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Ali Hajimiri, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Ali HajimiriElectrical Engineering, and Postdoctoral Scholar in Electrical Engineering, Kaushik Sengupta, have developed tiny inexpensive silicon microchips that generate terahertz (THz) waves that fall into a largely untapped region of the electromagnetic spectrum and that can penetrate a host of materials without the ionizing damage of X-rays. When incorporated into handheld devices, the new microchips could enable a broad range of applications in fields ranging from homeland security to wireless communications to health care, and even touchless gaming. "This extraordinary level of creativity, which has enabled imaging in the terahertz frequency range, is very much in line with Caltech's long tradition of innovation in the area of CMOS technology," says Chair Ares Rosakis. "Caltech engineers, like Ali Hajimiri, truly work in an interdisciplinary way to push the boundaries of what is possible." [Caltech Release] 12.10.12

Hyuck Choo, Assistant Professor of Electrical Hyuck ChooEngineering, and Postdoctoral Scholar Myung-Ki Kim have invented a light-focusing device that may lead to applications in computing, communications, and imaging. This new kind of waveguide is made of amorphous silicon dioxide and is covered in a thin layer of gold. Just under two microns long, the device is a rectangular box that tapers to a point at one end. With the new device, light can ultimately be focused in three dimensions, producing a point a few nanometers across, and using half of the light that's sent through, Choo says. (Focusing the light into a slightly bigger spot, 14 by 80 nanometers in size, boosts the efficiency to 70 percent). The key feature behind the device's focusing ability and efficiency, he says, is its unique design and shape. [Caltech Release and Video] 12.10.12

Azita Emami is an expert in the 21st century Azita Emami technology of analog and digital circuits for computers, sensors, and other applications, so when she came to Caltech in 2007, she never imagined that she would be incorporating in her research an art form that originated centuries ago. But origami—the Japanese art of paper folding—could play a critical role in her project to design an artificial retina, which may one day help thousands of blind and visually impaired people regain their vision. [Caltech Feature] 11.20.12

Joel W. Burdick, Richard L. and Dorothy M. Hayman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Bioengineering, and Yu-Chong Tai, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, are developing new technologies to expand their research which has enabled a paraplegic man to stand and move his legs voluntarily. The team has until now used intelligent guesswork to determine which stimuli might work best. But soon, using a new algorithm developed by Professor Burdick, they will be able to rely on a computer to determine the optimum stimulation levels, based on the patient's response to previous stimuli. This would allow patients to go home after the extensive rehab process with a system that could be continually adjusted by computer. [Caltech Release] 10.29.12

For the third year the Times Higher Education world university rankings has ranked Caltech as number one in engineering and technology. [View Rankings] [Caltech Feature] 10.04.12

Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and colleagues have shown that the distance Pietro Peronaat which facial photos are taken influences perception. Their study found that close-up photo subjects are judged to look less trustworthy, less competent, and less attractive. [Caltech Release] 09.27.12

Changhuei Yang, Professor of Electrical Changhuei YangEngineering and Bioengineering, and colleagues Ying Min Wang and Benjamin Judkewitz have developed a new method to focus light inside biological tissue. "It enables the possibilities of doing incision-less surgery," says Professor Yang. "By generating a tight laser-focus spot deep in tissue, we can potentially use that as a laser scalpel that leaves the skin unharmed." [Caltech Press Release] 06.27.12

Mohammad Amin Khajehnejad and Ching-Chih Weng are the winners of this year's Charles Wilts Prize. The Charles Wilts Prize is awarded every year to one EE graduate student for outstanding independent research in electrical engineering leading to a PhD. 06.15.12

Applied Physics graduate student, Peter Hung, along with Electrical Engineering undergraduate students Julie Jester, Jeff Sherman, and Sean Keenan, worked with a team of engineering students from across the country to create a one-of-a-kind machine for sharing a Coke. [Read More] 06.15.12

Michelle Effros, Professor of Electrical Michelle EffrosEngineering, and information theorist colleagues have begun to tackle the difficult problem of calculating capacities for large communication networks such as the internet and mobile phone networks. In two recent publications, they introduce techniques useful for improving the performance of current communication networks and for designing the networks of the future. By demonstrating where current technology falls short of what's possible, these techniques provide a new tool for strategically guiding research and development. [Read the Publications] 06.04.12

Pietro Perona, Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, Pietro Perona and colleagues including graduate student, Peter Welinder, have been selected for the Innovation Corps (i-Corps) program of the National Science Foundation (NSF). The aim of the i-Corps program, which was highlighted by the NSF Director at a recent Wouk Lecture, is to guide promising research with commercial potential out of university laboratories. The winning Caltech proposal is entitled "Combining Machine Vision and Crowdsourcing for Convenient and Accurate Image Annotation." The team has proposed to combine the complementary strengths of human annotators and machines into a hybrid system that would annotate a large body of images which would be a valuable in scientific, medical, as well as many commercial applications. [Video of Wouk Lecture] 04.13.12

Hardy C. Martel, Professor of Electrical Hardy MartelEngineering, emeritus, passed away on March 29 at his home in Altadena. He was 85. "He was one of the first at Caltech to do research on information science and communications technology," says Roy Gould, the Simon Ramo Professor of Engineering, Emeritus, a lifelong friend and colleague of Martel. "His strength was in his basic, intuitive grasp of ideas and how things worked." [Caltech Feature]

Yaser S. Abu-Mostafa, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will be Yaser S. Abu-Mostafadelivering lectures for his Learning From Data class live on Caltech's Ustream channel beginning April 3, 2012."The idea is that if people in the furthest reaches of the world want to learn the material and have the discipline to go through it, we are giving them the opportunity to experience this course in real time," Abu-Mostafa says. "We will be interested to see how this experiment goes." [Caltech Feature] 03.30.12

Electrical Engineering alumni Mark H. Kryder (MS ’66, PhD ’70), and Simon Ramo (PhD ’36) are to receive the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award, which is the highest honor the Institute bestows upon its graduates. [Caltech Feature] [EE Centennial Video of Kryder] [Past Recipients] 03.19.12

Third place in the 2012 Intellectual Ventures Invention Competition and $10,000 went to senior Alexander Hu and graduate students Steven Bowers, Kaushik Dasgupta, and Kaushik Sengupta. Drawing inspiration from the biological world and the ability of living things to heal wounds, they designed a circuit with its own fully integrated system for self-healing.  This group was mentored by Ali Hajimiri, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering. [Caltech Feature] 03.16.12

Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Carver MeadProfessor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, has been awarded the Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the category of Information and Communication Technologies. He was recognized for being "the most influential thinker and pioneer" of the silicon age and for enabling "the development of the billion-transistor processors that drive the electronic devices—for example, in laptops, tablets, smartphones, DVD players—ubiquitous in our daily lives." [BBVA Release]

Hyuck Choo, Dennis Kochmann, and Austin Minnich focus on quite differentchallenges, but they all home in on the nanoscale. "Caltech and EAS take pride in lowering the barriers between disciplines to create collaborative environments for researchers such as Hyuck, Dennis, and Austin to work on a variety of topics including understanding and predicting behavior of materials at the nanoscale, which already is an area of strength within EAS," says Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering; Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science. [Caltech Feature]

P. P. Vaidyanathan, Professor of P.P. VaidyanathanElectrical Engineering, has been selected to receive the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Society Education Award. This award honors educators who have made pioneering and significant contributions to signal processing education. Nominees are judged by a career of meritorious achievement in signal processing education as exemplified by writing of scholarly books and texts, course materials, and papers on education; inspirational and innovative teaching; creativity in the development of new curricula and methodology. [Learn more about Professor Vaidyanathan] 01.03.12

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