News

March 2014

Department Manager Mary K. McMahon and Facilities and Health & Safety Manager Kenneth (Kenny) Green were recently recognized for their exceptional work at the 2014 School of Engineering (SoE) Service Award Reception, which honors staff members and their years of service to Stanford.

McMahon received the school’s Leadership Award, which recognizes mentoring and management contributions. She has been with the EE Department for 4 years, but has been a Stanford employee for 10 years. In her role, she oversees the staff members that manage various functional areas within the department, while also handling special projects and day-to-day problem solving. “The department manager keeps her eye on everything, steps in when needed, and knows when to get out of an extremely-skilled staff member’s way when he or she has it handled,” she said.

Green received the school’s Safety Award, which recognizes compliance and safety contributions. While he has been with the EE Department for nearly 7 years, he is coming up on his 23rdanniversary at Stanford. Green manages facilities and safety for four department buildings: David Packard, Paul Allen, Allen Annex, and the Magnetic Resonance System Research Laboratory (MRSRL).

“This is wonderful recognition of their outstanding service to our department,” says EE Chair Abbas El Gamal.

The reception also included recognition of SoE staff for their years of service in five-year increments. Congratulations to the seven EE staff members recognized in 2014:

30 Years: David Hinson, Ivan Linscott

25 Years: Keith Gaul, Darlene Hadding

5 Years: Andrea Kuduk, R. Eric Wheeler, Golan Yona

Donald Knuth
April 2014

On Wednesday, May 7, 2014, Donald Knuth, Professor Emeritus of The Art of Computer Programming, Stanford University, delivered this year’s Kailath Lecture titled, "Let's Not Dumb Down the History of Computer Science."

Knuth has been working since 1962 on "The Art of Computer Programming" - a book series that attempts to organize and explain many of the most important methods used inside computers while also tracing the interesting history of their development. Four volumes of that series have been published so far, and he also has more than two dozen other books in print. Moreover, Knuth is the author of a popular software system called TeX, used to facilitate and enhance the publication of books that are being written by others.

The Annual Kailath Lecture and Colloquium Series was endowed in 2005 by a group of Kailath's former students and associates to honor him on the occasion of his 70th birthday. Its aim is to foster greater awareness of the power of the mathematics-based disciplines of information theory, communications, computation, control and signal processing to address challenging problems in engineering and, increasingly, the physical, biological and social sciences.

For more information, please visit http://kailathlecture.stanford.edu/index.html or contact Patricia Oshiro at poshiro@stanford.edu

May 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 new nominations in April, and previous nominations were also considered.

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

Beverly Davis, Administrative Associate

  • “Beverly… has done an outstanding job coordinating various program committee events.”
  • “Committee members and visitors very sincerely acknowledged the outstanding job she did.”

 Meo Kittiwanich, Academic Services Specialist

  • “One of Meo’s most challenging tasks within EE is to allocate TAs and CAs for all our courses each quarter. This is a very important, but also thankless, job… she tackles it admirably.”
  • “She is proactive and responsive and she is always willing to put in extra time."

Crystle Palafox, Administrative Associate

  • “Crystle is highly dependable and very quick.”
  • “She also communicates well, ensuring we are all on the same page when things need to get done."

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.

Beverly Davis  Meo Kittiwanich  Crystle Palafox

Gregory Kovacs
May 2014

Sometimes, a dozen ravenous zombies just aren't exciting enough to hold a video gamer's interest. The next step in interactive gaming, however, could come in the form of a handheld game controller that gauges the player's brain activity and throws more zombies on the screen when it senses that the player is bored.

The prototype controller was born from research conducted in the lab of Gregory Kovacs, a professor of electrical engineering at Stanford, in collaboration with Texas Instruments. The main area of research by grad students in Kovacs' lab involves developing practical ways of measuring physiological signals to determine how a person's bodily systems are functioning.

For the full story, visit Stanford Engineering.

For a local ABC News story about this project, visit www.abclocal.go.com/kgo.

Small wireless power transmitter
May 2014

A Stanford electrical engineer has invented a way to wirelessly transfer power deep inside the body and then use this power to run tiny electronic medical gadgets such as pacemakers, nerve stimulators or new sensors and devices yet to be developed.

The discoveries reported May 19 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences culminate years of efforts by Ada Poon, assistant professor of electrical engineering, to eliminate the bulky batteries and clumsy recharging systems that prevent medical devices from being more widely used.

The technology could provide a path toward a new type of medicine that allows physicians to treat diseases with electronics rather than drugs.

"We need to make these devices as small as possible to more easily implant them deep in the body and create new ways to treat illness and alleviate pain," said Poon.

Poon's team built an electronic device smaller than a grain of rice that acts as a pacemaker. It can be powered or recharged wirelessly by holding a power source about the size of a credit card above the device, outside the body.

For the full story, visit Stanford Engineering.

June 2014

Four 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 May, and previous nominations were also considered.

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

Fely Barrera, Administrative Associate

  • “Fely handled all the logistics (of an 80-person workshop)… and found various ways to lower the cost. She went way beyond the normal call of duty.”
  • “She is always cheerful, organized and on top of everything.”  

Amy Duncan, Degree Progress Officer

  • “Amy does an exceptional job in advising student about the ways and policies of EE. Her patience and knowledge makes the challenging process of achieving success in the EE degree programs much easier for our students.”
  • “She is a delight to work with.” 

Karin Sligar, Assistant to the Chair

  • “Karin offers help before you ask. She often says, ‘Let me know how I can help.’”
  • “She is a true team player.”

Eric Wheeler, Web and Systems Administrator

  • “Eric has gone way beyond the call of duty to ensure that EE has the best of most useful website possible. He’s taken difficult specifications and found unique and creative ways to implement them.”
  • “His willingness to try things over and over until people are happy has been a blessing.”

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.

Fely Barrera  Amy Duncan  Karin Silgar  Eric Wheeler

Globecom best paper winners
November 2013

Stanford EE Postdoc Francisco Javier Lopez-Martinez, former EE postdoc Ernest Kurniawan and Andrea Goldsmith, the Stephen Harris Professor in the School of Engineering, recently received the Globecom 2013 Communication Theory Symposium best paper award.

They were recognized for their paper entitled, “Average Fade Duration for Amplify-and-Forward Relay Networks in Log-Normal Fading.” According to the Globecome awards committee chair, there is only one best paper for each of the 12 Globecom symposia in 2013, so their paper has high distinction.

February 2014

PhD student Nishal Pradeepbhai Shah recently received the 2014 Numerical Technologies Founders Fellowship as the top performer on the Electrical Engineering Qualifying Exam.

In addition, EE PhD student Farzan Farnia won the Numerical Technologies Founders Prize as the second top performer on the 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.

April 2014

Two of Professor Amin Arbabian's graduate students, Hao Nan and Miaad Aliroteh, recently won 2014 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships for their "innovation" titled, "Biometric Authentication with 3D Map of Blood Vessels Using Novel Microwave Imaging."

Out of 137 submitted proposals from 18 schools, Qualcomm first selected 34 finalists (an acceptance rate of 24.8 percent). The judges then had the difficult task of selecting the nine winning teams (acceptance rate: 6.6 percent) who were each awarded a $100,000 Fellowship.

John Cioffi
July 2013

Hitachi America Professor of Engineering Emeritus John Cioffi recently received the 2014 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award for inspirational teaching of graduate students in the IEEE fields of interest, with the following citation:

“For educating a stellar array of graduate students in digital communications and for inspiring them to make a difference.”

For nearly a century, the IEEE Awards Program has paid tribute to technical professionals whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on technology, society and the engineering profession.

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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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