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  COVID-19 Information and Resources for ECE Students, Faculty, and Staff

Eric Klavins appointed as new UW ECE Department Chair

We are pleased to announce that Professor Eric Klavins has accepted the position of Chair of the UW Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering.

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Eric Klavins appointed as new UW ECE Department Chair Banner

UW ECE faculty and alumni receive NSF CAREER awards

UW ECE Assistant Professor Baosen Zhang and ECE alums Andrew Clark and Subhanshu Gupta all won a 2020 National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award.

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UW ECE faculty and alumni receive NSF CAREER awards Banner

Dr. Dakotah Lane, UW ECE alum turned medical professional, is leading his tribe's battle against the coronavirus

The Lummi Nation doctor is currently under self-quarantine, but the tribe has been proactively preparing for a coronavirus outbreak for weeks.

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Dr. Dakotah Lane, UW ECE alum turned medical professional, is leading his tribe's battle against the coronavirus Banner

Awards support development of therapeutic neural interfaces

ECE faculty member Amy Orsborn recently received two prestigious awards that will support her interdisciplinary research aimed at developing neural devices capable of healing and restoring function in the brain and body.

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Awards support development of therapeutic neural interfaces Banner

ECE alum Junyi Zhu integrates electronics onto physical prototypes at MIT with "CurveBoards"

In place of flat “breadboards”, 3D-printed CurveBoards enable easier testing of circuit design on electronics products.

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ECE alum Junyi Zhu integrates electronics onto physical prototypes at MIT with

Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow

System Design Methodologies Professor Mari Ostendorf joins 63 new RSE fellows, announced from across sciences, arts, education, business and public life.

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Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow Banner

News + Events

https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/eric-klavins-new-uwece-chair/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/dr-dakotah-lane-coronavirus/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/awards-support-development-of-therapeutic-neural-interfaces/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/junyi-zhu-curveboards/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/nsf-career-awards-2020/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ostendorf_rse/
Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow

Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow

System Design Methodologies Professor Mari Ostendorf joins 63 new RSE fellows, announced from across sciences, arts, education, business and public life.

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                    [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_17660" align="alignright" width="400"]Headshot of Professor Eric Klavins Professor Eric Klavins, UW ECE faculty member and newly appointed UW ECE Department Chair[/caption]

We are pleased to announce that Professor Eric Klavins has accepted the position of Department Chair of the University of Washington (UW) Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), effective April 1, 2020 subject to approval of the Provost.

Klavins has been with UW ECE since 2003 and holds adjunct appointments in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering. As the director for the Center for Synthetic Biology as well as the Biofabrication Center, Klavins fosters meaningful partnerships across campus and with industry. He is a dedicated educator, receiving the Faculty Innovator Award in Teaching and Learning from the UW College of Engineering for his work in course development and undergraduate research. As a scientific advisor to two UW-based startups, he has helped build a culture of entrepreneurship in research and education. Klavins is dedicated to the mission and excellence of ECE, and has a vision for the future of electrical and computer engineering firmly rooted in societal impact.
“UW ECE has incredible research, fantastic students, and a vibrant community all poised to make great advances. Simultaneously, UW ECE, the University and indeed the world are facing great uncertainty with current events. My plan is to ensure stability for our department in the short term, while simultaneously planning for future growth and excellence.” – Eric Klavins
In research, Klavins develops synthetic biological systems. When he first joined the UW, he focused on stochastic processes, robotics and self-assembly, before pivoting to biology and genetic engineering. Today, his work focuses on genetic circuits, protein engineering, mathematical modeling and laboratory automation. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and is the recipient of many professional honors, including an NSF CAREER Award, an Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, an Innovation Award from the UW, an Amazon Catalyst Fellowship and a CoMotion Innovation Fund Award. UW ECE would like to thank the search committee, Per Reinhall (Chair), Maryam Fazel, Ted Kummert, Mahnaz Sherzoi, Mo Li, Lillian Ratliff, and Joshua Smith, for their great work engaging the department and community in the search for UW ECE’s next chair. We would also like to thank all who shared input and opinions with the committee and UW College of Engineering Dean Nancy Allbritton during the selection process. Finally, UW ECE would like to thank Bruce Darling for his outstanding service as Interim Chair. Please join us in welcoming Eric Klavins to his new position as chair of UW ECE! [post_title] => Eric Klavins appointed as new UW ECE Department Chair [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => eric-klavins-new-uwece-chair [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-25 17:19:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-26 00:19:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17657 [menu_order] => 1 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17536 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-20 11:18:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-20 18:18:01 [post_content] =>
Now Lummi Nation’s first physician from its own community is in self-quarantine, in an empty house. Lane determined he was exposed to the first person at the reservation to test positive for the coronavirus. Lane is quarantined in his mother’s place while she is away on vacation, to protect his tribe — and his wife and three children, ages 8, 5 and 2, at home. Lane, 39, and the tribe’s medical director, has no symptoms and is hoping for the best while waiting for test results. No matter how it comes out, Lane said he is glad to be where he is. He came back to the reservation in 2016 to practice family medicine after getting his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medicine at Cornell University in New York. It was a switch for him after starting out as an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Washington (UW) in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE). He felt called to serve his people. Eve Riskin, UW ECE professor and the Associate Dean of Diversity and Access at the UW's College of Engineering, fondly recalls Dr. Lane's selflessness and desire to help those in need. “Dakotah was a student of mine last decade and I was happy to write letters of recommendation for him for medical school", she said. "He visited me in 2006 and talked about his time teaching school in Malawi while in the Peace Corps. He had taken in two teenage boys to live with him while he was there. When I said, 'Wow, TWO TEENAGE BOYS?!!' he simply replied, 'They had no place to go.' Even as a young man he had plans to return to the Lummi Nation to improve health care. He has more than fulfilled his goal. I am so proud Dakotah is one of our alumni.” Protection is what Lummi has been all about as the tribe has taken strong measures that began in February – and they’ve gone further than many governments to protect their people.
“At first in January we were just watching it, and didn’t expect anything,” Lane said. “There was a lot of doubt when we first started, there was a lot of disbelief,  ‘Are we overblowing this, are we crying wolf?’ But in February, it became clear to us we need to start acting right now.
“Then when we had our first case, it became very real.”
Two more positive cases were reported by the tribe Tuesday evening; both people, including a tribal member, are in self-quarantine. The tribe’s cultural lens helped launch a strong response, said Nickolaus Lewis, a member of the Lummi Indian Business Council and chairman of the nonprofit Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, serving 43 federally recognized tribes in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. “A successful job is seeing lower numbers of deaths,” he said. “We don’t want to see our loved ones be buried. We struggle with that enough in normal day-to-day life. This is going to test us all.” The tribe was prepared. Unlike public health resources in many communities outside the reservation, the tribal council had been building up the tribe’s health system, doubling the number of doctors in the past three years to eight. That includes Lane’s former high school soccer teammate, Justin Iwasaki, and Cristina Toledo-Cornell, a classmate from medical school. Tara Olsen, a Lummi tribal member, is the tribe’s health care administrator, “the oil that makes the machine run,” Lane said.
“This is so much a team effort, without them we would not be where we are today and that goes for our council,” Lane said. “We could just as easily have a boss that doesn’t listen, but they have been there right from the beginning.”
Lummi started gathering medical supplies, including test kits from a range of sources — including a vendor now sold out — and personal protective equipment in February, and reached out to the UW to arrange test processing. The tribe had 300 tests on hand as other clinics around the region were scrambling. The Lummi Nation also has taken steps to bring medical care and support to their community, right to their homes. The tribe purchased iPads and Wi-Fi hot spots, dropped off at patients’ doorsteps for in-home, door-to-door telemedicine. The tribe also has drive-thru testing for anyone who meets the criteria for it.  The tribe even set up a medical tent outside, for people who need hands-on examination. All dental appointments have been canceled, and the dental staff, other than a skeleton crew for emergencies, has been repurposed to help with the virus response, including testing. The tribe, before the state or federal authorities, called for extreme social distancing. But to make sure elders and others have what they need, food is being distributed door to door, and drive-ups to distribution points are available around the reservation for people still able to leave their homes.
“We have been taking this very seriously from the beginning,” said Lawrence Solomon, chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council. “It is impacting our family; these are not just our citizens, these are our relatives, our brothers and our sisters, aunts, uncles and grandmothers and grandfathers.”
The tribe has emphasized empowering its health team as the core of its response, Lewis said. “We are leading through the lens of protecting our people and that has enabled us to be very progressive, we are doing things other tribes and communities aren’t yet able to.” he said. “We knew we needed to get out of the way and let the professionals do their jobs and support our health team.’’ This is one community where vaccinations also have become a broadly accepted routine. “It’s just, ‘Talk to your grandparents, they can tell you the stories of why,’ ” Lane said. The community is 100% mobilized now to stop this new threat, Lane said. “All of these people are our relations. We want them to live.”
Lynda Mapes specializes in coverage of the environment, natural history, and Native American tribes. Contact: Lynda V. Mapes: 206-464-2515 or lmapes@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @LyndaVMapes
[post_title] => Dr. Dakotah Lane, UW ECE alum turned medical professional, is leading his tribe's battle against the coronavirus [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dr-dakotah-lane-coronavirus [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-23 09:51:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-23 16:51:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17536 [menu_order] => 2 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17478 [post_author] => 27 [post_date] => 2020-03-18 16:17:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-18 23:17:45 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_17490" align="alignleft" width="400"]Amy Orsborn headshot ECE faculty member Amy Orsborn recently received two prestigious awards that will support her interdisciplinary research aimed at developing neural devices capable of healing and restoring function in the brain and body.[/caption] It’s said that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem, and Amy Orsborn, an assistant professor in the University of Washington (UW) Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), likely knows this better than most. Orsborn’s ECE research focuses on building knowledge needed to engineer devices that can collaborate with dynamic, ever-changing networks in the brain. At the Center for Neurotechnology, where Orsborn is also a faculty member, she investigates how the brain learns to interact with and control a neural interface. “I like to say that my lab works on the same problems, but we approach them from two different directions,” Orsborn said. “One is that we put on our engineering hats and think about how to design a device to interact with the brain, and the other side is that we examine the brain and discover how it’s interacting with the device.” Over the last few years, Orsborn has received several research awards, including a 2016 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship, which recognized her work developing neuroprosthetics (see the video below). She also received a related L’Oréal USA Changing the Face of STEM mentoring grant in 2019, which supports her mentorship group, Women in Neural Engineering. Orsborn continues to make significant contributions to a large body of knowledge encompassing neuroscience and engineering, which is needed for development of therapeutic neural interfaces. These specialized devices — such as deep brain stimulators — assist the brain with healing and restoring function after injury, impacting a wide range of medical conditions and neurological disorders. In 2020, Orsborn received two more awards that acknowledge her accomplishments and will help further research in this area.

Clinical applications for neural devices

Most recently, Orsborn was inducted into the 2020 Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Engineering Research Career Development Program, which recruits and trains scholars with engineering and other quantitative backgrounds to become successful rehabilitation scientists. The program aims to provide scholars with an in-depth understanding of patient-centered clinical problems, career development and mentoring opportunities. It comes with a $125K award that will help Orsborn explore a broader range of clinical applications for her lab’s engineering-based research work.
“Most of my current work is focused very specifically on the goal of trying to restore function to people through a neural interface, but there are potential opportunities to explore using neural interfaces for rehabilitation,” Orsborn said. “So, rather than trying to fully replace a function that’s been lost through some new, artificial device, you could use these devices temporarily to change nervous system function and stimulate the brain to heal itself.”
The award will also support Orsborn’s research focused on understanding how the brain learns to control a neural interface and how that learning process changes plasticity and connectivity inside the brain. Her lab will be using electrical stimulation techniques to explore how large areas of the brain rewire themselves as they learn to control the device, as well as optogenetics to look at connectivity between network neurons.

Artificial neural networks inform our understanding of the brain, and vice versa

[caption id="attachment_17483" align="alignright" width="400"]A woman sitting at a table, looking through a microscope Orsborn working in her lab[/caption] Orsborn also received a 2020 Google Faculty Research Award along with UW alumnus Guillaume Lajoie, an assistant professor of mathematics and statistics at Université de Montréal. This award aims to recognize and support world-class faculty pursuing cutting-edge research, and it provides seed funding to support one graduate student for one year. In this case, the graduate student will be in Lajoie’s lab, but the award will benefit the Orsborn Lab as well by kickstarting a unique collaboration. Insights from Lajoie’s research studying artificial neural networks will be applied to Orsborn’s work studying how the brain learns to control engineered devices. One area of focus will be to analyze pre-existing lab data, looking for computational signatures of learning that have been identified in artificial neural networks and checking to see if the same signatures also exist in the brain. Another will be to identify ways artificial neural networks are adjusted by their human creators to become more robust problem-solvers and assess whether or not some of these same methods could be applied when assisting the brain with learning how to operate a neural interface. “From our perspective, they [Lajoie’s lab] are bringing their expertise and understanding of artificial neural networks to provide insights into new directions we might want to explore,” Orsborn said. “For instance, they might really help inform design of new experiments.” Interestingly, the collaboration goes the other way as well. Insights gained from Orsborn’s research will also be used by Lajoie to better understand, build and improve upon already-existing artificial neural networks. “A lot of this project centers around trying to link biological networks with what we understand about artificial networks, really drilling-down into computational principles,” Orsborn said. “That’s ultimately going to be very relevant for Google from the perspective of how to make artificial networks more efficient and robust, improving them beyond what they’ve already been able to achieve.”

Awards for interdisciplinary research

These awards, and in particular the Google Faculty Research Award, fill a much-needed gap in funding opportunities for engineers and scientists who are focusing on interdisciplinary research. “Multiple funders might be interested in your research, but what they are often interested in is just a portion of it. They have prescribed portfolios,” Orsborn said. “Google’s funding is really helpful for these sorts of highly interdisciplinary projects, where the applications are absolutely there, but you have to do some legwork to prove that point.” And using support that the awards provide to develop therapeutic neural interfaces capable of achieving wide human impact remains at the top of Orsborn’s mind. “It’s a great opportunity to establish new research directions,” Orsborn said, “but one of the reasons I was most excited to receive these awards, is because it will push our research in directions that would potentially influence and benefit a much broader population of people.” To learn more about Amy Orsborn and her research work, visit the Orsborn Lab website. Story by Wayne Gillam | ECE News [post_title] => Awards support development of therapeutic neural interfaces [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => awards-support-development-of-therapeutic-neural-interfaces [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-18 17:58:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-19 00:58:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17478 [menu_order] => 3 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17373 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-11 10:39:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-11 17:39:13 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_17375" align="alignright" width="639"]CurveBoards are 3D breadboards — commonly used to prototype circuits — that can be designed by custom software, 3D printed, and directly integrated into the surface of physical objects, such as smart watches, bracelets, helmets, headphones, and even flexible electronics. CurveBoards can give designers an additional prototyping technique to better evaluate how circuits will look and feel on physical products that users interact with. CurveBoards are 3D breadboards — commonly used to prototype circuits — that can be designed by custom software, 3D printed, and directly integrated into the surface of physical objects, such as smart watches, bracelets, helmets, headphones, and even flexible electronics. CurveBoards can give designers an additional prototyping technique to better evaluate how circuits will look and feel on physical products that users interact with.[/caption] MIT researchers led by University of Washington (UW) Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) alum Junyi Zhu have invented a way to integrate “breadboards” — flat platforms widely used for electronics prototyping — directly onto physical products. The aim is to provide a faster, easier way to test circuit functions and user interactions with products such as smart devices and flexible electronics. Breadboards are rectangular boards with arrays of pinholes drilled into the surface. Many of the holes have metal connections and contact points between them. Engineers can plug components of electronic systems — from basic circuits to full computer processors — into the pinholes where they want them to connect. Then, they can rapidly test, rearrange, and retest the components as needed. But breadboards have remained that same shape for decades. For that reason, it’s difficult to test how the electronics will look and feel on, say, wearables and various smart devices. Generally, people will first test circuits on traditional breadboards, then slap them onto a product prototype. If the circuit needs to be modified, it’s back to the breadboard for testing, and so on. In a paper being presented at CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), the researchers describe “CurveBoards,” 3D-printed objects with the structure and function of a breadboard integrated onto their surfaces. Custom software automatically designs the objects, complete with distributed pinholes that can be filled with conductive silicone to test electronics. The end products are accurate representations of the real thing, but with breadboard surfaces. CurveBoards “preserve an object’s look and feel,” the researchers write in their paper, while enabling designers to try out component configurations and test interactive scenarios during prototyping iterations. In their work, the researchers printed CurveBoards for smart bracelets and watches, Frisbees, helmets, headphones, a teapot, and a flexible, wearable e-reader.
“On breadboards, you prototype the function of a circuit. But you don’t have context of its form — how the electronics will be used in a real-world prototype environment,” says first author Junyi Zhu, a PhD candidate at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “Our idea is to fill this gap, and merge form and function testing in very early stage of prototyping an object. …  CurveBoards essentially add an additional axis to the existing [three-dimensional] XYZ axes of the object — the ‘function’ axis.”
Joining Zhu on the paper are CSAIL graduate students Lotta-Gili Blumberg, Martin Nisser, and Ethan Levi Carlson; MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) undergraduate students Jessica Ayeley Quaye and Xin Wen; former EECS undergraduate students Yunyi Zhu and Kevin Shum; and Stefanie Mueller, the X-Window Consortium Career Development Assistant Professor in EECS. Watch video below:  

Custom software and hardware

A core component of the CurveBoard is custom design-editing software. Users import a 3D model of an object. Then, they select the command “generate pinholes,” and the software automatically maps all pinholes uniformly across the object. Users then choose automatic or manual layouts for connectivity channels. The automatic option lets users explore a different layout of connections across all pinholes with the click of a button. For manual layouts, interactive tools can be used to select groups of pinholes and indicate the type of connection between them. The final design is exported to a file for 3D printing. When a 3D object is uploaded, the software essentially forces its shape into a “quadmesh” — where the object is represented as a bunch of small squares, each with individual parameters. In doing so, it creates a fixed spacing between the squares. Pinholes — which are cones, with the wide end on the surface and tapering down — will be placed at each point where the corners of the squares touch. For channel layouts, some geometric techniques ensure the chosen channels will connect the desired electrical components without crossing over one another. In their work, the researchers 3D printed objects using a flexible, durable, nonconductive silicone. To provide connectivity channels, they created a custom conductive silicone that can be syringed into the pinholes and then flows through the channels after printing. The silicone is a mixture of a silicone materials designed to have minimal electricity resistance, allowing various types electronics to function. To validate the CurveBoards, the researchers printed a variety of smart products. Headphones, for instance, came equipped with menu controls for speakers and music-streaming capabilities. An interactive bracelet included a digital display, LED, and photoresistor for heart-rate monitoring, and a step-counting sensor. A teapot included a small camera to track the tea’s color, as well as colored lights on the handle to indicate hot and cold areas. They also printed a wearable e-book reader with a flexible display.   CurveBoards are 3D breadboards — commonly used to prototype circuits — that can be designed by custom software, 3D printed, and directly integrated into the surface of physical objects, such as smart watches, bracelets, helmets, headphones, and even flexible electronics. CurveBoards can give designers an additional prototyping technique to better evaluate how circuits will look and feel on physical products that users interact with.

Better, faster prototyping

In a user study, the team investigated the benefits of CurveBoards prototyping. They split six participants with varying prototyping experience into two sections: One used traditional breadboards and a 3D-printed object, and the other used only a CurveBoard of the object. Both sections designed the same prototype but switched back and forth between sections after completing designated tasks. In the end, five of six of the participants preferred prototyping with the CurveBoard. Feedback indicated the CurveBoards were overall faster and easier to work with. But CurveBoards are not designed to replace breadboards, the researchers say. Instead, they’d work particularly well as a so-called “midfidelity” step in the prototyping timeline, meaning between initial breadboard testing and the final product.
  “People love breadboards, and there are cases where they’re fine to use,” Zhu says. “This is for when you have an idea of the final object and want to see, say, how people interact with the product. It’s easier to have a CurveBoard instead of circuits stacked on top of a physical object.”
Next, the researchers hope to design general templates of common objects, such as hats and bracelets. Right now, a new CurveBoard must built for each new object. Ready-made templates, however, would let designers quickly experiment with basic circuits and user interaction, before designing their specific CurveBoard. Additionally, the researchers want to move some early-stage prototyping steps entirely to the software side. The idea is that people can design and test circuits — and possibly user interaction — entirely on the 3D model generated by the software. After many iterations, they can 3D print a more finalized CurveBoard. “That way you’ll know exactly how it’ll work in the real world, enabling fast prototyping,” Zhu says. “That would be a more ‘high-fidelity’ step for prototyping.”
Junyi Zhu's research focuses on the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Personal Fabrication Tools, involving 3D printing electronics and freeform electronics. Prior to MIT, Junyi completed his Bachelor's Degree at UW ECE, with a concentration in Embedded Computing Systems. He also worked as a Research Assistant at UW Ubicomp Lab, a part-time Software Engineer at Senosis Health, and a Teaching Assistant at UW ECE.  
Story by Rob Matheson | MIT News Office
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Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He received his NSF CAREER award for his research entitled "Synthesis and Control of Cyber-Resilient CPS (Cyber-Physical Systems). The goal of Clark’s CAREER project is to ensure that cyber-physical systems are able to operate safely and effectively even when system components are compromised by cyber attacks, a property defined as "cyber-resilience". Clark's team proposes to develop algorithms for cyber-resilient CPS at short time-scales (e.g., safe real-time control of an autonomous vehicle under cyber attacks) and long time-scales (e.g., developing smart building management systems that are effective against ransomware). The approach of the project is at the intersection of optimization, control theory, game theory, machine learning and cyber security, and builds on Prof. Clark's PhD studies at the UW ECE under Profs. Linda Bushnell and Radha Poovendran. With WPI since 2015, Clark received a BSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2007), an MS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2008), and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington (2014) under the supervision of Professors Radha Poovendran and Linda Bushnell. He is also the recipient of a 2017 NSF CRII research initiation grant, and was a finalist for a 2018 ACM ICCPS Best Paper Award.

Subhanshu Gupta

Subhanshu Gupta, an Assistant Professor at Washington State University (WSU), received his NSF CAREER award for his research entitled "Scalable and Reconfigurable Time-Based Circuits and Systems for High-Resolution Large Antenna Arrays (LAA)." Next generation radio technology will not only need to scale to aggressive bandwidth demands imposed by wireless communications, but also develop precise low-latency localization methods for applications such as autonomous vehicles and deep-space exploration. Extremely large antenna arrays made of hundreds of antenna elements promise to provide unprecedented spatial resolutions that can meet these requirements. However, the signal processing for these large-scale arrays require large amounts of energy and can be inaccurate, and because of the highly complex signal processing required, conventional transceivers don’t work well. Gupta’s project will be working to enable the next generation of multi-antenna array systems that will be more precise, energy efficient and faster, using novel integrated circuits and systems design techniques. The key idea is to develop a delay-compensating spatial signal processor that not only handles very large bandwidth but also large delay range with picosecond resolutions leveraging advanced semiconductor technologies. The educational plan for the project also includes an annual microelectronics workshop to expose students to emerging topics in the field, mentoring minority students and involving them in research activities With WSU since 2015, Gupta received a BE in from the National Institute of Technology, Trichy (2002), an MS in Electrical Engineering from the UW (2006), and holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the UW (2010) under the supervision of co-advisers Professor David Allstot and Professor Chris Rudell. He is also the recipient of a 2011 Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE RFIC Symposium and a 2008 Analog Devices Outstanding Student Award.

Baosen Zhang

Baosen Zhang is an Assistant Professor at UW ECE, where he holds the Keith and Nancy Rattie Endowed Career Development Professorship. Zhang received his NSF CAREER award for his research entitled "Optimal Control of Energy Systems via Structured Neural Networks: A Convex Approach". The aim of this project is to develop a framework for integrating data into the control of energy systems, with the objective of providing both computationally efficient tools and theoretical guarantees. We adopt a model-based framework that uses structured neural networks to achieve both model tractability and representability, by designing them to be convex from input to output. This approach has the potential of using known physical laws as well as leveraging data to address parametric uncertainties. Example applications are control of commercial and industrial buildings, and voltage regulation in power distribution systems. With UW ECE since 2015, Zhang received his BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto (2008) and holds a PhD from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley (2013). Prior to joining the UW, he was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, jointly hosted by the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as Management and Science Engineering. His interest is in the area of power systems and cyber-physical systems, particularly in the fundamentals of physical resource allocations, economics, and controlling systems with humans in the loop.   [post_title] => UW ECE faculty and alumni receive NSF CAREER awards [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => nsf-career-awards-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-26 20:57:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-27 03:57:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17257 [menu_order] => 5 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17216 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-09 14:19:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-09 21:19:24 [post_content] => The Royal Society of Edinburgh (The RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, has announced its newly elected 2020 Fellows. These new fellows comprise leading thinkers and experts from Scotland and around the world whose work has a significant impact on the nation of Scotland. [caption id="attachment_17222" align="alignright" width="200"]Mari Ostendorf System Design Methodologies Professor Mari Ostendorf[/caption] ECE System Design Methodologies Professor Mari Ostendorf and the new intake of 63 other fellows join the current roll of around 1,600, representing the full range of physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, professions, industry, business and public life. Those who are nominated, and then invited to join, have undergone rigorous assessment of their achievements, professional standing and societal contribution. Fellows, who give of their time freely, play a fundamental role in enabling the RSE to deliver its mission ‘Knowledge Made Useful’, contributing to the cultural, economic and social well-being of Scotland and the wider world.   Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of the RSE, concludes:
“The diverse expertise and experience of our fellows, means that, as an organisation, we are well-placed to respond to the issues of the day with clear informed thinking free from commercial or political influence. Our new fellows, who we look forward to welcoming, not only hold vast knowledge but also deep experience, keen judgement, boundless enthusiasm and a passion for promoting societal development and change.  By using their talents as a collective, we can often unlock or inspire new potential and unearth fresh solutions to some of the most complex issues Scotland’s society faces today.”  
Royal Society of Edinburgh logo   Becoming a fellow of the RSE All candidates for fellowship must be nominated by an existing fellow, and supported by a further two. Nominations then go through a five-stage selection process, to ensure that those elected are leading lights in their respective fields.  The over-riding requirement for selection is excellence, measured against three criteria: outstanding achievement, professional standing and societal contribution. Only when all three are satisfied is a candidate endorsed as a fellow by The RSE.     The RSE, and by association its fellows, delivers its mission by:
  • Inspiring and supporting young talent through a wide-ranging program of research grants and awards
  • engaging the public across Scotland on key contemporary issues through its outreach program RSE@ and a wide-ranging program of public events
  • providing impartial advice and expertise to inform policy and practice through in-depth examination of major issues and providing expert comment on topical matters
  • promoting Scotland’s interests overseas through building relationships with sister academies across the world and facilitating research collaborations

The RSE was established in 1783 for “the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.” New fellows are following in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin, Sir Walter Scott, and Professor Charlotte Auerbach, and more recently Professor Peter Higgs, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Sir John Curtice, James MacMillan, Caroline Gardner and Ben Thompson.   This year's list includes many leading academics such as Professor Francisca Mutapi, a world-expert on global health and tropical diseases, and Professor Rosalind Allen, whose work contributions to our understanding of antibiotic resistance, but also includes a wide array of leaders from the arts, third sector, business and public life.  These include Talat Yaqoob, a director at Equate Scotland, the national expert in gender equality throughout the STEM sectors, and an Equalities Consultant, who since 2016 has been leading work to change cultures in organisations and academia to encourage more women into male dominated fields. Talat comments,
“It is an honour to be elected as a fellow and have the opportunity to be part of such an esteemed network. I admire the work of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and look forward to playing my role in its aims to engage a diverse range of people, to create a fairer society and to make Scotland a global leader in tackling social and economic challenges.”

Alongside the 54 fellows and eight corresponding fellows, honorary fellowships have also been awarded to actor, producer, singer, author and activist Alan Cumming OBE and historian Niall Ferguson.

  Find out more about The Royal Society of Edinburgh and its fellows at: www.therse.org.uk   [post_title] => Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ostendorf_rse [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-23 09:06:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-23 16:06:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17216 [menu_order] => 6 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [_numposts:protected] => 6 [_rendered:protected] => 1 [_classes:protected] => Array ( [0] => view-block [1] => block--spotlight-robust-news ) [_finalHTML:protected] =>
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/eric-klavins-new-uwece-chair/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/dr-dakotah-lane-coronavirus/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/awards-support-development-of-therapeutic-neural-interfaces/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/junyi-zhu-curveboards/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/nsf-career-awards-2020/
https://www.ece.uw.edu/spotlight/ostendorf_rse/
Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow

Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow

System Design Methodologies Professor Mari Ostendorf joins 63 new RSE fellows, announced from across sciences, arts, education, business and public life.

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“UW ECE has incredible research, fantastic students, and a vibrant community all poised to make great advances. Simultaneously, UW ECE, the University and indeed the world are facing great uncertainty with current events. My plan is to ensure stability for our department in the short term, while simultaneously planning for future growth and excellence.” – Eric Klavins
In research, Klavins develops synthetic biological systems. When he first joined the UW, he focused on stochastic processes, robotics and self-assembly, before pivoting to biology and genetic engineering. Today, his work focuses on genetic circuits, protein engineering, mathematical modeling and laboratory automation. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and is the recipient of many professional honors, including an NSF CAREER Award, an Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, an Innovation Award from the UW, an Amazon Catalyst Fellowship and a CoMotion Innovation Fund Award. UW ECE would like to thank the search committee, Per Reinhall (Chair), Maryam Fazel, Ted Kummert, Mahnaz Sherzoi, Mo Li, Lillian Ratliff, and Joshua Smith, for their great work engaging the department and community in the search for UW ECE’s next chair. We would also like to thank all who shared input and opinions with the committee and UW College of Engineering Dean Nancy Allbritton during the selection process. Finally, UW ECE would like to thank Bruce Darling for his outstanding service as Interim Chair. Please join us in welcoming Eric Klavins to his new position as chair of UW ECE! [post_title] => Eric Klavins appointed as new UW ECE Department Chair [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => eric-klavins-new-uwece-chair [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-25 17:19:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-26 00:19:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17657 [menu_order] => 1 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17536 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-20 11:18:01 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-20 18:18:01 [post_content] =>
Now Lummi Nation’s first physician from its own community is in self-quarantine, in an empty house. Lane determined he was exposed to the first person at the reservation to test positive for the coronavirus. Lane is quarantined in his mother’s place while she is away on vacation, to protect his tribe — and his wife and three children, ages 8, 5 and 2, at home. Lane, 39, and the tribe’s medical director, has no symptoms and is hoping for the best while waiting for test results. No matter how it comes out, Lane said he is glad to be where he is. He came back to the reservation in 2016 to practice family medicine after getting his medical degree from Weill Cornell Medicine at Cornell University in New York. It was a switch for him after starting out as an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Washington (UW) in the Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE). He felt called to serve his people. Eve Riskin, UW ECE professor and the Associate Dean of Diversity and Access at the UW's College of Engineering, fondly recalls Dr. Lane's selflessness and desire to help those in need. “Dakotah was a student of mine last decade and I was happy to write letters of recommendation for him for medical school", she said. "He visited me in 2006 and talked about his time teaching school in Malawi while in the Peace Corps. He had taken in two teenage boys to live with him while he was there. When I said, 'Wow, TWO TEENAGE BOYS?!!' he simply replied, 'They had no place to go.' Even as a young man he had plans to return to the Lummi Nation to improve health care. He has more than fulfilled his goal. I am so proud Dakotah is one of our alumni.” Protection is what Lummi has been all about as the tribe has taken strong measures that began in February – and they’ve gone further than many governments to protect their people.
“At first in January we were just watching it, and didn’t expect anything,” Lane said. “There was a lot of doubt when we first started, there was a lot of disbelief,  ‘Are we overblowing this, are we crying wolf?’ But in February, it became clear to us we need to start acting right now.
“Then when we had our first case, it became very real.”
Two more positive cases were reported by the tribe Tuesday evening; both people, including a tribal member, are in self-quarantine. The tribe’s cultural lens helped launch a strong response, said Nickolaus Lewis, a member of the Lummi Indian Business Council and chairman of the nonprofit Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board, serving 43 federally recognized tribes in Oregon, Washington and Idaho. “A successful job is seeing lower numbers of deaths,” he said. “We don’t want to see our loved ones be buried. We struggle with that enough in normal day-to-day life. This is going to test us all.” The tribe was prepared. Unlike public health resources in many communities outside the reservation, the tribal council had been building up the tribe’s health system, doubling the number of doctors in the past three years to eight. That includes Lane’s former high school soccer teammate, Justin Iwasaki, and Cristina Toledo-Cornell, a classmate from medical school. Tara Olsen, a Lummi tribal member, is the tribe’s health care administrator, “the oil that makes the machine run,” Lane said.
“This is so much a team effort, without them we would not be where we are today and that goes for our council,” Lane said. “We could just as easily have a boss that doesn’t listen, but they have been there right from the beginning.”
Lummi started gathering medical supplies, including test kits from a range of sources — including a vendor now sold out — and personal protective equipment in February, and reached out to the UW to arrange test processing. The tribe had 300 tests on hand as other clinics around the region were scrambling. The Lummi Nation also has taken steps to bring medical care and support to their community, right to their homes. The tribe purchased iPads and Wi-Fi hot spots, dropped off at patients’ doorsteps for in-home, door-to-door telemedicine. The tribe also has drive-thru testing for anyone who meets the criteria for it.  The tribe even set up a medical tent outside, for people who need hands-on examination. All dental appointments have been canceled, and the dental staff, other than a skeleton crew for emergencies, has been repurposed to help with the virus response, including testing. The tribe, before the state or federal authorities, called for extreme social distancing. But to make sure elders and others have what they need, food is being distributed door to door, and drive-ups to distribution points are available around the reservation for people still able to leave their homes.
“We have been taking this very seriously from the beginning,” said Lawrence Solomon, chairman of the Lummi Indian Business Council. “It is impacting our family; these are not just our citizens, these are our relatives, our brothers and our sisters, aunts, uncles and grandmothers and grandfathers.”
The tribe has emphasized empowering its health team as the core of its response, Lewis said. “We are leading through the lens of protecting our people and that has enabled us to be very progressive, we are doing things other tribes and communities aren’t yet able to.” he said. “We knew we needed to get out of the way and let the professionals do their jobs and support our health team.’’ This is one community where vaccinations also have become a broadly accepted routine. “It’s just, ‘Talk to your grandparents, they can tell you the stories of why,’ ” Lane said. The community is 100% mobilized now to stop this new threat, Lane said. “All of these people are our relations. We want them to live.”
Lynda Mapes specializes in coverage of the environment, natural history, and Native American tribes. Contact: Lynda V. Mapes: 206-464-2515 or lmapes@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @LyndaVMapes
[post_title] => Dr. Dakotah Lane, UW ECE alum turned medical professional, is leading his tribe's battle against the coronavirus [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => dr-dakotah-lane-coronavirus [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-23 09:51:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-23 16:51:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17536 [menu_order] => 2 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17478 [post_author] => 27 [post_date] => 2020-03-18 16:17:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-18 23:17:45 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_17490" align="alignleft" width="400"]Amy Orsborn headshot ECE faculty member Amy Orsborn recently received two prestigious awards that will support her interdisciplinary research aimed at developing neural devices capable of healing and restoring function in the brain and body.[/caption] It’s said that there’s often more than one way to solve a problem, and Amy Orsborn, an assistant professor in the University of Washington (UW) Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), likely knows this better than most. Orsborn’s ECE research focuses on building knowledge needed to engineer devices that can collaborate with dynamic, ever-changing networks in the brain. At the Center for Neurotechnology, where Orsborn is also a faculty member, she investigates how the brain learns to interact with and control a neural interface. “I like to say that my lab works on the same problems, but we approach them from two different directions,” Orsborn said. “One is that we put on our engineering hats and think about how to design a device to interact with the brain, and the other side is that we examine the brain and discover how it’s interacting with the device.” Over the last few years, Orsborn has received several research awards, including a 2016 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science Fellowship, which recognized her work developing neuroprosthetics (see the video below). She also received a related L’Oréal USA Changing the Face of STEM mentoring grant in 2019, which supports her mentorship group, Women in Neural Engineering. Orsborn continues to make significant contributions to a large body of knowledge encompassing neuroscience and engineering, which is needed for development of therapeutic neural interfaces. These specialized devices — such as deep brain stimulators — assist the brain with healing and restoring function after injury, impacting a wide range of medical conditions and neurological disorders. In 2020, Orsborn received two more awards that acknowledge her accomplishments and will help further research in this area.

Clinical applications for neural devices

Most recently, Orsborn was inducted into the 2020 Interdisciplinary Rehabilitation Engineering Research Career Development Program, which recruits and trains scholars with engineering and other quantitative backgrounds to become successful rehabilitation scientists. The program aims to provide scholars with an in-depth understanding of patient-centered clinical problems, career development and mentoring opportunities. It comes with a $125K award that will help Orsborn explore a broader range of clinical applications for her lab’s engineering-based research work.
“Most of my current work is focused very specifically on the goal of trying to restore function to people through a neural interface, but there are potential opportunities to explore using neural interfaces for rehabilitation,” Orsborn said. “So, rather than trying to fully replace a function that’s been lost through some new, artificial device, you could use these devices temporarily to change nervous system function and stimulate the brain to heal itself.”
The award will also support Orsborn’s research focused on understanding how the brain learns to control a neural interface and how that learning process changes plasticity and connectivity inside the brain. Her lab will be using electrical stimulation techniques to explore how large areas of the brain rewire themselves as they learn to control the device, as well as optogenetics to look at connectivity between network neurons.

Artificial neural networks inform our understanding of the brain, and vice versa

[caption id="attachment_17483" align="alignright" width="400"]A woman sitting at a table, looking through a microscope Orsborn working in her lab[/caption] Orsborn also received a 2020 Google Faculty Research Award along with UW alumnus Guillaume Lajoie, an assistant professor of mathematics and statistics at Université de Montréal. This award aims to recognize and support world-class faculty pursuing cutting-edge research, and it provides seed funding to support one graduate student for one year. In this case, the graduate student will be in Lajoie’s lab, but the award will benefit the Orsborn Lab as well by kickstarting a unique collaboration. Insights from Lajoie’s research studying artificial neural networks will be applied to Orsborn’s work studying how the brain learns to control engineered devices. One area of focus will be to analyze pre-existing lab data, looking for computational signatures of learning that have been identified in artificial neural networks and checking to see if the same signatures also exist in the brain. Another will be to identify ways artificial neural networks are adjusted by their human creators to become more robust problem-solvers and assess whether or not some of these same methods could be applied when assisting the brain with learning how to operate a neural interface. “From our perspective, they [Lajoie’s lab] are bringing their expertise and understanding of artificial neural networks to provide insights into new directions we might want to explore,” Orsborn said. “For instance, they might really help inform design of new experiments.” Interestingly, the collaboration goes the other way as well. Insights gained from Orsborn’s research will also be used by Lajoie to better understand, build and improve upon already-existing artificial neural networks. “A lot of this project centers around trying to link biological networks with what we understand about artificial networks, really drilling-down into computational principles,” Orsborn said. “That’s ultimately going to be very relevant for Google from the perspective of how to make artificial networks more efficient and robust, improving them beyond what they’ve already been able to achieve.”

Awards for interdisciplinary research

These awards, and in particular the Google Faculty Research Award, fill a much-needed gap in funding opportunities for engineers and scientists who are focusing on interdisciplinary research. “Multiple funders might be interested in your research, but what they are often interested in is just a portion of it. They have prescribed portfolios,” Orsborn said. “Google’s funding is really helpful for these sorts of highly interdisciplinary projects, where the applications are absolutely there, but you have to do some legwork to prove that point.” And using support that the awards provide to develop therapeutic neural interfaces capable of achieving wide human impact remains at the top of Orsborn’s mind. “It’s a great opportunity to establish new research directions,” Orsborn said, “but one of the reasons I was most excited to receive these awards, is because it will push our research in directions that would potentially influence and benefit a much broader population of people.” To learn more about Amy Orsborn and her research work, visit the Orsborn Lab website. Story by Wayne Gillam | ECE News [post_title] => Awards support development of therapeutic neural interfaces [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => awards-support-development-of-therapeutic-neural-interfaces [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-18 17:58:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-19 00:58:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17478 [menu_order] => 3 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17373 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-11 10:39:13 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-11 17:39:13 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_17375" align="alignright" width="639"]CurveBoards are 3D breadboards — commonly used to prototype circuits — that can be designed by custom software, 3D printed, and directly integrated into the surface of physical objects, such as smart watches, bracelets, helmets, headphones, and even flexible electronics. CurveBoards can give designers an additional prototyping technique to better evaluate how circuits will look and feel on physical products that users interact with. CurveBoards are 3D breadboards — commonly used to prototype circuits — that can be designed by custom software, 3D printed, and directly integrated into the surface of physical objects, such as smart watches, bracelets, helmets, headphones, and even flexible electronics. CurveBoards can give designers an additional prototyping technique to better evaluate how circuits will look and feel on physical products that users interact with.[/caption] MIT researchers led by University of Washington (UW) Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) alum Junyi Zhu have invented a way to integrate “breadboards” — flat platforms widely used for electronics prototyping — directly onto physical products. The aim is to provide a faster, easier way to test circuit functions and user interactions with products such as smart devices and flexible electronics. Breadboards are rectangular boards with arrays of pinholes drilled into the surface. Many of the holes have metal connections and contact points between them. Engineers can plug components of electronic systems — from basic circuits to full computer processors — into the pinholes where they want them to connect. Then, they can rapidly test, rearrange, and retest the components as needed. But breadboards have remained that same shape for decades. For that reason, it’s difficult to test how the electronics will look and feel on, say, wearables and various smart devices. Generally, people will first test circuits on traditional breadboards, then slap them onto a product prototype. If the circuit needs to be modified, it’s back to the breadboard for testing, and so on. In a paper being presented at CHI (Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems), the researchers describe “CurveBoards,” 3D-printed objects with the structure and function of a breadboard integrated onto their surfaces. Custom software automatically designs the objects, complete with distributed pinholes that can be filled with conductive silicone to test electronics. The end products are accurate representations of the real thing, but with breadboard surfaces. CurveBoards “preserve an object’s look and feel,” the researchers write in their paper, while enabling designers to try out component configurations and test interactive scenarios during prototyping iterations. In their work, the researchers printed CurveBoards for smart bracelets and watches, Frisbees, helmets, headphones, a teapot, and a flexible, wearable e-reader.
“On breadboards, you prototype the function of a circuit. But you don’t have context of its form — how the electronics will be used in a real-world prototype environment,” says first author Junyi Zhu, a PhD candidate at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). “Our idea is to fill this gap, and merge form and function testing in very early stage of prototyping an object. …  CurveBoards essentially add an additional axis to the existing [three-dimensional] XYZ axes of the object — the ‘function’ axis.”
Joining Zhu on the paper are CSAIL graduate students Lotta-Gili Blumberg, Martin Nisser, and Ethan Levi Carlson; MIT Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) undergraduate students Jessica Ayeley Quaye and Xin Wen; former EECS undergraduate students Yunyi Zhu and Kevin Shum; and Stefanie Mueller, the X-Window Consortium Career Development Assistant Professor in EECS. Watch video below:  

Custom software and hardware

A core component of the CurveBoard is custom design-editing software. Users import a 3D model of an object. Then, they select the command “generate pinholes,” and the software automatically maps all pinholes uniformly across the object. Users then choose automatic or manual layouts for connectivity channels. The automatic option lets users explore a different layout of connections across all pinholes with the click of a button. For manual layouts, interactive tools can be used to select groups of pinholes and indicate the type of connection between them. The final design is exported to a file for 3D printing. When a 3D object is uploaded, the software essentially forces its shape into a “quadmesh” — where the object is represented as a bunch of small squares, each with individual parameters. In doing so, it creates a fixed spacing between the squares. Pinholes — which are cones, with the wide end on the surface and tapering down — will be placed at each point where the corners of the squares touch. For channel layouts, some geometric techniques ensure the chosen channels will connect the desired electrical components without crossing over one another. In their work, the researchers 3D printed objects using a flexible, durable, nonconductive silicone. To provide connectivity channels, they created a custom conductive silicone that can be syringed into the pinholes and then flows through the channels after printing. The silicone is a mixture of a silicone materials designed to have minimal electricity resistance, allowing various types electronics to function. To validate the CurveBoards, the researchers printed a variety of smart products. Headphones, for instance, came equipped with menu controls for speakers and music-streaming capabilities. An interactive bracelet included a digital display, LED, and photoresistor for heart-rate monitoring, and a step-counting sensor. A teapot included a small camera to track the tea’s color, as well as colored lights on the handle to indicate hot and cold areas. They also printed a wearable e-book reader with a flexible display.   CurveBoards are 3D breadboards — commonly used to prototype circuits — that can be designed by custom software, 3D printed, and directly integrated into the surface of physical objects, such as smart watches, bracelets, helmets, headphones, and even flexible electronics. CurveBoards can give designers an additional prototyping technique to better evaluate how circuits will look and feel on physical products that users interact with.

Better, faster prototyping

In a user study, the team investigated the benefits of CurveBoards prototyping. They split six participants with varying prototyping experience into two sections: One used traditional breadboards and a 3D-printed object, and the other used only a CurveBoard of the object. Both sections designed the same prototype but switched back and forth between sections after completing designated tasks. In the end, five of six of the participants preferred prototyping with the CurveBoard. Feedback indicated the CurveBoards were overall faster and easier to work with. But CurveBoards are not designed to replace breadboards, the researchers say. Instead, they’d work particularly well as a so-called “midfidelity” step in the prototyping timeline, meaning between initial breadboard testing and the final product.
  “People love breadboards, and there are cases where they’re fine to use,” Zhu says. “This is for when you have an idea of the final object and want to see, say, how people interact with the product. It’s easier to have a CurveBoard instead of circuits stacked on top of a physical object.”
Next, the researchers hope to design general templates of common objects, such as hats and bracelets. Right now, a new CurveBoard must built for each new object. Ready-made templates, however, would let designers quickly experiment with basic circuits and user interaction, before designing their specific CurveBoard. Additionally, the researchers want to move some early-stage prototyping steps entirely to the software side. The idea is that people can design and test circuits — and possibly user interaction — entirely on the 3D model generated by the software. After many iterations, they can 3D print a more finalized CurveBoard. “That way you’ll know exactly how it’ll work in the real world, enabling fast prototyping,” Zhu says. “That would be a more ‘high-fidelity’ step for prototyping.”
Junyi Zhu's research focuses on the intersection of Human Computer Interaction and Personal Fabrication Tools, involving 3D printing electronics and freeform electronics. Prior to MIT, Junyi completed his Bachelor's Degree at UW ECE, with a concentration in Embedded Computing Systems. He also worked as a Research Assistant at UW Ubicomp Lab, a part-time Software Engineer at Senosis Health, and a Teaching Assistant at UW ECE.  
Story by Rob Matheson | MIT News Office
[post_title] => ECE alum Junyi Zhu integrates electronics onto physical prototypes at MIT with "CurveBoards" [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => junyi-zhu-curveboards [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-20 09:56:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-20 16:56:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17373 [menu_order] => 4 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17257 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-25 12:27:47 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-25 19:27:47 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_17289" align="alignleft" width="240"]UW EE alum and WPI Assistant Professor Andrew Clark Andrew Clark, UW ECE alum and WPI Assistant Professor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17291" align="alignleft" width="225"]EE alum and WSU Assistant Professor Subhanshu Gupta Subhanshu Gupta, UW ECE alum and WSU Assistant Professor[/caption] [caption id="attachment_17290" align="alignleft" width="225"]Baosen Zhang, Keith and Nancy Rattie Endowed Career Development Professor Baosen Zhang, Keith and Nancy Rattie Endowed Career Development Professor[/caption]                       University of Washington (UW) Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) alumni Andrew Clark and Subhanshu Gupta, and UW ECE professor Baosen Zhang have each been honored with a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award, one of the nation’s most coveted honors for early-career faculty. The NSF selects award recipients who are faculty members at the beginning of their independent careers who have the potential to serve as academic role models in research and education and to lead advances in the mission of their department or organization. Activities pursued by these early-career faculty should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership integrating education and research. The intent of the  NSF CAREER program is to provide stable support at a sufficient level and duration to enable awardees to develop careers not only as outstanding researchers, but also as educators demonstrating commitment to teaching, learning and dissemination of knowledge.

Andrew Clark

Andrew Clark is an Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering at Worchester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). He received his NSF CAREER award for his research entitled "Synthesis and Control of Cyber-Resilient CPS (Cyber-Physical Systems). The goal of Clark’s CAREER project is to ensure that cyber-physical systems are able to operate safely and effectively even when system components are compromised by cyber attacks, a property defined as "cyber-resilience". Clark's team proposes to develop algorithms for cyber-resilient CPS at short time-scales (e.g., safe real-time control of an autonomous vehicle under cyber attacks) and long time-scales (e.g., developing smart building management systems that are effective against ransomware). The approach of the project is at the intersection of optimization, control theory, game theory, machine learning and cyber security, and builds on Prof. Clark's PhD studies at the UW ECE under Profs. Linda Bushnell and Radha Poovendran. With WPI since 2015, Clark received a BSE in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2007), an MS in Mathematics from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (2008), and a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington (2014) under the supervision of Professors Radha Poovendran and Linda Bushnell. He is also the recipient of a 2017 NSF CRII research initiation grant, and was a finalist for a 2018 ACM ICCPS Best Paper Award.

Subhanshu Gupta

Subhanshu Gupta, an Assistant Professor at Washington State University (WSU), received his NSF CAREER award for his research entitled "Scalable and Reconfigurable Time-Based Circuits and Systems for High-Resolution Large Antenna Arrays (LAA)." Next generation radio technology will not only need to scale to aggressive bandwidth demands imposed by wireless communications, but also develop precise low-latency localization methods for applications such as autonomous vehicles and deep-space exploration. Extremely large antenna arrays made of hundreds of antenna elements promise to provide unprecedented spatial resolutions that can meet these requirements. However, the signal processing for these large-scale arrays require large amounts of energy and can be inaccurate, and because of the highly complex signal processing required, conventional transceivers don’t work well. Gupta’s project will be working to enable the next generation of multi-antenna array systems that will be more precise, energy efficient and faster, using novel integrated circuits and systems design techniques. The key idea is to develop a delay-compensating spatial signal processor that not only handles very large bandwidth but also large delay range with picosecond resolutions leveraging advanced semiconductor technologies. The educational plan for the project also includes an annual microelectronics workshop to expose students to emerging topics in the field, mentoring minority students and involving them in research activities With WSU since 2015, Gupta received a BE in from the National Institute of Technology, Trichy (2002), an MS in Electrical Engineering from the UW (2006), and holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from the UW (2010) under the supervision of co-advisers Professor David Allstot and Professor Chris Rudell. He is also the recipient of a 2011 Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE RFIC Symposium and a 2008 Analog Devices Outstanding Student Award.

Baosen Zhang

Baosen Zhang is an Assistant Professor at UW ECE, where he holds the Keith and Nancy Rattie Endowed Career Development Professorship. Zhang received his NSF CAREER award for his research entitled "Optimal Control of Energy Systems via Structured Neural Networks: A Convex Approach". The aim of this project is to develop a framework for integrating data into the control of energy systems, with the objective of providing both computationally efficient tools and theoretical guarantees. We adopt a model-based framework that uses structured neural networks to achieve both model tractability and representability, by designing them to be convex from input to output. This approach has the potential of using known physical laws as well as leveraging data to address parametric uncertainties. Example applications are control of commercial and industrial buildings, and voltage regulation in power distribution systems. With UW ECE since 2015, Zhang received his BASc in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto (2008) and holds a PhD from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California at Berkeley (2013). Prior to joining the UW, he was a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University, jointly hosted by the departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as Management and Science Engineering. His interest is in the area of power systems and cyber-physical systems, particularly in the fundamentals of physical resource allocations, economics, and controlling systems with humans in the loop.   [post_title] => UW ECE faculty and alumni receive NSF CAREER awards [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => nsf-career-awards-2020 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-26 20:57:50 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-27 03:57:50 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17257 [menu_order] => 5 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17216 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-09 14:19:24 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-09 21:19:24 [post_content] => The Royal Society of Edinburgh (The RSE), Scotland’s National Academy, has announced its newly elected 2020 Fellows. These new fellows comprise leading thinkers and experts from Scotland and around the world whose work has a significant impact on the nation of Scotland. [caption id="attachment_17222" align="alignright" width="200"]Mari Ostendorf System Design Methodologies Professor Mari Ostendorf[/caption] ECE System Design Methodologies Professor Mari Ostendorf and the new intake of 63 other fellows join the current roll of around 1,600, representing the full range of physical and life sciences, arts, humanities, social sciences, education, professions, industry, business and public life. Those who are nominated, and then invited to join, have undergone rigorous assessment of their achievements, professional standing and societal contribution. Fellows, who give of their time freely, play a fundamental role in enabling the RSE to deliver its mission ‘Knowledge Made Useful’, contributing to the cultural, economic and social well-being of Scotland and the wider world.   Professor Dame Anne Glover, President of the RSE, concludes:
“The diverse expertise and experience of our fellows, means that, as an organisation, we are well-placed to respond to the issues of the day with clear informed thinking free from commercial or political influence. Our new fellows, who we look forward to welcoming, not only hold vast knowledge but also deep experience, keen judgement, boundless enthusiasm and a passion for promoting societal development and change.  By using their talents as a collective, we can often unlock or inspire new potential and unearth fresh solutions to some of the most complex issues Scotland’s society faces today.”  
Royal Society of Edinburgh logo   Becoming a fellow of the RSE All candidates for fellowship must be nominated by an existing fellow, and supported by a further two. Nominations then go through a five-stage selection process, to ensure that those elected are leading lights in their respective fields.  The over-riding requirement for selection is excellence, measured against three criteria: outstanding achievement, professional standing and societal contribution. Only when all three are satisfied is a candidate endorsed as a fellow by The RSE.     The RSE, and by association its fellows, delivers its mission by:
  • Inspiring and supporting young talent through a wide-ranging program of research grants and awards
  • engaging the public across Scotland on key contemporary issues through its outreach program RSE@ and a wide-ranging program of public events
  • providing impartial advice and expertise to inform policy and practice through in-depth examination of major issues and providing expert comment on topical matters
  • promoting Scotland’s interests overseas through building relationships with sister academies across the world and facilitating research collaborations

The RSE was established in 1783 for “the advancement of learning and useful knowledge.” New fellows are following in the footsteps of Benjamin Franklin, Sir Walter Scott, and Professor Charlotte Auerbach, and more recently Professor Peter Higgs, Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Sir John Curtice, James MacMillan, Caroline Gardner and Ben Thompson.   This year's list includes many leading academics such as Professor Francisca Mutapi, a world-expert on global health and tropical diseases, and Professor Rosalind Allen, whose work contributions to our understanding of antibiotic resistance, but also includes a wide array of leaders from the arts, third sector, business and public life.  These include Talat Yaqoob, a director at Equate Scotland, the national expert in gender equality throughout the STEM sectors, and an Equalities Consultant, who since 2016 has been leading work to change cultures in organisations and academia to encourage more women into male dominated fields. Talat comments,
“It is an honour to be elected as a fellow and have the opportunity to be part of such an esteemed network. I admire the work of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and look forward to playing my role in its aims to engage a diverse range of people, to create a fairer society and to make Scotland a global leader in tackling social and economic challenges.”

Alongside the 54 fellows and eight corresponding fellows, honorary fellowships have also been awarded to actor, producer, singer, author and activist Alan Cumming OBE and historian Niall Ferguson.

  Find out more about The Royal Society of Edinburgh and its fellows at: www.therse.org.uk   [post_title] => Mari Ostendorf named RSE Fellow [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => ostendorf_rse [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-23 09:06:49 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-23 16:06:49 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17216 [menu_order] => 6 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 6 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 17657 [post_author] => 26 [post_date] => 2020-03-25 16:44:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2020-03-25 23:44:04 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_17660" align="alignright" width="400"]Headshot of Professor Eric Klavins Professor Eric Klavins, UW ECE faculty member and newly appointed UW ECE Department Chair[/caption] We are pleased to announce that Professor Eric Klavins has accepted the position of Department Chair of the University of Washington (UW) Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), effective April 1, 2020 subject to approval of the Provost. Klavins has been with UW ECE since 2003 and holds adjunct appointments in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering. As the director for the Center for Synthetic Biology as well as the Biofabrication Center, Klavins fosters meaningful partnerships across campus and with industry. He is a dedicated educator, receiving the Faculty Innovator Award in Teaching and Learning from the UW College of Engineering for his work in course development and undergraduate research. As a scientific advisor to two UW-based startups, he has helped build a culture of entrepreneurship in research and education. Klavins is dedicated to the mission and excellence of ECE, and has a vision for the future of electrical and computer engineering firmly rooted in societal impact.
“UW ECE has incredible research, fantastic students, and a vibrant community all poised to make great advances. Simultaneously, UW ECE, the University and indeed the world are facing great uncertainty with current events. My plan is to ensure stability for our department in the short term, while simultaneously planning for future growth and excellence.” – Eric Klavins
In research, Klavins develops synthetic biological systems. When he first joined the UW, he focused on stochastic processes, robotics and self-assembly, before pivoting to biology and genetic engineering. Today, his work focuses on genetic circuits, protein engineering, mathematical modeling and laboratory automation. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and is the recipient of many professional honors, including an NSF CAREER Award, an Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, an Innovation Award from the UW, an Amazon Catalyst Fellowship and a CoMotion Innovation Fund Award. UW ECE would like to thank the search committee, Per Reinhall (Chair), Maryam Fazel, Ted Kummert, Mahnaz Sherzoi, Mo Li, Lillian Ratliff, and Joshua Smith, for their great work engaging the department and community in the search for UW ECE’s next chair. We would also like to thank all who shared input and opinions with the committee and UW College of Engineering Dean Nancy Allbritton during the selection process. Finally, UW ECE would like to thank Bruce Darling for his outstanding service as Interim Chair. Please join us in welcoming Eric Klavins to his new position as chair of UW ECE! [post_title] => Eric Klavins appointed as new UW ECE Department Chair [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => eric-klavins-new-uwece-chair [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2020-03-25 17:19:20 [post_modified_gmt] => 2020-03-26 00:19:20 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.ece.uw.edu/?post_type=spotlight&p=17657 [menu_order] => 1 [post_type] => spotlight [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [comment_count] => 0 [current_comment] => -1 [found_posts] => 696 [max_num_pages] => 116 [max_num_comment_pages] => 0 [is_single] => [is_preview] => [is_page] => [is_archive] => 1 [is_date] => [is_year] => [is_month] => [is_day] => [is_time] => [is_author] => [is_category] => [is_tag] => [is_tax] => [is_search] => [is_feed] => [is_comment_feed] => [is_trackback] => [is_home] => [is_404] => [is_embed] => [is_paged] => [is_admin] => [is_attachment] => [is_singular] => [is_robots] => [is_posts_page] => [is_post_type_archive] => 1 [query_vars_hash:WP_Query:private] => c64914061c8ecf9b16abe746203f6ad7 [query_vars_changed:WP_Query:private] => 1 [thumbnails_cached] => [stopwords:WP_Query:private] => [compat_fields:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => query_vars_hash [1] => query_vars_changed ) [compat_methods:WP_Query:private] => Array ( [0] => init_query_flags [1] => parse_tax_query ) ) )
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