November 2013
Letter from the Editor
Pritpal Singh

Pritpal Singh, 
Villanova University

Dear ECE Colleagues,

As you know, the tag line for IEEE is "Technology to Benefit Humanity." The recent third IEEE Humanitarian Technology Conference had a wide range of papers including ones on renewable energy applications in remote locations, communications technologies for use in a variety of humanitarian applications, including disaster relief, as well as technologies to benefit the disabled. The first feature article is an update on a paper that I presented at this conference on a tele-health system that uses basic cell phones to improve the quality of health care provided to rural communities in Nicaragua.  
>> Read more
Current Views
Barry Sullivan
Barry Sullivan, ECEDHA
A Long Time Coming

I have seen a point made with a series of then-and-now images several times recently. The images themselves vary, but the message is always the same. The first few pairs of images show how technology has evolved since the beginning of the 20th Century in key sectors, such as communications and transportation. Then the final two images appear: a college classroom scene from a hundred years ago paired with a view of a modern lecture hall.

The point is obvious. In stark contrast to the other examples of leveraging technology to achieve dramatic advances in the way we live, not much has changed in the way we teach, an especially ironic message when the target audience is made up of engineering educators. >> Read more
Featured Articles
Improving access to health care in rural communities around Waslala, Nicaragua using low-cost telecommunications technology
By Pritpal Singh, Professor and Chairman, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Villanova University, Villanova, PA, USA
Maria Virginia Moncada, Professor and Head, Department of Electron. Engineering, Universidad Nacional Ingeneria, Managua, Nicaragua
This paper presents a telemedicine application project in rural communities surrounding the town of Waslala, Nicaragua. In terms of infrastructure, many of these communities do not have electricity, clean water and access to internet and cell phone access is limited. There are very few health posts in these rural communities with limited qualified health care staff. The national health system is complemented by a network of community health workers (CHWs) who face multiple challenges and constraints to carry out their tasks. The project aims to support the work of the CHWs in each community. >> Read more
Software Licensing in the University Environment
By Katharine Ku, Director, Office of Technology Licensing, Stanford University
The Intellectual Property Conundrum of Software

Universities have been wrestling with the intellectual property conundrum of software. Is software more like a textbook, where the copyright is traditionally owned by the faculty author? Or is software more like an invention, whose idea is protectable by a patent? University faculty are not of like mind. Many electrical engineers who write code feel that software is just another means of performing a particular function, an extension of hardware. Many computer scientists think of code as a form of personal expression, much like words are to a write. All would probably agree that the line between patents and copyrights is blurry when it comes to software. >> Read more
ECE in the News
MIT's President: Better, More Affordable Colleges Start Online
By L. Rafael Reif (September 26, 2013, TIME U.S.)
Everyone would like a solution to the problem of rising college costs. While students worry that they cannot afford a college education, U.S. colleges and universities know they cannot really afford to educate them either.  >> Read more 
College Engineering Programs Focus on Hands-on Learning
By Margaret Loftus (September 30, 2013, US News & World Report)
Like many students who excel in high school math, Victoria
Messerschmidt gravitated toward engineering in college on the advice
of her guidance counselor, though she wasn't entirely sure what
engineers do or what studying to be one would entail.  >> Read more
ASU Studying How Online Learning Can Be As Appealing As Facebook
By Hayley Ringle (October 9, 2013, Phoenix Business Journal)

A unique Arizona State University pilot research study is looking at how students use and engage with Facebook to find parallels to new ways of learning techniques for online classes. The goal is to make learning as intrinsic and motivating to students as Facebook is, said Robert Atkinson, associate professor and principal investigator who is leading the study.

>> Read more

Google Uses Minecraft To Teach Quantum Physics Rules
By Jeremy Hsu (October 22, 2013, IEEE Spectrum)
Google thinks it can get kids hooked on the wacky world of quantum physics early on by using the popular game Minecraft. The Internet giant has unveiled a game mod designed to help millions of Minecraft players become familiar with the strangeness of quantum physics rules that appear to defy reality. >> Read more

Who Applied to Georgia Tech's New Master's Program?
(October 31, 2013, Inside Higher Ed)

The Georgia Institute of Technology has in 20 days received almost 1,000 more applications for its low-cost online master's degree than it does in a year for its residential program, according to data released by the university. >> Read more

Special Announcement
Agilent to Host "Technology Showcase Tour" at
2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo

Agilent Technologies will host a special session for ECEDHA members at the company's Santa Rosa facility on Sunday, March 23, 2014.




Agilent has a rich history of collaboration with universities around the world, and continues to invest in research partnerships that accelerate measurement technologies. Agilent leaders and industry experts will describe the company's latest research interests, provide tours of state-of-the-art laboratories in Santa Rosa, and offer a networking session highlighting some of Agilent's most successful university collaborations.




The event will conclude with a wine tasting social and a "meet and greet" session with recent graduates, who will share their experiences transitioning from academia to the business world. Enjoy a ride through the picturesque Napa and Sonoma areas with ECE colleagues and friends -- bus transportation, box lunches, and raffle prizes will be part of the event. Be sure to sign up early as space is limited.


Registration for the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo will open mid-November. Watch your email for details!


>> Download the Agilent Tech Center Brochure

Upcoming ECE Webinars
Making sense out of the "flipped" campus with new approaches to hands-on labs
November 12, 2013     11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET
The so-called "flipped" campus prescribes that mechanical details of engineering concepts be learned independently while classroom experience be focused on application of core concepts. This webinar presents the case that modern interpretations of traditional undergraduate labs offer a great opportunity for schools to efficiently flip their classrooms and trigger improvements in education and research.



Modeling of Capacitive and Restrictive Devices
December 10, 2013     11:00 am PT / 2:00 pm ET

This webinar introduces multiphysics simulation for modeling devices such as resistors, capacitors, insulation layers, electrostatic actuators, and resistive and capacitive sensors. Learn best practices for modeling common multiphysics effects such as cooling air flow, thermal expansion, and Joule heating, in addition to the electromechanical couplings often observed in sensors and actuators.


Corporate Features
ECE Spotlight Sessions
Captured live at the 2013 ECEDHA Annual Conference, ECE Spotlight Sessions offer the opportunity to view short corporate presentations and to learn more about what these companies can offer you.
Featured ECE Spotlight Sessions:
Digilent ECE Spotlight: Makers are Learners

Clint Cole, President, Digilent

Larissa Swanland, University Manager, Texas Instruments
ECEDHA Perspectives
ECEDHA Perspectives offer in-depth interviews with leading industry executives.
Featured ECEDHA Perspective:

     Ian Burgess
    Development Manager, Higher  

    Mentor Graphics


Produced by: 

In This Issue
Calendar of Events
November 12, 2013
ECE Webinar: Making sense out of the "flipped" campus with new approaches to hands-on labs
Sponsored by: Quanser
>> Register Today!
November 15, 2013
ECEDHA Annual Survey OPEN for collection
December 10, 2013
ECE Webinar: Modeling of Capacitive and Resistive Devices
Sponsored by: COMSOL
January 15, 2014
ECEDHA Annual Survey CLOSES for collection (all responses due)
March 21, 2014
Online Education and Distributed Learning Workshop
Presented at the 2014 ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 21, 2014
Presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo
March 21-25, 2014
The Meritage Resort & Spa
Napa, California
2013 ECEDHA Membership Renewal
2013 ECEDHA membership renewal for ECEDHA department heads is now underway. ECEDHA membership runs on a calendar year beginning January 1 - December 31.
If you have not yet renewed your 2013 membership, please do so today online.
For questions, please contact Michelle Klein at or 312-559-3724.
ECEDHA Annual Survey Opening Soon!
The ECEDHA Annual Survey will open for data collection beginning November 15, 2013.
Please watch your email for important information on how to participate. Please note that you must have renewed your 2013 ECEDHA membership in order to be eligible for participation.
ECEDHA Awards - Now Accepting Nominations!
ECEDHA is now accepting nominations for its 2013 Awards. Nominations are due January 1, 2014 and will be presented at the ECEDHA Annual Conference and ECExpo in March. View more details.
Outstanding Leadership and Service Award
Innovative Program Award
Diversity Award
2013 NSF Workshop on Future Directions in Wireless Networking
ECEDHA was pleased to assist NSF in the execution of its Workshop in Future Directions in Wireless Networking, held November 4-5 in Arlington, VA.
The focus of this workshop was to allow wireless networking researchers the opportunity to discuss future research and education agenda in this field and provide input to the National Science Foundation, specifically to the Networking Technologies and Systems (NeTS) program.
ECEDHA Member and Partner News
NSF ECCS Extension of Unsolicited Proposal Submission Deadline

The Electrical, Communications and Cyber Systems (ECCS) Division consists of three clusters: Communications, Circuits, and Sensing-Systems (CCSS); Electronics, Photonics, and Magnetic Devices (EPMD); and Energy, Power, and Adaptive Systems (EPAS). They all accept unsolicited proposals between October 1st and November 1st, annually.

Due to the recent Federal Government shutdown, ECCS is extending its Unsolicited Proposal Submission Deadline for CCSS, EPMD and EPAS programs to Friday, November 8th, 2013.

2014-2015 IEEE-USA Government Fellowships: Enabling Science, Technology & Engineering Professionals to Work With and Advise Government Policymakers


IEEE-USA's Government Fellowships provide an opportunity for IEEE-USA members to provide expertise to the U.S government and learn firsthand about the public policy process through personal involvement.


Each year, IEEE-USA sponsors four (4) qualified IEEE members to serve as government fellows: one Engineering & Diplomacy Fellow; one Engineering & International Development Fellow; and two Congressional fellows.  The fellows spend a year in Washington - from September to August each year - serving as advisers to key U.S. Department of State or U.S. Agency for International Development decision-makers, or the U.S. Congress.


>> View More Details 

2014 Washington Internships for Students of Engineering (WISE)


Applications **Due 31 December 2013**
IEEE seeks applications from exceptional engineering students who display evidence of leadership skills and have a keen interest in public policy.  Each year, outstanding engineering students are selected to spend nine weeks in Washington, D.C., learning about the public policy process, including how government officials make decisions on complex technological issues and how engineers can contribute to legislative and regulatory public policy decisions.  All application forms are online at:

IEEE Global Early Career Faculty Development (ECFD) Virtual Mini-Conference


The IEEE Global Early Career Faculty Development (ECFD) Virtual Mini-Conference is a new resource specifically designed to meet the professional needs of new faculty members. Offered as a series of three virtual mini-conferences, the first session "Launching a Successful Faculty Career," is scheduled for 15 November, 10 am to 2 pm EST. Through sessions devoted to developing a career plan, effective teaching and conducting research; featuring an array of recognized experts in the field; participants will leave with important tips and new competencies.  

The sessions are devoted to providing early career faculty with information they can put into action immediately, that will enable them to become more effective educators.  The mini-conference format makes use of a new virtual platform allowing attendees to participate from their home or office.  


>> View more information

IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) Seeks IEEE Members to serve as Program Evaluators for Accreditation Activities

The IEEE Educational Activities Board (EAB) seeks qualified professionals from industry, government and academic sectors to serve as Program Evaluators to assist in accrediting Engineering and Engineering Technology Programs at USA colleges for the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission (ETAC) of ABET, Inc.

IEEE evaluator candidates are required for the following ABET-accredited programs:

* Computer Engineering and Computer Engineering Technology
* Electrical Engineering and Electrical and Electronic Engineering Technology
* Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology
* Information Engineering Technology
* Telecommunications Engineering Technology

Applications are due by 8 November 2013 for the 2014-2015 academic year. Applications are reviewed during the January 2014 IEEE meetings. Accepted or declined notification will be sent to the applicants by 1 April 2014.

Both EAC and ETAC Nomination and Application forms are available at the ABET website:

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