Professor Kaustav Banerjee awarded an Erasmus Mundus Fellowship and named DRESDEN Fellow

October 14th, 2016

photo of banerjee
Banerjee recently honored as a DRESDEN Senior Fellow by the Technical University of Dresden, where he spent two weeks as an Erasmus Mundus Visiting Professor

Banerjee was nominated to this prestigious fellowship to honor his accomplishments in nanoelectronics, particularly in the area of 2D materials and devices – a rapidly growing field where his group has been at the forefront of innovating nano- devices, interconnects and sensors by uniquely exploiting the novel physics of these materials.

TU Dresden is one of Germany’s largest technical universities and is ranked among its eleven elite universities of excellence. Each year, two DRESDEN Senior Fellowships for established academics at the top of their field can be awarded by each of the five TUD Schools.

The Erasmus Mundus fellowships for visiting professors are funded by the European Commission and intended to attract scholars of recognized excellence in teaching and research. Professor Banerjee was invited under their Nanoscience and Nanotechnology program that is jointly organized by several leading European institutions including TUD.

Professor Banerjee who directs the Nanoelectronics Research Lab is an internationally renowned leader in the field of nanoelectronics and has been recognized with a string of honors from the IEEE, APS, and numerous other organizations around the world.

2016 DRESDEN Fellows

Erasmus Mundus Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Program

Nanoelectronics Research Lab

ECE Professor Kaustav Banerjee’s work on 2D materials featured in Physics Today

September 22nd, 2016

Image of Physics Today Cover

Banerjee and colleagues at Harvard and Rice Universities author feature story, “Two-Dimensional van der Waals Materials,” published in the September 2016 issue of Physics Today

The article provides an overview of the physics, technology, and device applications of 2D materials including graphene and beyond-graphene 2D materials as well as their wide variety of heterostructures forming completely new materials known as “van der Waals solids”. The visionary article also discusses the prospects of employing such 2D materials for realizing layered nano- structures devices and circuits with atomic precision- a scientific dream of renowned physicist, Richard Feynman.

Professor Banerjee’s group have made seminal contributions toward advancing the understanding of 2D materials physics and uniquely exploited their properties in overcoming the limitations of conventional bulk materials (such as silicon and III-V semiconductors) for addressing power dissipation and other fundamental challenges in nanoscale transistors, interconnects and sensors. For example, a key device application highlighted in the article is a new class of transistors, the 3D/2D vertical heterostructure tunnel-field-effect-transistor demonstrated by Professor Banerjee’s group (Nature, 2015) that exhibits unprecedented low leakage currents and can switch with only 0.1 volts resulting in over 90% savings in power consumption.

Physics Today is the most influential and closely-followed physics magazine in the world, and more than 120,000 subscribers across the fields of STEM receive the publication every month. It is also the flagship publication of the American Institute of Physics that informs readers about science and its place in the world with authoritative features, news stories, analysis, and fresh perspectives on technological advances and ground-breaking research.

Physics Today – "Two-dimensional van der Waals Materials" (full article)

College of Engineering (news release) – "The State and Potential of Two-dimensional van der Waals Materials"

Banerjee's Nanoelectronics Research Lab

Who’s new: Introducing UCSB GradPost 2016 incoming ECE graduate student Pedro Cisneros

September 19th, 2016

UC Santa Barbara welcomes ​769 new graduate students into its ranks next ​week, and this group of incoming students is one of the most diverse ever. UCSB GradPost interviews Pedro Cisneros who will be joining the ECE department specializing in Communications, Control, and Signal Processing.

photo by Pedro Cisneros

Pedro was born in California and moved at a young age to Peru. His entire family is Peruvian, but he will be the third generation to earn a Ph.D. from a UC school (his grandfather ​went to UC Riverside and his father ​went to UC Davis). Pedro studied Electrical Engineering at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru and will be pursuing a Ph.D. at UCSB in Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis on Communications, Control, and Signal Processing. Pedro explained, “Since school, I have had an equal love for math, letters, and arts. I thought of engineering as a possible way to combine those three.” He is interested in the field of Control Theory, which deals with a considerable amount of math and has a lot of theoretical work, as well as its application to biology, sociology, complex systems, and other applied math studies.

Pedro said that he is looking forward to making Santa Barbara his second home, and he is excited about both the academic opportunities and the fun activities it has to offer. Something you might not know about Pedro is that he has ​created over 27 paintings and has done four public art expositions in Peru. He also plays frontón, a Peruvian sport similar to squash, and he has a basic understanding of Quechua, an indigenous Peruvian language.

UCSB GradPost – "Who's new: Introducing our 2016 incoming graduate student cohort" (full article)

Who’s new: UCSB GradPost breaks down 2016 incoming graduate student diversity statistics

September 19th, 2016

This year is one of the most diverse years ever with the campus welcoming ​769 new graduate students. With 66 students, ECE is among the most popular disciplines and Engineering has the most with 207.

photo of World Map

At UCSB, there are a variety of gender identities represented in our student population. From the current demographic data we have collected on the incoming graduate student class, 52 percent of students identified as men and 48 percent identified as women. Starting with the Fall 2017 admissions cycle, all applicants to UCSB will have the option to choose among six gender identities listed on admissions forms: male, female, trans male, trans female, gender queer/gender non-conforming, and different identity. Additionally, all current UC students will be able to update their gender and sexual identity through the UCSB Registrar if they would like to.

Most of the incoming graduate students are between the ages of 22 and 30, but our youngest incoming student is 20 years old and our oldest is 57 years old. Sixteen percent are first-generation college students, and 25 percent of our new grad students identify as an underrepresented minority.

UCSB’s graduate students are coming from 45 different countries – from China to ​Chile, ​Sweden to South Africa, Mexico to Malaysia – representing nearly every continent. In fact, roughly one-third of incoming students (247, to be exact) are coming from places outside the country. Our U.S. students hail from 43 of the 50 states, but over half of them are California natives.

The most popular disciplines that our new graduate students chose were Environmental Science and Management (99 new students), the Teacher Education Program (81 new students), and Electrical and Computer Engineering (66 new students). By division, the most new graduate students are in Engineering (​207) and Mathematical, Life, and Physical Sciences (184), followed by Education (​114) and Humanities and Fine Arts (101).

UCSB GradPost – "Who's new: Introducing our 2016 incoming graduate student cohort" (full article)

Who’s new: Introducing UCSB GradPost 2016 incoming ECE graduate student Vivek Adarsh

September 16th, 2016

UC Santa Barbara welcomes ​769 new graduate students into its ranks next ​week, and this group of incoming students is one of the most diverse ever. UCSB GradPost interviews Vivek Adarsh who will be joining the ECE department specializing in communications and signal processing.

photo by Vivek Adarsh
Vivek moved around quite a bit growing up due to his father’s profession, but he spent most of his childhood in Hyderabad, India. “A new city, a new place every 2-3 years – it helped me adapt quickly and expand my comfort zone,” ​he said. “That’s one thing I’ll be carrying with me to Santa Barbara.” Vivek holds a Bachelor of Technology degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Pune, and he’ll be joining the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at UCSB to specialize in communications and signal processing. ​He explained his research interests by saying, “Today, even though we’re using the Internet at unimaginable speeds, about 60% of the world still lacks basic connectivity, specifically developing nations. Technology in itself is futile if it doesn’t reach the masses. This is what sparked my interest in communications. I envision a future where each and every household ​has standard connectivity.”

Vivek said he is looking forward to ​UCSB’s amazing research facilities as well as the lovely beaches in Santa Barbara. He enjoys exploring new places, playing the guitar, and reading, and he also ​fancies himself a foodie. ​”I’d like to think of myself as a good cook. Well, sort of…! I tend to experiment with new elements. I try out various fusions between different cuisines.”

UCSB GradPost – "Who's new: Introducing our 2016 incoming graduate student cohort" (full article)

U.S. News & World Report ranks UCSB number 8 among the country’s top public universities

September 13th, 2016

Photo of UCSB Storke Tower

Within the University of California system, only UC Berkeley and UCLA ranked above UCSB

Among the “Best National Universities” ranking, which includes both public and private institutions, UCSB placed number 37. Other UC campuses in the Top 30 include Irvine, Davis and San Diego.

In addition, UCSB placed number 13 among public universities in the “Least Debt” section of the magazine’s ranking of student debt load at graduation. UCSB’s College of Engineering is ranked number 18 among public universities on the U.S. News & World Report list of “Best Programs at Engineering Schools Whose Highest Degree is a Doctorate.”

The magazine has just released its annual college rankings online at The print edition of “Best Colleges 2017” guidebook can be purchased online beginning today or in stores Oct. 4.

“We are proud of this national recognition, which places us at No. 8 among the country’s top public universities and further emphasizes our leading role in higher education,” said Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “A reflection of the preeminent stature of UC Santa Barbara, this ranking is the result of the dedication and enormous efforts of our world-class faculty, and the academic distinction of our diverse student body.

“Our greatness,” Yang added, “is the sum of the combined commitment of our students, faculty and staff to academic excellence, diversity, access and affordability.”

The UCSB Current – "Excellence Affirmed"

U.S. News & World Report – "National Universities Rankings"

ECE Professor Pradeep Sen’s work on High dynamic range (HDR) imaging published in IEEE Signal Processing Magazine

September 7th, 2016

cover of Signal Processing magazine
HDR imaging enables the capture of an extremely wide range of the illumination present in a scene and so produces images that more closely resemble what we see with our own eyes

In the article, “Practical High Dynamic Range Imaging of Everyday Scenes: Photographing the world as we see it with our own eyes,” authors Sen (UCSB) and Cecilia Aguerrebere (Duke) explain the problem of limited dynamic range in the standard imaging pipeline and then present a survey of state-of-the-art research in HDR imaging, including the technology’s history, specialized cameras that capture HDR images directly, and algorithms for capturing HDR images using sequential stacks of differently exposed images. Because this last is among the most common methods for capturing HDR images using conventional digital cameras, they also discuss algorithms to address artifacts that occur when using with this method for dynamic scenes.

Finally, they consider systems for the capture of HDR video and conclude by reviewing open problems and challenges in HDR imaging.

IEEE Signal Processing Magazine has an impact factor 6.671 and publishes tutorial-style articles on signal processing research and applications, as well as columns and forums on issues of interest. Its mission is to bring up-to-date, emerging and active technical developments, issues, and events to the research, educational, and professional communities.

IEEE Signal Processing Magazine — Vol.: 33, Issue: 5, Sept. 2016, Pages: 36-44

Pradeep Sen – UCSB MIRAGE Lab

ECE Photonics graduate researcher Victoria Rosborough interviewed by Huffington Post

September 6th, 2016

V Rosborough in the lab

Rosborough, a Ph.D. researcher in Associate Professor Jonathan Klamkin’s Integrated Photonics Laboratory (iPL), talks about her experience choosing the photonics life

Rosborough was interviewed by The Huffington Post blogger Diane Propsner as a part of her series on “amazing women’s college STEM alumnae.” Rosborough, a Ph.D. researcher in the lab of ECE Associate Professor Jonathan Klamkin, talks about her experience as an engineer who started college early in an academically accelerated program – from getting involved in undergraduate research to what it’s like to be a photonics engineer today.

HuffPo: How did you become interested in integrated photonics?

Rosborough: After graduating [from Mary Baldwin College], I found a master’s program in semiconductor devices at the University of Oregon. As a part of this degree, I completed a year-long internship at IBM, where I had the opportunity to interact with Ph.D.’s in several areas of IC production expertise. When I applied to Ph.D. programs that year, I sent applications to electrical engineering and materials science departments. It was during this application process that I learned about integrated photonics. Photonics excites me because it’s on the cutting edge of research while combining physics and technology. Along the way, although I wasn’t always quite sure where I’d end up, I kept pursuing the types of opportunities that excited me until I found my niche.

The Huffington Post – "My Conversation with Victoria Rosborough, a Budding Photonics Engineer"

Three ECE students participate in AIM Photonics undergraduate summer research program

September 6th, 2016

AIM students in the lab Three Electrical & Computer Engineering undergrads – Jonathan Madajian, James McKenna and Aditya Wadaskar participate in the summer research program designed to provide the technical and professional training required for undergraduates to transition into careers within the photonics industry

Tomorrow’s photonics experts are getting a look at the leading edge of the technology today, thanks to the AIM Photonics Research Undergraduate Apprenticeship at UC Santa Barbara. The eight-week summer research program provides community college and UCSB undergraduate students with the technical and professional training that will enable them to transition into careers in the photonics industry.

“The AIM apprentice program exposes students to leading research and gives them the opportunity to learn research skills, interact with professors and graduate students and advance state-of-the-art research,” said John Bowers, ECE Professor and director of the UCSB-based West Coast hub of the federally funded AIM Photonics national manufacturing and research consortium. “It is a great opportunity to see if a life of research, or at least graduate school, is of interest to them.”

Bowers, an internationally renowned expert on photonics and electronics, is among a group of UCSB faculty members their graduate and postdoctoral students who mentored 11 undergraduate interns. The two-month program concluded with day one final presentations and day two poster colloquium.

The UCSB Current – "Light Speed Education" (full article)

The AIM Photonics Research Apprenticeship Program

Washington Monthly ranks UCSB among the best of 2016

August 31st, 2016

Cover Image of Washington Monthly
Washington Monthly ranks UCSB among 2016 top National Universities; also lauds campus for offering the “Best Bang for the Buck”

On its annual list of the country’s top universities, Washington Monthly has ranked UC Santa Barbara among the top 20. The 2016 National Universities ranking was released today in the magazine’s College Guide issue.

UCSB is ranked number 17 overall, and number 9 among public universities. In addition, it is number 19 in the magazine’s “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings in the Western Schools category. These exclusive rankings highlight the universities and colleges in America dedicated to making marketable degrees accessible to lower-income students.

While U.S. News & World Report usually awards its highest ratings to private universities, the editors of Washington Monthly prefer to give public universities more credit, and higher rankings. Eleven of the top 20 universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded.

“UC Santa Barbara is among the institutions that are doing the best job of helping students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices,” said Paul Glastris, Washington Monthly editor-in-chief. “As students consider UCSB, they can be confident that the institution is committed to serving them — and the nation — well.”

The UCSB Current – "WA Monthly ranks UCSB among the best of 2016" (full article)

WA Monthly 2016 College Guide and Rankings