November 2016

Professor Andrea Goldsmith and post-doc fellow Nariman Farsad are currently looking into how chemical communication could advance nanotechnology.

Goldsmith and Farsad's research aims to create a system that uses chemicals to transmit messages. Instead of zeros and ones, their system uses an acid-base combination. The complications of this type of system are largely due to the fact that it's completely new. Goldsmith has spent her entire career working in wireless communication. Chemical messaging offers a new twist on familiar problems.

One potential of chemical-based data exchange is that it could be self-powered, traveling throughout the body harmlessly – and undetectable by outside devices. "This is one of the most important potential applications for this type of project," Farsad said. "It could enable the emergence of these tiny devices that are working together, talking together and doing useful things."

While working to improve their current chemical texting system, Goldsmith and Farsad are also collaborating with two bioengineering groups at Stanford to make human body-friendly chemical messaging a reality.


Excerpted from Stanford News. Full article.

November 2016

Yanjun Han (PhD candidate) and co-authors Jiantao Jiao (PhD candidate) and Professor Tsachy Weissman received the ISITA 2016 Student Paper Award. The award was announced at the International Symposium on Information Theory and its Applications (ISITA2016) event in Monterey, California.

Their paper is titled, "Minimax Rate-Optimal Estimation of KL Divergence between Discrete Distributions."

Congratulations to Yanjun, Jiantao and Tsachy!



November 2016

A team led by Jim Harris and Thomas Jaramillo, an associate professor of chemical engineering and of photon science, has made a significant improvement to the efficiency of solar energy. In work published in Nature Communications, they were able to capture and store 30 percent of the energy captured from sunlight into stored hydrogen, beating the prior record of 24.4 percent.

Solar energy has the potential to provide abundant power, but only if scientists solve two key issues: storing the energy for use at all hours, particularly at night, and making the technology more cost effective. The interdisciplinary team has made significant strides toward solving the storage issue, demonstrating the most efficient means yet of storing electricity captured from sunlight in the form of chemical bonds. If the team can find a way of lowering the cost of their technology, they say it would be a huge step toward making solar power a viable alternative to current, more polluting energy sources.

The basic science behind the team's approach is well understood: Use the electricity captured from sunlight to split water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen gas. That stored energy can be recovered later in different ways: by recombining the hydrogen and oxygen into water to release electricity again, or by burning the hydrogen gas in an internal combustion engine, similar to those running on petroleum products today.

"It took specialists in different fields to do what none of us could have done alone," Harris said. "That's one of the lessons of this result: There is no single fix. How everything links together is the key."


Jim Harris is the James and Elenor Chesebrough Professor in the School of Engineering, professor, by courtesy, of applied physics and of materials science and engineering, a member of Stanford Bio-X and of the Stanford Neurosciences Institute, and an affiliate of the Precourt Institute for Energy and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. Jamarillo is also an affiliate of the Precourt Institute for Energy.


This article is adapted from the Stanford Report. Read full article

October 2016

Congratulations to David H. Lin (PhD '16), Eshan Singh (PhD candidate), and Professor Subhasish Mitra for receiving the 2015 IEEE International Test Conference (ITC) Best Paper Award.

To encourage excellence in its technical program, ITC presents awards to authors of outstanding papers presented at ITC and published in the proceedings. In determining award-winning papers, the ITC Awards Selection Committee considers the quality of the papers as published in the Proceedings and as presented at the conference technical sessions. The committee's decisions are based on responses by conference attendees as recorded on session rating cards and on the observations and recommendations of the ITC Program Committee.

Their paper, "A Structured Approach to Post-Silicon Validation and Debug using Symbolic Quick Error Detection", has been selected as the Best Paper for International Test Conference (ITC).

The Best Paper Award will be presented to Mitra and co-authors during the plenary session at ITC on November 15th.


Congratulations to all!

October 2016


A dozen teams of EE students came together Friday afternoon to compete in EE's Annual Pumpkin Carving Contest.

This year's event was hosted in the Packard Atrium, with plenty of candy, refreshments, and music. Judges included student services staff Meo Kittiwanich and Teresa Nguyen, graduate advisor Kai Zang, and Professor Mary Wootters. Judging criteria included completeness, technical skill, creativity, and costumes.

The timed competition resulted in a variety of creative and clever pumpkins, from classic carved and painted pumpkins to IoT trick-or-treater sensing pumpkins that send texts to alert their presence at the door.

  • Third Place went to the "PBBB&J" team of Nicole Grimwood, Nicolo Maganzini, Sophia Williams, and Tong Mu.
  • Second place went to "Pumpkin-Bombking" Team, whose members are Anqi Ji, Elias, Wang, Stanislav Fort, and Philip Lee.
  • The First place team was "2ndPlace4ever," Chris Vassos, Stephania Hsu, Lisa Yamada, and Abubakar Abid.


Happy HallowEEn!

Prof. Sachin Katti (pictured left) and Dinesh Bharadia (pictured right) at EE commencement 2016
October 2016

The Marconi Society honors Dinesh Bharadia (PhD '16) with the 2016 Paul Baran Young Scholar Award. Dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and the internet, the Marconi Society will honor four scholars for their outstanding research and innovations in networking. The 2016 Paul Baran Young Scholars Awards will be presented at a gala on November 2 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA.

"Bharadia's research disproved a long-held assumption that, it is generally not possible for a radio to receive and transmit on the same frequency band because of the interference that results," reads the announcement.

The self-interference cancellation filter Bharadia developed also unleashed the potential for many more applications. The unique architecture had to allow cancellation in all environments. According to Bharadia's PhD advisor, Sachin Katti, "Dinesh's work enables a whole host of new applications, from extremely low-power Internet of Things connectivity to motion tracking. It has the potential to be used for important future applications such as building novel wireless imaging that can enable accuracy in driverless cars during severe weather scenarios, helping blind people to navigate indoors, and much more."

Bharadia thinks receiving the Marconi Young Scholar award is especially rewarding because his work has a direct connection to Marconi. "Marconi invented the radio and I was able to make radios full-duplex," he says. "It's fitting that this work should be recognized by the Marconi Society."


Hearty congratulations to Dinesh Bharadia!


Excerts from the Marconi Society press release.

June 2016

Congratulations to Tim Anderson and José Padovani!


Tim (EE and ICME PhD candidate) and José (EE PhD '16) were recognized for their outstanding teaching. They each were awarded the 2016 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award. The award program recognizes outstanding instruction by TA's in the Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering schools.

Nominated by faculty, peers, and previous students, each received a $500 stipend and certificate.

About Tim

Tim is a committed instructor. He has taught, tutored, or assisted with Computational and Mathematical Engineering (CME) 102, 108 and 100. His nominators emphasized his valuable contribution in advancing equity via ACE (Additional Calculus for Engineers) in CME. Tim is a first-year PhD student, having completed his EE BS earlier in 2016.

A few comments from Tim's nomination:

PhD candidate Tim Anderson
  • Tim did a phenomenal job not only reviewing and explaining material in-depth, but going the extra mile in explaining industry and major related applications for nearly every topic.
  • I really benefited from the extra practice, and having a good relationship with Tim.
  • ACE has greatly helped me with my academic experiences so far in STEM: developing better study habits, giving me extra help, and gaining confidence in my abilities.






About José

José Padovani
José Padovani was the Teaching Assistant and head lab TA for EE101A. Being the first to incorporate the course's new curriculum, he rewrote the exercises, synchronizing them with the lectures, while incorporating feedback from students. EE101A's enrollment climbed significantly with José's insights and improvements.

Excerpts from José's nomination:

  • He is genuinely dedicated to making sure that the labs ran smoothly, and that students truly learn from the exercises.
  • José's mini-tutorials helped all the students be better prepared for each section, resulting in an improved learning experience for students.
  • He doesn't leave until he's sure that everyone 'gets it'.


Please join us in recognizing Tim and José – their efforts are greatly valued!

October 2016

Stephen P. Boyd has been named as a 2016 INFORMS Fellow. The Fellow Award is reserved for distinguished individuals who have demonstrated outstanding and exceptional accomplishments in operations research and the management sciences.

His citation reads, "For exceptional teaching and broad dissemination of convex optimization and outstanding research leading to innovative formulations and algorithms for problems across a wide array of disciplines."

Stephen has received many awards and honors for his research in control systems engineering and optimization. In 2016, he also received Stanford's highest teaching honor, the Walter J. Gores teaching award for his signature course, Convex Optimization. He is the author of many research articles and three books: Convex Optimization (with Lieven Vandenberghe, 2004), Linear Matrix Inequalities in System and Control Theory (with L. El Ghaoui, E. Feron, and V. Balakrishnan, 1994), and Linear Controller Design: Limits of Performance (with Craig Barratt, 1991). His group has produced many open source tools, including CVX (with Michael Grant), CVXPY (with Steven Diamond) and Convex.jl (with Madeleine Udell and others), widely used parser-solvers for convex optimization.

Stephen is the Samsung Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Information Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. He has courtesy appointments in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, and is member of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. His current research focus is on convex optimization applications in control, signal processing, finance, and circuit design.


Please join us in congratulating Stephen for this well-deserved honor.



October 2016

Excerpted from Dean Drell's announcement:
President Emeritus John L. Hennessy has been appointed as the inaugural James F. Gibbons Professor in the School of Engineering. This chair was established with an endowed gift from James and Lynn Gibbons. The chair carries with it a preference for faculty who have demonstrated leadership and show leadership potential that will serve the ideals of Stanford University.

John joined Stanford's faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. From 1983 to 1993, he was director of the Computer Systems Laboratory. He served as chair of the computer science department from 1994 to 1996, and later that year was named dean of the School of Engineering. In 1999, he was named provost before serving as Stanford University president from 2000 to 2016.

A pioneer in computer architecture, John and a team of researchers developed the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC), a technology that revolutionized the computer industry by increasing performance while reducing costs. During a sabbatical leave from Stanford in 1984, he co-founded MIPS Computer Systems (now MIPS Technologies), which designs microprocessors. John co-authored two widely used textbooks on computer architecture: Computer Organization and Design: The Hardware/Software Interface and Computer Architecture: A Quantitative Approach.

John received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Villanova University in 1973 and a master's degree and PhD in computer science from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, in 1975 and 1977, respectively.

He has served on the boards of directors at Cisco Systems since 2002 and Google since 2004, and was on the Atheros board of directors from 1998 to 2010.

John is a recipient of many awards, including the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Medal of Honor, the Founders Award from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Seymour Cray Computer Engineering Award from the IEEE Computer Society. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow at the IEEE, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Computer History Museum.

John's far-reaching impact on engineering, his visionary leadership in transforming higher education, and his commitment to preserving and enhancing Stanford's excellence as one of the world's leading research and teaching institutions make him a quintessential leader and the ideal match for this endowed chair.


Please join us in congratulating John!

October 2016

Excerpted from Dean Drell's announcement:

Mendel Rosenblum has been appointed as the inaugural DRC Professor in the School of Engineering. This professorship was established with an endowed gift from David Cheriton. The chair carries with it a preference for faculty whose academic focus is in experimental computer systems.

Mendel has been a member of the Stanford faculty since 1991. He currently serves as the faculty director of the Stanford Experimental Data Center Laboratory and the Stanford Computer Forum. His research is focused on system software, distributed systems, and computer architecture. Mendel has published research in the areas of disk storage management, computer simulation techniques, scalable operating system structure, virtualization computer security, and mobility.

A co-founder of VMware Inc., Mendel helped design and build virtualization technology for commodity computing platforms. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation's National Young Investigator Award, and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship. Additionally, he is the recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Computer Entrepreneur Award and Reynold B. Johnson Information Storage Systems Award. Mendel is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Mendel received a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Virginia in 1984, and a master's degree and PhD in computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989 and 1992, respectively.


Please join us in congratulating Mendel!


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