Award

June 2016

Andrea Montanari has been selected to receive the 2016 IEEE Information Theory Society James L. Massey Research & Teaching Award for Young Scholars

Andrea's research focuses on developing efficient algorithms to make sense of large amounts of noisy data, extract information from observations, and estimate signals from measurements. This effort spans several disciplines including statistics, computer science, information theory, machine learning. He is also working on applications of these techniques to healthcare data analytics.

2016 marks the second year of the James L. Massey Research & Teaching Award for Young Scholars. The award is named in honor of James L. Massey, who was an internationally acclaimed pioneer in digital communications and a revered teacher and mentor to an entire generation of communications engineers. He was one of the outstanding researchers and leaders of the IEEE Information Theory Society over a period of 50 years. This award recognizes "outstanding achievement in research and teaching by young scholars in the Information Theory community."

 

Congratulations Andrea!
Read his EE SPOTLIGHT article.

 

June 2016

Kartik Venkat (PhD '15) has won the 2016 Thomas M. Cover Dissertation Award. The title of his thesis is "Relations Between Information and Estimation: A Unified View."

The Thomas M. Cover Award was established by the IEEE Information Theory Society in 2013. It is awarded annually to the author of an outstanding doctoral dissertation contributing to the mathematical foundations of any of the information sciences within the purview of the Society. Including, but not limited to, Shannon theory, source and channel encoding theory, data compression, learning theory, quantum information theory and computing, complexity theory, and applications of information theory in probability and statistics.

Kartik completed his PhD December 2015. In 2015, he also received the Marconi Young Scholars Award, at which time he planned to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities to apply his work to real world problems, taking "deep ideas in research and using them to transform the way an industry is viewed."

 

Congratulations to Kartik!

Read Kartik's EE Spotlight article

June 2016

Professor emeritus Calvin Quate has won the 2016 Kavli Nanoscience Prize, along with Gerd Binnig, former member of IBM Zurich Research Laboratory, and Christoph Gerber, of the University of Basel, for the invention of atomic force microscopy.

Throughout his career, Quate invented transformational imaging and sensing technologies that continue to be used in research labs around the world, and even on the surface of Mars. Along with Ross Lemons, he developed the scanning acoustic microscope in the early 1970s. The atomic force microscope (AFM) came in 1986, after working with Gerd Binnig and Christoph Gerber, who share the Kavli Prize with Quate.

The atomic force microscope uses a stylus with a small tip – less than 30 nanometers wide – to move across the surface of an object, bobbing up and down as it passes over the topography of the surface. When the stylus tip crosses a change in the surface, force passes from the stylus to an attached cantilever, which flexes. Instruments record the cantilever's flexing to create an image accurate to the atomic level.

An example of the Atomic Force Microscope (AFM) is on display in the atrium of the Packard Building. 

 The Kavli Prize is a partnership among The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, The Kavli Foundation and The Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Winners of each prize will receive a gold medal and share $1 million (U.S.), given during an awards ceremony in Oslo.


Read full Stanford News article.

 

May 2016

EE PhD candidates Spyridon Baltsavias and Junyi Wang have been selected as one of eight winning teams in the 2016 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship.

Their proposal "Advanced Ultrasound Sensing in the Modern Wireless World: a Miniaturized Ultrasound Transducer System for Biomedical Applications" was reviewed by Qualcomm Research's top engineers. Spyridon and Junyi were then invited to present to a panel of executive judges. Winning students receive a one year fellowship and are mentored by Qualcomm engineers to help facilitate the success of the proposed research.

Congratulations to Spyridon, Junyi, and their advisors, Professors Amin Arbabian and Butrus T. Khuri-Yakub. A description of their winning proposal follows:

 Ultrasound is an invaluable technology that is widely used today in hospitals as an imaging and diagnostic tool. An example ultrasound system is the ultrasonic endoscope, which doctors use to probe the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of a patient and diagnose a variety of diseases and cancers affecting hundreds of thousands of people each year. Existing systems however have several limitations: they tend to be bulky and power-hungry, while procedures are expensive, and even traumatic for patients.

What if we could take the technology from the stationary, bulky form factor, and shrink it down to a disposable pill that can be swallowed at the convenience of the patient? This idea resulted in our proposal for the Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, where we introduced our miniature ultrasonic ingestible pill, to be demonstrated as a promising alternative to the GI endoscopic procedure. We envision our system to operate as follows: after the pill is swallowed by a patient, it travels through the intestinal system. By emitting and receiving ultrasound waves, ultrasonic "cameras" around the pill take images of the walls of the tract, as well as deeper layers and even surrounding organs. Then the captured images are wirelessly transmitted to a device worn by the patient, such as a smartphone, and can be used by medical experts for diagnosis and screening for bleeding, cancerous tissue, and other diseases.

Although ambitious, we believe our idea to be feasible through the combination of advanced electronics and advanced imaging techniques. Using flexible capacitive micromachined ultrasonic transducers (CMUTs) developed by Professor Butrus T. Khuri-Yakub's research group, and an application-specific-integrated-circuit (ASIC) with RF wireless capabilities, jointly being designed by Prof. Amin Arbabian's and Prof. Khuri-Yakub's groups, we aim to bring this project to fruition and develop a platform that could in the future enable a vast array of exciting new biomedical and consumer applications on and inside the human body.

Oil painting of Fred Terman
May 2016

The Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Award for Scholastic Achievement has been awarded to five EE undergraduates. The Terman Award is one of the most selective academic awards. It is based on overall academic performance and is presented to the top five percent of each year's School of Engineering seniors. The 2015-2016 Terman Scholars include five undergraduate seniors from Electrical Engineering.

Congratulations to all Terman Award recipients. The five EE students are:

  • Cynthia De Dalmady ( pictured below front row, left)
  • Yuki Inoue (front row, center)
  • Kristen Pownell (front row, right)
  • Allan Raventos Knohr (back row, fifth from left)
  • Moosa Zaidi (back row, sixth from left)

Terman scholars are invited to attend a celebratory luncheon and encouraged to invite the most influential secondary school or other pre-college teacher who guided them during the formative stages of their academic career. Pictured below are the 2015-16 Terman Scholars majoring in EE, along with their Stanford advisors and influential pre-college teachers.

The award is named after Fred Terman who was the fourth Dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford, serving from 1944-1958, after which he became the Provost at the University, and is generally credited, along with President Wally Sterling, as having started the process that has led Stanford to its present position among the leading universities of the world.

April 2016

DiscoverEE Days welcomes newly admitted grad students, connecting them with EE students, faculty and staff. The 2-day event brings everyone together; encouraging exploration of the department and current research. The event concludes with a student research poster session, social reception and raffle. This year, admits were able to view and discuss 25 posters.

Posters present research from EE's core and subareas, and is an opportunity for graduate students to verbally and visually present their work. Posters are judged by a group of staff, faculty and students. Judging criteria is based on overall oral presentation, visual quality, and presenting within a one minute timeframe. Three winners, one from each core research area, were selected. The awards went to:

Neal Master (pictured center), Information Systems & Science
 Nicholas McDonald (not pictured), Hardware/Software Systems
Ning Wang (pictured left), Physical Technology & Science

Winning presenters were awarded a gift card and certificate, presented by Professor Andrea Goldsmith (pictured right).

The raffle winner was Sawaby Mahmoud, pictured with Professor Goldsmith below. His area of research is Information Systems and Science.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating in DiscoverEE Days.
Additional thanks to the EE Admissions, GSEE, and the EE Student Life Committee for sponsoring the poster contest and generous prizes.


 

March 2016

The Staff Gift Card Program awarded four staff members a $50 Visa card. Nominations were submitted recognizing each of them for their professional contributions that are above and beyond their everyday roles. Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in their daily work life.

 

Please congratulate the awardees listed below with excerpts from their nominations.

John DeSilva, Systems & Network Manager, EE

  • "He's really proactive; letting us know about potential issues. John always makes himself available, and is quick to solve the problem."
  • "His knowledge and upbeat attitude make him pleasure to work with."

Marsha Dillon, Executive Assistant to the Chair, EE

  • "Marsha's ability to troubleshoot and work through projects of all kinds is truly appreciated!"
  • "Her thoroughness is a great asset."

Megan Hagquist, Research and Financial Administrator, ERA

  • "Megan has made great strides towards improving the efficiency of aspects of our work."
  • "She is truly a wonderful addition to our group!"

Emily Wang, Associate Director of Graduate Admissions, EE

  • "Emily works extremely well with everyone and consistently performs in an outstanding fashion."
  • "She has been instrumental in supporting the department with our admissions system."

 

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 today!

February 2016

A reception honoring School of Engineering staff for their years of service was held Monday, February 29th. Eleven Electrical Engineering staff were acknowledged for their valuable contributions and service to the department and Stanford University.

"EE appreciates the dedication of our staff," states Abbas El Gamal, EE's Chair. "Not only do they keep our department running efficiently and smoothly, they provide vital support to our faculty and students' research. We are fortunate to have such dedicated staff assisting in the extraordinary work being done in EE and at Stanford."

 

Thank you to all EE staff for your dedication.

Individuals recognized at the 2016 School of Engineering Seervice Award Reception include:

  • John DeSilva, 5 Years of Service
  • Jun-Hua (June) Wang, 10 Years of Service
  • Adam Kerr, 10 Years of Service
  • Mackenzie Mazariegos, 10 Years of Service
  • Maria Spasojevic, 10 Years of Service
  • Kelly Yilmaz, 15 Years of Service
  • Joseph Little, 20 Years of Service
  • Amy Duncan, 25 Years of Service
  • Ann Guerra, 30 Years of Service
  • Charles Orgish, 30 Years of Service
  • Victoria Carrillo, 35 Years of Service

 

Pictured from left to right are School of Engineering Dean Persis S. Drell, John DeSilva, Charles Orgish, Amy Duncan, Joe Little, Victoria Carrillo, Ann Guerra, Jun-Hua (June) Wang.

March 2016

Emeritus Professor Martin E. Hellman and former Sun Microsystems Chief Security Officer Whitfield Diffie, have been named recipients of the 2015 ACM A.M. Turing Award for critical contributions to modern cryptography. The ability for two parties to communicate privately over a secure channel is fundamental for billions of people around the world. On a daily basis, individuals establish secure online connections with banks, e-commerce sites, email servers and the cloud. Diffie and Hellman's groundbreaking 1976 paper, "New Directions in Cryptography," introduced the ideas of public-key cryptography and digital signatures, which are the foundation for most regularly-used security protocols on the Internet today. The Diffie-Hellman Protocol protects daily Internet communications and trillions of dollars in financial transactions.

The ACM Turing Award, often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Computing," carries a $1 million prize with financial support provided by Google, Inc. It is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing and who was a key contributor to the Allied cryptoanalysis of the German Enigma cipher during World War II.

"Today, the subject of encryption dominates the media, is viewed as a matter of national security, impacts government-private sector relations, and attracts billions of dollars in research and development," said ACM President Alexander L. Wolf. "In 1976, Diffie and Hellman imagined a future where people would regularly communicate through electronic networks and be vulnerable to having their communications stolen or altered. Now, after nearly 40 years, we see that their forecasts were remarkably prescient."

Please join us in congratulating Marty for this outstanding recognition of his public key cryptography.


 

Excerpts from the ACM Press Release

Read Stanford Report article

 

February 2016

Jonathan Fan selected as a 2016 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is pleased to announce the selection of 126 outstanding U.S. and Canadian researchers as recipients of the 2016 Sloan Research Fellowships. Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders.

"Getting early-career support can be a make-or-break moment for a young scholar," said Paul L. Joskow, President of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "In an increasingly competitive academic environment, it can be difficult to stand out, even when your work is first rate. The Sloan Research Fellowships have become an unmistakable marker of quality among researchers. Fellows represent the best-of-the-best among young scientists."

Awarded in eight scientific and technical fields—chemistry, computer science, economics, mathematics, computational and evolutionary molecular biology, neuroscience, ocean sciences, and physics—the Sloan Research Fellowships are awarded in close coordination with the scientific community. Candidates must be nominated by their fellow scientists and winning fellows are selected by an independent panel of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate's independent research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

 

Congratulations to Jonathan for this outstanding achievement!

 

The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation is a philanthropic, not-for-profit grant making institution based in New York City. Established in 1934 by Alfred Pritchard Sloan Jr., then-President and Chief Executive Officer of the General Motors Corporation, the Foundation makes grants in support of original research and education in science, technology, engineering, mathematics, and economics. www.sloan.org

Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Press Release

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