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Mohammad Asif Zaman Stanford's 2019 Centennial TA Award Winner
June 2019

Congratulations to Mohammad Asif Zaman!

Mohammad Asif ZamanPhD candidate, is recognized for his outstanding teaching in electrical engineering. He has been awarded the 2019 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award. The award program recognizes outstanding instruction by TA's in the Humanities and Sciences, Earth Sciences, and Engineering schools.

Asif was nominated by faculty, peers, and students. He received a stipend and certificate in recognition of his extraordinary contributions as a TA in EE134: Introduction to Photonics, taught by EE Professor Lambertus Hesselink.

About Asif

Asif is a committed, and extremely organized colleague. As an instructor, he took on massive tasks to organize, repair, inventory, order, and label optical components in the lab. His effort allowed EE134 students to make the most of their experience— several indicated they chose EE as a concentration because fo their experience during the course.

A few excerpts from Asif's nominations:

  • Asif has been one of the best – if not the best – TA I have had the pleasure to co-teach with.
  • The students and faculty are deeply impressed by Asif's knowledge, support and friendly manner of teaching students the secrets of good optical experimentation.

 

 

Please join us in recognizing Asif's outstanding effort and abilities!

image of the Stanford Student Robotics Mars rover
June 2019

Congratulations to the Mars Rover Team, part of the Stanford Student Robotics Club. The team won 3rd place in the 2019 University Rover Challenge (URC) competition which took place at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in southern Utah. Thirty-four teams from 10 countries competed throughout various challenges in the Utah desert.

2018 was the first time Stanford Student Robotics participated in the MRC – they placed 34th, and began immediately planning for the 2019 competition. The execution of their planning paid off, earning 3rd place this year. First place went to the IMPULS team from Poland's Kielce University of Technology.

Placing 3rd, Stanford's Student Robotics Mars Rover Team moved up thirty-one spots!

The 2019 Stanford Student Robotics Mars Rover Team members include,

  • Michal Adamkiewicz - Team Lead
  • Claire Huang - Mechanics and Software
  • Neil Movva - Electrical and Software
  • Connor Tingley - Mechanical
  • Connor Cremers - Mechanical and Software
  • Rita Tlemcani - Mechanical and Science
  • Amy Dunphy - Science
  • Alan Tomusiak - Science
  • Patin Inkaew - Mechanics
  • Derian Williams - Electrical and Mechanics
  • Jasmine Bayrooti - Software
  • Julia Thompson - Science
  • Mei-Lan Steimle - Science

As in past years, the teams and their rovers competed in four incredibly difficult and unique events,

  • Science Mission (soil and rock samples),
  • Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Mission,
  • Equipment Servicing Mission, and
  • Autonomous Traversal Mission.

"Reliability and ingenuity were the keys to success for several teams throughout the 3 day event," states the URC Mars Society website. Event judges included astrobiologists from NASA Ames Research Center.

 

Congratulations to all of the teams and participants! And an EXTRA congratulations to Stanford Student Robotics!


 Related links & news

 

image of Anastasios Angelopoulos (BS '19), 2018-19 Terman Scholar
May 2019

The Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Award for Scholastic Achievement was awarded to Anastasios Angelopoulos (BS '19). The Terman Award is one of the most selective academic awards. It is based on overall academic performance and is presented to the top five percent of each year's School of Engineering seniors. Anastasios is a third-year undergraduate – completing his Bachelor's degree in a reduced amount of time, while maintaining high academic performance.

Anastasios' most influential secondary instructor is Aquita Winslow, the Polytechnic School librarian, who generously spent hundreds of hours of time as his high school debate coach and was a transformative force in his life. His Stanford advisor is Professor and Chair Stephen Boyd.

Anastasios will graduate with a B.S. EE in Spring 2019.

Please join us in congratulating Anastasios on his scholastic achievements.

 

2018-2019 Terman Engineering Award also awarded to Jonathan and Meera. Read more


This award is named after Fred Terman (BS; MS Stanford) who was the fourth Dean of the School of Engineering at Stanford, serving from 1944-1958, after which he became the Provost at the University, and is generally credited, along with President Wally Sterling, as having started the process that has led Stanford to its present position among the leading universities of the world. View Frederick Terman on EE's Timeline.

May 2019

The final project for EE25N is to create a podcast episode about a theme that was covered during the quarter. EE25N exposes incoming freshmen to the myriad forms that information takes in modern academic research. Student teams combine information from lectures, lab tours and their own research into a compelling, layperson science podcast episode.

Team Go HAAM (consisting of Hamza el Boudali, Ashley Kwon, Alexa Ramachandran and Mia Bahr) had among the most difficult episode themes due to its breadth of scope and highly technical material: "information and physics." Despite a wildly disparate set of topics and little to no understanding of the material going into the class, Team Go HAAM managed to create a coherent, understandable, and enjoyable podcast episode highlighting two very different physics experiments.

In a few weeks, Team Go HAAM managed to digest dense scientific information, interview sources for follow-up questions, create a compelling narrative script, record voiceovers in the recording studio and perform very competent audio editing. When challenged to improve an initial draft, all team members willingly made time to meet with the course assistant for feedback and revisions. In the end, Team Go HAAM created a funny and accurate podcast.

 

Congratulations to Team Go HAAM!

 

 

Listen to Episode 5: The Physicists.

image of Stanford undergrad students Andrew Zelaya, Felipe Bomfim Pinheiro de Meneses, and James Milan Kanof
April 2019

Congratulations to undergrads Andrew Zelaya, Felipe Bomfim Pinheiro de Meneses, and James Milan Kanof - they have been selected as Introductory Seminars Excellence Award winners! Their "Art and Science of Engineering Design, EE15N" project addressed an important and timely problem for Stanford students, and created a truly unique, compelling, and powerful solution.

"This was one of the most memorable projects from all EE15N classes as it was so uplifting to watch the team come together and create something so special," stated EE15N instructors, Professor Goldsmith and Dr. My T. Le.

For their project, they worked with students, academics, journalists, and filmmakers to design a solution from the ground up to address the root causes of why students do not care about being informed of important global issues. The team's final design centered around building empathy for those most affected by global issues via two components:

  • First, they created a custom Virtual Reality Experience that allows students to experience global issues around the world firsthand.
  • Second, they built a custom online platform that focuses on the human cost of these issues, how they affect the Stanford community, and how students can help.

 

Please join us in congratulating Andrew, Felipe and James on their compelling creation – we look forward to their future contributions!

About the Introductory Seminars Excellence Award

Each academic year, faculty nominate exemplary student projects for an introductory seminars excellence award. All winners are invited to an annual spring awards ceremony that celebrates the diverse and innovative learning experiences across all introductory seminar courses.

Related Links

 

April 2019

In March, students enrolled in "EE367A: Information Theory" collaborated with an elementary school in Palo Alto, bringing the younger students interactive games, activities and performance centered around aspects of information theory. More than 50 different activities were were available to the grade schoolers. Students of all ages enjoyed the activities that covered topics such as communication in the animal kingdom; the basics of how DNA carries genetic information; the fundamentals of coding; and even picture books – all geared toward a K-5 audience.

The event was the first of its kind for Professor Tsachy Weissman and his students (pictured). He was inspired by his daughter who sparked the idea by asking to learn more about what he does at his job. The well-attended event welcomed all family members, who kept EE367A students busy answering questions and sharing their own recently acquired knowledge. The collaboration between the two groups will continue into another Science Night to occur later in the next school year.

 

Thanks to all the terrific students of EE367A!

Pictured above: Irena Fischer-Hwang (project mentor), Yihui Quek (project mentor), Meltem Tolunay (TA), Joachim Neu (project mentor), Tsachy Weissman (professor), Sofia Dudas (student), Logan Spear (student), Shubham Chandak (TA), Ariana Mann (project mentor), and Jay Mardia (project mentor).

All project mentors and course TAs are graduate students currently advised by Professor Tsachy Weissman.

Constantin Dory, PhD candidate and 2019 Microsoft Research PhD Fellow
January 2019

Congratulations Constantin Dory (PhD candidate)! He has been selected as a 2019 Microsoft Research PhD Fellow. Constantin is part of the Nanoscale and Quantum Photonics Lab.

Constantin investigates color centers in diamond and silicon carbide to utilize them as quantum bits and single photon sources for quantum information processing, which will enable exponential speed-up in a wide range of computing applications. To integrate color centers on a chip, he's breaking new grounds in fabrication and design techniques to develop efficiently integrated photonics. Artificial intelligence and machine learning-based algorithms design the circuits of the future by engaging the full parameter space. To realize these designs using diamond and silicon carbide (materials that are new to photonics), Constantin developed fabrication methods in the Stanford Nanofabrication Facilities. He characterizes these devices at cryogenic temperatures in quantum optics labs and utilize them as spin-photon interfaces, or to generate nonclassical light. His current efforts are on developing large-scale quantum optical experiments involving several color centers entangled in a quantum circuit. Ultimately, he hopes to make progress toward the applications of color centers in universal quantum computers, quantum repeaters, and quantum transducers.

From the Microsoft Research Blog, Constantin states, "The Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship gives me the opportunity to take my research to the highest level by supplementing my Stanford experience with a perspective that only a global player such as Microsoft can provide. A close bond with Microsoft will allow me to learn how my research may be relevant to immediate industrial applications and what I should be focusing on during my PhD to make the most meaningful impact."

 

Please join us in congratulating Constantin on his tremendous achievement!

 

 

Excerpted from

 

 

October 2018

Published in Nature Nanotechnology, the team's research is also featured in the Stanford News. By structuring nanowires in a way that mimics geckos' ears, this team has found a way to record the incoming angle of light. This technology could have applications in robotic vision, photography and augmented reality.

"The typical way to determine the direction of light is by using a lens. But those are big and there's no comparable mechanisms when you shrink a device so it's smaller than most bacteria," states co-author and EE professor Shanhui Fan.

More detailed light detection could support advances in lens-less cameras, augmented reality and robotic vision, which is important for autonomous cars.

A long-term commitment This project began when co-author Dr. Zongfu Yu (EE postdoc & research associate '09-'13), was a student in Shanhui Fan's lab and took the initiative to combine his work there with research by Mark Brongersma and his lab. They made progress but had to put the work on hold while Yu applied for faculty positions and, subsequently, established his lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is now an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and in whose lab Soongyu Yi works.

Many years later, and after publishing the current proof-of-concept, the researchers said they look forward to building on their results. Next steps include deciding what else they might want to measure from light and putting several nanowires side-by-side to see if they can build an entire imaging system that records all the details they're interested in at once.

"We've worked on this for a long time – Zongfu has had a whole life story between the start and end of this project! It shows that we haven't compromised on quality," Professor Brongersma said. "And it's fun to think that we might be here for another 20 years figuring out all the potential of this system."

 

Congratulations to all the authors!

Authors include: Soongyu Yi; Ming Zhou; Zongfu Yu; Pengyu Fan; Nader Behdad; Dianmin Lin (PhD, '16); Ken Xingze Wang; Shanhui Fan; Mark Brongersma. Abstract: Sensing the direction of sounds gives animals clear evolutionary advantage. For large animals, with an ear-to-ear spacing that exceeds audible sound wavelengths, directional sensing is simply accomplished by recognizing the intensity and time differences of a wave impinging on its two ears. Recent research suggests that in smaller, subwavelength animals, angle sensing can instead rely on a coherent coupling of soundwaves between the two ears. Inspired by this natural design, here we show a subwavelength photodetection pixel that can measure both the intensity and incident angle of light. It relies on an electrical isolation and optical coupling of two closely spaced Si nanowires that support optical Mie resonances. When these resonators scatter light into the same free-space optical modes, a non-Hermitian coupling results that affords highly sensitive angle determination. By straightforward photocurrent measurements, we can independently quantify the stored optical energy in each nanowire and relate the difference in the stored energy between the wires to the incident angle of a light wave. We exploit this effect to fabricate a subwavelength angle-sensitive pixel with angular sensitivity, δθ = 0.32°. Source, Nature Nanotechnology.

Paper link www.nature.com/articles/s41565-018-0278-9

Related Links:

September 2018

Welcome back to our undergraduate and graduate students who participated in an inaugural week long joint forum with the University of Hong Kong in Shenzhen (CUHKCZ).

Stanford and CUHKSZ students visited several Chinese tech companies such as Huawei, Tencent, and DJI. Students also spent time together doing various activities, as well as collaborative projects. Their projects were created in a new maker space on campus, and were presented at the end of the week. Being in China's tech capitol gave Stanford students an opportunity to interact with the infrastructure afforded to people in Shenzhen. For example, touring Huaqiangbei (a massive electronics hub), where visitors are able to peruse hundreds of shops to select parts for current and future projects. Students report they had an amazing time experiencing Chinese culture and the growing tech industries in Shenzhen.

 

Students and faculty during an outing in Shenzhen, September 2018.

EE PhD candidate, Julie Chang
August 2018

The team, led by professor Gordon Wetzstein, is addressing the challenge of autonomous vehicles and aerial drones relying on large, energy intensive computers to process images. They have joined two types of computers: optical and electrical, to create a hybrid machine that can analyze images with far less computation and energy.

The result is profoundly fewer calculations, fewer calls to memory and far less time to complete the process. Having leapfrogged these preprocessing steps, the remaining analysis proceeds to the digital computer layer with a considerable head start.

"Millions of calculations are circumvented and it all happens at the speed of light," reports Gordon Wetzstein. "Some future version of our system would be especially useful in rapid decision-making applications, like autonomous vehicles."

In addition to shrinking the prototype, Wetzstein, Chang and colleagues at the Stanford Computational Imaging Lab are now looking at ways to make the optical component do even more of the preprocessing. Eventually, their smaller, faster technology could replace the trunk-size computers that now help cars, drones and other technologies learn to recognize the world around them.

 

Their work was published in Nature Scientific Reports, "Hybrid optical-electronic convolutional neural networks with optimized diffractive optics for image classification", in August.

Excerpted from The Stanford News, "Stanford engineers create new AI camera for faster, more efficient image classification", August 17, 2018

 

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