Award

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub includes four Stanford EE faculty
February 2017

Four EE faculty have been awarded an opportunity to join the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, a project of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. The CZ Biohub vision is to find and support the best and brightest scientists, engineers and technologists. [To] foster an environment that emphasizes intellectual freedom and true collaboration. [To] provide the best scientific tools available – and when they don't exist, [to] invent them. (source: https://czbiohub.org/vision/)

"The research by these extraordinary scientists receiving CZ Biohub awards exemplifies the exciting opportunities that lie in collaborative research at the intersection of biology and engineering," states Marc Tessier-Lavigne, Stanford's President. "We look forward to the new discoveries benefiting human health that will be made possible by their collaborations."

The EE faculty currently involved are Adam de la Zerda, Ada PoonH. Tom Soh, and James Zou.

 

Chan Zuckerberg Biohub is a project of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative. CZI is committed to harnessing the power of science, technology and human capacity to cure, prevent or manage all disease in our children's lifetime.

Working collaboratively is at the heart of everything Biohub is doing. It starts with bringing together—for the first time ever—three of the world's leaders in biomedical and engineering innovation: University of California, Berkeley, University of California, San Francisco and Stanford.

[The] three university partners provide the very backbone of Biohub's work. Investigators come from these outstanding research institutions, and their faculty will be an integral part of day-to-day operations at Biohub.

 

Visit CZBiohub.org

February 2017

Mingyu Gao (PhD '18) and co-authors received the acknowledgement at ISCA 2016. Their paper is titled, "DRAF: A Low-Power DRAM-Based Reconfigurable Acceleration Fabric".

IEEE Micro will include a complete list of 2016's significant papers in its annual publication, "Micro's Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences" in its May / June 2017 issue. The issue collects some of the year's most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and potential for long-term impact. Any computer architecture paper (not a combination of papers) published in the top conferences of 2016 (including MICRO-49) is eligible. The Top Picks committee will recognize those significant and insightful papers that have the potential to influence the work of computer architects for years to come.

 


 

Abstract:
FPGAs are a popular target for application-specific accelerators because they lead to a good balance between flexibility and energy efficiency. However, FPGA lookup tables introduce significant area and power overheads, making it difficult to use FPGA devices in environments with tight cost and power constraints. This is the case for datacenter servers, where a modestly-sized FPGA cannot accommodate the large number of diverse accelerators that datacenter applications need.

This paper introduces DRAF, an architecture for bit-level reconfigurable logic that uses DRAM subarrays to implement dense lookup tables. DRAF overlaps DRAM operations like bitline precharge and charge restoration with routing within the reconfigurable routing fabric to minimize the impact of DRAM latency. It also supports multiple configuration contexts that can be used to quickly switch between different accelerators with minimal latency. Overall, DRAF trades off some of the performance of FPGAs for significant gains in area and power. DRAF improves area density by 10x over FPGAs and power consumption by more than 3x, enabling DRAF to satisfy demanding applications within strict power and cost constraints. While accelerators mapped to DRAF are 2-3x slower than those in FPGAs, they still deliver a 13x speedup and an 11x reduction in power consumption over a Xeon core for a wide range of datacenter tasks, including analytics and interactive services like speech recognition.

 

Congratulations to Mingyu and co-authors. His research advisor is Christos Kozyrakis

January 2017

This month's Electrical Engineering staff recognized for their outstanding effort include Marsha Dillon, Sue George, Kenny Green, and Teresa Nguyen. Each were nominated by peers, faculty and/or students for professionalism that went above and beyond their everyday roles. Gift card recipients continue to make profound and positive impact in EE's everyday work and academic environment.

 

Please join us in congratulating Marsha, Sue, Kenny, and Teresa. Excerpts from their nominations follow.

 

Marsha Dillon, Executive Assistant to the Chair

  • "Marsha was able to identify exactly what was needed by untangling a vague request, and identifying the actual goal."
  • "She never hands back a request; instead, she is always willing to help. She's a strong asset to EE."

Sue George, Administrative Associate, Computer Science

  • "Sue always makes time to answer questions; she is quick to followup, and willing to spend time finding an answer she doesn't know."
  • "It is always a pleasure to work with her."

Kenny Green, Facilities and Health & Safety Manager

  • "Kenny is always very helpful."
  • "He has been a great resource — especially with our new labs, greater number of students, and managing improvements and requests."

Teresa Nguyen, Student Financial Officer

  • "Teresa has a terrific understanding of Stanford's financial system. She also remembered my name!"
  • "She is extremely capable; I never worry about leaving things in her hands."

 

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

 

Nominate a deserving staff person or group today! We encourage you to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

January 2017

Jonathan Fan was awarded the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Announced by President Obama in early January, Fan and 101 other scientists and researchers were honored with the PECAS. "I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work," Obama said. "These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy."

Jonathan is an assistant professor and director of the ExFab at the Stanford Nanofabrication Facility. He recently won the prestigious 2016 Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering, which funds the most promising early-career professors in fields ranging from physics and chemistry to engineering.

Two other Stanford faculty also received the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE): Jacob Fox, professor of mathematics, and Marco Pavone, assistant professor of aeronautics and astronautics.

 

Related news:

 

Amin Arbabian
January 2017

The Department of Energy (DOE) announced projects selected as part of the Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) program funding opportunity. ROOTS is a new program of the Energy Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

Amin Arbabian's project, "Thermoacoustic Root Imaging, Biomass Analysis, and Characterization," has been awarded $2 million by the ROOTS program. The team also includes, (Pierre Khuri-Yakub EE, José Dinneny and David Ehrhardt, Carnegie Institution for Science) and will develop a non-contact, high throughput, thermoacoustic root imaging system where ultrasonic signals from roots are generated by radio signals and then recorded by a novel sensor array. The Stanford team will demonstrate use of the system across a variety of soil and root types in the field to map the root architecture of plants. If successful, the project will be the first low-cost, large-scale, field-based plant phenotyping solution for eventual use with a fully autonomous measurement system.

The Rhizosphere Observations Optimizing Terrestrial Sequestration (ROOTS) program seeks to develop advanced technologies and crop cultivars that enable a 50 percent increase in soil carbon accumulation while reducing N2O emissions by 50 percent and increasing water productivity by 25 percent. Since 2009, ARPA-E has funded over 400 potentially transformational energy technology projects.

ROOTS projects will tackle the growing problem of soil "carbon debt" by developing sensing technologies to help farmers choose crop varieties that better capture carbon molecules from the atmosphere and store them in their root systems.

 

Arpa-E Roots Program: https://arpa-e.energy.gov/?q=arpa-e-programs/roots

ROOTS program project descriptions (PDF) 

December 2016

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, the world's leading computing society, has named the 2016 ACM Fellows. Recognized for major contributions in areas including artificial intelligence, cryptography, computer architecture, high performance computing and programming languages. The achievements of the 2016 ACM Fellows are accelerating the digital revolution, and affect almost every aspect of how we live and work today.

Please join us in congratulating professors Dan Boneh and Christos Kozyrakis for this well-deserved recognition.

  • Dan Boneh's main research area is applied cryptography and network security. His focus is on building security mechanisms that are easy to use and deploy. He has developed new mechanisms for improving web security, file system security, and copyright protection. He contributed to the security and performance of the RSA cryptosystem and contributed to the study of cryptographic watermarking.
  • Christos 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.

ACM will formally recognize its 2016 Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on June 24, 2017. Additional information about the 2016 ACM Fellows, the awards event, as well as previous ACM Fellows and award winners is available on the ACM Awards site.

 

 

Read more, ACM Press release.

November 2016

Congratulations to Olav Solgaard 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 2016.

Professor Solgaard's research interests include optical MEMS, Photonic Crystals, optical sensors, microendoscopy, atomic force microscopy, and solar energy conversion. He has authored more than 350 technical publications and holds 60 patents. Olav came to Stanford with the support of a Royal Norwegian Council for Scientific and Industrial Research Fellowship in 1986 and was named a Terman Fellow at Stanford for the period 1999-2002. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America, the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters, and the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences.

 

November 2016

Stephen P. Boyd has been awarded the 2017 IEEE James H. Mulligan, Jr. Education Medal. The award is given for a career of outstanding contributions to education in the fields of interest of IEEE.

 

The James H. Mulligan Jr., Education Medal acknowledges:

  • Excellence in teaching and ability to inspire students,
  • Leadership in electrical engineering education through publication of course materials and writings on engineering education,
  • Leadership in the development of programs in curricula or teaching methodology,
  • Contributions to the engineering profession through research, engineering achievements, and technical papers, and
  • Participating in the education activities of professional societies. 

Stephen has received many awards and honors for his research in control systems engineering and optimization. In 2016, he also received Stanford's highest teaching honor, the Walter J. Gores teaching award for his signature course, Convex Optimization, and was named as a 2016 INFORMS Fellow. He is the author of many research articles and three books: Convex Optimization (with Lieven Vandenberghe, 2004), Linear Matrix Inequalities in System and Control Theory (with L. El Ghaoui, E. Feron, and V. Balakrishnan, 1994), and Linear Controller Design: Limits of Performance (with Craig Barratt, 1991). His group has produced many open source tools, including CVX (with Michael Grant), CVXPY (with Steven Diamond) and Convex.jl (with Madeleine Udell and others), widely used parser-solvers for convex optimization.

Stephen is the Samsung Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Information Systems Laboratory at Stanford University. He has courtesy appointments in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and the Department of Computer Science, and is member of the Institute for Computational and Mathematical Engineering. His current research focus is on convex optimization applications in control, signal processing, finance, and circuit design.

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

The IEEE Honors Ceremony was held in San Francisco.  Please join us in congratulating Stephen! 

Related News:

November 2016

November’s Electrical Engineering staff recognized for their outstanding effort are Steven Clark, Rachel Pham and Jennifer Wong. Nominated by peers, students and faculty, each are an example of professional contribution above and beyond their everyday roles, and continue to make profound and positive impact improving everyday work and academic life. 

Please congratulate Steve, Rachel, and Jennifer for their outstanding contributions to the EE department.  

  

Excerpts from this month’s recipient nominations follow. 

Steven Clark, Instructional Labs Manager

  • “Steven constantly goes above and beyond helping make new lab-based classes happen."
  • “He was instrumental in launching EE’s new maker space, lab64."

Rachel Pham, Academic Affairs & Programs Administrator

  • “Rachel was instrumental in the 2016 REU experience being well-attended, and professional."  
  • "I struggled with finalizing the room for my course, and for 2 weeks, she updated a lot — I appreciate her patience and helpfulness!"

Jennifer Wong, Research Administration Manager, Ginzton, E.L. Lab

  • “Jennifer’s timeliness and attention to detail are tremendously appreciated.”
  • “Her extraordinary effort underscores everything she does."

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

 Nominate a deserving staff person or group today! We encourage you to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

 

November 2016


Yanjun Han (PhD candidate) and co-authors Jiantao Jiao (PhD candidate) and Professor Tsachy Weissman received the ISITA 2016 Student Paper Award. The award was announced at the International Symposium on Information Theory and its Applications (ISITA2016) event in Monterey, California.

Their paper is titled, "Minimax Rate-Optimal Estimation of KL Divergence between Discrete Distributions."

Congratulations to Yanjun, Jiantao and Tsachy!

 

 

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