Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ECE News

The Future of Solar: $1.3M to Advance Organic Photovoltaics

The Department of Energy (DOE) awarded Michigan Engineering Professor Stephen Forrests group a $1.35 million Next Generation Photovoltaics grant earlier this fall, aimed at advancing the practical viability of organic photovoltaics, a carbon-based version of solar technology that promises to radically change the way the suns energy is collected. Forrest is the Paul G. Goebel Professor of Engineering in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, and Physics and the former U-M Vice President of Research. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Forrest, Stephen  LEDs  Lab-Optics and Photonics  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Optics and Photonics  Optoelectronics  Solar Cell Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Sustainability  

HEV Fuel Economy Meets Drivability in Outstanding Control Systems Paper

Research that aims to find a happy medium between fuel economy and drivability in hybrid electric vehicles was recognized with the 2014 IEEE Transactions on Control Systems Technology (TCST) Outstanding Paper Award. The research was directed by Prof. Jessy Grizzle, and published in TCST as, "An Energy Management Controller to Optimally Trade Off Fuel Economy and Drivability for Hybrid Vehicles." [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Automotive industry  Awards  Control Systems  Electric Vehicles and HEVs  Energy  Environment  Grizzle, Jessy  Lab-Systems  Sustainability  

Nick Yang: Investing in the Age of Robotics

Nick Yang has always been ahead of his time. As an undergraduate student at Michigan, Yang and several classmates developed a working prototype of a product similar to Microsofts XBOX Kinect 15 years before that product was launched with great success and critical acclaim. While their product failed to find any buyers when pitched to video game manufacturers, the experience gave Yang the bug of entrepreneurship. But he didn't catch it from anyone around him. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Alumni  Entrepreneurship  Internet of Things  

The Future of Multimedia Experiences

When Ed Tang, '11, and Allan Evans, MS'07, PhD'09, of Avegant turned to Kickstarter earlier this year to raise money for their company's new prototype of their premium headphones, they were hoping for $250,000. They surpassed their goal in less than four hours and ended up raising $1.5 million in a mere 30 days. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Alumni  Entrepreneurship  

Hansford Farris (1919 - 2014): In Memoriam

Hansford Farris (Ph.D. EE 58), professor emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering, passed away December 7, 2014 at the age of 95. Prof. Farris served as an active and highly respected member of the College of Engineering for more than 20 years before his retirement in 1982. He had served as Department Chair, Associate Dean of Engineering, and twice as Acting Dean. Prof. Farris, known to his friends and colleagues as Bill, always acted in a manner that reflected his roots as a Kentucky gentleman. Prof. Farris left a lasting impression on many colleagues and friends. We salute his contributions and thank him for all that he contributed to the department and the discipline. [Full Story]

LNF User Symposium - Sharing Ideas and Celebrating Innovation

The 2014 LNF (Lurie Nanofabrication Facility) User Symposium highlighted the cutting-edge research enabled by Michigan's world-class facility. The Symposium included technical talks, a poster session, and the opportunity for discussion and networking. Attendees represented many departments throughout the University, as well as industrial users of the LNF. Stephen Forrest, Paul G. Goebel Professor of Engineering, presented the events keynote address, Making small things big in the world of organic electronics. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Forrest, Stephen  LNF  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  

Lynn Conway to Receive 2015 IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award

Lynn Conway, Professor Emerita of EECS, has been selected to receive the 2015 IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award, for contributions to and leadership in design methodology and pedagogy enabling rapid advances and dissemination of VLSI design tools and systems. This award is one of the highest presented by IEEE. Prof. Conway, sometimes called the hidden hand in the microchip design revolution, was a major source of innovation in a field that eventually made personal computers and smartphones possible. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Conway, Lynn  Diversity and Outreach  Women in Computing  

Amr Ibrahim Receives Rackham Int. Student Fellowship to Develop Sub-MMW Radar System

Amr Ibrahim, graduate student in Electrical Engineering, received a Rackham International Student Fellowship to support his research in the area of sub-millimeterwave (Sub-MMW) radar systems. The main driving force to develop these systems originates from security applications and, in particular, stand-off imaging of persons and hidden objects, including illicit drugs and explosives [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics  Graduate Students  Lab-Radiation (RADLAB)  Remote Sensing  Sarabandi, Kamal  

Prof. Michael Flynn Elected IEEE Fellow for Contributions to Analog-Digital Interfaces

Prof. Michael Flynn has been elected IEEE Fellow for contributions to analog-digital interfaces. He has achieved important breakthroughs in the performance and energy efficiency of analog-digital interfaces. His research has significantly impacted three primary areas: 1) analog to digital conversion; 2) the analog-digital interface in wired and wireless communication systems; and 3) applications to complete systems, particularly brain-machine interfaces. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Flynn, Michael  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  

Winter 2015: Waves & Imaging in Random Media

Course No.: EECS 598-008
Credit Hours: 3 credits
Instructor: John Schotland
Prerequisites: Basic partial differential equations; some knowledge of probability theory

Course Description:
This is a special topics course. The focus is on the theory of wave propagation in in homogenous media in various asymptotic regimes including: (i) geometrical optics of high-frequency waves (ii) homogenization of low-frequency waves in periodic and random media (iii) radiative transport and diffusion theory for high-frequency waves in low-frequency random media. Applications to inverse problems in imaging will be considered. [More Info]

Winter 2015: Collabrified Mobile Apps for K-12

Course No.: EECS 498-008
Credit Hours: 3 credits
Instructor: Elliot Soloway
Prerequisites: Senior status in CSE

Course Description:
In this course, students will create apps to support learners in K-12. The apps will employ the Collabrify SDK that students at UMich developed -- a software development kit that enables a developer to take an app that is meant as a solo-user app and turn that app into one that supports two or more simultaneous users!! [More Info]

Talking Book trial to help poorest of poor in Ghana

[BBC News: Nov 20] Hundreds of handheld audio computers, called Talking Books, are to be given to some of Ghana's poorest communities to help spread potentially life-saving information. Leading the low power chip design for the devices at Michigan are Profs. David Blaauw and Peter Chen. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Chen, Peter  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  

Cameron Polack and BLUElab India - Engineering Winners

Cameron Polack, senior in EE, is taking engineering to the real world. A founding member of the student team BLUElab India, organized in fall of 2013, Cameron is intent on using her major to benefit others as directly as possible. The team was recently awarded 3rd place in the Dow Distinguished Award for Interdisciplinary Sustainability, part of U-Ms Dow Sustainability Fellows Program. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Student Teams  Sustainability  Undergraduate Students  

ECE Students and alumni celebrate research and progress at the 2014 Engineering Graduate Symposium

New ideas abounded at 2014s Graduate Symposium, the College of Engineerings annual event to highlight research and engage prospective graduate students. ECE researchers had a strong presence at this year's event, comprising nearly 80 of the day's more than 240 presentations. Several of these placed first or second in their field in the poster presentation contest. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Graduate Students  

Shayna Simon - From Intern to Full-Time, Making Company Experience Matter

Shayna Simon has been busy. A Michigan native from West Bloomfield and a senior in Electrical Engineering, shes already taken huge steps to getting her career on track after graduation. Shayna recently accepted a job offer at General Motors, and will dive into a position in infotainment there after school. Shell be working on a team serving as a bridge between software and hardware development. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Undergraduate Students  

Winter 2015: Multidisciplinary Capstone (MDE) Design Pilot

Course No.: EECS 498-005
Credit Hours: 3 or 4 credits
Instructor: Brian Gilchrist
Prerequisites: Permission of instructor

Course Description:
This pilot course is about providing students real-world, multidisciplinary design project opportunities to satisfy their MDE requirement and for EE masters students interested in meaningful project experiences. [More Info]

Alumni startup Avegant announces $9.37M funding round - led by Intel

Intel announced $62M in new investments in 16 tech companies. One of those companies is Avegant, founded by ECE alumni Ed Tang and Allan Evans. Avegant is a virtual-reality company that is developing Glyph, a set of consumer goggles that double as headphones. The company expects to begin shipping devices in 2015. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Technology Transfer  

Ambiq Micro Announces $15 Million Funding Round

ECE startup Ambiq Micro, a leader in ultra-low power integrated circuits for power-sensitive applications, announced that is has closed a $15 million Series C funding round to accelerate the development and marketing of its SPOT (Subthreshold Power Optimized Technology) platform. [More about Ambiq Micro] [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Technology Transfer  

David G. Mazur Honored for Leadership in Stealth Technologies

EE alumnus David G. Mazur, vice president and B-2 program manager, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems, was selected by the National Defense Industrial Association to receive its 2014 Rear Adm. Robert H Gormley Combat Survivability Leadership award. Mazur accepted the award on Nov. 13 during NDIA's annual Aircraft Survivability Technical Forum held at Johns Hopkins University Advanced Physics Laboratory. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Alumni  

Technological implants will allow us to improve our bodily functions

Trans-humanism isn't just about appearance. Bulky night-vision goggles have been used for years by the armed forces, but scientists at the University of Michigan [Prof. Zhaohui Zhong and his group] recently unveiled technology that could lead to contact lenses that allow the wearer to see in the dark. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Graphene  Lab-Solid State Electronics (SSEL)  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Wearable electronics  Zhong, Zhaohui  

Yelin Kim Wins Best Student Paper Award at ACM Multimedia 2014 for Research in Facial Emotion Recognition

Yelin Kim has won the Best Student Paper Award at the 22nd ACM International Conference on Multimedia (ACM MM 2014) for her research in facial emotion recognition. The paper, "Say Cheese vs. Smile: Reducing Speech-Related Variability for Facial Emotion Recognition," was co-authored by her advisor, Prof. Emily Mower Provost. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Lab-Systems  Mower Provost, Emily  Signal and Image Processing   

Winter 2015: Advanced Topics in Analog ICs

Course No.: EECS 598-005
Credit Hours: 4 credits
Instructor: David Wentzloff and Michael Flynn
Prerequisites: EECS 413 and co-requisite EECS 522

Course Description:
This course will cover design and analysis of advanced analog and mixed-signal integrated circuits, beyond what is covered in EECS 511 and EECS 522. [More Info]

Winter 2015: Network Information Theory

Course No.: EECS 598-006
Credit Hours: 3 credits
Instructor: Sandeep Pradhan
Prerequisites: EECS 501 or equivalent

Course Description:
This course aims to develop a set of mathematical tools to study communication problems that arise in networks. A strong emphasis will be put on obtaining an intuitive framework to think about these problems. This course is aimed at graduate students working in the areas of electrical engineering, computer science, statistics, and mathematics. [More Info]

Student Spotlight: Kyusang Lee: A Leader in Flexible Solar Cell Technology

Kyusang Lee is on the leading edge of flexible electronics. Conducting research under Prof. Stephen Forrest, Kyusang developed an innovative new fabrication technique using an inorganic III/V material (ie, GaAs) to build lightweight, flexible devices not possible with conventional silicon. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Forrest, Stephen  Graduate Students  Solar Cell Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Prof. Kamal Sarabandi Elected President of IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society

Kamal Sarabandi, Rufus S. Teesdale Professor of Engineering, has been elected president of the IEEE Geoscience and Remote Sensing Society (GRSS). He will begin his two-year term January 1, 2015. The fields of interest of the GRS Society are the theory, concepts, and techniques of science and engineering as they apply to the remote sensing of the earth, oceans, atmosphere, and space, as well as the processing, interpretation and dissemination of this information. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Lab-Radiation (RADLAB)  Sarabandi, Kamal  

EECS Alums are Flying High with Drone Startup Skyspecs

SkySpecs, the startup that develops and produces autonomous aerial vehicles for commercial and industrial use, continues to grow within the drone industry. The founders recently won the first place prize of $500,000 in the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition and joined a four-month accelerator program in New York City. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Alumni  Autonomous Vehicles   

Michigan and Prof. Forrest awarded photovoltaics R&D award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot Initiative

U-M was selected as part of the U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot's "Next Generation Photovoltaics 3" program and was the only project awarded for organic photovoltaic ("OPV") research and development. Prof. Stephen Forrest said he very pleased to be able to continue his work on the SunShot Initiative. Forrest has achieved significant results in the area of organic photovoltaics, and believes they have the potential to redefine the cost structure of the solar industry and introduce solar power to untapped applications." [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Energy  Forrest, Stephen  Solar Cell Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Sustainability  

New Approaches to Solar Cell Technology Featured in Sustainability Hour (Profs. Rand and Guo)

Professors Stephen Rand and Jay Guo delivered presentations for the November Meeting of the North Campus Sustainability Hour on the topic of solar energy and its future. The professors addressed two very different problems the industry faces with current technology. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Energy  Guo, L. Jay  Optics and Photonics  Optoelectronics  Rand, Stephen  Solar Cell Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Sustainability  

Yang Liu Receives Best Applications Paper Award for Cyber Security Research in Phishing

Yang Liu, Ph.D Candidate in Electrical Engineering:Systems, earned a Best Applications Paper Award from the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Data Science and Advanced Analytics (DSAA2014) for his recent research on phishing. His paper detailed his use of big data analysis to solve a major problem of cyber security [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Big Data  Communications  Graduate Students  Liu, Mingyan  Security (Computing)  

Winter 2015: Performance Systems: Mobile Phones as Musical Instruments

Course No.: EECS 498-003 and EECS 598-003
Credit Hours: 3 or 4 credits
Instructor: Georg Essl
Prerequisites: EECS 493 or graduate standing or permission of instructor

Course Description:
In this course, you will design your own mobile phone musical instruments, write your own pieces for this new genre, and develop mobile music performance practice in a unique blend of music performance and engineering. [More Info]

Winter 2015: Embedded Systems: An Application-Centered Approach

Course No.: EECS 598-002
Credit Hours: 4 credits
Instructor: Robert Dick
Prerequisites: EECS 311 or 312 or 373 or 482 or equivalent or permission of instructor

Course Description:
Embedded systems are computers within other devices such as wearable devices, automobiles, sensor networks, and medical devices. The focus of this course is to give students an understanding of the process of going from an idea to a product or research finding in the field of embedded systems. [More Info]

Prof. Robert Dick to Apply Cyber Information to Air Quality Management

Prof. Robert Dick, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and specialist in embedded systems, received a CyberSEES grant to to study the impact of weather and human activity on production of, and exposure to, ozone and other air pollutants. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Dick, Robert  Embedded Computing and Systems  Environment  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  

Scott Hanson Receives 2014 Arbor Networks Ph.D. Research Impact Award

Scott Hanson (BSE MSE PhD EE '04 '06 '09) has been selected to receive the 2014 Arbor Networks Ph.D. Research Impact Award. Dr. Hanson is the co-founder, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Engineering of Ambiq Micro, a startup semiconductor company that has big plans to lead the low-power revolution in electronics by powering the Internet of Things. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Alumni  Internet of Things  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  

Winter 2015: Probabilistic Graphical Models for Vision and Beyond

Course No.: EECS 598-004
Credit Hours: 3 credits
Instructor: Jason Corso
Prerequisites: EECS 501 or graduate-level proficiency with probability and statistics

Course Description:
This course will cover probabilistic graphical models in detail starting from the basics and pushing through contemporary results. There will be an emphasis on driving problem formulations from computer vision but our coverage will be broad; connections to other application areas will be discussed when plausible. [More Info]

Winter 2015: Grid Integration of Alternative Energy Sources

Course No.: EECS 498-002
Credit Hours: 4 credits
Instructor: Johanna Mathieu
Prerequisites: EECS 215 or EECS 314 or permission of instructor

Course Description:
This course will present a variety of alternative energy sources, along with energy processing technologies that are required for power system connection. Topics will be covered at a level suited to establish a broad understanding of the various technologies, and of the associate system implications. [More Info]

Winter 2015: Control of Discrete Event Systems

Course No.: EECS 598-001
Credit Hours: 3 credits
Instructor: Stephane Lafortune
Prerequisites: EECS 566 or EECS 598-005 in Fall 2013 or permission of instructor

Course Description:
This course will cover advanced topics on control of discrete event systems, with focus on the following topics: distributed and decentralized control architectures; synthesis methodologies for controllers under safety and liveness properties; comparison of synthesis techniques for specifications described by automata and by temporal logics; joint control and diagnosis problems for fault-tolerant control; discussion of relevant case studies. [More Info]

Winter 2015: Information Retrieval and Web Search

Course No.: EECS 498-001
Credit Hours: 3 credits
Instructor: Rada Mihalcea
Prerequisites: EECS 281

Course Description:
This course will cover traditional material, as well as recent advances in Information Retrieval (IR), the study of indexing, processing, querying, and classifying data. [More Info]

Prof. Johanna Mathieu Working to Bring Power from Sustainable Sources to Your Home

ECE Prof. Johanna Mathieu received a grant under the NSF Cyber-Innovation for Sustainability Science and Engineering program to pursue "Data-driven approaches to managing uncertain load control in sustainable power systems." She is working on the problem of how best to integrate wind and solar power into the nation's established electrical grid system. The research may one day impact the nation's energy policy as it attempts to balance the cost of energy with the environmental impact of generating that energy. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Control Systems  Grid  Mathieu, Johanna  Power & Energy  Wind Technology  

Prof. Raj Nadakuditi Awarded DARPA Young Faculty Award for Research that could Help Reveal the Brains Secrets

Raj Nadakuditi, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has received a 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award for his research project, "Fundamental limits of eigen-wavefront based imaging through highly scattering random media." His research will impact the ability to investigate the structure of brain circuits through the use of optical imaging techniques. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Brain  Nadakuditi, Rajesh Rao  Signal and Image Processing   

Prof. Becky Peterson Awarded DARPA Young Faculty Award to Investigate New Materials for Power Semiconductor Devices

Becky Peterson, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recently awarded a 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award for her research project, "Amorphous Oxide Thin Film Transistors for Switched-Mode Power Supplies." Such power supplies could potentially be used in a wide variety of wireless sensing and actuation systems, including those that deal with security and monitoring of the environment and medical conditions. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Diversity and Outreach  Peterson, Becky (R. L.)  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Prof. Necmiye Ozay Awarded DARPA Young Faculty Award for Research in Cyber and Physical Systems

Necmiye Ozay, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has received a 2014 DARPA Young Faculty Award for her research project, Dynamics-based information extraction: a hybrid systems approach." Her research will impact the safety and security of cyber and physical systems. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Control Systems  Cyber-physical systems  Diversity and Outreach  Ozay, Necmiye  

Life, Engineered: How Lynn Conway Reinvented Her World and Ours

Emerita professor Lynn Conway engineered her life from the start and reinvented the computer chip -- without her, our cell phones wouldn't be possible. But she also pioneered a potentially harder road, becoming among the first transgender woman in engineering. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Conway, Lynn  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  

Students host event inspired by study abroad experience

Amid the rushing of students, voter registration representatives and preachers, 13 students stood on the Diag Friday with baskets of food to bring a piece of their study abroad in India back to Ann Arbor. They learned the concept of "langar," which is a shared meal that emphasizes equality, on the trip organized by ECE Prof. Jasprit Singh. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Singh, Jasprit  

Mapping the brain with lasers

Individual parts of the brain can be activated and de-activated by shining light on the neurons, and researchers are using this ability to chart how different areas of the brain function. To zoom in on individual neuron circuits within the brain, more precise light sources are needed. ECE professor Euisik Yoon is leading a team that will design and build these new light sources with a variety of lasers. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Brain  Health  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Yoon, Euisik  

Long-Lived Blue OLED Could Lead to Better Displays

Many displays in smartphones and televisions generate red and green light with phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes but use more energy-hungry fluorescent devices for blue. That's because blue PHOLEDs only last for a couple of days. Now Prof. Stephen Forrest and his group have found a way to extend the lifetime of blue PHOLEDs by a factor of 10, bringing them much closer to commercial use. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Displays  Forrest, Stephen  LEDs  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

These Energy-Saving, Batteryless Chips Could Soon Power The Internet Of Things

The story focuses on how the new Michigan/UVa start-up company, PsiKick, is going to help enable the Internet of Things thanks to their very low power processing, called subthreshold processing. Also mentioned is the Michigan startup, Ambiq Micro, which has also entered the low power revolution. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Internet of Things  Lab-Michigan Integrated Circuits (MICL)  Technology Transfer  Wentzloff, David  

Blue LED breakthrough for efficient electronics

In a step that could lead to longer battery life in smartphones and lower power consumption for large-screen televisions, Prof. Stephen Forrest and his team have extended the lifetime of blue organic light emitting diodes by a factor of 10. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Electronic devices  Forrest, Stephen  LEDs  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Khalil Najafi to Receive 2015 IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies

Khalil Najafi, Schlumberger Professor of Engineering and ECE Chair, was selected to receive the 2015 IEEE Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies, "For leadership in micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS), technologies, and devices and for seminal contributions to inertial devices and hermetic wafer-level packaging." The IEEE Daniel E. Noble award is one of IEEE's Technical Field Awards, which are among the highest awards given by IEEE. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Najafi, Khalil  

Prof. Pallab Bhattacharya To Receive 2015 IEEE David Sarnoff Award

Pallab Bhattacharya, Charles M. Vest Distinguished University Professor and James R. Mellor Professor of Engineering, was selected to receive the 2015 IEEE David Sarnoff Award, "For contributions to near-infrared and visible quantum dot lasers." The IEEE David Sarnoff award is one of IEEE's Technical Field Awards, which are among the highest awards given by IEEE. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Bhattacharya, Pallab  

Student Spotlight: Tal Nagourney - Exploring navigation

ECE graduate student Tal Najourney is exploring new frontiers in navigation technology. He and others in the group are trying to build a navigation device that doesnt need any external frame of reference, meaning the gyroscope is meant to guide navigation devices without using GPS. He worked with a professional glass blower to hone his technique. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  GPS  Graduate Students  MEMS and Microsystems  Najafi, Khalil  

All ECE News for 2014