April 2015

Announced April 22nd, the American Academy of Arts and Scientists, elected 197 new members.

The American Academy is one of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, it is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to Academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, global security and international affairs, social policy and American institutions, and the humanities, arts, and education.

Members of the 2015 class include winners of the Nobel Prize and the Pulitzer Prize; MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships; and Grammy, Emmy, Oscar, and Tony Awards. The list of new members is located at

"We are honored to elect a new class of extraordinary women and men to join our distinguished membership," said Don Randel, Chair of the Academy's Board of Directors. "Each new member is a leader in his or her field and has made a distinct contribution to the nation and the world. We look forward to engaging them in the intellectual life of this vibrant institution."

Academy President Jonathan Fanton added, "The honor of election is also a call to service. Through its projects, publications, and events, the Academy provides its members with opportunities to discover common interests and find common ground. We invite every new member to participate in our important and rewarding work."

The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on October 10, 2015, in Cambridge, Massachusetts.


Read the full American Academy Press Release

Professor McKeown's EE Spotlight

April 2015

Recognized for their extraordinary efforts, two EE staff and one School of Engineering staff member, received $50 Visa gift cards. Each nominee received multiple submissions, emphasizing their key roles in the ongoing success of EE's department and programs.

The recipients, recognized for their valuable and unique contributions, are listed below with comments from their nominations:

Vickie Carillo, Administrative Associate, EE

  • "Vickie makes it simple and easy to get work done— she has a very positive presence!"
  • "Even when taking on new and extra tasks, Vickie is helpful, efficient and pleasant."

Eric Wheeler, Systems and Web Developer, EE

  • "Eric is always willing to listen, talk through ideas and troubleshoot issues."
  • "Eric is a key member of our team—I consider myself very fortunate to work with him!"

Tom Abate, Associate Director of Communications, School of Engineering

  • "Tom's expertise in writing effective stories and his keen insights [...] have made him highly effective. He is simply a pleasure to work with."
  • "We are thankful for his tireless efforts in communicating our research to the world [...] and creating opportunities for more coverage.

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. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visiting

Be sure to recognize the staff member, or members, that help in your accomplishments!

April 2015

"In theory one fiber could transport perhaps as many as a hundred different beams, each carrying its own data stream of light flashing on and off. Our challenge is creating the optics to gather those beams, flow them through the fiber together and then separate out each data stream at the other end." states David A. B. Miller, the W. M. Keck Professor of Electrical Engineering.

What makes this possible is a series of breakthroughs in the design and fabrication of optical structures that can combine and separate laser beams based on the shape of the wave they generate.

"We now know how to design those structures using efficient algorithms. Some of our approaches automate the designs and adapt them to changes in the fiber. We have also proved mathematically that such designs can always be created for light beams in fibers."

Miller's colleagues, Professors Shanhui Fan and Jelena Vuckovic, are also developing different computational approaches to automate the design of the necessary optical structures.


Read complete Science article
Read complete School of Engineering News article

March 2015

From the ACM Press release: "ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, ( and the Infosys Foundation announced today that Dan Boneh is the recipient of the 2014 ACM-Infosys Foundation Award in the Computing Sciences for ground-breaking contributions to the development of pairing-based cryptography and its application in identity-based encryption. His work helped establish the field of pairing-based cryptography, a dominant area in cryptography for the last decade, by demonstrating the use of pairing functions to solve wide variety of problems in cryptography. Boneh, with Matt Franklin, showed how pairings could be used to develop a fully functional identity-based encryption scheme (IBE). This ushered in a new area of cryptography research to which Boneh's contributions have been central. Pairing-based cryptography makes security mechanisms easier to use and deploy, and improves computer security to keep data, devices and critical systems safe, private and accessible."

The ACM-Infosys Foundation Award recognizes the finest recent innovations by young scientists and system developers for a contemporary innovation that, through its depth, fundamental impact and broad implications, exemplifies the greatest achievements in the discipline.


Read full Press Release

March 2015

During DiscoverEE days on March 12th and 13th, the department welcomed newly admitted grad students. The 2-day event culminated with a student research poster session and contest. Twenty-six posters were presented, representing EE's core research areas:

The DiscoverEE Days Student Research Poster Session is a unique forum for students and postdocs to share their own work and learn about exciting research of their colleagues throughout the department. It also provides newly admitted students the opportunity to see EE's student research in an informal, festive environment.

Poster judging was done by a small group of faculty and staff. Judges offered each presenter an opportunity to summarize their work and answer questions within a set timeframe. Judging criteria was based on 4 components: originality, content, oral presentation, and visual quality. One winner and one honorable mention were awarded from each core area. Winning presenters received a gift card and certificate, honorable mentions received a certificate. The awards went to:

  • Hardware/Software Systems
    Winner: David Lo, "Heracles: Improving Resource Efficiency at Scale"
    Honorable Mention: Sean Fischer, "Low Noise Potentiostat for Quantum Biomolecular Transduction"
  • Information Systems & Science
    Winner: Ethan Johnson, "T2-selective excitation with UTE imaging for bone MRI"
    Honorable Mention: Keshav Datta, "The Spielman Laboratory: Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy and Multinuclear Imaging"
  • Physical Technology & Science
    Winner: Amelia Christensen, "Optical tools for interrogating spinal cord circuitry "
    Honorable Mention: Colleen Shang, "Strained germanium-tin multiple quantum well microdisk resonators towards a light source on silicon"


Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating in DiscoverEE Days. Additional thanks to the EE Student Life Committee for sponsoring the poster contest and generous prizes.


View 2015 DiscoverEE Days photo album on our Facebook page,

Amy Duncan, EE Degree Progress Officer, received the 2015 SoE Service Award
March 2015

Amy Duncan received the 2015 School of Engineering Service Award on March 12th. The School of Engineering Service Award recognizes Good Samaritan, customer service and collaboration/interdisciplinary contributions. Staff work hard to support the School of Engineering's teaching and research mission. Formally recognizing outstanding contributions is done annually at the Staff Service Awards Ceremony.

Amy Duncan is the Degree Progress Officer for the Electrical Engineering (EE) department. As the largest academic department at Stanford, EE also boasts the largest student body, with more than 1,000 students. From Bachelor Degree to Doctorate, Amy oversees each student's progress, and subsequently, is the sole person called upon to support students struggling to make adequate progress. She listens to and understands their unique set of needs, working with them as individuals to develop a plan for taking steps toward completing their program. Amy's patience, focus and experience is evident in every encounter she has, whether it be the myriad of "exceptions and what ifs" from students during orientation, to "quick" questions asked in the hallways of the Packard Building.

Amy works tirelessly to clarify degree requirements. She revamped the student handbook, unraveling and simplifying the oft complex and nuanced process, making it possible for students to understand and establish their degree status with confidence. Amy's skill in proactively managing the largest student body on campus is unparalleled.

Congratulations and thanks to Amy Duncan for her tremendous work within EE!

March 2015

The Staff Gift Card Program awarded three EE staff members a $50 Visa card. This award recognizes our staff's extraordinary efforts as submitted by students, faculty, and staff. Each month, nominations are collected online and previous nominations are also considered.

The first recipients of 2015, as well as some comments from their nominators, are:

John DeSilva, Systems & Network Manager
• "John came to the rescue immediately -- his dedication to EE is appreciated."
• "John solved my hardware & software issues with creativity and dedication— all is working well!"

Katy Klemme, Associate Director of Graduate Admissions
• "My situation was complex, but Katy explored and presented my options, ultimately letting me choose which was best for my situation. I am definitely glad she was helping me."

Lisa Sickorez, Financial Manager
• "Lisa has an enormous amount of patience. She is always resourceful and a true professional. I really appreciate her knowledge and professionalism."

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. EE faculty, staff and students are welcome to nominate a deserving staff person by visiting

Be sure to recognize the staff member, or members, that help in your accomplishments!

March 2015

The university that pioneered research collaborations between academia and industry has expanded from a device-driven to a systems-level view of how to ignite innovation.

The shift involves a change in name and philosophy at what had been the Stanford Center for Integrated Systems (CIS).

Since the late 1970s, CIS had enabled Stanford researchers to work with industry counterparts to improve semiconductors, software, computers and other technologies. CIS helped create the global networks and mobile devices that put technology in our pockets.

Now, SystemX researchers are working on the next killer applications – the data center of tomorrow, the self-driving car, the smartphones with artificial intelligence built in and next-generation biomedical devices, among others.

Bringing these applications to fruition will require new materials and power sources, novel hardware and software, and coordination of these technologies through reliable control networks.

Stanford President John Hennessy, whose research helped revolutionize computing during the 1980s, describes this systems-level approach as the "technology stack."

"For 30 years, CIS was the model of industry-university partnership to support advanced research in microelectronics," Hennessy said. "SystemX is updating that model to spur innovation in what we call the technology stack and open up new possibilities for sensing, communication and computing technologies."

To highlight this change Stanford has rechristened CIS as the SystemX Alliance.


Read the full Stanford Report article

March 2015

The IEEE Computer Pioneer Award was established in 1981 to recognize and honor the vision of those people whose efforts resulted in the creation and continued vitality of the computer industry. The IEEE Computer Society site states, "[Michael J. Flynn] began his engineering career at IBM as a designer of mainframe computers. He became Professor of Electrical Engineering at Stanford in 1975 where he set up the Stanford Architecture and Arithmetic group. He retired from Stanford in 1999 and continues there as Emeritus Professor. Some of his best-known work includes the development of the now familiar stream outline of computer organization (SIMD, etc.). For many years this has served as the fundamental formal taxonomy of parallel computers.

In the early 1970s Prof. Flynn founded both of the specialist organizations on Computer Architecture: the IEEE Computer Society's Technical Committee on Computer Architecture and the ACM's SIGARCH.

Prof. Flynn was the 1992 recipient of the ACM/IEEE Eckert-Mauchley Award for his technical contributions to computer and digital systems architecture. He has been awarded honorary Doctorates from Trinity College (University of Dublin) and the University of Belgrade and is an honorary Professor of Informatics at the University of Sofia. He is the author of five books and over 300 technical papers. He is a fellow of both the IEEE and ACM."


Read the full IEEE Computer Society Pioneer Award citation 

February 2015

Congratulations to EE PhD students Aman Sinha and Jinye Zhang. They are the recipients of the 2015 Numerical Technologies Founders awards for being the top performers in the Electrical Engineering Qualifying Exam.


The Numerical Technologies Founders awards were established by Dr. Yao-Ting Wang (Ph.D., 1997) and his advisor Professor Thomas Kailath, co-founders of Numerical Technologies, Inc., and their spouses. The company was created to commercialize the resolution enhancement techniques for optical lithography developed in Dr. Wang's dissertation as part of a DARPA-sponsored project (1990-2000) on the applications of Control and Signal Processing to Semiconductor Manufacturing. The theme of the project was to demonstrate the power of the Mathematical Engineering approach: going from an ill-defined physical problem to an idealized mathematical model, its often-approximate solution, and then compromises for practical implementation and transition to industry. The first applications were to Rapid Thermal Processing and then to Optical Lithography where, when the project began, the industry was facing a so-called 100nm barrier. Numerical Technologies, in collaboration with Motorola, were the first to show that the barrier could be broken. This spurred further development of a host of resolution enhancement techniques the barrier has been lowered to 32nm. The company was founded in 1995, went public in 2000, and was acquired by Synopsis, Inc. in 2003. A different measure of the importance of the Mathematical Engineering approach is that the work on Rapid Thermal Processing won outstanding paper prizes in 1994 and 2003 from the IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing.



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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 visiting

Ann Guerra  Teresa Nguyen  Helen Niu



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