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image of Professor Kailath with National Medal of Science
November 2014

Quoting Electrical Engineering Professor Thomas Kailath at the November 20th awards ceremony, President Obama said, "Scientists are intrinsically hopeful and believe in grand answers, and that if we work hard enough we can find some of them in our lifetime."

President Obama also spoke of the importance to encourage a culture of asking questions, discovery and innovation. He pointed out a common thread between the ten awardees was the influence of an encouraging parent or captivating teacher that whet their appetite at a young age. He drew parallels between America's diversity, infrastructure, and the unmatched opportunities at American universities to encourage new ideas which help to transform our world through new businesses and ventures.

President Obama referenced Professor Kailath's journey from India to Stanford as an example of the importance of welcoming scholars to America. Kailath joined Stanford's Electrical Engineering department in 1963, researching and teaching in several fields of engineering and mathematics, as well as mentoring more than 100 doctoral and postdoctoral students. The awards committee citation reads, "for transformative contributions to the fields of information and system science, for distinctive and sustained mentoring of young scholars, and for translation of scientific ideas into entrepreneurial ventures that have had a significant impact on industry."

"This is indeed a great honor for me, which I proudly share with my students and coauthors," Kailath said in an earlier interview. "I am also grateful for the remarkably supportive environment of the Electrical Engineering department and the University."

 

Read additional stories at the Stanford Report and Whitehouse.gov. A video of the ceremony is also available.

Image: www.mercurynews.com

image of Professors Mitchell (left) and Boneh
January 2015

"Our increasing reliance on technology, combined with the unpredictable vulnerabilities of networked information, pose future challenges for all of society," said Stanford President John Hennessy. "We share the Hewlett Foundation's goal to seek a robust understanding of how new technologies affect us all at the most fundamental human levels. Stanford has a long history of fostering interdisciplinary collaborations to find thoughtful and enlightened answers to these paramount questions."

Three universities received grants of $15 million each from the Hewlett Foundation – the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of California, Berkeley, and Stanford – each will take a complementary approach in setting up the new centers based on their particular strengths and expertise.

Stanford's initiative will be highly interdisciplinary in building a new policy framework for cyber issues. It will draw on the campus' experience with multidisciplinary, university-wide initiatives to focus on the core themes of trustworthiness, governance and the emergence of unexpected impacts of technological change over time. Professor John Mitchell will serve as senior technical advisor.

 

For more information, go to Stanford Cyber Initiative.

Read the Stanford Report articles:

 

Updated January 2015 (original post November 13, 2014)

image of Professor Shan Wang, Joohong Choi and Adi Gani
November 2014

A team of Stanford University students and faculty has been selected as one of five Distinguished Award Prize winners in the Nokia Sensing XCHALLENGE, a global competition to catalyze breakthrough medical sensing technologies that will ultimately enable faster diagnoses and easier personal health monitoring.

The Stanford team was recognized for developing a hepatitis B blood test that can be analyzed in minutes using the microprocessor in a smart phone.

The current prize recognizes a 12-month effort by four PhD students – mechanical engineers Daniel Bechstein and Jung-Rok Lee, and electrical engineers Joohong Choi and Adi W. Gani – to create a mobile version of a technology that [EE Professor] Wang and other Stanford researchers have been developing for years.

In essence, the researchers graft magnetic nanoparticles onto biological markers. In this case they are interested in two biomarkers. One is the hepatitis B virus, called the antigen. The other is the antibody that fights hepatitis B. The magnetic particles are the homing beacons that allow instruments to track these biomarkers.

 

For the full story, visit engineering.stanford.edu/news

Image credit: Eigen Lifesciences

image of genome compression team
November 2014

A team led by Stanford electrical engineers has compressed a completely sequenced human genome to just 2.5 megabytes – small enough to attach to an email. The engineers used what is known as reference-based compression, relying on a human genome sequence that is already known and available. Their compression has improved on the previous record by 37 percent. The genome the team compressed was that of James Watson, who co-discovered the structure of DNA more than 60 years ago.

"On the surface, this might not seem like a problem for electrical engineers," said Tsachy Weissman, an associate professor of Electrical Engineering. "But our work in information theory is guiding the development of new and improved ways to model and compress the incredibly voluminous genomic data the world is amassing." In addition to Weissman, the team included Golan Yona, a senior research engineer in Electrical Engineering, and Dmitri Pavlichin, a post-doctoral scholar in Applied Physics and Electrical Engineering.

In recording quality scores, DNA sequencers introduce all sorts of imperfections that are collectively considered "noise." Different sequencers have different noise characteristics. Weissman and his team are developing theory and algorithms for processing the quality scores in a way that reduces the noise and at the same time results in significant compression. Counterintuitive as it might sound at first, they are using lossy compression as a mechanism not only for considerable reduction in storage requirements, but also for enhancing the integrity of the data.

"But, in fact, it is quite intuitive," Weissman said. "Lossy compression, when done right, forces the compressor to discard the part of the signal which is hardest to compress, namely, the noise."

 

For the full story, visit engineering.stanford.edu/news/making-personalized-medicine-practical

 

Image credit: Rod Searcey 

image of professors Dutton and Osgood
October 2014

 Two EE professors were recognized for their undergraduate education conrtibutions: Robert Dutton received the William and Lynda Steere University Fellow in Undergraduate Education and Brad Osgood was reappointed the Paul Davies Family University Fellow in Undergraduate Education.

Provost John Etchemendy announced the nine Stanford faculty members on Thursday, October 23rd.

Read the entire article at the Stanford Report.

image of EE directory, Packard Bldg
October 2014

Three Stanford Electrical Engineering professors have been honored with new endowed chair titles. The honored professors are

  • Dan Boneh, received The Rajeev Motwani Professorship in Computer Science;
  • Kunle Olukotun, received The Cadence Design Systems Professorship; and
  • John Pauly received The Reid Weaver Dennis Professorship in Electrical Engineering.

An endowed professorship (also referred to as an endowed chair) is one of the highest honors bestowed on a member of the faculty. This prestigious appointment recognizes his or her many outstanding accomplishments and contributions. 

Approximately one third of the more than 60 endowed professorships in the School of Engineering are held by EE faculty. Chairs may be created to honor individuals or organizations and may express a preference to honor a professor working in a specific academic area.

image of 3 EE professors

image of Professor Goldsmith
October 2014

Electrical Engineering Professor Andrea Goldsmith is the 2014 recipient of IEEE's Edwin Howard Armstrong Achievement Award. IEEE celebrates and recognizes scientific and engineering excellence through the presentation of peer reviewed Medals, Technical Field Awards, and Society, Council and Unit Awards.

Goldsmith's research is to develop novel techniques, protocols, and designs for future wireless systems and networks. Her specific research areas include the design and capacity analysis of wireless systems and networks, multiple-antenna wireless networks, cognitive radios, sensor and networks, cross-layer wireless network design, and applications of communications and signal processing to health and neuroscience.

Read more about IEEE: http://www.ieee.org/index.html

 

image of Professor Harris
October 2014

Professor James Harris received the Al Cho MBE Award for his seminal and sustained contributions to the science, technology, device applications, and commercialization of molecular beam epitaxy [MBE] including dilute-nitride multijunction solar cells.

Harris was presented with the Al Cho MBE Award at the International Conference on Molecular Beam Epitaxy (ICMBE) in September.

The International MBE Advisory Committee presents the Al Cho MBE Award annually at the International MBE Conference in honor of Al Cho, "Father of MBE", recognizing individuals who have made fundamental contributions to the science and technology of MBE.

image of Assoc. Professor Pop
October 2014

Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering Eric Pop has won the 2014 Okawa Foundation Research Grant. Pop’s research theme is “Tunable Thermal and Thermoelectric Metamaterials.” The Grant Presentation Ceremony will occur in December.

The mission of the Okawa Foundation is promotion and development in the field of Information and Communications Technology through awards and research grants as well as efforts to nurture researchers, engineers, and providers. It also seeks to promote diversity and ubiquitousness of human communication and thereby contribute to the peace and prosperity of humankind.

Read more about the Okawa Foundation: http://www.okawa-foundation.or.jp/en/outline/index.html

image of tiny, sound-powered chip developed by EE
October 2014

Stanford engineers are developing a way to send power – safely and wirelessly – to "smart chips" programmed to perform medical tasks and report back the results.

Their approach involves beaming ultrasound at a tiny device inside the body designed to do three things:

  • convert the incoming sound waves into electricity;
  • process and execute medical commands; and
  • report the completed activity via a tiny built-in radio antenna.

"We think this will enable researchers to develop a new generation of tiny implants designed for a wide array of medical applications," said Amin Arbabian, an assistant professor of electrical engineering at Stanford.

Arbabian's team recently presented a working prototype of this wireless medical implant system at the IEEE Custom Integrated Circuits Conference in San Jose. 

For the full story, visit news.stanford.edu/news

 

Image credit: Arbabian Lab

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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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