News and Events

Loose Bits: Weekly Highlights Within EE

August 15, 2005

Dear colleagues: Here are a few recent highlights. As always, let me know of things that can be mentioned in future Loose Bits. Dave A.

Prof. Jim Bassingthwaighte of BioE is PI and Profs. Les Atlas and Howard Chizeck are co-PIs on a new NSF funded grant, “MSM: Adaptive Multi-Scale Model Simulation, Reduction and Integration for Cardiac Muscle Physiology.” This proposal involves methods for automatically adjusting model complexity (and computer simulations) of multi-scale systems (and, in particular, the cardiovascular system as an example). Congratulations!

UW TechTransfer has announced the recipients of the second round of Technology Gap Innovation Fund (TGIF) awards. The TGIF is a Royalty Research Fund that sponsors UW researchers to develop their leading-edge technologies, which are chosen for their strong commercial potential. The funding provided by the TGIF supports additional research and prototype development to enhance the commercial prospects of the projects.

A diverse group of proposals were selected for the awards. Several of the recipients were from Electrical Engineering.

Les Atlas and Pamela Souza (Speech and Hearing Sciences) received an award that will fund the demonstration of a patented technology that dramatically improves the ability of the hearing-impaired to isolate a desired speaker’s voice in the presence of other conversations and noise.

Maya Gupta received a grant that will fund the improvements and testing of an algorithm that improves the quality of printed images.

Vikram Jandhyala was funded to research enhancements to a unique suite of simulation software for designing micro- and nanoelectronics.

Congratulations Les, Pamela, Maya, and Vikram!!

Two students from the EE Haptics course, William "Pete" Moss (UW Music Department) and Brian Cunitz (EE Graduate student) won honorable mention (and $1000) for their project "The Haptic Theremin" in the Sensable Developers Challenge (announced at Siggraph this week).

Haptic Theremin - This application is based on the idea of the Theremin, an instrument that is very difficult to play because the performer has no tactile interaction, but can only play by changing an inductive field around two antennas. The Haptic Theremin was built to solve problems with using virtual instruments that have no physical interface. By using the PHANTOM Omni device, we now have a haptic feedback device that can be programmed with physical constraints appropriate to a musical pitch space, and we can partially solve the limitations inherent in the Theremin.

Good work Brian and William!

We recently learned that Chris Morris, who works with Professor Babak Parviz, has been selected to receive and IEEE Electron Devices Society Graduate Fellowship for 2005. The Fellowship program was established to promote, recognize and support graduate study and research within the Electron Devices Society’s field of interest. Chris received this prestigious fellowship against formidable international competition. Congratulations Chris!

Melissa Meyer and Zac Berkowitz, who are working with Professor John Sahr, have achieved “first light” on their third passive radar receiver. They are in the first stages of work and believe that there is a good possibility that the radar will show the aurora when it is happening.

The third receiver is located in the Physics Department at Eastern Washington University. They have mentioned their appreciation for the help of their Chair, Professor Achin Sen and his assistant Ms. Debbie Moraradi, and a student there, Ms. Varaia Packer.

Congratulations Melissa, Zac and John on his exciting work!

Professor Deedee Meldrum has been very busy representing UW at important meetings and workshops that are helping to define the future research directions for electrical engineering. Here most recent activities include:

July 20-22, 2005
Participated in the NIH National Cancer Institute and National Human Genome Research Institute joint meeting on "Toward a Comprehensive Analysis of Cancer" to plan a Human Cancer Genome Project.

August 6, 2005
Participated as a member of a research focus group for the National Academies Committee on Prospering in the Global Economy of the 21st Century. This is for a Congressionally requested study to address: What are the top 10 actions, in priority order, that federal policy makers could take to enhance the science and technology enterprise so the United States can successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st Century? What implementation strategy, with several concrete steps, could be used to implement each of those actions?

Thanks, Deedee for representing us so well at these very important meetings.

The Semiconductor Research Corporation recently announced the following:

At its June meeting, the SRC Board of Directors approved the Awards Committee’s recommendation to recognize Professor David Allstot with presentation of the 2005 Aristotle Award.

The Aristotle Award winner is chosen from nominations submitted and/or supported by former students of the nominees and recognizes outstanding teaching in its broadest sense. Professor Allstot has a long record of producing not only outstanding research, but also students whose accomplishments are a testament to his teaching abilities.

The Aristotle Award will be presented at the TECHCON 2005 Conference Banquet in October.

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