News

As M5 Technologist in Residence Sean Klaiber puts it, “My interests pretty much all surround sound in one way or another.” That is certainly the case with the electronic Spinning Drum Machine that Klaiber and two students from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department put together, partly from cannibalized parts, in M5. They displayed the machine, which beats out 80 different drum sounds with an infinite set of patterns, at the huge Maker Faire (http://makerfaire.com/newyork/2011/) convention, a sort of Renaissance Faire for do-it-yourself creativity held on September 17 and 18 in the New York Hall of Science. The machine is an electronic ode to engineers who march to the beat of a different drummer.

Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department won one of three Paper with Distinction awards presented at the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium on Cloud Computing 2011 (ACM SOCC 2011), held from October 26 to 28 at Cascais, Portugal. She wrote the paper with her visiting doctoral student, Yanfeng Zhang. It was an extremely competitive conference, with only 16 percent of the submitted papers accepted. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

Rance Rodrigues, a Ph.D. student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, finished third in the graduate category of the Parallel Architectures and Compilation Techniques (PACT) Student Research Competition at that organization’s 20th annual conference in Galveston Island, Texas, from October 10 to 14. His paper was entitled "An Architecture to Enable Lifetime Full Chip Testability in Chip Multiprocessors."

Electrical and Computer Engineering Department graduate student Krzysztof Orzel has won The Spiros G. Geotis Prize, awarded for the best student paper and poster at the American Meteorological Society’s 35th Conference on Radar Meteorology, held from September 26 to 30 at the Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Orzel’s paper was entitled "Mobile X-band dual-polarization phased-array radar: system requirements and development." Orzel’s advisor is Professor Stephen Frasier of the ECE department. Some 300 scientists, engineers, students, and commercial suppliers of radar and associated meteorological systems from around the world participated in the meeting.

Over the summer, members of the NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) were hard at work organizing outreach activities to benefit CASA’s students, industrial partners, and the general public. Through these outreach activities, CASA’s students were given opportunities to participate in various events to spread the word about CASA’s revolutionary research into observing, understanding, tracking, and predicting severe weather, while also saving lives. As part of its core R&D effort, CASA has developed a powerful new network of low-cost, polarimetric, Doppler radars that can detect tornadoes at much lower altitudes than existing radars, thus tracking them as they actually form and touch down.

When Vietnamese immigrant To Chong talks about the transformation in his life triggered by UMass, it brings to mind the metamorphosis from an earthbound larva in a milky green cocoon into a soaring black and gold monarch butterfly. Some 10 years ago, To arrived in this country as a senior in high school with very little ability to communicate verbally in English. Today he is an articulate citizen of the world, who supports his family back in Vietnam, is president of the UMass chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and is working on very sophisticated computer research for his capstone project at the Commonwealth Honors College.

Professor Wei-Bo Gong of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been asked to be the plenary speaker at the 2012 Chinese Control Conference (CCC) next July in Hefei, the capital city of Anhui Province in China. “Since you are with high international reputation in the field,” wrote Han-Fu Chen, general chairman of the 31st CCC, “we would like to invite you to deliver a plenary talk at CCC'12.” Since 1979, CCC has been staged as an annual international conference, organized by the Technical Committee on Control Theory of the Chinese Association of Automation.

Tilman Wolf of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and operations management expert Anna Nagurney of the Isenberg School of Management received a three-year, $909,794, National Science Foundation grant to address some of the difficulties with new protocols and services on the Internet. The project, "Network Innovation through Choice," is part of a $2.7 million collaborative project.

Graduate students Shuang Li of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department and Jean Cody from the School of Nursing have been named the 2011-2012 Hluchyj Fellows at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The Hluchyj Graduate Fellowship was started by Dr. Michael Hluchyj, a 1979 alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and his wife, Theresa “Terry” Hluchyj, a 1977 alumna from the School of Nursing. The fellowship supports two graduate students in the College of Engineering and the School of Nursing with annual stipends of $25,000 so they can do interdisciplinary research in the area of clinical healthcare.

Arlindo Jorge, a member of the UMass Amherst class of 1950 and one of the first students to receive an electrical engineering degree here, died on September 14 at the age of 87. ­UMass presented Jorge with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007 and, among his many philanthropic interests, he endowed the Arlindo Jorge Scholarship Fund for students in our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Jorge began his career with the Electron Tube Division of Sperry Gyroscope Company, developing high-powered final amplifiers (klystrons) for military radars. At Sperry, Jorge also co-invented the dual-oscillator radar system. Jorge later founded Syncor Industries Corporation, a company that manufactured electronic equipment for the military.