EE Student Information

EE Student Information, Spring Quarter 19-20: FAQs and Updated EE Course List.

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Faculty

image of Professor Pat Hanrahan, 2019 Turing Award winner
March 2020

Congratulations to professor Pat Hanrahan and Ed Catmull

Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) named Pat Hanrahan and Edwin (Ed) Catmull recipients of the 2019 ACM A.M. Turing Award for fundamental contributions to 3-D computer graphics, and revolutionary impact of these techniques on computer-generated imagery (CGI) in filmmaking and other applications.

Pat Hanrahan, Canon Professor in the School of Engineering, said "The announcement came totally out of the blue and I am very proud to accept the Turing Award. It is a great honor, but I must give credit to a generation of computer graphics researchers and practitioners whose work and ideas influenced me over the years."

"All of us at Stanford are tremendously proud of Pat and his accomplishments, and I am delighted that he and his colleague Ed Catmull are being recognized with the prestigious Turing Award," said Stanford President Marc Tessier-Lavigne. "Pat has made pioneering contributions to the field of computer graphics. His work has had a profound impact on filmmaking and has created new artistic possibilities in film, video games, virtual reality and more."

The ACM A.M. 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.

Please join us in congratulating Pat and Ed on receiving the 2019 ACM A.M. Turing Award.

 

Excerpted from ACM Turing Award and news.stanford.edu/2020/03/18/pat-hanrahan-wins-turing-award/

 

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Image credit: Andrew Brodhead

image of EE professors Dwight Nishimura and John Pauly
February 2020

Professors Dwight Nishimura, John Pauly, and Albert Macovski lead the Magnetic Resonance Systems Research Lab (MRSRL) in Electrical Engineering. Their lab designs new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques and equipment for improved disease diagnosis and treatment. These technologies enable MRI scanning with greater speed, clarity, contrast, and comfort. Students and staff work with physicians on imaging solutions for major health problems such as cancer, heart disease, blood vessel disease, and joint pain.

Recently, Dwight and John joined the Medical and Scientific Advisory Board of HeartVista, a pioneer in AI-assisted MRI solutions. The company uses technology that originated in their research lab, MRSRL. Additional details on the MRSRL research can be found on the lab's website: mrsrl.stanford.eduBoth Dwight and John are recipients the highest honor from the International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine – the Gold Medal.

Photo source: mrsrl.stanford.edu

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image of professor Shanhui Fan and postdoc researcher Avik Dutt
February 2020

 

Professor Shanhui Fan and postdoctoral researcher Avik Dutt describe their discovery in an article published in Science.

Essentially, the researchers tricked the photons — which are intrinsically non-magnetic — into behaving like charged electrons. They accomplished this by sending the photons through carefully designed mazes in a way that caused the light particles to behave as if they were being acted upon by what the scientists called a "synthetic" or "artificial" magnetic field.

In the short term, this control mechanism could be used to send more internet data through fiber optic cables. In the future, this discovery could lead to the creation of light-based chips that would deliver far greater computational power than electronic chips. "What we've done is so novel that the possibilities are only just beginning to materialize," said EE postdoc Avik Dutt.

Although still in the experimental stage, these structures represent an advance on the existing mode of computing. Storing information is all about controlling the variable states of particles, and today, scientists do so by switching electrons in a chip on and off to create digital zeroes and ones. A chip that uses magnetism to control the interplay between the photon's color (or energy level) and spin (whether it is traveling in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction) creates more variable states than is possible with simple on-off electrons. Those possibilities will enable scientists to process, store and transmit far more data on photon-based devices than is possible with electronic chips today.

To bring photons into the proximities required to create these magnetic effects, the Stanford researchers used lasers, fiber optic cables and other off-the-shelf scientific equipment. Building these tabletop structures enabled the scientists to deduce the design principles behind the effects they discovered. Eventually they'll have to create nanoscale structures that embody these same principles to build the chip. In the meantime, reports Shanhui Fan, "we've found a relatively simple new mechanism to control light, and that's exciting."

Excerpted from ScienceBlog "What If We Could Teach Photons To Behave Like Electrons?"

 

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February 2020

The Future of Everything

Professor Jelena Vučković is a Jensen Huang Professor in Global Leadership in the School of Engineering, a Professor of Electrical Engineering and by courtesy of Applied Physics at Stanford, where she leads the Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics Lab. She is a director of Q-FARM (Quantum Science and Engineering Initiative), and is also affiliated with Ginzton Lab, PULSE Institute, SIMES Institute, Stanford Photonics Research Center (SPRC), SystemX Alliance, and Bio-X at Stanford.

Jelena joins podcast host Professor Russ Altman to discuss the power and promise of photonics. Transcript available 

 

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professor Andrea Goldsmith
February 2020

Professor Andrea Goldsmith has long been a champion of diversity and inclusion. While chair for an award selection committee, she saw data on gender and geographic diversity and realized that women and people from specific IEEE regions were rarely nominated for major awards. She also realized that implicit bias is likey to play a role in award committees decisions. Since then she has been raising awareness and educating peers about implicit bias.

Andrea leads the IEEE Board of Director's committee on diversity, inclusion, and professional ethics. The committee is aligned into three sub-committees working toward diversity and inclusion across IEEE; merging and raising awareness about IEEE's ethics and conduct codes; and establishing best practices for violations and reporting.

The sub-committee on diversity and inclusion has seen an increase in awareness across all of IEEE, and are witnessing more women and candidates from countries that had been underrepresented, receiving more nominations for IEEE awards.

Another positive result is the adoption of a new diversity statement in the IEEE policies. The updated policy reflects IEEE's longstanding commitment to ensure the engineering profession maximizes its impact and success by welcoming, engaging, and rewarding those who contribute to the field in an equitable manner.

IEEE Diversity Statement

"IEEE's mission to foster technological innovation and excellence to benefit humanity requires the talents and perspectives of people with different personal, cultural, and disciplinary backgrounds. IEEE is committed to advancing diversity in the technical profession, and to promoting an inclusive and equitable culture in its activities and programs that welcomes, engages and rewards those who contribute to the field without regard to race, religion, gender, disability, age, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression."

 

We are proud of Andrea's work raising awareness and accountability for inclusion and diversity.

 prof. Goldsmith with group women engineers, Rising Stars 2017

Prof. Goldsmith (lower left) and Rising Stars Workshop attendees, in the Packard Building atrium.

 

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professor Srabanti Chowdhury
February 2020

Professor Srabanti Chowdhury has been selected as a 2020 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Physics. The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has selected 126 outstanding researchers across eight fields as recipients of the 2020 Sloan Research Fellowships.

Awarded annually since 1955, the fellowships honor scholars in the U.S. and Canada whose creativity, leadership, and independent research achievements make them some of the most promising researchers working today. A full list of the 2020 Fellows cohort is available at https://sloan.org/fellowships/2020-Fellows.

"To receive a Sloan Research Fellowship is to be told by your fellow scientists that you stand out among your peers," says Adam F. Falk, president of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. "A Sloan Research Fellow is someone whose drive, creativity, and insight makes them a researcher to watch."

Open to scholars 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 winners are selected by independent panels of senior scholars on the basis of a candidate's research accomplishments, creativity, and potential to become a leader in his or her field.

 

Congratulations to Srabanti for this outstanding achievement!

 

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Srabanti Chowdhury awarded the Gabilan Faculty Fellowship

professor John Duchi
February 2020
Professor John Duchi has been award the inaugural SIAM Activity Group on Optimization Early Career Prize (SIAG/OPT Early Career Prize). The prize was established in 2018 and is awarded every three years to an outstanding early career researcher in the field of optimization for distinguished contributions to the field in the six calendar years prior to the award year.

John Duchi’s citation reads, "The selection committee wishes to recognize you for your deep and important contributions to convex, nonconvex, and stochastic optimization as well as to the statistical foundations of optimization methods for data science.”


John’s research areas span statistical learning, optimization, information theory, and computation. Please join us in acknowledging John for this special achievement.
 
 

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February 2020

2019 was the Department of Electrical Engineering's 125th anniversary

To mark this unique occasion, we invited distinguished faculty and alumni speakers to share their perspectives on the past, present, and future Stanford Electrical Engineering Department.

Their video presentations are available on the department's YouTube channel, or by clicking any of the title links below.

We invite you to share your memory, anecdote, or reflection in 125 words or less - ee.stanford.edu/EE125-share.

Read what others have shared about their EE journey - ee.stanford.edu/EE125.

 

Timeline of Stanford EE History (shown below in desktop and mobile view) – ee.stanford.edu/about/history

PROF MENDEL ROSENBLUM
January 2020

Congratulations to Professor Mendel Rosenblum. He has been elected to the 2019 Class of National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellows.

The NAI Fellows Program highlights academic inventors who have demonstrated a spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Election to NAI Fellow is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors. To date, NAI Fellows hold more than 41,500 issued U.S. patents, which have generated over 11,000 licensed technologies and companies, and created more than 36 million jobs. In addition, over $1.6 trillion in revenue has been generated based on NAI Fellow discoveries.

"Congratulations to the 2019 class of NAI Fellows," said Laura A. Peter, Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy Director at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). "It is a privilege to welcome these exceptionally-qualified individuals to this prestigious organization. I am certain their accomplishments will inspire the next generation of invention pioneers."

Mendel's research interests include system software, distributed systems, and computer architecture. He has published research in the area of disk storage management, computer simulation techniques, scalable operating system structure, virtualization computer security, and mobility.

Please join us in congratulating Mendel for this wonderful distinction!


 

Excerpted from National Academy of Inventors, Press Release, December 2019. 

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January 2020

A team led by professor Jelena Vučković explained how they carved a nanoscale channel out of silicon, sealed it in a vacuum and sent electrons through this cavity while pulses of infrared light – to which silicon is as transparent as glass is to visible light – were transmitted by the channel walls to speed the electrons along. Their research is published in the January 3 issue of Science. The accelerator-on-a-chip demonstrated in Science is just a prototype, but Vučković said its design and fabrication techniques can be scaled up to deliver particle beams accelerated enough to perform cutting-edge experiments in chemistry, materials science and biological discovery that don't require the power of a massive accelerator.

"The largest accelerators are like powerful telescopes. There are only a few in the world and scientists must come to places like SLAC to use them," Vučković said. "We want to miniaturize accelerator technology in a way that makes it a more accessible research tool."

Team members liken their approach to the way that computing evolved from the mainframe to the smaller but still useful PC. Accelerator-on-a-chip technology could also lead to new cancer radiation therapies, said physicist Robert Byer, a co-author of the Science paper. Again, it's a matter of size. Today, medical X-ray machines fill a room and deliver a beam of radiation that's tough to focus on tumors, requiring patients to wear lead shields to minimize collateral damage.

"In this paper we begin to show how it might be possible to deliver electron beam radiation directly to a tumor, leaving healthy tissue unaffected," said Byer, who leads the Accelerator on a Chip International Program, or ACHIP, a broader effort of which this current research is a part.

The researchers want to accelerate electrons to 94 percent of the speed of light, or 1 million electron volts (1MeV), to create a particle flow powerful enough for research or medical purposes. This prototype chip provides only a single stage of acceleration, and the electron flow would have to pass through around 1,000 of these stages to achieve 1MeV. But that's not as daunting at it may seem, said Vučković, because this prototype accelerator-on-a-chip is a fully integrated circuit. That means all of the critical functions needed to create acceleration are built right into the chip, and increasing its capabilities should be reasonably straightforward.

The researchers plan to pack a thousand stages of acceleration into roughly an inch of chip space by the end of 2020 to reach their 1MeV target. Although that would be an important milestone, such a device would still pale in power alongside the capabilities of the SLAC research accelerator, which can generate energy levels 30,000 times greater than 1MeV. But Byer believes that, just as transistors eventually replaced vacuum tubes in electronics, light-based devices will one day challenge the capabilities of microwave-driven accelerators.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of developing a 1MeV accelerator on a chip, EE professor Olav Solgaard, a co-author on the paper, has already begun work on a possible cancer-fighting application. Today, highly energized electrons aren't used for radiation therapy because they would burn the skin. Solgaard is working on a way to channel high-energy electrons from a chip-sized accelerator through a catheter-like vacuum tube that could be inserted below the skin, right alongside a tumor, using the particle beam to administer radiation therapy surgically.

"We can derive medical benefits from the miniaturization of accelerator technology in addition to the research applications," Solgaard said.

 

Excerpted from Stanford News, "Stanford researchers build a particle accelerator that fits on a chip, miniaturizing a technology that can now find new applications in research and medicine". January 2, 2020.

 

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