2017

March 2018

In November 2017, the EE and CS departments hosted the Rising Stars Workshop. We welcomed 70 women from around the world for two days of workshops, panels, and discussions aimed at helping them navigate an academic career.

Rising Stars – now in it's 6th year – was started at MIT with the sole intention of helping women interested in academic careers navigate the process.

At the welcome dinner, Provost Persis Drell encouraged the participants to "always remember that the diversity you bring to the conversation is of enormous value. It's not about them having accepted or allowed you into the room, it's that they desperately need you to be there."

Co-chairs of the event were professors Moses Charikar, Andrea Goldsmith and Fei-Fei Li. They were joined by more than 30 faculty, as well as industry leaders to organize and run the event. The participants were selected from nearly 400 applications.

For the young scholars, hearing from a range of panelists with a variety of backgrounds helped give them the tools and the mindset they need to succeed. Umashanthi Pavalanathan, a doctoral candidate in social computing and natural language processing at Georgia Tech, said that as an international student from Sri Lanka, hearing the experiences of faculty members with similar histories gave her confidence: "When I see role models, I get inspired." Adds Sara Mouradian, a doctoral candidate in quantum information processing at MIT: "When you go to conferences, I'm usually the only one or one of two women in any given room of 50 to 100 people, so it's been great to see all these women." Being here, she says, has been "mind-blowing."

Thanks to all of our participants and support for the 2017 Rising Stars event.

 

Excerpted from "'Rising Stars' workshop raises visibility for women in engineering," Stanford Engineering, March 14, 2018.

Rising Stars 2017 website.

EE's excellent teachers: Boyd, Mahalati, Prabala
December 2017

The Stanford chapter of Tau Beta Pi, an engineering honor society, is proud to announce the inaugural "Teaching Honor Roll," which recognizes the extraordinary teaching of 12 educators in the School of Engineering, three are from Electrical Engineering.

Selection criteria include great teaching, extraordinary inspiration to study a topic, outstanding mentoring and particularly creative lecturing, but are by no means limited to these characteristics. Any undergraduate in the School of Engineering can nominate an instructor.

The 2017 honorees in the Tau Beta Pi Teaching Honor Roll include Electrical Engineering's Stephen Boyd, Reza Mahalati, and Rahul Prabala (BS '16, MS '17).

"I'm so glad to be able to make an impact with EE108," said Rahul Prabala (BS '16, MS '17) on hearing the news of his inclusion. "And I'm honored to be part of the first TBP Teaching Honor Roll."

The honor roll will be displayed in the Jen-Hsun Huang Engineering Center, with plaques bearing the names and short quotes from this year's 12 recipients. The Teaching Honor Roll wall can be found on the ground floor of Huang, near NVIDIA Auditorium. In subsequent years, a list of previous winners will be maintained on the Tau Beta Pi Honor Roll website.

Tau Beta Pi is the nation's second oldest honor society. Founded in 1885, it has chapters in at least 242 U.S. colleges and universities and a membership of well over 550,000. Tau Beta Pi promotes academic excellence, civic leadership and community service for students. In their duties, members organize panel discussions, host industry dinners and conduct math and science programs at local K-12 schools, among many other activities.

 

Congratulations Stephen, Reza, and Rahul!

Excerpted from Stanford Engineering's, "Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society debuts its "Teaching Honor Roll"" Dec. 6, 2017.

Professor Amin Arbabian
December 2017

Professor Amin Arbabian and team are looking for ways to power tiny devices that may be used to pinpoint and repair problems deep inside the body without the trauma of major surgery or the side effects of systemic treatments like chemotherapy.

Ideally, the implants could be placed alongside vital organs to take sensor readings, deliver tiny amounts of drugs, provide remedial jolts of electricity or combinations of the above.

There are many challenges that stand between concept and execution, one of which is providing power to the devices. EE professor Amin Arbabian and his team, including graduate students Marcus Weber, Jayant Charthad and Ting Chia Chang, have been working on this approach for years, putting together electronic components in a modular design to create something new: an implantable device platform the size of a grain of rice that is designed to let engineers swap essential modules depending on the functions desired.

"Think of our implant platform as the chassis of a car that we can customize for different applications," Weber said.

Each implant contains a power-receiving module that can convert the energy from ultrasound waves into usable electricity. This is based on the well-known principle of piezoelectricity – the subtle pressure exerted by sound waves can compress certain crystals in a way that creates a flow of electrons. According to tests thus far, their implants can be powered beyond 12 centimeters below the skin, or a bit under 5 inches – which is sufficient for targeting most any vital organ in the body. The researchers believe they can implant devices even deeper in the future.

To store power between ultrasound charges, the engineers equipped the implant with capacitors instead of bulky batteries. The nanocapacitors store enough of a charge to run the onboard processor that controls each implant and power the implant's ultrasound transmitter.

The team is designing a skin patch that will serve as the control hub and a central power source for their closed-loop system. The skin patch draws on advice from Butrus "Pierre" Khuri-Yakub to think of it like the cell tower in a mobile phone network, relaying signals and orchestrating the activity of two or more implants in different parts of the body.

"We anticipate that as we further refine and test the system, we will find multiple applications beyond epilepsy, hypertension and diabetes, including bladder incontinence, chronic pain and cardiac arrhythmia," Arbabian says.

Read about the IEEE demonstrations at ISSCC and VLSI, or learn more about the lab's implant work at arbabianlab.stanford.edu/research/implants.

 

Excerpted from Stanford Engineering, "How implants powered by ultrasound can help monitor health," December 4, 2017.

EE's excellence in teaching, Rivas and Wetzstein
December 2017

The Great Teaching Showcase is a two-part event that brings together faculty and instructors from all seven schools at Stanford to share success stories and celebrate our collective commitment to improving learning through classroom innovation.

Part one, "Faces of Teaching" will feature short talks that focus on instructors' and students' personal journeys as teachers and learners.

The second part, Gallery Walk, will share successful models of course and assignment design, pedagogical approaches, and innovative classroom ideas to improve learning outcomes, drive student engagement, model inclusive teaching and learning, and reflect on challenges and opportunities.

We are pleased that two Electrical Engineering faculty will be presenting – professors Juan Rivas-Davila and Gordon WetzsteinJuan's presentation is titled, "Ready-to-build power electronics design projects."

Gordon's presentation is titled, "Project-based learning in EECS: virtual reality as a case study."

 

Congratulations to Juan and Gordon on their acceptance into this important Stanford event!

 

December 2017

Electrical Engineering staff recognized for their outstanding effort include Charles Chen, Chet Frost, and Sue George. Each were nominated by peers, faculty and/or students for professionalism that went above and beyond their everyday roles. Gift card recipients continue to make profound and positive impact in EE's everyday work and academic environment.

Nominations may be submitted at any time. There are no restrictions on the persons or groups that you can nominate. Submitters are asked to include a citation of how the group or person went above and beyond. The submitter can choose to remain anonymous. Link to very brief nomination form.

 Please join us in congratulating Charles, Chet, and Sue. Excerpts from their nominations follow. 

Charles Chen, Research & Finance Administrator, Engineering Research Administration

  • "Charles was able to deliver a large, complex proposal for us. It wasn't an easy task to get all of the parts—but he did it!"
  • "He is always a pleasure to work with."

Chet Frost, Administrative Associate, Electrical Engineering

  • "I appreciate his level of professionalism; he always follows-up, and verifies that a project is complete."
  • "Chet is always willing to help beyond his ordinary responsibilities."

Sue George, Administrative Associate, Computer Science

  • "Sue always takes time to hear what others have to say. She's efficient, friendly, and FANTASTIC."
  • "With the Gates' Building recent renovation, Sue was instrumental in logistics handling."

 

The Staff Gift Card Bonus Program is sponsored by the School of Engineering. Each year, the EE department receives several gift cards to distribute to staff members who are recognized for going above and beyond their role. Each month, staff are chosen from nominations received from faculty, students, and staff. Past nominations are eligible for future months.

Nominate a deserving staff person or group today! We encourage you to nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

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

We are very proud of the research being done by our graduate and undergraduate students.

Throughout the academic year, we encourage students to present at conferences and related interdisciplinary events. The practice of sharing and speaking about research to a variety of audiences is a quality we encourage. We are pleased to again acknowledge electrical engineering students who have been recognized for their presentation, poster, and/or paper awards.


Jerry Chang (EE PhD candidate)
Ting Chia (Jerry) Chang (PhD candidate '20) is the lead author of "Scaling of Ultrasound-Powered Receivers for Sub-Millimeter Wireless Implants." He and his co-authors received the Best Paper Award at the 2017 IEEE BioCAS Conference.
 

Ruishan Liu (EE PhD candidate)
Ruishan Liu (PhD candidate) received the Best Poster Award at the Bay Area Machine Learning Symposium. Ruishan belongs to the Stanford Laboratory for Machine Learning group, advised by Professor James Zou. Ruishan develops algorithms and theories in machine learning and reinforcement learning, and is interested in applications in genomics and healthcare.

Her poster title is, "The Effects of Memory Replay in Reinforcement Learning."

PhD candidates Connor McClellan and Fiona Ching-Hua Wang
PhD candidates Connor McClellan and Fiona Ching-Hua Wang each received the Best in Session Award at the TechCon 2017.

  • Connor's paper, "Effective n-type Doping of Monolayer MoS2 by AlO(x)" was presented in the 2-D and TMD Materials and Devices: I session. Professor Eric Pop is Connor's advisor 
  • Fiona's paper, "N-type Black Phosphorus Transistor with Low Work Function Contacts," was presented in the 2-D and TMD Materials and Devices: III session. Professor H.-S. Philip Wong is Fiona's advisor. 
Read More

David Hallac EE PhD candidate
David Hallac, EE PhD candidate, is the lead author of "Toeplitz Inverse Covariance-Based Clustering of Multivariate Time Series Data," which has been selected to receive the KDD 2017 Conference Best Paper Runner-Up Award and the Best Student Paper runner-up Award.
 

Iliana Erteza Bray EE PhD candidate
Iliana Erteza Bray, EE PhD candidate, received The Firestone Medal for Excellence in Undergraduate Research. Her paper is titled, “Frequency Shifts and Depth Dependence of Beta Band Activity in Rhesus Premotor Cortex Perceptual Decision-Making.” She ia advised by Krishna Shenoy (Electrical Engineering).
 

 JULY 2017 PhD candidates Alex Gabourie and Saurabh Suryavanshi
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."

Kirby Smithe EE B.S. candidate
Kirby Smithe (PhD candidate) received first place for his presentation, "High-field transport and velocity saturation in CVD monolayer MoS2" at the EDISON 20 Conference.
 
Kirby's research involves growth and material characterization of 2D semiconductors and engineering 2D electronic devices for circuit-level applications. He is the recipient of the Stanford Graduate Fellowship as well as the NSF Graduate Fellowship. Kirby is advised by Professor Eric Pop.
 

Yuanfang Li (M.S. candidate) and Dr. Ardavan Pedram
Co-authors Yuanfang Li (MS candidate) and Dr. Ardavan Pedram received the Best Paper Award at the 28th annual IEEE International Conference on Application-specific Systems, Architectures and Processors (ASAP).

Yuanfang Li is an M.S. candidate and Dr. Ardavan Pedram is a senior research associate who manages the PRISM Project. The PRISM project enables the design of reconfigurable architectures to accelerate the building blocks of machine learning, high performance computing, and data science routines.

EE Admit Weekend poster winners
EE Admit Weekend hosts a competitive poster session. The presenting students are judged by faculty, peers and staff and scored on their presentation, poster, and professionalism. The awards went to:
  • Leighton Barnes winner in Information Systems and Science for poster titled "Geometry and the Relay Channel,” 
  • Adrian Alabi in Hardware/Software Systems for poster titled "915 MHz FSK Detection for Wireless Ultrasonic Imaging Data Reception,” 
  • Max Wang in Physical Technology and Science for poster titled "Minimally Invasive Ultrasonically Powered Implants for Next-Generation Therapies and Neuromodulation” 
Read More

December 2017

From desktop to laptop to mobile devices and wearables, personal computing platforms continue to evolve. Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are among the fastest evolving such platforms. VR is an immersive experience that replaces the user's real world with a simulated one. With VR, the user typically wears a headset and/or other wearables that provide simulated interaction through sound, haptics, and graphics. Augmented reality (AR) is not immersive, although it does add elements to the user's reality. An example of AR is the real time translation of traffic signs and restaurant menus while traveling in another country. Applications of VR and AR systems have been gaining in popularity and span entertainment, education, communication, training, behavioral therapy, and basic vision research.

VR and AR provide a host of opportunities for engineers to design new sensors, displays, algorithms, and embedded systems, as well as develop new applications. Stanford students interested in learning about VR and AR systems have been flocking to a new course developed by professor Gordon Wetzstein. The course, EE 267: Virtual Reality, emphasizes aspects of VR systems such as rendering, tracking, haptics, inertial measurement units, depth perception, and presence (or immersion).

EE 267, now in its third year, continues to appeal to undergrad and graduate students both within and outside of the electrical engineering department. The primary course objective is to build a head mounted display (HMD) from scratch and to create a final project of the student's own virtual environment. Past student projects have included innovative combination of 2d and 3d inputs; collection of user data via VR interaction; and developing VR immersive viewing options for medical scans.

"Many final projects are extraordinarily creative and provide novel solutions to current problems," states professor Wetzstein. "The students are enthusiastic to share their work and usually a few interested Silicon Valley companies attend our final presentations."

 

From a past student – "It became clear within my first week [of my internship] that everything in the EE 267 syllabus is relevant to what I'm doing here at Google and I would have been completely lost if I had not taken your class before starting this internship. There could not have been a better primer for working in VR/AR than your class and I hope that you will continue teaching it for many years!

When I tell my coworkers that I got to take a VR class at Stanford where we built our own HMDs, they are all very jealous and wish they could have had an opportunity like that when they were in grad school."

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.

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