Passionate fifth-year PhD student Jaime Lien considers herself "lucky" to be a founding member and current president of the Stanford Graduate Students in Electrical Engineering (GSEE) student organization. She is also busy working toward her dream of a career in signal and image processing technology.
How did you become interested in your research area?
"I’ve always enjoyed applying math to solve real-world problems. As an undergraduate, I was drawn to signal processing because it combines elegant mathematical theory with practical algorithms to solve problems that we encounter in almost every field of engineering. With statistical signal analysis and processing techniques, we can improve communication, extract information, and reconstruct data even in the face of noise and signal corruption.
Remote sensing is a particularly interesting application for these techniques because our research produces very fine, spatially dense measurements of the Earth that would not otherwise be possible. By applying advanced signal processing algorithms to satellite radar data, we can produce amazing visualizations of geophysical processes such as earthquake crustal deformation and groundwater-related subsidence."
Explain a project you're currently working on.
"In my PhD research, I’m developing new statistical signal processing techniques for satellite radar data in order to measure minute deformations in the Earth’s surface. Using synthetic aperture radar interferometry, we can measure crustal deformation on the order of millimeters over multiple year timespans! Reliably extracting such small signals from a complex, noisy system is an intellectually stimulating problem on many levels. I’ve enjoyed working on this project from multiple aspects, including theoretical understanding of the imaging system, statistical characterization of the spatiotemporal data, and algorithm development to improve signal measurement. I hope my research will help enhance our ability to measure and understand the Earth’s crustal processes and potentially aid advances in geophysical hazard prediction."
Why did you choose Stanford EE?
"I chose Stanford because of the world-class electrical engineering faculty and students. I wanted to work with passionate people who would expose me to new ways of thinking, challenge me intellectually, and inspire me to work hard. I’ve learned so much from my professors and fellow students here. Coming to Stanford gave me the incredible opportunity to interact with people who are the leaders of their fields on a daily basis."
What other activities are you involved with on campus?
"I’m lucky to be a founding member and current president of the Stanford Graduate Students in Electrical Engineering (GSEE). Our group works to provide academic, career, and personal support, as well as a sense of community, to the graduate students in our department. Through GSEE I’ve made some wonderful friends with electrical engineering students from all over the world.
In my free time, I also enjoy taking advantage of the beautiful California outdoors by running and hiking. I ran my first marathon last year!"
What are your career plans?
"I plan to continue working on signal and image processing technology, either in a research lab or industry R&D environment. Beyond that is to be determined!"