Shadi Saberi: Intel Foundation/SRCEA Scholarship Winner

 High-Speed Researcher

May 1, 2006

Shadi Saberi was awarded an Intel Foundation/Semiconductor Research Corporation Education Alliance (SRCEA) Scholarship through the SRC Master's Scholarship Program. A graduate student in ECE, Shadi was selected from a nationwide contest of minorities and women for outstanding academic achievement and microelectronics research. Let's see where this high-speed researcher is today.


Tehran, Iran

Undergraduate degree:

B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology, 2005

Campus leadership:

Vice President of the Carnegie Mellon Persian Student Organization.


Jogging, ice skating, tennis, and playing piano.

Why did you choose a career in engineering?

In high school I felt that I was most absorbed in mathematics and physics. I also found out that I like the state-of-the-art application side of these sciences rather than pure science. So I chose engineering.

What attracted you to ECE at Carnegie Mellon?

First of all, Carnegie Mellon is a highly prestigious school and it offers one of the best ECE programs in the nation. The wide variety of active research areas at Carnegie Mellon allowed me to readily find an advisor with similar research interests. Also, the diversity of distinguished faculty and students was another reason that I chose ECE at Carnegie Mellon for my graduate studies.

Faculty advisor at Carnegie Mellon:

Patrick Yue, Assistant Professor of ECE.

What is the focus of your research?

I am working on a very low power 20 Gb/s continuous-time adaptive passive equalizer which is used in high-speed serial links to compensate for signal loss at very high data rates. This adaptive passive filter consists of an on-chip lumped RLC [resistance, inductance, and capacitance] filter to reduce the power consumption and achieve higher data rates. With a continuous-time adaptation loop integrated into the system, the frequency response of the passive tunable equalizer can be adjusted for optimal gain compensation.

What are the challenges and rewards of your research?

While the downscaling trend of MOS [metal oxide semiconductor] devices makes life easier for digital designers, very high-speed analog and RF [radio frequency] circuit design has become very challenging. Every step in designing a circuit--from simulation to layout--and even measurement, should be done with great insight into the behavior of the circuit, considering all the parasitic effects, mismatches, reflections, noise sources, etc.

The passive equalizer filter that I designed has been fabricated on a chip. This is my first integrated circuit being implemented, and I am very excited to take the measurements. I think seeing the results of your own efforts is one of the best rewards of doing research.

What was your role as a teaching assistant (TA)?

As part of being a TA for 18-321, Analysis and Design of Analog Circuits, I held office hours, served as a lab assistant, and graded many homework assignments, lab reports, and exams. Despite the workload, being a TA for an undergraduate course was a totally different experience for me, since I got my undergraduate degree from another country.

What did you work on during your internship?

In my summer internship at Iran Microelectronics Research Center, I joined a team working on a project to implement the RF and physical layer of a WPAN [Wireless Personal Area Network] system. I did research on the WPAN and IEEE [Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers] 802.15.4 standard, the functional description of different layers, and the data protocols and frame formats used between layers.

What are your plans after graduation?

Well, that's a tough question. Right now I think I am more attracted to a career in industry rather than academia.

ECE graduate student Shadi Saberi won an Intel Foundation/SRC Education Alliance (SRCEA) Scholarship.

Shadi works in the RF [radio frequency] Lab.

On a visit to campus, Shadi stands in front of Hamerschlag Hall.

From left to right: ECE graduate students Keivan Yazdani, Sheida Nabavi, and Shadi Saberi are all officers in the campus Persian Student Organization.


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