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Caltech Electrical Engineering

EE at Caltech has a century-long record of excellence, innovation and training many distinguished leaders in the field. As a discipline, EE has had a huge impact on the technologies that define modern-day life and society. EE at Caltech emphasizes both the fundamentals of electronics and systems, as well as acknowledging the multi-disciplinary nature of the field. Closely allied with Computation and Neural Systems, Applied Physics, Bioengineering, Computer Science, and Control and Dynamical System, it offers students the opportunity for study and research, both theoretical and experimental, in a wide variety of subjects, including wireless systems, quantum electronics, modern optics, lasers and guided waves, solid-state materials and devices, bio-optics and bio-electronics, power and energy systems, control theory, learning systems, computational finance, signal processing, data compression, communications, parallel and distributed computing, fault-tolerant computing, and computational vision.

Substantial experimental laboratory facilities, housed mainly in the Moore Laboratory of Engineering, are associated with each of these research fields.

EE celebrated100 years!
Check out videos and slide show from the event.

bullet The Charles Wilts Prize is awarded every year to one EE graduate student for outstanding independent research in Electrical Engineering leading to a PhD. View a list of recipients.

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The first Caltech EE student to send the correct answer receives a $25 gift certificate for The Red Door. Send your answers to

Puzzle #1
Consider an infinite grid of 1-Ω resistors. Let's call the dimension of the grid n, where a 1-dimensional grid would be a line of resistors connected end-to-end, a 2-dimensional grid would be a rectangular array of resistors, where each resistor is connected at each end to three other resistors, a 3-dimensional grid would be a cubic lattice where each resistor is connected at end to five resistors, and so on.

What is the resistance that you would measure across a resistor, as a function on n? For the n = 1, it is just 1 Ω, but for higher n, the grid gives a parallel component that reduces the resistance that you would measure.

Hint: superposition

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In the News

Professor Babak Hassibi's students Kishore Jaganathan, and Christos Thrampoulidis as well Qualcommas Professor Pietro Perona's students Ron Appel, and Krzysztof Chalupka, have won the 2014 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. Jaganathan, and Thrampoulidis' proposal is entitled Interference Alignment via Matrix Completion for Cellular Networks and Network Coding. Appel, and Chalupka’s proposal is entitled Energy-Efficient Multiclass Classification for Visual Applications on Mobile Devices.  Each winner will receive a $100K fellowship. This year there were 137 submissions and only 9 winners have been announced. Caltech is the only school to have two winning teams. [List of Winners] 04.15.14

Ali Hajimiri, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Ali HajimiriElectrical Engineering, and colleagues have developed a new light-bending silicon chip that acts as a lens-free projector--and could one day end up in your cell phone. They were able to bypass traditional optics by manipulating the coherence of light—a property that allows the researchers to "bend" the light waves on the surface of the chip without lenses or the use of any mechanical movement. [Caltech Release] 03.11.14

Amnon Yariv, Martin and Eileen Summerfield Professor of Applied Physics and Professor of Amnon YarivElectrical Engineering, and his group have developed a new laser that has the potential to increase by orders of magnitude the rate of data transmission in the optical-fiber network—the backbone of the Internet. "What became the prime motivator for our project was that the present-day laser designs have an internal architecture which is unfavorable for high spectral-purity operation. This is because they allow a large and theoretically unavoidable optical noise to comingle with the coherent laser and thus degrade its spectral purity," Professor Yariv describes. [Caltech Release] 02.27.14

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William Bridges, Carl F Braun Professor of William BridgesEngineering, Emeritus, discovered and patented the Argon ion laser on February 14, 1964, while at Hughes Research Laboratories. Today noble gas (argon, krypton, xenon) lasers are used in a variety of applications including DNA sequencers, cell sorters, eye surgery, and laser light shows. Professor Bridges' research work with lasers involved an airborne night reconnaissance system (AN/AVD-3), space communications systems, early high power laser weapons (the carbon dioxide gas dynamic laser), and hydrogen maser clocks for the global positioning system. He also holds the patent for the Ionized Noble Gas Laser. [Oral History of Prof. Bridges] 02.21.14

Venkat Chandrasekaran, Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Electrical Engineering, has been awarded the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his 5-year project, "Computational and Statistical Tradeoffs in Massive Data Analysis". The CAREER program is NSF's most prestigious awards for junior faculty members. The level and 5-year duration of the awards are designed to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding teacher-scholars. Awardees are chosen because they exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. 01.27.14

   last update: 04/15/2014
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