Carnegie Mellon University


The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering invites prestigious colleagues to speak during weekly Graduate Seminars. All talks take place from 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Please see below for venue details.

 For questions, please contact the committee chair, Carlee Joe-Wong.

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Graduate Seminars

All in-person seminars will follow CMU's gathering requirements in place at the time of the seminar. For those seminars taking place virtually, attendees will receive an email before the seminar with login information.

Stacey Nicholas Dead of Engineering 
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Engineering
University of California, Irvine 


Constraint-Based Control Design for Long Duration Autonomy


When robots are to be deployed over long time scales, optimality should take a backseat to “survivability”, i.e., it is more important that the robots do not break or completely deplete their energy sources than that they perform certain tasks as effectively as possible. For example, in the context of multi-agent robotics, we have a fairly good understanding of how to design coordinated control strategies for making teams of mobile robots achieve geometric objectives, such as assembling shapes or covering areas. But, what happens when these geometric objectives no longer matter all that much? In this talk, we consider this question of long duration autonomy for teams of robots that are deployed in an environment over a sustained period of time and that can be recruited to perform a number of different tasks in a distributed, safe, and provably correct manner. This development will involve the composition of multiple barrier certificates for encoding tasks and safety constraints through the development of non-smooth barrier functions, as well as a detour into ecology as a way of understanding how persistent environmental monitoring can be achieved by studying animals with low-energy life-styles, such as the three-toed sloth.


Dr. Magnus Egerstedt is the Dean of Engineering in the Samueli School of Engineering and a Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of California, Irvine. Prior to joining UCI, Egerstedt was on the faculty at the Georgia Institute of Technology, serving as the School Chair in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and the Director of Georgia Tech's Institute for Robotics and Intelligent Machines. He received the M.S. degree in Engineering Physics and the Ph.D. degree in Applied Mathematics from the Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, the B.A. degree in Philosophy from Stockholm University, and was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Harvard University. Dr. Egerstedt conducts research in the areas of control theory and robotics, with particular focus on control and coordination of multi-robot systems.
Magnus Egerstedt is a Fellow of IEEE and IFAC, and is a Foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Science. He has received a number of teaching and research awards, including the Ragazzini Award from the American Automatic Control Council, the O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award from the American Control Conference, the Outstanding Doctoral Advisor Award and the HKN Outstanding Teacher Award from Georgia Tech, and the Alumni of the Year Award from the Royal Institute of Technology.

Postdoctoral Associate
Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics (JILA)
University of Colorado - Boulder


(Super)-Additive Quantum Communication Via Channels and Queues


A channel's Shannon capacity is an efficiently calculable quantity that completely specifies the channel's ability for noiseless communication. Quantum channels generalize their classical counterpart. They have a capacity to not only send classical information, but also to send quantum information. However, unlike Shannon's classical channel capacity, in general, quantum capacities are not known to be efficiently calculable and don't capture a
channel's full ability to send information. Reason for this difference is quantum super-additivity: two quantum channels used together can send more information than each channel used separately.

We will present an array of results that aim to capture a subset of the opportunities and challenges in the theory of quantum communication. Our first results will discuss simple cases where super-additivity arises in transmission of quantum information and how it affects the notion of quantum capacity [1]. Since super-additivity makes it challenging to compute the quantum capacity, we will review some previous semi-definite programming techniques that can be used to efficiently bound the quantum capacity [2]. Finally, we will move away from super-additivity, into the domain of additivity, where we analyze transmission of classical information across quantum queue channels [3].

[1] - Nat Commun 12, 5750 (2021),
[2] -
[3] -,


Vikesh Siddhu is a Postdoctoral Researcher at IBM Quantum, Thomas J Watson Research Center - Yorktown Heights. Previously, he did postdoctoral work at JILA-University of Colorado/NIST and Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in physics from CMU in 2015 and 2020, respectively. He received a dual BS-MS in physics from the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Mohali, India in 2013. He is interested in quantum information theory, (non)-convex optimization and related subjects.


Associate Professor
Peter Thacher Grauer Scholar
Department of Computer Science
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill


Automatically Specifying Hardware Security Properties


Hardware design companies are putting renewed emphasis on validating the security of their products, and many are moving to incorporate simulation-based and formal-methods-based approaches, borrowed from functional validation activities, to verify the security of their designs. A sticking point for adopting these approaches for security validation is the development of the security properties to be verified. In this talk I will discuss our work on generating security properties of a design automatically for use in security validation activities. I will discuss our early work on semi-automatic security property generation, our more recent work on generating an information flow specification of a design, and our methodology translating security critical properties written for one design to make them suitable for use with a second design.


Cynthia Sturton is an Associate Professor and Peter Thacher Grauer Scholar at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She leads the Hardware Security @ UNC research group to investigate the use of static and dynamic analysis techniques to prevent vulnerabilities in hardware designs. Her research is funded by several National Science Foundation grants, Intel, the Semiconductor Research Corporation, a Junior Faculty Development Award from the University of North Carolina, and a Google Faculty Research Award. Her research has been recognized as a Top Picks by IEEE Design & Test and won second place in Intel's inaugural Hardware Security Academic Award. Sturton was recently awarded the Computer Science Departmental Teaching Award at the University of North Carolina. She received her BS from Arizona State University and her MS and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley.