Faculty

image of professors Shenoy and Murmann
August 2020

The current generation of neural implants record enormous amounts of neural activity, then transmit these brain signals through wires to a computer. But, so far, when researchers have tried to create wireless brain-computer interfaces to do this, it took so much power to transmit the data that the implants generated too much heat to be safe for the patient. A new study suggests how to solve his problem -- and thus cut the wires.

Research led by Professors Krishna Shenoy, Boris Murmann and Dr. Jaimie Henderson, have shown how it would be possible to create a wireless device, capable of gathering and transmitting accurate neural signals, but using a tenth of the power required by current wire-enabled systems. These wireless devices would look more natural than the wired models and give patients freer range of motion.

Graduate student Nir Even-Chen and postdoctoral fellow Dante Muratore, PhD, describe the team's approach in a Nature Biomedical Engineering paper.

The next step will be to build an implant based on this new approach and proceed through a series of tests toward the ultimate goal.

 

 

Excerpted from Science News, "How thoughts could one day control electronic prostheses, wirelessly", August 5, 2020.

image of prof. Tom Lee
July 2020

Congratulations to Professor Thomas Lee. He has been awarded the IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award for "pioneering CMOS technology for high-performance wireless circuits and systems."

The IEEE Gustav Robert Kirchhoff Award recognizes an outstanding contribution to the fundamentals of any aspect of electronic circuits and systems that has a long-term significance or impact.

Tom is the principal investigator of the SMIrC Lab, which has been a driving force in developing the theory of radio frequency (RF) CMOS integrated circuit design as well as in educating tomorrow's RFIC designers.

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

 

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image of prof Andrea Goldsmith
July 2020

Congratulations to Professor Andrea Goldsmith, Stephen Harris Professor of Engineering. She has been awarded the IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award. Her citation reads, "For educating, developing, guiding, and energizing generations of highly successful students and postdoctoral fellows."

The IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award recognizes inspirational teaching of graduate students in the IEEE fields of interest.

Andrea's research interests are in information theory, communication theory, and signal processing, and their application to wireless communications, interconnected systems, and neuroscience. She is the director of Stanford's Wireless Systems Lab.

Please join us in congratulating Andrea!

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June 2020

We are proud of our history of innovation and entrepreneurship, and of our ongoing mission to address major societal challenges. This includes diversity in research interests, research styles, and providing supportive mentorship. EE recognizes that we have significant work to do in these areas and we look to the entire EE community to improve our future.


The Department of Electrical Engineering supports Black Lives Matter, inclusion, and diversity. 

As engineers, engineers-in-training, and staff, we build upon and apply systems-thinking to major societal challenges, including climate change, health, and better communication.

 The Department of Electrical Engineering strives to continue its success in innovation and research through the participation and inclusion of students, post-docs, and faculty from diverse backgrounds, experiences, religions, ethnicities, identities, genders, sexual orientation, and perspectives. We recognize diversity as central and critical to our mission to provide an inclusive environment and culture where all are welcomed, respected, and valued. Diversity in EE.

 

The following links are from our students, colleagues and friends. We include them to provide education and support to our community. 

If you have questions, insights, or edits, please contact us via info@ee.stanford.edu.

 

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Diversity in EE statement 
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image of prof. Gordon Wetzstein and Isaac Kauvar, EE /PhD
June 2020

Professor Gordon Wetzstein and first authors Isaac Kauvar (EE PhD candidate) and postdoctoral researcher Tim Machado, have developed an optical technique that can simultaneously record the activity of neurons spread across the entire top surface of a mouse's cerebral cortex, a key part of the brain involved in making decisions. Their article, "Cortical Observation by Synchronous Multifocal Optical Sampling Reveals Widespread Population Encoding of Actions" was published in the journal Neuron.

The researchers call their system Cortical Observation by Synchronous Multifocal Optical Sampling, or COSMOS. In addition to studying motor control and decision making, the team is also using COSMOS to study sensory perception in animals and as a screening technique to develop better psychiatric drugs.

The prototype COSMOS system is relatively simple to build and costs less than $50,000, which is hundreds of thousands of dollars cheaper than other optical systems for recording neural population dynamics. To encourage further adoption and development of the technique, the authors have built a website with instructions to help other researchers build their own COSMOS systems.

The bifocal microscope uses a single camera to capture two movies of neural activity at the same time: one focused on the sides of the brain, and the other focused on the middle, to provide a side-by-side view shown in a video. The researchers then computationally extract signals – reflecting the timing, intensity and duration of when neurons fire – from both of these movies to obtain a comprehensive measurement of neural activity across the whole surface.

Excerpted from Stanford News, "Stanford researchers develop an inexpensive technique to show how decisions light up the brain", June 2, 2020.

 

"COSMOS Reveals Widespread Population Encoding of Actions", first authors Isaac Kauvar, EE PhD candidate (photo credit: Daphna Spivack) and Tim Machado, Bioengineering postdoctoral researcher.

 

image of prof Shanhui Fan
May 2020

Professor Shanhui Fan and Sid Assawaworrarit (PhD candidate) recently published "Robust and efficient wireless power transfer using a switch-mode implementation of a nonlinear parity-time symmetric circuit" in Nature Electronics.

They have been working on improving the distance of a wireless charger. Previously they were able to transmit electricity as an object moved, but it wasn't practical.

In their new paper, the researchers show how to boost the system's wireless-transmission efficiency to 92%. The key, Sid Assawaworrarit explained, was to replace the original amplifier with a far more efficient "switch mode" amplifier. Such amplifiers aren't new but they are finicky and will only produce high-efficiency amplification under very precise conditions. It took years of tinkering, and additional theoretical work, to design a circuit configuration that worked.

The new lab prototype can wirelessly transmit 10 watts of electricity over a distance of two or three feet. Shanhui says there aren't any fundamental obstacles to scaling up a system to transmit the tens or hundreds of kilowatts that a car would need. He says the system is more than fast enough to re-supply a speeding automobile. The wireless transmission takes only a few milliseconds – a tiny fraction of the time it would take a car moving at 70 miles an hour to cross a four-foot charging zone. The only limiting factor, says Shanhui, will be how fast the car's batteries can absorb all the power.

Though it could be many years before wireless chargers become embedded in highways, the opportunities for robots and even aerial drones are more immediate. It's much less costly to embed chargers in floors or on rooftops than on long stretches of highway. Imagine a drone, says Shanhui, that could fly all day by swooping down occasionally and hovering around a roof for quick charges.

Excerpted from "Stanford researchers one step closer toward enabling electric cars to recharge themselves wirelessly as they drive"

 

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image of prof Jelena Vuckovic
May 2020

Professor Jelena Vučković announced as the CLEO 2020 James P. Gordon Memorial Speaker. Jelena is the Jensen Huang Professor in Global Leadership in the School of Engineering, Professor of Electrical Engineering and by courtesy of Applied Physics. She leads the Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics Lab, and is a director of Q-FARM, Stanford-SLAC Quantum Science and Engineering Initiative.

Jelena's research focuses on studying solid-state quantum emitters, such as quantum dots and defect centers in diamond, and their interactions with light. Her team is transforming conventional nanophotonics with the concept of inverse design, by designing arbitrary optical devices from scratch using computer algorithms with little to no human input. These efforts aim to enable a wide variety of technologies ranging from silicon photonics to quantum computing.

The Optical Society (OSA) Foundation memorial speakership pays tribute to Dr. James P. Gordon for his numerous high-impact contributions to quantum electronics and photonics, including the demonstration of the maser.

CLEO 2020 is an all-virtual web conference this year. All are invited to view Dr. Vuckovic's talk and ask questions remotely. There is no fee for CLEO attendees, simply register for online participation. You can also watch previous talks from Gordon speakers by visiting osa.org/Gordon.

 

Jelena's talk will be on 11 May 2020 at 2pm PDT.


 

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image of prof Andrea Goldsmith
April 2020

Electrical Engineering Professor Andrea Goldsmith has won the prestigious Marconi Prize of the Marconi Society for "her ground-breaking work to deliver high-performing cellular and wifi services."

Andrea's technical innovations that have shaped the fundamental performance of cellular and WiFi networks, combined with her leadership to radically improve diversity and inclusion in engineering, have changed both the consumer experience and the profession.

Andrea is the first woman to win the Marconi Award in the 45 years that it has been given.

"Andrea has enabled billions of consumers around the world to enjoy fast and reliable wireless service, as well as applications such as video streaming and autonomous vehicles that require stable network performance," said Vint Cerf, Chair of the Marconi Society and 1998 Marconi Fellow. "As the Stephen Harris Professor of Engineering at Stanford University, Andrea's personal work and that of the many engineers who she has mentored have had a global impact on wireless networking."

About the Marconi Society - The Marconi Society envisions a world in which all people can create opportunity through the benefits of connectivity. The foundation celebrates, inspires and connects individuals building tomorrow's technologies in service of a digitally inclusive world.

Please join us in congratulating Andrea for her numerous contributions to the field.

Excerpted from "Shattering the Silicon Ceiling: 2020 Marconi Prize Awarded to Wireless Innovator Dr. Andrea Goldsmith," The Marconi Society.

 

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image of prof Balaji Prabhakar
April 2020

Congratulations to Professor Balaji Prabhakar. He has been awarded the 2020 IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award for outstanding contributions to the integration of computers and communications. His citation reads:

"For contributions to the theory and practice of network algorithms and protocols, in particular Internet routers, data centers, and self-programming networks."

The IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award was established by the IEEE Board of Directors in 1986. The Award is named in honor of Dr. Koji Kobayashi, who was a leading force in advancing the integrated use of computers and communications.

 

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

 

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image of Prof. Paulraj
April 2020

Congratulations to Professor Arogyaswami J. Paulraj for his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (AAAS).

The American Academy of Arts & Sciences was founded in 1780 by John Adams, John Hancock, and others who believed the new republic should honor exceptionally accomplished individuals and engage them in advancing the public good.

Two hundred and forty years later, the Academy continues to dedicate itself to recognizing excellence and relying on expertise – both of which seem more important than ever.

"The members of the class of 2020 have excelled in laboratories and lecture halls, they have amazed on concert stages and in surgical suites, and they have led in board rooms and courtrooms," said Academy President David W. Oxtoby. "With today's election announcement, these new members are united by a place in history and by an opportunity to shape the future through the Academy's work to advance the public good."

 

Please join us in congratulating Paulraj on this well-deserved recognition.

 

Excerpted from AAAS 2020 Member Announcement.

 

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