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Zlatan Aksamija, an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and the principal investigator in the Nanoelectronics Theory and Simulation Lab (NET Lab), was recently quoted in a Science News story about why scientists are studying how 2-D materials such as graphene behave at high temperatures. In the February 13 edition of Science News, Aksamija said that commonly used silicon-based electronics are “hitting a brick wall” regarding how much smaller they can be manufactured, and that 2-D materials could be ideal for constructing the next generation of tiny devices.

An article co-authored by Zlatan Aksamija, an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department and the principal investigator in the Nanoelectronics Theory and Simulation Lab (NET Lab), was included in the 2017 highlights of the scientific journal Nanotechnology. As the journal described its prestigious highlights: “This collection includes outstanding articles and topical reviews published in the journal during 2017. These articles were selected on the basis of a range of criteria including referee endorsements, presentation of outstanding research, and popularity with our online readership.”

Daniel Holcomb of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department says, there is a burgeoning danger in how companies currently manage their semiconductor supply chains. “Supply-chain threats such as counterfeits and hardware Trojans can compromise reliability of integrated circuits and lead to unexpected or malicious functionalities embedded within them,” says Holcomb.  This growing national security threat explains why he was recently awarded a five-year, $596,160 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study supply-chain security for integrated circuits.

ECE Graduate student Natesh Ganesh will be one of 10 finalists presenting in the third annual Three Minute Thesis Competition on March 2, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., in the Campus Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

According to industry estimates, there could be as many as three-million drones in the skies globally. As the number of drones mushrooms, so will the chances that they will pose a danger to public safety; in Massachusetts alone, at least 80 near-collisions between drones and aircraft have been reported to date. Now, according to the UMass News Office, researchers in the UMass Electrical and Computer Engineering Department are continuing to develop a multi-purpose radar system that can detect very small drone aircraft and also serve as a severe-weather warning system for airports and urban settings. Read News Office release or article on

As a 2013 article on in The Economist said about neuromorphic computing (meaning microprocessors configured more like human brains than like traditional chips): “Computers will help people to understand brains better. And understanding brains will help people to build better computers.” In that general context, Professors Joshua Yang and Qiangfei Xia of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department led a 24-person international team of researchers that has just published the second of two defining papers on neuromorphic computing, which mimics neuro-biological architectures present in the nervous system in order to build better computing systems.

Memristors are basically a fourth class of passive electrical circuit, joining the resistor, the capacitor, and the inductor, which exhibit their unique properties primarily at the nanoscale and represent one of the most promising circuit elements for information storage and processing in future computing technologies. But one major problem with current memristors is their inability to perform effectively at extremely high temperatures, such as those in aircraft engine control systems or in wearable electronics for firefighters.

Think about the startling international news stories surrounding the hacking of our American voting files and the Meltdown and Spectre bugs, the two recently announced security flaws that can expose personal data to hackers and could potentially affect Linux systems, along with computers and devices running Windows, Mac, and other operating-system software. These and many other news events prove the resounding importance of cybersecurity in today’s uncertain world.

Professor Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been selected to this year’s list of the Networking Networking Women (N2 Women) “Stars in Computer Networking and Communications,” previously known as “10 women in networking /communications that you should KNOW.” As the N2 Women co-chairs wrote to Gao, “Many people from around the world submitted one or more outstanding nominations for this list, and it was difficult to choose only 10 amazing women. You are one of these incredible women!”

One of the most overlooked but critical features of the M5 makerspace in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is the 25 or so white boards lining the walls in numerous places around the facility or waiting to be installed. Such white boards didn’t appear as if by magic. Deploying them, in fact, and getting them installed on the walls, is one of the many organizational duties of new M5 Engineer-in-Residence Shira Epstein, who typically works behind the scenes to organize, stabilize, and categorize the day-to-day operations in the makerspace.