EE Student Information

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June 2018

The 2018 University Rover Challenge (URC) took place in at the Mars Desert Research Station (MDRS) in Utah, May 31 - June 2. Thirty-six teams from 10 countries participated in the annual event. Both graduate and undergraduate students make up the teams.

This is the first year that the Stanford Robotics Club has participated in the competition. The Stanford MARS Rover Team placed 34th, and is already making plans for the 2019 competition.

The URC required completion of the same tasks as in previous years: Sample Cache Task, Extreme Retrieval and Delivery Task, Equipment Servicing Task, and the Autonomous Traversal Task. Teams and their rovers were additionally challenged with harder versions of several tasks. The most exciting task of 2018 proved to be the Equipment Servicing Task, which featured a custom lander designed and built by a URC sponsor. Rovers were required to load a canister into the lander, and conduct a series of complex procedures required to "launch" this lander from Mars back to Earth.

The 2018 Stanford Robotics Mars Rover Team members are:

  • Shi Tuck - Sophomore in EE - Electrical systems
  • Christina (Tina) Li - Sophomore in CS - Drive Mechanical
  • Claire Huang - Sophomore in CS - Arm Mechanical
  • Michal Adamkiewicz - Sophomore in EE - Team Lead
  • Neil Movva - Junior in EE - Electrical systems
  • Freddy Dopfel - Graduate Student in MS&E
  • Julia Thompson - Freshmen in Chemistry and Mathematics - Science Analysis
  • Chandler Watson - Freshmen in CS - Team Lead
  • Thariq Ridha - Freshmen in CS - Drive Mechanical
  • Nick Lai - Sophomore in CS - Science Analysis
  • Marion Lepert - Senior in ME - Arm Mechanical
  • Rachel Gardner - Sophomore in CS - Software
  • Peter Maldonado - Freshmen in CS - Software
  • Victoria Tsai - Sophomore in CS - Software
  • Thomas White - Sophomore in AA - Drive Mechanical
  • Chaitanya Asawa - Senior in CS - Software

Congratulations to all the Mars Rover teams! 

Additional information

Stanford Robotics Club: roboticsclub.stanford.edu
University Rover Challenge (URC): urc.marssociety.org 

 

(Excerpted from http://urc.marssociety.org/home/urc-news/universityroverchallengetitlereturnstopoland)

June 2018

Congratulations to PhD candidate Kawin "North" Surakitbovorn! He received the Student Paper Award at the 2018 International Power Electronics Conference - ECCE Asia, IPEC-Niigata, 2018.

North presented his paper at the conference held in Niigata, Japan on May 23, 2018. Also attending were his advisor, Juan Rivas-Davila and fellow researchers from the SUPER Lab.

 

Please join us in congratulating North on his accomplishment!

Anthropology and EE major Jack Andraka
May 2018

Jack Andraka, a junior in anthropology and electrical engineering has been awarded the 2018 Truman Scholarship for Graduate Studies. He plans to put his training in engineering, anthropology and data science to work as a public health physician devoted to addressing global health inequities affecting citizens in low- and middle-income countries.

Jack is one of 59 exceptional college students chosen from across the nation for the scholarship, which provides up to $30,000 for graduate study – in the United States or abroad – to students who want to attend graduate school in preparation for a career in public service.

Andraka's honors thesis in anthropology focuses on Sierra Leone: Disease Dollars: An Ethnographic Study of Foreign Aid and Ebola in Sierra Leone. Andraka hopes to study how environmental contaminants violate the health and human rights of disadvantaged populations in the impoverished West African country.

He is also writing an honors thesis in electrical engineering, A Novel Paper Biosensor for the Detection of Infectious Diseases and Environmental Contaminants, which describes the sensors he developed that detect 20 different diseases or contaminants in five minutes at a cost of less than one cent.

As a Truman Scholar, Andraka intends to enter an MD/MPH (Doctor of Medicine/Master of Public Health) program specializing in global health.

"The MD degree would enable me to frame my engineering background within medicine and provide me with an appreciation for the clinical realities of working in global health," Andraka wrote in his Truman Scholarship application. "In doing so, I will be able to work with communities in clinical settings to better understand locally relevant issues and design programs to address them. The Master of Public Health degree, alongside my anthropology training, will provide me with a deep understanding of broader socioeconomic, environmental and political determinants of health."

Eventually, Andraka hopes to become a public health physician devoted to addressing the global health inequities in low- and middle-income countries, where life expectancy is 36 years lower than in high-income countries.

Please join us in congratulating Jack on his excellent achievement!

 

 

Excerpted from Stanford News, "Stanford junior wins 2018 Truman Scholarship for graduate studies," April 13, 2018.

EE PhD Sarah Hooper
May 2018

Congratulations to EE PhD candidate Sarah Hooper! She has been selected as a 2018 Hertz Foundation Fellow. Sarah is a member of Sanjiv Sam Gambhir's  research lab, which develops novel materials and biosensor devices for the early detection and personalized treatment of diseases.

Sarah is driven to improve health outcomes through technological innovation. She helped create multiple new medical devices during her undergraduate career at Rice University, where she earned her B.S. in electrical engineering and a minor in global health technologies.

Through developing and implementing different medical devices, she saw the incredible power of technology to transform patient care. In particular, she saw the potential for accessible medical devices to drastically improve health outcomes in resource-limited settings during an internship in Malawi, where she worked to create low-cost devices to combat neonatal hypothermia.

In addition to her work in global health, Sarah became interested in how machine learning could be applied to benefit healthcare through her research using data science to create a seizure prediction system for patients with epilepsy. She is excited by the many opportunities she sees to use machine learning and signal processing to improve domestic and global health outcomes.

Please join us in congratulating Sarah and the other 2018 Hertz Fellows!

The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to empowering America's most brilliant minds in science, mathematics and engineering, announced the 2018 recipients of the prestigious Hertz Fellowship. The 10 newest Hertz Fellows were chosen from nearly 700 applicants interested in pursuing graduate work in the United States. The 2018 class includes six women, the highest proportion of women of any class in the Foundation's history, with Fellows' research focusing on chemistry, electrical engineering, computer science, mathematics and physics.

"The 2018 fellowship awardees are an outstanding group of students, with diverse talents and an extraordinary drive to reach new heights in scientific research and technological innovation,"said Robbee Baker Kosak, president, Fannie and John Hertz Foundation."We are delighted to welcome these six women and four men to the Hertz Community. They join the hundreds of Hertz Fellows who are leading important breakthroughs and developing some of the most important scientific and engineering solutions to challenges in our world today. We look forward to seeing what these 10 women and men contribute to that goal in the coming years."

The Hertz Foundation is the only organization in the United States that supports PhD candidates for a full five years at one of the Foundation's numerous partner institutions and grants students total research freedom, ensuring that each Fellow is able to pursue the most compelling, cutting-edge research. Members of Hertz's 2018 class hail from eight different states and nine different undergraduate schools. Several of this year's Fellows have already published papers in disciplines from biological chemistry to quantum computing.

"Hertz Fellows do extraordinary work and are truly changing the world, so our new Fellows are in fine company," said Dr. David Galas, Hertz Fellow, chairman of The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation's board of directors and Principal Scientist at the Pacific Northwest Research Institute. "The fellowship interviewers were amazed by the brilliance and creativity of these young people. I am confident their careers will have great impact on American and global science and technology."

At Stanford University in the electrical engineering Ph.D. program, Sarah will continue to pursue research aimed at improving patient care. She will focus on developing new medical imaging devices and associated data-driven computational tools to better diagnose and treat patients. After earning her Ph.D., Sarah plans on devoting her career to innovating technical solutions to reduce the global burden of noncommunicable disease.


Excerpted from

the Hertz Foundation: "The Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Announces 2018 Fellows", March 26, 2018

and Hertz Foundation Fellow profile, Sarah Hooper.

Michelle Chen (PhD '21)
April 2018

Graduate student Michelle Chen won the Best Presentation Award at the 2018 MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit. Michelle is a Materials Science & Engineering student working in Eric Pop's research lab, PopLab

The title of her talk was "Electrostatic Cycling of Suspended Graphene Thermal Switches." Michelle's current research focuses on the fabrication and characterization of 2D materials and devices for use in thermal management. She is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Fellowship.

Additional authors are M. Chen, F. Lian, M. Muñoz Rojo, A. Sood, K. Goodson, E. Pop.

 

Congratuations Michelle!

Tony Wu (PhD '18)
April 2018

Congratulations to Tony Wu (PhD '18). He has been awarded the Northern California Electronic Materials Symposium's Ross Tucker Award. Tony's work on systems-level integration of electronic nanomaterials was particularly impressive, and the award is well-deserved. Tony's advisor is Subhasish Mitra.

The Ross N. Tucker Award memorializes Dr. Ross N. Tucker, who contributed significantly to the advancement of the technology of materials used in semiconductor electronics, the Ross Tucker Award is given each year to a pair of graduate students at UC Berkeley and Stanford.

The 46th Annual Northern California Electronic Materials Symposium, co-sponsored by TMS and IEEE Santa Clara Valley Section, will be held at Benson Memorial Center in Santa Clara in May 2018. The program features presentations on advanced electronic materials processing techniques and devices, and analytical techniques by outstanding speakers who have made significant contributions to their respective fields.

 

Congratulations Tony!

Angad Rekhi (PhD ’20), Allen Building, Stanford EE
April 2018

Come to the Allen Building and view the original wall art designed by EE PhD candidate Angad Rekhi.

Angad Rekhi has spent many hours in the Allen Building, researching & reflecting on low power circuits and systems. As a member of the Arbabian Lab, he also helped develop a low power wake up receiver for IoT.

Angad was intrigued by the call to submit a design for the Allen Building entrance. The design challenge opened in October 2017, encouraging students, faculty & staff to create a visually representative piece that illustrates the research done within the Allen Buildings.

Angad's concept illustrates the entire electrical engineering design hierarchy – from a device-focused perspective at the far left, through chip and board design in the center, to end applications on the far right. "Design at all levels occurs in the Allen Buildings. They contain spaces and labs for the full process of design and build, from concept to product," states Angad. "For example, ExFab allows rapid prototyping of microelectronics, and the SPF (System Prototyping Facility) supports electronic sub-system design. So really, anyone on campus can go from idea to product within these walls."

Angad Rekhi (PhD ’20) posing with his wall design in the Allen Building

Please come by to view Angad's artwork!
The wall art is a creative way to greet those interested in leveraging Allen's spectrum of device development, and those who are yet to discover what's possible inside of the Allen Buildings.

About the Allen Buildings
At the time of it's construction, the building (originally named CIS) was considered "the best example of Stanford's resident architect's progressive historicism," acknowledging the blending of 1880s architectural style with 20th and 21st century Stanford architecture. The "building was designed by Antoine Predock, an Albuquerque architect with a reputation for New Age structures that rise organically from the Southwest's desert landscape." The building is named after Microsoft's co-founder, Paul G. Allen.

Together, the Allen and Gates buildings anchor the north side of the Engineering Quad. Twenty years ago, former Dean James Gibbons said "It has been a 10-year dream of ours to draw electrical engineering and computer science – the hardware and the software ­– together in an environment surrounded by such things as the biological sciences and medicine." And by spring 2019, the Neurosciences and ChEM-H research facility is expected to be complete, just on the north side of the Allen Buildings.

Related Links

Nikhil Garg, EE PhD '20 interdisciplinary research using machine-learning
April 2018

Lead author Nikhil Garg (PhD candidate '20) demonstrates that word embeddings can be used as a powerful tool to quantify historical trends and social change. His research team developed metrics based on word embeddings to characterize how gender stereotypes and attitudes toward ethnic minorities in the United States evolved during the 20th and 21st centuries starting from 1910. Their framework opens up a fruitful intersection between machine learning and quantitative social science.

Nikhil co-authored the paper with history Professor Londa Schiebinger, linguistics and computer science Professor Dan Jurafsky and biomedical data science Professor James Zou.

Their research shows that, over the past century, linguistic changes in gender and ethnic stereotypes correlated with major social movements and demographic changes in the U.S. Census data.

The researchers used word embeddings – an algorithmic technique that can map relationships and associations between words – to measure changes in gender and ethnic stereotypes over the past century in the United States. They analyzed large databases of American books, newspapers and other texts and looked at how those linguistic changes correlated with actual U.S. Census demographic data and major social shifts such as the women's movement in the 1960s and the increase in Asian immigration, according to the research.

"Word embeddings can be used as a microscope to study historical changes in stereotypes in our society," said James Zou, a courtesy professor of electrical engineering. "Our prior research has shown that embeddings effectively capture existing stereotypes and that those biases can be systematically removed. But we think that, instead of removing those stereotypes, we can also use embeddings as a historical lens for quantitative, linguistic and sociological analyses of biases."

"This type of research opens all kinds of doors to us," Schiebinger said. "It provides a new level of evidence that allow humanities scholars to go after questions about the evolution of stereotypes and biases at a scale that has never been done before."

"The starkness of the change in stereotypes stood out to me," Garg said. "When you study history, you learn about propaganda campaigns and these outdated views of foreign groups. But how much the literature produced at the time reflected those stereotypes was hard to appreciate." 

The new research illuminates the value of interdisciplinary teamwork between humanities and the sciences, researchers said.

"This led to a very interesting and fruitful collaboration," Schiebinger said, adding that members of the group are working on further research together. "It underscores the importance of humanists and computer scientists working together. There is a power to these new machine-learning methods in humanities research that is just being understood." 


 

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "Word embeddings quantify 100 years of gender and ethnic stereotypes" April 3,2018.  

Excerpted from Stanford News, "Stanford researchers use machine-learning algorithm to measure changes in gender, ethnic bias in U.S." April 3, 2018.

 

 

 

Ana Klimovic, EE PhD '19
April 2018

Congratulations to Ana Klimovic (PhD candidate '19), Professor Christos Kozyrakis, and postdoc Heiner Litz. They won the 2018 Memorable Paper Award for System Architecture and Applications at the 9th Annual Non-Volatile Memories Workshop (NVMW) hosted by the University of California, San Diego. Their paper, "ReFlex: Remote Flash == Local Flash" was one of six finalists for the award selected from over 80 papers submitted to the workshop.

About The Memorable Paper Award

The Memorable Paper Award recognizes the best recent research on non-volatile memories published throughout the world. It is given annually to outstanding research published in the last two years that is expected to have substantial impact on the study of non-volatile memories. To be eligible, the paper must have been published in peer-reviewed venue in the last two years and the lead researcher must have been a student at the time.

About the Non-Volatile Memories Workshop

The Non-Volatile Memories Workshop is the world's premier venue for research into how to use non-volatile memory technology to improve the performance, reliability, and efficiency of computing systems. It was founded in 2010 by Dr. Paul Siegel and Dr. Steven Swanson of the University of California, San Diego's Jacob School of engineering. The workshop is a co-production of the Center for Magnetic Recording Research and the Non-Volatile Systems Laboratory at UC San Diego. More information, including a detailed program, is available at nvmw.ucsd.edu.

Please join us in congratulating Ana, Christos, and Heiner on their award! 


Award winner Ana Kilmovic (center) with general chairs of NVMW'18 Professor Steven Swanson (left) and Professor Paul Siegel (right), both of UCSD.

Paper Summary:

Internet companies such as Facebook and Google host trillions of messages, photos, and videos for their users. Hence, they need storage systems that are massive in scale, fast to access, and cost effective. Scale is achieved by hosting internet services in datacenters with thousands of machines, each contributing its local storage to the global data pool. Speed is achieved by selectively replacing slow hard disks in machines with Flash storage devices that can serve data accesses with 100x lower latency and 10,000x higher throughput.

However, Flash makes it difficult to build a cost-effective storage system. Flash devices are typically underutilized in terms of capacity and throughput due to the imbalance in the compute and storage requirements of the internet services running on each machine. In the past, datacenter operators dealt with the same challenge for disks by allowing services running on each machine to allocate storage over the network on any disk with spare capacity and bandwidth in the datacenter. Remote (over the network) access to disks enables utilizing all available capacity and throughput. Past efforts to implement similar remote access systems for Flash devices have run into significant challenges. Network protocol processing at the throughput of Flash devices requires a large number of processor cores and adds overheads that cancel out the latency advantages of using Flash. Moreover, when two remote machines access the same Flash device, interference between the two access streams can lead to unpredictable performance degradation.

To address these challenges, researchers Ana Klimovic, Heiner Litz and Christos Kozyrakis developed a software system called ReFlex. ReFlex enables high performance access to remote Flash storage with minimal compute resources and provides predictable performance for multiple services sharing a Flash device over the network. Using a single processing core, the system can process up to 850,000 requests per second which is 11x more than a traditional Linux network storage system. ReFlex makes remote Flash look like local Flash to applications, making it easy for a service running on a particular machine to use spare Flash capacity and bandwidth on other machines in the datacenter. To provide predictable performance when multiple remote machines access the same Flash device, ReFlex uses a novel scheduler to process incoming requests in an interference-aware manner.

ReFlex is having an increasing impact in industry and, in collaboration with IBM Research, has been integrated into the Apache Crail distributed storage system. This integration allows popular data analytics frameworks to leverage ReFlex to improve their resource efficiency while maintaining high, predictable performance. ReFlex is also being ported to a system on chip (SoC) platform by Broadcom Limited. ReFlex is open-source software and available at: https://www.github.com/stanford-mast/reflex.

 

Excerpted from the full NVMW'18 press release.

April 2018

The 2018 EE Admit Weekend welcomed 60 newly admitted PhD graduate students. The 2-day event connected admitted students with current students, faculty and staff. Several student-faculty sessions occurred throughout the 2 days, fostering a range of discussions from research topics to housing. Admitted students also participated in research lab and campus tours. Friday concluded with a PhD student research poster session and dinner with faculty.

Twenty-two PhD research projects were presented in this year's poster session. The posters are judged on oral presentation, visual quality, and clarity of presentation – all within a one minute timeframe. Judges include staff, faculty and students, and select one entry from EE's core research areas.

The 2018 poster award winners are:

  • Spyridon Baltsavias (PhD candidate '21), Hardware/Software Systems, for his poster, "Ingestible and Implantable Ultrasonic Sensors for GI-Tract Real-Time Monitoring"
  • Joseph Landry (PhD candidate '19), Physical Technology & Science, for his poster, "Structured Illumination Light Sheet Microscopy for High Throughput Imaging of Thick Tissue"
  • David Lindell (PhD candidate '22), Information Systems & Science, for his poster titled, "Confocal Non-Line-of-Sight Imaging based on the Light Cone Transform"

The winning student researchers were presented with a gift card and certificate from the EE Student Life Committee.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone for participating in the 2018 EE Admit Weekend and research poster session! Additional thanks to the EE Admissions, GSEE, and the EE Student Life Committee for sponsoring the poster contest and generous prizes. 

 

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