Spring 2016

In the News
EE and CE jump ahead in U.S. News & World Report's Best Graduate Schools 2017 edition
Gorilla and human Y chromosomes are highly similar

Town hall meetings give students a voice MORE 
Metamaterial-enabled antennas help improve satellite communication systems MORE
Shiny fish skin inspires nanoscale light reflectors MORE
Gegelia combines automotive passion with energy efficiency in EcoCAR competition MORE
New Horizons flight controller spoke at alma mater MORE   
Media Mentions

McDaniel explains smartphone privacy case to local TV station  MORE 

THON tech captain contributed to committee while dancing MORE 

Advanced Electronic Materials features Werner's work with metamaterial antennae MORE 
Computer science junior's coding skills lands him a job with Amazon
Penn State researchers focus work on a "third eye" MORE 

Business Insider lists Penn State among top 15 places to study computer science MORE

Computer science alum creates Tally, the robot that knows what's on store shelves MORE 
Building a balanced scientist MORE

EE junior joins local band that rocks out for charity fest benefiting THON MORE  
Recognitions and Awards

Smith wins test of time award for paper MORE
Brubaker receives scholarship to study in Japan MORE 
McDaniel named Association for Computing Machinery Fellow MORE  

Collins and Giebink honored for teaching excellence  MORE  

Kavehrad selected as IEEE Distinguished Lecturer MORE 
Thakur awarded prestigious fellowship for Ph.D. students

Alumni News

Alumnus Sheldon Kennedy named IEEE Fellow MORE 
Kaylyn Gilbilterra makes
Bisnow list of Power Women in DC Tech MORE 
Alumni News items can be sent to rac29@engr.psu.edu
Please send alumni email updates to Cathy Schultz at  

Upcoming Events
April 18: Silicon Happy Valley
April 29: Classes End
May 6-8: Commencement
About this month's cover photo:
Students work in the Systems Design Lab in the Department of Electrical Engineering in EECS.   

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Learn more about this issue's cover photo.

New major prepares next generation of data scientists 
A new inter-college major meets growing demand for data scientists  
As part of the Amazon Prime Air team, the drones-delivering-packages project, Brigid Smith sees the benefit of the data sciences classes she took as a graduate student in computer science and engineering. Smith was using graphs to correlate related objects during object recognition. That is, she was using data science to keep track of objects we tend to see in order to prioritize looking for them as we detect more and more objects.

"While my professional experience has been almost entirely within this hardware-focused space, the data sciences as a concept is a very in-demand field," said Smith, a 2015 CSE graduate. "Having that background has been very useful. Prime Air is a team comprised of people from disciplines from aerospace to mechanical engineering, so having a wider breadth of knowledge has helped me be more comfortable in such a varied team."

Because of the growing demand for data scientists, The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is now offering data sciences as an undergraduate major in collaboration with the College of Information Sciences and Technology, and the Department of Statistics in the Eberly College of Science. Approved by the Penn State Board of Trustees in February, the data sciences major will be available in the summer.

CSE professor honored for excellence in research and leadership
Patrick McDaniel, professor of computer science and engineering, has been conferred the status of distinguished professor in Penn State's College of Engineering, the highest professorial distinction in the college.

He was selected following a recommendation from the Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering, Amr Elnashai.

"Professor McDaniel has been at the pinnacle of research, teaching, and service for a number of years and his research is both outstanding and transformative," said Elnashai."He epitomizes the values of leadership and collegiality, and I am confident that he will continue on this path of excellence."

McDaniel has been a Penn State faculty member since 2004. His research interests are in the areas of security, systems, and networking.

Currently, McDaniel serves as program manager and lead scientist for the newly created Cyber Security (CS) Collaborative Research Alliance (CRA), a 10-year, $48 million project aimed at establishing a new science of computer and network security. The CRA is led by Penn State and includes faculty and researchers from the Army Research Laboratory, Carnegie Mellon University, Indiana University, the University of California-Davis, the University of California-Riverside, and Applied Communication Services.
NSF CAREER Award funds Cadambe's research in new data storage techniques
EE professor will investigate key-value storage
Electrical engineer Viveck Cadambe has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for his proposal "An Information Theoretic Perspective of Consistent Distributed Storage Systems."
The highly distinguished NSF CAREER award supports junior faculty who conduct innovative research, have shown excellence in teaching and are able to successfully integrate the two. The award provides five years of financial support.

Cadambe, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will receive about $500,000 and will use the funding undertake a formal study to build reliable key-value storage. The project has the long-term potential to aid the development of new data storage techniques that can benefit key-value store implementations by reducing their storage cost and energy consumption.

"I think the support is quite generous, it will allow me to make a lot of progress in understanding the answers to many interesting research questions," said Cadambe.
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers names Kandemir a Fellow
IEEE honors Kandemir for outstanding contributions to his field
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named Mahmut Kandemir, professor of computer science and engineering, a fellow.

IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement. Of the 400,000 members in 160 countries, IEEE elevates less than 1 percent of its voting membership to fellow status. 

Kandemir was cited for his contributions to compiler support for performance and energy optimization of computer architectures. His recent compiler research focuses on emerging multi-core architectures and is oriented toward providing multi-core specific programming support and optimizations, which are seen by both industry and academia as the most critical problems that could prevent the wide-adoption of future multi-cores.
Silicon Happy Valley: Back by popular demand
Second annual conference will be held April 18 at University Park

After the success of last year's Silicon Happy Valley conference, the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Alumni Society is hosting their second annual event from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 18, at the Nittany Lion Inn.

The EECS committee is bringing together Penn State alumni, faculty, staff, and students to discuss this year's theme, "The Culture of Engineering." They hope this year's event will encourage networking and sharing experiences in the diverse and evolving practices in electrical and computer engineering and computer science professions.

According to Matt Graham ('00 CMPEN), co-chair of the committee, the theme was chosen because it's underrepresented in the technical curriculum but is so critical to the work engineers do as professionals.

The day is packed with speakers covering a broad range of topics, including a keynote address by Corey Cochrane, a NASA Fellow at the California Institute of Technology's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and recipient of electrical engineering's 2015 Early Career Award.

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