EE Student Information

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 EE Student Information, Spring & Summer Quarters 19-20: FAQs and Updated EE Course List.

Updates will be posted on this page, as well as emailed to the EE student mail list.

Please see Stanford University Health Alerts for course and travel updates.

As always, use your best judgement and consider your own and others' well-being at all times.

Faculty

September 2016

As the breathalyzer does for alcohol, this experimental 'potalyzer' could provide a practical field test for determining whether a driver might be impaired from smoking marijuana.

This November, several states will vote whether to legalize marijuana use, joining more than 20 states that already allow some form of cannabis use. This has prompted a need for effective tools for police to determine on the spot whether people are driving under the influence.

Shan Wang and team have devised a potential solution, applying magnetic nanotechnology (GMR), previously used as a cancer screen, to create what could be the first practical roadside test for marijuana intoxication.

"To the best of our knowledge, this is the first demonstration that GMR biosensors are capable of detecting small molecules," Wang wrote in a paper describing the device, published in Analytical Chemistry.

Professor Shan Wang and team created a mobile device that uses magnetic biosensors to detect tiny THC molecules in saliva. Officers could collect a spit sample with a cotton swab and read the results on a smartphone or laptop in as little as three minutes.

Wang's device can detect concentrations of THC in the range of 0 to 50 nanograms per milliliter of saliva. While there's still no consensus on how much THC in a driver's system is too much, previous studies have suggested a cutoff between 2 and 25 ng/mL, well within the capability of Wang's device.

 

The co-authors of the Analytical Chemistry paper are Jung-Rok Lee (ME PhD'15), Joohong Choi (EE PhD'15), and Tyler O. Shultz (Biology BS'13).

 

This article is adapted from the Stanford Report.

September 2016

Shanhui Fan and research team are developing a material that cools by letting perspiration evaporate through the material – something ordinary fabrics already do. But the Stanford material provides a second, revolutionary cooling mechanism: allowing heat that the body emits as infrared radiation to pass through the plastic textile.

"Forty to 60 percent of our body heat is dissipated as infrared radiation when we are sitting in an office," states Shanhui Fan, who specializes in photonics. "But until now there has been little or no research on designing the thermal radiation characteristics of textiles."

To develop their cooling textile, the Stanford researchers blended nanotechnology, photonics and chemistry to give polyethylene – the clear, clingy plastic we use as kitchen wrap – a number of characteristics desirable in clothing material: It allows thermal radiation, air and water vapor to pass right through, and it is opaque to visible light.

Eventually, the research culminated in a single-sheet material that met their three basic criteria for a cooling fabric. To make this thin material more fabric-like, they created a three-ply version: two sheets of treated polyethylene separated by a cotton mesh for strength and thickness.

"Wearing anything traps some heat and makes the skin warmer," Fan said. "If dissipating thermal radiation were our only concern, then it would be best to wear nothing."

Comparing the new fabric with cotton fabric, showed cotton making the skin surface 3.6 F warmer than their cooling textile. The researchers said this difference means that a person dressed in their new material might feel less inclined to turn on a fan or air conditioner.

Fan believes that this research opens up new avenues of inquiry to cool or heat things, passively, without the use of outside energy, by tuning materials to dissipate or trap infrared radiation.

 

 

This article is adapted from the Stanford Report.
Read full article

August 2016

The Precourt Institute for Energy and the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy at Stanford have awarded 15 seed grants to clean energy research projects.

The seed-grant program funds innovative research proposals that have the potential for high impact on energy supply and use. The 2016 awards total $2.7 million, and have been awarded to 15 projects at Stanford and SLAC. "I'm especially pleased that this year's recipients reflect the broad diversity of energy research across campus, including the schools of engineering, law, business and medicine, as well as the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory," stated Precourt Institute for Energy co-director and professor of mechanical engineering Arun Majundar.

Three projects lead or co-lead by EE faculty received grants.

  • A modular multi-level photovoltaic converter:This project aims to minimize cost and power losses in transformers for grid-scale solar installations by developing new technology for the efficient conversion of direct current to alternating current. PI: William Dally, Electrical Engineering/Computer Science.
  • Building the power electronics cell: Researchers will design a high power-density, bidirectional AC-DC converter cell that can be combined into a charger-inverter pack that generates enough energy to power an electric vehicle. PI: Juan Rivas-Davila, Electrical Engineering.
  • Novel fabrication of light-emitting diodes (LEDs): This project seeks to reduce the cost of manufacturing high-efficiency LEDs for industry and consumers. PIs: Bruce Clemens, Materials Science and Engineering, and James Harris, Electrical Engineering.

Read the full article from the Stanford Report

This article is adapted from the Stanford Report.

August 2016

Howard Zebker has been chosen as one of 60 new fellows of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). He will be honored at the AGU's upcoming fall meeting in San Francisco.

Since 1962, the AGU has elected outstanding members as Union Fellows. This special honor recognizes scientific eminence in the Earth and space sciences. It acknowledges fellows for their remarkable contributions to their research fields, exceptional knowledge and visionary leadership. Only 0.1 percent of AGU membership receives this recognition in any given year.

Zebker, who earned a PhD from Stanford, is professor of electrical engineering and of geophysics and is an affiliate of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. His research focuses on developing space-borne radar systems and applying remote sensing data to problems in geophysics. His current emphasis is on interferometric radar for natural hazards, water resources and global environmental problems. He is also active in planetary science. Read the American Geophysical Union (AGU) press release.

Howard's research consists of developing spaceborne radar systems and applying remote sensing data to problems in geophysics. His current emphasis is on interferometric radar for natural hazards, water resources, and global environmental problems. He is also active in planetary science, in particular research supporting the NASA Cassini mission to Saturn and Titan.

Professor Zebker's courses include:

 

Source: Stanford Report, August 2, 2016

July 2016

IEEE Information Theory Society announced that David Tse will be awarded the 2017 Claude E. Shannon Award. The Shannon Award honors consistent and profound contributions to the field of information theory. Announced during the 2016 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory in Barcelona, Professor Tse was humbled and gratefully acknowledged the distinction.

David Tse is a leading figure in Information Theory & Applications. He has received numerous best paper awards from information theory, communications, signal processing and networking communities. His work is incorporated in cellular wireless standards. He also co-authored the text, "Fundamentals of Wireless Communication", which has influenced generations of wireless engineers and researchers. His research at Stanford focuses on applying information theory to computational biology and machine learning.

The Claude E. Shannon Award is the highest honor from the IEEE Information Theory Society. The award recognizes consistent and profound contributions to the field of information theory. We proudly congratulate David Tse for this very well deserved recognition.

David will be the Shannon Lecturer at the 2017 IEEE International Symposium on Information Theory in Aachen, Germany.

July 2016

Research by Subhasish Mitra and H.-S. Philip Wong explore carbon nanotubes and their potential for boosting computing performance and capability. In a video produced by the National Science Foundation's online magazine, Science Nation, Subhasish and Philip describe the state of CNT research.

A Stanford School of Engineering article provides an overview. 

May 2016

Early results show that the quality of optical materials grown from diamondoid seeds is consistently high, says Stanford's Jelena Vuckovic, a professor of electrical engineering who is leading this part of the research with Steven Chu, professor of physics and of molecular and cellular physiology.

"Developing a reliable way of growing the nanodiamonds is critical," says Vuckovic, who is also a member of Stanford Bio-X and SystemX. "And it's really great to have that source and the grower right here at Stanford. Our collaborators grow the material, we characterize it and we give them feedback right away. They can change whatever we want them to change."

 

Excerpted from Stanford News. Read full article.

June 2016

Amin Arbabian was awarded the Tau Beta Pi Undergraduate Teaching Award. Charles Guan (EE BS '16) and Vikram Prasad (EE BS '16) presented Amin with the award during the EE commencement ceremony, June 12, 2016.

Professor Arbabian "combines stellar research with an intuition-driven method of teaching, embedding real-life applications and contemporary thought into our education," stated Vikram Prasad.

Co-presenter, Charles Guan added, "At every level, he has been fully invested in us and our learning. His passion for teaching is apparent in every class and in the way he makes time for students outside the classroom."

  

Congratulations to Amin and to the 2016 graduates!

 

Additional Articles and Information:

June 2016

Audrey Bowden has been selected to win one of two 2016 Stanford Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Awards.

The Phi Beta Kappa Teaching Prize recognizes not only excellence in teaching but also the ability to inspire personal and intellectual development beyond the classroom. This may include, but is not limited to, encouraging critical and analytical thinking, taking an active interest in students as individuals, and influencing the way students think about the world.

Every year, members of Phi Beta Kappa present an award to an outstanding member of the faculty. Nominations are accepted from members of the senior class. The winner is then selected by a committee of previous award winners and Phi Beta Kappa Council members.

Audrey was presented with the award at the Phi Beta Kappa Graduation Ceremony at the Bing Concert Hall on Friday, June 10th. She was also acknowledged at the Electrical Engineering Commencement on Sunday, June 12.

 

Additional Articles and Information: 

 

June 2016

Stephen P. Boyd was honored "for his signature course, Convex Optimization, which attracts more than 300 Stanford students each year, is taught at more than 100 universities and, over the past 20 years has had a profound influence on how researchers and engineers think about convex models to solve problems."

He was commended "for revolutionizing the way mathematical optimization is taught and applied in engineering and the social and natural sciences worldwide," and "for his new course on linear algebra for freshmen and sophomores – anticipated to become a cornerstone in undergraduate engineering mathematics."

Stephen will receive his award on Sunday, June 12, 2016 during the 125th Commencement ceremony.

The Gores Award is the University's highest award for excellence in teaching. The Walter J. Gores Awards recognize undergraduate and graduate teaching excellence. As the University's highest award for teaching, the Gores Award celebrates achievement in educational activities that include lecturing, tutoring, advising, and discussion leading.

 

Excerpts from the Stanford News. Read full article.

 

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