News

April 2015

"Electricity for All" is the course Kristen Pownell, a junior in EE, designed for the Stanford Splash program. As nearly 50 students filed into her classroom, Kristen grew more enthused to share the fun and potential of Electrical Engineering.

Kristen's "students" were 7th-9th graders participating in Stanford's Splash program. The Splash program brings more than 2,000 high school and middle school students to Stanford's campus for a two-day learning extravaganza. Classes are taught by Stanford undergraduates, graduate students, and community members.

"Electricity for All" was designed to teach basic EE principles like current, voltage, and resistance. In addition to introducing and talking through the principles, Kristen brought a simple LED flashlight project for each student to make and take home.

Excitement grew as the room went dark and each student was able to turn on and off their handmade LED flashlight, basking in the glow of their new EE knowledge.

 

Kristen Pownell (EE '16) was assisted by 3 other undergraduates. They plan to continue teaching Splash courses and sharing the fantastic possibilities of EE.

 

Read more about Stanford's Splash program.

May 2015

Kristen Lurie (EE PhD '15), pictured center, received the Best Paper Award from the Engineering in Urology Society (EUS). Kristen will present her paper, "Scanning fiber technology for rapid volumetric optical coherence tomography cystoscopy" at the American Urology Association conference in May.

Kristen is a research assistant at the Stanford Biomedical Optics group; Professor Ellerbee's research lab. The majority of Kristen's work is dedicated to development of an algorithm for computer vision and biomedical optical systems to enable new visualizations of the bladder wall.

Tahereh Marvdashti (EE PhD '16), pictured left, has been awarded an International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) Education Scholarship. Tahereh's research focus area is "Label-free assessment of molecular and structural abnormalities for early skin cancer detection."

 

Congratulations to Kristen and Tahereh!

June 2015

Professor Shenoy is one of 26 finalists appointed as a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. Shenoy is a leader in the emerging field of brain-machine interfaces to control the movement of computer cursors and prosthetic limbs. He has developed computational methods to dramatically speed up the ability to decode patterns of neural activity in a person's brain. These algorithms have been incorporated into a system designed to allow people with paralysis to control a computer cursor with their thoughts.

Known for their creativity and productivity, HHMI investigators push the bounds of knowledge in biomedical research. Professor Shenoy will continue his research and teaching at Stanford. As an HHMI investigator, additional funding will allow the freedom to explore and follow his research ideas through to completion.

Shenoy's HHMI appointment will begin in September. 

 

Read School of Engineering News article.

May 2015

In April, Fuse partnered with Texas Instruments (TI) and IEEE to host a Make-a-Thon. Iliana Bray, an EE undergraduate, led the event and chose the term "Make-a-Thon" to emphasize the creative process in electrical engineering. The daylong event was held in the Packard Atrium.

The Make-a-Thon attracted both EE students and students considering EE; all exhibited their "maker spirit." Nearly fifty students joined together and spent their Saturday deconstructing, reconstructing, transmitting and fine-tuning various projects. Several participants are currently enrolled in EE101B and E40.

The morning began with a workshop lead by a TI engineer, Rick Chelminski. The students created alarm clocks using TI's MSP430 Launch Pad. After the sponsor-provided lunch, the students were free to work on their own projects, using a variety of sensors provided by TI that could connect with the LaunchPads.

Many students formed groups for their projects, embodying the collaborative spirit of creating. A few student projects included:

  • a plant moisture monitoring system, which alerts the user when the plant needs to be watered,
  • a motion-activated music player
  • and a theremin.

Students from the Internet of Things (IoT) used this opportunity to continue working on long-term projects, including:

  • smart sprinklers
  • and a remote-controlled microwave.

Everyone enjoyed exploring how various devices and sensors could help them realize their goals. A panel of judges gave prizes to several teams, based on their project and presentation. Overall, the Make-a-Thon was an exciting, engaging event, leaving students and sponsors looking forward to future Make-a-Thons.

May 2015

On May 18th and 19th, Professor Stephen P. Boyd will present at the Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel. The occasion marks the 56th Chaim Weizmann Memorial Lectures. The Weizmann Memorial Lectures are considered the most prestigious lecture series at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

The lectures are intended to review the newest developments in the field chosen for discussion. This year's event consists of two lectures, which are open to the Institute's faculty and staff, and the community. Monday's talk is aimed toward anyone interested in science, while Tuesday's lecture is geared toward scientists from the Weizmann Institute and from other institutions of higher education in Israel.

Professor Boyd's two lectures are titled: 'Convex Optimization' and 'Domain Specific Languages for Convex Optimization.'

May 2015

"A new algorithm enables a moment-by-moment analysis of brain activity each time a laboratory monkey reaches this way or that during an experiment. It's like reading the monkey's mind," states the Stanford Report article.

Professor Shenoy and neuroscientist Matthew Kaufman, a previous student of Shenoy's, published the research findings in eLife.

Shenoy's lab focuses on movement control and neural prostheses — such as artificial arms — controlled by the user's brain.

"This basic neuroscience discovery will help create neural prostheses that can withhold moving a prosthetic arm until the user is certain of their decision, thereby averting premature or inopportune movements," Shenoy said.

  

Krishna Shenoy is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Courtesy Professor of Neurobiology.

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 www.amacad.org/members.

"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 gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.

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, (www.acm.org) 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

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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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