ESE Colloquia & Events

Fall 2014-Summer 2015

ESE colloquia are held on Tuesdays from 11-12:00pm in Towne 337, unless otherwise noted. For all Penn Engineering events, visit the Penn Calendar.

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Spring 2015


February 3
John Kymissis
Columbia University
"Electronics on anything: How Thin Film Electronics can Instrument the World"
11:00-12:00 pm, Singh Center Glandt Forum

Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: Silicon electronics have revolutionized the processing and handling of information. The high temperatures required to create crystalline silicon devices, however, has limited the application of crystalline silicon to sensing systems that work in a small and mechanically rigid form factor. The development of inorganic and organic thin film electronics has launched a second revolution in electronics, granting the ability to process electronically active materials at low temperatures. This has allowed for two exciting opportunities: the ability to build electronic devices on the same size scale as the systems they interact with, and the ability to integrate electronic materials on a range of substrates including electronically active and flexible materials. Our group has been working on the hybrid integration of organic semiconductors and SLS laser-recrystallized silicon with active substrates to implement a range of new functionalities. In this presentation, I'll show how thin film electronics and the hybrid integration enabled by new semiconductor systems and process options allows for active and spatially localized control of systems that are typically used in a single element format. These approaches unlock new applications in healthcare, sensing, displays, and communications.

Bio: Ioannis (John) Kymissis is an electrical engineer teaching at Columbia University. His area of specialization is solid state electronics and device fabrication. His research focuses on thin film devices and systems, especially focusing on optoelectronic and sensing devices based on organic and amorphous metal oxide thin film materials. Current areas of research include investigations into device performance, fabrication, packaging, and device driving.

John graduated with his SB, M.Eng., and Ph.D. degrees from MIT. His M.Eng. thesis was performed as a co-op at the IBM TJ Watson Research Lab working on organic thin film transistors, and his Ph.D. was conducted in the Microsystems Technology Lab at MIT working on field emission displays under Tayo Akinwande. After graduation he spent three years as a post-doc in MIT's Laboratory for Organic Optics and Electronics (now the ONE Lab) working on a variety of organic electronic devices and as a consulting engineer for QDVision.

He joined the faculty of Columbia University as an assistant professor in 2006. At Columbia, John is the founding faculty director of the Columbia Maker Space, serves on the Columbia Cleanroom Committee, and serves as the undergraduate chair for EE.

He has won a number of awards for his work in thin film electronics and communications including the MIT Clean Energy Prize, The Vodaphone Americas Wireless Innovation Award, the NSF Career Award, The IEEE EDS Paul Rappaport award, the IVMC Shoulders/Spindt/Grey award, the Interdigital Innovation Challenge. He is a finalist for the 2015 Verizon Powerful Answers award. John is an active member of SID, the Society for Information Display, and serves on the board of directors as well as the editor of the Journal of the Society for Information Display. He is also serves on the board of the Device Research Conference (and served as general chair in 2013), and is a senior member of the IEEE. He currently serves on the board of his local IEEE EDS/SSCS chapter.


March 3
David Arnold
University of Florida
"Magnetic Microsystems - What? Where? When? Why? How?"

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Abstract: This talk will highlight my group's development of microfabricated permanent magnets and their application in several functional microsystems. To set the stage, I'll first describe some basic concepts about magnets and physical scaling laws that motivate our efforts. I'll then discuss our advancement of two types of permanent magnet materials--electroplated layers and bonded powders, which overcome certain manufacturing and integration challenges. I'll then showcase how these permanent magnet materials are being used for electromechanical actuators, energy harvesting devices, and generation of high-energy x-rays.

Bio: David P. Arnold is currently a full professor in the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. He holds an affiliate appointment in the Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering. From January 2012 to June 2013, he served as Interim Director of the UF Nanoscience Institute for Medical and Engineering Technology (NIMET).

His research focuses on magnetic thin/thick films and magnetic micro/nanostructures; magnetic microsystems and electromechanical transducers; and compact (<100 W) power/energy systems. He received dual B.S. degrees in electrical and computer engineering in 1999, followed by the M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 2001, from the University of Florida, Gainesville. He received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta in 2004. During his graduate studies, he held research fellowships from the National Science Foundation and the Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society.

Dr. Arnold is an active participant in the magnetics and MEMS communities, serving on conference committees for the MEMS, PowerMEMS, Hilton Head, Transducers, Sensors, MMM, and Intermag meetings. He was the technical program co-chair of the 2009 PowerMEMS and is currently on the editorial board of J. Micromechanics and Microengineering and Energy Harvesting and Systems. His work has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the 2008 Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE) and the 2009 DARPA Young Faculty Award. Dr. Arnold is the current UF chapter faculty advisor and member of the Eta Kappa Nu ECE engineering honor society. He is also a Senior Member of IEEE and a member of Tau Beta Pi. 

Beyond his passion for research and teaching, he most enjoys spending time with his wife and three children.


March 12 (CANCELLED)
Alper Bozkurt
North Carolina State University
"Cyber-Enabled Bionic Organisms for Environmental Sensing and Search-and-Rescue"
11:00-12:00pm, Raisler Lounge, Towne 225

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Abstract: The present day technology falls short in offering autonomous mobile robots that can function effectively and efficiently under unknown and dynamic environmental conditions. Insects and canines, on the other hand, exhibit an unmatched ability to navigate through a wide variety of environments and overcome perturbations by successfully maintaining control and stability. In this talk, Dr. Alper Bozkurt will present how neural stimulation and physiological monitoring systems can be used to wirelessly navigate cockroaches and train dogs to allow for cyber-enabled working animals. These biobots would potentially assist humans in environmental sensing and search-and-rescue applications to pinpoint hazardous material or to find earthquake victims. This is one of the on-going efforts under Integrated Bionic MicroSystems Laboratory (iBionicS Lab) which has a vision to introduce conceptually novel neural engineering methodologies and wearable devices to interface biological organisms with synthetic systems
towards the next generation bionic cyber-physical systems. Such cyber-physical systems would be one of the building blocks of the new era where everything is inter-connected through the Internet of Things.

Bio: Alper Bozkurt is currently an Assistant Professor in Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Carolina State University. He received a doctorate degree from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY and master's degree in biomedical engineering from Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA. Bozkurt is the founder and the director of Integrated Bionic MicroSystems Laboratory at NC State where his current research interests include development of microscale sensors, actuators and methodologies to unlock the mysteries of biological systems with an aim of engineering these systems directly or developing new engineering approaches by learning from these. The targeted cell level and organism level biological systems include metamorphic sensory neurons, developing motoneurons, Madagascar hissing cockroaches, Carolina sphinx moths, canines, lemurs and humans. His recent research achievements on biobots were covered by several media agencies including BBC, CNN, National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Science Channel, Newsweek and Reuters. Bozkurt also worked as an official consultant for the Disney movie “G-Force” produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and participated to Smart America Challenge organized by the White House Presidential Innovation Fellows. Dr. Bozkurt is a recipient of the Calhoun Fellowship from Drexel University, Donald Kerr Award at Cornell University, Chancellor's Innovation Award and William F. Lane Outstanding Teacher Award at North Carolina State University and the best paper award from The US Government Microcircuit Applications & Critical Technology Conference. Dr. Bozkurt is also the testbed leader under The National Science Foundation Nanosystems Engineering Research Center for Advanced Self-Powered Systems of Integrated Sensors and Technologies (ASSIST).


March 17
Joint MEAM-ESE Special Seminar
Hiroyuki Fujita
University of Tokyo
"In situ TEM Observation Using Active MEMS Devices"
1:30-2:30 pm, Singh Center Glandt Forum

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Abstract: My research group has investigated MEMS (micro electro mechanical system) fabrication and microactuators since 1986. Recently, we inserted and operated MEMS devices in the specimen chamber of the transmission electron microscope (TEM). We conducted the tensile and shear testing, and the heat transfer measurement of nano junctions while the junctions were in situ observed by TEM. The tensile testing of a silicon junction of a few nm in diameter showed its extraordinary large plastic deformation. The shear deformation of a silver nano junction exhibited series of sub-nm steps correlated with the crystalline spacing of the material; this is like a miniaturized version of stick-slips during frictional motion. Furthermore, the heat transfer through a short and thin, both in a few nm, silicon junction was much higher than the bulk value because of ballistic heat transfer. Also we have built a MEMS liquid cell in which the growth of a gold electrode by electroplating was observed in real time.

Bio: Hiroyuki Fujita is a Professor (1993-present) and served as the Deputy Director (2009-2012) of the Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo. He is also the Director of the Center for International Research on Micronano Mechatronics (2000-present). He received the B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Department of Electrical Engineering of The University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan in 1975, 1977 and 1980, respectively. He joined IIS as an assistant professor just after earning his Ph.D. degree. Currently he stays in UC Berkeley as a Russell Severance Springer Professor.

Prof. Fujita is currently engaged in the investigation of micro and nano electromechanical systems fabricated by IC-compatible processes and applications to bio and nano technology. Major research projects include MEMS-in-TEM experiment for simultaneous visualization and material property measurement of nano objects, and biomolecular characterization by using MEMS tools.

He received M. Hetenyi Award of Experimental Mechanics from the Society for Experimental Mechanics in 1986, Chevalier de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques from Government of France in 2001, The Prize for Science and Technology in Research Category from Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Outstanding Achievement Award from The Institute of Electrical Engineers of Japan in 2005, and The Yamazaki-Teiichi Prize from Foundation for Promotion of Material Science and Technology of Japan in 2013.


March 26
Farinaz Koushanfar
Rice University
"Engineering of scalable privacy-preserving big and dense data analytics"
11:00-12:00 pm, Singh Center Glandt Forum

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Abstract: Data analytics on massive and often sensitive contents regularly arise in various contemporary settings ranging from cloud computing and social networking to online services, mobile applications, and distributed processing. In this talk, I present novel computer engineering-based solutions that enable efficient and scalable explorations of the underlying patterns and dependencies present across a dense, structured datasets, with a focus on sensitive privacy-preserving applications. The first part of the talk addresses the challenge of minimizing the computing, storage, and communication overhead of a broad class of iterative data analysis algorithms, down to the limits of data subspaces and the underlying heterogeneous platform. Our new methods enable optimizing for hardware acceleration as well as real-time stream processing, while simultaneously benefiting privacy-preserving computing by pushing the limits of costly data analytics to the theoretical bounds. The second portion of the talk presents innovative solutions for privacy preserving computing by Yao's Garbled Circuits (GC). In contrast with the existing (software based) GC methods, I illustrate how scalable and efficient GC computation can be achieved by leveraging a new folded function description and logic synthesis methods along with our created custom libraries and constraints. Evaluation results of our methodologies show significant improvements in memory footprint, network bandwidth, and overall computing cost in terms of time and energy (power) compared with the prior art, often by orders of magnitude. Our scalable privacy-preserving approach enables us to implement functions that have not been reported before, small enough that they befit mobile/embedded devices. To facilitate automated end-to-end implementation, we provide a number of user-friendly APIs supported by our custom libraries. I discuss how our findings will enable practically addressing several known classical challenges as well as exciting applications such as scalable privacy-preserving classification of visual content, secure data mining, and search.

Bio: Farinaz Koushanfar is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Rice University, where she directs the Adaptive Computing and Embedded Systems (ACES) Lab. She also serves as the: principal director of the TI DSP Leadership University program; and, as the associate partner of the Intel Collaborative Research Institute for Secure Computing. She received her Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from University of California Berkeley. Her research interests include embedded/cyber-physical systems (CPS) security, hardware trust, adaptive and customizable embedded systems design, and secure function evaluation. Professor Koushanfar received a number of awards and honors for her research, mentorship, and teaching including the PECASE from president Obama, ACM SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award, NAS Kavli fellowship, Cisco IoT Security Grand Challenge Award, Young faculty/CAREER awards from NSF, DARPA, ONR, ARO, MIT Technology Review TR-35, and a Best Student Paper Award at ACM SIGMOBILE (Mobicom).

Milenkovic March 31
Olgica Milenkovic
University of Illinois
"Community detection via correlation clustering"
11:00-12:00 pm
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Abstract: We consider the problem of correlation clustering on graphs, which in its canonical form asks for partitioning the vertices of the graphs according to the labels of edges between them. The objective of the clustering procedure is to identify "hidden communities" in the graph, where no a priori knowledge of the number of communities is assumed. We focus on a special form of constrained correlation clustering, in which one is presented with bounds on both the cluster sizes and the positive and negative weights assigned to edges. Our results include constant approximation algorithms for clustering with bounded cluster sizes. In addition, we extend the region of weight values for which the clustering may be performed with constant approximation guarantees in polynomial time and apply the results to the bounded cluster size problem. We conclude with an overview of possible applications of correlation clustering methods in bioinformatics. This is a joint work with Amin Emad, Jian Ma, and Gregory Puleo, UIUC.

Bio: Olgica Milenkovic received a MSc degree in mathematics and PhD degree in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 2001 and 2002, respectively. From 2002 until 2006 she was with the faculty of University of Colorado, Boulder. In 2006, she was a visiting professor at the University of California, San Diego Center for Information Theory and Application. In 2007, she joined University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign were she currently holds the position of associate professor. Her research interests are in algorithms, bioinformatics, coding theory, combinatorics and signal processing. Olgica Milenkovic is a recipient of the NSF Career Award, the DARPA Young Faculty Award and a number of best conference paper awards. She currently serves as Associate editor in the Transactions on Signal Processing and the Transactions on Information Theory.


April 14
Jason Marden
University of Colorado
"Fundamental Limitations in Multiagent Coordination"

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Abstract: The goal in networked control of multiagent systems is to derive desirable collective behavior through the design of local control algorithms. The information available to the individual agents, either through sensing or communication, invariably defines the space of admissible control laws. Hence, informational restrictions impose constraints on achievable performance guarantees. The first part of this talk will provide one such constraint with regards to the efficiency of the resulting stable solutions for a class of networked resource allocation problems with submodular objective functions. When the agents have full information regarding the resources, the efficiency of the resulting stable solutions is guaranteed to be within 50% of optimal. However, when the agents have only localized information about the resources, which is a common feature of many well-studied control designs, the efficiency of the resulting stable solutions can be 1/n of optimal, where n is the number of agents. Consequently, such schemes in general cannot guarantee that systems comprised of n agents can perform better than a system comprised of just a single agent. The second part of this talk will focus on identifying how augmenting the information to the agents can impact achievable performance guarantees.  While providing the agents with additional information can lead to control designs with improved efficiency guarantees, it turns out that such gains frequently come at the expense of the underlying convergence rates.  Hence, there is an apparent tradeoff between short-term and long-term performance guarantees in multiagent systems and we will characterize this tradeoff in a simple distributed graph coloring problem. The last part of this talk will present some preliminary results on robust mechanisms for social coordination. 

Bio: Jason Marden is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering at the University of Colorado. He received a BS in Mechanical Engineering in 2001 from UCLA, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering in 2007, also from UCLA, under the supervision of Jeff S. Shamma, where he was awarded the Outstanding Graduating PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering. After graduating from UCLA, he served as a junior fellow in the Social and Information Sciences Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology until 2010 when he joined the University of Colorado. In 2012, he received the Donald P. Eckman award and an AFOSR Young Investigator Award. His research interests focus on game theoretic methods for feedback control of distributed multiagent systems.

May April 21
Gary May
Georgia Tech
"New Directions in Engineering Research and Education"
Singh Center Glandt Forum
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Abstract: Engineering has never been more relevant to societal progress than it is today. This talk will explore current trends in engineering research and education, with particular emphasis on grand challenges in engineering research, new paradigms for active learning in engineering curricula, and making engineering career broadly accessible to diverse segments of the U.S. population. The talk will also touch on the evolving missions of public and private universities in the higher education enterprise and take a peek into what the future holds.

Bio: Dr. Gary S. May is the Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In that capacity, he serves as the chief academic officer of the college and provides leadership to over 400 faculty members and to more than 13,000 students. The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech is the largest producer of engineering graduates in the United States. In the most recent rankings by U.S. News & World Report, Georgia Tech’s engineering program ranked fourth.

Prior to his current appointment, Dr. May was the Steve W. Chaddick School Chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Georgia Tech. At the conclusion of his leadership in 2011, graduate programs in electrical engineering and computer engineering each ranked sixth, the computer engineering undergraduate program also ranked sixth, and the electrical engineering undergraduate program ranked fifth. All of these rankings represented the highest in the history of the School up to that point.

Dr. May’s field of research is computer-aided manufacturing of integrated circuits. He has authored over 200 technical publications, contributed to 15 books, and holds a patent on that topic. He has also participated in the acquisition of over $49 million in research funding, and he has graduated 19 Ph.D. students. In 1993, Dr. May was named Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Young Alumnus, and in 1999, he received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Service Award. Dr. May has won two international Best Paper awards from IEEE Transactions on Semiconductor Manufacturing (1998 and 2000). In 2004, Dr. May received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, as well as the Outstanding Minority Engineer Award from the American Society of Engineering Education. In 2006, he received the Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2010, he was named the Outstanding Electrical Engineering Alumnus of the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. May is a Fellow of the AAAS and the IEEE.

Dr. May created the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE) program, for which he has been granted $3M from the National Science Foundation (NSF). SURE annually hosts minority students to perform research at Georgia Tech in the hopes that they will pursue a graduate degree. More than 73% of SURE participants enroll in graduate school. Dr. May was also the co-creator/co-director of the Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES) and University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) programs, for which he has been granted over $17M from NSF and the Sloan Foundation to increase the number of underrepresented Ph.D. recipients produced by Georgia Tech.

Over the duration of FACES, 433 minority students have received Ph.D. degrees in science or engineering at Georgia Tech – the most in such fields in the nation. Dr. May is Executive Vice President of the National GEM Consortium and a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers.

Dr. May received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988 and 1991, respectively.

Dr. May, a native of St. Louis, Missouri, is married to LeShelle R. May. They have two daughters, Simone and Jordan (ages 19 and 17, respectively).

Marculescu April 28
Distinguished Lecture
Radu Marculescu
Carnegie Mellon University
"Entering the Labyrinth of (Inexact) Computer Science: A
Cyber-Physical Approach"
Read the Abstract and Bio

Abstract: During high school, I was fascinated by science. I used to read stories about Nobel Prize laureates and dream about their discoveries. Despite this, I became an engineer and, over the years, got to appreciate the power and transformative nature of computing in all human endeavors. In recent years, due to the cyber-physical systems (CPS) advent, I have found renewed interest and (somehow unexpected) opportunities to revisit some long forgotten topics in math and physics realizing that they can actually offer a much deeper understanding of CPS modeling and optimization. Truth being told, designing cyber-physical systems still feels more like an art rather than science but, in order to harness their huge potential, we need to reach beyond the established confines of computer systems design and (re)define a new science of CPS design. Starting from these overarching ideas, I discuss the theoretical foundations and practical implications of using a network approach to developing new mathematical models and tools needed to guide the CPS optimization ranging from hardware, all the way up to software, and (user-aware) application development. In other words, this talk is precisely about the subtle interplay between science and engineering and the joy of seeing things come full circle.

Bio: Radu Marculescu is a Full Professor in the Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, USA. He received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Southern California in 1998. He has received several best paper awards in the area of design automation and embedded systems design. He has been involved in organizing several international symposia, conferences, workshops, as well as guest editor of special issues in archival journals and magazines. His research focuses on modeling and optimization of embedded systems, cyber-physical systems, social and biological systems. Radu Marculescu is a Fellow of IEEE.


May 12
Harish Krishnaswamy
Columbia University
"Rethinking The Functional Boundaries of Integrated Radio-Frequency Systems Enables New Wireless Communication Paradigms"

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Abstract: Mobile data traffic in 2014 was nearly 30 times the size of the entire global Internet in 2000. Next generation wireless networks are targeting 1000x increase in capacity to meet the insatiable demand for more data. Such a tremendous increase in wireless data will require a complete rethinking of today’s wireless communication systems and networks from the physical layer to the network and application layer.

My research program at Columbia University is focused on

i. transformative radio-frequency (RF) and millimeter-wave (mmWave) circuit design techniques

ii. that enable new system architectures that challenge the traditional functional boundaries (antenna/RF/analog/digital) of wireless communication systems and specifically enable advanced signal processing techniques at RF,

iii. thus enabling new wireless communication paradigms in close collaboration with communications, signal processing and network theorists.

In this talk, I will focus on recent research in CoSMIC lab in this space. I will touch upon our work on energy-efficient and high-power millimeter-wave CMOS circuits that have drawn interest for next-generation 5G cellular communications. The bulk of this talk will focus on our work on enabling full-duplex wireless communication, where transmitters and receivers operate at the same frequency at the same time, thus potentially doubling data throughput, promoting more flexible spectrum usage, and enabling solutions to several network problems. The fundamental challenge in full duplex is the tremendous transmitter self-interference at the receiver, which can be one trillion times more powerful than the desired signal and must be dealt with in all domains. This powerful self-interference is susceptible to uncertainties of the wireless channel (for instance, frequency selectivity and time variance) and the imperfections of the transceiver electronics (nonlinear distortion and phase noise to name a few), making it even harder to deal with. I will discuss several generations of fully-integrated CMOS transceiver ICs with self-interference cancellation that leverage circuit design innovations to enable advanced yet robust signal processing such as noise cancellation, distortion cancellation and wireless channel equalization in the RF and electromagnetic (i.e. antenna) domains and achieve the challenging performance required. I will also briefly touch upon our collaborative work with network theorists to determine the rate gains that are possible under various full duplex scenarios based on realistic physical layer models that we developed. Finally, I will end this talk with a brief description of our ongoing and future work on other emerging wireless communication paradigms.

Bio: Harish Krishnaswamy received the B.Tech. degree in electrical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, in 2001, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Southern California (USC), Los Angeles, CA, USA, in 2003 and 2009, respectively. In 2009, he joined the Electrical Engineering Department, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA, where he is currently an Associate Professor. His research interests broadly span integrated devices, circuits, and systems for a variety of RF and mmWave applications.

Dr. Krishnaswamy serves as a member of the Technical Program Committee (TPC) of several conferences, including the IEEE RFIC Symposium. He was the recipient of the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) Lewis Winner Award for Outstanding Paper in 2007, the Best Thesis in Experimental Research Award from the USC Viterbi School of Engineering in 2009, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Young Faculty Award in 2011, and a 2014 IBM Faculty Award.

Fall 2014

December 9
Al Molnar
Cornell University
"Capturing Light-Fields on Chip: lens-less 3-D imaging in standard CMOS"

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Abstract: Whereas traditional image sensors map the intensity of light at a particular plane, significantly more information is present in a field of light rays. In particular, by mapping the distribution of incident angle in a scene, light-field imaging permits passive extraction of 3-D
structure from a single frame.  I will present a new class of pixel, the “angle-sensitive pixel” (ASP) built in a standard CMOS manufacturing process.  ASPs use pixel-scale diffraction gratings built from metal interconnect layers to generate a strongly angle-sensitive light response.

An appropriately chosen mosaic of ASPs provides a much richer description of incoming light and does so in a computationally compact format, similar to the Gabor filters used in many image-processing applications.  I will discuss several applications for arrays of ASPs, including digital light-field photography, lensless far-field imaging, and near-field lensless 3-D imaging of fluorescent microscale sources.

Bio: Alyosha Molnar received his BS from Swarthmore College in 1997, and after spending a season as a deck-hand on a commercial Tuna fishing boat, worked for Conexant Systems for 3 years as an RFIC design engineer.  He was co-responsible engineer developing their first-generation direct-conversion receiver for the GSM cellular standard.  Starting graduate school at U.C. Berkeley in 2001, Molnar worked on an early, ultra-low-power radio transceiver for wireless sensor networks, and then joined a retinal neurophysiology group where he worked on dissecting the structure and function of neural circuits in the mammalian retina, using a combination of electrophysiology, pharmacology, anatomy, and computational modelling.  He joined the Faculty at Cornell University in 2007, and presently works on low-power full-duplex software-defined radios, neural interface circuits, and new integrated imaging techniques.  He is recipient of the DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2010, NSF CAREER Award in 2012, and Lewis Winner outstanding paper award at ISSCC in 2012, and various teaching awards.



December 2
Dejan Markovic
"Neuroengineering the Next Decade"

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Abstract: One of the grand challenges in neural engineering is the lack of reliable low-power miniaturized wireless telemetry. Wires affect behavior and fundamentally alter measurements. Wireless capability doesn’t broadly exist today for wide neuroscience community, at rates and channel counts needed, compromising scientific discovery and therapeutic outcomes. Biosignal transducer systems require not just sensing, but also actuation, and closed-loop control.

This talk will address the above challenges, starting with devices for translational animal studies, including wireless neural activity monitoring of brain-injured rats and initial work towards body-powered devices. Findings from animal studies provide key insights into the design of heavily size/energy-constrained wireless neuromodulation technology for human memory restoration.

Bio: Dejan Markovic is an Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is also affiliated with UCLA Bioengineering Department as a co-chair of the Neuroengineering field. He completed the Ph.D. degree in 2006 at the University of California, Berkeley, for which he was awarded 2007 David J. Sakrison Memorial Prize. His current research is focused on low-power embedded systems for basic neuroscience and clinical neurophysiology, with emphasis on memory and learning. Dr. Markovic co-founded Flex Logix Technologies, a semiconductor IP startup. He received an NSF CAREER Award in 2009. In 2010, he was a co-recipient of ISSCC Jack Raper Award for Outstanding Technology Directions.


November 20
Jelena Kovacevic
Carnegie Mellon University
"Problems in Biologic Imaging: Opportunities for Signal Processing"
12:00-1:00 pm, Towne 337

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Abstract: In recent years, the focus in biological sciences has shifted from understanding single parts of larger systems, sort of vertical approach, to understanding complex systems at the cellular and molecular levels, horizontal approach. Thus the revolution of "omics" projects, genomics and now proteomics. Understanding complexity of biological systems is a task that requires acquisition, analysis and sharing of huge databases, and in particular, high-dimensional databases. Processing such huge amount of bioimages visually by biologists is inefficient, time-consuming and error-prone. Therefore, we would like to move towards automated, efficient and robust processing of such bioimage data sets. Moreover, some information hidden in the images may not be readily visually available. Thus, we do not only help humans by using sophisticated algorithms for faster and more efficient processing but also because new knowledge is generated through use of such algorithms. The ultimate dream is to have distributed yet integrated large bioimage databases which would allow researchers to upload their data, have it processed, share the data, download data as well as platform-optimized code, etc, and all this in a common format. To achieve this goal, we must draw upon a whole host of sophisticated tools from signal processing, machine learning and scientific computing. I will address some of these issues in this presentation, especially those where signal processing expertise can play a significant role.

Bio: Jelena Kovacevic received a Ph.D. degree from Columbia University. She then joined Bell Labs, followed by Carnegie Mellon University in 2003, where she is currently the Edward David Schramm Professor and Head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and the Director of the Center for Bioimage Informatics. She received the Belgrade October Prize and the E.I. Jury Award at Columbia University. She is a coauthor on an SP Society award-winning paper and is a coauthor of the books "Wavelets and Subband Coding” and "Foundations of Signal Processing". Dr. Kovacevic is the Fellow of the IEEE and EURASIP and was the Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing. She was a keynote speaker at several meetings and has been involved in organizing numerous conferences. Her research interests include multi-resolution techniques and biomedical applications.


November 19
Rudy Beraha
Qualcomm, Inc
"Mobile Computing: Challenges and Opportunities"
4:00-5:00 pm, Wu and Chen Auditorium

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Abstract: Mobile computing is the largest technology platform ever deployed in human history. It is transforming our everyday life in unforeseen and unprecedented ways. What are the opportunities and challenges for mobile computing in the next decade? In this talk, I will explore the some of the key technology drivers needed to sustain the mobile computing market growth. This includes: energy management, heterogeneous computing, novel brain inspired computer architectures, semiconductor process technology innovations, and new memory technology.

Bio: Rudy Beraha is the Sr. Director of Engineering at Qualcomm. Rudy has been with Qualcomm R&D since 2005. Before leading the SoC architecture team, he worked on Qualcomm’s first generation OFDMA cellular system, Network-on-Chip architectures, and heterogeneous computing research. Prior to joining Qualcomm, Rudy held various ASIC design and management positions at Sun Microsystems and Hewlett-Packard. Rudy obtained his MS in Electrical Engineering from Caltech in 1992 and Bachelors degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Penn in 1991.


November 7
Pramod Khargonekar
NSF Assistant Director for the Directorate of Engineering
"Challenges and Opportunities in Engineering Research and Education: A View from NSF"
11:00 am, Wu and Chen Auditorium

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Content TBD


November 5
The Jack Keil Wolf Lecture in Electrical and Systems Engineering
Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincetelli
Buttner Chair of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences
University of California, Berkeley
"My Journey from Chips to Swarm Systems"
3:30 pm, Wu and Chen Auditorium

Learn more about this lecture 
October 28
John Long
Electronics Research Laboratory/DIMES, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
"Future Directions for Silicon Radio Frequency Electronics"
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Abstract: Growth in mobile communication and computing technologies over the past two decades has been driven by innovations in system architectures, software technology, and silicon integration. Analog/RF circuit innovations relevant to developing more efficient infrastructure, conserving energy, and delivering better health care are described in this talk.

Advanced CMOS is the enabling technology for radio frequency circuits designed into almost all low-cost electronic products sold today. The feat of doubling the number of transistors on a silicon IC every 18 months is projected to continue until we reach a gate length approaching 5nm (projected in ~ 2020-2030 by the ITRS). However, continued scaling presents the designer with different transistor behavior with each generation, as the transistor’s electrical characteristics are affected by evolutionary changes in fabrication. Circuit and systems designers must therefore develop scalable designs that can adapt to a dynamic technology platform.

Three examples from recent research into the design of adaptive, wideband, and scalable high-frequency electronics aimed at emerging applications are described in this talk. Wireless silicon sensors capable of measuring position and velocity accurately are needed for intelligent traffic managment schemes. A recently developed mm-wave FMCW radar transmitter IC incorporates the phase-locked loop, digitally controlled oscillator, PA, and calibration circuits in 65nm CMOS. The ADPLL performs autonomous calibration and closed-loop DCO gain linearization in order to output a GHz-speed triangular chirp with high sweep linearity. The transmitter achieves excellent in-band/ out-of-band phase noise performance, ultra-low reference spur levels (-74 dBc), and is scalable to future technology nodes. Scenarios for improving health care often require low-power radios to monitor patients remotely. In the second example, a low-power, autonomous FM ultrawideband transceiver and power management unit that transfers data reliably at 100kbit/s and includes full on-chip digital calibration of the transceiver is described. Finally, fiber-optic technologies in the internet backbone are migrating towards coherent modulation schemes to increase data throughput. A silicon electronic driver capable of producing the 6Vp-p output required to drive a Mach-Zehnder optical modulator is presented. Based on a distributed amplifier architecture, the novel input interface enables performance competitive with III-V semiconductor technologies (i.e., 15ps rise-fall times at 10Gb/s) but on a silicon IC platform capable of full transceiver integration.

Bio: John R. Long received the B.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Calgary in 1984, and the M.Eng. and Ph.D. degrees in Electronics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada, in 1992 and 1996, respectively. He was employed for 10 years by Bell-Northern Research, Ottawa involved in the design of ASICs for Gbit/s fibre-optic transmission systems, and from 1996 to 2001 as an Assistant and then Associate Professor at the University of Toronto. Since January 2002 he has been chair of the Electronics Research Laboratory at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. His current research interests include low-power and broadband/mm-wave transceiver circuitry for highly-integrated wireless applications, and electronics design for high-speed data communication systems.

Professor Long is a recipient of the NSERC Doctoral Prize, Douglas R. Colton and Governor General's Medals for research excellence, and Best Paper Awards, including: ISSCC in 2000 and 2007, IEEE-BCTM 2003, and the IEEE-RFIC Symposium in 2006 and 2011. He is a member of the ESSCIRC technical program committee and has served on the technical program committees for the ISSCC (RF subcommittee chair), BCTM, EuMW, and ICUWB conferences. He was co-chair of the European microwave IC conference in 2008 and 2012. Associate Editor of the IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits, and General Chair of the IEEE Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting. He is currently a Distinguished Lecturer for the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society and Editor-in-Chief of the new IEEE virtual journal on RFICs.

October 17
Manfred Morari
ETH Zurich
"Fast Model Predictive Control"
2:00-3:00 pm, Wu and Chen Auditorium

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Abstract: In the 1980s Model Predictive Control (MPC) became the algorithm of choice in the process industries for demanding multi-variable applications involving constraints. Today's vastly more powerful computational resources and a series of new algorithms have made these tools suitable for problems of essentially any size and time scale. I will describe the road taken and illustrate the effectiveness with industrial examples from the automotive and power electronics domains and the industrial energy sector. In the final part of the lecture I will suggest topics of future research.

Bio: Manfred Morari was head of the Department of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering at ETH Zurich from 2009 to 2012 and head of the Automatic Control Laboratory from 1994 to 2008. Before that he was the McCollum-Corcoran Professor of Chemical Engineering and Executive Officer for Control and Dynamical Systems at the California Institute of Technology. He obtained the diploma from ETH Zurich and the Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota, both in chemical engineering. After that he was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin for six years. His interests are in hybrid systems and the control of biomedical systems. In recognition of his research contributions he received numerous awards, among them the Eckman Award, Ragazzini Award and Bellman Control Heritage Award from the American Automatic Control Council; the Colburn Award, Professional Progress Award and CAST Division Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; the Control Systems Technical Field Award and the Bode Lecture Prize from IEEE; the High Impact Paper Award of IFAC. He is a Fellow of IEEE, AIChE and IFAC. In 1993 he was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering.

October 14
Herman Schmit
Managing Architect, Altera
"Subversive Innovation"
11:00-12:00 pm, Towne 337
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Abstract: Being effective in an engineering organization is not easy. In this talk, I will share my observations on why it is hard and offer my advice on how to be effective without losing your mind, your enthusiasm, or your job. I call this "subversive innovation" because the machinery of a technology enterprise is frequently and almost specifically constructed to prevent innovation. If you don't get permission to do something innovative, sometimes those innovations have to be subtle, hidden or disguised.

I put this talk together as part of a technical leadership series at Altera in 2013 and have adapted it for a broader audience. I may offer some vague examples from my experience in Field Programmable Gate Arrays, but most of the discussion is applicable to any large technology enterprise. I have tried to make the talk entertaining and applicable, and would love to collect more specific ways to be subversive innovator.

Bio: Herman Schmit received his undergraduate degree from the Moore School of Electrical Engineering in 1987. For 4 years, he resisted the temptation to swipe a tube from the ENIAC, which was left like junk in the hall of the Moore building. He received his PhD from Carnegie Mellon in 1995. From 1995 to 2003 he was an Assistant and Associate Professor at CMU. Since 2003 he has worked in Silicon Valley, first at two semiconductor startups, and most recently as the FPGA fabric architect at Altera Corporation. He has 45 publications and 98 issued US patents.

  October 7
Marius Vassiliou
Institute for Defense Analyses
"How Complex Endeavors go Wrong"
1:30pm-2:30pm, Berger Auditorium
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Abstract:Why was Admiral Nelson able to win at Trafalgar, while, almost two hundred years later, the United States was unable to rescue its hostages from Iran? An important part of the answer to this question lies in the management, or “Command and Control,” of complex endeavors. We examine 20 situations, from the First World War to the present time, including military operations and responses to natural disasters and terrorist attacks. All have been characterized as experiencing ‘Command and Control failures.’ We identify three categories of failures: (1) failures attributable to a priori structural defects in enterprise approach, or a mismatch between the enterprise approach and the mission; (2) failures attributable to an inability to communicate, because of shortfalls in technology and system design, or because of physical impossibility; and, (3) behavioral failures to communicate or interact. Different enterprise approaches, of varying degrees of centralization, have different failure propensities. For example, a collective that is distributed, but not properly integrated, may sometimes be more adversely affected by communication failures than a traditional hierarchy. Traditional hierarchies, on the other hand, may be stymied by overly constrained information flows and patterns of interaction. Enterprise agility, meaning the ability to reconfigure the enterprise and its approach to meet the needs of the problem at hand, is paramount.

Bio: MARIUS S. VASSILIOU is a project leader and analyst at the Institute for Defense Analyses, where he has worked on conceptual aspects of command, control, communications, and networking. He is the author, with David Alberts and Jonathan Agre, of the book “C2 Re-envisioned: the Future of the Enterprise,” to be published in autumn 2014 by CRC Press. Previously he had a long career in the energy and aerospace industries, including positions as Executive Director, program manager, and scientist at the Rockwell Science Center (now part of Teledyne). He also led the U.S. Army Research Laboratory’s Advanced Displays Federated Laboratory consortium, developing new technologies for multimodal interaction, augmented reality, and sensor networks. He has published widely in geophysics, computational physics, information sciences, and R&D management and policy. Apart from his more recent work in command, control, and communications, he is known for his earlier advances in seismology, and for introducing the fast multipole method to computational electromagnetics. He received his PhD in Geophysics with minor in Electrical Engineering from Caltech, MS in Computer Science from USC, MBA from UCLA, and AB from Harvard.

October 6
Mike Hutton
IC Design Architect and Principal Investigator,  Altera
"FPGA Architecture and Design"
2:00-3:00 pm, Towne 337
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Abstract: Field-Programmable Gate Arrays are flexible hardware devices that fall between dedicated hardware devices such as an ASIC and software programmable devices like a CPU or GPU. FPGAs are used by a wide range of end applications in communications and networking, radar, industrial control devices, and high-performance compute acceleration. In this talk I will overview the architecture of an FPGA - the logic, memory and I/O blocks, programmable routing for joining them together, and some of the interesting software algorithms used for programming FPGAs. I will show some of the more interesting recent changes and trends in FPGAs and some of the challenges going forward for FPGAs and all forms of integrated circuits. Finally, I will spend some time describing the role of industrial research and development for those who are interested in careers in FPGAs or related fields of hardware and software design.

Bio: Mike Hutton is an IC Design Architect and Principal Investigator in the Altera Technology Office. He works on FPGA architecture and CAD, FPGA applications and in particular applying the needs of end-applications to architecture evaluation. His most recent projects for Stratix 10 include designer implications of HyperFlex, memory architecture, power modeling, SEU modeling and support for ASIC prototyping. He received a BMath and MMath in Computer Science from Waterloo and Ph.D. from the University of Toronto. He is Associate Editor of IEEE Trans CAD, past Program and General Chair of the Int'l Symposium on FPGAs, and has served on the Technical Program Committees for many research conferences including DAC, DATE, FPGA, FPL and FPT. Outside Altera he has worked at IBM, Northern Telecom, and as Director of Architecture at Tabula. Mike has published 35 academic papers and has 75 issued patents.

September 30
Rob Nowak
Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison
"Active Crowdsourcing"
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Abstract: Human experts are crucial to data analysis, but may often be the information bottleneck in data analysis tasks. I will discuss new theory and algorithms that enable machines to learn efficiently from human experts, using a minimal amount of human interaction. The models so learned then inform the understanding of human cognition and the design of better algorithms for data processing. I will focus on active learning from human experts based on adaptively crowdsourcing training data o a pool of people. Rather than randomly selecting training examples for labeling, active crowdsourcing sequentially and adaptively selects the most informative examples for human evaluation, based on information gleaned from previous human feedback. By making optimal use of human expert judgment, these active learning method can speed up the training of a variety of machine learning algorithms. TBD

Bio: Rob is the McFarland-Bascom Professor in Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where his research focuses on signal processing, machine learning, optimization, and statistics. He is a professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as being affiliated with the departments of Computer Sciences and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin.  He is also a Fellow of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery and co-organizer of the SILO seminar series.

September 11
Giorgio Franceschetti
Professor Emeritus, University Federico II of Napoli
"The 150th birthday of Maxwell Equations"
10:00 am, Towne 337

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Abstract: In this Colloquium the 150th birthday anniversary of Maxwell Equations is celebrated, and their accomplishments over these 150 years commented. The presentation has been designed for a scientific audience, but not necessarily familiar with electromagnetic phenomena.

In the late seventeenth and eighteenth century, mysterious electric and magnetic different phenomena were exciting curiosity of people, and also interest of some scientists. Their investigation, essentially performed in France and UK, was formalised by two laws, Biot & Savart and Faraday equations.

And then James Clerk Maxwell entered in the arena: a dark penumbra suddenly changed to brilliant light, theoretical results from his new equations were experimentally confirmed, and successive applications implemented.

This Colloquium presents the romance of Maxwell equations, created and not derived from preliminary experiments, and the successive steps of their usage for a number of applications that changed, and are still changing our physical and social life. At the end of the Colloquium, a just one minute additional comment is added: no detail is given here, to hide a thrilling conclusion!

Bio:Giorgio Franceschetti is Professor Emeritus (University Federico II of Napoli, Italy), Honorary Professor (University of Trento, Italy), and Distinguished Visiting Scientist (Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA, USA). He has been Adjunct Professor at UCLA (1992-2008), Lecturer (Top-Tech Master, Delft University) till 2010, Visiting Professor in Europe, USA, Somalia, and Lecturer in China and India. He is author of about 200 (peer reviewed) papers, 14 books, and recipient of several awards, culminated with the gold medal from the President of Italy (2000), and elevation to the grade of Officer of Italy Republic (2001).

He got the Mountbatten premium for the best published paper (1995/1996 session) on the Proc. IEE (London), and the IEEE Schelkunoff Prize (1999 and 2008) for the best published paper in the two years on IEEE Antennas Propagation Transactions. In addition, he received the prestigious 2007 IEEE GRS-S Distinguished Achievement Award "For outstanding research in Electromagnetics, Propagation, Remote Sensing and Information Data Processing;" and the 2010 IEEE AP-S Distinguished Achievement Award "For outstanding contributions to fundamental electromagnetic theory, including pulsed antennas and arrays, innovative propagation and scattering models, and exploration of new emerging application areas." He was also included in the 2009 NASA Group Achievement Award, Cassini Radar Team, for "Outstanding accomplishment in the acquisition and analysis of Cassini Radar data, contributing to a better understanding of Titan and the Saturn system."