Archive for 'Electrical and Computer Engineering'

College welcomes new students in style

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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On August 29, 2014, the college hosted the first annual event to warmly welcome more than 1,500 new engineering students to the College of Engineering community. This full day of activities included breakfast, lounging in the green space alongside Engineering Hall, a trek en masse to the chancellor’s convocation at the Kohl Center, lunch on [...]

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Undergrad finds his passion by jumping into the deep end

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon When Arjun Seshadri decided to study engineering, he wasn’t necessarily thinking about medical applications. That changed when he discovered the UW-Madison Lab for Molecular Scale Engineering. Before his freshman year was over, he became a research assistant in the lab under former Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Robert Blick and his graduate [...]

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Computing with grand demands

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Wisconsin engineers find meaning in big data For all the scale and promise the term “big data” evokes, the exploding field of big data research really comes down to constraints. Even as high-throughput computers become increasingly powerful, it’s not feasible for them to simply brute-force their way through every massive set of information that might [...]

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Energy research for a stronger society

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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By Scott Gordon It’s hard to find an energy researcher in the College of Engineering who thinks only about one piece of the energy puzzle. Talk to an engine researcher about fuel efficiency, and pretty soon you’ll be discussing the engine as a bigger system. Ask an electrical engineer about power storage, and the conversation [...]

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See-through sensors open new window into the brain

Posted on 19. Feb, 2015 by .

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Developing invisible implantable medical sensor arrays, a team of UW-Madison engineers has overcome a major technological hurdle in researchers’ efforts to understand the brain. The team described its technology, which has applications in fields ranging from neuro-science to cardiac care and even contact lenses, in the online journal Nature Communications. Neural researchers study, monitor or [...]

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Alumnus built a legacy of generosity

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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In recent years, one of Andrew Johnson’s pleasures in life was to read letters of gratitude from College of Engineering under-graduates who received Great People Scholarships. “Every time he got a letter, he was exuberant about it, and he was happy to do so much good for those students,” says Johnson’s son, Robert. Andrew passed [...]

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Astronaut scholarship honors undergrad’s bold adventures in research

Posted on 24. Jan, 2014 by .

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Even in the UW-Madison College of Engineering, where undergraduates are encouraged to seek hands-on experience, it’s rare that a faculty member finds himself taken aback by a freshman’s eagerness to get involved in research. That’s how Karu Sankaralingam, an associate professor of computer science and electrical and computer engineering, remembers his first conversation with electrical [...]

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Closing the loop on big data … one beer at a time

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Computers serve as powerful tools for categorizing, displaying and searching data, but they’re only the medium for big data. “We really need people to interact with the machines to make them work well,” says McFarland-Bascom Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Rob Nowak. Unlike machines, people work at a finite speed and at rising costs. [...]

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A control theorist crashes the market

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor B. Ross Barmish hopes his current National Science Foundation-funded research will build a bridge between control theorists and financial scholars. Barmish starts with notions that defy the predictive statistical approach by which financial scholars tend to swear. “Instead of using statistics and saying, ‘Well, something worked in the past,’ I [...]

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A ‘smart’ move for electronics

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Honking cars, flashing lights, clicking keyboards. We face a daily bombardment of noises, sights and smells that the thalamus—a relay center for sensory data flowing into the brain—sorts into useful information. That frees up our frontal lobe to ruminate on the important questions … like which coffee shop to visit. However, most electronic devices aren’t [...]

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Students hungry for business success savor campus resources

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Like any engineer worth his or her salt, Eric Martell can identify and analyze a problem when he sees it. Particularly when it’s sandwich-related. One fateful lunch hour, a driver for Silver Mine Subs told Martell he’d save time and money by calling in orders instead of ordering through a clunky (and expensive) third-party ordering [...]

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Q&A with materials innovator Luke Mawst

Posted on 27. Sep, 2013 by .

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Professor, electrical and computer engineering Co-founder, Alfalight / Co-founder, Intraband Talk about your research. What, simply, do you study? The main thrust of my research is really looking at new semiconductor compounds and the application of these compounds into optoelectronic devices. Most people are familiar with the most common semiconductor material, silicon. But there’s a [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Jim Sorden

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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“I’ve spent my whole life measuring time” The Global Positioning System (GPS), today one of the most versatile technologies on the planet, was still a highly experimental, underfunded military project when it first piqued Jim Sorden’s interest in the mid-1980s. But its potential compelled Sorden to make a bold move, leaving his 24-year career with [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger: Craig Palmer

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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And now for something completely different Some career trajectories follow a straight and narrow path; others take unexpected twists and turns. Craig Palmer’s career might be likened to a cross-country road trip—the kind where you leave the map at home and see where the road takes you. Palmer, a 1983 graduate of electrical and computer [...]

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A blueprint for success: Helping transfer students overcome any obstacle

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Growing up in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, Daniel Ramirez eyed the circuitry of arcade cabinets with wonder. But turning that ambition into a career as an engineer was a pipe dream. “After high school, I figured that I wasn’t going to be able to afford college,” he says. Instead, he focused on building a family with his [...]

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With 400th PhD grad, UW-Madison celebrates half a century of fusion energy

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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In the 1930s and ‘40s, many researchers studied ways to use fusion, the reaction in which atomic nuclei collide, fuse and release energy, to develop atomic weapons. Later, researchers would begin to focus on beneficial applications of fusion, including developing plants that would produce electrical energy for society. Noted physicist Don Kerst was among those [...]

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Silicon Valley Badger Engineers: How the West was won

Posted on 02. May, 2013 by .

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Here’s a story that could aptly be titled, “Only in Silicon Valley.” Three young entrepreneurs come to Inspovation—a Los Altos, California, venture firm—with a cool idea to create a cheaper alternative to renting cars at airports. The team has an impressive lineage from Harvard, MIT and Princeton. As the conversation continues, the investors find the [...]

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Our global footprint

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Bob Lorenz walks eagerly to a favorite spot—a wall of photos of faculty, staff and students associated with Wisconsin Electric Machines and Power Electronics Consortium (WEMPEC)—in the Mechanical Engineering Building. Among those photos are the faces of international students and visiting scholars, and Lorenz traces invisible lines between himself, former students who have returned as [...]

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Gustafson named to National Academy of Engineering

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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In February, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) named David Gustafson to its 2013 class of new members. Gustafson is director of the UW-Madison Center for Health Enhancement Systems Studies and a professor emeritus of industrial and systems engineering. The academy cited Gustafson for industrial and systems engineering methods to improve care for aging patients [...]

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Video tool could help active workers avoid injury

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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Video of workers performing tasks such as assembling a manufactured part or packing boxes could help assess the likelihood that those people will develop common repetitive-motion injuries. Repeatedly performing the same motions and exertions can lead to injuries in which the body suffers strain from even tiny actions—for example, handling small parts, operating a machine [...]

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Stretching the limits of flexible electronics

Posted on 01. May, 2013 by .

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  Stretched-out clothing might not be a great result of laundry day, but in the case of microprocessor manufacturing, stretching out the atomic structure of the silicon in the critical components of a device can be a good way to increase a circuit’s performance. Creating “stretched” semiconductors with larger spaces between silicon atoms, commonly referred [...]

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Sharing the Badger pride

Posted on 10. Dec, 2012 by .

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By the time you are reading this message, I will have completed a tremendous chapter in my life. I am a December 2012 graduate of the UW-Madison Department of Mechanical Engineering, and I’m very proud to join the ranks of more than 45,000 UW-Madison engineering alumni around the globe. As a four-year member of the [...]

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Safer trains and automobiles: It’s all in the math

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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Travelers aboard high-speed passenger trains aren’t fond of being flung across the train car each time it rounds a corner, so the cars come equipped with tilting suspension systems that allow them to lean into each turn to compensate for centripetal force. As passenger trains gets faster and faster, demand for more adaptive, reliable suspension [...]

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Exploring whitespace for wireless in public spaces

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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For morning bus commuters, a reliable Internet connection can transform dead time in traffic into a jump on the day’s tasks. But between their high cost and low data caps, smartphone data plans are a less than ideal solution for riders hoping to get serious work done in transit. Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor [...]

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A quasi-optical Internet backbone

Posted on 29. Aug, 2012 by .

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Trunks of fiber optic cable make up most of the Internet’s backhaul–the network that links smaller networks across the globe together into the World Wide Web. But installing fiber between remote locations can get expensive. Electrical and Computer Engineering Professor Akbar Sayeed (left) and Assistant Professor Nader Behdad (right) have developed a new communication architecture [...]

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Active, engaging education. Anywhere. And right here.

Posted on 28. Aug, 2012 by .

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In every building on the College of Engineering campus, there are classrooms and lecture halls packed with students listening to lectures. Yet, increasingly, that very traditional way of learning is not the only way UW-Madison engineering students are learning. “The 50-minute lecture is one of the most inefficient methods for human learning to occur,” says [...]

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For alum, innovation is a full-time hobby

Posted on 27. Aug, 2012 by .

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Although he grew up on a dairy farm in a tiny, central-Wisconsin community—rather than a small coal-mining town in West Virginia—Dennis Bahr sees elements of his childhood in the movie October Sky, a film based on the true story of Homer Hickam, a coal-miner’s son who ultimately became a NASA engineer. Hickam’s passion was rocketry; [...]

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Insights on innovation

Posted on 27. Aug, 2012 by .

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UW-Madison is recognizing 2012-13 as the Year of Innovation, offering a chance to reflect on what this concept means to the university and to society. With $136 million in research and more than 100 patent disclosures annually, the College of Engineering has worked to cultivate innovation as standard operating procedure in our classrooms and labs. [...]

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Creative energy: In new building, microgrid lab will spark practical solutions

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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When the Wisconsin Energy Institute building opens on the UW-Madison campus in early 2013, it will include a high-power microgrid that will combine real and simulated power sources capable of reproducing the inherent technical challenges associated with intermittent energy sources. “We want to be able to create all of the different operating conditions that are [...]

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A career … made in China

Posted on 20. Apr, 2012 by .

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The prospect of living and working in Beijing for a summer made Dhina Susanti a little nervous, but her internship in China turned out to be the opportunity of a lifetime. “I thought that the biggest barrier was going to be the language, but in the end, it wasn’t that much of a challenge,” says [...]

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