professor Gordon Wetzstein
August 2018

Congratulations to professor Gordon Wetzstein! He has been presented with the Significant New Researcher Award for his work in advanced display hardware and display-specific rendering techniques.

Gordon develops displays that address a variety of perceptual challenges, including auto-stereoscopy, the elimination of vergence-accommodation conflict, and elimination of the need for observers with vision defects to wear corrective lenses.

His research has produced technology that corrects for myopia, hyperopia, or presbyopia. The Light Field Stereoscope, in 2015, presented a near-eye display technology that supports focus cues in virtual reality applications.

To utilize these display mechanisms, images are rendered with new algorithms that substantially increase image fidelity. The displays are not only designed, but also prototyped and tested. Indeed, several have been demonstrated in the SIGGRAPH Emerging Technologies exhibit.

Gordon is author or coauthor of over 80 conference and journal publications in Transactions on Graphics and in journals and proceedings in the fields of computer graphics, optics, information display, computer vision, and computational photography. These publications include contributions that support advanced display techniques, such as virtual reality camera rigs and cameras that capture both depth and velocity.

Please join us in congratulating Gordon on this terrific acknowledgement!


Excerpted from siggraph.org's "2018 Significant New Researcher Award: Gordon Wetzstein"


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August 2018

Congratulations to President Emeritus and EE Professor John Hennessy. He has been named the 2018 recipient of the Semiconductor Industry Association's Robert N. Noyce Award. The annual award recognizes a leader who has made outstanding contributions to the semiconductor industry in technology or public policy.

"Throughout his outstanding and influential career spanning more than four decades, John Hennessy has helped move the semiconductor industry forward, leading efforts to advance semiconductor technology and train future generations of electrical engineers," said John Neuffer, president and CEO, Semiconductor Industry Association. "John literally wrote the book on computer architecture design and has spearheaded semiconductor research that has helped make our industry what it is today. On behalf of the SIA board of directors, it is an honor to announce John's selection as the 2018 Robert N. Noyce Award recipient in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments."

John co-developed an approach to computer architecture that came to be known as the reduced instruction set computer (RISC) architecture, which involved significantly fewer transistors. The simpler design led to faster speeds, lower costs and shorter design times.

John joined EE in 1977 as an assistant professor and rose through the academic ranks to become Stanford's 10th president, serving in that role from 2000 until his retirement in 2016. In February 2018, Dr. Hennessy was appointed chairman of Alphabet Inc., parent company of Google.


Please join us in congratulating John on this well-deserved recognition!

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Linvill (left) and Gibbons (right) with first silicon device, circa 1955
July 2018

March 2018 marked the Inaugural John G. Linvill Distinguished Seminar on Electronic Systems Technology. Founded by Professor Emeritus James Gibbons and Professor H.S.- Philip Wong, the intention of the Linvill Seminar is to encourage the exploration of future trajectories for electrical engineering.

John Linvill was a revered figure at Stanford as much for his self-effacing and unpretentious style as for his engineering foresight and his commitment to the entrepreneurial spirit. Linvill helped launch Stanford on a trajectory that would ensure Stanford's continuing leadership in electronics engineering for decades to come. These lectures have been created to help us explore our paths going forward, and to honor John Linvill's enormous legacy as both a faculty member and a department chairman, whose commitment to excellence at Stanford continues to be a model for us all.

Featured speaker, Professor and President Emeritus John L. Hennessy, presented "The End of the Road for General Purpose Processors & the Future of Computing". The inaugural Linvill presentation is available through the video below.


Abstract of "The End of the Road for General Purpose Processors & the Future of Computing" – After 40 years of remarkable progress in VLSI microprocessors, a variety of factors are combining to lead to a much slower rate of performance growth in the future. These limitations arise from three different areas: IC technology, architectural limitations, and changing applications and usage. The end of Dennard scaling and the slowdown in Moore's Law will require more efficient architectural approaches than we have relied on to date. Although progress on general-purpose processors may hit an asymptote, domain specific architectures may be one attractive path for important classes of problems.

Read more about John Linvill

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Yilong Geng (EE PhD candidate) presenting at NSDI '18
July 2018

Interdisciplinary research between professor Balaji Prabhakar, his team, and Google has produced a software clock synchronization system that can track time down to 100 billionths of a second.

The paper, presented at NSDI '18, describes a nanosecond-level clock synchronization that can be an enabler of a new spectrum of timing- and delay-critical applications in data centers.

The current, popular clock synchronization algorithm, NTP, can only achieve millisecond-level accuracy. Current solutions for achieving a synchronization accuracy of 10s-100s of nanoseconds require specially designed hardware throughout the network for combatting random network delays and component noise or to exploit clock synchronization inherent in Ethernet standards for the PHY.

The research team presents HUYGENS, named for the Dutch physicist Christiaan Huygens, who invented the pendulum clock in 1656. HUYGENS is a software clock synchronization system that uses a synchronization network and leverages three key ideas. First, coded probes identify and reject impure probe data—data captured by probes which suffer queuing delays, random jitter, and NIC timestamp noise. HUYGENS then processes the purified data with Support Vector Machines, a widely-used and powerful classifier, to accurately estimate one-way propagation times and achieve clock synchronization to within 100 nanoseconds. Finally, HUYGENS exploits a natural network effect—the idea that a group of pair-wise synchronized clocks must be transitively synchronized— to detect and correct synchronization errors even further.

The importance of technical advances in measuring time was underscored by European regulations that went into effect in January and that require financial institutions to synchronize time-stamped trades with microsecond accuracy.

Being able to trade at the nanosecond level is vital to Nasdaq. Two years ago, it debuted the Nasdaq Financial Framework, a software system that it has envisioned eventually trading everything from stocks and bonds to fish and car-sharing rides.

The new synchronization system will make it possible for Nasdaq to offer "pop-up" electronic markets on short notice anywhere in the world, Mr. Prabhakar said. He cited the World Cup as a hypothetical example of a short-term electronic marketplace.

"There are tickets needed, housing, people will need transportation," he said. "Think of an electronic market almost like a massive flea market hosted by Nasdaq software."

The HUYGENS team is Yilong Geng (EE PhD candidate), Shiyu Liu (EE PhD candidate), and Zi Yin (EE PhD candidate), Ashish Naik (Google Inc.) EE professors Balaji Prabhakar and Mendel Rosenblum, and Amin Vahdat (Google Inc.)


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July 2018

Congratulations to professors Jon Fan and Juan Rivas-Davila! Two of their researchers won the 2018 NASA iTech Forum. The event is a collaborative effort between NASA and the U.S. Department (DOE) of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to find and foster innovative solutions for critical energy challenges on Earth and in space.

The winning project was presented by Grayson Zulauf and Thaibao (Peter) Phan. Both are PhD candidates. Their collaborative project is developing technology for wireless charging of electric vehicles on Earth, and eventually, Mars. The researchers received invaluable feedback from NASA and DOE's ARPA-E leaders, as well as experts in the field of advanced energy technology.

"NASA is proud to provide a platform for innovators that exposes them to a cadre of industry experts who will be instrumental in the development of their technologies," said Kira Blackwell, NASA iTech program executive for STMD. "NASA's chief technologists and the U.S. Department of Energy's leading subject matter experts provided the teams with a better understanding of requirements for potential infusion of their technologies within a space environment."

Judges selected the top three innovations based on criteria including technical viability, the likely impact on future space exploration, benefits to humanity and commercialization potential. The teams representing the top three entries selected at the end of the forum received a trophy during the recognition ceremony on June 14.

"Our mission at ARPA-E is to change what's possible. We've been delighted to collaborate with NASA for the iTech challenge, to highlight and empower the people driving energy innovation across our country," said Conner Prochaska, senior advisor and chief of staff for ARPA-E. "We look forward to future collaborative opportunities with NASA so, together, we can continue to cultivate the next generation of energy technologies for Americans on the ground and in space."

"It was an honor for Citi to host 'Energy-Tech' thought leaders -- policy makers, academics, scientists, investors and innovators -- for NASA iTech challenge," said Jay Collins, vice chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking at Citi. "We were proud to work with NASA on such an important effort to move energy technology out of the lab and into scalnble solutions for the Moon, Mars and the planet Earth. Congratulations to the winners, whose technological leadership and entrepreneurialism made us all proud."

The top three winners of NASA iTech's 2018 Energy Cycle are listed in alphabetical order:

  • iFeather, Boulder, Colorado. In-situ Fabrication of Extraterrestrial Aerogels for Transparency, Heat, and Energy Regulation (iFEATHER) for Habitat, Aeronautic and Space Vessel, and Space Suit Applications. Focus area: Innovative Power Management and Distribution
  • Stanford University - Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford, California. Two C: Transportation Electrification through Ubiquitous Wireless Charging. Focus area: Innovative Power Management and Distribution
  • WBGlobalSemi, Inc., Lakewood Ranch, Florida. Commercializing High Power Silicon Carbide (SiC) Bipolar Junction Transistors (BJTs) and Power Modules for Power Management and Distributed Power Applications. Focus area: Innovative Power Management and Distribution


Grayson Zulauf (third from left) is an EE PhD candidate. He is a researcher in the SUPERLab, directed by Professor Juan Rivas-Davila. the Fan Lab is directed by professor Jonathan Fan.



Congratulations Jon, Juan, Grayson and Peter!

July 2018

Professor Dwight G. Nishimura has received the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) Gold Medal. This is the highest award of the ISMRM society.

His citation reads, "For pioneering innovations in angiography, fast imaging pulse sequences, image reconstruction, and MR education.

Dwight was honored at an award ceremony during the Joint Annual Meeting ISMRM–ESMRMB held in Paris, France in June. The award presentation listed highlighted his contributions, including

  • Theme of coronary MR angiography
  • Spiral imaging
  • Tagging sequences
  • Spectral-spatial excitations
  • Non-contrast MRA

A professor of Electrical Engineering, Dwight is the Addie and Al Macovski Professor in the School of Engineering.


Please join us in congratulating Dwight for this well-deserved award!

Dr. Andrea Goldsmith wins 2019 IEEE Sumner Award
June 2018

Professor Andrea Goldsmith has been awarded the 2019 Eric E. Sumner Award. Andrea is the Stephen Harris professor in the School of Engineering.

Professor Goldsmith's research is focused on the design, analysis, and fundamental performance limits of wireless systems and networks, as well as the application of communications and signal processing to biology and neuroscience.

Her IEEE citation reads "For contributions to the fundamental understanding and innovation in adaptive and multiple antenna techniques for wireless communication networks."


The IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1995.

It is named in honor of 1991 IEEE President Eric E. Sumner, who retired as Vice President, Operations Planning, AT&T Bell Laboratories after a long and distinguished career.

Please join us in congratulating Andrea for this well-deserved award!

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June 2018

Professor of Electrical Engineering Ayfur Ozgur Aydin has won the 2018 Okawa Foundation Research Grant. The Research Grant Presentation Ceremony will occur in San Francisco in September.

The mission of the Okawa Foundation is promotion and development in the field of Information and Communications Technology through awards and research grants as well as efforts to nurture researchers, engineers, and providers. It also seeks to promote diversity and ubiquitousness of human communication and thereby contribute to the peace and prosperity of humankind.


Please join us in congratulating Ayfer for this well-deserved award!


Read more about the Okawa Foundation: www.okawa-foundation.or.jp/en/outline/index.html

June 2018

A paper by Emeritus Professor Thomas Kailath and co-authors is included in the top 10 notable papers from the last 50 years of papers published in the journal "Linear Algebra and its Application (LAA)." LAA is published by Elsevier and was the first journal devoted to linear algebra.

Along with Thomas Kailath (Electrical Engineering), three more Stanford faculty have papers included in the notable papers list. Including Richard W. Cottle (Management Science and Engineering), George B. Dantzig (Operations Research and Computer Science), and G.H. Golub (Computer Science).

Please join us in congratulating Thomas Kailath along with all of the authors on their extraordinary contributions!


All of the notable papers are free to access, and are hosted in the Elsevier Mathematics Open Archive. The 10 notable papers are:

Complementary pivot theory of mathematical programming, Volume 1, Issue 1, January 1968, Pages 103-125, Richard W. Cottle, George B. Dantzig

On the Eneström-Kakeya theorem and its sharpness, Volume 28, December 1979, Pages 5-16, N. Anderson, E.B. Saff, R.S. Varga

A new look at the Lanczos algorithm for solving symmetric systems of linear equations, Volume 29, February 1980, Pages 323-346, B.N. Parlett

A generalization of the Eckart-Young-Mirsky matrix approximation theorem, Volumes 88–89, April 1987, Pages 317-327, G.H. Golub, Alan Hoffman, G.W. Stewart

Linear complexity parallel algorithms for linear systems of equations with recursive structure, Volumes 88–89, April 1987, Pages 271-315, I. Gohberg, T. Kailath, I. Koltracht, P. Lancaster

Scalings of matrices which have prespecified row sums and column sums via optimization, Volumes 114–115, March–April 1989, Pages 737-764, Uriel G. Rothblum, Hans Schneider

Pencils of complex and real symmetric and skew matrices, Volume 147, March 1991, Pages 323-371, Robert C. Thompson

Riemannian geometry and matrix geometric means, Volume 413, Issues 2–3, 1 March 2006, Pages 594-618, Rajendra Bhatia, John Holbrook

A constructive version of the Boyle–Handelman theorem on the spectra of nonnegative matrices, Volume 436, Issue 6, 15 March 2012, Pages 1701-1709, Thomas J. Laffey

Perron–Frobenius theorem for nonnegative multilinear forms and extensions, Volume 438, Issue 2, 15 January 2013, Pages 738-749, S. Friedland, S. Gaubert, L. Han


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Emeritus professor James Gibbons
May 2018

Congratulations to emeritus professor Jim Gibbons! Recognized by Avenidas for his significant contributions in the social well-being of the community at large.

"[...T]he former Dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford, is known internationally for his important achievements in education and for his development of fabrication technologies that were foundational for the modern semiconductor industries in Silicon Valley and around the world. Less well known is the fact that his work has also contributed significantly to the social well-being of our community at large. Jim also served on no less than 13 boards in the Valley (among them Cisco, Raychem, SRI, Lockheed Martin, PARC, and more). In the educational field, he vastly expanded and improved the Stanford Instructional Television Network, which provided topnotch education via television to thousands of engineers at local companies. Again, this provided a crucial piece of "infrastructure" to the Valley, and was a forerunner of present internet courses.

His engagement with the Santa Clara Juvenile Hall in 1996 led him and his colleagues at SERA Learning to develop a successful program that teaches at-risk youth how to manage their anger and walk away from fights. SERA's "Skills for Managing Anger" course has since be used in 355 schools and juvenile justice applications across the country, including Columbine High School and NYC after 9 /11. It included new student centered teaching methods that Jim had developed for the Stanford Video program. Jim credits his wife Lynn who supported him in all his endeavors. He says: "She encouraged me to do things that would serve the needs of others." Avenidas is thrilled to celebrate Jim's amazing contributions and success."

The 2018 Lifetimes of Achievement honorees include Nancy Mueller, Dick Mansfield, Ellie Mansfield, Kristine Erving, John Erving, Christy Holloway and Jim Gibbons.


Excerpted from the Avenidas press release, "Avenidas Unveils Names of Community Contributors for the 2018 Avenidas Lifetime of Achievement Awards," February 12, 2018.


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