Faculty

December 2017

The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) today announced Balaji Prabhakar of Stanford University as a 2017 ACM Fellow. ACM Fellows are selected each year for outstanding accomplishments in computing and information technology and/or outstanding service to ACM and the larger computing community.

The 2017 ACM Fellows were selected by their peers from more than 100,000 ACM members worldwide and represent the top one percent of ACM members.

ACM recognizes excellence through its eminent series of awards for technical and professional achievements and contributions in computer science and information technology. ACM also names as Fellows and Distinguished Members those members who, in addition to professional accomplishments, have made significant contributions to ACM's mission.

"To be selected as a Fellow is to join our most renowned member grade and an elite group that represents less than 1 percent of ACM's overall membership," explains ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. "The Fellows program allows us to shine a light on landmark contributions to computing, as well as the men and women whose hard work, dedication, and inspiration are responsible for groundbreaking work that improves our lives in so many ways."

The 2017 Fellows have been cited for numerous contributions in areas including artificial intelligence, big data, computer architecture, computer graphics, high performance computing, human-computer interaction, sensor networks, and wireless networking.

ACM will formally recognize its 2017 Fellows at the annual Awards Banquet, to be held in San Francisco on June 23, 2018. Additional information about the 2017 ACM Fellows, and the awards event, as well as previous ACM Fellows and award winners, is available on the ACM Awards site.

 

Please join us in congratulating Balaji!

 

December 2017

H. Tom Soh has been elected to the rank of National Academy of Inventors Fellow. The NAI Fellows committee chose Tom as he "has demonstrated a highly prolific 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."

Those elected to the rank of National Academy of Inventors (NAI) Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.

The 2017 class of NAI Fellows was evaluated by the 18 members of the 2017 Selection Committee, which encompassed NAI Fellows, U.S. National Medals recipients, National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees, members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine and senior officials from the USPTO, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Association of American Universities, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Association of University Technology Managers, and National Inventors Hall of Fame, among other organizations.

"I am incredibly proud to welcome our 2017 Fellows to the Academy," said NAI President Paul Sanberg. "These accomplished individuals represent the pinnacle of achievement at the intersection of academia and invention––their discoveries have changed the way we view the world. They epitomize the triumph of a university culture that celebrates patents, licensing, and commercialization, and we look forward to engaging their talents to further support academic innovation."

 

Please congratulate Tom for this very well-deserved recognition of his groundbreaking contributions to biosensors and synthetic antibodies.

NAI Press Release, "National Academy of Inventors Announces 2017 Fellows," Dec. 12, 2017

December 2017

The paper, "ESPRIT-Estimation of Signal Parameters Via Rotational Invariance Techniques" was coauthored by professor Thomas Kailath and Richard Roy in 1989.

The award will be presented at the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP) in Calgary, Canada. Ali H. Sayed, president of IEEE Signal Processing Society, will present emeritus professor Kailath with the award.

ICASSP is the world's largest and most comprehensive technical conference focused on signal processing and its applications. The conference introduces new developments in the field and provides an engaging forum to exchange ideas with researchers and developers. Signal Processing and Artificial Intelligence encompass many areas including advanced communications technologies and smarter homes/devices.

Thomas Kailath's research and teaching have ranged over several fields of engineering and mathematics: information theory, communications, linear systems, estimation and control, signal processing, semiconductor manufacturing, probability and statistics, and matrix and operator theory. He has also co-founded and served as a director of several high-technology companies. He has mentored an outstanding array of over a hundred doctoral and postdoctoral scholars. He is a fellow of the IEEE and a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the US National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Indian National Academy of Engineering, the Academy of Sciences of the Developing World and the Royal Spanish Academy of Engineering. In 2006, he was inducted into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame. In 2014, he received a US National Medal of Science from President Obama "for transformative contributions to the fields of information and system science, for distinctive and sustained mentoring of young scholars, and for translation of scientific ideas into entrepreneurial ventures that have had a significant impact on industry." Read article.

Congratulations to Tom and Richard on this well-deserved recognition.

December 2017

Stephen Boyd has been elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering, one of China's highest academic honors. The elected candidates become lifetime members of the academy. Stephen is one of 17 elected foreign academicians.

New academicians are selected every two years from academic institutions, research institutes, enterprises and hospitals, both inside and outside China.

The Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) – which falls under the State Council, China's top governing body – also has a role advising Beijing on the country's economic and social development, and its new members need to have "strict political clearance."

Foreigners are eligible for membership if they have contributed to the development of or played an important role in promoting China's engineering, science, and technology, the CAE said on its website.

The academy's selection of foreign members is part of this effort to strengthen China's presence and influence in engineering, science, and technology, the organisation said on its website.

 

Please join us in congratulating Stephen for this special and very well-deserved recognition.

 

Excerpts taken from "Bill Gates given one of China's highest academic honours," published in South China Morning Post.

 

November 2017

Congratulations to Andrea Montanari on his elevation to IEEE Fellow. IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an extraordinary record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. Less than 0.1% of voting IEEE members are selected annually for this member recognition. IEEE Fellows will be formally announced by the IEEE at end of the 2017.

Professor Montanari's research interests include understanding patterns in complex high-dimensional data, and what mathematical and algorithmic methods can be used to disentangle them from noise. His research spans several disciplines including statistics, computer science, information theory, and machine learning. He also works on applications of these techniques to healthcare data analytics.

Congratulations to Andrea!

 

Related:

Andrea's EE Spotlight

Andrea Montanari's EE Spotlight

 

November 2017

Emeritus professor Tom Kailath has been elected a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society (AMS). The citation reads, "For contributions to information theory and related areas, and for applications."

The Fellows of the AMS designation recognizes members who have made outstanding contributions to the creation, exposition, advancement, communication, and utilization of mathematics. Among the goals of the program are to create an enlarged class of mathematicians recognized by their peers as distinguished because of their contributions to the profession, and to honor excellence.

On the 2018 Class of Fellows of the AMS, Professor Kenneth A. Ribet, President of the American Mathematical Society, states, "This year's class of AMS Fellows has been selected from a large and deep pool of superb candidates. It is my pleasure and honor as AMS President to congratulate the new Fellows for their diverse contributions to the mathematical sciences and to the mathematics profession."

 

Please join us in congratulating Tom for this most recent recognition of his groundbreaking contributions!

 

Read more at the American Mathematical Fellows

October 2017

 Professor Andrea Goldsmith has been selected as the recipient of the 2017 WICE Mentorship Award from the IEEE Communications Society. She will be presented with a plaque at the IEEE Globecom'17 in Singapore.

The WICE Mentorship Award recognizes members of IEEE ComSoc who have made a strong commitment to mentoring WICE members, have had a significant positive impact on their mentees' education and career, and who, through their mentees, have advanced communications engineering.

The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.) is the world's largest technical professional society. Through its more than 400,000 members in 150 countries, the organization is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed nearly 900 active industry standards. The organization annually sponsors more than 850 conferences worldwide.

The IEEE Communications Society (IEEE ComSoc) is a leading global community comprised of a diverse set of professionals with a common interest in advancing all communications and networking technologies.

 

Congratulations to Andrea on this well-deserved recognition!

 

 

July 2017

PhD candidates Alex Gabourie and Saurabh Suryavanshi received Best Paper Award at the 17th IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology (IEEE NANO 2017). Their paper is titled, "Thermal Boundary Conductance of the MoS2-SiO2 Interface."

The awards candidates were nominated by program committee together with award committee based on the rating of the abstract. The awards winners were selected from the candidates by the award committee based on both the recommendation of excellent final papers by track chairs and the rating of the overall quality of the final paper and the presentation by session chairs and invited speakers.

Saurabh and Alex are part of the Pop Lab.

Congratulations Alex & Saurabh! 

 

 

The paper's authors are Saurabh Vinayak Suryavanshi, Alexander Joseph Gabourie, Amir Barati Farimani, Eilam Yalon and Eric Pop.

 2017.ieeenano.org

September 2017

Daily headlines emphasize the down side of technology: cyberattacks, election hacking and the threat of fake news. In response, government organizations are scrambling to understand how policy should shape technology's role in governance, security and jobs.

The Stanford Cyber Initiative is at the forefront of answering this question. Co-directors Michael McFaul, a professor of political science and director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), and Dan Boneh, a professor of computer science and electrical engineering, tell us how the research behind the initiative helps define the role of policy in a world increasingly influenced by technology.

 

What is the goal of the Stanford Cyber Initiative?

McFaul: It is part of a broader cyber initiative that the Hewlett Foundation started several years ago. New technologies are changing the way we view security, the way we govern, the way we work. They're part of every aspect of life, and yet how we manage them, how we think about policy to regulate and enhance their use, has not caught up to the technology. Here at Stanford, we're focusing on the right policies and policy frameworks to address the new technological era we live in today.

Boneh: When we came to define cybersecurity, it turned out to include many different areas. It has to do with the security of computing technology, but it also includes implications to the workforce and U.S. economy. It includes security of our democracy and election systems. It includes security of our financial systems. The Cyber Initiative funds Stanford research in these areas that focuses on policy.

What's changing now that the Cyber Initiative has moved to the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies?

Boneh: I think it's wonderful the Cyber Initiative now has a home. With FSI, we have much more infrastructure support. It is also wonderful to have Mike's vision and leadership for the initiative. Mike has been a fantastic collaborator to work with on this.

McFaul: As the co-director with Dan, we've shaped it in a couple of different directions. We want to build on some strengths, and that means fewer areas that we focus on and greater resources to them. The three that I think are most prominent in our thinking are cybersecurity, governance and the future of work.

How does the Cyber Initiative address policy concerns?

McFaul: We require that all projects have an applied or policy component. We're trying to bridge the gap between the east side of campus and the west side. We want to see more computer scientists interacting with social scientists, lawyers and even philosophers, as there are many ethical and moral issues that need to be addressed.

For example, Amy Zegart and her team at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Hoover Institution hosted the Cyber Boot Camp. They assembled congressional staffers who deal with cybersecurity issues as well as other experts to discuss the most pressing challenges in cyberspace. What could be a more direct impact than educating them about these topics? In the realm of disinformation, a consortium of researchers affiliated with the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law are investigating the role that foreign governments played in our election, exploring what regulations should look like and the difference between First Amendment rights and foreign interference.

Then, there is wide disagreement about whether artificial intelligence is going to make us all better off or whether it's going to make us all unemployed. Scholars supported by the initiative are trying to address this. Understanding the relationship between new technologies and the workforce will eventually help federal, state and local government officials, as well as companies, schools and trade unions, to develop appropriate policies.

Boneh: On the technical side, many new technologies that can be beneficial to end users are not adopted because they do not match companies' incentives. Good tech policy can incentivize companies to adopt those beneficial technologies that improve privacy and security for clients or consumers. We want policies that promote computer security, but at the same time, we do not want to stifle innovation or greatly increase operating costs. At Stanford, we are in a unique position to make progress on these issues. We have a strong collaboration with the tech industry and the ears of policymakers in D.C.

Why is it important to work across disciplines when addressing cyber concerns?

Boneh: It brings together researchers who normally do not interact much. Every project that we fund crosses school boundaries. It brings faculty in the humanities to work with faculty in engineering, and that is not something that happens very often. You cannot do policy without understanding technology and effective technology needs to understand the policy implications. I recently taught a class with colleagues at the law school on cyber policy and the law. This is not something I would have done had it not been for the Cyber Initiative.

McFaul: Virtually every field is being impacted by new technologies, but expertise in cyber policy is not easily defined. I can tell you which are the five top journals in my field of political science – and if you want to advance your career, you publish there. I'm not sure I could name them in cyber policy. It feels to me like the technology is ahead of the policy, and a lot of the traditional security experts are not well-versed in computer science and engineering, including me. Conversely, those most expert in cyber technologies have paid little attention to national security, democracy or the future of capitalism. By bringing these researchers together, we increase understanding of technology's role across fields. 

How is the Cyber Initiative educating Stanford students?

McFaul: There is growing demand for courses that cross disciplines to address the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity. We are training the next generation of leaders who will shape this field. Some of our new classes focus on cybersecurity and the law, fake news, privacy policies, how algorithms affect human perception, Facebook's foreign policy, and how technology affects elections. What's striking to me is that we're still in the early stages of incorporating cyber components into courses, curriculum and degrees.

Here at FSI, we have a master's degree in international policy studies, which will soon launch a new specialization in cyber policy. It will be one of the first in the country. But what is the content of such a program? It turns out that's a pretty contentious issue and we're wrestling with it right now.


The Stanford Cyber Initiative plans to fund research on cyber policy. Interested researchers should contact Allison Berke at aberke@stanford.edu.

Original article appeared in the Stanford News, September 26, 2017.

Image credit: L.A. Cicero
September 2017

John L. Hennessy, inaugural director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program and president emeritus of Stanford, has been elected an international fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, the national academy for engineering in the United Kingdom.

Founded in 1976, the Royal Academy of Engineering brings together the most successful and talented engineers for a shared purpose: to advance and promote excellence in engineering. Earlier this week, the academy announced 50 new fellows, two international fellows, including Hennessy, and one honorary fellow.

Hennessy, a pioneer in computer architecture, said the honor held special significance because so many early pioneers in the field did their great work in England, from Alan Turing (1912-1954), a mathematician who conceived of modern computing and played a crucial role in the Allied victory over Nazi Germany in WWII, to Maurice Wilkes (1913-2010), a professor at Cambridge University who is considered the most important figure in the development of practical computing in the United Kingdom.

"I have had the pleasure of knowing many colleagues who are members of the Royal Academy of Engineering, including Wilkes, a colleague from Cambridge who I knew personally for many years," Hennessy said. "It is an honor to join such an august group."

Hennessy has won numerous awards for his work, including election to the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences. He is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Association for Computing Machinery, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

After stepping down as president of Stanford a year ago, Hennessy became the Shriram Family Director of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, which is the largest fully endowed graduate-level scholarship program in the world. The program, which is currently located in the Littlefield Center, held a groundbreaking ceremony last spring for its future home, Denning House. Currently, the program is accepting applications for its first class of 50 scholars, who will begin their studies in the fall of 2018.

Hennessy joined Stanford's faculty in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical engineering. In 1981, he drew together researchers to focus on a technology known as RISC (reduced instruction set computer), which revolutionized computing by increasing performance while reducing costs. Hennessy helped transfer this technology to industry. In 1984, he cofounded MIPS Computer Systems, now MIPS Technologies, which designs microprocessors.

Hennessy, who rose through the academic ranks at Stanford and became a full professor in 1986, served as chair of the Department of Computer Science and took the helm as dean of the School of Engineering in 1996. He became provost in 1999 and was inaugurated as Stanford's 10th president in 2000. He stepped down from the presidency in 2016.

As president, Hennessy fostered interdisciplinary collaboration, launching university-wide initiatives in human health, environmental sustainability, international affairs, the arts and creativity, and greatly expanding opportunities for multidisciplinary teaching and learning. Under his leadership, the campus underwent a physical transformation to support 21st-century research and teaching needs, including cutting-edge facilities for the Graduate School of Business, the Law School, the Science and Engineering Quadrangle, Stanford Medicine and the Arts District.


 

 

Reprinted from Stanford News, "John L. Hennessy elected to Royal Academy of Engineering," September 7, 2017.

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