Electrical Engineering

Stanford engineers design video game controller that senses when players get bored

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Research News

Stanford engineers have developed what could be the next big thing in interactive gaming: handheld game controllers that measure the player's physiology and alter the game play to make it more engaging.

Slug: 
Game Controller Senses Players' Boredom
Short Dek: 
Stanford engineers develop controllers that measure the player's physiology and alter play to make it more engaging.

Sometimes, a dozen ravenous zombies just aren't exciting enough to hold a video gamer's interest. The next step in interactive gaming, however, could come in the form of a handheld game controller that gauges the player's brain activity and throws more zombies on the screen when it senses that the player is bored.

Last modified Mon, 7 Apr, 2014 at 10:34

Stanford engineers brave the 'vomit comet' to improve astronauts' heart health

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Research Profile

When humans go into space, the reduced gravity can weaken the heart's ability to pump hard in response to a crisis. Stanford student researchers are developing a simple device to monitor an astronaut's heart function, and have flown in near-zero gravity to show that it works.

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Astronaut Heart Health
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Device measures heart function in near-zero gravity.

The human heart was not meant to pump in space.

Early astronauts in the Apollo program performed every conceivable physical test to ensure that they were each at the pinnacle of human fitness. And yet, when they returned to Earth after just a few days in space, they felt dizzy when standing and tests showed that each beat of their heart pumped less blood than it had before the mission.

Last modified Wed, 16 Apr, 2014 at 12:28

Stanford engineers create a software tool to reduce the cost of cloud computing

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Research News

Just as Netflix uses an algorithm to recommend movies we ought to see, their system suggests how to use computing resources at data centers more efficiently.

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Software To Aid Cloud Computing
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New software takes Netflix-like approach to improve data center efficiency.

We hear a lot about the future of computing in the cloud but not much about the efficiency of data centers, those facilities where clusters of server computers work together to host applications ranging from social networks to big data analytics.

Last modified Fri, 28 Feb, 2014 at 11:01

Professor Stephen Boyd elected to NAE

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Research News

He becomes the 110th member of the Stanford Engineering faculty to join this prestigious academy.

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Boyd Elected to NAE
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Professor is 110th member from Stanford Engineering faculty.

Stephen P. Boyd, Samsung Professor of Engineering at the Stanford University School of Engineering, has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE).

According to the NAE, membership honors outstanding contributions to "engineering research, practice or education" and to the "pioneering of new and developing fields of technology," among other acts of professional distinction.

Last modified Tue, 18 Feb, 2014 at 10:31

Stanford researchers discover how parts of the brain work together, or alone

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Research News

Our brains have billions of neurons grouped into different regions. These regions often work alone but sometimes must join forces. How do regions communicate selectively?

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How brain regions communicate
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Researchers find communication system between brain regions.

Stanford researchers may have solved a riddle about the inner workings of the brain, which consists of billions of neurons, organized into many different regions, with each region primarily responsible for different tasks.

Last modified Mon, 3 Feb, 2014 at 12:34

Stanford researchers reveal more about how our brains control our arms

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Research Profile

Recording the neural activity of monkeys as they plan to reach, or just react, will help engineers design better brain-controlled prosthetic limbs.

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How neurons control reach
Short Dek: 
Brain readings taken as monkeys reach will lead to better prosthetic limbs.

Ready, set, go.

Sometimes that’s how our brains work. When we anticipate a physical act, such as reaching for the keys we noticed on the table, the neurons that control the task adopt a state of readiness, like sprinters bent into a crouch.

Other times, however, our neurons must simply react, such as if someone were to toss us the keys without gesturing first, to prepare us to catch.

How do the neurons in the brain control planned versus unplanned arm movements?

Last modified Wed, 29 Jan, 2014 at 14:37

Stanford engineering professor wins third technical Oscar

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Research News

Computer scientist Pat Hanrahan shares this latest honor with two of his former students who now work for Google; the trio created tools for making computer-generated films such as “Avatar” and “Monsters University” more realistic.

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Professor Wins Academy Award
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Pat Hanrahan to receive his third technical Oscar.

Stanford Engineering Professor Pat Hanrahan will receive his third technical Oscar award for work that allows Hollywood to more easily and accurately reproduce real-world lighting in computer-generated films like “Avatar” and “Monsters University.”

Last modified Fri, 17 Jan, 2014 at 12:22

Letter from the Dean

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Announcement

Stanford engineers have always tackled the biggest challenges, and the past academic year was no exception.

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New Directions

Stanford Engineering Dean Jim Plummer

Last modified Wed, 18 Dec, 2013 at 11:35

Stanford Engineering Year in Review

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Press Release

Stanford engineers are driven to change the world, and 2013 was no exception. Stanford Engineering faculty and students blazed new trails in energy, nanotechnology, bioengineering, education and many other fields.

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New Directions
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Stanford engineers tackled some of the world's biggest challenges during the past academic year.

 

The Stanford School of Engineering has been at the forefront of innovation for nearly a century, turning big ideas into solutions that have improved people’s lives across the globe. Our mission is to seek solutions to important global problems and educate leaders who will make the world a better place by using the power of engineering principles, techniques and systems. 

Last modified Thu, 13 Mar, 2014 at 15:24

'iLabs' offer a new way to add science experiments to online education

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Research News

By making digital versions of real-world science experiments available to anyone on the Internet, Stanford Professor Lambertus Hesselink has developed a new approach to integrating laboratory experience with massive online science courses.

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Experiments Online
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'iLabs' offer a new way to add science experiments to online education.

For the past three years, two of Lambertus Hesselink's graduate students have been planning, building and calibrating a nano-conveyor belt. The one-of-a-kind experiment is about the size of a billiard table, and consists of lasers, mirrors, microscopes and computers that form a set of optical tweezers that can manipulate individual nanoparticles.

Last modified Thu, 19 Dec, 2013 at 13:44