Faculty

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
June 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.”

 

The SIAG/OPT Early Career Prize 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. The award recognizes an individual who has made outstanding, influential, and potentially long-lasting contributions to the field of optimization within six years of receiving the PhD or equivalent degree as of January 1 of the award year. The contributions for which the award is given must be publicly available and may belong to any aspect of optimization in its broadest sense. The contributions may include a paper or papers published in English in peer-reviewed journals or conference proceedings, or high quality freely available open source software.


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. 

Related  Links

 

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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professor Stephen Boyd
January 2020

Professor Stephen Boyd has been elected as a foreign member of the National Academy of Engineering of Korea (NAEK).

The National Academy of Engineering of Korea aims to discover and acknowledge engineers who have made remarkable contributions to the technological development in universities, companies, and research institutes, and to contribute to Korea's creative engineering technology development through academic research and supporting projects.

With a vision of a global engineering technology platform, NAEK will play a leading role in creating a sustainable and growing society, a creative and smart society, and a healthy and safe society.

 

Please join us in congratulating Stephen on this honor.

 

professor Krishna Shenoy
December 2019

Professor Krishna Shenoy and neurosurgeon Jaime Henderson, MD lead a team of researchers that implanted multi-electrode arrays in the brains of study participants who suffered from severe limb weakness. In a recently published study, they found that "two neural population dynamics features previously reported for arm movements were also present during speaking: a component that was mostly invariant across initiating different words, followed by rotatory dynamics during speaking. This suggests that common neural dynamical motifs may underlie movement of arm and speech articulators." Read study

The scientists were able to design software that could differentiate among different syllables uttered by two of the implanted participants who retained the power of speech.

By analyzing neural activity across nearly 200 electrodes, the scientists found they could identify which of several syllables a participant was saying – with more than 80% accuracy in the case of one participant.

The implication here is that someday it may be possible to figure out what people who, for one or another reason, can't speak are trying to say – and get a device to say it for them.

"There aren't a lot of opportunities to make measurements from inside someone's brain while they talk," said postdoctoral research fellow, Sergey Stavisky. If these two people hadn't just happened to have multi-electrode arrays implanted in the part of the brain responsible for hand-movement control, that area's connection to speech might never have surfaced.

 

image credit: Photos by Peter Barreras/Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Stavisky, Shenoy and Henderson's work could one day help scientists build medical devices that help people who cannot speak. Photo by Peter Barreras/Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

 

Excerpted from Stanford Medicine's SCOPE Blog, "Why we talk with our hands — and how that may help give speech to the speechless" by Bruce Goldman. 

Umran Inan (Image source: http://mustafaprize.org/media/?id=2053)
December 2019

Our emeritus colleague Umran Inan, the long-time president of Koc University, has been awarded the 2019 Mustafa Prize.

The Mustafa Prize is awarded in five categories of information and communication science and technology, life and medical science and technology, Nano-science and nanotechnology and all areas of science and technology and scientists from Islamic countries.

These areas include the following UNESCO fields of education: natural sciences, mathematics, and statistics; information and communication technologies; engineering, manufacturing, and construction; agriculture, forestry, fisheries and veterinary; health and welfare as well as cognitive science and Islamic economics and banking.

The event aims to improve scientific relations between academics and researchers in order to facilitate the growth of science in the Islamic world.

The prize is given every two years; previous recipients from outside of Iran included Professors Omar Yaghi of UC Berkeley, Erol Gelenbe of Imperial College and Amin Shokrollahi of EPFL.

 

Please join us in congratulating Umran!

 

 

Source: APNEWS.com, "Iran awards prestigious prize to 2 US-educated scientists"

Image source: mustafaprize.org/media

professor Hector Garcia-Molina
December 2019

Professor Hector Garcia-Molina is fondly remembered by the EE and CS departments. Hector was a truly remarkable, caring man who has touched us in so many ways.

In addition to his professorial duties, Hector enthusiastically assisted our department with commencement photos, taking wonderful portraits of graduates and their families.

Hector's enthusiasm, kindness and generous teaching spirit continues with his students and colleagues.

 

Read more about Hector's legacy: please visit The Stanford Daily and The Stanford News article.

 

Hector helping Marsha Dillon, Mary K. McMahon, and the photographer to fine tune camera settings before the department's 2018 commencement.

professor Jelena Vučković
December 2019

Congratulations to Professor Jelena Vučković! She has been awarded the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) A F Harvey Engineering Research Prize. She will develop an on-chip integrated pulsed laser, which will revolutionize photonic technology and the applications that require these lasers, such as medicine, optical communications, quantum computing and self-driving cars.

Currently Ti:sapph lasers are bulky, expensive, table-top lasers, which can be limiting to applications such as LIDAR and microscopy. Jelena and her team are aiming to create a miniature version, which would have a total volume smaller than a cubic centimeter. This would have a major impact on photonic technology and society, by decreasing the cost and footprint of such lasers.

The new miniature lasers could also be applied to and used in several applications, such as miniaturized and inexpensive sensors in self-driving cars, which would make such LIDAR systems accessible to everyone; to pump quantum light sources for secure quantum communications where eavesdropping can be detected; and as compact sources for brain microscopy and imaging.

Jelena said: "I am tremendously honored to receive the A F Harvey Prize from the IET, and to be selected among the shortlisted group of very distinguished scientists. This prize will be used to support my lab's work on implementation of miniaturized and inexpensive ultrafast lasers – the greatest challenge of integrated photonics, which could revolutionize many applications, from self-driving cars, to neuroscience and to quantum technologies."

Sir John O'Reilly, Chair of the IET's Selection Committee for the Prize, said: "Professor Jelena Vuckovic's pioneering work on inverse photonic design is transforming our approach to the design and realization of new high-performance integrated systems - with wide-ranging applications in communications, lidar, quantum systems and the like. She and her team at Stanford have developed inverse methods that cut the design time dramatically, thereby opening new vistas and radically different approaches to realization of elements not previously conceived. Finally, we see in prospect photonics realizing its untapped potential, helping us to 'engineer a better world'."

The IET's A F Harvey Research Prize, worth £350,000, is named after Dr A F Harvey who bequeathed a generous sum of money to the IET for a trust fund to be set up in his name for the furtherance of scientific research into the fields of Radar and Microwaves; Lasers and Optoelectronics; Medical Engineering.

Jelena will present a prize lecture on her research at IET London: Savoy Place on 16 March 2020.

 

Please join us in recognizing Jelena for her extraordinary research!

 

Excerpted from IET Press Release, "Electrical engineer awarded £350,000 research grant to create revolutionary miniature on-chip laser," Dec. 9, 2019.

 

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