Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

ECE Research News

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   Women in Computing  

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  

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)  

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  

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. 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  

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  

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  

Fighting lung cancer with faster image processing

A new $1.9 million research program led by Prof. Jeff Fessler seeks to make low-dose computed tomography scans a viable screening technique by speeding up the image reconstruction from half an hour or more to just five minutes.The advance could be particularly important for fighting lung cancers, as symptoms often appear too late for effective treatment. Prof. Thomas Wenisch is collaborating on the project. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Fessler, Jeffrey  Medical Imaging  Medical diagnosis  Signal and Image Processing   Wenisch, Thomas  

Kyu-Tae Lee Wins Best Poster Award for Colorful Solar Cells

ECE graduate student Kyu-Tae Lee received a Best Poster Award at the 40th Annual Michigan AVS Symposium. His poster described the creation of solar cell device structures that enable attractive multi-colored solar cells that can be used on windows and other interior and exterior surfaces. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Graduate Students  Guo, L. Jay  Solar Cell Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Sensors in the Soil (video)

Soil moisture information is just as important to NASA engineers as it is to local farmers. For example, this data is used to monitor climate patterns and predict landslides. Prof. Mingyan Liu is working on a system that will make collecting and analyzing this data more accurate. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Communications  Environment  Liu, Mingyan  Sensors  

Solving the Big Data Dilemma

Prof. Laura Balzano talks about how to get the best results from big collections of data. Science, healthcare, economics, infrastructure and government could be completely changed by effectively using big data. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Balzano, Laura  Big Data  Environment  Health  Information Technology  Signal and Image Processing   

New graphene sensor technology for personal and environmental health

A new wearable vapor sensor could one day offer continuous disease monitoring for patients with diabetes, high blood pressure, anemia or lung disease. The new sensor, which can detect airborne chemicals either exhaled or released through the skin, would likely be the first wearable to pick up a broad array of chemical, rather than physical, attributes. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Environment  Medical diagnosis  Sensors  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Wearable electronics  Zhong, Zhaohui  

Optoelectronics: A practical polariton laser

In this article, the author describes the importance of Prof. Bhattacharya's room-temperature, eletrically injected polariton laser, stating that it, "represents an important step towards the practical implementation of polaritonic light sources. In many ways, the first report of a semiconductor laser device based on BoseEinstein condensation that is pumped electrically at room temperature opens a new era in optoelectronics. It may not be long before polaritonic devices start to claim their share of the optoelectronics market, just as double heterostructure devices did 40 years ago." [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Bhattacharya, Pallab  Optoelectronics  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Shrinking the size of optical systems, exponentially

ECE researchers have developed a way to exponentially shrink the size of a system typically needed to control the polarization of light, while maintaining the high level of performance needed for numerous optical applications such as color displays, microscopy and photography. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics  Graduate Students  Grbic, Anthony  Guo, L. Jay  LNF  Metamaterials  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Gurkan Gok Receives Paper Award for Making Better Antenna Beams

Gurkan Gok (PhD, EE 2014, exp) won Third Place in the Student Paper Competition at the 2014 IEEE Int. Symposium on Antennas and Propagation for his paper that describes an antenna beam former that he developed using metamaterials. The design strategy provides new opportunities in smart antenna development. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Antennas  Applied Electromagnetics  Graduate Students  Grbic, Anthony  

Jiangfeng Wu Receives Best Paper Award for Research in Safe Fracking

Jiangfeng Wu, graduate student in electrical engineering, received the Mikio Takagi Student Prize for his research in designing and building an antenna that can better determine the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The Mikio Takagi Student Prize is given to the best of the top three Student Prize Paper Awards granted at the IEEE Int. Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics  Environment  Graduate Students  Sarabandi, Kamal  

Wakefield and Kieras Win Best Paper Award at ICAD 2014

Profs. Gregory Wakefield and David Kieras, along with three coauthors from the Air Force Research Laboratory at the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, received the Best Paper Award at the 20th International Conference on Auditory Display for EPIC Modeling of a Two-Talker CRM Listening Task. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Acoustic Processing  Kieras, David  Wakefield, Gregory H.  

Thomas Frost Receives Best Paper Award for Achieving a HQ QD Red Laser

Thomas Frost received a Best Paper Award for achieving a high quality quantum dot red laser using novel materials. Lasers emitting in the 600nm wavelength range have important applications in medicine, optical information processing, plastic fiber communication systems, optical storage, and full color laser displays and laser projectors. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Bhattacharya, Pallab  Graduate Students  LNF  Lasers  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Metal particles in memristors do not stay put

In work that unmasks some of the magic behind memristors and RRAM, cutting-edge computer components that combine logic and memory functions, researchers have shown that the metal particles in memristors don't stay put as previously thought. The findings have broad implications for the semiconductor industry and beyond. They show, for the first time, exactly how some memristors remember. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Lu, Wei  Memristor  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

New Research Program to Investigate Optical Energy Conversion

ECE is home to a new major research program that aims to provide a better understanding of phenomena driven by the magnetic field component of light. A key long-term goal of this five-year, $7.5M MURI, called the Center for Dynamic Magneto-Optics (DYNAMO), is to investigate the prospects for direct conversion of light to electricity without the thermodynamic losses typical of photovoltaic (solar cell) technology. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Energy  Optics and Photonics  Rand, Stephen  

A better light bulb

Already a key lighting material for smart phones, a new approach to building phosphorescent organic light-emitting diodes (PHOLEDs) will make them useful even for general lighting. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Energy  Forrest, Stephen  LEDs  Lighting  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

MEMS Research by Muzhi Wang Recognized at IMS 2014

ECE graduate student Muzhi Wang received a best student paper award, honorable mention, at the 2014 IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS2014) for his research in RF MEMS switches for high-power RF applications. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Graduate Students  MEMS and Microsystems  Rais-Zadeh, Mina  

Designing robots that assemble and adapt

What happens when you send a rolling robot out for a mission, and it turns out to need legs instead? In this video, Shai Revzen, assistant professor of ECE, describes how his team is working to create "self-assembling" robots that can build themselves into any form required. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Control Systems  Revzen, Shai  Robotics and Computer Vision  

A new way to make laser-like beams using 250x less power

With precarious particles called polaritons that straddle the worlds of light and matter, ECE researchers have demonstrated a new, practical and potentially more efficient way to make a coherent laser-like beam. They have made what's believed to be the first room-temperature polariton laser that is fueled by electrical current as opposed to light. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Bhattacharya, Pallab  CPHOM  LNF  Lasers  Optics and Photonics  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Small, Simple Terahertz Detector Converts The Pulses To Sound

"Terahertz waves, which are non-ionizing and can penetrate fabrics and body tissue, could be used to reveal hidden weapons and spot skin cancer and tooth decay. But they are notoriously difficult to detect. Engineers at the University of Michigan have invented a simple new way to sense them." [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Guo, L. Jay  Norris, Theodore B.  Optics and Photonics  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Terahertz Technology  

T-ray converts light to sound for weapons detection, medical imaging

A research team led by Profs. Jay Guo and Ted Norris created a device that turns terahertz waves (T-rays) into ultrasound, which can then be detected by a highly sensitive acoustic sensor. Applications for T-rays include weapons detection, medical imaging, and astronomy. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  CPHOM  Guo, L. Jay  Medical Imaging  Norris, Theodore B.  Optics and Photonics  Optoelectronics  Security (national and personal safety)  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Terahertz Technology  

Research in Machine Learning earns Notable Paper Award at AISTATS 2014

Prof. Clay Scott received a Notable Paper Award at the 2014 Int. Conf. on Artificial Intelligence and Statistics for his research in the area of machine learning. The theoretical research has applications in big data problems such as crowd sourcing, topic modeling, and nuclear particle classification. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Big Data  Machine Learning  Scott, Clayton D.  Signal and Image Processing   

Leaders in Ultra Low Power Circuits and Systems Presenting at VLSI Circuits Symposium

Michigan faculty and students will present seven papers at the 2014 Symposium on VLSI Circuits, a number that exceeds any other academic institution or company. The seven papers range from a millimeter-scale wireless imaging system, to a chip that can decipher an image in a manner similar to the human brain, to continued optimization of the circuits we use every day, as well as circuits that will fuel the future Internet of Things. One of the papers, Low Power Battery Supervisory Circuit with Adaptive Battery Health Monitor, has been selected as a Symposium Technical Highlight. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Blaauw, David  Dutta, Prabal  Flynn, Michael  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Internet of Things  Millimeter-scale Computing  Mobile Computing  Sylvester, Dennis  Zhang, Zhengya  

Hao Sun Earns 3 Paper Awards for Medical Imaging Research

Hao Sun, a graduate student in the Electrical Engineering:Systems program, will receive 3 paper awards at the 2014 International Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine (ISMRM) meeting. held May 10-16 in Milan, Italy, for his research in the area of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Fessler, Jeffrey  Graduate Students  Medical Imaging  Signal and Image Processing   

Powering the Internet of Things (video)

Prof. David Wentzloff describes the future Internet of Things, a world that he and his colleagues in the Michigan Integrated Circuits Laboratory are enabling with their ultra low power circuits and systems. These sensing systems can detect air quality, bodily health, and whether you forgot to turn off your stove and send that information to your phone. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Internet of Things  Sensors  Wentzloff, David  

Halderman and Lafortune Join TerraSwarm Research Center

Two EECS faculty with expertise in Privacy and Security, J. Alex Halderman and Stephane Lafortune, will join the TerraSwarm Research Center in May. TerraSwarm addresses the huge potential, as well as the risks, of pervasive integration of smart, networked sensors and actuators into the connected world. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Halderman, J. Alex  Lafortune, Stephane  Security (Computing)  

Bringing batteryless sensors to market

PsiKick, an ultra-low-power wireless sensor company co-founded by Prof. David Wentzloff, has completed first-round, funding. The financing, led by New Enterprise Associates, will be used to accelerate PsiKick's growth and product development to meet the increasing demand for energy-efficient system-on-a-chip technology. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Internet of Things  Wearable electronics  Wentzloff, David  Wireless Communications  

Thermal Vision: Graphene light detector first to span infrared spectrum

The first room-temperature light detector that can sense the full infrared (IR) spectrum has the potential to put heat vision technology into a contact lens. IR vision allows us to see in the dark, monitor blood flow, identify chemicals in the environment, and even peer under layers of paint. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Graphene  LNF  Norris, Theodore B.  Optics and Photonics  Optoelectronics  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Zhong, Zhaohui  

Transparent color solar cells fuse energy, beauty

Colorful, see-through solar cells could one day be used to make stained-glass windows, decorations and even shades that turn the sun's energy into electricity. The technology is being developed by Prof. Jay Guo's group. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Guo, L. Jay  Solar Cell Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

Photon Glue Enables New Quantum State That Could Mean Better Lighting, Solar Cells

Prof. Steve Forrest and colleagues discovered that light can act as a photon glue that binds together the quantum mechanical properties of two vastly different materials used in electronics. The effect could harness the most useful characteristics from each material for hybrid solar cells and high-efficiency lighting, among other applications. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Forrest, Stephen  Lighting  Quantum Science and Devices  Solar Cell Technology  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  

What are quantum computers going to do for us?

Prof. Duncan Steel, a leading expert in quantum computer technology, describes how these computers work, and what their implications are for cyber security. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Quantum Computing  Quantum Science and Devices  Security (Computing)  Steel, Duncan  

Biochips for better cancer therapy

Prof. Yoon's group is working to dramatically accelerate progress in a form of cancer therapy known as photodynamic therapy (PDT), which combines the agents of a photosensitive drug, light, and oxygen to attack cancerous tumors and lesions locally in the targeted region of the body by selective optical illumination. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Health  Medical diagnosis  Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Yoon, Euisik  

Zhaoshi Meng Receives Best Paper Award at CAMSAP 2013

Zhaoshi Meng, a doctoral student in the Electrical Engineering:Systems program, received 2nd place in the Student Paper Competition at the 5th IEEE Int. Workshop on Computational Advances in Multi-Sensor Adaptive Processing (CAMSAP 2013). [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Hero, Alfred  Machine Learning  Networks and Networking  Signal and Image Processing   

Two-legged robot walks outside at U-Michigan

With prosthetic feet and hips that can swing sideways for stability, the University of Michigan's newest two-legged robot has taken its first steps outside. The machine named MARLO is the third-generation bipedal robot for Prof. Jessy Grizzle. While its predecessors were connected to lateral support booms and confined to the lab, MARLO can venture out into the sunlight. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Control Systems  Grizzle, Jessy  Robotics and Computer Vision  

MCubed A Year Later: A Record of Fostering Innovative Research

The first annual MCubed Symposium served as a showcase for the 200+ projects that came into being thanks to the MCubed initiative. In ECE, the program enabled research to progress to the point that our faculty are applying for major grants to continue the work, submitting papers to conferences and journals, and founding new companies. [Full Story]

ECE Research on Display (with event photo gallery)

Research in electrical and computer engineering was on grand display at the 2013 CoE Graduate Symposium. With nearly 100 ECE posters displayed, current and prospective students were able to get a glimpse at the range of research happening in the department, and meet the graduate students making it all happen. [Full Story]

New algorithms and theory for shining light through non-transparent media

Curtis Jin, a graduate student in electrical engineering, is part of a research team that has developed theory and algorithms that can mitigate or even overcome loss in transmission power due to the multiple scattering of light in non-transparent (ie, scattering) media. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Michielssen, Eric  Nadakuditi, Rajesh Rao  Rand, Stephen  Sensors  Signal and Image Processing   Theory  

Making the Internet of Things Happen

Prof. David Wentzloff is helping to make a worldwide Internet of Things more than a dream through his research in low-power wireless communication, and more recently, through his new startup company called PsiKick. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  Internet of Things  Millimeter-scale Computing  Wearable electronics  Wentzloff, David  Wireless Communications  

Kyu Hyun Kim Receives Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Award

Kyu Hyun Kim, Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering, received an Emil Wolf Outstanding Student Paper Competition award at the 2013 OSA Frontiers in Optics conference for his work in microfluidic optomechanics. Potential applications of this research range from ultrasound mapping of a single living cell to fundamental quantum optomechanical experiments with superfluids. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Microfluidics  Optics and Photonics  Optoelectronics  

How a metamaterial might improve a depression treatment

A brain stimulation technique that is used to treat tough cases of depression could be considerably improved with a new headpiece designed by University of Michigan engineers. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Applied Electromagnetics  Brain  Grbic, Anthony  Health  Metamaterials  Michielssen, Eric  

Better miniaturized vacuum pumps for electronics and sensors

ECE researchers have built three different types of record-breaking micro scale vacuum pumps that could greatly extend the capabilities of electronics and sensing devices that use these devices, such as gas analyzers for homeland security, healthcare, search and rescue, and other applications. They have also taken an important step towards building an integrated, easily manufactured, micro gas chromatography system that incorporates a vacuum micro pump. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Electronic devices  Gianchandani, Yogesh  Health  MEMS and Microsystems  Najafi, Khalil  Security (national and personal safety)  Sensors  

Research that will lead to sharper photos earns best paper award

Research by Dr. Paul Shearer, Prof. Alfred O. Hero, III and Prof. Anna Gilbert, earned Best Paper Award at the 2013 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing. The researchers tackled the problem of "camera shake," which is inevitable in cases where a tripod is either not available or practical for taking pictures. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Hero, Alfred  Signal and Image Processing   

Image processing 1,000 times faster is goal of new $5M contract

Loosely inspired by a biological brain's approach to making sense of visual information, Prof. Wei Lu is leading a project to build alternative computer hardware that could process images and video 1,000 times faster with 10,000 times less power than today's systems, all without sacrificing accuracy. [Full Story]
Related Topics:  Flynn, Michael  Integrated Circuits and VLSI  LNF  Lu, Wei  Memristor  Sensors  Signal and Image Processing   Solid-State Devices and Nanotechnology  Zhang, Zhengya