Electrical Engineering

Stanford team's brain-controlled prosthesis nearly as good as one-finger typing

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Research News

Years of work have yielded a technique that continuously corrects brain readings to give people with spinal cord injuries a more precise way to tap out commands by using a thought-controlled cursor. A pilot clinical trial for human use is underway.

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Prostheses Controlled by Brain Advance
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Technique continuously corrects brain readings to give people with spinal cord injuries a more precise way to tap out commands by using a thought-controlled cursor.

When we type or perform other precise tasks, our brains and muscles usually work together effortlessly.

But when a neurological disease or spinal cord injury severs the connection between the brain and limbs, once-easy motions become difficult or impossible.

In recent years researchers have sought to give people suffering from injury or disease some restored motor function by developing thought-controlled prostheses.

Such devices tap into the relevant regions of the brain, bypass damaged connections and deliver thought commands to devices such as virtual keypads.

Last modified Fri, 31 Jul, 2015 at 11:01

Stanford Engineering students and researchers win grants to commercialize energy inventions

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Building on the success of its first year, the Innovation Transfer Program at the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy is financially supporting 11 new teams composed mostly of Stanford students and recent graduates trying to put university research to work.

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Engineers Win TomKat Grants
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Stanford Engineering students and researchers win grants to commercialize energy inventions.

Miniature ultrasound sensors embedded in windmill blades could help avoid catastrophic failures and reduce wind power costs by replacing field inspections with online monitoring.

Stanford Engineering students Alex Guo and Kevin Zheng have set out to show that their sensor system, developed in the laboratory of electrical engineering Associate Professor Boris Murmann, can be commercialized. Then they plan to develop applications for monitoring pipelines, trains, planes and other critical infrastructure.

Last modified Wed, 29 Jul, 2015 at 12:05

Subhasish Mitra Receives Semiconductor Research Corporation Technical Excellence Award

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Research News

Professor of electrical engineering and computer science honored for work on Quick Error Detection technology.

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Mitra Receives SRC Award
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Semiconductor Research Corporation Technical Excellence Award honors professor's work on Quick Error Detection technology.

 

Last modified Mon, 13 Jul, 2015 at 15:32

Stanford Invention Hall of Fame welcomes six new technologies and honors 27 new prolific inventors

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Each new technology has earned more than $5 million in royalties for Stanford. The 27 new prolific inventors, including several engineers, have invented at least seven technologies that have generated over $500,000.

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Stanford Invention Hall of Fame
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Six new technologies, including three developed by engineers, and 27 new inventors are honored.

From technology revolutionizing how we evaluate big data to an education program for bright young students, Stanford's Invention Hall of Fame recently welcomed six new inductees, including three created by faculty, students and staff in the School of Engineering.

Last modified Tue, 7 Jul, 2015 at 13:55

PhD candidates Jayant Charthad and Steven Bell receive 2015 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award

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Electrical engineering students honored for outstanding teaching among TA's in the schools of humanities and sciences, earth sciences, and engineering.

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EE Students Win TA Award
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PhD candidates Jayant Charthad and Steven Bell receive 2015 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award.

 

Stanford PhD candidate Steven BellSteven Bell and Jayant Charthad, PhD candidates in electrical engineering, have received the 2015 Centennial Teaching Assistant Award. The Centennial award program recognizes outstanding teaching by TA's in the schools of humanities and sciences, earth sciences, and engineering.

Nominated by faculty, peers and previous students, each will receive a $500 prize and certificate.

Last modified Fri, 19 Jun, 2015 at 9:49

Stanford engineers find a simple yet clever way to boost chip speeds

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Inside each chip are millions of tiny wires to transport data; wrapping them in a protective layer of graphene could boost speeds by 30 percent.

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Graphene Wrap Boosts Chip Speed
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Wrapping semiconductor wires in graphene improves performance.

A typical computer chip includes millions of transistors connected with an extensive network of copper wires. Although chip wires are unimaginably short and thin compared with household wires, both have one thing in common: in each case the copper is wrapped within a protective sheath.

For years a material called tantalum nitride has formed a protective layer around chip wires.

Now Stanford-led experiments demonstrate that a different sheathing material, graphene, can help electrons scoot through tiny copper wires in chips more quickly.

Last modified Wed, 17 Jun, 2015 at 12:20

Stanford engineers discover the limitation of a popular technique for one-way optical data transmission on computer chips

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Backward leakage of light beams constrains ability to keep optical information flowing in only one direction, research shows.

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Limits of Optical Data Flow
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Stanford engineers discover constraints in a popular technique for achieving one-way optical data transmission.

Optics, a form of data transmission that utilizes beams of light, has the promise to outperform the beams of electrons that drive your computer or smartphone. Engineers have long sought a way to miniaturize optical technology, which is present in today's fast-paced fiber-optic cables, so they can bring the speed and efficiency of light-based data transmission to a computer chip.

Last modified Mon, 8 Jun, 2015 at 10:52

Stanford engineers' breakthrough heralds super-efficient light-based computers

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Research News

Light can transmit more data while consuming far less power than electricity, and an engineering feat brings optical data transport closer to replacing wires.

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Advance in Light-Based Computing
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Stanford engineers' breakthrough brings optical data transport closer to replacing wires.

Stanford electrical engineer Jelena Vuckovic wants to make computers faster and more efficient by reinventing how they send data back and forth between chips, where the work is done.

In computers today, data is pushed through wires as a stream of electrons. That takes a lot of power, which helps explain why laptops get so warm.

Last modified Thu, 28 May, 2015 at 16:40

Krishna Shenoy and Joanna Wysocka named HHMI investigators

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The funding will aid Shenoy’s efforts to develop brain-machine interfaces and allow Wysocka to continue exploring the earliest steps of human development.

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Shenoy Named HHMI Investigator
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Howard Hughes Medical Institute funds research by electrical engineer Krishna Shenoy and Joanna Wysocka in the School of Medicine.

Two Stanford University researchers are among 26 scientists from 19 institutions newly appointed as Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) investigators, the institute announced today. They were chosen through a competitive selection process from a pool of nearly 900 candidates.

Last modified Tue, 19 May, 2015 at 12:21

Stanford engineers observe the moment when a mind is changed

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A new algorithm enables a moment-by-moment analysis of brain activity each time a laboratory monkey reaches this way or that during an experiment. It's like reading the monkey's mind.

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Observing a Change of Mind
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Algorithm enables a moment-by-moment analysis of brain activity each time a laboratory monkey reaches this way or that.

Researchers studying how the brain makes decisions have, for the first time, recorded the moment-by-moment fluctuations in brain signals that occur when a monkey making free choices has a change of mind.

The findings result from experiments led by electrical engineering Professor Krishna Shenoy, whose Stanford lab focuses on movement control and neural prostheses – such as artificial arms – controlled by the user's brain.

Last modified Tue, 5 May, 2015 at 11:48