Faculty

image of 2019 student speaker, Meera Radhakrishnan, BS'19; MS'20
June 2019

In 1894, the Electrical Engineering Department awarded its first Bachelor's Degree to Lucien Howard Gilmore, at Stanford's Third Annual Commencement. 

125 years later, Samsung Professor in the School of Engineering and Chair of Electrical Engineering, Stephen P. Boyd introduced the 2019 graduates and faculty, to a large audience of family and friends. The event took place on the Medical School Dean's Lawn. Stephen acknowledged the students, families, staff, and faculty for their tremendous support of this year's graduates.

Throughout the academic year, students, faculty and staff are recognized for their contributions to the well-being of the department. The commencement event provides an opportunity for spotlighting many of these awards and tremendous contributions by individuals.

 

The 2019 Design Award Recipients

Professor John Pauly awarded two undergraduate students with the Student Design Project Awards. The capstone projects coalesce curriculum and allow students to innovate in novel ways.

  • Annie Elizabeth Brantigan (EE 168)
  • Caroline Braviak (EE 168)

2019 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award Recipients - EE News Article
Teaching Assistants who excel in teaching are recognized by students and faculty. The centennial Award recognizes tremendous service and dedication in providing excellent classroom instruction.

  • Mohammad Asif Zaman

2019 James F. Gibbons Award for Outstanding Student Teaching
The James F. Gibbons Award for Outstanding Student Teaching Award highlights students who have been nominated by faculty and peers for their extraordinary service as teaching assistants. We are deeply appreciative of the commitment to learning and sharing that our students display.

  • Mitch Pleus
  • Georgia Murray
  • "Jack" Humphries

Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Scholastic Award - EE News Article, Jonathan & Meera ; EE News Article, Anastasios 
The Terman Award is presented to the top 5% of each senior class in the School of Engineering. We are pleased that 3 of our undergraduates received this recognition for their outstanding work.

  • Anastasios Angelopoulos, BS '19.
  • Jonathan Taylor Lin, BS '19; MS '20
  • Meera Radhakrishnan, BS '19; MS '20 (pictured below)

Nine EE students were elected to Phi Beta Kappa for their academic excellence and breadth of their scholarly accomplishments. Seven are 2019 graduates!

  • Anastasios Angelopoulos
  • Caroline Braviak
  • Sabar Dasgupta
  • Breno de Mello Dal Bianco
  • Vickram Gidwani
  • Joseph Yen
  • Robert Young
  • Namrata Balasingam (future graduate)
  • Milind Jagota (future graduate)

The 2018-19 Tau Beta Pi (TBP) Teaching Honor Roll recognizes engineering instructors for excellent teaching, commitment to students, and great mentoring. Professor Mary Wootters received this award for her excellent instruction and commitment, and EE lecturer David Obershaw was also honored for his outstanding commitment to students and instruction.

Chair's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education
As in past years, this award is a surprise for the audience and the recipient. Meo Kittiwanich recieved the 2019 Chair's Award. She has mastered a number of student services roles, giving her deep insight into student, faculty and staff perspectives. Most recently, she accepted a promotion to Director of Student and Academic Affairs for EE. Meo has guided, directly or indirectly, each and every one of our graduates.

The 2019 Student Speaker was coterminal student Meera Radhakrishnan (BS '19; MS '20). She spoke of her path to EE – realizing a brain MRI was the closest she would get to doing magic, while taking Professor Dwight Nishimura's introductory seminar on medical imaging, freshman year. Since then she and her EE friends have continued to develop their superpowers in various directions, including overcoming challenging labs, solvong infinite problem sets, attending midnight breakfasts with Stanford's President, and efficiently solving escape room puzzles.

"[...] I hope that in the years to come we will share our hard-won superpowers with the rest of the world and make a positive impact in whatever way is most meaningful to each of us. Thank you all for a wonderful four years, and I'm excited to see where our new adventures will take us. Again, congratulations 2019 Graduates and I wish you all the best for a bright future ahead!"  ~Meera Radhakrishnan


 

image of professor John Duchi
June 2019

Congratulations to Professor John Duchi on receiving the 2019 Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Award.

John's research interests span statistics, machine learning, computation, and optimization. Modern techniques for data gathering have yielded extraordinary mass and diversity of data. Yet the amount of data is no panacea; it is challenging to identify the best ways to analyze and make inferences from the information collected. How can we balance multiple criteria – such as computation, communication, or privacy –while maintaining statistical performance?

The Office of Naval Research (ONR) Young Investigator Program seeks to identify and support academic scientists and engineers who are in their first or second full-time tenure-track or tenure-track-equivalent academic appointment, who have received their doctorate or equivalent degree on or after 01 January 2011, and who show exceptional promise for doing creative research. The objectives of this program are to attract outstanding faculty members of Institutions of Higher Education to the Department of the Navy's Science and Technology (S&T) research program, to support their research, and to encourage their teaching and research careers.

View 2019 ONR Young Investigator Award Recipients


Please join us in congratulating John for this well-deserved recognition.  

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portrait of professor Andrea Goldsmith
June 2019

Congratulations to Professor Andrea Goldsmith for receiving the 2019 Qualcomm Faculty Award. Andrea is the Stephen Harris Professor in the School of Engineering. Her research interests are in information theory, communication theory, and signal processing, and their application to wireless communications, interconnected systems, and neuroscience.

Andrea introduced innovative approaches to the design, analysis and fundamental performance limits of wireless systems and networks. Her efforts helped develop technologies used in long-term evolution (LTE) cellular devices as well as the Wi-Fi standards that are used in wireless local area networks. She founded two companies to commercialize her work, which has led to the adoption of her ideas throughout the communications industry.

The Qualcomm Faculty Award (QFA) supports key professors and their research through a charitable donation. The goal of the QFA funding is to advance wireless communications research and to strengthen Qualcomm's engagement with faculty who are playing a key role in Qualcomm's recruitment of top graduate students.

 

Please join us in congratulating Andrea for this award!

 

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incoming EE professor Chelsea Finn
May 2019

Congratulations to incoming EE and CS professor Chelsea Finn. She was awarded the 2019 ACM Doctoral Dissertation Award for her dissertation, "Learning to Learn with Gradients." In her thesis, Finn introduced algorithms for meta-learning that enable deep networks to solve new tasks from small datasets, and demonstrated how her algorithms can be applied in areas including computer vision, reinforcement learning and robotics.

Deep learning has transformed the artificial intelligence field and has led to significant advances in areas including speech recognition, computer vision and robotics. However, deep learning methods require large datasets, which aren't readily available in areas such as medical imaging and robotics.

Meta-learning is a recent innovation that holds promise to allow machines to learn with smaller datasets. Meta-learning algorithms "learn to learn" by using past data to learn how to adapt quickly to new tasks. However, much of the initial work in meta-learning focused on designing increasingly complex neural network architectures. In her dissertation, Finn introduced a class of methods called model-agnostic meta-learning (MAML) methods, which don't require computer scientists to manually design complex architectures. Finn's MAML methods have had tremendous impact on the field and have been widely adopted in reinforcement learning, computer vision and other fields of machine learning.

At a young age, Finn has become one of the most recognized experts in the field of robotic learning. She has developed some of the most effective methods to teach robots skills to control and manipulate objects. In one instance highlighted in her dissertation, she used her MAML methods to teach a robot reaching and placing skills, using raw camera pixels from just a single human demonstration.

Finn is a Research Scientist at Google Brain and a postdoctoral researcher at the Berkeley AI Research Lab (BAIR). In the fall of 2019, she will start a full-time appointment as an Assistant Professor at Stanford University. Finn received her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley and a BS in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

 

Join us in congratulating Chelsea on this well-deserved award!

 

 

Source: www.acm.org/media-center/2019/may/dissertation-award-2018

image of Professor Shan Wang!
April 2019

[Excerpted from Stanford News]

Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S. and a growing problem around the world, but not because it's a particularly difficult cancer to detect and halt. The problem, doctors and researchers believe, is that not enough people are being screened for early signs of the disease, either because they do not know the recommendations or because they are avoiding getting a colonoscopy, which many perceive as an unpleasant procedure.

The current alternatives, said Professor Shan Wang, aren't exactly more pleasant – most of those involve gathering and testing stool samples.

But Shan, his graduate student Jared Nesvet and Uri Ladabaum, a professor of medicine, may have at least a possible solution: a blood test to detect colorectal cancer, which in principle would be less expensive, less invasive and more convenient than colonoscopies and other current tests, the researchers said. Wang and Nesvet have already developed a test that works in the controlled environment of a materials science lab, and now, with help from a Stanford ChEM-H seed grant, the trio are working to validate their approach in the real world of clinical medicine.

[...]

Shan and Nesvet have tested their idea in the lab, and it works well so far, Nesvet said. Now, with help from Ladabaum and the ChEM-H grant, they'll start testing it on blood samples from real patients. Among the questions they'll address are practical ones about how to identify the right people to study, when to draw blood or how to handle the samples.

"That's where we as clinical researchers can help," Ladabaum said.

Shan cautions that a new screen for colon cancer is still a ways off, and that it could involve hundreds, if not thousands, of blood samples before they can be confident their blood test really works. "I expect this will be a five- to 10-year study to bring this technology to fruition," he said.

 

Read full story, "Stanford doctors, materials scientists hope a blood test will encourage more colon cancer screenings."

 


 

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image of professor Jon Fan
April 2019

Professor of Electrical Engineering Jonathan Fan has won the 2019 Okawa Foundation Research Grant. The Research Grant Presentation Ceremony will occur in San Francisco later this year.

The mission of the Okawa Foundation is promotion and development in the field of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) 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 Jonathan for this well-deserved award!

 

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

image of professor Eric Pop
April 2019

Professor Eric Pop was featured in a "People Behind the Science" podcast. People Behind the Science's mission is to inspire current and future scientists, share the different paths to a successful career in science, educate the general population on what scientists do, and show the human side of science. In each episode, a different scientist talks about their journey by sharing their successes, failures, and passions.

Excerpts of Eric's conversation follow.
Please visit People Behind the Science for the full episode.


The Scientific Side (timestamp 3:20)

Research in Eric's laboratory spans electronics, electrical engineering, physics, nanomaterials, and energy. They are interested in applying materials with nanoscale properties to engineer better electronics such as transistors, circuits, and data storage mechanisms. Eric is also investigating ways to better manage the heat that electronics generate.

A Dose of Motivation (timestamp 5:17)

Eric is motivated by curiosity and ensuring that the work they do in the lab is useful to people.

Advice For Us All (timestamp 53:40)

Clearly communicating your research is critically important. This includes all forms of communication, whether it is verbal, written, or visual. Before you give a presentation or communicate your work, you should really try to understand your audience. Get a sense of who they are, what they care about, and the best way to convey the cool things you are working on to them. Regardless of what career you choose, being able to share your ideas with people and convince them of the importance of your work will define your career.

 

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image of professor Srabanti Chowdhury
April 2019

Professor Srabanti Chowdhury has been awarded the Gabilan Faculty Fellowship. The Gabilan Fellows comprise a group of faculty whose aim is to contribute to the support of women in the sciences and engineering at Stanford. Srabanti was appointed by Provost Persis Drell and Vice Provost for Faculty Development and Diversity Karen Cook. Gabilan Fellows have the opportunity to be part of a collegial and vibrant community from the biosciences, engineering, and natural and mathematical sciences.

Srabanti's research focuses on wideband gap (WBG) materials and device engineering for energy efficient and compact system architecture for power electronics, and RF applications. Besides Gallium Nitride, her group is exploring Diamond for various electronic applications. She received her B.Tech in India in Radiophysics and Electronics (Univ. of Calcutta) and her M.S and PhD in Electrical Engineering from University of California, Santa Barbara. She received the DARPA Young Faculty Award, NSF CAREER and AFOSR Young Investigator Program (YIP) in 2015. In 2016 she received the Young Scientist award at the International Symposium on Compound Semiconductors (ISCS). Among her various synergistic activities, she serves as the member of two committees under IEEE Electron Device Society (Compound Semiconductor Devices & Circuits Committee Members and Power Devices and ICs Committee). She has served the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) technical sub committee on Power Devices & Compound Semiconductor and High Speed Devices (PC) sub-committee in 2016 and 2017. She was the PC subcommittee chair for IEDM-2018, and continues to serve the IEDM executive committee for 2019. She is a senior member of IEEE.

 

Please join us in congratulating Srabanti on her well-deserved recognition!

 

image of Professor Balaji Prabhakar
April 2019

Professors Balaji Prabhakar and Darrell Duffie (GSB) held a moderated conversation about the next generation of finance and high-speed technologies.

Balaji described the accelerating timeframes that gird securities trading infrastructure, where the time from "tick to trade" is now measured in tens of nanoseconds. He also highlighted the potential problems and advantages to be gained by exploiting such lightning-fast speeds. At that nano-scale, it can be hard for networks to properly sequence packets of data being sent over even the faster fiber-optic wires. "If you see a price that's favorable to your trading strategy and you cross the gate ahead of me, then your transactions should happen first," he said. "Unfortunately, in the world where these networks have 'jitters,' this is not easy to guarantee."

The speakers also agreed that one way or another, massive disruption is coming for financial institutions. "There is a mantra that is being repeated on Wall Street, 'We are a tech company that happens to be an investment bank,'" said Balaji. Redefining the role of banks from being consumers of technology to creators of technology will mean that "any bank that's not big enough or not nimble enough is going to lose out," said Duffie.

 

Excerpted from "How is Silicon Valley changing Wall Street?", Stanford Engineering News, April 02, 2019

Watch the conversation in its entirety.

 

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image of Mendel Rosenblum [image credit: ACM]
April 2019

Professor Mendel Rosenblum has been awarded the inaugural ACM Charles P. Thacker Breakthrough Award. The award recognizes individuals or groups with the same out-of-the-box thinking and "can-do" approach to solving the unsolved that Charles Thacker exhibited. Mendel is the DRC Professor in the School of Engineering, Professor of Computer Science, and Professor of Electrical Engineering. He will formally receive the award at ACM's annual Awards Banquet in June, 2019.

Mendel is recognized for reinventing the virtual machine for the modern era and thereby revolutionizing datacenters and enabling modern cloud computing. In the late 1990s, Rosenblum and his students brought virtual machines back to life by using them to solve challenging technical problems in building system software for scalable multiprocessors. In 1998, Rosenblum and colleagues founded VMware. VMware popularized the use of virtual machines as a means of supporting many disparate software environments to share processor resources within a datacenter. This approach ultimately led to the development of modern cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.

"The new paradigm of cloud computing, in which computing services are delivered over the internet, has been one of the most important developments in the computing industry over the past 20 years," said ACM President Cherri M. Pancake. "Cloud computing has vastly improved the efficiency of systems, reduced costs, and been essential to the operations of businesses at all levels. However, cloud computing, as we know it today, would not be possible without Rosenblum's reinvention of virtual machines. His leadership, both through his early research at Stanford and his founding of VMware, has been indispensable to the rise of datacenters and the preeminence of the cloud."

 

Please join us in congratulating Mendel for this well-deserved recognition!

 

Excerpted from "Inaugural ACM Chuck Thacker Breakthrough Award Recognizes Fundamental Contributions that Enabled Cloud Computing", ACM's Latest Awards News, April 10, 2019.


 

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