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Hajim memo 1210

December 10, 2018

Dear members of the Hajim School community,

Recognition from peers is one of the strongest indicators of a researcher’s success in his or her field. So please join me in congratulating:

Mujdat Cetin, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, who has been named a fellow of IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers), a distinction limited to no more than one-tenth of one percent of the total voting membership. His citation is for contributions to image processing for synthetic aperture radar and sensor array.  Mujdat’s research interests are within the broad area of data, signal, and imaging sciences with cross-disciplinary links to several other areas in electrical engineering, computer science, and neuroscience. His research group has made several advances in three key areas: computational sensing and imaging as applied to radar and biomedical imaging; probabilistic methods for image and video analysis as applied to biomedical image analysis, microscopic neuroimaging, and computer vision; and signal processing and machine learning for brain-computer/machine interfaces, with applications for alternative communication and rehabilitation for patients, and monitoring of cognitive states. Well done, Mujdat!

Sandhya Dwarkadas and Jiebo Luo of the Department of Computer Science have been named fellows of ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, a distinction that represents less than 1% of the association’s global membership.

Sandhya, the Albert Arendt Hopeman Professor and chair of computer science, is being recognized by ACM for her contributions to shared memory and reconfigurability. Her research lies at the intersection of computer hardware and software with a particular focus on support for parallelism. She has made fundamental contributions to the design and implementation of shared memory both in hardware and software, and to hardware and software energy- and resource-aware configurability.

Jiebo, a professor of computer science, is being recognized for contributions to multimedia content analysis and social multimedia informatics. His research spans image processing, computer vision, machine learning, data mining, social media, biomedical informatics, and ubiquitous computing. He has done pioneering work in contextual inference in semantic understanding of visual data, and social multimedia data mining. He has published extensively in these fields with nearly 400 peer-reviewed technical papers and over 90 US patents. His research group, for example, analyzed candidates’ Twitter followers to provide insights into the 2016 presidential election. Jiebo has also forged several collaborations with Medical Center researchers, including a new initiative to develop digital tools to better understand and treat Parkinson’s disease.

I am honored to be included alongside Sandhya and Jiebo in this year’s class of ACM fellows. We can all take pride in knowing that three of the 56 ACM fellows chosen this year are from the Hajim School. That is quite an accomplishment! Read more here.

The awards continue to pile up for two Hajim School student athletes who played on the men’s varsity soccer team that made it to the Final Four this year for the first time. Nikolas Angyal ’19 of chemical engineering has been named the 2018 Google Cloud Academic All-America Team Member of the Year for Division III Men’s Soccer, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Click here to see a video in which Nikolas talks about the opportunities he has to do undergraduate research, most recently in Wyatt Tenhaeff’s lab developing film for use in lithium ion batteries. Nikolas was also named a First Team Academic All-American by CoSIDA. Senior midfielder Bryce Ikeda ’19 of electrical and computer engineering was elected as a Third Team Academic All-American. Read more here.

Congratulations as well to:

  • Suman Kumar ’19, a mechanical engineering major from Lalitpur, Nepal, who is a Schwarzman Scholar semifinalist and was one of around 400 who reached the interview stage of the prestigious graduate fellowship.
  • Chantelle Lim ’19 of biomedical engineering, who received the Perdana Scholar Award, which is given to Malaysian students attending college in the United States. Chantelle, who was one of three students awarded the Academic Excellence Award, was invited to the Malaysian Embassy in Washington DC for the award ceremony. Chantelle is currently serving as president of the local Biomedical Engineering Society chapter.

The biannual Girls Workshop hosted a week ago Saturday by the Society of Women Engineers brought 70 kindergarten through sixth grade students to Wilmot and Goergen Halls for an exciting afternoon, rotating among a half-dozen hands-on projects with a Hollywood theme.  For example, the students eagerly split into teams to see who could build the tallest structure out of marshmallows and toothpicks for a “Hollywood” set. And they needed no prodding to immerse themselves in a Grinch Movie Hour of Code tutorial.

Thanks to Amy Burke ’20 of mechanical engineering, SWE’s community outreach coordinator, for contacting parents and organizing the activities. She got a big assist from Shannon Murty, Anna Baber, Sarah Grabowski, Kari Leap, and Tracey Moyston of SWE’s outreach committee. They created lessons and worked on other preparations. Women in Computing (WIC) provided the Grinch tutorial. All in all, 45 volunteers from a dozen student clubs — SWE, WIC, Society of Physics Students, ASME, AIChe, OSA, SASE, Tau Beta Pi, Engineers without Borders, She’s the First, and STEM Initiative — helped these girls develop an understanding of what they are capable of doing by using science.

Twelve members of SWE recently attended their organization’s national conference in Minneapolis. The experience of Mira Bodek ’19 of mechanical engineering illustrates why we encourage students to attend these conferences. “After stepping up to the Boeing stand, I spoke briefly with a representative, handed her my resume, and to my shock, she invited me to their speed interviews later that night,” Mira writes. “I was floored that such an incredible company, one so often in the news, would be even remotely interested in me. As a woman in engineering who often questioned if she belonged in the industry, this single interaction completely changed how I viewed myself. This shock continued throughout the day, and I was lucky enough to receive interview invitations for Lockheed Martin, GE, and Accenture, as well as a second round at Boeing.”

Highly motivated engineering students whose interdisciplinary curiosity and career ambitions cannot be satisfied by a traditional, preexisting major might want to consider our major in Interdepartmental Engineering. Problems in environmental quality, transportation systems, housing, and urban planning, among others, challenge students to develop programs combining technical knowledge with social and political awareness. Additionally, the growing complexity of our technological society requires that we have some engineers who have integrated studies in several technical fields. We have recently updated the IDE program requirements. We have also created a website to reflect those changes and include some information on sample programs and alumni outcomes. Click here to learn more.

Have a great week!

Your dean,
Wendi Heinzelman