News

Professor Robert Dutton
September 2014

Electrical engineers make the technologies and systems that communicate, store and process information. They harness the fundamental forces of nature to serve everyday needs, whether this involves creating a computer based on carbon nanotubesimplanting sensors deep inside the human body or inventing next generation memory chips. Electrical engineers change the world. Our new curriculum gives Stanford students a rigorous foundation in classical and modern physics while quickly immersing them in the exciting applications made possible by EE.  Read more »

ant-sized radio
September 2014

A Stanford engineering team, in collaboration with researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, has built a radio the size of an ant, a device so energy efficient that it gathers all the power it needs from the same electromagnetic waves that carry signals to its receiving antenna – no batteries required.

Designed to compute, execute and relay commands, this tiny wireless chip costs pennies to fabricate – making it cheap enough to become the missing link between the Internet as we know it and the linked-together smart gadgets envisioned in the "Internet of Things."

"The next exponential growth in connectivity will be connecting objects together and giving us remote control through the web," said Amin Arbabian, an assistant professor of electrical engineering who recently demonstrated this ant-sized radio chip at the VLSI Technology and Circuits Symposium in Hawaii.

For the full story, please visit http://news.stanford.edu.

August 2014

The Final Presentation Day for the Electrical Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates (EE REU) Program took place on Thursday, August 28, 2014.  This day marked the end of the ten week research program that 44 EE undergraduates participated in over the summer.  The first part of the final presentation day was the oral presentations that took place in Allen CIS-X Auditorium from 12:30pm - 2:20pm.  Each REU Intern gave a 2-3 minute oral presentation about the research they conducted over the summer.  After the oral presentations, a poster session was held from 2:30pm-5:00pm in the Packard Atrium.  With over 110 guests including students, faculty, staff, donors, and others from the Engineering community, all of the interns were able to showcase their summer research.  

Electrical Engineering Research Experience for Undergraduates

The EE REU Program is a 10 week summer research program for Electrical Engineering undergraduate students.  Funded by the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Research (VPUE), the EE REU Program gives undergraduates the opportunity to conduct research.  Each EE REU Intern is matched with a faculty and graduate mentor on various topics including mobile networking, nanotechnology, and bio-medical imaging.  As an intern of the program, students receive a research stipend and the opportunity to live on-campus.  More information about the EE REU Program can be viewed at http://ee.stanford.edu/academics/reu.


EE REU 2014 Stats:

44 students total
8 females, 36 males
15 rising sophomores, 19 rising juniors, 9 rising seniors, 1 co-term student

Gordon Wetzstein
September 2014

The Electrical Engineering Department welcomes two new assistant professors, Gordon Wetzstein and John Duchi. Both are joining Stanford this September.

Gordon Wetzstein's research addresses challenges in computational imaging and display and in computational light transport. He received his PhD in computer science from the University of British Columbia in 2011, then worked at MIT's Media Lab as a research scientist and postdoctoral associate before joining the Stanford faculty. His office is on the second floor of the Packard Electrical Engineering Building in room 236.

John Duchi
John Duchi's interests include optimization, statistics, machine learning and computation. He completed his PhD in computer science at UC Berkeley in June and is joining both Statistics and Electrical Engineering with a joint appointment. His office is on the first floor of Sequoia Hall in room 126.

Ryu
August 2014

Scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh and Stanford have discovered a fundamental constraint in the brain that may explain why a person has a relatively easier time learning a new skill if it's related to an ability he has already mastered.

Published in Nature, the research details for the first time that there are limitations on how adaptable the brain is during learning, and that these restrictions are a key determinant for whether a new skill will be easy or difficult to learn.

Understanding the ways in which the brain's activity can be "flexed" during learning could eventually be used to develop better treatments for stroke and other brain injuries.

"This gives insight into the neural basis for the limitation on learning new things," said co-author Stephen Ryu, a consulting professor of electrical engineering at Stanford and a neurosurgeon at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. "One of the clinical implications is that it may provide a more intelligent way to train new cognitive tasks."

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

K. Gaul
August 2014

EE Instructional Labs Manager Keith Gaul died due to a massive heart attack on Aug. 5, 2014. The attack occurred four days into his backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevadas, and despite CPR and a flown-in medical team, Gaul passed away.

He began working at Stanford in 1988 and had been a part of the electrical engineering (EE) community since 2000.

"His contribution to the department will be felt for a long time to come," wrote Department Chair Abbas El Gamal in an email to the EE community. "The loss of a good friend will be felt for much longer."

For a full story about his passing with quotes from several EE community members, visit The Stanford Daily.

S. Fan
July 2014

Scientists may have overcome one of the major hurdles in developing high-efficiency, long-lasting solar cells – keeping them cool, even in the blistering heat of the noonday Sun.

By adding a specially patterned layer of silica glass to the surface of ordinary solar cells, a team of researchers led by Shanhui Fan, an electrical engineering professor at Stanford University, has found a way to let solar cells cool themselves by shepherding away unwanted thermal radiation. The researchers describe their innovative design in the premiere issue of The Optical Society’s  new open-access journal Optica.

Solar cells are among the most promising and widely used renewable energy technologies on the market today. Though readily available and easily manufactured, even the best designs convert only a fraction of the energy they receive from the sun into usable electricity.

Part of this loss is the unavoidable consequence of converting sunlight into electricity. A surprisingly vexing amount, however, is causesd by solar cells overheating.

Under normal operating conditions, solar cells can easily reach temperatures of 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius) or more. These harsh conditions quickly sap efficiency and can markedly shorten the lifespan of a solar cell. Actively cooling solar cells, however – either by ventilation or coolants – would be prohibitively expensive and at odds with the need to optimize exposure to the sun.

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

image of Himanshu Asnani
October 2014

EE PhD Candidate Himanshu Asnani (read EE Spotlight) received the 2014 Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar Award, which recognizes academic achievements and leadership in the field of communications and information science. His advisor is Associate Professor Tsachy Weissman.

The selection committee cited Asnani’s outstanding research work on data compression in networks and genomic data, as well as cooperation in multi-terminal source coding; his excellent academic record; and his demonstrated entrepreneurial capabilities.

Marconi Young Scholars are individuals who have, at an early age, already demonstrated exceptional engineering or scientific research and entrepreneurial capabilities with the potential to create significant advances telecommunications and the Internet. They are students whose advisers and nominators believe will make a real difference in science and society, serving as role models and an inspiration for others.

Watch 2014 Marconi Society Young Scholars award video.

 

Feng Xiong
July 2014

Feng Xiong has been awarded the Materials Research Society (MRS) 2014 "Gold" Graduate Student Award.

Feng Xiong was born in Wuhan, Hubei, China. He received the Singapore Ministry of Education Scholarship for Pre-university Study in 2000 and finished his high school and junior college study in Singapore. Feng continued his study in Singapore to pursue his undergraduate education at National University of Singapore (NUS), where he worked with Prof. Wu Yihong on characterizing transport properties of graphene. After receiving his Bachelor of Engineering degree (with First Class Honors) in Electrical Engineering at NUS in 2008, Feng moved to the United States to continue his graduate study at University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign (UIUC), under the direction of Professor Eric Pop. Feng received his Masters of Science in Electrical Engineering from UIUC in Aug 2010 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UIUC in May 2014. Feng is currently working as a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University under the supervision of Prof Yi Cui and Prof Eric Pop. Feng is a recipient of the C.R. Allen Outstanding International Student Award, the Beckman Graduate Fellowship and the TSMC Gold Student Research Award.  His research interests include (but are not limited to) phase change materials, resistive memory and carbon-based materials. Read More »

MRS Graduate Student Awards are intended to honor and encourage graduate students whose academic achievements and current materials science research display a high level of excellence and distinction. MRS seeks to recognize students of exceptional ability who show promise for significant future achievement in materials research and education.

July 2014

Two 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 new nominations in June, and previous nominations were also considered.

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

Doug Chaffee, Administrative Associate

  • "It's not one thing that Doug did, it's the collection. Doug is extremely resourceful about getting everything done seamlessly."
  • "He understands the bottom line of my group's needs, and how to get to it most efficiently. A true enabler. My bandwidth for research and teaching has increased significantly since I started working with him."

John DeSilva, Systems and Network Manager

  • "John is always available and willing to help no matter if it is an IT issue or a department function. We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated IT person."
  • "He's a big-picture thinker that keeps everyone calm during difficult situations; an invaluable team member."

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 https://gradapps.stanford.edu/NotableStaff/nomination/create.

Doug Chaffee  John DeSilva

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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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