EE Student Information

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EE Student Information, Spring & Summer Quarters 19-20: FAQs and Updated EE Course List.

Updates will be posted on this page, as well as emailed to the EE student mail list.

Please see Stanford University Health Alerts for course and travel updates.

As always, use your best judgement and consider your own and others' well-being at all times.


October 2015

Two groups were awarded the 2015 NEC C&C Foundation Awards for their contributions to the development of big data technologies and network virtualization technologies.

Professor Nick McKeown, Dr. Martin Casado (PhD, '07) and Scott Shenker (Berkeley) are the originators of the Software-defined networking (SDN) movement, and OpenFlow protocol which was created as an interface to program the communication devices.

The NEC C&C citation reads, "For Pioneering Research in Advancing Networking Technology and Outstanding Contributions Promoting the Development of Software-Defined Networking".

They have combined their various talents and taken leadership roles in developing technologies for SDN and OpenFlow. The team developed various open-source platforms and tools. In addition, by involving academia, device vendors, telecommunications carriers, and service providers in research at an early stage, they have been able to cultivate and operate eco-systems that have led to widespread practical application of the SDN concepts. They also promoted the development and adoption of SDN by leading the standardization movement and encouraging the open-source community. Their achievements as ICT infrastructure innovators are highly remarkable.

The prize ceremony and acceptance speeches will be held on Monday, December 21 from 15:00 at the ANA InterContinental Tokyo.


Excerpts from the NEC C&C press release.

Read EE Spotlight, featuring Professor Nick McKeown



September 2015

The Information Processing Society of Japan (IPSJ) presented their Funai Achievement Award to Professor Bill Dally, recognizing his accomplishments in computer architecture, particularly in the areas of parallel computing and Very Large Scale Integration processing. The IPSJ noted that Dally has made major contributions in education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and in industry as NVIDIA's chief scientist.

Dally is the first non-Japanese scientist to receive the award since the first two awards were given out in 2002 to Alan Kay (a pioneer in personal computing) and in 2003 to Marvin Minsky (a pioneer in artificial intelligence).

"I'm honored to be selected for one of the world's major prizes in computer science. It's particularly rewarding to be in the company of computer science luminaries like Alan Kay and Marvin Minsky," said Dally, who received the award at an IPSJ event in Matsuyama, Japan. "I'm grateful to the IPSJ for acknowledging the importance of my research in parallel computing."

Professor Shuichi Sakai, dean of the Computer Science Department at the University of Tokyo, said, "Bill Dally has always been a revolutionary rather than a revisionist in computer science."

Dally's achievements across more than 30 years of work and research include developing the system and network architecture, signaling, routing and synchronization technology found in most large parallel computers today. He also introduced the Imagine processor, which employs stream processing architecture, providing high performance computing with power, speed and efficiency.

Prior to joining NVIDIA in 2009, Dally served as chairman of Stanford's Computer Science department from 2005-2009, where he taught beginning in 1997. Previously, he led the group at MIT that built the J-Machine and M-Machine, parallel machines that pioneered the separation of mechanism from programming models.


Excerpts from NVIDIA press release.

August 2015

The Marconi Society announced Kartik Venkat as the winner of the 2015 Young Scholar Award. Kartik is an EE doctoral candidate, on track to complete his PhD this December. His principal advisor is Professor Tsachy Weissman, who says, "Kartik's work has helped us develop tools to boost the performance of algorithms in machine learning and AI. He's helping us find smarter ways to process a huge quantity of data—which is applicable to a wide array of disciplines."

Kartik plans to travel to London to receive the award in October. After he completes his PhD, he wants to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities that apply his work to real world problems, taking "deep ideas in research and using them to transform the way an industry is viewed. I don't know if that will be in academia—or in a company of my own," he says.

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.

Hearty congratulations to Kartik Venkat!

Read full Marconi Society press release

Professor Weissman and Kartik Venkat

Professor Weissman (left) and Kartik Venkat (right).

July 2015

Subhasish Mitra, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and of Computer Science, has received the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) Technical Excellence Award for his research related to Quick Error Detection (QED) technology.

Electronic systems are an indispensable part of all our lives. Malfunctions in these systems have consequences ranging from annoying computer crashes, loss of data and services, to financial and productivity losses, or even loss of human life. To ensure robust operation of electronic systems, it is essential to minimize the effects of design flaws (bugs) in the hardware. Unfortunately, existing test and validation methods cannot cope with the tremendous complexity of today's integrated circuits and systems. As a result, many critical bugs are detected only after integrated circuits (ICs) are manufactured. During post-silicon validation and debug, manufactured ICs are tested in actual system environments to detect and fix bugs in hardware. Existing post-silicon validation and debug techniques are ad hoc and very expensive, and their cost and complexity are rising faster than design cost.

Quick Error Detection (QED) technology overcomes post-silicon validation and debug challenges by detecting bugs a billion times quicker compared to existing approaches, while simultaneously catching critical bugs that would otherwise go undetected and severely jeopardize robust operation of electronic systems. QED also localizes difficult hardware bugs automatically in only a few hours so that the detected bugs can be fixed efficiently. In contrast, it might take days or weeks (or even months) of manual work (per bug) using existing approaches. QED has been successfully used in industry.

"I am honored by this award from the SRC in recognition of the QED technology," replied Professor Mitra. "QED is key to ensuring robust operation of electronic systems we rely on everyday. My sincere thanks to the SRC for funding my research, and for selecting the QED technology for this prestigious award. I am fortunate to work with an excellent group of highly-motivated undergraduate and graduate students at Stanford, as well as fantastic collaborators from industry and academia. The QED technology would have been impossible without them. Finally, I also thank the NSF since the roots of this QED work started with support by the NSF CAREER award."

  • The students that contributed to this QED technology are: David Lin (EE '15), Dr. Yanjing Li (EE '13), Dr. Sung-Boem Park (EE '10), Ted Hong (MS '07), Diana Mui (MS '11), Ziyad Abdel Khaleq (MS '12), Sundaram Ananthanarayanan (MS '14), Eshan Singh (PhD candidate), Christine Cheng (MS), and Dr. Farzan Fallah.
  • Collaborators from industry: AMD, Freescale, Intel, IBM, Renesas
  • Collaborators from academia: Prof. Clark Barrett (NYU), and Prof. Deming Chen (UIUC) and Keith Campbell (UIUC).

Publications by Mitra's group have received other awards including: IEEE/ACM Design Automation Conference Best Paper Award, IEEE International Test Conference Best Student Paper Award, and the Best in Session Award at the Semiconductor Research Corporation's TechCon Conference.

The Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) is a leading research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies, sponsoring university research and supporting elite students and faculty around the world. Nominations are reviewed and approved by SRC's Board of Directors. Teams are recognized for their impact on semiconductor productivity through cultivation of technology and talent.

June 2015

The citation for Associate Professor Christos Kozyrakis' award reads, "For outstanding contributions to transactional memory technologies.” The Maurice Wilkes Award is given annually by ACM SIGARCH for an outstanding contribution to computer architecture made by an individual in the first 20 years of their career. The award is named after Sir Maurice Wilkes, a pioneer of computing systems that made fundamental contributions to the field quite early in his career.

Prof. Kozyrakis' research focuses on making computer systems of any size faster, cheaper, and greener. His current work focuses on the hardware architecture, runtime environment, programming models, and security infrastructure for warehouse-scale data centers and many-core chips with thousands of general purpose cores and fixed functions accelerators.

SIGARCH serves a unique community of computer professionals working on the forefront of computer design in both industry and academia. It is ACM's primary forum for interchange of ideas about tomorrow's hardware and its interactions with compilers and operating systems.

Congratulations to Christos for this well-deserved recognition of his outstanding research contributions.


Read more about the ACM SIGARCH Maurice Wilkes Award

Centennial TA Award winners
June 2015

PhD candidates Steven Bell and Jayant Charthad received the 2015 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award. The Centennial award program recognizes outstanding teaching by TA's in the Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering schools.

Nominated by faculty, peers, and previous students, each will receive a $500 prize and certificate in a June ceremony.

About Steven
Steven is the Head TA for ENGR40M, a wildly popular "maker" course. With Mark Horowitz as lead faculty, the course was re-vamped and taught to a small group of students in Spring of 2014. By Fall quarter, 120 students were enrolled. The current semester has 277 students enrolled; the highest enrollment to date.

Steven worked with his Ph.D advisor Mark Horowitz to create E40M. He created some of the lab assignments, and has worked tirelessly improving all of them to be more clear and fun for the students. He also manages the lab sessions and creates homework assignments, improving the clarity and educational value whenever possible.

A few comments from Steven's nominators include:

PhD candidate Steven Bell
  • "Steven's contributions have been essential to the course's success. Keenly aware that our students are beginners, Steven has worked tirelessly to improve the accessibility of our subject."
  • "He's also always looking to see how the class can be made better. He doesn't just fix current problems, but looks to see how such problems can be avoided in the future. Not only is he hardworking and organized, but he's a wonderful teacher. When explaining concepts to students, he presents them in an easy to understand way and checks in with the students to be sure they are actually understanding what he's saying."
  • "[I]t is clear that he thinks deeply about ways of teaching the introductory concepts in E40M more effectively. None of these efforts are required of a CA or head CA, but they speak to his commitment to improving the educational experience for both students and fellow teaching staff."



About Jayant

PhD candidate Jayant Charthad
Jayant has been TA for several courses, including EE101B, EE114/214A, 214B, Physics105 and Physics64. Jayant assisted Professor Amin Arbabian with redesigning EE101B's lab. The result was such a success, the course was adjusted to match the lab. Prof. Arbabian states, "Jayant's "secret sauce" is his deep understanding of the technical material, ability to break down complex concepts into smaller pieces and an amazing talent in explaining fundamentals -- and most of important of all -- true passion for teaching."


A few comments from Jayant's nominators include:

  • "Jayant's responses were lengthy, often going above and beyond the scope of the question to make sure the student would appreciate the problem in the greater context of IC design and to help the student develop intuition."
  • "He understands that learning is a journey and serves as a wonderful guide through the process. His humble nature makes him intrinsically approachable and helps transform apprehensive freshmen in electrical engineering into inquisitive explorers, itching for intellectual discovery. Long after lab hours have ended, Jayant is always there and welcoming of our questions."
  • "From my experience in this class, I do think Jayant influenced my decision to pursue circuits as my B.S. and M.S. concentrations."

Congratulations to Steven and Jayant! Their efforts are recognized and greatly valued by the Electrical Engineering department.

Professors Hesselink and Rivas received Precourt Institute seed grants for their energy research
December 2014

Professor Lambertus Hesselink and Assistant Professor Juan Rivas-Davila are two of eight Stanford faculty seed grant recipients. The awards are to assist in new research that promises clean technology and energy efficiency.

Assistant Professor Juan Rivas' and his research team will continue exploration of more energy-efficient power supplies. An initial goal is to provide energy-efficient methods to pasteurize liquids like milk and fruit juice. The team's long-range goal is to revolutionize the design and manufacture of power electronics components. The Precourt Institute for Energy awarded Rivas-Davila's grant.

Professor Lambertus Hesselink's research will assess and design a method to capture heat waste from computers. His team projects that at least 20% of the waste could be recouped, saving $6 million in electricity per day in the U.S. alone. The Precourt Energy Efficiency Center (PEEC) provided this award.


Read the full Stanford report article.

Dr. Spilker at the dedication of the James and Anna Marie Spilker Engineering and Applied Sciences Building
December 2014

EE alumnus James J. Spilker has been awarded the 2015 IEEE Edison Medal. Spilker received his BS, MS and Ph.D. from Stanford's Electrical Engineering department. Currently, Dr. Spilker is the Executive Chairman of AOSense, Inc., and a consulting professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics. In 2013, Dr. and Mrs. Anna Marie Spilker dedicated the third of four buildings that comprise Stanford’s Science and Engineering Quad (SEQ).

The aim of the IEEE Edison Medal is to recognize "a career of meritorious achievement in electrical science, electrical engineering, or the electrical arts.” Dr. Spilker is recognized “for contributions to the technology and implementation of civilian GPS navigation systems.”

Dr. Spilker will receive the award at the 2015 IEEE Honors Ceremony. 


Image: Steve Costillo

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

Image credit: Eigen Lifesciences

image of Professor Kailath
October 2014

President Obama announced a new class of recipients of the National Medal of Science and National Medal of Technology and Innovation—our Nation’s highest honors for achievement and leadership in advancing the fields of science and technology. 

EE Professor Thomas Kailath received the National Medal of Science. He was the first recipient of the Hitachi America Professorship in 1988, and received numerous awards and recognition for his research, writing and contributions. Professor Kailath assumed emeritus status in 2001.

Read Stanford Report article


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