News

June 2016

Stephen P. Boyd was honored "for his signature course, Convex Optimization, which attracts more than 300 Stanford students each year, is taught at more than 100 universities and, over the past 20 years has had a profound influence on how researchers and engineers think about convex models to solve problems."

He was commended "for revolutionizing the way mathematical optimization is taught and applied in engineering and the social and natural sciences worldwide," and "for his new course on linear algebra for freshmen and sophomores – anticipated to become a cornerstone in undergraduate engineering mathematics."

Stephen will receive his award on Sunday, June 12, 2016 during the 125th Commencement ceremony.

The Gores Award is the University's highest award for excellence in teaching. The Walter J. Gores Awards recognize undergraduate and graduate teaching excellence. As the University's highest award for teaching, the Gores Award celebrates achievement in educational activities that include lecturing, tutoring, advising, and discussion leading.

 

Excerpts from the Stanford News. Read full article.

 

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June 2016

Andrea Montanari has been selected to receive the 2016 IEEE Information Theory Society James L. Massey Research & Teaching Award for Young Scholars

Andrea's research focuses on developing efficient algorithms to make sense of large amounts of noisy data, extract information from observations, and estimate signals from measurements. This effort spans several disciplines including statistics, computer science, information theory, machine learning. He is also working on applications of these techniques to healthcare data analytics.

2016 marks the second year of the James L. Massey Research & Teaching Award for Young Scholars. The award is named in honor of James L. Massey, who was an internationally acclaimed pioneer in digital communications and a revered teacher and mentor to an entire generation of communications engineers. He was one of the outstanding researchers and leaders of the IEEE Information Theory Society over a period of 50 years. This award recognizes "outstanding achievement in research and teaching by young scholars in the Information Theory community."

 

Congratulations Andrea!
Read his EE SPOTLIGHT article.

 

June 2016

Kartik Venkat (PhD '15) has won the 2016 Thomas M. Cover Dissertation Award. The title of his thesis is "Relations Between Information and Estimation: A Unified View."

The Thomas M. Cover Award was established by the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2013. It is awarded annually to the author of an outstanding doctoral dissertation contributing to the mathematical foundations of any of the information sciences within the purview of the Society. Including, but not limited to, Shannon theory, source and channel encoding theory, data compression, learning theory, quantum information theory and computing, complexity theory, and applications of information theory in probability and statistics.

Kartik completed his PhD December 2015. In 2015, he also received the Marconi Young Scholars Award, at which time he planned to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities to apply his work to real world problems, taking "deep ideas in research and using them to transform the way an industry is viewed."

 

Congratulations to Kartik!

Read Kartik's EE Spotlight article

June 2016

Professor emeritus Calvin Quate has won the 2016 Kavli Nanoscience Prize, along with Gerd Binnig, former member of IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, and Christoph Gerber, of the University of Basel, for the invention of atomic force microscopy.

Throughout his career, Quate invented transformational imaging and sensing technologies that continue to be used in research labs around the world, and even on the surface of Mars. Along with Ross Lemons, he developed the scanning acoustic microscope in the early 1970s. The atomic force microscope (AFM) came in 1986, after working with Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber, who share the Kavli Prize with Quate.

The atomic force microscope uses a stylus with a small tip – less than 30 nanometers wide – to move across the surface of an object, bobbing up and down as it passes over the topography of the surface. When the stylus tip crosses a change in the surface, force passes from the stylus to an attached cantilever, which flexes. Instruments record the cantilever's flexing to create an image accurate to the atomic level.

An example of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is on display in the atrium of the Packard Building. 

 The Kavli Prize is a partnership among The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Winners of each prize will receive a gold medal and share $1 million (U.S.), given during an awards ceremony in Oslo.


Read full Stanford News article.

 

May 2016

EE PhD candidates Spyridon Baltsavias and Junyi Wang have been selected as one of eight winning teams in the 2016 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship.

Their proposal "Advanced Ultrasound Sensing in the Modern Wireless World: a Miniaturized Ultrasound Transducer System for Biomedical Applications" was reviewed by Qualcomm Research's top engineers. Spyridon and Junyi were then invited to present to a panel of executive judges. Winning students receive a one year fellowship and are mentored by Qualcomm engineers to help facilitate the success of the proposed research.

Congratulations to Spyridon, Junyi, and their advisors, Professors Amin Arbabian and Butrus T. Khuri-Yakub. A description of their winning proposal follows:

 Ultrasound is an invaluable technology that is widely used today in hospitals as an imaging and diagnostic tool. An example ultrasound system is the ultrasonic endoscope, which doctors use to probe the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of a patient and diagnose a variety of diseases and cancers affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year. Existing systems however have several limitations: they tend to be bulky and power-hungry, while procedures are expensive, and even traumatic for patients.

What if we could take the technology from the stationary, bulky form factor, and shrink it down to a disposable pill that can be swallowed at the convenience of the patient? This idea resulted in our proposal for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, where we introduced our miniature ultrasonic ingestible pill, to be demonstrated as a promising alternative to the GI endoscopic procedure. We envision our system to operate as follows: after the pill is swallowed by a patient, it travels through the intestinal system. By emitting and receiving ultrasound waves, ultrasonic "cameras" around the pill take images of the walls of the tract, as well as deeper layers and even surrounding organs. Then the captured images are wirelessly transmitted to a device worn by the patient, such as a smartphone, and can be used by medical experts for diagnosis and screening for bleeding, cancerous tissue, and other diseases.

Although ambitious, we believe our idea to be feasible through the combination of advanced electronics and advanced imaging techniques. Using flexible capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) developed by Professor Butrus T. Khuri-Yakub's research group, and an application-specific-integrated-circuit (ASIC) with RF wireless capabilities, jointly being designed by Prof. Amin Arbabian's and Prof. Khuri-Yakub's groups, we aim to bring this project to fruition and develop a platform that could in the future enable a vast array of exciting new biomedical and consumer applications on and inside the human body.

May 2016

Recently published in Lab on a Chip, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, Professor Audrey Bowden and Gennifer Smith, a PhD student in electrical engineering, detail their new low-cost, portable device that would allow patients to get consistently accurate urine test results at home, easing the workload on primary care physicians.

Other do-it-yourself systems are emerging, but Bowden and Smith's approach is inexpensive and reliable, in part because they base their system on the same tried and trusted dipstick used in medical offices.

Their approach uses an easy-to-assemble black box that allows a smartphone camera to capture video that accurately analyzes color changes in a standard paper dipstick.

 

Excerpts from Stanford News, May 16, 2016.

Read full Stanford News article

Oil painting of Fred Terman
May 2016

The Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Award for Scholastic Achievement has been awarded to five EE undergraduates. The Terman Award is one of the most selective academic awards. It is based on overall academic performance and is presented to the top five percent of each year's School of Engineering seniors. The 2015-2016 Terman Scholars include five undergraduate seniors from Electrical Engineering.

Congratulations to all Terman Award recipients. The five EE students are:

  • Cynthia De Dalmady ( pictured below front row, left)
  • Yuki Inoue (front row, center)
  • Kristen Pownell (front row, right)
  • Allan Raventos Knohr (back row, fifth from left)
  • Moosa Zaidi (back row, sixth from left)

Terman scholars are invited to attend a celebratory luncheon and encouraged to invite the most influential secondary school or other pre-college teacher who guided them during the formative stages of their academic career. Pictured below are the 2015-16 Terman Scholars majoring in EE, along with their Stanford advisors and influential pre-college teachers.

The award is named after Fred Terman who was the fourth Dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford, serving from 1944-1958, after which he became the Provost at the University, and is generally credited, along with President Wally Sterling, as having started the process that has led Stanford to its present position among the leading universities of the world.

May 2016

Congratulations to the four April Staff Gift Card Program recipients. Awarded to staff members who are nominated for their professional contributions that are above and beyond their everyday roles. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in their daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card.

 

Please congratulate the April awardees listed below with excerpts from their nominations.

Daisy Chavez, Graduate Admissions Specialist & Student Life Coordinator

  • Her passion for helping students shines through every interaction.
  • Daisy proactively seeks creative ways to improve student life within EE. Her attention to detail has elevated and improved the experience for students.

Julia Gillespie, Faculty Administrator

  • Having Julia nearby is a true source of peace. She always exceeding expectations, including welcoming new building residents, providing thorough instruction on equipment and policies, and plenty more.
  • She is efficient and optimistic when helping solve issues, always happy to share her knowledge.

Joe Little, Principle Systems Architect

  • He is creative, flexible, supportive, an awesome problem-solver, and invaluable – an ideal team member.
  • The only thing constraining Joe is the speed of the equipment.

Socorro 'Suki' Ungson, Faculty Administrator

  • Suki cares greatly about the well-being of our group. She strives to keep everything running smoothly.
  • She is always a tremendous help; efficient and capable of managing any task.

 

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

Please take a moment to nominate a deserving staff person today!

April 2016

2016 marks the Shannon Centenary. Around the world, events are planned to celebrate his life and influence on the development of technology and information. Claude E. Shannon is best known for developing the field of information theory, which is the mathematical foundation of communication and data compression. He also laid the foundation for cryptography, digital circuits, circuit complexity, network flows, artificial intelligence and human–computer interaction.

After earning his PhD from MIT, Shannon joined Bell Labs, where he worked from 1942 through 1957. He returned to MIT as a faculty member until 1978.

Shannon was an avid juggler. His creations and interests were vast. For example, in 1950, he created a mouse controlled by a relay circuit. The programmed mouse was able to learn its environment, becoming the first artificial learning device of its kind.

In 1972, Shannon received the most prestigious prize of the IEEE Information Theory Society, which was later named The Shannon Award

The Shannon Award has been bestowed upon four Stanford EE faculty, Tom Cover (1990), Tom Kailath (2000), Bob Gray (2008), and Abbas El Gamal (2012).

 

More details may be found at,

 

 

March 2016

In EE27N, Electronics Rocks, students are encouraged to explore and move beyond the status quo. Most recently, students re-thought water-based sculptures on campus.

"All day, everyday, California's drought is on everyone's mind. My students chose to explore what a water-free 'fountain' might look like," stated Professor Greg Kovacs. "I also challenged them to consider other aesthetic priorities like maintenance and public interaction. In the end, I'm really impressed by the light fountain – it's dazzling!"

The completed "electronic" fountain stands nearly 6' high, with blue and red LEDs flowing along 7 semi-transparent cylinders, loosely arranged in a conical shape. Sensors on either side of the base respond to passersby by signaling the LEDs to begin a cycle of programmed light sequences.

"It's really cool!" exclaimed several students. "We talked so much about all of our ideas, and the light fountain came together, and looks awesome!"

Electrical engineering undergraduate curriculum embraces the 'maker' sentiment as a guiding principal. EE27N provides the basics of how electronic devices work through hands-on discussion, design and construction. Students hack and modify, but are encouraged to focus on building from scratch. Throughout the quarter, Electronics Rocks students work as teams on projects that ultimately inform or become their collaborative final project, which is built as a class. The light fountain embodies several EE core competencies, including embedded microprocessors, programming, power management, LEDs, sensors, and a great deal of teamwork.

Electronics Rocks, EE27N is offered in Winter quarter and is open to all freshmen regardless of their major.


 

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February 2014

Three staff members each received a $50 Visa card in recognition of their extraordinary efforts as part of the department’s 2014 Staff Gift Card Bonus Program. The EE department received several nominations in January, and nominations from 2013 were also considered.

Following are January’s gift card recipients and some of the comments from their nominators:

Ann Guerra, Faculty Administrator

  • “She is very kind to students and always enthusiastic to help students… every time we need emergent help, she is willing to give us a hand.”
  • “Ann helps anyone who goes to her for help with anything, sometimes when it’s beyond her duty.” 

Teresa Nguyen, Student Accounting Associate

  • “She stays on top of our many, many student financial issues, is an extremely reliable source of information and is super friendly.”
  • “Teresa’s cheerful disposition, her determination, and her professionalism seem to go above and beyond what is simply required.”

Helen Niu, Faculty Administrator

  • “Helen is always a pleasure to work with.”
  • “She goes the extra mile in her dealings with me, which is very much appreciated.”

The School of Engineering once again gave the EE department several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond. More people will be recognized next month, and past nominations will still be eligible for future months. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visitinghttps://gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.

Ann Guerra  Teresa Nguyen  Helen Niu

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