Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Since its founding in 1893 by two legends, George Westinghouse and Reginald Fessenden, the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Pitt has excelled in education, research, and service.  Today, the department features innovative undergraduate and graduate programs and world-class research centers and labs, combining theory with practice at the nexus of computer and electrical engineering, for our students to learn, develop, and lead lives of impact.





Oct
13
2017

Ervin Sejdic Named Associate Editor of IEEE Biomedical Journal

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (October 13, 2017) … The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) has named Ervin Sejdić an Associate Editor of its journal IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering (TBME). Dr. Sejdić is an associate professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering with appointments in the departments of electrical and computer engineering and bioengineering.“My goal as associate editor is to help take TBME to the next level and make it the premier journal in the field of biomedical engineering,” said Dr. Sejdić. “In addition to emphasizing quality research with the potential to make major impacts on the field, I would like to guide TBME toward a general readership, with articles that are relevant to the entire biomedical engineering community, not specific areas of focus.”Dr. Sejdić will oversee the review of new article submissions. He will work to encourage researchers to publish their work in TBME and evaluate the significance of research efforts based on their likeliness to advance the field of biomedical engineering.  About Dr. SejdićDr. Sejdić holds a B.E. Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, both in electrical engineering. During his undergraduate studies, Dr. Sejdić specialized in wireless communications, while his PhD project focused on signal processing. From 2008 until 2010, Dr. Sejdić was a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, with a cross-appointment at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation teaching hospital. During his postdoctoral fellowship, Dr. Sejdić focused on rehabilitation engineering and biomedical instrumentation. He was also a research fellow in medicine at Harvard Medical School cross-appointed at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (July 2010-June 2011), where he focused on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular monitoring of older, diabetic adults. In addition to his role of associate professor at Pitt, Dr. Sejdić is the associate director of the RFID Center for Excellence, which works within academia and industry to advance the understanding and application of radio frequency identification (RFID) technology.About TBME IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering is a leading general journal in the field of biomedical engineering with more than 2000 submissions per year. The current acceptance rate of TBME is about 20 percent. TBME is ranked in the top three among all biomedical technology journals on the h5 index and top seven among more than 170 biomedical engineering journals on the h-index. The Impact Factor of TBME in 2016 was 3.577. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Oct
2
2017

Blast Off!

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (October 2, 2017) … The National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Space, High-performance, and Resilient Computing (SHREC) celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 18 with a ribbon cutting and tours of the facility at the Schenley Place building on the University of Pittsburgh Oakland campus.“Pittsburgh provides an ideal setting to foster and support high-tech research collaboration between industry, academia, and government,” said Alan George, the Mickle Chair Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Pitt and founder of SHREC. Dr. George became chair of the Swanson School of Engineering’s ECE Department in January. The main research focus of SHREC is “mission-critical computing,” which includes space computing; high-performance computing and data analytics; and resilient computing to ensure computer dependability in harsh environments like space or the ocean floor.SHREC expects to bring about $1 million in external research funding to Pitt each year and is funded by the NSF Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers Program. The University of Pittsburgh is the lead institution of the national research center, and partners include Brigham Young University and University of Florida.“We plan to grow to four or five universities in the next few years and more than 30 industry and government partners,” said Dr. George.The SHREC team currently operates two experimental space processors deployed on the NASA International Space Station (ISS) and will add six more in late 2018 or early 2019. NASA and the U.S. Department of Defense deployed the first two processors as part of the Space Test Program – Houston 5 (STP-H5) payload in February.During the grand opening, students offered demonstrations of the SHREC facilities. In the Spacecraft Assembly Room, they showed attendees how they communicate with the ISS and direct space missions from the Pitt campus.“Our focus is student-centered, and the students get to work directly with the computers in space,” said Dr. George. “Space technology applies to most of the engineering disciplines, and I would encourage anyone interested in our work to get in touch with us.”SHREC will replace the NSF Center for High-performance Reconfigurable Computing (CHREC), which moved to Pitt in January under the direction of Dr. George. CHREC will sunset in December after 11 years of operation. ### Image above (from left to right): Gerald Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering; Dr. George; and Dr. Rob Rutenbar, senior vice chancellor for research, at the SHREC ribbon-cutting.
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Sep
26
2017

University of Pittsburgh team designing drone to herd Roomba vacuums

Electrical & Computer, Student Profiles

The challenge seems impossible. Use a drone to herd a flock of Roomba vacuums while avoiding other Roombas with large poles attached to them. And do this autonomously, flying and finding the Roombas without the help of a human pilot or GPS. "You just push a button and it takes off and does its thing," said Aaron Miller, a senior computer science and physics major at the University of Pittsburgh and one of the students trying to crack this challenge. Read the full story at the Tribune-Review. View the video at the Tribune Review.
Aaron Aupperlee, Tribune-Review
Aug
14
2017

Pitt Students’ Autonomous Drone ‘Flies High’ at International Robotics Competition

Electrical & Computer

ATLANTA (August 14, 2017) … Two decades ago, the Georgia Tech Campus Recreation Center served as a swimming venue for the 1996 Summer Olympics. This past summer, the competitors weren’t battling with backstrokes or synchronized dives; instead they were waiting anxiously on the sidelines to see if their autonomous robot drones could herd a group of randomly-moving Roombas to one side of the floor while avoiding obstacles.At the International Aerial Robotics Competition (IARC) Mission 7 at the Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Pittsburgh Robotics and Automation Society (RAS) won Best System Design award and had the highest overall score out of 13 international teams present. The Best System Design award recognizes the overall design of the drone and its fitness for the mission, while points are awarded for flight performance and several static judging categories including a symposium presentation and a technical paper.“We were able to demonstrate autonomous flight, takeoff, and landing,” says Andrew Saba, Pitt RAS Director of Outreach and a member of the Pitt RAS team. “A lot of the aspects of the mission work in simulation but have not been integrated and tested on actual hardware. We are proud of how far we have come, but we know there is much more left to go.”The IARC Missions competition began in 1991, and each mission is repeated annually until it is successfully completed. Tsinghua University completed Mission 6 in 2013, prompting the creation of Mission 7.Mission 7 challenges teams to design and build a fully autonomous aerial vehicle capable of navigating through an indoor environment without landmarks. As the drone flies through the environment, ground robots move randomly around the floor. The main objective is for the drone to “herd” the ground robots across one side of an arena by touching them, while also avoiding moving obstacles.“Mission 7 is difficult because it requires the integration of many complex behaviors including localization without external landmarks, fast movement, target identification, obstacle avoidance, and artificial intelligence. Each of these is a research area in itself,” says Levi Burner, an electrical engineering undergraduate who led the Pitt RAS team at IARC alongside physics and computer science undergraduate Aaron Miller.In addition to the American Venue, an identical competition takes place annually at the Asia/Pacific Venue at Beihang University in Beijing, China. American judges and Asian judges confer, and representatives from both regions are present at each venue. The American Venue competition took place on July 26, and the Asia/Pacific Venue competition will take place in late August.“This mission could be completed at the Asia-Pacific Venue this year, or maybe never. We just do not know,” says Saba. “We have a lot of work to do and are hoping to beat the mission. This is its fourth year, and we have only been working on it for one.”“Competition allowed us to validate our design decisions, and this year the team will focus on higher level concepts such as interacting with ground robots and improving obstacle detection,” adds Burner. “While we did not interact with ground robots in 2017, we did lay a solid foundation and expect to have ground robot interaction completed in time for next year.”The IARC intentionally designs the mission to be impossible based on commercially available technology. If the mission is not completed by a team at the Asia/Pacific Venue this year, the mission will be repeated in 2018. No team was able to complete the full mission at the American Venue, and only four teams were capable of flying autonomously during the competition, including the Pitt team.“I was very impressed by what they were able to accomplish, especially in an international competition,” says Sam Dickerson, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at Pitt. “The project was totally student driven. Their workshop is next door to my office, and they worked every day on their design. There were many occasions I heard them working late in the evening. It’s really a great student group, not only are they active, they are very welcoming and make concerted efforts to include anyone and everyone who is interested in robotics.”About the Robotics and Automation SocietyPitt’s Robotics and Automation Society is a cross-discipline, student-run organization that focuses on emerging technologies in robotics, automation, and autonomous systems. Anyone interested in learning more about the Robotics and Automation Society and the IARC should visit their headquarters in 1212 Benedum Hall, email ras@pitt.edu, or check out the website at pittras.org. Pitt RAS also invites anyone to join their Slack at pittras.slack.com. ### Image above (from left to right):  Pitt RAS team members Andrew Saba, Ritesh Misra, Aaron Miller (back), Garret Sultzbach (holding plaque), Levi Burner, and Elliot Miller.
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Aug
14
2017

Pitt's ECE Department Welcomes Four New Faculty Members This Fall

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (August 14, 2017) … Four new faculty members will join the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering beginning September 1. Ahmed Dallal and Jingtong Hu will join the department as Assistant Professors; Wei Gao will join as an Associate Professor; and Heng Huang will join as the John A. Jurenko Endowed Professor. “We are very excited to announce and welcome these four new ECE faculty members,” said Alan George , Department Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Pitt. “This group is truly exceptional and brings diverse interests and strengths, educational backgrounds, and experiences in academia that will be crucial in our on-going efforts and progress to broaden and deepen our academic and research programs in computer and electrical engineering.” Ahmed Dallal, Assistant ProfessorDr. Dallal received his BS and MS degrees in systems and biomedical engineering from Cairo University in Egypt. He received his PhD in electrical and computer engineering from the University of Pittsburgh in 2017. His PhD work focused on human-machine interaction and networked control applications for air traffic management. His research interests include biomedical signal processing, biomedical image analysis, and computer vision, as well as machine learning, networked control systems, and human-machine learning. Dr. Dallal received the Duquesne Light Fellowship in 2013 and 2014. He also received the Dean Fellowship from the University of Pittsburgh in 2015. He was the winner of the Young Innovator Award of Nahdet el Mahrouse in Egypt in 2009. Jingtong Hu, Assistant ProfessorDr. Hu was an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Oklahoma State University from 2013-2017. He received his PhD degree in computer science from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2013. He received his BE degree from the School of Computer Science and Technology, Shandong University, China in 2007. His research interests include embedded systems, Field-Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) technology, and emerging memory technology. His research has been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Air Force Research Laboratory, and Intel/Altera. He has published more than 50 papers for premier journals and conferences. Dr. Hu has served on the Technical Program Committee for many international conferences such as ASP-SAC, DATE, DAC, ESWEEK, RTSS, and others. He is also the recipient of OSU CEAT Outstanding New Faculty Award, Women’s Faculty Council Research Award, and Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship. Wei Gao, Associate ProfessorBefore joining Pitt, Dr. Gao was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. Gao received his PhD degree in computer science from Pennsylvania State University in 2012. His research interests include mobile and embedded computing systems, cyber-physical systems, Internet of Things, wireless networking, and big data. Dr. Gao has published more than 60 research papers at various top-tier journals and conference proceedings. He has attracted more than $2.5 million of external research funding from various federal agencies including NSF, Army Research Office, and Department of Energy. He is the winner of an NSF CAREER award in 2016. Heng Huang, John A. Jurenko Endowed ProfessorBefore joining Pitt, Dr. Huang was a Distinguished University Professor in Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington. He was also an adjunct professor of clinical sciences at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Dr. Huang received his PhD degree in computer science at Dartmouth College and then joined UTA as an assistant professor. His research areas include machine learning, big data mining, imaging genomics, medical image analysis, bioinformatics, health informatics, computational neuroscience, and precision medicine. He has published more than 130 papers in top-tier conferences and many papers in premium journals such as NIPS, ICML, KDD, RECOMB, ISMB, IJCAI, AAAI, CVPR, ICCV, SIGIR, Bioinformatics, IEEE Trans. On Medical Imaging, Medical Image Analysis, IEEE TKDE, and others. As principal investigator, Dr. Huang is leading a National Institutes of Health-funded $2 million R01 project on imaging genomics based complex brain disorder study, multiple NSF-funded projects on precision medicine, biomedical data science, big data mining, electronic medical record data mining and privacy-preserving, computational biology, smart healthcare, cyber physical systems, and also industry-funded projects on computational sustainability, smart metering, and smart grids. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Upcoming Events


back
view more