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News Item Associate Professor Mona Jarrahi is Selected to Receive the 2013 PECASE

Jarrahi, MonaAssociate Professor Mona Jarrahi has been selected to receive the 2013 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers PECASE. This is the highest recognition presented by the President of the United States to young scientist in the early stages of their independent research careers for their exceptional achievements in their research which keeps the country in the forefront of science and technology in the global arena.  There are 102 meritorious scientists and engineers for year 2013.

Prof. Jarrahi was nominated by the Department of Defense, the agency which supported her research in the past.  Prof. Jarrahi's research focuses on ultrafast electronic and optoelectronic devices and integrated systems for terahertz/millimeter-wave sensing, imaging, computing, and  communication systems by utilizing novel materials, nanostructures, quantum well structures, electromechanical structures, as well as innovative nano-plasmonic concepts.  PECASE was established by President Bill Clinton in 1996 and is organized by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President.   Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and their commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach. White House





News Item Professor Behzad Razavi has received the 2014 ASEE PSW Outstanding Teaching Award

Chancellor's Professor Behzad Razavi has received the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education PSW Outstanding Teaching Award for his superlative teaching and his seminal textbooks. The award honors faculty members who have made significant contributions to the engineering education.

Known as an accomplished scholar, a gifted writer, and an exemplary teacher, Professor Razavi specializes in the design of integrated circuits for high-speed and RF communication systems. He and his students have received awards at IEEE conferences such as the ISSCC, CICC, VLSI Circuits Symposium, and ESSCIRC.

ASEE is a non-profit organization established in 1893 for the promotion of excellence in instruction, research, public service and practice to become a worldwide leader in engineering education.  At present there are over 12,000 members from the academe, private and public institutions of students, professors and professionals.ASEE




News Item Distinguished Professor Tatsuo Itoh is Elected to the National Academy of Inventors

ItohTatsuoDistinguished Professor and Northrop Grumman Chair in Microwave and Millimeter Wave Electronics Tatsuo Itoh is recently elected to the National Academy of Inventors in recognition of his exceptional accomplishments in innovation and invention for the benefit of the society.  Election to the academy is a major professional recognition to an academic inventor for his or her exemplary and productive vocation in innovation with a relevant impact to life, society and economic development.

Professor Itoh heads the UCLA Microwave Electronics Laboratory and investigates theoretical and numerical projects in the area of microwave/millimeter wave active integrated circuits, metamaterials and periodic structures, and electromagnetics. His publications are found to be the most frequently referenced source by electrical/electronic engineers for all years based on the Microsoft Academic Search.   

The National Academy of Inventors was established in year 2010 to encourage and honor inventors from the academe and the non-profit research institutes with patents issued from the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, encourage disclosure of the intellectual property, educate society and the young scientists with the latest innovations and technology, forward the application of the innovations to benefit mankind.  For year 2013, NAI has elected 143 inventors to the academy.

To date, UCLA has two of its finest professors honored with this high professional distinction, both of which are members of the electrical engineering department.  Prior to Professor Itoh, in 2012, Professor C. Kumar Patel was elected to the National Academy of Inventors and was the recipient of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.NationalAcademyofInventors




News Item Professor Villasenor Presents Report Aimed at Preventing Online Child Exploitation

John VillasenorJohn Villasenor, professor of electrical engineering and public policy, recently presented the findings of a task force formed to address ways of ensuring that information technology is not misused to exploit children.

Villasenor is the vice-chair of the Digital Economy Task Force, which was convened by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children and Thomson Reuters. The task force’s report, "The Digital Economy: Potentials, Perils and Promises," recognizes the many positive applications of digital technology, while also noting that it can be misused for unlawful purposes. The report addresses what it calls "a new, unregulated, unbanked, largely anonymous Internet-based financial system" that has facilitated "the emergence of hidden marketplaces, alternate payment systems and digital currencies that are being used for illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, money laundering, human trafficking and sexual exploitation of children."

Villasenor presented the report in Washington, D.C. at an event hosted by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, as well as at the National Press Club. The report includes recommendations for policymakers, financial institutions, law enforcement and others to promote the lawful use of the digital economy while combating illicit use.

Re-posted from UCLA Today, March 5, 2014, Authored by: Maggie Sharpe



News Item UCLA Engineering Team Increases Power Efficiency for Future Computer Processors

Have you ever wondered why your laptop or smartphone feels warm when you're using it? That heat is a byproduct of the microprocessors in your device using electric current to power computer processing functions — and it is actually wasted energy.

Now, a team led by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has made major improvements in computer processing using an emerging class of magnetic materials called "multiferroics," and these advances could make future devices far more energy-efficient than current technologies.

With today's device microprocessors, electric current passes through transistors, which are essentially very small electronic switches. Because current involves the movement of electrons, this process produces heat — which makes devices warm to the touch. These switches can also "leak" electrons, making it difficult to completely turn them off. And as chips continue to get smaller, with more circuits packed into smaller spaces, the amount of wasted heat grows.

The UCLA Engineering team used multiferroic magnetic materials to reduce the amount of power consumed by "logic devices," a type of circuit on a computer chip dedicated to performing functions such as calculations. A multiferroic can be switched on or off by applying alternating voltage — the difference in electrical potential. It then carries power through the material in a cascading wave through the spins of electrons, a process referred to as a spin wave bus.

A spin wave can be thought of as similar to an ocean wave, which keeps water molecules in essentially the same place while the energy is carried through the water, as opposed to an electric current, which can be envisioned as water flowing through a pipe, said principal investigator Kang L. Wang, UCLA's Raytheon Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Western Institute of Nanoelectronics (WIN).

"Spin waves open an opportunity to realize fundamentally new ways of computing while solving some of the key challenges faced by scaling of conventional semiconductor technology, potentially creating a new paradigm of spin-based electronics," Wang said.

The UCLA researchers were able to demonstrate that using this multiferroic material to generate spin waves could reduce wasted heat and therefore increase power efficiency for processing by up to 1,000 times. Their research is published in the journal Applied Physics Letters

"Electrical control of magnetism without involving charge currents is a fast-growing area of interest in magnetics research," said co-author Pedram Khalili, a UCLA assistant adjunct professor of electrical engineering. "It can have major implications for future information processing and data-storage devices, and our recent results are exciting in that context."

The researchers previously applied this technology in a similar way to computer memory.

Sergiy Cherepov, a former UCLA postdoctoral scholar, was the lead author on the research. Cherepov, Khalili and Wang are members of the National Science Foundation–funded Center for Translational Applications of Nanoscale Multiferroic Systems (TANMS), which focuses on multiferroic device applications.

The research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Non-Volatile Logic program and the by the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative through the WIN.

Other authors included Juan G. Alzate, Kin Wong , Mark Lewis, Pramey Upadhyaya, Jayshankar Nath and Mingqiang Bao of UCLA's electrical engineering department; Alexandre Bur, Tao Wu and TANMS director Gregory Carman of UCLA's mechanical and aerospace engineering department; and Alexander Khitun, adjunct professor of electrical engineering at UC Riverside's Bourns College of Engineering.

Re-posted from UCLA Newsroom, March 5, 2014 Written by: Matthew Chin

Also featured in Science Codex website.



News Item Professor John Villasenor Selected as Member of the Council on Foreign Relations

John VillasenorProfessor John Villasenor has been selected as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). As noted at CFR’s web site, "CFR's membership represents a group unmatched in accomplishment and diversity in the field of international affairs."  CFR's members include "top government officials, renowned scholars, business executives, acclaimed journalists, prominent lawyers, and distinguished nonprofit professionals."CFR




News Item UCLA Researchers Create Google Glass App for Instant Medical Diagnostic Test Results

GoogleA team of researchers from UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has developed a Google Glass application and a server platform that allow users of the wearable, glasses-like computer to perform instant, wireless diagnostic testing for a variety of diseases and health conditions.


With the new UCLA technology, Google Glass wearers can use the device's hands-free camera to capture pictures of rapid diagnostic tests (RTDs), small strips on which blood or fluid samples are placed and which change color to indicate the presence of HIV, malaria, prostate cancer or  other conditions. Without relying on any additional devices, users can upload these images to a UCLA-designed server platform and receive accurate analyses — far more detailed than with the human eye — in as little as eight seconds.

The new technology could enhance the tracking of dangerous diseases and improve public health monitoring and rapid responses in disaster-relief areas or quarantine zones where conventional medical tools are not available or feasible, the researchers said.

"This breakthrough technology takes advantage of gains in both immunochromatographic rapid diagnostic tests and wearable computers," said principal investigator Aydogan Ozcan, the Chancellor's Professor of Electrical Engineering and Bioengineering at UCLA and associate director of UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute. "This smart app allows for real-time tracking of health conditions and could be quite valuable in epidemiology, mobile health and telemedicine."

The research is published online in the peer-reviewed journal ACS Nano.

In addition to designing the custom RDT–reader app for Google Glass, Ozcan's team implemented server processes for fast and high-throughput evaluation of test results coming from multiple devices simultaneously. Finally, the researchers developed a web portal where users can view test results, maps charting the geographical spread of various diseases and conditions, and the cumulative data from all the tests they have submitted over time.

To submit images for test results, Google Glass users only need to take photos of RTD strips or other commonly available in-home tests, then upload the images wirelessly through the device to the UCLA-designed web portal. The technology permits quantified reading of the results to a few-parts-per-billion level of sensitivity — far greater than that of the naked eye — thus eliminating the potential for human error in interpreting results, which is a particular concern if the user is a health care worker who routinely deals with many different types of tests.

To gauge the accuracy and efficiency of the technology, the UCLA team used an in-home HIV test designed by OraSure Technologies and a prostate-specific antigen test made by JAJ International. The researchers took images of tests under normal, indoor, fluorescent-lit room conditions. They submitted more than 400 images of the two tests, and the RDT reader and server platform were able to read the images 99.6 percent of the time. In every case in which the technology successfully read the images, it returned accurate and quantified test results, according to the team.

The researchers also tested more than 300 blurry images or images of the testing device taken under various natural-usage scenarios and achieved a read rate of 96.6 percent.

The first author of the paper is UCLA researcher Steve Feng, of the UCLA electrical engineering department. Other contributors include researchers Romain Caire, Bingen Cortazar, Mehmet Turan and Andrew Wong, all with UCLA's electrical engineering department.                    

Financial support for the Ozcan Research Group is provided by the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the Army Research Office Life Sciences Division, an ARO Young Investigator Award, the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the NSF CBET Division Biophotonics Program, an NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) Award, the Office of Naval Research and a National Institutes of Health Director's New Innovator Award.

For more on Ozcan, visit his website.

.  Re-printed from the  UCLA Newsroom


Featured in: ABC 7 News



News Item Associate Professor Mona Jarrahi is Selected for the 2014 Early Career Award in Nanotechnology

Jarrahi, MonaAssociate Professor Mona Jarrahi has been selected to receive the 2014 Early Career Award in Nanotechnology from IEEE Nanotechnology Council.   The citation reads, “for her contributions to the development of nano-plasmonic and nano-photonic devices and quantum well structures for advancement of terahertz technology.” 

The award recognizes young scientists and engineers who have attained tremendous achievement in the study of nanotechnology. The award will be presented during the 14th International Conference in Nanotechnology on August 18-21, 2014 in Toronto, Canada.
Professor Jarrahi’s Terahertz Electronics Laboratory delves in the analytical and experimental studies of terahertz device technologies for applications in material characterization, stand-off chemical detection, atmospheric studies, biological analysis and medical imaging. Her research has gained attention and commendation from peers in the global arena, the most prominent of which is the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2013.IEEENanotechnologyCouncil




News Item Professor Ali H. Sayed was Awarded the 2014 Athanasios Papoulis Award

Ali H Sayed.bmpProfessor Ali H. Sayed has been awarded the 2014 Athanasios Papoulis Award by the European Association for Signal Processing for ``fundamental contributions to the advancement of research and education in the areas of adaptive and statistical signal processing.''  Previous award recipients include Sanjit Mitra, John Proakis, Ezio Biglieri, Simon Haykin, and Thomas Kailath. The award will be presented in September 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal, during the Opening Ceremony of the EUSIPCO 2014 Conference.Eurasip





News Item UCLA EE Team Awarded the 2012 IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits Best Paper Award

chang-murphy-hafez-abidiUCLA alumni Dr. David Murphy (Ph.D. ’12), Dr. Amr Hafez (Ph.D. ‘12), Dr. Ahmad Mirzaei (Ph.D. ’06), Dr. Mohyee Mikhemar (Ph.D. ‘09), Dr. Hooman Darabi (Ph.D. ’99), and UCLA Electrical Engineering Department faculty, Professor Frank Chang and Professor Asad Abidi, have been awarded the 2012 IEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits Best Paper Award for their collaborative research paper titled "A blocker-tolerant, noise-cancelling receiver suitable for wideband wireless applications.”
The JSSC Best Paper Award is the highest honor given to the most impactful technical research paper in the field of integrated circuits, published in any IEEE journal or conference proceedings during the calendar year.  The paper expands on the work "A blocker-tolerant wideband noise-cancelling receiver with a 2dB noise figure" published in the 2012 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference Digest of Technical Papers, which was awarded the Jack Kilby Award for Outstanding Student Paper and named the ISSCC Distinguished Technical Paper in 2012.



News Item 2014 Graduate Preliminary Exam Fellowship

The electrical engineering department held its graduate preliminary exam in January by which Ph.D. and senior M.S. students advance to doctorate status in their program.  The department congratulates the 2014 Graduate Preliminary Exam Fellowship Recipients:


Mihir Laghate in Signals and Systems Area
Advisor:  Professor Danijela Cabric





Wei-Han Cho in Circuits and Embedded Systems Area
Advisor:  Professor Frank Chang





Zhi Yao in Physical and Wave Electronics
Advisor: Professor Ethan Wang




News Item 2014-15 New Broadcom Fellowship Recipients

In the second year of this program, UCLA EE and The Broadcom Foundation are proud to announce the new cohort of Broadcom Fellows in circuit/system designs.  The fellowship selection committee identifies five graduate students with the most innovative technology research concept.  The selected proposals should promise a compelling impact, enabling systems in new and even unforeseen ways.

This year’s Fellows are:

Ming-Shuan Chen

Project: Alleviating the On-Chip Wire Problem Using Linear Equalization
Advisor: Professor Chih-Kong Ken Yang

Boyu Hu

Project: Re-configurable Compressive-Sensing Analog-to-Information Converter
Advisor: Prof. M.-C. Frank Chang


Qaiser Nehal
Project:  Adjacent-channel Blocker Suppression in Cognitive Radio Receivers
Advisor: Prof. Asad Abidi

Yuta Toriyama
Project: A Cost-Effective, High-Performance Decoder for Non-Binary LDPC Codes

Advisor: Professor Dejan Marković


Hao Xu

Project: A 5GS/s 10bit 100mW Comparator-based Single Channel Analog-to-Digital Converter
Advisor: Professor Asad Abidi


The Broadcom Fellowship Program will hold a Kick-off Meeting on February 19, 2014, 10:00 a.m. in the Tesla Room. Fellows will describe details of their projects and what gives them a competitive edge.  The event will be graced by Broadcom’s Chairman of the Board, Dr. Henry Samueli and some of its top engineers who will serve as project mentors. BroadcomFoundation






News Item Distinguished Professor Frank Chang was Selected for the 2014 John J. Guarrera Engineering Educator of the Year Award

Frank Chang_SelectedDistinguished Professor Frank Chang has been selected to receive the John J. Guarrera Engineering Educator of the Year Award for 2014 from the Engineers’ Council. His citation reads “ For transformative contributions in undergraduate engineering education to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century, and for pioneering research in high-speed, high frequency semiconductor devices, materials and integrated circuits.” 

Professor Chang has been the Chair of the Electrical Engineering Department since 2010.  In recent years, the Electrical Engineering in UCLA has accomplished outstanding academic standard and have been recognized as one of the top 10 electrical engineering departments in the world.  Sources like the Microsoft Academic Search has ranked the department as the #1 department (in par with MIT) in terms of its publication H-Index over the past decade.   The U.S. News World’s Best University Ranking ranked the department at #8 worldwide. The US National Research Council also gave a ranking #7 among the best U.S. electrical engineering departments recently.

While enhancing the graduate research and academic standard Professor Chang re-aligned the education standard for the undergraduate program through a curriculum reformation according to his unique concept of “Learning by Building.”  Students will no longer be bored doing pure mathematics and concepts; instead they would be motivated and inspired in learning the actual applications and impact of their work.  He also devoted resources, with the support from industry, for every EE undergrad to conduct experiments in non-traditional laboratory spaces like dorms and homes which promotes fun learning experience with high self-confidence and proud ownership of their work.

His devotion to the undergrad students extends to supporting student organizations by providing them with pertinent resources in order to design, develop and build projects for them to top regional competitions and at the same time mobilize membership to the organization.

His technical and research contributions in the development of high-speed and high-frequency III-V semiconductor materials, devices and RF/wireless & mixed-signal GaAs HBT (Heterojunction  Bipolar Transistor) and Si CMOS integrated circuits for communication, interconnect and imaging systems have received worldwide recognition as evidenced by the major honors and awards that have been bestowed upon him.   In 2008 he was elected in the to the US National Academy of Engineering. In 2012 he was elected to the Academia Sinica.  In 2008 he received the Pan Wen Yuan Foundation Award and 2009 CESASC Career Achievement Award. In 2006 he received the IEEE David Sarnoff Award and in 1992 while at Rockwell International Science Center, he received the Leonardo da Vinci award “Engineer of the year.”

The John J. Guarrera Engineering Educator of the Year Award recognizes an individual who is outstanding in professional qualities and has a top reputation for accomplishments and leadership.  The Engineers’ Council will honor all awardees at the 59th Engineers' Council National Engineers' Week Honors and Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at the Sheraton Universal hotel in Universal City, California.EngineersCouncil



News Item Distinguished Professor Chan Joshi Selected for the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award

Chandrashekar Joshi.jpgDistinguished Professor Chan Joshi has been selected for the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award by the Engineers’ Council for year 2014.   The citation reads, “For his mentorship of a generation of undergraduates and outstanding graduate students at UCLA and postdoctoral researchers and other professionals in the U.S. and the world.”  The award recognizes “individuals who are outstanding in professional qualities and have a top reputation for engineering accomplishments and leadership.”

Professor Joshi has been on the faculty of the Electrical Engineering Department since 1988. During the past three decades he has trained a generation of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers many of whom have won accolades and gone on to distinguish themselves as researchers and leaders. Many are faculty members in the top-ranked universities in this country and abroad. In addition many international visitors have come to UCLA to learn the finer aspects of doing experimental research in plasma engineering from Professor Joshi. In fact in a recent book Engines of Discovery: A Century of Particle Accelerators by A.M.Sessler and E.Wilson, the authors note that " Almost all the fine accomplishments described in this section on lasers and plasmas , and those of more than 30 groups worldwide devoted to this subject, can be traced back to the UCLA group of Chan Joshi". At the same time Professor Joshi takes great care and pride in his undergraduate and graduate classroom teaching and mentoring. Thousands of students have taken his Engineering Electromagnetics and Laser Theory classes at UCLA and years later remarked that these were some of the best classes they had taken at UCLA. Currently Professor Joshi is the Chair of the EE department’s courses and curriculum committee entrusted with ensuring that the undergraduates in the EE program get an educational experience that is hands-on, yet firmly rooted in fundamental principles that are the basis of electrical engineering.

The Engineers’ Council will honor all awardees at the 59th Engineers' Council National Engineers' Week Honors and Awards Banquet on Saturday, February 22, 2014, at the Sheraton Universal hotel in Universal City, California.EngineersCouncil



News Item Associate Prof. Mona Jarrahi Receives the Outstanding Young Engineer Award from IEEE MTT-S

Jarrahi, MonaAssociate Professor Mona Jarrahi has been selected to receive the Outstanding Young Engineer award for year 2014 from the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.  Professor Jarrahi specializes in the field of ultrafast electronic and optoelectronic devices and integrated systems for terahertz/millimeter-wave sensing, imaging, computing, and communication systems by utilizing novel materials, nanostructures, quantum well structures, electromechanical structures, as well as innovative nano-plasmonic and optical concepts.

The award commends MTT-S members who have attained outstanding technical achievements in their practice and/or exemplary service to the society. 
The society has been recognizing its young members with this award since 2002. 

Professor Jarrahi is quite a decorated engineer-researcher with a collection of commendations from technical/scientific societies and government agencies.  Recently, she received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientist and Engineers for distinguished achievements in her research. mmt-s




News Item Distinguished Professors Alan Willson and Chandrashekhar Joshi were Elected to National Academy of Engineering

Willson_JoshiTwo faculty members from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional distinctions that can be awarded to an engineer in the U.S.

Chandrashekhar Joshi, distinguished professor of electrical engineering, and Alan N. Willson Jr., distinguished professor emeritus of electrical engineering and holder of the Charles P. Reames Chair in Electrical Engineering, were among 67 new members elected to the NAE for their outstanding contributions to engineering research, practice or education, the academy announced today. The academy also named 11 new foreign associates.

"Chan and Alan have been at the forefront of their respective fields for decades, and are most deserving of this most prestigious recognition from the National Academy of Engineering," said UCLA Engineering Dean Vijay K. Dhir.

Chandrashekhar Joshi was recognized by the academy for "contributions to the development of laser and beam-driven plasma accelerators."

Joshi is known as the founder of the experimental field of plasma accelerators. At UCLA in the 1980s, he established the first group that proposed to significantly shrink the size and cost of particle accelerators by using charged density waves in plasmas (or ionized gas) using powerful laser pulses or particle beams.

Joshi's UCLA group remains at the forefront of its field, and the lab has nurtured many students and researchers who have gone on to form their own research teams. In addition to plasma accelerators, Joshi has advanced the understanding of nonlinear optics of plasmas, laser fusion and basic plasma physics.

The ultimate goal of Joshi's research is to provide a paradigm-changing technology for building particle accelerators for fundamental research, as well as for medical and industrial applications.

"This is a great honor," Joshi said. "I have been fortunate to have spent my research career at UCLA with supportive colleagues and staff and to have had continuous support from the Department of Energy. I have worked with many generations of brilliant students and researchers whose effort is being recognized by this election to the National Academy of Engineering."

Joshi, who received his Ph.D. from Hull University in the United Kingdom, came to UCLA in 1980 as a researcher after a postdoctoral appointment at the National Research Council Canada. He has been a full professor in the electrical engineering department since 1989.

Joshi has received numerous previous awards for his work, including the American Physical Society's James Clerk Maxwell Prize and Excellence in Plasma Physics Award, the IEEE's Particle Accelerator Science and Technology Award, the USPAS Prize for Accelerator Physics and Technology, and the AAC Prize for Advanced Accelerator Concepts. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, IEEE and the Institute of Physics. He is also the recipient of the Distinguished Engineering Educator Award from the Engineers' Council.

Alan N. Willson Jr. was recognized by the academy for "contributions to the theory and applications of digital signal processing."

Among other accomplishments, Wilson has played an important role in the field of circuits and systems. He and his students have been responsible for cutting-edge research in theory and application of digital signal processing (including very large scale integration, or VLSI, implementations), digital filter design and nonlinear circuit theory.

Willson received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Syracuse University in 1967. He worked first for IBM and then at Bell Laboratories before joining the UCLA faculty in 1973. He was named full professor in 1976 and, while continuing his teaching and research, served as the school of engineering's assistant dean for graduate studies from 1977 to 1981 and associate dean from 1987 to 2001.

He retired from full-time teaching last year but is continuing his affiliation with UCLA through a three-year appointment as research professor.
Among the many notable honors Willson has received are the Vitold Belevitch Award from the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society, the IEEE Leon K. Kirchmayer Graduate Teaching Award, and the George Westinghouse Award from the American Society for Engineering Education. He is the only person to have twice received the W.R.G. Baker Prize Paper Award for best paper published in all IEEE journals, transactions and magazines. He holds numerous patents through his company, Pentomics, and has contributed valuable technology to industrial clients.

Willson said his NAE election caps a wonderful career.

"Credit for whatever I've contributed to the engineering field truly and equally belongs to those who have taught me so much, starting with my high school teachers at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, my instructors, fellow students, mentors and colleagues at Georgia Tech, Syracuse, IBM, Bell Labs and UCLA, and, of course, my own students, who have enriched my academic and intellectual pursuits enormously and have gone on to accomplish so much in their own careers," he said.NAE


RE-printed from UCLA Engineering Newsroom, February 6, 2014

Daily Bruin Feature


News Item Mercury Detection by Use of a Mobile Phone by Professor Ozcan and his Research Group

AydoganOzcanProfessor Aydogan Ozcan and his research group have extended the use of the mobile phone for detecting environmental contamination specifically to a heavy metal element, mercury.  Mercury has specific intrinsic qualities essential to applications in science, medicine and cosmetics but when mishandled can be extremely toxic. 

In their research, they introduce a smart phone capable of quantifying mercury (II) ions in water samples with parts per billion level of sensitivity.  By integrating an opto-mechanical device to the built-in camera of a smart phone, it can digitally calculate the concentration of mercury using a plasmonic gold nanoparticle (Au NP) and aptamer based colorimetric transmission assay implemented in disposable test tubes.  The device uses a two-color ratiometric method employing light-emitting diodes (LEDs) at 523 and 625 nm.  A custom smart phone application processes the acquired transmission image.  

This latest advancement will out-weigh today’s massive and costly analytical equipment in terms of portability, speed in processing and transmission of information and cost-effectiveness.  Professor Ozcan’s research has been working around this theme in improving the accessibility to innovative apparatus in addressing challenges in measurement science and global health.

This research study entitled, “Detection and Spatial Mapping of Mercury Contamination in Water Samples Using a Smart-Phone” is published in ACS Nano and appears in the Nature's research highlights section.  Ozcan_505589a




News Item Adjunct Professor Eli Yablonovitch is Selected for the 2014 Rank Prize

Yablonovitch, EliAdjunct Professor Eli Yablonovitch has been selected for the Rank Prize for year 2014.  His award is for the idea that strained semiconductor lasers would have superior performance due to reduced valence band (hole) effective mass.  Almost all semiconductor lasers use this concept, including for DVD players, for the ubiquitous red laser pointers, and for optical communication, including most internet mouse clicks.

During his tenure at UCLA as a regular faculty, Professor Yablonovith received his election to the National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences both in 2003.  His research focus since then was on optoelectronics, high speed optical communications, nano-cavity lasers, photonic crystals at optical and microwave frequencies, quantum computing and communication.  In recent years, he was honored with other prestigious awards both in the US and abroad.  In 2012, he received the IEEE Photonics Award, the Harvey Prize in Israel, and election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. 

Among the latest one is the 2013 election as a foreign member of the Royal Society of London.


The Rank Prize is a charitable organization based in the United Kingdom founded by Lord Rank with a mission to recognize exceptional research studies and reward brilliant minds for perseverance and innovative work.  The Rank Foundation gives primary focus on the subjects of nutrition and optoelectronics which were Lord Rank’s business interests: flour milling and the film industry.RankPrize_minus





News Item Q&A: John Villasenor, UCLA Professor at the Intersection of Technology and Policy

John VillasenorQ&A: John Villasenor, UCLA Professor at the Intersection of Technology and Policy

UCLA professor John Villasenor is an electrical engineer who teaches in the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Luskin School of Public Affairs. He is also a widely published writer on the intersection of technology and public policy, having written columns about drones, privacy and intellectual property, among other topics.
In an edited Q&A, UCLA Today’s Mike Fricano recently asked Villasenor how he became an expert in the public policy aspects of technology and why engineers should be part of that conversation.
What’s your research specialty?
My work involves information. I’m interested in how it gets acquired, measured, processed, stored, secured and moved from one place to another. I’m interested not only in the engineering aspects of information processing, but also in the broader societal impacts, including the policy and legal questions that get raised as computing and communications technologies continue to advance.
Specific areas I’ve been studying over the last few years include cybersecurity, virtual currencies and emerging payment methods, cloud computing, drones, wireless mobile devices, medical imaging, digital media processing and digital copyright policy. This might initially look like a grab bag of unrelated topics, but there is a connection: Each one ties directly to information.

What drove you to explore this intersection of technology and public policy?
People often express surprise when I tell them I have faculty appointments in both engineering and public policy, but to me it’s an obvious combination. So many of the systems and devices that engineers spend time designing and building have such a profound impact on the broader culture. Every day in the news there are stories that involve technology public policy. I find it surprising that there aren’t more people with engineering backgrounds working at this intersection.

What do engineers add to the conversation?
The technology policy questions we’re facing these days are really hard. If we’re going to solve them, it’s important to have people with technological expertise at the table. We already have very valuable engagement on these questions from legislators, legal scholars, economists and others. People with engineering training can add to the discussion by bringing a set of complementary perspectives.

How did you end up becoming involved in the Luskin School of Public Affairs?
Back in 2011 I approached the department of public policy in the Luskin school and expressed my interest in creating and teaching a new course on technology public policy. It’s an area that I considered to be extremely important and where I wanted to contribute. Professor Al Carnesale, who has been on the public policy faculty since stepping down as chancellor, was also interested, so he and I teamed together to create the course. We’re now teaching it for the third time.
In addition, I’ve also broadened my engagement beyond teaching. This academic year I helped launch a new program in the Luskin Center for Innovation called the Digital Technologies Initiative. As part of that initiative, we’ve held a series of very successful panel sessions on topics including “The Future of Digital Music Delivery,” “Digital Media in the Age of the Cloud” and “Crowdsourcing, Paywalls, and the Future of News.” Later this academic year we’re hosting panels on preventing technology-facilitated exploitation and on creating a digitally fluent workforce. These panels are providing an opportunity for students, faculty, companies and others to interact with some of the country’s top experts on these important topics.

What classes do you teach?
This year, I’m teaching in three different schools at UCLA. During the fall, I taught a graduate-level electrical engineering course, “Digital Image Processing,” addressing the mathematical and computational frameworks involved in image representation and communications. When I first created and taught the course back in the early 1990s, there weren’t a lot of digital images. Today, they are everywhere, so the things we cover in the course are particularly relevant to the devices and systems we all now use to access digital media.
This quarter, I’m co-teaching a science and technology public policy course in the Luskin School with professor Carnesale. As I told the students recently, it might be the most diverse course on campus in terms of students represented. We’ve got students from public affairs, law, management, engineering, medicine and the College of Letters and Science. We cover a set of critically important topics, including digital privacy, climate change, drones, cybersecurity, nuclear proliferation and genetic testing. Many of these topics are in the news on a nearly daily basis, so the context for the course is literally evolving as the quarter progresses.
In the spring, I’ll be teaching a course in the UCLA Anderson School of Management called “Intellectual Property for Technology Entrepreneurs and Managers.” We’ll be covering the four categories of intellectual property — patents, copyright, trademarks and trade secrets — with specific emphasis on their application to technology products and markets. The course is designed to provide technology managers with the tools to formulate intellectual property strategies appropriate for a globalized marketplace.
How did you get into writing for broader interest publications such as The Atlantic, Fast Company, Forbes and Slate?
Academics spend a lot of time writing highly technical articles for highly specialized journals. With rare exceptions, those publications are read by very small numbers of people. If you want to contribute to the larger dialogue, you’ve got to publish in venues with a more diversified audience.

What’s been the most rewarding part about doing so much writing?
Interestingly, I find that writing for a general readership is actually harder and in many ways more interesting than writing for academic audiences. People who read academic articles are typically specialists. They already know most of the background and context, so they’re better prepared to fill in gaps in the narrative.
By contrast, non-specialist readers are much less forgiving in that respect. If you are writing about a complex concept for non-specialists, you have to make sure that you present it in a way that retains some of its complexity while also being accessible to people who may not have years of training in your particular discipline. I’ve found that to be a very challenging task. But, it’s also a rewarding one.

Re-printed from UCLA Today,  January 21, 2014, Article by Mike Fricano

News Item Asst. Professor Rob Candler Receives an NSF Career Award

Robert CandlerAssistant Professor Rob Candler received an NSF Career Award for his research entitled, “Microscale Magnetic Devices for Next Generation Coherent X-Ray Sources”.  The research will set a new standard for the next generation of coherent x-ray sources, with the ultimate goal of enabling broad access to high-speed, phase contrast x-ray imaging for use in science and medicine.  By examining the fundamental limits of electron beam focusing and high-energy photon generation, the team will create a new state of the art in high-strength quadrupoles and intense-field, short-period undulators, which will be used to create an x-ray free electron laser with unmatched brightness among small-scale light sources.

The project incorporates an educational outreach component for underrepresented students in engineering through a design challenge that will allow students to explore 3-dimensional printing for engineering applications.

Professor Candler’s research interests in MEMS and NEMS devices span a range of areas, including fundamental energy dissipation in nanomechanical resonators, microscale electromagnets, multiferroics, and 3D printing for microfluidics.  In recent years, he was also awarded the Northrop Grumman Excellence in Teaching Award and the Army Research Office Young Investigator Award.




News Item Dr. Mohammad Asghari and Professor Bahram Jalali Won the Best Paper Award at the 2013 IEEE ISSPIT

Bahram JalaliDr. Mohammad Asghari and Prof. Bahram Jalali Won the Best Paper Award at the 2013 IEEE International Symposium on Signal Processing and Information Technology for the paper entitled, “Anamorphic Transform and its Application to time-bandwidth compression.” 

Professor Jalali and his team created an entirely new method of doing data compression. The new technique warps or reshapes the signal carrying the data in a fashion resembling the graphic art technique known as anamorphism.  The transformation causes the signal to be reshaped in such a way that sharp features are stretched more than coarse features. Upon subsequent sampling, this Feature Selective Stretch causes more digital samples to be allocated to sharp features where they are needed the most, and fewer to coarse features where they would be redundant.

The 2013 IEEE ISSPIT was held back in December 2013 in Athens, Greece.  The global conference is supported by the IEEE Signal Processing Society which covers subjects on mathematical, statistical, computational and other methods to enable generation, transformation, extraction and interpretation of information and signals. IEEE_SignalProcessing




News Item Professor Bahram Jalali is Elected Fellow of SPIE

Bahram JalaliProfessor Bahram Jalali is elected Fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers for his achievements in silicon photonics, opto-electronics and optical measurement science.  Hi s research on world’s fastest camera for real-time detection of extremely rare cells holds promise for cancer treatment and drug discovery.

SPIE is the premiere international photonics society which serves scientists and engineers in industry, academia, and government working in a wide variety of fields that utilize some aspect of optics and photonics, the science and application of light.  They are honoring 76 new Fellows to the society this year.  UCLA EE Department boasts with two members of its faculty included in the roster; the other elected fellow is Distinguished Professor C. K. Patel.

Professor Jalali and his research team will be presenting applications of their high-speed imaging system at the 2014 SPIE Photonics West Conference in San Francisco, CA.




News Item Distinguished Professor C. Kumar Patel is Elected Fellow of SPIE

Patel_Kumar_CurrentDistinguished Professor C. Kumar Patel is elected Fellow of the Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers for achievements in development of gas lasers and high resolution spectroscopy.  Professor Patel’s field of interest lies in the areas of condensed matter physics, especially the structure and dynamics of “interesting systems,” broadly defined; spectroscopic techniques and detection methods; development of high power laser systems including quantum cascade lasers.
SPIE is the premiere international photonics society which serves scientists and engineers in industry, academia, and government working in a wide variety of fields that utilize some aspect of optics and photonics, the science and application of light.  They are honoring 76 new Fellows to the society this year.  UCLA EE Department boasts with two members of its faculty included in the roster; the other elected fellow is Professor Bahram Jalali.





News Item Distinguished Professor Asad M. Madni Awarded the Inaugural Electrical Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award

asad_madniThe UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Electrical Engineering Department awarded the inaugural Electrical Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award to Distinguished Adjunct Professor Asad M. Madni "For his visionary leadership and pioneering contributions to the electrical sciences and engineering that have brought great honor to the department and to the school.”  The award was presented on December 11, 2013 at the EE Annual Research Review (ARR) where he also delivered the inaugural Distinguished Alumnus Lecture entitled, “Convergence of Emerging Technologies to Address the Challenges of the 21st Century."



News Item UCLA IEEE Student Branch is Selected for the 2014 IEEE Region 6 Outstanding Student Branch

For two years in a row, the UCLA IEEE Student Branch has been selected for the IEEE Region 6 Outstanding Student Branch for 2014.  The Region 6 of IEEE encompasses 10 states in the Western third of the US, plus parts of Wyoming and New Mexico (including Phoenix). The awards ceremony will take place at San Jose Garden Hotel, San Jose, CA on February 1, 2014.

“The school is proud of the amazing feat our IEEE students have been doing and receiving the award two years in a row is quite an accomplishment,” shares Prof. Ethan Wang, academic advisor.

“Once again, the world recognizes what an extraordinary group of people you all are.   Another remarkable achievement,” says Dr. Mike Briggs, academic advisor.

The UCLA IEEE has been actively hosting and competing in events such as the All America Micromouse, Natcar, ViaCar, Davis Cup, Website Competition and the Ethics Contest which they have won awards to.  The organization also conducts tutorials and other projects where they experience the fundamentals of electrical engineering.




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