University of Massachusetts Amherst

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On September 23, Professor Aura Ganz (in right of photo) of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department will present her PERCEPT project, a seeing-eye building directory with electronic signposts for the visually impaired, at the Products and Technologies That Change People’s Lives Conference in Boston’s Hynes Convention Center from 8:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The College of Engineering welcomes five talented new faculty members to our ranks for the fall semester of 2011: Alice Azadeh Alipour and Caitlyn Butler in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department; Mario Parente and Marco Duarte in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department; and Jessica Schiffman (pictured) in the Chemical Engineering Department. Their research interests include sustainable development, energy efficient water treatment, interplanetary remote sensing, signal, image, and data processing, and desalination and sustainable water purification.

Ilke Ercan, a graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, was the lead author of the Best Paper Award winner at the 11th Annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers NANO Conference, held in Portland, Oregon, from August 15 through 19. The paper, co-authored by her advisor, Professor Neal Anderson of the ECE department, was titled “Heat Dissipation Bounds for Nanocomputing: Theory and Application to QCA.” NANO is the flagship IEEE conference in Nanotechnology. The abstract follows.

Christopher D. Salthouse, an electrical engineer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has been awarded a three-year, $351,303 grant from the National Science Foundation to develop integrated circuits that could lead to a new generation of biomedical sensors that are more sensitive, more portable and less costly than existing instruments. Salthouse says a goal of his research is to develop sophisticated integrated circuits that can be used in new devices that will replace the existing generation of fluorescence microscopes used by many biomedical and biological researchers.

What if we could save lives with a more accurate early detection radar system for tornadoes such as the one that recently hit Springfield? Or what if we could help amputees walk more easily by giving them a better “feel” for their artificial limbs? Or replace our unsustainable oil supply with sustainable biofuel? Or cure a group of child-killing diseases known as lysosomal storage disorders. Are these just pipedreams? Not for 52 undergraduate engineering and science students doing summer research at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Tilman Wolf of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and two of his graduate students, Ph.D. candidate Y. Sinan Hanay and recent M.S. graduate Abhishek Dwaraki, received the Best Paper Award at the 12th annual Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers International Conference on High Performance Switching and Routing (IEEE HPSR). The title of their paper was "High-Performance Implementation of In-Network Traffic Pacing" and was one of 46 papers presented at the conference.

Prasad Shabadi, a graduate student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, won the Best Student Paper Award at the IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Nanoscale Architectures 2011 in San Diego, California, with a paper entitled “Spin Wave Functions Nanofabric Update.” The article describes research on “a better, game-changing way to improve system-level performance” of computer devices “based on non-equilibrium physical phenomena and wave interactions, e.g., spin waves.”

Professor Lixin Gao of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has won the "SIGMETRICS Test of Time Award," which recognizes an influential performance evaluation paper whose impact is still felt 10-12 years after its initial publication. In 2000, Gao collaborated with Jennifer Rexford to write the winning paper: "Stable Internet Routing without Global Coordination."

Pritish Narayanan, a graduate student working with Professor Andras Moritz in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, won the Outstanding Poster Award at the FENA/MSD Annual Review at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in May. Narayanan’s poster was entitled “Integration of Cross-wire NASIC Systems – Crosscutting Issues.” The research described in Narayanan’s award-winning poster is being carried out by himself, Professor Moritz, Pavan Panchapakeshan, Santosh Khasanvis, and Mostafizur Rahman.

During the week of June 13, two separate stories aired on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition and on public TV station WGBY Channel 57 looking at the new radar system being developed to track tornadoes and other severe weather by the $43 million, 10-year-old Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA). Both the radio and TV interviews involved CASA’s Brenda Philips, the associate director, and Michael Zink, the deputy director for technical integration.