2018

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!

Andrea Goldsmith 2018 ACM Athena Lecturer
April 2018

Today the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) named Andrea Goldsmith the 2018-2019 Athena Lecturer for contributions to the theory and practice of adaptive wireless communications, and for the successful transfer of research to commercial technology.

Professor Goldsmith is the Stephen Harris Professor in the School of Engineering. Her research is focused on the design, analysis, and fundamental performance limits of wireless systems and networks, as well as the application of communications and signal processing to biology and neuroscience.

Andrea introduced innovative approaches to the design, analysis and fundamental performance limits of wireless systems and networks. Her efforts helped develop technologies used in long-term evolution (LTE) cellular devices as well as the Wi-Fi standards that are used in wireless local area networks. She participated in the launch of companies to commercialize her work, which has led to the adoption of her ideas throughout the communications industry.

Andrea also serves on Stanford's Budget Group, Academic Council Advisory Board, Faculty Senate, and Faculty Women's Forum Steering Committee. She previously served as Chair of Stanford's Faculty Senate and as a member of its Commissions on Graduate Education and on Undergraduate Education, as well as its Task Force on Women and Leadership.

"The anytime, anywhere computing era in which we now live owes a debt to innovators like Andrea Goldsmith who have helped lay the groundwork for the wireless infrastructure that makes mobile computing possible," said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. "Her work has improved the transmission, reception and overall quality of wireless communications. Importantly, Goldsmith's career has exemplified the spirit of the ACM Athena Lecturer Award in the numerous ways she has mentored young women throughout her career. She has helped prepare promising young women PhD students and postdocs for faculty positions, and she has worked to develop actionable strategies to improve the climate, recruitment and retention of women in the high tech industry."

Please join us in congratulating Andrea for this well-deserved recognition!

About ACM
ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, is the world's largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field's challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession's collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking. 
Excerpted from The ACM press release.  

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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.

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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. 

 

March 2018

The Electrical Engineering staff recognized this month for their outstanding effort are Beverly Davis, Teresa Nguyen, and Helen Niu.

Each were nominated by peers, faculty and/or students who included descriptions of their professionalism that goes above and beyond their everyday roles. Gift card recipients make profound and positive impact in the department's everyday work and academic environment.

 

Please join us in acknowledging Beverly, Teresa, and Helen's extraordinary work! Modified excerpts from their nominations follow.

 

Beverly Davis, Faculty Administrator

  • "Beverly is a rock star!"
  • She is really fun to talk to and does her job flawlessly.

Teresa Nguyen, Student Financial Officer

  • "She has been such a great help to me during grad school!"
  • Teresa is very knowledgeable and kind - I'm so glad she's part of our team.

Helen Niu, Faculty Administrator

  • Helen is extraordinarily capable and diligent.
  • "I am extremely grateful for her!"

Please congratulate them for their outstanding work!

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 – nominate individuals or groups that have made a profound improvement in your daily work life. Each recipient receives a $50 Visa card. Nominations can be made at any time.

electrical engineer John Hennessy wins Turing Award
March 2018

Professor John L. Hennessy and retired UC Berkeley professor David Patterson have been named recipients of the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award for pioneering a systematic, quantitative approach to the design and evaluation of computer architectures with enduring impact on the microprocessor industry. Hennessy and Patterson created a systematic and quantitative approach to designing faster, lower power, and reduced instruction set computer (RISC) microprocessors. Their approach led to lasting and repeatable principles that generations of architects have used for many projects in academia and industry. Today, 99% of the more than 16 billion microprocessors produced annually are RISC processors, and are found in nearly all smartphones, tablets, and the billions of embedded devices that comprise the Internet of Things (IoT).

John is the James F. and Mary Lynn Gibbons Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and Shriram Family Director, Knight-Hennessy Scholars. He was dean of the School of Engineering (1996-2000), university provost (1999-2000), and Stanford University's 10th president (2006-2016).

The ACM Turing Award, often referred to as the "Nobel Prize of Computing," carries a $1 million prize, with financial support provided by Google, Inc. It is named for Alan M. Turing, the British mathematician who articulated the mathematical foundation and limits of computing. Hennessy and Patterson will formally receive the 2017 ACM A.M. Turing Award at the ACM's annual awards banquet being held this June in San Francisco.

"ACM initiated the Turing Award in 1966 to recognize contributions of lasting and major technical importance to the computing field," said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. "The work of Hennessy and Patterson certainly exemplifies this standard. Their contributions to energy-efficient RISC-based processors have helped make possible the mobile and IoT revolutions. At the same time, their seminal textbook has advanced the pace of innovation across the industry over the past 25 years by influencing generations of engineers and computer designers."

Attesting to the impact of Hennessy and Patterson's work is the assessment of Bill Gates, principal founder of Microsoft Corporation, that their contributions "have proven to be fundamental to the very foundation upon which an entire industry flourished."

Please join us in congratulating John for this outstanding recognition of quantitative computer architectures and impact on the microprocessor industry.


 

Related News:

"Marty Hellman receives 2015 ACM A.M. Turing Award," March 2016.

ACM press release, "Pioneers of Modern Computer Architecture Receive ACM A.M. Turing Award," March 21, 2018. 

Stanford News, "Former Stanford President wins Turing Award for contributions to computing," March 22, 2018.

Graduate student David Lindell and Matt O’Toole, a post-doctoral scholar, work in the lab. (Image credit: L.A. Cicero)
March 2018

A driverless car is making its way through a winding neighborhood street, about to make a sharp turn onto a road where a child’s ball has just rolled. Although no person in the car can see that ball, the car stops to avoid it. This is because the car is outfitted with extremely sensitive laser technology that reflects off nearby objects to see around corners.

“It sounds like magic but the idea of non-line-of-sight imaging is actually feasible,” said Gordon Wetzstein, assistant professor of electrical engineering and senior author of the paper describing this work, published March 5 in Nature.

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