Year in review


December 26, 2016

2016 has been a year full of awards, events, innovative research, and robots. Here are a few of our most popular news stories from 2016: 

what is ECE

What is ECE? 

Despite the number of such departments around the country, very few prospective students know what electrical and computer engineers do. Electrical and computer engineering integrates many disciplines from electrical engineering and computer science under a common umbrella.

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Build18 2016

Students host largest Build18 to date

Not only was this year’s Build18 a success, it was the largest in its history. With over 90 teams participating in the sixth annual freestyle tinkering event, Build18 served as a magnificent playground for Carnegie Mellon’s most curious students.

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2016 World Economic Forum

Rowe presents at the World Economic Forum

Eight Carnegie Mellon University faculty members, led President Subra Suresh, are presenting at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland, today through Jan. 23. One of the largest university delegations at the prestigious conference, the CMU faculty will meet with government and business leaders from around the world to explain the latest research in fields such as big data, artificial intelligence and climate change.

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 shines storage graphic

DOE selects CMU to pioneer new solar storage projects in the U.S.

As part of the Energy Department’s Grid Modernization Initiative announced by Secretary Ernest Moniz last week to improve the resiliency, reliability and security of the nation’s electrical power grid, DOE today announced $18 million in funding for six new projects across the United States. These projects will enable the development and demonstration of integrated, scalable, and cost-effective solar technologies that incorporate energy storage to power American homes after the sun sets or when clouds are overhead.

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 Deans early career fellows

Two ECE faculty awarded the 2016 Dean’s early Career Fellowships

Five distinguished young faculty have been awarded the 2016 Dean’s Early Career Fellowships for groundbreaking work in their fields. This year’s awardees are Hakan Erdogmus (ECE), Soummya Kar (ECE), Carmel Majidi (MechE), Sheng Shen (MechE), and Paulina Jaramillo (EPP). These young faculty members have been granted these fellowships to provide funding to further their outstanding research.

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 jose moura

Carnegie Mellon engineers revolutionized magnetic recording computer disk drive chip

Digital devices have come a long way in the last few decades, particularly as they continue to shrink in size. Many advances, including new recording media, disk drive heads, and disk architectures, have contributed to making today’s computer drives compact while being able to store and read amazing amounts of data. But as the size of disk drives became relentlessly smaller and were able to store tremendously more data, a major challenge developed. 

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Knightscope: the future of security

The Knightscope K5 Autonomous Data Machine is a police robot, a 3-foot-wide, 5-foot-tall, 300-pound autonomous data machine built to predict and prevent crime.

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 ECE outreach

ECE Outreach: bringing ECE to middle and high school

Nearly three years ago, a group of precocious high school students convened on Carnegie Mellon’s campus for the first-ever SPARK Saturday, voluntarily choosing to spend their Saturday morning in a college classroom programming in Python, learning Boolean logic, coding in binary and designing circuits. The successful event, hosted by ECE Outreach — a student-run organization that introduces middle and high schoolers to basic concepts in electrical and computer engineering — forecasted a bright future for the group. In just three years, ECE Outreach has expanded tremendously, with no sign of slowing down.

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eye for image

Eye for image

Beauty is not in the eye of the beholder when it comes to image displays. Instead, sophisticated technologies come into play to present images with the best possible quality. It takes a certain eye and mind to work on display technology, and ECE alumnus Dr. Nikhil Balram is one of the best. 

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 Vyas Sekar

Sekar wins NSF CAREER Award to improve network security

Network administrators’ jobs are getting tougher in today’s world, protecting their organizations’ valuable information from increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks and ensuring that security and access control policies are implemented correctly. Many of these jobs involve manual expertise, trial-and-error, and in some cases, blind faith that the security policies they intend to enforce are correctly implemented in the network. 

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CMU sweeps DefCon as team wins third ‘World Series of Hacking’ title in four years

Carnegie Mellon’s competitive computer security team, The Plaid Parliament of Pwning, just won its third title in four years at the DefCon Capture the Flag competition. The win comes on the heels of CMU-spinoff ForAllSecure’s win at the DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge just days earlier.

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Kovačević and Marculescu receive professorships

Jelena Kovačevic, department head of the electrical and computer engineering, and Diana Marculescu, associate department head for research and strategic initiatives, have received professorships in the College of Engineering. As the highest academic award a university can bestow on a faculty member, professorships are reserved for those who show continued contributions in their field.

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 students of ece

Students of ECE

As the school year begins, take a look at what ECE students are saying about their student experience at the undergraduate, graduate, and Ph.D. levels.

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 usenix conference

Is “password1” a good password?

Is password1! a good password? Many browser-based password meters would say it is, but they’d be wrong.

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 shawn blanton

At the crossroads of learning and technology

Professor Shawn Blanton teaches dozens of students each semester — this is his Clark Kent-style daytime occupation. However, when the proverbial sun goes down, he helps create cutting-edge technology that actively learns and adapts itself to the outside world.

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