student

image of professor Tsachy Weissman
September 2019

The Stanford Compression Forum (SCF), recently completed its inaugural summer internship program, alliteratively named – STEM to SHTEM (Science, Humanities, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics). Professor Tsachy Weisman and the Compression Forum hosted 44 high school students for internships that ranged from 5 to 9 weeks this summer. 

"The internship is a great opportunity for students to experience engineering research in a new light. Working in groups, students from all kinds of backgrounds had the chance to not only research exciting questions at the intersection of different fields, but also learn from their peers unique ways to approach these questions," reports internship coordinator and graduate student Cindy Nguyen. "This early exposure to research helps break down barriers to entry for a lot of underrepresented students and will, hopefully, trickle down into their decisions in becoming the next generation of engineers, doctors, and scientists."

Although, the internship was unpaid, it provided exposure to research, transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries. Students were grouped into eleven projects that spanned 9 topic areas. Topic areas included DNA compression, Facial HAAC, Nanopore Technology, Discrete Cube Mathematics, Olfactory in VR, Artificial Olfaction Measurement, Decision Making in Games, Computer Assisted Image Reconstruction, and Audio File Compression.


Additional information about the Stanford Compression Forum: compression.stanford.edu/summer-internships-high-school-students; for inquiries on the 2019 projects and groups: scf_high_school_internship@stanford.edu


Excerpts from 2019 interns:

"I applied to this internship with the intent on working on something related to the genetics field (which I love), and I never expected to learn how to use Python in the process. If it weren't for this internship I probably wouldn't have ever put myself in a situation where I would have to learn how [to] code. I'm happy to say that although it can be challenging at times, I'm extremely grateful for having been given this opportunity to learn about Python and how to use it."

"This internship introduced me to some amazing people and mentors. This project taught me things like advanced programming, communication skills, and developed my interest in computer science and electrical engineering."

"I had a wonderful experience with this internship! My mentor is not only amazing at what he does – but he is also very funny. I enjoy spending time with my group because whenever one of us makes a small discovery, we all get excited."

"This internship has allowed me to learn so much from basic compression to coding with python. I am glad I was able to participate."

Photo: 2019 STEM to SHTEM interns, faculty, and graduate students. Professor Tsachy Weissman, second from right, an internship coordinator and grad student Cindy Nguyen, third from right.

image of published researcher Anastasios Angelopolous, EE BS'19
August 2019

Anastasios Angelopolous (BS '19), et al, recently published a paper titled, "Enhanced Depth Navigation Through Augmented Reality Depth Mapping in Patients with Low Vision." It was published in Nature Research journal Scientific Reports August 2, 2019. The paper describes the use of augmented reality (AR) to assist those diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa (RP).

After his freshman year, Anastasios started working with USC Professor Mark Humayun, initially focusing on artificial retinal technology. However, in the following two and a half years, their research expanded to explore the possibility of using augmented reality as a way to help people with low vision navigate safely through complex environments.

They combined special glasses and software, which scans an environment, then projects onto the wearer's retina the corresponding obstacles. The team found that the use of their unique AR visual aid reduced collisions by 50% in mobility testing, and by 70% in grasp testing. This striking result is the first to prove clinically that augmented reality can help people with low vision live more independent lives.

Anastasios and team hope that work like this can help people with low vision increase their independence through mobility. They plan to continue their research to include other modalities, such as audio and haptics.

Please join us in congratulating Anastasios and team on the publication of their research work!
This year Anastasios received the Terman Scholastic Achievement Award and completed his BS in Electrical Engineering in an accelerated timeframe.

 

Related Links


Additional Authors:
Dr. & Prof. Hossein Ameri, USC Ophthalmology (bio link)
Dr. & Prof. Mark Humayun, USC Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics (IBT) (bio link)
Dr. & Prof. Debbie Mitra, USC Institute for Biomedical Therapeutics (IBT) (bio link)

Paper Abstract:
Patients diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) show, in the advanced stage of the disease, severely restricted peripheral vision causing poor mobility and decline in quality of life. This vision loss causes difficulty identifying obstacles and their relative distances. Thus, RP patients use mobility aids such as canes to navigate, especially in dark environments. A number of high-tech visual aids using virtual reality (VR) and sensory substitution have been developed to support or supplant traditional visual aids. These have not achieved widespread use because they are difficult to use or block off residual vision. This paper presents a unique depth to high-contrast pseudocolor mapping overlay developed and tested on a Microsoft Hololens 1 as a low vision aid for RP patients. A single-masked and randomized trial of the AR pseudocolor low vision aid to evaluate real world mobility and near obstacle avoidance was conducted consisting of 10 RP subjects. An FDA-validated functional obstacle course and a custom-made grasping setup were used. The use of the AR visual aid reduced collisions by 50% in mobility testing (p = 0.02), and by 70% in grasp testing (p = 0.03). This paper introduces a new technique, the pseudocolor wireframe, and reports the first significant statistics showing improvements for the population of RP patients with mobility and grasp.

Dr. Irena Fischer-Hwang, EE PhD 2019
June 2019

Excerpted from "Stanford grad trades STEM for storytelling," June 2019.

 

EE graduate, Irena Fisher-Hwang,PhD '19 said she realized early in her graduate studies that it was important to communicate science to wider audiences.

"There's an unexpected side to science that is really fun to communicate to people," she said. "I think if we can make science more approachable, it could really help people understand why scientists do what they do."

Little did she realize that her earlier interest in science communication would lead her to a new career path.

Irena's first foray into storytelling was through Goggles Optional, a humorous science podcast written, produced and hosted by Stanford graduate students. For the past two years, she has written and hosted dozens of episodes of the show, including one about lucid dreaming and another about how sound can hack smartphones.

"In academic science, not a lot of people will be able to understand what you are working on," she said. "But the whole goal of journalism is to take difficult concepts and explain them to the public in interesting ways."

Irena's doctoral adviser, Professor Tsachy Weissman, was so impressed by her journalistic leanings that he asked her to help him launch a podcast about his own field of expertise, information theory. Irena produced the pilot episode of the series and then trained 14 students in the new freshman seminar EE25N: The Science of Information to write scripts and edit audio so they can continue producing the series.

Turning Data analysis into storytelling

In communication Professor James Hamilton's class, Irena discovered how journalists and computer scientists are overlapping, as many reporters are now turning to big data analysis to help them with their reporting.

Irena found that the skills she honed during her graduate studies – sorting and evaluating data, managing large amounts of information and running statistical analysis, for example – are as relevant in the newsroom as they are in the lab.

"Now, finally, I feel like I've found a great way to combine my love of human stories with my rigorous training in STEM through journalism. I've had this creative streak for as long as I can remember, but until recently I didn't know what to do with it."

 

Please join us in congratulating Irena, and we look forward to seeing her on campus in the fall quarter!

 

Related News and Links:

image of 2019 student speaker, Meera Radhakrishnan, BS'19; MS'20
June 2019

In 1894, the Electrical Engineering Department awarded its first Bachelor's Degree to Lucien Howard Gilmore, at Stanford's Third Annual Commencement. 

125 years later, Samsung Professor in the School of Engineering and Chair of Electrical Engineering, Stephen P. Boyd introduced the 2019 graduates and faculty, to a large audience of family and friends. The event took place on the Medical School Dean's Lawn. Stephen acknowledged the students, families, staff, and faculty for their tremendous support of this year's graduates.

Throughout the academic year, students, faculty and staff are recognized for their contributions to the well-being of the department. The commencement event provides an opportunity for spotlighting many of these awards and tremendous contributions by individuals.

 

The 2019 Design Award Recipients

Professor John Pauly awarded two undergraduate students with the Student Design Project Awards. The capstone projects coalesce curriculum and allow students to innovate in novel ways.

  • Annie Elizabeth Brantigan (EE 168)
  • Caroline Braviak (EE 168)

2019 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award Recipients - EE News Article
Teaching Assistants who excel in teaching are recognized by students and faculty. The centennial Award recognizes tremendous service and dedication in providing excellent classroom instruction.

  • Mohammad Asif Zaman

2019 James F. Gibbons Award for Outstanding Student Teaching
The James F. Gibbons Award for Outstanding Student Teaching Award highlights students who have been nominated by faculty and peers for their extraordinary service as teaching assistants. We are deeply appreciative of the commitment to learning and sharing that our students display.

  • Mitch Pleus
  • Georgia Murray
  • "Jack" Humphries

Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Scholastic Award - EE News Article, Jonathan & Meera ; EE News Article, Anastasios 
The Terman Award is presented to the top 5% of each senior class in the School of Engineering. We are pleased that 3 of our undergraduates received this recognition for their outstanding work.

  • Anastasios Angelopoulos, BS '19.
  • Jonathan Taylor Lin, BS '19; MS '20
  • Meera Radhakrishnan, BS '19; MS '20 (pictured below)

Nine EE students were elected to Phi Beta Kappa for their academic excellence and breadth of their scholarly accomplishments. Seven are 2019 graduates!

  • Anastasios Angelopoulos
  • Caroline Braviak
  • Sabar Dasgupta
  • Breno de Mello Dal Bianco
  • Vickram Gidwani
  • Joseph Yen
  • Robert Young
  • Namrata Balasingam (future graduate)
  • Milind Jagota (future graduate)

The 2018-19 Tau Beta Pi (TBP) Teaching Honor Roll recognizes engineering instructors for excellent teaching, commitment to students, and great mentoring. Professor Mary Wootters received this award for her excellent instruction and commitment, and EE lecturer David Obershaw was also honored for his outstanding commitment to students and instruction.

Chair's Award for Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education
As in past years, this award is a surprise for the audience and the recipient. Meo Kittiwanich recieved the 2019 Chair's Award. She has mastered a number of student services roles, giving her deep insight into student, faculty and staff perspectives. Most recently, she accepted a promotion to Director of Student and Academic Affairs for EE. Meo has guided, directly or indirectly, each and every one of our graduates.

The 2019 Student Speaker was coterminal student Meera Radhakrishnan (BS '19; MS '20). She spoke of her path to EE – realizing a brain MRI was the closest she would get to doing magic, while taking Professor Dwight Nishimura's introductory seminar on medical imaging, freshman year. Since then she and her EE friends have continued to develop their superpowers in various directions, including overcoming challenging labs, solvong infinite problem sets, attending midnight breakfasts with Stanford's President, and efficiently solving escape room puzzles.

"[...] I hope that in the years to come we will share our hard-won superpowers with the rest of the world and make a positive impact in whatever way is most meaningful to each of us. Thank you all for a wonderful four years, and I'm excited to see where our new adventures will take us. Again, congratulations 2019 Graduates and I wish you all the best for a bright future ahead!"  ~Meera Radhakrishnan


 

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.

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