator for carrying out complex physics calculations. Today, his dream has become a reality in laboratories around the world. In my talk I will focus on the remarkable opportunities offered by ultracold quantum gases trapped in optical lattices to address fundamental physics questions ranging from condensed matter physics over statistical physics to high energy physics with table-top experiment.

For example, I will show how it has now become possible to image and control quantum matter with single atom sensitivity and single site resolution, thereby allowing one to directly image individual quantum fluctuations of a many-body system, to directly reveal antiferromagnetic order in the fermionic Hubbard model or hidden 'topological order'. I will also show, how recent experiments with cold gases in optical lattices have enabled to realise and probe artificial magnetic fields that lie at the heart of topological energy bands in a solid, including Thouless charge pumps in multiple dimensions. Finally, I will discuss our recent experiments on novel many-body localised states of matter that challenge our understanding of the connection between statistical physics and quantum mechanics at a fundamental level.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

Presence of Quantum Diffusion in Two Dimensions [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
Presence of Quantum Diffusion in Two Dimensions
Abstract / Description: 

All condensed matter systems possess disorder and interaction effects. Still, the qualitative effects of disorder and interactions in quantum systems are poorly understood. This is especially true when it comes to electrical conduction. The standard theory, developed for non-interacting particles over 40 years ago, predicted surprisingly that for the most part, disorder destroys metallic behavior in two-dimensional (2d) systems at zero temperature. For many decades, this "absence of quantum diffusion in 2d" was taken to be scientific law. However, with strong interactions, there is no reason to believe that this dogma survives.

I will review the experiments that have challenged this conventional wisdom, and will describe ongoing theoretical efforts to establish that metallic ground states can occur in 2d due to strong interaction effects.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, April 4, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

From Planck to Escher [Applied Physics/Physics Colloquium]

Topic: 
From Planck to Escher
Abstract / Description: 

The recent observational data from the Planck satellite and ground based experiments support the standard cosmological model, defined by just a few independent parameters. Two of them require a theoretical explanation: the tilt of the power spectrum of the inflationary CMB fluctuations ns, and the level of inflationary gravitational waves, B-modes, r< 0.07. I will describe the recently developed class of inflationary models based on the Poincare disk model of hyperbolic geometry, which is beautifully represented by the Escher's picture Circle Limit IV. In such models, ns is very close to the Planck result ns =0.965, whereas the amplitude of the gravitational waves can take various values proportional to the square of the radius of the Poincare disk. These models predict seven distinct targets for the B-mode experiments in the range r = 10-2 -10-3, motivated by string theory.


 

Held Tuesdays at 4:30 pm in the William R. Hewlett Teaching Center, room 200. Refreshments in the lobby of Varian Physics at 4:15 pm.

Winter 2016/2017, Committee: A. Linde (Chair), S. Kivelson, S. Zhang

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Hewlett 200

Pages

CS300 Seminar

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, Subhasish Mitra

5:15-6:00, Silvio Savarese

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, December 7, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, Phil Levis

5:15-6:00, Ron Fedkiw

Date and Time: 
Monday, December 5, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, Dan Boneh

5:15-6:00, Aaron Sidford

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, November 30, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, John Mitchell

5:15-6:00, James Zou

Date and Time: 
Monday, November 28, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, Emma Brunskill

5:15-6:00, Doug James

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, James Landay

5:15-6:00, Dan Jurafsky

Date and Time: 
Monday, November 14, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, Ken Salisbury

5:15-6:00, Noah Goodman

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, November 9, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, Kunle Olukotun

5:15-6:00, Jure Leskovec

Date and Time: 
Monday, November 7, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

4:30-5:15, Omer Reingold

5:15-6:00, Oussama Khatib

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, November 2, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

CS Department Lecture Series (CS300)

Topic: 
Faculty speak about their research to new PhD students
Abstract / Description: 

Offered to incoming first-year PhD students in the Autumn quarter.

The seminar gives CS faculty the opportunity to speak about their research, which allows new CS PhD students the chance to learn about the professors and their research before permanently aligning.

 

4:30-5:15, Peter Bailis

5:15-6:00, Stefano Ermon

Date and Time: 
Monday, October 31, 2016 - 4:30pm to 6:00pm
Venue: 
200-305 Lane History Corner, Main Quad

Pages

EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium

The Machineries of Doubt & Disinformation: Cigarettes, Climate & Other Electronic Confusions [EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium]

Topic: 
The Machineries of Doubt & Disinformation: Cigarettes, Climate & Other Electronic Confusions
Abstract / Description: 

The tobacco industry has long employed the best marketing techniques and adopted the latest technologies for disinformation. The fossil energy industries have employed similar tactics and technologies. For both, the Internet has proved a fertile ground and by now, similar tactics have gained force in politics.

For example, 2009 "Climategate" theft and use of emails against climate scientists seems a precursor of recent Russian efforts in American & French elections.

This talk uses insights from the well-documented history of tobacco and fossil disinformation machinery to anticipate further attacks on science and political processes, including thoughts about the challenges of informed skepticism in the world of Internet, Twitter and Facebook and electronic cigarettes that monitor and control usage, and may report back to the vendor.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 10, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Ethics, Algorithms, and Systems [EE380 Computer Systems]

Topic: 
Ethics, Algorithms, and Systems
Abstract / Description: 

The Internet has made possible new means of manipulating opinions, purchases and votes that are unprecedented in human history in their effectiveness, scale and clandestine nature. Whether closely guided by human hands or operating independently of their creators, these algorithms now guide human decision making 24/7, often in ways that have ethical consequences. Biased search rankings, for example, have been shown to shift the voting preferences of undecided voters dramatically without any awareness on their part that they are being manipulated (the Search Engine Manipulation Effect, or SEME).

Recent research shows that SEME can impact a wide range of opinions, not just voting preferences, and that multiple searches increase SEME's impact. New experiments also help to explain why SEME is so powerful and demonstrate how SEME can be suppressed to some extent.

In 2016, new research also demonstrated that search suggestions (in "autocomplete") can also be used shift opinions and votes (the Search Suggestion Effect, or SSE).

Demonstrating these possibilities in research is one thing; do search engine companies actually show people search suggestions or search results that are biased in some way?

In 2016, AIBRT researchers recruited a nationwide network of field agents whose election-related searches were collected and aggregated for six months before the November election, thus preserving 13,207 searchers and the 98,044 web pages to which the search results linked. This unique data set revealed that that search results were indeed biased toward one candidate during most of this period in all 10 search positions on the first page of search results - enough, perhaps, to shift millions of votes without people's knowledge.

Based on the success of this tracking effort, in early 2017, experts in multiple fields and at multiple universities in the US and Europe came together to creates The Sunlight Society (http://TheSunlightSociety.org), a nonprofit organization devoted to creating a worldwide ecosystem of passive monitoring software that will reveal a wide range of online manipulations as they are occurring, thus providing a means for identifying unethical algorithms as they are launched.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Shenzhen: An Alternative to the American way of Innovation [EE380 Computer Systems]

Topic: 
Shenzhen: An Alternative to the American way of Innovation
Abstract / Description: 

In this talk, we start with a top-down exploration of the electronics ecosystem of Shenzhen. We then pivot at the topic of recycling and "fakes" to build a bottom-up picture of how an innovation culture, unbridled by Western tradition, matures in the age of the Internet.

 

Talk Format:

This talk will be live streamed from Singapore and will be viewable live in Gates B3.x The live audience will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with the speaker. 

The live stream video will be captured and published to YouTube in the same fashion as our usual live speakers.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

How to Design Addictive Games [EE380 Computer Systems]

Topic: 
How to Design Addictive Games
Abstract / Description: 

A great game seduces its player into flow state. Since we know a lot about what flow state is and what it requires, you might imagine that game's design to be a lot of work, but not mysterious. Yet 99% of all games fail. The vast majority of game designers have never designed an addictive game. In HCI research, games are analyzed based on flow state properties but that's descriptive, not prescriptive. Designing such games remains mystical. Like other performing arts, game design needs accident, luck, inspiration, perspiration, and knowledge. I would like to justify my being invited to talk so on top of the skeleton of flow, I will add some meat that you would not likely hear from anyone else. I will talk about what I learned playtesting my own work and what I was taught by great game designers, in creating games that were indeed addictive. As such, this will be a very idiosyncratic and personal introduction to the art of designing irresistible engagement.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Computers, Programming, Addiction, False News, Alternative Facts [EE380 Computer Systems]

Topic: 
Computers, Programming, Addiction, False News, Alternative Facts
Abstract / Description: 

Today's Internet is powerful and seductive. It's burrowed itself into the way we think, feel, and respond. We have come to depend upon the availability of organized, accessible, searchable information. But with the positive effects, there are negative factors as well, with unforeseen consequences, that change the very way we experience the world.

Archiving and indexing all of the world's information has changed the way we think, but it has its limitations. Very low cost communication and publication have both positive and negative effects. Interactive environments are compelling and sometimes addictive. Social interactions on the Internet are different than they are in "real life". Truth seems less important than it once was.

This talk will identify and explore a few of these issues. Interactive discussion will be encouraged.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Software-centric Visible Light Communication for the Internet of Things [EE380 Computer Systems]

Topic: 
Software-centric Visible Light Communication for the Internet of Things
Abstract / Description: 

Visible Light Communication (VLC) based on LEDs for light emission and reception can be realized using simple components, delegating many of the "hard" problems to software. We present a software-centric approach that supports networking a wide range of devices -- devices that include only simple single LEDs (such as wearables, toys, consumer electronics) as well as LED light bulbs that run Linux and provide a VLC communication fabric (room-area network). One of the benefits of the software-centric approach is easy integration into distributed applications - a necessary condition for a pervasive communication infrastructure for the Internet of Things that requires a wide range of services (localization, time, authentication, etc).

Joint work with Stefan Mangold (Lovefield Wireless, Inc.) and Stefan Schmid (ETH Zurich).

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

PyWren - pushing microservices to teraflops [EE380 Computer Systems]

Topic: 
PyWren - pushing microservices to teraflops
Abstract / Description: 

Much of cloud computing infrastructure remains hard to use, in spite of decades of both academic research and commercialization. Fortunately, recent technologies developed for web services and internet startups can be repurposed to enable a much lower-friction scalable cloud experience. Our goal is making the power, elasticity, and dynamism of commercial cloud services like Amazon's EC2 accessible to busy applied physicists, electrical engineers, and data scientists, as well as a compelling new capability over Matlab, hopefully encouraging migration. We built PyWren, a transparent distributed execution engine on top of AWS Lambda, which hopefully simplifies many scale-out use cases for data science and computational imaging. We will demo applications built on our framework and seek user input into next directions.

Joint work with Shivaram Venkataraman, Qifan Pu, Ion Stoica, and Ben Recht.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Living in Information Everywhere [EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium]

Topic: 
Living in Information Everywhere
Abstract / Description: 

The term cloud computing increasingly describes not just the technology of large networked data centers, but is a proxy term for the unification of smartphones, apps, IoT, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence -- in effect, the deployment of computational intelligence to virtually every point on the planet. One may view this as a fulfillment of Moore's Law, or the start of decades-long project that is likely to reshape civilization. As someone who both covers this topic and has been profoundly affected by it, I will speak about the technology, and what historical parallels tell us about the likely impact.

Date and Time: 
Monday, April 10, 2017 - 3:10pm to 4:10pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Neuromorphic Chips: Addressing the Nanostransistor Challenge by Combining Analog Computation with Digital Communication [EE380 Computer Systems Colloquium]

Topic: 
Neuromorphic Chips: Addressing the Nanostransistor Challenge by Combining Analog Computation with Digital Communication
Abstract / Description: 

As transistors shrink to nanoscale dimensions, trapped electrons--blocking "lanes" of electron traffic--are making it difficult for digital computers to work. In stark contrast, the brain works fine with single-lane nanoscale devices that are intermittently blocked (ion channels). Conjecturing that it achieves error-tolerance by combining analog dendritic computation with digital axonal communication, neuromorphic engineers (neuromorphs) began emulating dendrites with subthreshold analog circuits and axons with asynchronous digital circuits in the mid-1980s. Three decades in, they achieved a consequential scale with Neurogrid, the first neuromorphic system with billions of synaptic connections. Neuromorphs then tackled the challenge of mapping arbitrary computations onto neuromorphic chips in a manner robust to lanes intermittently--or even permanently--blocked by trapped electrons. Having demonstrated scalability and programmability, they now seek to encode continuous signals with spike trains in a manner that promises greater energy efficiency than all-analog or all-digital computing across a five-decade precision range.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Gates B03

Pages

Ginzton Lab

New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab

Topic: 
New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab
Abstract / Description: 

Lab experiments have long played an important role in behavioral science, in part because they allow for carefully designed tests of theory, and in part because randomized assignment facilitates identification of causal effects. At the same time, lab experiments have traditionally suffered from numerous constraints (e.g. short duration, small-scale, unrepresentative subjects, simplistic design, etc.) that limit their external validity. In this talk I describe how the web in general—and crowdsourcing sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in particular—allow researchers to create "virtual labs" in which they can conduct behavioral experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that far exceed what is possible in physical labs. To illustrate, I describe some recent experiments that showcase the advantages of virtual labs, as well as some of the limitations. I then discuss how this relatively new experimental capability may unfold in the future, along with some implications for social and behavioral science.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Claude E. Shannon's 100th Birthday

Topic: 
Centennial year of the 'Father of the Information Age'
Abstract / Description: 

From UCLA Shannon Centennial Celebration website:

Claude Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory". Shannon founded information theory and is perhaps equally well known for founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory. Shannon also laid the foundations of cryptography and did basic work on code breaking and secure telecommunications.

 

Events taking place around the world are listed at IEEE Information Theory Society.

Date and Time: 
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 12:00pm
Venue: 
N/A

Ginzton Lab / AMO Seminar

Topic: 
2D/3D Photonic Integration Technologies for Arbitrary Optical Waveform Generation in Temporal, Spectral, and Spatial Domains
Abstract / Description: 

Beginning Academic year 2015-2016, please join us at Spilker room 232 every Monday afternoon from 4 pm for the AP 483 & Ginzton Lab, and AMO Seminar Series.

Refreshments begin at 4 pm, seminar at 4:15 pm.

Date and Time: 
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Ginzton Lab / AMO Seminar

Topic: 
Silicon-Plus Photonics for Tomorrow's (Astronomically) Large-Scale Networks
Abstract / Description: 

Beginning Academic year 2015-2016, please join us at Spilker room 232 every Monday afternoon from 4 pm for the AP 483 & Ginzton Lab, and AMO Seminar Series.

Refreshments begin at 4 pm, seminar at 4:15 pm.

Date and Time: 
Monday, February 22, 2016 - 4:15pm to 5:15pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Ginzton Lab / AMO Seminar

Topic: 
'Supermode-Polariton Condensation in a Multimode Cavity QED-BEC System' and 'Probing Ultrafast Electron Dynamics in Atoms and Molecules'
Abstract / Description: 

Beginning Academic year 2015-2016, please join us at Spilker room 232 every Monday afternoon from 4 pm for the AP483 & Ginzton Lab, and AMO Seminar Series.

Refreshments begin at 4 pm, seminar at 4:15 pm.

Date and Time: 
Monday, January 4, 2016 - 4:15pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Ginzton Lab: Special Optics Seminar

Topic: 
A Carbon Nanotube Optical Rectenna
Abstract / Description: 

An optical rectenna – that is, a device that directly converts free-propagating electromagnetic waves at optical frequencies to d.c. electricity – was first proposed over 40 years ago, yet this concept has not been demonstrated experimentally due to fabrication challenges at the nanoscale. Realizing an optical rectenna requires that an antenna be coupled to a diode that operates on the order of 1 petahertz (switching speed on the order of a femtosecond). Ultralow capacitance, on the order of a few attofarads, enables a diode to operate at these frequencies; and the development of metal-insulator-metal tunnel junctions with nanoscale dimensions has emerged as a potential path to diodes with ultralow capacitance, but these structures remain extremely difficult to fabricate and couple to a nanoscale antenna reliably. Here we demonstrate an optical rectenna by engineering metal-insulator-metal tunnel diodes, with ultralow junction capacitance of approximately 2 attofarads, at the tips of multiwall carbon nanotubes, which act as the antenna and metallic electron field emitter in the diode. This demonstration is achieved using very small diode areas based on the diameter of a single carbon nanotube (about 10 nanometers), geometric field enhancement at the carbon nanotube tips, and a low work function semitransparent top metal contact. Using vertically-aligned arrays of the diodes, we measure d.c. open-circuit voltage and short-circuit current at visible and infrared electromagnetic frequencies that is due to a rectification process, and quantify minor contributions from thermal effects. In contrast to recent reports of photodetection based on hot electron decay in plasmonic nanoscale antenna, a coherent optical antenna field is rectified directly in our devices, consistent with rectenna theory. Our devices show evidence of photon-assisted tunneling that reduces diode resistance by two orders of magnitude under monochromatic illumination. Additionally, power rectification is observed under simulated solar illumination. Numerous current-voltage scans on different devices, and between 5-77 degrees Celsius, show no detectable change in diode performance, indicating a potential for robust operation.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, October 20, 2015 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Pages

Information Systems Lab (ISL) Colloquium

An Information Theoretic Perspective of Fronthaul Constrained Cloud and Fog Radio Access Networks [Special Seminar: ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
An Information Theoretic Perspective of Fronthaul Constrained Cloud and Fog Radio Access Networks
Abstract / Description: 

Cloud radio access networks (C-RANs) emerge as appealing architectures for next-generation wireless/cellular systems whereby the processing/decoding is migrated from the local base-stations/radio units (RUs) to a control/central unit (CU) in the "cloud". Fog radio access networks (F-RAN) address the case where the RUs are enhanced by having the ability of local caching of popular contents. The network
operates via fronthaul digital links connecting the CU and the RUs. In this talk we will address basic information theoretic aspects of such networks, with emphasis of simple oblivious processing. Theoretical results illustrate the considerable performance gains to be expected for different cellular models. Some interesting theoretical directions conclude the presentation.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 2:00pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Cracking Big Data with Small Data [ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
Cracking Big Data with Small Data
Abstract / Description: 

For the last several years, we have witnessed the emergence of datasets of an unprecedented scale across different scientific disciplines. The large volume of such datasets presents new computational challenges as the diverse, feature-rich, and usually high-resolution data does not allow for effective data-intensive inference. In this regard, data summarization is a compelling (and sometimes the only) approach that aims at both exploiting the richness of large-scale data and being computationally tractable; Instead of operating on complex and large data directly, carefully constructed summaries not only enable the execution of various data analytics tasks but also improve their efficiency and scalability.

A systematic way for data summarization is to turn the problem into selecting a subset of data elements optimizing a utility function that quantifies "representativeness" of the selected set. Often-times, these objective functions satisfy submodularity, an intuitive notion of diminishing returns stating that selecting any given element earlier helps more than selecting it later. Thus, many problems in data summarization require maximizing submodular set functions subject to cardinality and massive data means we have to solve these problems at scale.

In this talk, I will present our recent efforts in developing practical schemes for data summarization. In particular, I will first discuss the fastest centralized solution whose query complexity is only linear in data size. However, to truly summarize massive data we need to opt for scalable methods. I will then present a streaming algorithm that with a single pass over the data provides a constant-factor approximation guarantee to the optimum solution. Finally, I will talk about a distributed approach that summarizes tens of millions of data points in a timely fashion. I will also demonstrate experiments on several applications, including sparse Gaussian process inference and exemplar-based clustering using Apache-Spark.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

An information-theoretic perspective on interference management [ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
An information-theoretic perspective on interference management
Abstract / Description: 

For high data rates and massive connectivity, next-generation cellular networks are expected to deploy many small base stations. While such dense deployment provides the benefit of bringing radio closer to end users, it also increases the amount of interference from neighboring cells. Consequently, efficient and effective management of interference is expected to become one of the main challenges for high-spectral-efficiency, low-power, broad-coverage wireless communications.

In this talk, we introduce two competing paradigms of interference management and discuss recent developments in network information theory under these paradigms. In the first "distributed network" paradigm, the network consists of autonomous cells with minimal cooperation. We explore advanced channel coding techniques for the corresponding mathematical model of the "interference channel," focusing mainly on the sliding-window superposition coding scheme that achieves the performance of simultaneous decoding through point-to-point channel codes and low-complexity decoding. In the second "centralized network" paradigm, the network is a group of neighboring cells connected via backhaul links. For uplink and downlink communications over this "two-hop relay network," we develop dual coding schemes – noisy network coding and distributed decode-forward – that achieve capacity universally within a few bits per degree of freedom.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

When Exploration is Expensive -- Reducing and Bounding the Amount of Experience Needed to Learn to Make Good Decisions [ISL]

Topic: 
When Exploration is Expensive -- Reducing and Bounding the Amount of Experience Needed to Learn to Make Good Decisions
Abstract / Description: 

Understanding the limits of how much experience is needed to learn to make good decisions is both a foundational issue in reinforcement learning, and has important applications. Indeed, the potential to have artificial agents that help augment human capabilities, in the form of automated coaches or teachers, is enormous. Such reinforcement learning agents must explore in costly domains, since each experience comes from interacting with a human. I will discuss some of our recent theoretical results on sample efficient reinforcement learning.


 

The Information Systems Laboratory Colloquium (ISLC) is typically held in Packard 101 every Thursday at 4:15 pm during the academic year. Refreshments are usually served after the talk.

The Colloquium is organized by graduate students Martin Zhang, Farzan Farnia, Reza Takapoui, and Zhengyuan Zhou. To suggest speakers, please contact any of the students.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Self-Driving Networks Workshop [ISL]

Topic: 
Self-Driving Networks Workshop
Abstract / Description: 

Networks have become very complex over the past decade. The users and operators of large cloud platforms and campus networks have desired a much more programmable network infrastructure to meet the dynamic needs of different applications and reduce the friction they can cause to each other. This has culminated in the Software-­‐defined Networking paradigm. But you cannot program what you do not understand: the volume, velocity and richness of network applications and traffic seem beyond the ability of direct human comprehension. What is needed is a sensing, inference and learning system which can observe the data emitted by a network during the course of its operation, reconstruct the network's evolution, infer key performance metrics, continually learn the best responses to rapidly-­‐changing load and operating conditions, and help the network adapt to them in real-­‐time. The workshop brings together academic and industry groups interested in the broad themes of this topic. It highlights ongoing research at Stanford and describes initial prototype systems and results from pilot deployments.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 (All day)
Venue: 
Arrillaga Alumni Center

New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab

Topic: 
New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab
Abstract / Description: 

Lab experiments have long played an important role in behavioral science, in part because they allow for carefully designed tests of theory, and in part because randomized assignment facilitates identification of causal effects. At the same time, lab experiments have traditionally suffered from numerous constraints (e.g. short duration, small-scale, unrepresentative subjects, simplistic design, etc.) that limit their external validity. In this talk I describe how the web in general—and crowdsourcing sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in particular—allow researchers to create "virtual labs" in which they can conduct behavioral experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that far exceed what is possible in physical labs. To illustrate, I describe some recent experiments that showcase the advantages of virtual labs, as well as some of the limitations. I then discuss how this relatively new experimental capability may unfold in the future, along with some implications for social and behavioral science.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Insensitivity of Loss Systems under Randomized SQ(d) Algorithms [ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
Insensitivity of Loss Systems under Randomized SQ(d) Algorithms
Abstract / Description: 

In many applications such as cloud computing, managing server farm resources etc. an incoming task or job has to be matched with an appropriate server in order to minimise the latency or blocking associated with the processing. Ideally the best choice would be to match a job to the fastest available server. However when there are thousands of servers requiring the information on all server tasks is an overkill.

Pioneered in the 1990's the idea of randomised sampling of a few servers was proposed by Vvedenskaya and Dobrushin in Russia and Mitzmenmacher in the US and popularised as the "power of two" schemes which basically means that sampling two servers randomly and sending the job to the "better" server (i.e. with the shortest queue, or most resources) provides most of the benefits of sampling all the servers.

In the talk I will discuss multi-server loss models under power-of-d routing scheme when service time distributions are general with finite mean. Previous works on these models assume that the service times are exponentially distributed and insensitivity was suggested through simulations. Showing insensitivity to service time distributions has remained an open problem. We address this problem by considering service time distributions as Mixed-Erlang distributions that are dense in the class of general distributions on (0, ∞). We derive the mean field equations (MFE) of the empirical distributions for the system and establish the existence and uniqueness of the fixed point of the MFE. Furthermore we show that the fixed point of the MFE corresponds to the fixed point obtained from the MFE corresponding to a system with exponential service times showing that the fixed point is insensitive to the distribution. Due to lack of uniformity of the mixed-Erlang convergence the true general case needs to be handled differently. I will conclude the case of the MFE with general service times showing that the MFE is now characterized by a pde whose stationary point coincides with the fixed point in the case with exponential service times.The techniques developed in this paper are applicable to study mean field limits for Markov processes on general state spaces and insensitivity properties of other queueing models.

Date and Time: 
Monday, March 20, 2017 - 3:00pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Anonymity in the Bitcoin Peer-to-Peer Network [ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
Anonymity in the Bitcoin Peer-to-Peer Network
Abstract / Description: 

Bitcoin enjoys a public perception of being a privacy-preserving financial system. In reality, Bitcoin has a number of privacy vulnerabilities, including the well-studied fact that transactions can be linked through the public blockchain. More recently, researchers have demonstrated deanonymization attacks that exploit a lower-layer weakness: the Bitcoin peer-to-peer (P2P) networking stack. In particular, the P2P network currently forwards content in a structured way that allows observers to deanonymize users by linking their transactions to the originating IP addresses. In this work, we first demonstrate that current protocols exhibit poor anonymity guarantees, both theoretically and in practice. Then, we consider a first-principles redesign of the P2P network, with the goal of providing strong, provable anonymity guarantees. We propose a simple networking policy called Dandelion, which achieves nearly-optimal anonymity guarantees at minimal cost to the network's utility.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Learning in Games via Reinforcement and Regularization [ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
Learning in Games via Reinforcement and Regularization
Abstract / Description: 

We investigate a class of reinforcement learning dynamics where players adjust their strategies based on their actions' cumulative payoffs over time—specifically, by playing mixed strategies that maximize their expected cumulative payoff minus a regularization term. A widely studied example is exponential reinforcement learning, a process induced by an entropic regularization term which leads mixed strategies to evolve according to the replicator dynamics. However, in contrast to the class of regularization functions used to define smooth best responses in models of stochastic fictitious play, the functions used in this paper need not be infinitely steep at the boundary of the simplex; in fact, dropping this requirement gives rise to an important dichotomy between steep and nonsteep cases. In this general framework, we extend several properties of exponential learning, including the elimination of dominated strategies, the asymptotic stability of strict Nash equilibria, and the convergence of time-averaged trajectories in zero-sum games with an interior Nash equilibrium.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 4:10pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Toward single letter feedback capacity via structured auxiliary random variable [ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
Toward single letter feedback capacity via structured auxiliary random variable
Abstract / Description: 

It is well known that feedback capacity is characterized using directed information which is a multi-letter expression. In this talk we aim to convert the multi-letter expression into a single-letter expression using a new idea of an auxiliary random variable that has a graphical structure.

Auxiliary random variables (r.v.) play a fundamental role in characterizing the capacity of channels, especially in multi-user setting such as Gelfand-Pinsker or the degraded broadcast channel. In most cases, choosing a sequence of an i.i.d auxiliary r.v. allows us to simplify a capacity expression and to have a computable, single-letter form. In this talk we will introduce a new kind of auxiliary r.v. that is not i.i.d. but has memory that is generated on a graphical structure. In particular, we show that the feedback capacity of the unifilar channel is upper bounded by a single-letter expression that is a function of the stationary distribution on the graph representing the memory of the auxiliary r.v.. Furthermore, in all cases where the capacity is known, such as the trapdoor channel, Ising channel, Dicode channel, erasure channel with no repeated ones, the upper bound yields, with a small cardinality bound on the structured auxiliary r.v., a tight bound on the feedback capacity.

As time permits, we will also introduce a sufficient condition on having a specific structured auxiliary that admits the feedback capacity, and present an achievability scheme for channels with memory based on the posterior matching idea.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, February 23, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Pages

IT-Forum

Biology as Information Dynamics [IT forum]

Topic: 
Biology as Information Dynamics
Abstract / Description: 

If biology is the study of self-replicating entities, and we want to understand the role of information, it makes sense to see how information theory is connected to the 'replicator equation' – a simple model of population dynamics for self-replicating entities. The relevant concept of information turns out to be the information of one probability distribution relative to another, also known as the Kullback-Liebler divergence. Using this we can get a new outlook on free energy, see evolution as a learning process, and give a clearer, more general formulation of Fisher's fundamental theorem of natural selection.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 4:20pm
Venue: 
Clark S361

New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab

Topic: 
New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab
Abstract / Description: 

Lab experiments have long played an important role in behavioral science, in part because they allow for carefully designed tests of theory, and in part because randomized assignment facilitates identification of causal effects. At the same time, lab experiments have traditionally suffered from numerous constraints (e.g. short duration, small-scale, unrepresentative subjects, simplistic design, etc.) that limit their external validity. In this talk I describe how the web in general—and crowdsourcing sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in particular—allow researchers to create "virtual labs" in which they can conduct behavioral experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that far exceed what is possible in physical labs. To illustrate, I describe some recent experiments that showcase the advantages of virtual labs, as well as some of the limitations. I then discuss how this relatively new experimental capability may unfold in the future, along with some implications for social and behavioral science.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Minimum Rates of Approximate Sufficient Statistics [IT-Forum]

Topic: 
Minimum Rates of Approximate Sufficient Statistics
Abstract / Description: 

Given a sufficient statistic for a parametric family of distributions, one can estimate the parameter without access to the data itself but by using a sufficient statistic. However, the memory size for storing the sufficient statistic may be prohibitive. Indeed, for $n$ independent data samples drawn from a $k$-nomial distribution with $d=k-1$ degrees of freedom, the length of the code scales as $d\log n+O(1)$. In many applications though, we may not have a useful notion of sufficient statistics and also may not need to reconstruct the generating distribution exactly. By adopting an information-theoretic approach in which we consider allow a small error in estimating the generating distribution, we construct various notions of {\em approximate sufficient statistics} and show that the code length can be reduced to $\frac{d}{2}\log n + O(1)$. We consider errors measured according to the relative entropy and variational distance criteria. For the code construction parts, we leverage Rissanen's minimum description length principle, which yields a non-vanishing error measured using the relative entropy. For the converse parts, we use Clarke and Barron's asymptotic expansion for the relative entropy of a parametrized distribution and the corresponding mixture distribution. The limitation of this method is that only a weak converse for the variational distance can be shown. We develop new techniques to achieve vanishing errors and we also prove strong converses for all our statements. The latter means that even if the code is allowed to have a non-vanishing error, its length must still be at least $\frac{d}{2}\log n$.

This is joint work with Prof. Masahito Hayashi (Graduate School of Mathematics, Nagoya University and Center for Quantum Technologies, NUS


 

The Information Theory Forum (IT-Forum) at Stanford ISL is an interdisciplinary academic forum which focuses on mathematical aspects of information processing. With a primary emphasis on information theory, we also welcome researchers from signal processing, learning and statistical inference, control and optimization to deliver talks at our forum. We also warmly welcome industrial affiliates in the above fields. The forum is typically held in Packard 202 every Friday at 1:00 pm during the academic year.

The Information Theory Forum is organized by graduate students Jiantao Jiao and Yanjun Han. To suggest speakers, please contact any of the students.

Date and Time: 
Monday, April 17, 2017 - 1:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Information Theory, Geometry, and Cover's Open Problem [IT-Forum]

Topic: 
Information Theory, Geometry, and Cover's Open Problem
Abstract / Description: 

Formulating the problem of determining the communication capacity of point-to-point channels as a problem in high-dimensional geometry is one of Shannon's most important insights that has led to the conception of information theory. However, such geometric insights have been limited to the point-to-point case, and have not been effectively utilized to attack network problems. In this talk, we present our recent work which develops a geometric approach to make progress on one of the central problems in network information theory, namely the capacity of the relay channel. In particular, consider a memoryless relay channel, where the channel from the relay to the destination is an isolated bit pipe of capacity C0. Let C(C0) denote the capacity of this channel as a function of C0. What is the critical value of C0 such that C(C0) first equals C(infinity)? This is a long-standing open problem posed by Cover and named ''The Capacity of the Relay Channel,'' in Open Problems in Communication and Computation, Springer-Verlag, 1987. In this talk, we answer this question in the Gaussian case and show that C0 can not equal to C(infinity) unless C0=infinity, regardless of the SNR of the Gaussian channels, while the cut-set bound would suggest that C(infinity) can be achieved at finite C0. The key step in our proof is a strengthening of the isoperimetric inequality on a high-dimensional sphere, which we use to develop a packing argument on a spherical cap that resembles Shannon's sphere packing idea for point-to-point channels.

Joint work with Leighton Barnes and Ayfer Ozgur.


 

The Information Theory Forum (IT-Forum) at Stanford ISL is an interdisciplinary academic forum which focuses on mathematical aspects of information processing. With a primary emphasis on information theory, we also welcome researchers from signal processing, learning and statistical inference, control and optimization to deliver talks at our forum. We also warmly welcome industrial affiliates in the above fields. The forum is typically held in Packard 202 every Friday at 1:00 pm during the academic year.

The Information Theory Forum is organized by graduate students Jiantao Jiao and Yanjun Han. To suggest speakers, please contact any of the students.

Date and Time: 
Friday, February 24, 2017 - 1:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Codes and card tricks: Magic for adversarial crowds [IT-Forum]

Topic: 
Codes and card tricks: Magic for adversarial crowds
Abstract / Description: 

Rated by Ron Graham as a top-10 mathematical card trick of the 20th century, Diaconis' mind reader is a magic that involves the interaction with five collaborative volunteers. Inspired by this, we perform a similar card trick in this talk with the upgrade to tolerate bluffing volunteers. The theory behind this trick will be used to develop fundamental limits as well as code constructions for faster delay estimation in positioning systems.

This is a joint work with Sihuang Hu and Ofer Shayevitz (https://arxiv.org/abs/1605.09038).

Date and Time: 
Friday, January 27, 2017 - 1:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

On Two Problems in Coded Statistical Inference [IT-Forum]

Topic: 
On Two Problems in Coded Statistical Inference
Abstract / Description: 

While statistical inference and information theory are deeply related fields, problems which lie at the intersection of both disciplines usually fall between the two stools, and lack definitive answers. In this talk, I will discuss recent advances in two such problems.

In the first part of the talk, I will discuss a distributed hypothesis testing problem, in which the hypotheses regard the joint statistics of two sequences, one available to the decision function directly (as side information), while the other is conveyed through a limited-rate link. The goal is to design a system which obtains the optimal trade-off between the false-alarm and misdetection exponents. I will define a notion of "channel detection codes", and show that the optimal exponents of the distributed hypothesis testing problem is directly related to the exponents of these codes. Then, I will discuss a few bounds on the exponents of channel detection codes, as well as prospective improvements. This approach has a two merits over previous works: It is suitable for any pair of memoryless joint distributions, and it provides bounds on the entire false-alarm/misdetection curve, rather than just bounds on its boundary points (Stein's exponent).

In the second part of the talk (time permitting), I will discuss a parameter estimation problem over an additive Gaussian noise channel with bandlimited input. In case one is allowed to design both the modulator and the estimator, the absolute \$alpha$-th moment of the estimation error can decrease exponentially with the transmission time. I will discuss several new upper (converse) bounds for the optimal decrease rate.

Joint work with Yuval Kochman (Hebrew university) and Neri Merhav (Technion).


 

The Information Theory Forum (IT-Forum) at Stanford ISL is an interdisciplinary academic forum which focuses on mathematical aspects of information processing. With a primary emphasis on information theory, we also welcome researchers from signal processing, learning and statistical inference, control and optimization to deliver talks at our forum. We also warmly welcome industrial affiliates in the above fields. The forum is typically held in Packard 202 every Friday at 1:00 pm during the academic year.

The Information Theory Forum is organized by graduate students Jiantao Jiao and Yanjun Han. To suggest speakers, please contact any of the students.

Date and Time: 
Friday, February 17, 2017 - 1:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Semantic security versus active adversaries and wiretap channels with random parameters [IT-Forum]

Topic: 
Semantic security versus active adversaries and wiretap channels with random parameters
Abstract / Description: 

Physical Layer Security (PLS) guarantees protection against computationally-unlimited eavesdroppers without using a key. These guarantees come at the price of an unrealistic assumption that the eavesdropper's channel is fully known to the legitimate parties. Furthermore, typical PLS metrics are incompatible with the features of the data they are designed to protect. For these reasons, PLS has found limited use in practice despite its various benefits. By means of a novel and stronger version of Wyner's soft-covering lemma, we upgrade IT security proofs to the stronger and more practically viable semantic-security metric, while removing the 'known eavesdropper channel' assumption. As applications we derive the semantic-security capacity of the type constrained arbitrarily varying wiretap channel (WTC), and as its special case, solve the problem of the WTC of type II with a noisy main channel -- a problem by Ozarow and Wyner that was open since 1984. The scenario where the state sequence is random (rather than arbitrary) is also considered. We construct a simple semantically-secure superposition code that strictly outperforms the best previously known achievable rates. The construction implicitly includes a key agreement phase (by means of the random and i.i.d. state sequence) that is crucial for the aforementioned improvement.


 

The Information Theory Forum (IT-Forum) at Stanford ISL is an interdisciplinary academic forum which focuses on mathematical aspects of information processing. With a primary emphasis on information theory, we also welcome researchers from signal processing, learning and statistical inference, control and optimization to deliver talks at our forum. We also warmly welcome industrial affiliates in the above fields. The forum is typically held in Packard 202 every Friday at 1:00 pm during the academic year.

The Information Theory Forum is organized by graduate students Jiantao Jiao and Yanjun Han. To suggest speakers, please contact any of the students.

Date and Time: 
Friday, February 10, 2017 - 1:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Information-theoretic tradeoffs in control [IT-Forum]

Topic: 
Information-theoretic tradeoffs in control
Abstract / Description: 

Consider a distributed control problem with a communication channel connecting the observer of a linear stochastic system to the controller. The goal of the controller is to minimize a quadratic cost function in the state variables and control signal, known as the linear quadratic regulator (LQR). We study the fundamental tradeoff between the communication rate r bits/sec and the limsup of the expected cost b.

We consider an information-theoretic rate-cost function, which quantifies the minimum mutual information between the channel input and output, given the past, that is compatible with a target LQR cost. We provide a lower (converse) bound to the rate-cost function, which applies as long as the system noise has a probability density function, and which holds for a general class of codes that can take full advantage of the memory of the data observed so far and that are not constrained to have any particular structure. The rate-cost function has operational significance in multiple scenarios of interest: among other, it allows us to lower bound the minimum communication rate for fixed and variable length quantization, and for control over a noisy channel.

Perhaps surprisingly, the bound can be approached by a simple variable-length lattice quantization scheme, as long as the system noise satisfies a smoothness condition. The quantization scheme only quantizes the innovation, that is, the difference between the controller's belief about the current state and the encoder's state estimate. To prove that this simple scheme is almost as good as the optimum if the target cost is not too large, we derive a new nonasymptotic upper bound on the entropy of a lattice quantizer in terms of the Shannon lower bound to rate-distortion function and a smoothness parameter of the source.


 The Information Theory Forum (IT-Forum) at Stanford ISL is an interdisciplinary academic forum which focuses on mathematical aspects of information processing. With a primary emphasis on information theory, we also welcome researchers from signal processing, learning and statistical inference, control and optimization to deliver talks at our forum. We also warmly welcome industrial affiliates in the above fields. The forum is typically held in Packard 202 every Friday at 1:00 pm during the academic year.

The Information Theory Forum is organized by graduate students Jiantao Jiao and Yanjun Han. To suggest speakers, please contact any of the students.

Date and Time: 
Friday, March 3, 2017 - 1:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Bayesian Optimization and other Bad Ideas for Hyperparameter Optimization [IT Forum]

Topic: 
Bayesian Optimization and other Bad Ideas for Hyperparameter Optimization
Abstract / Description: 

The performance of machine learning systems depends critically on tuning parameters that are difficult to set by standard optimization techniques. Such "hyperparameters"---including model architecture, regularization, and learning rates---are often tuned in an outer loop by black-box search methods evaluating performance on a holdout set. We formulate such hyperparameter tuning as a pure-exploration problem of deciding how many resources should be allocated to particular hyperparameter configurations. I will introduce our Hyperband algorithm for this framework and a theoretical analysis that demonstrates its ability to adapt to uncertain convergence rates and the dependency of hyperparameters on the validation loss. I will close with several experimental validations of Hyperband, including experiments on training deep networks where Hyperband outperforms state-of-the-art Bayesian optimization methods by an order of magnitude.


 

The Information Theory Forum (IT-Forum) at Stanford ISL is an interdisciplinary academic forum which focuses on mathematical aspects of information processing. With a primary emphasis on information theory, we also welcome researchers from signal processing, learning and statistical inference, control and optimization to deliver talks at our forum. We also warmly welcome industrial affiliates in the above fields. The forum is typically held in Packard 202 every Friday at 1:00 pm during the academic year.

The Information Theory Forum is organized by graduate students Jiantao Jiao and Yanjun Han. To suggest speakers, please contact any of the students.

Date and Time: 
Friday, January 20, 2017 - 1:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Security in Wireless Networks under Imperfect Channel Knowledge in Wireless Networks [IT Forum]

Topic: 
Security in Wireless Networks under Imperfect Channel Knowledge in Wireless Networks
Abstract / Description: 

In this talk we will explore the effect of delayed or no channel state information (CSI) on physical layer security in various wireless channel models. The assumption of perfect eavesdropper CSI being available at the transmitters, though commonly used in the literature as an idealization, is often impractical as it involves feedback of channel state measurements by the passive eavesdropper to the transmitters. Further, delay and network conditions in the feedback link may also impact the CSI quality available at the transmitters. We will discuss how such imperfections in the CSI available at the transmitters affect physical layer security in various channel models, including the wiretap channel with helpers, multiple access wiretap channels, interference channels with an eavesdropper and broadcast channels with confidential messages, determining, in most cases, the optimal secure degrees of freedom of the networks under imperfect CSI conditions.

Date and Time: 
Friday, January 13, 2017 - 1:15pm to 2:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Pages

Optics and Electronics Seminar

High Precision Motion Control 101: Tools for Emerging Applications [Stanford Optical Society]

Topic: 
High Precision Motion Control 101: Tools for Emerging Applications
Abstract / Description: 

Precision motion control is an important subset of automation, which encompasses a diverse array of applications. Many aspects of optical engineering research and development depend on the appropriate selection and use of sensors, actuators, and controllers. In precision motion projects, the actual needs may vary widely from the originally intended specifications.

Some of the most difficult tasks in optics research require complex multi-axis motion control methods. Some popular examples include Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing), Sample Positioning for Crystallography, and Alignment with Silicon Photonics. In this seminar we will address concepts and challenges in selecting actuator and sensing technologies, as well as the appropriate controller techniques. We will provide researchers with an ability to understand and apply the fundamental concepts for R&D precision motion projects and automation systems.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 1:25pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Scientific Visualization with Blender [Stanford Optical Society Workshop]

Topic: 
Scientific Visualization with Blender
Abstract / Description: 

Have you ever said to yourself: "I'm sure this paper would have been accepted if I had just included a pretty picture..."? The pretty pictures you often see gracing the cover of Nature can be made in a number of ways, from simple sketching in Powerpoint to full-blown 3D modeling. Among the numerous software packages available for 3D computer graphics is Blender, a free and open-source package that can be used for modeling, sculpting, animating, rendering, and more. In this hands-on workshop, I will introduce basic principles of operation for the modeling and rendering of objects in Blender. Together, we will create some simple models before diving into some advanced techniques that are necessary to make images like the one seen below. Are you the type of person that prefers working from the command line? Blender is built on Python, and can be directly manipulated from a Python console or script. I will show you how to perform some unique operations using a simple Python script, with an eye towards visualizing your own data in Blender. Are you simply looking for a method of converting a 2D image into a shiny 3D model? I will also show you how to take an SVG file and turn it into a 3D model in Blender that can be manipulated. This workshop is intended for people that are entirely unfamiliar with Blender software, but the concepts covered can easily be applied to any rendering software of your choice.

This is a hands-on workshop: bring your laptops, a keyboard with a numpad, and a mouse!

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 24, 2017 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm
Venue: 
-Venue information will be provided to registered attendees-

Supercontinuum Fiber lasers: Technology and Applications [Stanford Optical Society Seminar]

Topic: 
Supercontinuum Fiber lasers: Technology and Applications
Abstract / Description: 

In the 1970s, wide spectral broadening of intense laser light in a non-linear material, or supercontinuum generation, was first demonstrated in the laboratory. With the development of recent fiber and fiber laser technology, namely compact high power picosecond lasers and micro-structured Photonic Crystal Fiber (PCF) commercial supercontinuum lasers have become a reality. With a typical spectral bandwidth covering over 2000 nm and output powers exceeding 20W, these sources have proved an invaluable tool. In this talk, we will cover:

  • Fundamentals of how supercontinuum lasers work and the importance on the PCF design in tailoring the spectrum.
  • The properties of supercontinuum laser light and what make them unique sources.
  • The main applications today for supercontinuum laser in imaging, spectroscopy, Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) and illumination.
  • Supercontinuum technology roadmap and future applications
Date and Time: 
Monday, May 22, 2017 - 11:00am
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Always-On Vision Becomes a Reality [OSA Seminar]

Topic: 
Always-On Vision Becomes a Reality
Abstract / Description: 

Intelligent devices equipped with human-like senses such as always-on touch, audio and motion detection have enabled a variety of new use cases and applications, transforming the way we interact with each other and our surroundings. While the vast majority (>80%) of human insight comes through the eyes, enabling always-on vision (defined as < 1 mA power) for devices is challenging due to power-hungry hardware and the high complexity of inference algorithms. Qualcomm Research has pioneered an Always-on Computer Vision Module (CVM) combining innovations in the system architecture, ultra-low power design and dedicated hardware for vision algorithms running at the "edge." With low end-to-end power consumption, a tiny form factor and low cost, the CVM can be integrated into a wide range of battery- and line-powered devices (IoT, mobile, VR/AR, automotive, etc.), performing object detection, feature recognition, change/motion detection, and other tasks. Its processor performs all computation within the module itself and outputs metadata.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 4:15pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab

Topic: 
New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab
Abstract / Description: 

Lab experiments have long played an important role in behavioral science, in part because they allow for carefully designed tests of theory, and in part because randomized assignment facilitates identification of causal effects. At the same time, lab experiments have traditionally suffered from numerous constraints (e.g. short duration, small-scale, unrepresentative subjects, simplistic design, etc.) that limit their external validity. In this talk I describe how the web in general—and crowdsourcing sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in particular—allow researchers to create "virtual labs" in which they can conduct behavioral experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that far exceed what is possible in physical labs. To illustrate, I describe some recent experiments that showcase the advantages of virtual labs, as well as some of the limitations. I then discuss how this relatively new experimental capability may unfold in the future, along with some implications for social and behavioral science.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Insensitivity of Loss Systems under Randomized SQ(d) Algorithms [ISL Colloquium]

Topic: 
Insensitivity of Loss Systems under Randomized SQ(d) Algorithms
Abstract / Description: 

In many applications such as cloud computing, managing server farm resources etc. an incoming task or job has to be matched with an appropriate server in order to minimise the latency or blocking associated with the processing. Ideally the best choice would be to match a job to the fastest available server. However when there are thousands of servers requiring the information on all server tasks is an overkill.

Pioneered in the 1990's the idea of randomised sampling of a few servers was proposed by Vvedenskaya and Dobrushin in Russia and Mitzmenmacher in the US and popularised as the "power of two" schemes which basically means that sampling two servers randomly and sending the job to the "better" server (i.e. with the shortest queue, or most resources) provides most of the benefits of sampling all the servers.

In the talk I will discuss multi-server loss models under power-of-d routing scheme when service time distributions are general with finite mean. Previous works on these models assume that the service times are exponentially distributed and insensitivity was suggested through simulations. Showing insensitivity to service time distributions has remained an open problem. We address this problem by considering service time distributions as Mixed-Erlang distributions that are dense in the class of general distributions on (0, ∞). We derive the mean field equations (MFE) of the empirical distributions for the system and establish the existence and uniqueness of the fixed point of the MFE. Furthermore we show that the fixed point of the MFE corresponds to the fixed point obtained from the MFE corresponding to a system with exponential service times showing that the fixed point is insensitive to the distribution. Due to lack of uniformity of the mixed-Erlang convergence the true general case needs to be handled differently. I will conclude the case of the MFE with general service times showing that the MFE is now characterized by a pde whose stationary point coincides with the fixed point in the case with exponential service times.The techniques developed in this paper are applicable to study mean field limits for Markov processes on general state spaces and insensitivity properties of other queueing models.

Date and Time: 
Monday, March 20, 2017 - 3:00pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Quest for Energy Efficiency in Computing Technologies [Applied Physics 483 Optics & Electronics]

Topic: 
Quest for Energy Efficiency in Computing Technologies
Abstract / Description: 

As computing becomes increasingly pervasive in our daily life, it is generally recognized that energy efficiency will be one of the key design considerations for any future computing scheme. Consequently, significant research is currently ongoing on exploring new physics, material systems and system level designs to improve energy efficiency. In this talk, I shall discuss some of our recent progresses in this regard. Specifically, the physics of ordered and correlated systems allow for fundamental improvement of the energy efficiency when a transition happens between two distinguishable states. Our recent experiments show that this theoretical promise can indeed be realized in electronic devices. The resulting gain in energy efficiency could exceed orders of magnitude.

Date and Time: 
Monday, March 13, 2017 - 4:00pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Synopsys LightTools Hands-On Training [Optical Society Workshop]

Topic: 
Synopsys LightTools Hands-On Training
Abstract / Description: 

Capacity: 18 people

LightTools is a 3D optical engineering and design software product that supports virtual prototyping, simulation, optimization, and photorealistic renderings of illumination applications. Its unique design and analysis capabilities, combined with ease of use, support for rapid design iterations, and automatic system optimization, help to ensure the delivery of illumination designs according to specifications and schedule.

LightTools is used by industry leaders for engineering applications such as LEDs, displays, lighting, solar, automotive, head-mounted displays, projectors, etc.

Please read:

  • This is a hands-on interactive training session; you will need to actively participate.
  • The software runs on Windows. Therefore, you will need a computer that runs Windows for the training.
  • You should register only if you are absolutely sure that you can commit for the full 4-hours.
  • Since it is a hands-on session, the capacity is limited to 18 people. The first 18 people to RSVP will receive the download link, license information, and event location.
  • Please RSPV using the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DSHDMD5
Date and Time: 
Monday, February 27, 2017 - 1:00pm to 5:00pm

Data-driven, Interactive Scientific Articles in a Collaborative Environment with Authorea [OSA; WEE]

Topic: 
Data-driven, Interactive Scientific Articles in a Collaborative Environment with Authorea
Abstract / Description: 

Most tools that scientists use for the preparation of scholarly manuscripts, such as Microsoft Word and LaTeX, function offline and don't account for the digital-born nature of research objects. Further, most authoring tools in use today are not designed for collaboration. As scientific collaborations grow in size, research transparency and the attribution of scholarly credit are at stake. I will show how Authorea allows scientists to write rich data-driven manuscripts on the web; articles that natively offer readers a dynamic, interactive experience with an article's full text, images, data, and code, paving the way to increased data sharing, research reproducibility, and Open Science. I will also demonstrate how Authorea differs from Overleaf and ShareLaTeX.

 

Please bring your laptop to actively participate in the demo (suggested; not mandatory)

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, January 24, 2017 - 12:30pm
Venue: 
Spilker 143

OSA Special Seminar

Topic: 
Widely-Tunable High-Performance Lasers: From sophisticated optical set-ups to robust products
Abstract / Description: 

Unique manufacturing techniques enable the integration of complex optical set-ups, such as optical parametric oscillators (OPO), into highly stable products. We will discuss two such laser products that have been recently developed and released on the market: The Hübner C-WAVE, which is tunable in the visible (450-650nm) and NIR (900-1300nm); and the Cobolt Odin, which operates in the IR (2-5µm). The talk will focus on bringing new optical technology from the benchtop to market-ready products. We will also present performance data and application results from studies in atomic physics, single molecule and gas spectroscopy, and the characterization of integrated optical devices using the aforementioned products.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 10, 2016 - 4:15pm to 5:00pm
Venue: 
Spilker 232

Pages

SCIEN Talk

Computational Imaging for Robotic Vision [SCIEN]

Topic: 
Computational Imaging for Robotic Vision
Abstract / Description: 

This talk argues for combining the fields of robotic vision and computational imaging. Both consider the joint design of hardware and algorithms, but with dramatically different approaches and results. Roboticists seldom design their own cameras, and computational imaging seldom considers performance in terms of autonomous decision-making.The union of these fields considers whole-system design from optics to decisions. This yields impactful sensors offering greater autonomy and robustness, especially in challenging imaging conditions. Motivating examples are drawn from autonomous ground and underwater robotics, and the talk concludes with recent advances in the design and evaluation of novel cameras for robotics applications.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, June 7, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Carl Zeiss Smart Glasses [SCIEN Talk]

Topic: 
Carl Zeiss Smart Glasses
Abstract / Description: 

Kai Stroeder, Managing Director at Carl Zeiss Smart Optics GmbH, will talk about the Carl Zeiss Smart Glasses.

This will be an informal session with an introduction and prototype demo of the Smart Glasses and an open discussion about future directions and applications.

Date and Time: 
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 - 10:00am
Venue: 
Lucas Center for Imaging, P083

FusionNet: 3D Object Classification Using Multiple Data Representations [SCIEN]

Topic: 
FusionNet: 3D Object Classification Using Multiple Data Representations
Abstract / Description: 

High-quality 3D object recognition is an important component of many vision and robotics systems. We tackle the object recognition problem using two data representations: Volumetric representation, where the 3D object is discretized spatially as binary voxels - 1 if the voxel is occupied and 0 otherwise. Pixel representation where the 3D object is represented as a set of projected 2D pixel images. At the time of submission, we obtained leading results on the Princeton ModelNet challenge. Some of the best deep learning architectures for classifying 3D CAD models use Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs) on pixel representation, as seen on the ModelNet leaderboard. Diverging from this trend, we combine both the above representations and exploit them to learn new features. This approach yields a significantly better classifier than using either of the representations in isolation. To do this, we introduce new Volumetric CNN (V-CNN) architectures.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 31, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Hyperspectral Imaging Using Polarization Interferometry [SCIEN]

Topic: 
Hyperspectral Imaging Using Polarization Interferometry
Abstract / Description: 

Polarization interferometers are interferometers that utilize birefringent crystals in order to generate an optical path delay between two polarizations of light. In this talk I will describe how I have employed polarization interferometry to make two kinds of Fourier imaging spectrometers; in one case, by temporally scanning the optical path delay with a liquid crystal cell, and in the other, utilizing relative motion between scene and detector to spatially scan the optical path delay through a position-dependent wave plate.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Heterogeneous Computational Imaging [SCIEN Talk]

Topic: 
Heterogeneous Computational Imaging
Abstract / Description: 

Modern systems-on-a-chip (SoC) have many different types of processors that could be used in computational imaging. Unfortunately, they all have different programming models, and are thus difficult to optimize as a system. In this talk we discuss various standards (OpenCL, OpenVX) and domain-specific programming languages (Halide, Proximal) that make it easier to accelerate processing for computational imaging.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 3, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Deep Learning Imaging Applications [SCIEN Talk]

Topic: 
Deep Learning Imaging Applications
Abstract / Description: 

Deep learning has driven huge progress in visual object recognition in the last five years, but this is one aspect of its application to imaging. This talk will provided a brief overview deep learning and artificial neural networks in computer vision, before delving into wide range of application Google has pursued in this area. Topics will include image summarization, image augmentation, artistic style transfer, and medical diagnostics.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 26, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Monitorless Workspaces and Operating Rooms of the Future: Virtual/Augmented Reality through Multiharmonic Lock-In Amplifiers [SCIEN Talk]

Topic: 
Monitorless Workspaces and Operating Rooms of the Future: Virtual/Augmented Reality through Multiharmonic Lock-In Amplifiers
Abstract / Description: 

In my childhood I invented a new kind of lock-in amplifier and used it as the basis for the world's first wearable augmented reality computer (http://wearcam.org/par). This allowed me to see radio waves, sound waves, and electrical signals inside the human body, all aligned perfectly with the physical space in which they were present. I built this equipment into special electric eyeglasses that automatically adjusted their convergence and focus to match their surroundings. By shearing the spacetime continuum one sees a stroboscopic vision in coordinates in which the speed of light, sound, or wave propagation is exactly zero (http://wearcam.org/kineveillance.pdf), or slowed down, making these signals visible to radio engineers, sound engineers, neurosurgeons, and the like. See the attached picture of a violin attached to the desk in my office at Meta, where we're creating the future of computing based on Human-in-the-Loop Intelligence (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanistic_intelligence).

 

More Information: http://weartech.com/bio.htm

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 19, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Capturing the “Invisible”: Computational Imaging for Robust Sensing and Vision [SCIEN]

Topic: 
Capturing the “Invisible”: Computational Imaging for Robust Sensing and Vision
Abstract / Description: 

Imaging has become an essential part of how we communicate with each other, how autonomous agents sense the world and act independently, and how we research chemical reactions and biological processes. Today's imaging and computer vision systems, however, often fail in critical scenarios, for example in low light or in fog. This is due to ambiguity in the captured images, introduced partly by imperfect capture systems, such as cellphone optics and sensors, and partly present in the signal before measuring, such as photon shot noise. This ambiguity makes imaging with conventional cameras challenging, e.g. low-light cellphone imaging, and it makes high-level computer vision tasks difficult, such as scene segmentation and understanding.

In this talk, I will present several examples of algorithms that computationally resolve this ambiguity and make sensing and vision systems robust. These methods rely on three key ingredients: accurate probabilistic forward models, learned priors, and efficient large-scale optimization methods. In particular, I will show how to achieve better low-light imaging using cell-phones (beating Google's HDR+), and how to classify images at 3 lux (substantially outperforming very deep convolutional networks, such as the Inception-v4 architecture). Using a similar methodology, I will discuss ways to miniaturize existing camera systems by designing ultra-thin, focus-tunable diffractive optics. Finally, I will present new exotic imaging modalities which enable new applications at the forefront of vision and imaging, such as seeing through scattering media and imaging objects outside direct line of sight.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 12, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Workshop on Augmented and Mixed Reality [SCIEN]

Topic: 
Workshop on Augmented and Mixed Reality
Abstract / Description: 

This workshop will bring together scientists and engineers who are advancing sensor technologies, computer vision, machine learning, head-mounted displays and our understanding of human vision, and developers who are creating new and novel applications for augmented and mixed reality in retail, education, science and medicine.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 11, 2017 (All day)
Venue: 
Tressider Union

Practical Computer Vision for Self-Driving Cars [SCIEN]

Topic: 
Practical Computer Vision for Self-Driving Cars
Abstract / Description: 

Cruise is developing and testing a fleet of self driving cars on the streets of San Francisco. Getting these cars to drive is a hard engineering and science problem - this talk explains roughly how self driving cars work and how computer vision, from camera hardware to deep learning, helps make a self driving car go.

More Information: https://www.getcruise.com/
see also http://www.theverge.com/2017/1/19/14327954/gm-self-driving-car-cruise-chevy-bolt-video

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, April 5, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Pages

SmartGrid

Design, stability and control of ad-hoc microgrids [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Design, stability and control of ad-hoc microgrids
Abstract / Description: 

Microgrids are a promising and viable solution for integrating the distributed generation resources in future power systems. Similar to large-scale power systems, microgrids are prone to a range of instability mechanisms and are naturally fragile with respect to disturbances. However, existing planning and operation practices employed in large scale transmission grids usually cannot be downscaled to small low-voltage microgrids. This talk will discuss the concept of ad-hoc microgrids that allow for arbitrary interconnection and switching with guaranteed stability. Although the problem of microgrid stability and control has received a lot of attention in the last years, vast majority of existing works assumed that the network configuration is given and fixed. Moreover, only few works have accounted for electromagnetic delays that will be shown to play a critical role in the context of stability.

The talk will introduce a new mathematical framework for characterization and certification of stability in an ad-hoc setting and derive the formal design constraints for both DC and AC networks. In the context of low-voltage DC network, the corresponding derivations will employ the Brayton-Moser potential theory and result in simple conditions on load capacitances that guarantee both small-signal and transient stability. Whereas for AC microgrids, the singular perturbation analysis will be used to derive simple relations for the droop coefficient of neighboring networks. The talk will conclude with a discussion of key open problems and challenges.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, June 28, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 101

Research Perspectives on Smart Electric Distribution Systems [SLAC-Stanford SmartGrid]

Topic: 
Research Perspectives on Smart Electric Distribution Systems
Abstract / Description: 

Electric distribution systems are transforming from a traditionally passive element to an active component of the Smart Grid with a hitherto unprecedented availability of new technologies, data, control, and options for end-users to participate in the daily operations of the grid. To realize the full potential of this transformation there is a dire need for new architectures, markets, tools, techniques, and testbeds. In that regard, this talk presents a comprehensive approach based on cyber-physical-social system to energy management in the emerging smart distribution system with new research results from on-going efforts. Topics of aggregators, incentive pricing, customer-side intelligence, and sustainability metrics as well as aspects of current and future trends in this research will be addressed.

Date and Time: 
Friday, June 16, 2017 - 2:00pm
Venue: 
Y2E2 101

The New Utility: Basic Enabler of Sustainable and Resilient Electric Energy Services? [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
The New Utility: Basic Enabler of Sustainable and Resilient Electric Energy Services?
Abstract / Description: 

In this talk, we consider problems concerning the role of future utilities. Innovative operations and financial mechanisms are needed to transform utilities into future enablers of sustainable and resilient electric energy service providers. Both technical and financial issues on the road to modernizing today's utilities.

First, we illustrate on real-world operating problems limiting the penetration and utilization of distributed energy resources (DERs) and how these problems can be systematically solved using advanced automation and control. Automation represents a fundamental opportunity to overcome today's worst-case approach to electric energy services and offer more sustainable and resilient services. Mechanisms for better voltage support, power-electronics-based automation for stable operations systems and fast storage systems during abnormal conditions must be introduced. Although utilities should consider this approach as an alternative to building strong grids, some of these solutions are too complex for end users. Fortunately, there exists a win-win range of technological solutions by both utilities and end users. This is particularly the case when solutions are needed to operate these grids during natural disasters and cyber-attacks.

Second, we discuss financial roadblocks to deploy these promising technological innovations. We assess electricity markets in terms of their ability to enable DER integration at value. We also show how DERs can participate in electricity markets for energy and regulation during normal operations, but stress that there are no good mechanisms to value automation and storage. Utilities should move forward as providers of the last resort at value and be paid for taking the financial risks. If end users require uninterrupted clean services, market mechanisms must be put in place to give incentives to utilities to deploy effective technological solutions.


 

This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC
Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Shriram 104

Electric Vehicles in the Smart Grid: Optimization & Control [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Electric Vehicles in the Smart Grid: Optimization & Control
Abstract / Description: 

The rapid electrification of the transportation fleet imposes unprecedented demands on the electric grid. If controlled, however, these electric vehicles (EVs) provide an immense opportunity for smart grid services that enable renewable penetration and increased reliability. In this talk we discuss paradigms for aggregating and optimally controlling EV charging. Specifically, we discuss (i) aggregate modeling via partial differential equations, (ii) distributed optimization of large-scale EV fleets, (iii) and plug-and-play model predictive control in distribution networks. The talk closes with future perspectives for EVs in the Smart Grid.


This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC
Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Shriram 104

Toward Real-Time Monitoring, Look-Ahead Assessment and Forecasting Engine for Active Distribution Networks [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Toward Real-Time Monitoring, Look-Ahead Assessment and Forecasting Engine for Active Distribution Networks
Abstract / Description: 

United Kingdom Power Networks (UKPN) provides power to a quarter of the UK's population via its electricity distribution networks in London that span to the east and southeast of England. This talk will present an advanced distribution analytics power network tool (ADAPT) codeveloped by BSI and UKPN. ADAPT is an advanced real-time monitoring, state estimation platform, contingency analysis, corrective control. In addition, look ahead platform (30 minutes to 2 hours ahead) offers look-ahead assessment of the network taking the uncertainties of renewable energy into account. ADAPT completes with energy forecasting tools which provide input into forecasting future system cases (e.g. 1 hour ahead to 24 hours ahead). ADAPT has several key features such as: State Estimation, Power flow, Contingency Analysis, Interactive Single Line Diagram (132 kV, 33 kV, and external connections), Energy forecaster for load, solar, and wind, Corrective control for removing violations in the system. The ADAPT platform provides operators and engineers real-time situational awareness and facilitates network reliability management as new distributed generation comes online. It also enhances the capability of outage planners to minimize constraints placed on the output from distributed generators during the summer maintenance season and during any major construction and reconfiguration activities. The Look-Ahead mode allows engineers to include the uncertainty of renewable output as well as energy forecasting to produce cases with new renewable contingencies and alternate dispatch cases. Some challenges faced during the development of ADAPT will also be presented. A by-product of the tool's analysis capabilities can also identify root causes of system and component power losses as well as ways to minimize them. Some challenges and theoretical issues faced during the development of ADAPT will also be presented.


This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC
Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Shriram 104

Smart grids and energy systems [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Smart grids and energy systems
Abstract / Description: 

As the share of renewable energy becomes an increasing part of electricity generation, electric vehicles (EVs) have the potential to be used as virtual power plants (VPP) to provide reliable back-up power. This could generate additional profits for EV carsharing rental firms. We design a computational control mechanism for VPPs that decide whether EVs should be charging, discharging, or rented out. We validate our computational design by developing a discrete-event simulation platform based on real-time GPS information from 1,100 electric cars from Daimler's carsharing service Car2Go in San Diego, Amsterdam, and Stuttgart. We compute trading prices (bids and asks) for participating in secondary control reserve markets and investigate what effect the density of charging infrastructure, battery technology, and rental demand for vehicles have on the pay-off for the carsharing fleet. We show that VPPs can create sustainable revenue streams for electric vehicle carsharing fleets without compromising their rental business.

The theme of this quarter's Stanford SmartGrid seminar series is on smart grids and energy systems, scheduled to be held on Thursdays, with speakers from academic institutions and industry.


This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC
Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Shriram 104

Online Optimization of Virtual Power Plant [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Online Optimization of Virtual Power Plant
Abstract / Description: 

Traditional approaches for regulating and maintaining system frequency in power transmission systems leverage primary frequency response, automatic generation control (AGC), and regulation services provided by synchronous generators. In the future, on the other hand, distributed energy resources (DERs) at both utility level and in commercial/residential settings are envisioned to complement traditional generation-side capabilities at multiple time scales to aid frequency regulation and maintaining a reliable system operation. Aligned with this emerging vision, this talk considers a distribution system featuring DERs, and presents a system-theoretic optimization strategy for DERs that enables a distribution feeder to emulate a virtual power plant effectively providing services to the main grid at multiple temporal scales. An online distributed algorithm for DERs is designed to enable the active and reactive power at the feeder head to track given setpoints (e.g, dispatch, ramp, or AGC signals), while concurrently ensuring that electrical quantities are within given limits throughout the feeder. The design of the online algorithm leverages primal-dual gradient methods applied to pertinent minimax problems, and its stability is analyzed under a time-varying optimization formalism. The talk will also demonstrates how individual DERs can provide primary frequency response; particularly, power-frequency droop slopes for individual DERs can be designed so that the distribution feeder presents a guaranteed frequency-regulation characteristic at the feeder head.

 

The theme of this quarter's Stanford SmartGrid seminar series is on smart grids and energy systems, scheduled to be held on Thursdays, with speakers from academic institutions and industry.


This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC
Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Shriram 104

Smart grids and energy systems [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Smart grids and energy systems
Abstract / Description: 

Semidefinite Programming is met with increasing interest within the power systems community. Its most notable application to-date is a convex formulation of the AC optimal power flow problem. At the same time, semidefinite programs can be applied on LMI conditions to derive Lyapunov functions that guarantee power system stability. In this talk we will report on recent work both on power system stability and optimization. First, we will present a novel robust stability toolbox for power grid with its extensions to inertia mimicking and topology control. In that, the quadratic Lyapunov functions approach is introduced for transient stability assessment. Second, we will propose formulations for the integration of chance constraints for different types of uncertainty in the AC optimal power flow problem. We demonstrate our method with numerical examples, and we investigate the conditions to achieve zero relaxation gap.

 

The theme of this quarter's Stanford SmartGrid seminar series is on smart grids and energy systems, scheduled to be held on Thursdays, with speakers from academic institutions and industry.


This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC
Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 13, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Shriram 104

Power System Reliability with Integration of a Diverse Fleet of Generation Resources [SmartGrid Seminar]

Topic: 
Power System Reliability with Integration of a Diverse Fleet of Generation Resources
Abstract / Description: 

The electric power system has been experiencing a shift in its generation resource mix resulting from the retirement of conventional base load synchronous resources and the integration of a more diverse fleet of smaller sized resources with varying generation characteristics. As this transformation continues, there is a fundamental shift in the operational characteristics of the power system as a whole and thus potential reliability implications. In 2014, the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) created a task force on Essential Reliability Services (ERS) to identify the necessary operating characteristics to assure reliable operations of the North American electric grid. By 2015 frequency, voltage, and net demand ramping variability were recognized as the three essential building blocks of reliability. In December 2016, a paper on ERS sufficiency guidelines include frequency response, voltage limits, and ramping models that tend to vary by particular area and Balancing Authority. The ERS task force also studied the potential impact of a substantial penetration of distributed energy resources (DERs) that, in aggregate, could impact the reliability of the BPS. This industry presentation will focus on the measures identified by the ERS working group, and highlight the results from analysis performed using three years of historical data and three years of forward looking data. Additionally, an overview of the analysis performed by DER task force will be provided.


This quarter's speakers are renowned experts in power and energy systems, and we believe they will bring novel insights and fruitful discussions to Stanford. This seminar is offered as a 1 unit seminar course, CEE 272T/EE292T for interested students. This course can be repeated for credit for the students.

SmartGrid Seminar Organization Team:

  • Ram Rajagopal, Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Chin-Woo Tan, Director, Stanford Smart Grid Lab
  • Wenyuan Tang, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Yuting Ji, Postdoctoral Scholar, Civil and Environmental Engineering
  • Emre Kara, Associate Staff Scientist, SLAC
Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 6, 2017 - 1:30pm
Venue: 
Shriram 104

New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab

Topic: 
New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab
Abstract / Description: 

Lab experiments have long played an important role in behavioral science, in part because they allow for carefully designed tests of theory, and in part because randomized assignment facilitates identification of causal effects. At the same time, lab experiments have traditionally suffered from numerous constraints (e.g. short duration, small-scale, unrepresentative subjects, simplistic design, etc.) that limit their external validity. In this talk I describe how the web in general—and crowdsourcing sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in particular—allow researchers to create "virtual labs" in which they can conduct behavioral experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that far exceed what is possible in physical labs. To illustrate, I describe some recent experiments that showcase the advantages of virtual labs, as well as some of the limitations. I then discuss how this relatively new experimental capability may unfold in the future, along with some implications for social and behavioral science.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Pages

Stanford's NetSeminar

Claude E. Shannon's 100th Birthday

Topic: 
Centennial year of the 'Father of the Information Age'
Abstract / Description: 

From UCLA Shannon Centennial Celebration website:

Claude Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory". Shannon founded information theory and is perhaps equally well known for founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory. Shannon also laid the foundations of cryptography and did basic work on code breaking and secure telecommunications.

 

Events taking place around the world are listed at IEEE Information Theory Society.

Date and Time: 
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 12:00pm
Venue: 
N/A

NetSeminar

Topic: 
BlindBox: Deep Packet Inspection over Encrypted Traffic
Abstract / Description: 

SIGCOMM 2015, Joint work with: Justine Sherry, Chang Lan, and Sylvia Ratnasamy

Many network middleboxes perform deep packet inspection (DPI), a set of useful tasks which examine packet payloads. These tasks include intrusion detection (IDS), exfiltration detection, and parental filtering. However, a long-standing issue is that once packets are sent over HTTPS, middleboxes can no longer accomplish their tasks because the payloads are encrypted. Hence, one is faced with the choice of only one of two desirable properties: the functionality of middleboxes and the privacy of encryption.

We propose BlindBox, the first system that simultaneously provides both of these properties. The approach of BlindBox is to perform the deep-packet inspection directly on the encrypted traffic. BlindBox realizes this approach through a new protocol and new encryption schemes. We demonstrate that BlindBox enables applications such as IDS, exfiltration detection and parental filtering, and supports real rulesets from both open-source and industrial DPI systems. We implemented BlindBox and showed that it is practical for settings with long-lived HTTPS connections. Moreover, its core encryption scheme is 3-6 orders of magnitude faster than existing relevant cryptographic schemes.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

NetSeminar

Topic: 
Precise localization and high throughput backscatter using WiFi signals
Abstract / Description: 

Indoor localization holds great promise to enable applications like location-based advertising, indoor navigation, inventory monitoring and management. SpotFi is an accurate indoor localization system that can be deployed on commodity WiFi infrastructure. SpotFi only uses information that is already exposed by WiFi chips and does not require any hardware or firmware changes, yet achieves the same accuracy as state-of-the-art localization systems.

We then talk about BackFi, a novel communication system that enables high throughput, long range communication between very low power backscatter IoT sensors and WiFi APs using ambient WiFi transmissions as the excitation signal. We show via prototypes and experiments that it is possible to achieve communication rates of up to 5 Mbps at a range of 1 m and 1 Mbps at a range of 5 meters. Such performance is an order to three orders of magnitude better than the best known prior WiFi backscatter system.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, October 15, 2015 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Venue: 
Gates 104

NetSeminar

Topic: 
BlindBox: Deep Packet Inspection over Encrypted Traffic
Abstract / Description: 

SIGCOMM 2015, Joint work with: Justine Sherry, Chang Lan, and Sylvia Ratnasamy

Many network middleboxes perform deep packet inspection (DPI), a set of useful tasks which examine packet payloads. These tasks include intrusion detection (IDS), exfiltration detection, and parental filtering. However, a long-standing issue is that once packets are sent over HTTPS, middleboxes can no longer accomplish their tasks because the payloads are encrypted. Hence, one is faced with the choice of only one of two desirable properties: the functionality of middleboxes and the privacy of encryption.

We propose BlindBox, the first system that simultaneously provides both of these properties. The approach of BlindBox is to perform the deep-packet inspection directly on the encrypted traffic. BlindBox realizes this approach through a new protocol and new encryption schemes. We demonstrate that BlindBox enables applications such as IDS, exfiltration detection and parental filtering, and supports real rulesets from both open-source and industrial DPI systems. We implemented BlindBox and showed that it is practical for settings with long-lived HTTPS connections. Moreover, its core encryption scheme is 3-6 orders of magnitude faster than existing relevant cryptographic schemes.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 - 12:15pm to 1:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

Pages

Statistics and Probability Seminars

New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab

Topic: 
New Directions in Management Science & Engineering: A Brief History of the Virtual Lab
Abstract / Description: 

Lab experiments have long played an important role in behavioral science, in part because they allow for carefully designed tests of theory, and in part because randomized assignment facilitates identification of causal effects. At the same time, lab experiments have traditionally suffered from numerous constraints (e.g. short duration, small-scale, unrepresentative subjects, simplistic design, etc.) that limit their external validity. In this talk I describe how the web in general—and crowdsourcing sites like Amazon's Mechanical Turk in particular—allow researchers to create "virtual labs" in which they can conduct behavioral experiments of a scale, duration, and realism that far exceed what is possible in physical labs. To illustrate, I describe some recent experiments that showcase the advantages of virtual labs, as well as some of the limitations. I then discuss how this relatively new experimental capability may unfold in the future, along with some implications for social and behavioral science.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 12:15pm
Venue: 
Packard 101

Statistics Seminar

Topic: 
Brownian Regularity for the Airy Line Ensemble
Abstract / Description: 

The Airy line ensemble is a positive-integer indexed ordered system of continuous random curves on the real line whose finite dimensional distributions are given by the multi-line Airy process. It is a natural object in the KPZ universality class: for example, its highest curve, the Airy2 process, describes after the subtraction of a parabola the limiting law of the scaled weight of a geodesic running from the origin to a variable point on an anti-diagonal line in such problems as Poissonian last passage percolation. The Airy line ensemble enjoys a simple and explicit spatial Markov property, the Brownian Gibbs property.


In this talk, I will discuss how this resampling property may be used to analyse the Airy line ensemble. Arising results include a close comparison between the ensemble's curves after affine shift and Brownian bridge. The Brownian Gibbs technique is also used to compute the value of a natural exponent describing the decay in probability for the existence of several near geodesics with common endpoints in Brownian last passage percolation, where the notion of "near" refers to a small deficit in scaled geodesic weight, with the parameter specifying this nearness tending to zero.

Date and Time: 
Monday, September 26, 2016 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Sequoia Hall, room 200

Claude E. Shannon's 100th Birthday

Topic: 
Centennial year of the 'Father of the Information Age'
Abstract / Description: 

From UCLA Shannon Centennial Celebration website:

Claude Shannon was an American mathematician, electrical engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory". Shannon founded information theory and is perhaps equally well known for founding both digital computer and digital circuit design theory. Shannon also laid the foundations of cryptography and did basic work on code breaking and secure telecommunications.

 

Events taking place around the world are listed at IEEE Information Theory Society.

Date and Time: 
Saturday, April 30, 2016 - 12:00pm
Venue: 
N/A

Probability Seminar

Topic: 
Upper tails and independence polynomials in sparse random graphs
Abstract / Description: 

The upper tail problem in the Erd˝os–R´enyi random graph G ∼ Gn,p is to estimate the probability that the number of copies of a graph H in G exceeds its expectation by a factor 1 + δ. Already, for the case of triangles, the order in the exponent of the tail probability was a long-standing open problem until fairly recently, when it was solved by Chatterjee (2012), and independently by DeMarco and Kahn (2012). Recently, Chatterjee and Dembo (2014) showed that in the sparse regime, the logarithm of the tail probability reduces to a natural variational problem on the space of weighted graphs. In this talk we derive the exact asymptotics of the tail probability by solving this variational problem for any fixed graph H. As it turns out, the leading order constant in the large deviation rate function is governed by the independence polynomial of H.


This is based on joint work with Shirshendu Ganguly, Eyal Lubetzky, and Yufei Zhao.


 

The Probability Seminars are held in Sequoia Hall, Room 200, at 4:30pm on Mondays. Refreshments are served at 4pm in the Lounge on the first floor.

Date and Time: 
Monday, January 11, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Sequoia Hall, Room 200

Probability Seminar

Topic: 
The Yang–Mills free energy
Abstract / Description: 

The construction of four-dimensional quantum Yang–Mills theories is a central open question in mathematical physics, famously posed as one of the millennium prize problems by the Clay Institute. While much progress has been made for the two dimensional problem, the techniques mostly break down in dimensions three and four. In this talk I will present a partial advance on this question, taking the program one step beyond the results proved in the Eighties.


 

The Probability Seminars are held in Sequoia Hall, Room 200, at 4:30pm on Mondays. Refreshments are served at 4pm in the Lounge on the first floor.

Date and Time: 
Monday, January 25, 2016 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm
Venue: 
Sequoia Hall, Room 200

Pages

SystemX

Towards Chip-Scale Power Management: A Circuits Perspective

Topic: 
Towards Chip-Scale Power Management: A Circuits Perspective
Abstract / Description: 

Full integration of power management circuits has been a vision and a goal of the power electronics and integrated circuits communities for many years, if not decades. However, while exponential semiconductor scaling has had a profound impact on data processing, storage, and communications, the same has not been true for circuits that process and delivery energy. On one hand, this is because power delivery circuits are constrained by the size and efficiency of passive components – inductors and capacitors – and thus by Maxwell's equations and fundamental material properties. Yet, a host of applications, spanning portable computing, IOT, automotive, and renewable energy demand small, lighter, cheaper, and more efficient solutions.

This talk will address some of the current trends relating to advances in active and passive components, as well as new circuit architectures and design paradigms that are positioned to open the pathway to mm-scale in monolithically-integrated power conversion. A particular focus will be on the switched capacitor approach – more specifically on switched capacitor circuits and architectures that can be operated in resonant modes or hybridized with a small inductive impedance. These circuits leverage the fundamental advantages of capacitors compared to inductors, such as much higher energy-density and better scalability. Yet, compared to a pure SC approach, the use of a small amount of magnetic energy storage can dramatically improve power-density, efficiency, and add capabilities for variable regulation.

The talk will present a generalized framework for comparison of arbitrary converter topologies based on a charge-multiplier approach. This will be used to highlight which topologies – some well-known, some yet to be explored – have good prospects for high-density integration. Several past integrated circuit prototypes will be highlighted that achieved records for efficiency and power density in bulk CMOS.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, June 8, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Allen 101X

A multimodality CMOS cellular interfacing array for holistic cellular characterizations and cell-based drug screening [SystemX Seminar]

Topic: 
A multimodality CMOS cellular interfacing array for holistic cellular characterizations and cell-based drug screening
Abstract / Description: 

Cells are highly complex systems that often exhibit multi-physics responses under external stimulus. To achieve holistic cellular characterizations, it is essential to create interfaces that can provide (1) single-cell resolution, (2) multi-modality interfacing with cells, (3) real-time two-way communication (sensing and actuation), (4) compatibility with high throughput massively parallel operations, and (5) possibility of production at commercial quantities. The nanometer-scale complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) process is a potential candidate to realize cell-microelectronics interfaces. Electronics-based computations and signal processing, such as machine learning methods, may drastically relax the requirement on the physical interface and lead to further pixel miniaturization.

In this talk, we will present several fully integrated multi-modality CMOS cellular joint sensor/actuator arrays with multiple sensing modalities in every array pixel to characterize different cell physiological responses, including extracellular voltage recording, cellular impedance mapping, optical detection with shadow imaging and bioluminescence sensing, and thermal monitoring. Each pixel also contains electrical voltage/current excitation for cellular stimulation. These reported CMOS cellular joint sensor/actuator arrays is composed up-to 22k multi-modality pixels on each chip with spatial resolution down to 17um*17um/pixel, achieving single-cell resolution. Multi-modality cellular sensing at the pixel level is supported, which enables holistic cell characterization and concurrent joint-modality physiological monitoring on the same cellular sample. Comprehensive biological experiments with different living cell samples demonstrate the functionality.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, June 1, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Allen 101X

Calibration and Dynamic Matching in Data Converters [SystemX Seminar]

Topic: 
Calibration and Dynamic Matching in Data Converters
Abstract / Description: 

In the early days of integrated data converters, calibration was limited to factory adjustments made with programmable fuses and lasers. As integration levels increased, on-chip recalibration outside the factory became possible. Initially, such on-chip calibration operated only in the foreground, interrupting the conversion of the desired input. Later, calibration expanded to allow operation in the background, that is, during normal conversion. Both foreground and background calibration were done at first by making adjustments to the analog circuits. A breakthrough occurred with the realization that analog-to-digital converters with redundancy can be calibrated entirely in the digital domain. This approach shifted design complexity to the digital domain and took advantage of the rapid scaling of digital circuits. Recently, dynamic matching techniques, which have been used effectively in oversampled converters, have been combined with digital background calibration in Nyquist converters. In practice, error-insensitive analog circuit design, calibration, and dynamic matching are all important. The designer's job is to find the best combination of these techniques to meet the requirements of a given application, often focusing on minimizing power dissipation. This talk will describe issues related to all of these techniques.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 25, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Allen 101X

Engineering Hope with Biomimetic Systems [SystemX Seminar]

Topic: 
Engineering Hope with Biomimetic Systems
Abstract / Description: 

Biomimetic system (neural prosthesis) research has progressed rapidly in the recent years fueled by the unique interdisciplinary efforts fusing engineering, medicine, and biology.  Biomimetic systems will offer viable solution and thus hope to those suffering with neural disorder diseases, which currently do not have curable solutions but potentially affect very large population of people worldwide. This talk will present the works of neural implants in Biomimetic Research Lab (BRL) at UCLA, including 1) to regain the eyesight for the blind; 2) to restore the motor function for the spinal cord injury; 3) to recover the cognition. I’ll particularly discuss about the creation, technical challenge/barrier, clinical trials, and regulatory approval of the retinal prosthesis.  The success of the retinal prosthesis suggests that the technology could be applied to other physiological problems.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 18, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX

Neuromorphic Computing with Resistive Switching Devices [SystemX Seminar]

Topic: 
Neuromorphic Computing with Resistive Switching Devices
Abstract / Description: 

Neuromorphic computing is a promising concept for low-power, energy-efficient spiking networks with the capability of self-learning, adaptation, and recognition of speech, gesture, and objects. Development of the neuromorphic computing technology is currently facing 2 main barriers: First, there is no comprehensive understanding how the brain really works; and second, there is no consensus about what technology might provide synaptic and neural circuits at the best tradeoff between cost, power consumption, and performance. The resistive switching memory (RRAM) is one of the main contender for neuromorphic components, thanks to its low current operation, small area and tunable resistance. Demonstration of brain-inspired learning feature with RRAM synapses may pave the way for future high performance, low cost neuromorphic processor and brain-in-a-chip.

This talk will report on the recent advances on neuromorphic hardware for unsupervised learning of visual patterns. First, I will describe a RRAM synapse capable of spike-timing dependent plasticity (STDP) with one-transistor/one-resistor (1T1R) structure. Second, I will show the learning and recognition capability of a neuromorphic chip with a microcontroller neuron and an array of RRAM synapses. Learning of single/multiple patterns, tracking of patterns, and recognition will be shown in hardware. These results support RRAM as a promising technology for future neuromorphic processors.

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 17, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX

Dynamics of Exponentials in Circuits and Systems [SystemX Seminar]

Topic: 
Dynamics of Exponentials in Circuits and Systems
Abstract / Description: 

Astonishing progress in semiconductor devices, circuits, and manufacturing has prompted an unprecedented revolution in electronics. "Things" are getting smarter and more connected, with higher semiconductor content. Smart personal electronics, autonomous systems, and smart factories are prime examples.

These impressive developments are fueled by the power of exponentials: CMOS scaling, efficiency of semiconductor manufacturing, the bandwidth efficiency of communication systems, and total network capacity have all been doubling almost every two years! The sheer scaling of CMOS has dominated the challenges and promises of advanced IC design. Advanced digital-intensive designs count on denser, faster, and cheaper switches. Along the way, analog and RF designs have creatively embraced the challenge of implementing analog topologies on digitally-optimized processes.

The present slowdown of the CMOS scaling trend brings exciting opportunities for "multidimensional innovations" in circuits and systems: The continuing demand for higher performance, in many applications, will further tilt solutions toward creative system and circuit topologies. Many emerging complementary technologies such as MEMS-based sensors and timing references, III-V devices, high-performance SiGe devices, and silicon photonics, will not necessarily integrate with CMOS monolithically. However, they enable opportunities for system repartitioning and new circuit topologies in applications such as sensing, power, high voltage, high-performance RF, and precision timing.

CMOS is here to stay for the foreseeable future! It will simply coexist synergistically with emerging technologies. This talk will discuss opportunities in "multi-dimensional innovation" that will make the future of the field less predictable.....but even more interesting and exciting!"

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 4, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

Secrets of Successful Technology Start-ups that B-schools may have missed [SystemX Seminar]

Topic: 
Secrets of Successful Technology Start-ups that B-schools may have missed
Abstract / Description: 

Start-up companies offer entrepreneurs fulfillment for their innovative product concepts, not to mention recognition and the promise of monetary rewards. However, no matter how well conceived or financed, most perish. Not because they lack great ideas, or aren't passionate enough or committed to their company and its products. Many of these companies succumb to the inexperience of the founding team and the people they subsequently bring aboard. Business schools have certainly helped distill the lessons of many successes and failures into a formulistic guideline for those intent on venturing forward. One wise sage offered, "A short cut to success is to emulate those who have succeeded". Today we will sample some insights and factors that propelled five consecutive Semiconductor startups towards success. All the companies built sizeable businesses and were rewarded by going public in the market place with an IPO.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

Carbon Nanotube for Logic Transistor and More than Moore Applications [SystemX Seminar]

Topic: 
Carbon Nanotube for Logic Transistor and More than Moore Applications
Abstract / Description: 

We have witnessed a tremendous information technology revolution originated from the relentless scaling of Si CMOS devices. The conventional homogeneous scaling of silicon devices has become very difficult. Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are promising to replace silicon as the channel material for high-performance electronics near the end of silicon scaling roadmap, with their superb electrical properties, intrinsic ultrathin body, and nearly transparent contact with certain metals. In this talk, I will cover recent CNT progress within IBM Research for extending logic roadmap as well as few examples for beyond logic applications, such as physical unclonable function and mid-IR to THz detection utilizing unique properties from CNTs.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, May 11, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
Packard 202

Secrets of Successful Technology Start-ups [SystemX Seminar EE310]

Topic: 
Secrets of Successful Technology Start-ups
Abstract / Description: 

Start-up companies offer entrepreneurs fulfillment for their innovative product concepts, not to mention recognition and the promise of monetary rewards. However, no matter how well conceived or financed, most perish. Not because they lack great ideas, or aren't passionate enough or committed to their company and its products. Many of these companies succumb to the inexperience of the founding team and the people they subsequently bring aboard. Business schools have certainly helped distill the lessons of many successes and failures into a formulistic guideline for those intent on venturing forward. One wise sage offered, "A short cut to success is to emulate those who have succeeded". Today we will sample some insights and factors that propelled five consecutive Semiconductor startups towards success. All the companies built sizeable businesses and were rewarded by going public in the market place with an IPO.


The EE310 seminar series is intended to offer students a window onto the research directions of the SystemX industrial affiliates and associated faculty.

Offers a series of talks covering emerging topics in contemporary hardware/software systems design. Attention will be paid to the key building blocks of sensors, processing elements and wired/wireless communications, as well as their foundations in semiconductor technology, SoC construction, and physical assembly as informed by the SystemX Focus Areas. The series will draw upon distinguished engineering speakers from both industry and academia who are involved at all levels of the technology stack and the applications that are only now becoming possible.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 27, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

Wi-Fi The R/Evolution Continues [SystemX Seminar EE310]

Topic: 
Wi-Fi The R/Evolution Continues
Abstract / Description: 

September 2015 marked the 25th anniversary of IEEE 802.11, commonly referred to as Wi-Fi. Over these 25 years, Wi-Fi has ascended from a technology that enabled computers to wirelessly transfer data at 2 Mbps to winning a spot in Maslow's pyramid as the most basic human need. IEEE 802.11 got here, as Lewis Carroll suggested, by running twice as fast. The standard has continuously advanced itself by introducing amendments, such as 802.11n, 802.11ac and 802.11ax. These amendments support higher data rates to meet ever-increasing application demands through the adoption of higher-order modulation schemes such as 64-, 256-, and 1024-QAM, by supporting channel bonding up to 160 MHz and by employing MIMO techniques to transmit multiple streams to single client. In addition to increasing the peak data rate, efforts have been made to improve the spectral efficiency, which characterizes how well the system uses the available spectrum. Multi-user techniques such as MU-MIMO and OFDMA have been introduced in 802.11ac and 802.11ax to improve spectral efficiency and network capacity.

This talk will provide an overview of the upcoming 802.11ax standard, particularly the features that enable it to achieve higher capacity. Given its ubiquitous presence, WiFi, by enabling indoor locationing, has also emerged as a tool to improve operational efficiency and engage with customers like never before. WiFi Alliance recently launched a certification program to deliver high accuracy indoor locationing. We will also provide a survey of WiFi-based indoor locationing technologies,as well as the applications enabled.


 

The EE310 seminar series is intended to offer students a window onto the research directions of the SystemX industrial affiliates and associated faculty.

Offers a series of talks covering emerging topics in contemporary hardware/software systems design. Attention will be paid to the key building blocks of sensors, processing elements and wired/wireless communications, as well as their foundations in semiconductor technology, SoC construction, and physical assembly as informed by the SystemX Focus Areas. The series will draw upon distinguished engineering speakers from both industry and academia who are involved at all levels of the technology stack and the applications that are only now becoming possible.

Date and Time: 
Thursday, April 20, 2017 - 4:30pm
Venue: 
AllenX Auditorium

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