The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) alumnus Brandon Tory until recently led a very secret double life as a senior software artificial intelligence engineer at Google and a rap musician and producer. Now the Renaissance rapper has made the big time in both branches of his professional career after being featured in such decidedly non-pop publications as the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. Tory finally revealed his amazing secret life for one very good reason: “It IS cool to be a nerd, and I want young black kids from every neighborhood to know that.”

Read entire Forbes interview »

An article from Inside UMass reports that Assistant Professor Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Department has received a five-year, $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop nanoscale sensors which can measure both the mechanical and electrical properties of a cell at the same time. The grant is from NSF’s influential Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program.

UMass Amherst alumnus Vishal Misra (M.S.’96, Ph.D.’00, ECE), now a professor of computer science at Columbia University, has been named a Distinguished Alumnus at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Misra is a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and was an Outstanding Junior Alumni Recipient from the UMass Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department in 2014. See Misra’s Columbia website »

A paper in Advanced Materials Technologies, published by a team from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, reviews the current state of six of the most promising technologies for creating new types of memory devices that can replicate the function of biological neurons and synapses. The paper was also reviewed in The Next Platform.

University of Massachusetts Associate Professor Joseph Bardin of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department is working with Google to create a cryogenic quantum controller that operates in extreme cold and consumes less than 2 milliwatts of power — 1,000 times less than Google’s current control electronics. As an article in VentureBeat explains, “Google says it has made significant progress toward an efficient, reliable, and scalable means of controlling quantum-systems electronics — systems it hopes will someday solve computationally complex problems beyond the reach of classical machines.”

Four College of Engineering researchers have tied the college record for obtaining the most CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in one year. Juan Jiménez, Stephen Nonnenmann, and Yubing Sun of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Jun Yao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have all received grants from the prestigious NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program.

The College of Engineering is recognizing its 26 most accomplished, first-year, doctoral students with the distinction of Dean’s Fellows for 2018-19, a program which rewards entering Ph.D. students with financial support, academic acknowledgement, and career-making research opportunities. Since enrolling here last September, these diverse students have shown unlimited potential, as demonstrated by their impressive range of backgrounds.

See the complete list of Dean’s Fellows with bios »

While Professor Christopher Hollot, the longtime department head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, serves as the interim dean in the College of Engineering, Professor Robert W. Jackson is taking over as the interim ECE department head. Among many other honors, Jackson was elected as a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 2004 “for contributions to the electromagnetic modeling of microwave integrated circuits and packaging.”

A wave of media coverage is only the latest accomplishment in an amazing two years of productivity for research collaborators Qiangfei Xia and Joshua Yang of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department. Media stories by Science & Technology Research News and other outlets topped off a 2018 campaign in which the two ECE professors published eight pioneering articles in major Nature research journals, following a productive 2017 when they published six papers in those journals.

Four engineering and computer science students have conceived a startup company with the goal of circulating life-saving vending machines that can dispense over-the-counter medicine 24 hours a day to anyone with a pressing ailment, such as fever, diarrhea, indigestion, or aches and pains. The team called TransPharm will be competing in at least two entrepreneurship competitions in the coming weeks, and has already been selected as a finalist in one.

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