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Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Carver MeadProfessor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, celebrated his 80th birthday on May 1, 2014. Professor Mead is best known for his pioneering work on VLSI (very-large-scale integration) circuit technology in the 1970s and 1980s, which made it possible to greatly increase the number of transistors placed on a single semiconductor chip. It is no exaggeration to say that the computer era we live in would not have been possible without VLSI technology. He remains as passionate today about science and engineering as he ever was. "There isn't really a time when you're too old to have new ideas," Mead says. [Caltech interview] [Share Your Memories] [ENGenious article] 05.02.14

Students in Professor Hillary Mushkin's new Hillary Mushkinmedia arts seminar (E/H/Art 89 New Media Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries) have put on a unique exhibition highlighting art and engineering. The course provides a platform for an expanded understanding of engineering and an active, project-based engagement with art history. [List of all projects] 05.02.14

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

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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

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

Dr. Sander Weinreb, Faculty Associate in Sander WeinrebElectrical Engineering, has received the American Astronomical Society (AAS) Joseph Weber Award for Astronomical Instrumentation. He was recognized for his seminal innovations that have helped define modern-day radio astronomy, including digital autocorrelation spectrometers and cryogenic low-noise amplifiers and mixers. Dr. Weinreb is also cited for providing outstanding leadership for radio-astronomy instrumentation, especially for the electronics system of the Very Large Array. His innovations have been utilized in all radio observatories and have enabled countless astronomical discoveries. [Past Recipients] 1.21.14

A recent New York Times' Science article Carver Meadabout a new computing approach based on the nervous system mentions Carver Mead, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus. The new processors used in this approach consist of electronic components that can be connected by wires that mimic biological synapses. Because they are based on large groups of neuron-like elements, they are known as neuromorphic processors, a term credited to Carver Mead, who pioneered the concept in the late 1980s. [New York Times Article] [ENGenious Article about Carver Mead] 1.06.14

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