News

A paper authored by, among others, three researchers in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has been attracting international attention in the media. ECE Ph.D. student Georg T. Becker, Adjunct Professor Christof Paar, and Professor Wayne Burleson were among the authors of a paper entitled “Stealthy Dopant-Level Hardware Trojans,” presented in August at the Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems 2013 (CHES 2013) workshop in Santa Barbara, California. “CHES 13 is the largest conference in applied crypto with more than 400 participants,” explains Paar in summarizing his paper. “We presented a way of building hidden hardware Trojans.” So far the paper has been covered in Slashdot (slashdothardware-trojans), Ars Technica (arstechnica.cpus/), Computerworld (computerworld.trojans), and Germany’s Der Spiegel (spiegel.html).

Dr. Vishal Misra, former Ph.D. student of Professor Weibo Gong of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, is the founder, CTO, and self-proclaimed “Chief Cheerleader” of Infinio Systems, which won the award for “2013 Start-up to Watch” on September 12 at the Massachusetts Technology Leadership Awards (MTLA) Gala. This award recognizes a new and innovative technology company (two years or younger) that demonstrates the potential for significant growth and positive change to its market or industry. The award was determined by the tech community through a public online voting process. MTLA is the Commonwealth’s most prestigious tech awards program, dubbed the “Academy Awards” of tech, attended by more than 700 company executives.

Four former researchers from the UMass Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department recently received a special Group Achievement Award from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) “for engineering team excellence and dedication to developing the advanced weather radar HIWRAP.” HIWRAP stands for High-altitude Imaging Wind and Rain Airborne Profiler. ECE Professor Emeritus Dan Schaubert, his former doctoral student Justin Creticos (now at MITRE), Lihua Li (former Ph.D. student of Robert McIntosh now at NASA), and former research faculty member Jim Carswell were all on the HIWRAP Radar Team of 18 scientists. The HIWRAP system was developed for use on NASA’s Global Hawk drone aircraft, used during hurricane season to gain many scientific insights into tropical storms.

On Thursday, September 19, Jon Roskill, Microsoft vice president of the Worldwide Partners Group and a 1985 alumnus of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, gave a special alumni talk for students on “Leadership, Innovation, and Prima Donnas.” The subtitle was “What UMass Can’t Prepare You for in the Real World.” The talk took place from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Computer Science Building, room 150/151. During his lecture, the occasionally irreverent Roskill gave his take on the highs, lows, and surprises ahead for graduates in this new era. Whether you are preparing to climb the corporate ladder, backpack around the world, or start your own company, Jon’s approach to achieving a successful and balanced career is worth hearing.

Graduate student Tariq Ahmad of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, whose advisor is ECE Professor Maciej J. Ciesielski (pictured), received a full scholarship to attend a week-long NetFPGA summer camp/workshop, July 29 to August 2, organized by the NetFPGA Group at Stanford University. During the workshop, the project Ahmad created there, entitled "Architectural Exploration of AES-128 in NetFPGA," was awarded first place on Friday August 2nd at a local reception. The work will be added to NetFPGA Open Source project repository for others to work and enhance.

Three local K-12 teachers have participated this summer in the Research Experience for Teachers (RET) while working with the Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) in mutually beneficial projects. In general, the RET program is designed as an opportunity for K-12 teachers to work side by side with CASA faculty and graduate students contributing significantly to a research project while creating material to benefit their classrooms. The three K-12 teachers were Tania Cezar (Fuller Middle School, Framingham), Nick Harrison (Amherst Regional Middle School), and Jason Donovan (SABIS charter school, Springfield). CASA provided stipends for all three of the teachers so they could afford to spend their summer doing research at UMass Amherst.

Do-Hoon Kwon of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department has published a book with Springer Publishers entitled Transformation Electromagnetics and Metamaterials: Fundamental Principles and Applications. Kwon edited the book with Douglas H. Werner. The book peovides “a systematic design technique for optical and electromagnetic devices that enables novel wave-material interaction properties.” It describes the recent invention of the transformation electromagnetics design technique, gives a comprehensive treatment of the subject matter from a group of leading scholars and researchers throughout the world, and includes both fundamental theoretical principles and application examples encompassing a wide range of spectra.

Doctoral students Cheryl Ann Nicholas of the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering (MIE) Department and Jordon D. Bosse from the College of Nursing have been named the 2013-2014 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 College of Nursing.

Alumnus Greg Strelzoff, who earned his B.S. in Computer Systems Engineering from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, is consumed by two high-profile occupations that each depend on speed, precision, and high performance. Strelzoff is the CEO of ZeroLag, a Los Angeles based dedicated hosting company that allows its customers to enjoy full leverage of all their server resources, including customization of storage, memory, or networking configurations to suit their needs. In addition to running ZeroLag, Strelzoff is also a racecar driver.

On June 25, about 22 electrical and computer engineering alumni living in the San Diego area gathered at the Morehouse Campus of Qualcomm to catch up on old times, network, share life stories, and enjoy each other’s company. The hosts for the event were Roberto Padovani ’83 MS, ’85 PhD, the executive vice president and a fellow of Qualcomm, and Christopher Hollot, head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. The conversation and good fellowship were enhanced by a tasty selection of wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres, as well as a fine selection of old friends reuniting.