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ECE Seminar Series

The seminar series explores cutting-edge research in all areas of ECE, facing the grand challenges of our time. It focuses on a wide range of topics in ECE, including microelectronics, photonics and unconventional computing (both quantum and non-quantum) in the post-Moore era, and the theory and applications of machine learning and AI. The series will feature some of the most promising and established researchers in the field, and provide a unique opportunity for participants to learn about the latest developments and engage in discussions with invited experts and ECE graduate students. Additionally, it will promote diversity by featuring a diverse range of speakers and perspectives, ensuring the broad accessibility of the latest ideas and breakthroughs.

Series Committee Members – Faculty: Haewon Jeong (Chair), Kerem Camsari, Nina Miolane, Galan Moody and Graduate Student Association: Ozgur Guldogan, Monsij Biswal

Upcoming ECE Distinguished Lectures at the ECE Seminar Series (2023-24)

Come back and check for more seminars!

Past ECE Distinguished Lectures at the ECE Seminar Series (2023-24)

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DK Panda, Professor, Computer Science & Engineering, Ohio State University

"Creating Intelligent Cyberinfrastructure for Democratizing AI: Overview of the Activities at the NSF-AI Institute ICICLE"

Panda's Talk – April 5 (Fri), 2024 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

DK Panda is a Professor and University Distinguished Scholar of Computer Science and Engineering at the Ohio State University. He is serving as the Director of the ICICLE NSF-AI Institute ( He has published over 500 papers. The MVAPICH2 MPI libraries, designed and developed by his research group (, are currently being used by more than 3,300 organizations worldwide (in 90 countries). More than 1.75 million downloads of this software have taken place from the project's site.  (more...)

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Takako Hirokawa, Principal Device Engineer, GlobalFoundries

"Latest Progress and Challenges in 300 mm Monolithic Silicon Photonics Manufacturing"

Hirokawa's Talk – March 22  (Fri), 2024 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

Takako Hirokawa (Member, IEEE) received B.S. degrees in applied math and engineering physics from the University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO, USA, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA, in 2016 and 2020, respectively. She is currently a Principal Device Engineer at GlobalFoundries.

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Mrinalini Lakshminarayanan, Head of Product Strategy & Innovation, Verizon

"Future of Connected World Technologies"

Lakshminarayanan's Talk – March 1 (Fri), 2024 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

Mrinalini Lakshminarayanan is the Head of product strategy and innovation for Industry 4.0 (manufacturing, supply chain), Energy, V2X, Aviation and autonomous navigation. In her 26 yrs industry career she has held global leadership positions for product, technology and operations in Motorola Solutions, Zebra technology, Gogo Inflight(acquired by Intelsat), Parker Hannifin, Ingram Micro and Verizon. This includes leading cutting edge technology and products in Internet of Things(IoT), eXtended reality(XR), LTE-5G, artificial intelligence  and aircraft connectivity (passenger and avionics). She has managed the global P&Ls, industry and university partnership ecosystems, technology and industry center of excellence(CoE) across the broad spectrum of verticals and channels globally (more...)

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Kush Varshney, Distinguished Researcher, IBM Research

"A Carative Approach to AI Governance"

Varshney's Talk – Feb 23 (Fri), 2024 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

Kush R. Varshney was born in Syracuse, New York in 1982. He received the B.S. degree (magna cum laude) in electrical and computer engineering with honors from Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, in 2004. He received the S.M. degree in 2006 and the Ph.D. degree in 2010, both in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge. While at MIT, he was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow.

Dr. Varshney is a distinguished research scientist and senior manager with IBM Research at the Thomas J. Watson Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, where he heads the Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence and Trustworthy Machine Intelligence teams. (more...)

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Shyam Gollakota, Washington Research Foundation Endowed Professor, UW

"Augmenting Human Auditory Perception with AI”

Gollakota's Talk – Jan 26 (Fri), 2024 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

Shyam Gollakota is a Washington Research Foundation endowed Professor at the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering in the University of Washington. His work has been licensed by ResMed Inc, our startup Sound Life Sciences acquired by Google, and is in use by millions of users. He was also CEO of a startup where we obtained FDA 510(k) clearance for the technology developed in my lab. His lab also worked closely with the Washington Department of Agriculture to wirelessly track invasive "murder" hornets, which resulted in the destruction of the first nest in the United States. He is the recipient of the ACM Grace Murray Hopper Award in 2020 and recently named as a Moore Inventor Fellow in 2021. He was also named in MIT Technology Review’s 35 Innovators Under 35, Popular Science ‘brilliant 10’ and twice to the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list. (more..)

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Richard Mirin, Group Leader, Quantum Nanophotonics, NIST Boulder

"High-efficiency, Superconducting Single-photon Detectors from Ultraviolet to Long-wavelength Infrared”

Mirin's Talk – Jan 19 (Fri), 2024 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

Dr. Richard Mirin received his PhD from the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at UC Santa Barbara in 1996 under the supervision of Prof. John Bowers. He then joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, Colorado. He is currently the Quantum Nanophotonics Group Leader in the Applied Physics Division at NIST. His research interests include superconducting single-photon detectors, III-V semiconductor devices including semiconductor lasers, chip-scale nonlinear optics, and quantum dots, and molecular beam epitaxy.

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Elza Erkip, Institute Professor, ECE, NYU

"Distributed Compression in the Era of Machine Learning"

Erkip's Talk – Dec 8 (Fri), 2023 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

Elza Erkip is an Institute Professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at New York University Tandon School of Engineering. She received the B.S. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA. Her research interests are in information theory, communication theory, and wireless communications. (more...)

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Priyadarshini Panda, Assistant Professor, EE, Yale University

"Rethinking AI Algorithm and Hardware Design with Neuromorphic Computing"

Panda's Talk – Nov 17 (Fri), 2023 @ 1:00pm | Henley Hall, Lecture Hall 1010

Priya Panda is an assistant professor in the electrical engineering department at Yale University, USA. She received her B.E. and Master's degree from BITS, Pilani, India in 2013 and her Ph.D. from Purdue University, USA in 2019. During her PhD, she interned in Intel Labs where she developed large scale spiking neural network algorithms for benchmarking the Loihi chip. She is the recipient of the 2019 Amazon Research Award, 2022 Google Research Scholar Award, 2022 DARPA Riser Award, 2023 NSF CAREER Award, 2023 DARPA Young Faculty Award. She has also received the 2022 ISLPED Best Paper Award and 2022 IEEE Brain Community Best Paper Award. Her research interests lie in Neuromorphic Computing, Spiking Neural Networks, and In-Memory Computing.

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Jagadeesh Balam, Senior Research Manager & Taejin Park, Senior Research Scientist, NVIDIA

"NVIDIA NeMo Toolkit for Conversational AI: An Open Source Framework for Advanced Speech Models"

Balam and Park's Talk – Nov 3 (Fri) @  2023 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 1001

Jagadeesh Balam earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of California, Santa Barbara in 2007.He pursued his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Jerry Gibson. He is now a Senior Research Manager in the NeMo Speech AI team where he leads the Multi-Speaker ASR and Speech Enhancement research.

Taejin Park earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 2010 and M.S. in Electric Engineering and Computer Science in 2012 from Seoul National University. He later obtained a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and an M.S. in Computer Science from USC. Dr. Park is now a Senior Research Scientist at NVIDIA, specializing in machine learning and speech signal processing.

Past ECE Seminar Series Talks (2023-24)

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Kaikai Liu, Ph.D. Candidate, ECE, UC Santa Barbara

"Stimulated Brillouin Lasers and Optical References in 100 Million Q Factor Silicon Nitride Waveguide Resonator"

Liu's Talk – Dec 1 (Fri), 2023 @ 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Rm 1001

Kaikai Liu is a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Kaikai received his BS in Physics at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, China in 2018 in June 2018 and MS in ECE at UCSB in May 2020. His research under Prof. Daniel Blumenthal at UCSB includes ultra-low-loss silicon nitride waveguides (below 0.1 dB/m at C band), extremely narrow fundamental linewidth (30 mHz) Brillouin lasers, and integrated optical frequency referencing for various applications such as trapped ion quantum computing, coherent telecommunications, fiber sensing, ultra-low-noise microwave and mmWave generation.

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Bryce Ferguson, Ph.D. Candidate, ECE, UC Santa Barbara

"Information as Control: The Role of Communication in Multi-Agent Systems"

Ferguson’s Talk – Oct 20 (Fri) 2:00pm | Engineering Science Building (ESB), Rm 1001 

Bryce L. Ferguson is a Ph.D. candidate in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Bryce received his BS and MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara in June 2018 and March 2020, respectively, and his A.A. in Mathematics from Santa Rosa Junior College in 2016. He was named a 2022 CPS Rising Star and was a finalist for the Best Student Paper Award at the 2020 American Controls Conference. Bryce's research interests focus on using game theoretic methods for describing and controlling both social and engineered multi-agent systems.