News

Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor C. Mani Krishna’s article, entitled “Managing Battery and Supercapacitor Resources for Real-Time Sporadic Workloads,” was the “Most Accessed” article during May of 2012 for the journal IEEE Embedded Systems Letters. His article was first published in vol. 3, no. 1, Mar. 2011, pp. 32-36, of IEEE Embedded Systems Letters. Professor Krishna was elevated to the honorary rank of Fellow in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 2009 "for contributions to the design and evaluation of real-time systems." Hs research specialty is real-time systems, and he directs the Architecture and Real-time Systems Laboratory (ARTS) with Professor Israel Koren.

Michael Zink and Brenda Philips of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will serve as the lead investigators for the US Ignite program, a national “innovation ecosystem” for developing and deploying public sector applications and services on ultra-fast, software-defined networks to enhance the next generation of the Internet. The launch of the Ignite program was announced by senior officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and non-government partners.

Thomas J. Laramee, who received his B.S. (1994) in Mechanical Engineering and Mathematics and his M.S. (1997) in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) from UMass Amherst, has created the Al Russell Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of Dr. George Albert (Al) Russell, who passed away in April after a brief illness. Dr. Russell taught in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department for 34 years after earning his doctorate in 1968. Mr. Laramee currently serves as Principal Engineer of Zulily, Inc., a successful Internet startup in Seattle. Mr. Laramee pledged a cash gift of $32,000, $2,000 of which will fund the first Russell Scholar for the 2012 – 2013 academic year, while the $30,000 endowment is being invested.

The paper of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) graduate student Jia Zhao was selected for the Best Paper Award at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Great Lakes Symposium on Very-Large-Scale Integration (VLSI), which took place in Salt Lake City, Utah from May 3 to 4. Zhao’s faculty advisor, ECE Professor Russell Tessier, and ECE Professor Wayne Burleson were co-authors of the paper, entitled “Distributed Sensor Data Processing for Many-cores.” As Tessier noted, “Jia's paper focuses on the on-chip monitoring of many-core processor chips which contain thousands of processor cores. His approach collects on-chip voltage and temperature information and uses the information to control processor performance. Significant performance and energy benefits result from this technique.”

Alumnus Mark E. Russell, who earned his M.S. degree from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 1985, received an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering Degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst at its 2012 Commencement ceremonies. Russell is the Raytheon Corporate Vice President of Engineering, Technology, and Mission Assurance. Russell was recently elevated to the honorary status of Fellow by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). The prestigious distinction of AIAA Fellow is conferred upon those members of the institute who have made notable and valuable contributions to the arts, sciences, or the technology of aeronautics and astronautics.

A group of female faculty members from the College of Engineering and Department of Computer Science has received a Mellon Mutual Mentoring Team Grant to support women academics in their professional development. The goal of the project is to establish a sustainable network – what the UMass team calls an Engineering and Computing Women Faculty Group (ECWG) – which will provide mutual mentoring among female faculty of all ranks and varied backgrounds. The team leaders of the ECWG are Assistant Professor Mi-Hyun Park of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and Professor Aura Ganz of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. “This [group] will enable the participants to navigate professional development in this competitive world,” as the ECWG proposal explains.

Talented and accomplished students from all four departments at the College of Engineering have won numerous awards, scholarships, fellowships, and other distinctions this semester on the national, regional, and campus level. They range from the prestigious National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship, competing against the best undergraduates in the nation, to a host of awards presented by the chancellor. Chemical engineering undergraduates Kathryn Geldart and Sarena Horava have both received one of the country’s most highly sought-after fellowships, the National Science Foundation's Graduate Research Fellowship, worth more than $40,000 annually for three years.

Brushing our teeth and tuning a radio are activities that most people take for granted, but for some of us being able to do these simple tasks would be the chance of a lifetime. That’s exactly what happened on May 4 when 10 special education students from West Springfield Middle School visited UMass Amherst to test out engineering devices designed to make their lives much easier and more independent. The devices, created in cooperation with West Springfield Middle School special needs teacher Megan Ferrari by undergraduates in the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department for their mandatory Senior Design Project, allow disabled students to carry out two of their regular daily functions, tuning a radio and brushing their teeth, for the first time on their own.

The Electrical and Computer Engineering Department placed two teams of student innovators in the final field of 24 from across the nation that competed in the Cornell Cup competition on May 4 and 5 at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. One ECE team designed and built an “Automated Aero-Painting System,” a model “quadrocopter” (helicopter with four propellers) that can spray-paint. The other team created an “Augmented Reality Head-Up Display,” a wearable augmented-reality system, displayed on the lenses of goggles and capable of creating an immersive 3-D environment. Cornell Cup USA, presented by Intel, is a college-level competition created so student teams can design and invent the newest innovative applications of embedded technology.

The results are in for the annual Senior Design Project Day, when 20 creative, useful, and socially conscious electronic inventions were unveiled by seniors from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (ECE) and judged on their technical design, understanding of realistic constraints, and other criteria. The judges awarded Team Ganz first place, Team Jackson second place, and Team Siqueira third place. The Senior Design Project provides a capstone experience for undergraduate students in the ECE department, when students work in teams of four during a year-long course to design and build systems of their own conception.