EE Newsletters

Loose Bits: Recent Highlights Within EE

October 12, 2004

By popular demand, we will continue the Loose Bits news founded by Prof. Bruce Darling. I hope we can meet the high standard that Bruce established. Thanks again, Bruce!

It is highly likely that some items have been missed in the transition. If so, please send them to me for inclusion in the next edition.

Frankye Jones reports that we welcomed 67 new graduate students to the program this year. There are 40 students entering the Ph.D. program and 27 entering the Master's program. International students make up 30% of the incoming class and represent 10 foreign countries: Columbia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Lebanon, Mexico, Pakistan, PROC, Taiwan, and Turkey. Students from the U.S. make up 70% of the incoming class, and represent schools from all over the U.S.: Arizona State, Boston U, Cal Poly, Harvey Mudd, Michigan State, Oregon State, Rose-Hulman, Seattle U, Stanford, Tufts, U Chicago, U Colorado, U Illinois, U Iowa, U Portland, U San Diego, U Utah, U Washington, U Wisconsin, Washington State, Whitman College. In addition to their academic excellence, the incoming class members have varied outside interests: one student has opera training, several others play various instruments (enough to start their own band!), several play various sports, many like reading, listening to music, hiking, and shopping, and of course, beer drinking. Welcome, new grads! Come see us and tell us how we're doing!

William "Red" L. Whittaker of the Robotics Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, and, probably, the world leader in autonomous robotics, spent Monday evening (August 16th) at the UW as the guest of the ARCS Lab. He reviewed the performance of "sandstorm", the CMU entry in the 2004 Grand Challenge in a talk that was attended by about 100 students, parents, and members of the public.

Linda Bushnell and Andy Crick organized this interesting event. Thanks Linda and Andy for exposing our community to this world-class researcher and his work.

Vikram Jandhyala, an A-division squash player, won the 2004 UW intramural squash tournament held in June. Vikram is also the top player in the UW league and an active player in the Seattle squash league. Vikram played in his division at the US National Championships in 2001 and 2004, reaching the quarterfinals each time before losing to the eventual tournament winner. He also finished as runner-up at the 2001 Washington State Open, and placed third at the 2001 Seattle Open 2001. Check out the exciting match details at Very impressive, Vikram.

UW now has an active squash program that is starting up with the support of several faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students. If you are interested in participating, check out their home page,, or contact Prof. Jandhyala.

EE graduate student Jianchun Dong has been awarded a Nanotechnology UIF Graduate Research Award for 2004-05 for his research titled "Conversion of Molecular Recognition Events to Electrical Signals by Self-assembled Monolayer Field Effect Structures." The award includes a graduate stipend, tuition and benefits, as well as a research allowance. Professor Babak Parviz is Jianchun's research advisor. It was previously announced in Loose Bits that Anna Pyayt is also a recipient of a 2004-2005 Nanotechnology UIF Graduate Research Award. Her advisor is Professor Larry Dalton.

Congratulations to Jianchun, Anna, and Profs. Parviz and Dalton on this excellent recognition.

Professor Babak Parviz was recently selected by the US National Academies to participate in this year's Keck Future Initiative. Each year, the US National Academies select only about 100 researchers from various fields (sciences, engineering, medicine,...) in the US to participate in the Initiative. The theme for this year is: "Designing Nanostructures at the Interface Between Biomedical and Physical Systems."

When he learned of the award, Babak responded, "It is kinda cool!" We certainly agree. Nice job, Babak.

We have two new Professors in the Dept! Effective Sept. 16, Drs. John Sahr and Richard Shi were both promoted to the rank of Full Professor. Congratulations on your promotions and thanks for the great work you've done and the many contributions you've made to our Dept. over the years. Keep up the good work!

Bruce Darling, Steven Saban, and Paul Yager have been awarded US patent number 6,790,341 entitled "Microband Electrode Arrays" on Sept. 14, 2004. This is an extension of their existing patent number 6,110,354, which is currently being licensed and commercialized by Trace Detect, Inc., of Seattle, Washington. See This is an excellent addition to our IP portfolio. Thanks.

Professor Dierdre Meldrum is on the cover of the most recent issue of Genome Technology, in recognition of her status as director of the up-and-coming CEGS (Center of Excellence in Genomic Science) Microscale Life Sciences Center. See This is very interesting reading and very interesting research. Great job, Deedee.

Prof. Mani Soma is the recipient of the 2004 Technical Excellence Award of the Semiconductor Research Corporation for his "contributions in the area of Test Methods for RF Systems." The Annual Award honors key contributors for innovative technology that significantly enhances the productivity/competitiveness of the semiconductor industry.

Prof. Soma will receive the Award and $5,000 at the SRC's Board of Directors Meeting in San Jose, CA on Nov. 1. Congratulations, Mani, to you and your students on this long overdue recognition!

EE graduate student E. Kristina Brock won second prize for her poster paper, "Stochastic energy source access through DC bus connected hydrogen and flywheel storage" at the 2004 IEEE Power Engineering Society General Meeting in Denver this summer. 80 students participated in the poster contest. She is advised by Prof. Kai Strunz. Great job Kristina and Kai.

Prof. Eve Riskin reports that a team from the University of Washington's ADVANCE Center for Institutional Change including Joyce Yen, Sheila Edwards Lange, graduate student Kate Quinn, EE Professor Eve Riskin, and EE Professor and Dean Denice Denton have received an Officer's grant from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation to implement a national leadership workshop in Summer 2005. Department Chairs in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics from departments all over the U.S. will be invited to UW for a two-day program in leadership development. The workshop will cover important skills such as recruitment and retention of faculty, family-friendly policies, and communication skills training. A pilot workshop held in July 2004 was attended by nearly 30 chairs from around the country. This important event will provide excellent visibility for Advance, EE, and our College.

Recent Grants and Contracts to our Dept.

PI: Mari Ostendorf Sponsor: National Science Foundation Title: Amount: $500,000 (Added to previous award of $1,000,000)

PI: Mani Soma Sponsor: SRC Title: PWM-based BIST Methods for Embedded Mixed-Signal Blocks Amount: $100,000

PI: Mani Soma Title: Study of FM Methods to Generate Vernier Delay or Frequency Information for High-Speed PLL BIST Measurement Amount: $50,000 Sponsor: SRC

PI: Les Atlas Title: Theory and Applications of Modulation Frequency Amount: $100,000 (Added to previous award of $300,136) Sponsor: Office of Naval Research

PI: David J. Allstot Title: Reconfigurable RF Circuits for Low-Cost Phased Array Systems Amount: $90,000 Sponsor: CDADIC - Air Force

PI: David J. Allstot Title: Calibration Techniques for Low-Voltage, Low-OSR Sigma-Delta ADCs for Communication Applications Amount: $44,000 Sponsor: WSU CDADIC

PI: David J. Allstot Title: SRC Fellowship - Naureen Banani Amount: $67,893 Sponsor: SRC

PI: Carl Sechen Title: Clockless Logic, Analysis, Synthesis and Systems (CLASS) Amount: $357,698 Sponsor: Boeing Company

PI: Carl Sechen Title: Mission-Specific Processor, Phase 2 Amount: $283,575 Sponsor: Boeing Company

PI: Carl Sechen Title: RF, Analog and Digital Array for Radiation-Hardened Signal Processing Circuits Amount: $110,000 Sponsor: CDADIC - Air Force

PI: Bruce Darling Title: Advanced Padframe Design for Mixed-Signal CMOS Amount: $49,000 Sponsor: WSU CDADIC

PI: Vikram Jandhyala Title: VEGAS Supplement Amount: $75,000 Sponsor: DARPA