ESE Research Themes

The creation and dissemination of scholarly research in both basic and applied arenas has placed the Department of Electrical and Systems Engineering at the forefront of research and application in the areas of motion-capture, SWARM and Nanotechnologies, cyber-physical systems integration, Metananocircuits, robotics, urban transit, mobile solar power, prosthetic device enhancements and more. Engineers from the department have and are working to relentlessly push the boundaries of current engineering disciplines for the application of existing problems and those of tomorrow.

Nanodevices and Nanosystems

Nanoscale physical devices involves applying the principles and methods of electromagnetics and solid state physics and electronics to the design, fabrication, characterization, and modeling of devices from macroscale to nanoscale dimensions. Faculty harness novel physical phenomena to realize unique behaviors that are exploited in devices and circuits. Research directions within physical devices span a broad range of topics from metamaterials, plasmonic optics, nanoscale photonics, fractal electrodynamics, and electromagnetics to macro- and nano-scale electronics, optoelectronics, polymer-carbons composites, super-capacitors, MEMS, and integrated systems at the nanoscale.

Affiliated faculty: Mark Allen, Lee Bassett, Nader Engheta, Liang Feng, Deep Jariwala, Charlie Johnson, Cherie Kagan, Marc Miskin, Troy Olsson, Aaswath Raman, Jorge Santiago-Aviles, Bo Zhen

Circuits and Computer Engineering

The modern world in which we live is enabled by highly capable electronic circuits for sensing and controlling the world and transforming, processing, and communicating data. These circuits power global communication networks and data centers, mobile phones, smart homes, medical instruments, autonomous vehicles, and inexpensive, smart sensors. Faculty in circuits and computer engineering design the hardware and software that harnesses the raw nanoscale physical devices to provide these sensing, actuation, processing, and communication capabilities. This includes developing analog and radio-frequency circuits for high-speed and low-energy wired, wireless, and optical communication as well as biological and neurological interfacing, sensing, and control. It also include designing software-configurable computational substrates, from ENIAC and EDVAC to processors, FPGAs, and heterogeneous, programmable SoCs, that can rapidly deliver highly customized computations and support the advance of algorithms and capabilities. Working across the hardware-software boundary, we design computations that are low energy, reliable, and trustworthy despite imperfections in device manufacture, interactions with the unpredictable real world, and attacks from determined adversaries.

Affiliated Faculty: Firooz Aflatouni, Andre DeHon, Thomas Farmer, David Issadore, Tania Khanna, Insup Lee, Boon Thau Loo, Rahul Mangharam, Jan Van der Spiegel.

Information and Decision Systems

In our information rich society, this research theme focuses on the acquisition, representation and storing of information, such as data, audio, and video, and the manipulation of information for purposes of communication, networking, and decision making. The emergence of networks as pervasive elements of everyday life ranks among the most significant technological accomplishments of the last half century. Our society has been able to engineer networks that have transformed our world and touched upon the whole range of social and natural sciences. Yet our scientific understanding of fundamental phenomena that arise in our interconnected world remains limited. Our work includes the inception of better protocols for the Internet, the construction of more secure environments for the exchange of information, the coordination of multiple robots, and the development of formal design methodologies for wireless networks. Our group is also interested in interdisciplinary problems including the economics that govern the adoption of new technologies, the propagation and control of epidemics, and axiomatic constructions of trust propagation in social networks.

Affiliated faculty: Gad Allon, Danielle Bassett, Pratik Chaudhari, Christos Davatzikos, Kostas Daniilidis, Robert Ghrist, Hamed Hassani, M. Ani Hsieh, Daniel Koditschek, Vijay Kumar, Manfred Morari, George Pappas, Michael Posa, Victor Preciado, Alejandro Ribeiro, Rahim Rizi, Megan Ryerson, Shirin Saeedi Bidokhti, Saswati Sarkar, Barry Silverman, Tony Smith, Cynthia Sung, Santosh Venkatesh, Rakesh Vohra, Mark Yim.