Pitt | Swanson Engineering

The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh emphasizes educational programs that combine theory with practice in the electrical engineering field. Whether students want a broad understanding of electrical engineering, or want to place specific emphasis on interests like computers, signal processing, power, or electronics, the department offers the education that sparks great careers.





May
22
2017

Swanson School’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering appoints Amro El-Jaroudi as Associate Chair

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH (May 22, 2017) … Recognizing his significant career experience at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, Amro El-Jaroudi has been named Associate Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. An associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at Pitt since 1988, Dr. El-Jaroudi’s appointment was announced by Alan George, PhD, department chair. In his role, Dr. El-Jaroudi will support the academic and research initiatives in the department, as well as help manage staff, programs, and resources. “Amro brings the knowledge, wisdom, and experience to serve in this key role for our department,” Dr. George said. “He is well respected by his peers, colleagues, and students throughout the Swanson School and will contribute significantly to the operation and growth of our department.” Dr. El-Jaroudi’s research interests include digital signal processing, and neural net algorithms, specifically with applications in speech analysis and recognition, spectral estimation, and filter design, which in all have attracted more than $3.9 million in research funding. He has authored or co-authored several dozen journal publications and book chapters. At the Swanson School, he has developed courses in modern spectral estimation and digital filter design, and established the Real-Time Signal Processing Laboratory, which is dedicated to improving the design and problem solving experience in signal processing for juniors and senior undergraduates in electrical engineering. He is a recipient of the Swanson School’s Outstanding Educator Award (previously the Beitle-Veltri Memorial Award), and was named Outstanding Teacher in Electrical Engineering. Prior to his career at Pitt, he earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and PhD in electrical engineering from Northeastern University. ### Pictured above from left: Dr. Alan George with Dr. Amro El Jaroudi.

May
12
2017

Pitt IEEE Students Win Big at Student Activities Conference

Electrical & Computer

GLASSBORO, NJ (May 12, 2017) … Students from the University of Pittsburgh chapter of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) placed in three competitions at the 2017 Region 2 IEEE Student Activities Conference at Rowan University. The Pitt teams won first place in the Pico Conference Paper Competition and the Micromouse Competition and third place in the Brown Bag Circuit Design Competition. “We are very proud of how these students represented the ECE department at this conference,” said Samuel Dickerson, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and faculty advisor for Pitt IEEE. “The IEEE is not just the largest association for electrical and computer engineering professions, it is the world's largest association among all technical professions, so all of the major universities in the region participated. We are all delighted to see how our students’ performance reflects the quality of our SSOE ECE students and their ability to apply what they've learned to challenges outside of the classroom.” Kendra Farrell, a junior majoring in computer engineering at Pitt, took home first place for writing and presenting her technical paper titled “The James Webb Telescope and Its Search through Time.” For the competition, Farrell explored technical aspects of the James Webb Telescope—NASA’s next generation, infrared telescope scheduled to be launched in October 2018. A team consisting of Pitt undergraduates Ryan Matthews, Andrew Saba, Alex Glyde, and Michael Hermenault also won first place for their design of an autonomous robot mouse in the Micromouse Competition. The mouse was able to solve an eight-square-meter maze in the shortest amount of time. The four team members belong to the Robotics and Automation Society at Pitt. In the Brown Bag Circuit Competition, students completed challenges using various electrical components provided in a brown bag. The components included voltage dividers, clock signals, inverters, and XOR gates. Pitt students Brandon Contino, Jenna Delozier, and Demetri Khoury won third place. The Pitt students competed against 27 other universities in the Atlantic Region of IEEE, which covers parts of Ohio, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and West Virginia. There were a total of 10 activities, and students could also attend leadership workshops and an awards banquet during the conference. ### Image above: Members from Pitt ECE attending the 2017 Student Activities Conference at Rowan University.
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
May
10
2017

Following two decades as Dean, Gerald Holder to return to faculty at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS, Diversity

PITTSBURGH (May 10, 2017) ... Marking the culmination of more than two decades of dynamic leadership, Gerald D. Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, has announced his intention to step down from his position to return to the faculty in the fall of 2018.Holder, Distinguished Service Professor of chemical engineering, has been dean of the Swanson School since 1996 and a member of its faculty since 1979.“Two words come to mind when I look back on Jerry’s incredible career as dean of our Swanson School of Engineering: tremendous growth,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “Under Jerry’s leadership, our Swanson School has seen record enrollment levels and total giving to the school has topped $250 million. “The school has also expanded academically to support new knowledge in areas like energy and sustainability — and also new partnerships, including a joint engineering program with China’s Sichuan University. And while I will certainly miss Jerry’s many contributions as dean, I am grateful that he will remain an active faculty member and continue to strengthen our Swanson School’s bright future,” Gallagher said.       “Through a focus on innovation and excellence, Dean Holder has led a transformation of the Swanson School of Engineering into a leader in engineering research and education,” said Patricia E. Beeson, provost and senior vice chancellor. Beeson added, "From the establishment of the now top-ranked Department of Bioengineering to the integrated first-year curriculum that has become a national model, the Swanson School has been a change maker. And with nearly three-quarters of the faculty hired while he has been dean, the culture of success that he has established will remain long after he steps down.” The University plans to announce the search process for his successor in the coming months. Holder’s Many Accomplishments In his 21 years as dean, Holder has overseen school growth as well as increases in research awards and philanthropic gifts. Enrollment has doubled to nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and the number of PhDs has increased threefold. Holder also has emphasized programs to nourish diversity and engagement — for example, in 2012 the Swanson School had the highest percentage in the nation of engineering doctoral degrees awarded to women. Co-curricular programs also have prospered during Holder’s tenure. The school’s cooperative education program, which places students in paid positions in industry during their undergraduate studies, has increased to approximately 300 active employers. International education or study abroad has also become a hallmark of a Pitt engineering education, with 46 percent participation in 2015 versus a 4.6 percent national average for engineering and a 22.6 percent national average for STEM fields. The school’s annual sponsored research has tripled during Holder’s years as dean, totaling a cumulative $400 million. Alumnus John A. Swanson’s landmark $43 million naming gift came in 2007, the largest-ever gift by an individual to the University at the time.University-wide initiatives developed during Holder’s tenure as dean include the Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering; the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, founded with support of alumnus John C. “Jack” Mascaro; and the Center for Energy.Holder is likewise held in high regard by his peers. "As a dean of long standing, many of us refer to Dean Holder as `the Dean of deans,’ not just because of his years of service but also because of the respect that we have for his leadership, mentorship and impact on the engineering profession,” said James H. Garrett Jr., dean of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.“He is an accomplished academician, an exceptional academic leader and a tremendous human being.” Holder, a noted expert on natural gas hydrates and author of more than 100 journal articles, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kalamazoo College and bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. He was a faculty member in chemical engineering at Columbia University prior to joining the Pitt engineering faculty in 1979. He served as chair of the chemical engineering department from 1987 to 1995 before being named dean of engineering.Among many professional accomplishments, he was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2003. In 2008 he was named an American Institute of Chemical Engineers Fellow and was awarded the William Metcalf Award from the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania for lifetime achievement in engineering. In 2015 he was elected chair of the American Society of Engineering Educators’ (ASEE) Engineering Deans Council, the leadership organization of engineering deans in the U.S., for a two-year term. The council has approximately 350 members, representing more than 90 percent of all U.S. engineering deans and is tasked by ASEE to advocate for engineering education, research and engagement throughout the U.S., especially among the public at large and in U.S. public policy. ###
Author: Kimberly Barlow, University Communications
May
10
2017

ECE’s Ervin Sejdic Becomes IEEE Signal Processing Magazine Area Editor of eNews

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 10, 2017) … The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Signal Processing Magazine has announced Ervin Sejdic, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, will become the new Area Editor for eNews. Dr. Sejdic joins the magazine’s five other area editors in this senior position.“It is my great honor and pleasure to serve as an area editor for the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine, which is the highest rated journal in the area of signal processing,” said Dr. Sejdic. “This is a great recognition of my contributions to this field, and I’m very fortunate to be given this extraordinary opportunity.”Signal Processing Magazine and the recently introduced “Inside Signal Processing E-Newsletter” is distributed to all members of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. The journal contains instructional articles with “comprehensive surveys of important theories, algorithms, tools, and applications related to signal processing and related areas.” Its impact factor of 6.671 is the highest in the field.About Dr. SejdicDr. Sejdic holds a B.E. Sc. and Ph.D. from the University of Western Ontario, both in electrical engineering. During his undergraduate studies, Dr. Sejdic specialized in wireless communications, while his Ph.D. project focused on signal processing. From 2008 until 2010, Dr. Sejdic 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. Sejdic 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. Sejdic 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 IEEEWith more than 400,000 members in 160 countries, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. The IEEE is a leading authority on world-changing technologies, from computing and sustainable energy systems to aerospace, communications, robotics, healthcare, and more. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
May
8
2017

Pitt Names Founding Dean of School of Computing and Information

Electrical & Computer

PITTSBURGH—Paul R. Cohen is the founding dean of the University of Pittsburgh School of Computing and Information. Cohen’s deanship begins on Aug. 1, 2017. The first new school or college established at Pitt since 1995, the School of Computing and Information is a multidisciplinary environment that supports discovery, innovation and entrepreneurship driven by data and technology. It is a key element in Pitt’s strategy to support research in data and computation-intensive fields across the University. The school will begin operations on July 1 and will enroll its first students in the fall 2017 term. “Paul is a visionary leader who will quickly drive our School of Computing and Information to the forefront of academic excellence,” said Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “He is also an expert collaborator and a leading authority on utilizing data, technology and information in new ways to solve some of the most challenging and complex issues facing society today.” “Paul’s scholarship and expertise are well suited to our ambitions for the School of Computing and Information. His history of leadership in academia and government positions him well to foster the development of the school and to partner with other leaders across the University,” said Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson. “I know that his enthusiasm and expertise will advance the school and will help the University of Pittsburgh continue to make an impact on our community and our world.” Since 2013, Cohen has worked as a program manager within the Information Innovation Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). At DARPA, he oversees programs that address a far-reaching collection of areas, such as communication between humans and machines, cancer biology, extracting knowledge from text, and global and national security. These programs have included the Big Mechanism and the Communicating with Computers programs. Cohen serves as a professor and was the founding director of the School of Information: Science, Technology and Arts, now the School of Information, at the University of Arizona. A professor at the University of Arizona since 2008, he also held positions at the University of Southern California from 2003 to 2008 and the University of Massachusetts from 1983 to 2003. In terms of his professional research, Cohen works in artificial intelligence and cognitive science. He is particularly interested in how robots and computers can learn the meanings of words and phrases — one of his programs at DARPA focuses on communicating with computers. He has also worked on other physical foundations for language, including vision-based learning of spatial language. Additionally, Cohen has developed methods for education informatics, which apply artificial intelligence and machine learning to better engage and teach students. Cohen's recent DARPA programs focus on technology to gather large numbers of journal articles and other data into causal models of very complicated systems, such as cell signaling systems in cancer or food and water systems. Cohen is the author of the book “Empirical Methods for Artificial Intelligence.” He was editor in chief of the International Journal of Intelligent Data Analysis, and also has been the co-editor for the International Journal of Approximate Reasoning, Artificial Intelligence for Engineering Design and Manufacturing, and Knowledge Engineering Review. Throughout his nearly 35 year academic and professional career, Cohen has been recognized with numerous honors and distinctions. He is an elected fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. In 1998, he was named a faculty fellow of the University of Massachusetts. Cohen was a councilor for the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence from 1991 to 1994. Cohen earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology at the University of California San Diego in 1977, a Masters of Arts degree in psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1978 and a PhD in computer science and psychology at Stanford University in 1983. ###
Author: Anthony Moore, University Communications

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