November 2017

Congratulations to Andrea Montanari on his elevation to IEEE Fellow. IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. Less than 0.1% of voting IEEE members are selected annually for this member recognition. IEEE Fellows will be formally announced by the IEEE at end of the 2017.

Professor Montanari's research interests include understanding patterns in complex high-dimensional data, and what mathematical and algorithmic methods can be used to disentangle them from noise. His research spans several disciplines including statistics, computer science, information theory, and machine learning. He also works on applications of these techniques to healthcare data analytics.

Congratulations to Andrea!



Andrea's EE Spotlight

Andrea Montanari's EE Spotlight


November 2017

Emeritus professor Tom Kailath has been elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). The citation reads, "For contributions to information theory and related areas, and for applications."

The Fellows of the AMS designation recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. Among the goals of the program are to create an enlarged class of mathematicians recognized by their peers as distinguished because of their contributions to the profession, and to honor excellence.

On the 2018 Class of Fellows of the AMS, Professor Kenneth A. Ribet, President of the American Mathematical Society, states, "This year's class of AMS Fellows has been selected from a large and deep pool of superb candidates. It is my pleasure and honor as AMS President to congratulate the new Fellows for their diverse contributions to the mathematical sciences and to the mathematics profession."


Please join us in congratulating Tom for this most recent recognition of his groundbreaking contributions!


Read more at the American Mathematical Fellows

October 2017

Ruishan Liu (PhD candidate) has received the Best Poster Award at the Bay Area Machine Learning Symposium, October 19, 2017. Ruishan belongs to the Stanford Laboratory for Machine Learning group, advised by Professor James Zou. Ruishan develops algorithms and theories in machine learning and reinforcement learning. She is also interested in applications in genomics and healthcare.


Poster Title:
"The Effects of Memory Replay in Reinforcement Learning"

Poster Abstract:
Experience replay is a key technique behind many recent advances in deep reinforcement learning. Despite its wide-spread application, very little is understood about the properties of experience replay. How does the amount of memory kept affect learning dynamics? Does it help to prioritize certain experiences?

In our work, we address these questions by formulating a dynamical systems ODE model of Q-learning with experience replay. We derive analytic solutions of the ODE for a simple setting. We show that even in this very simple setting, the amount of memory kept can substantially affect the agent's performance. Too much or too little memory both slow down learning.

We also proposed a simple algorithm for adaptively changing the memory buffer size which achieves consistently good empirical performance.


Congratulations to Ruishan!

October 2017

 Professor Andrea Goldsmith has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 WICE Mentorship Award from the IEEE Communications Society. She will be presented with a plaque at the IEEE Globecom'17 in Singapore.

The WICE Mentorship Award recognizes members of IEEE ComSoc who have made a strong commitment to mentoring WICE members, have had a significant positive impact on their mentees' education and career, and who, through their mentees, have advanced communications engineering.

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.) is the world's largest technical professional society. Through its more than 400,000 members in 150 countries, the organization is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed nearly 900 active industry standards. The organization annually sponsors more than 850 conferences worldwide.

The IEEE Communications Society (IEEE ComSoc) is a leading global community comprised of a diverse set of professionals with a common interest in advancing all communications and networking technologies.


Congratulations to Andrea on this well-deserved recognition!



July 2017

Kirby Smithe (PhD candidate) received first place for his presentation, "High-field transport and velocity saturation in CVD monolayer MoS2" at the EDISON 20 Conference in July.

All student preesenters were ranked by a committee comprised of members of the International Advisory Committee. More than 25 presentations and posters were evaluated by this committee. Kirby's award is accompanied by $300 and a glass commemorative trophy.


Kirby's research involves growth and material characterization of 2D semiconductors and engineering 2D electronic devices for circuit-level applications. He is the recipient of the Stanford Graduate Fellowship as well as the NSF Graduate Fellowship. Kirby is part of the Pop Lab research group, advised by Professor Eric Pop.


Congratulations to Kirby!



October 2017

Congratulations to PhD candidates Connor McClellan and Fiona Ching-Hua Wang. Each received the best in session award at the TechCon 2017, held in Austin, Texas. 

  • Connor's paper, "Effective n-type Doping of Monolayer MoS2 by AlO(x)" was presented in the 2-D and TMD Materials and Devices: I session. Professor Eric Pop is Connor's advisor

  • Fiona's paper, "N-type Black Phosphorus Transistor with Low Work Function Contacts," was presented in the 2-D and TMD Materials and Devices: III session. Professor H.-S. Philip Wong is Fiona's advisor.

They were presented with a certificate and medal during the final event for SRC TECHCON 2017.



Image credit: L.A. Cicero
September 2017

John L. Hennessy, inaugural director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program and president emeritus of Stanford, has been elected an international fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the national academy for engineering in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1976, the Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. Earlier this week, the academy announced 50 new fellows, two international fellows, including Hennessy, and one honorary fellow.

Hennessy, a pioneer in computer architecture, said the honor held special significance because so many early pioneers in the field did their great work in England, from Alan Turing (1912-1954), a mathematician who conceived of modern computing and played a crucial role in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in WWII, to Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010), a professor at Cambridge University who is considered the most important figure in the development of practical computing in the United Kingdom.

"I have had the pleasure of knowing many colleagues who are members of the Royal Academy of Engineering, including Wilkes, a colleague from Cambridge who I knew personally for many years," Hennessy said. "It is an honor to join such an august group."

Hennessy has won numerous awards for his work, including election to the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

After stepping down as president of Stanford a year ago, Hennessy became the Shriram Family Director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, which is the largest fully endowed graduate-level scholarship program in the world. The program, which is currently located in the Littlefield Center, held a groundbreaking ceremony last spring for its future home, Denning House. Currently, the program is accepting applications for its first class of 50 scholars, who will begin their studies in the fall of 2018.

Hennessy joined Stanford's faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. In 1981, he drew together researchers to focus on a technology known as RISC (reduced instruction set computer), which revolutionized computing by increasing performance while reducing costs. Hennessy helped transfer this technology to industry. In 1984, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors.

Hennessy, who rose through the academic ranks at Stanford and became a full professor in 1986, served as chair of the Department of Computer Science and took the helm as dean of the School of Engineering in 1996. He became provost in 1999 and was inaugurated as Stanford's 10th president in 2000. He stepped down from the presidency in 2016.

As president, Hennessy fostered interdisciplinary collaboration, launching university-wide initiatives in human health, environmental sustainability, international affairs, the arts and creativity, and greatly expanding opportunities for multidisciplinary teaching and learning. Under his leadership, the campus underwent a physical transformation to support 21st-century research and teaching needs, including cutting-edge facilities for the Graduate School of Business, the Law School, the Science and Engineering Quadrangle, Stanford Medicine and the Arts District.



Reprinted from Stanford News, "John L. Hennessy elected to Royal Academy of Engineering," September 7, 2017.

David Hallac, EE PhD candidate
September 2017

David Hallac, EE PhD candidate, is the lead author of "Toeplitz Inverse Covariance-Based Clustering of Multivariate Time Series Data," which has been selected to receive the KDD 2017 Conference Best Paper Runner-Up Award and the Best Student Paper runner-up Award. Co-authors include research assistant Sagar Vare (CS), professor Stephen Boyd (EE) and professor Jure Leskovec (CS).

ACM SIGKDD is the Association for Computing Machinery Special Interest Group on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining. The award recognizes papers presented at the annual SIGKDD conference, KDD2017, that advance the fundamental understanding of the field of knowledge discovery in data and data mining.

Their paper will received both the KDD 2017 Best Paper runner-up Award, as well as the Best Student Paper runner-up Award at the KDD 2017 ceremonies held in Halifax, Canada in August. The group will receive individual award plaques as well as a check.


Congratulations to David, Sagar, Stephen and Jure on this special recognition!




View "Toeplitz Inverse Covariance-Based Clustering of Multivariate Time Series Data" Abstract.

Professor Lambertus 'Bert' Hesselink
August 2017

The paper, "Visualization of Second Order Tensor Fields and Matrix Data," was coauthored by professor Bert Hesselink and Thierry Delmarcelle in 1992. This paper describes some of their work on mathematical topology related to data analysis and lossless compression and visualization of tensor and vector data sets. The committee selected this paper for its importance and long term impact.

The IEEE VIS Test of Time Award is an accolade given to recognize articles published at previous conferences whose contents are still vibrant and useful today and have had a major impact and influence within and beyond the visualization community.

Papers are selected for each of the three conferences (VAST, InfoVis and SciVis) by Test of Time Awards panels appointed by the conference Steering Committees.

The decisions are based on objective measures such as the numbers of citations, and more subjective ones such as the quality and longevity and influence of ideas, outreach, uptake and effect not only in the research community, but also within application domains and visualization practice.

A full rationale will be provided for each paper at the conference opening, where we hope to encourage researchers to aim to produce work that is forward looking and has transformational potential. We're trying to build on our heritage to establish an ambitious future by making it clear at the outset of the conference opening that we want participants to aspire to be writing papers today that will be relevant in decades to come.

Professor Hesselink's research encompasses nano-photonics, ultra high density optical data storage, nonlinear optics, optical super-resolution, materials science, three-dimensional image processing and graphics, and Internet technologies.


Congratulations to Bert on this well-deserved recognition.


IEEE 2017 Test of Time Awards

Photo credit, The Marconi Society
August 2017

Engineering Professor emeritus Thomas Kailath will be given the Marconi Society's Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his many transformative contributions to information and system science, as well as his sustained mentoring and development of new generations of scientists.

Kailath is the sixth scientist to be honored with a Marconi Society Lifetime Achievement Award. The society is dedicated to furthering scientific achievements in communications and the internet.

"The award is being conferred on Kailath for mentoring a generation of research scholars and writing a classic textbook in linear systems that changed the way the subject is taught and his special purpose architecture to implement the signal processing algorithms on VLSI (Very Large-scale System Integration) chips," the society said.

Kailath's research and teaching at Stanford have ranged over several fields of engineering and mathematics, with a different focus roughly every decade.


Please join us in congratulating Tom for this very special recognition. Tom will receive his award at the annual Marconi Society Awards dinner in October.


Excerpted from Stanford News, "Stanford electrical engineering Professor Thomas Kailath honored for lifetime achievement by Marconi Society," August 16, 2017.

The Marconi Society press release, "Legendary Stanford Professor Thomas Kailath Will Receive The Marconi Society Lifetime Achievement Award," August 14, 2017. 



Related News

Professor Emeritus Thomas Kailath Awarded Honorary Degree, April 2017

Tom Kailath selected as Eminent Member, IEEE-HKN, February 2017

Professor Kailath Receives National Medal of Science from President Obama, October 2014


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