University of Massachusetts Amherst

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On Friday, October 20, the College of Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst will hold its eighth annual Outstanding Alumni Awards Celebration during Homecoming Weekend. The college’s celebration will be held in the Marriott Room on the 11th floor of the Campus Center at UMass Amherst. The Homecoming Reception & Awards Celebration will begin at 4:30 p.m. During the reception, the College of Engineering will present its Outstanding Senior and Junior Alumni Awards to eight individuals who, through exemplary accomplishments, epitomize the potential of an education at the UMass Amherst College of Engineering.

Professors Qiangfei Xia and J. Joshua Yang of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department led a team of scientists who have developed a groundbreaking new type of hardware security device enabled by memristors, or resistive switching devices, as described in an article in the prestigious scientific journal Nature Communications. The title of the new article is “A Novel True Random Number Generator Based on a Stochastic Diffusive Memristor.” This work paves the way for memristors in hardware security applications for the era of the Internet of Things (IoT).

Professor Neal G. Anderson of the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department has been named the Terrence Murray Commonwealth Honors College Professor. The two-year award was approved through a competitive application process. The Murray Professorship supports distinguished faculty members in developing innovative courses and programs for students in the 3,800-member Commonwealth Honors College at UMass Amherst.

The research of Zlatan Aksamija, an Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMass Amherst, and his grad student Adithya Kommini was highlighted in the September 19 “news” section of the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center (MGHPCC) website. The two researchers use computers at the MGHPCC to carry out nanomolecular materials modeling experiments exploring the thermoelectric behavior of materials for use in energy applications. See entire article

Alumnus Ivan Bercovich, the vice president of engineering at Graphiq Inc. and a graduate of our Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department, is doing fascinating work at Graphiq, a company that provides solutions for search and data visualization. As the Graphiq website described its product: “Vivid, contextually-rich visualizations of the world's deepest knowledge graph. Graphiq's products put data into context for researchers, journalists, and enterprise. There are currently 10-billion graphic visualizations in the company’s library.”

Researchers at UMass Amherst College of Engineering are developing 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. The project is funded with an 18-month, $200,000 grant from the National Science Foundation

Professor Maciej Ciesielski of our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been invited to meet the President of Poland, Mr. Andrej Duda, on Wednesday, September 20, as part of a "round table" with a selected group of 20-to-25 prominent scientists of Polish origin now working in the scientific community of the United States. The round table will take place at 1:00 p.m. at the Kosciuszko Foundation in New York City.

According to the University of Massachusetts Amherst News Office, Dr. Tilman Wolf, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been named senior vice provost for academic affairs by acting provost and senior vice chancellor for academic affairs John McCarthy. The appointment is effective at the beginning of the new academic year. Wolf will assume most of the responsibilities of Betsy Dumont, who has recently taken a position as dean of the School of Natural Sciences at the University of California, Merced.

Alumnus Marc Hildebrant (BSEE, ’71) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department was featured earlier this year in IEEE Spectrum’s "Geek Life," describing his work in restoring old music, particularly that recorded by Thomas Edison. The article, dealing with Hildebrant using digital techniques to restore mechanically recorded music to its full glory, also appeared in the Frebruary 2017 print version of The Music Man. According to the article written by Stephen Cass, most sound-restoration projects focus on the obvious issues, such as scratches or hissing, characteristic of decades-old analog storage media. “But Hildebrant is going deeper and fixing some of the distortions introduced by the original mechanical recording process,” Cass wrote.

This fall, the UMass Amherst College of Engineering welcomes five new faculty members: Ashish Kulkarni – Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering Department; Yeon Sik Noh – Assistant Professor, College of Nursing and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Yadi Eslami – Senior Lecturer, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; Jun Yao – Assistant Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; and Chengbo Ai – Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. Read more about their backgrounds and accomplishments.

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