Stanford’s 2017 Rising Stars in EECS Features Three Electrical Engineers

Yuqian Zhang, Negar Reiskarimian, and Aida Colon are among the 70 young woman invited to participate in Stanford’s 2017 Rising Stars in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Previously held at MIT, Carnegie Mellon, and UC Berkeley, the Rising Stars of EECS seeks out the brightest and most promising women in the field within the early stages of their academic careers. Columbia’s Electrical Engineering department has had several students participate in the past and congratulates 2017’s winners in their selection.

Yuqian Zhang is a 6th year PhD candidate advised by Prof. John Wright. Her research contributes to distinct areas crossing optimization, computer vision, signal processing, machine learning, and microscopy. Specifically, she designs provable and efficient algorithms for important practical problems across engineering and scientific disciplines. 

In one interdisciplinary collaboration with Abhay Pasupathy a Columbia University Professor in Physics, her work provided collaborators new language to use in formulating their microscopy data analysis problems. The algorithm she designed led to improved results in comparison to state-of- art algorithms. This offered new quantitative information for physicists to develop meaningful knowledge of the physics process. In addition, her research yielded important applicable theoretical insights and reliable algorithms for similar problems in computer vision, machine learning, and neuroscience.

Yunqian has been selected to present at several premier computer vision and machine learning conferences in 2017, including the IEEE Conference on Computer Vision and Patter Recognition (CVPR) and the Signal Processing with Adaptive Sparse Structured Representation (SPARS).

She received her BSc degree from Xi'an Jiaotong University in 2011, and her MS degree in Electrical engineering from Columbia University in 2013. She was also a recipient of the Special Wei Family Private Foundation Scholarship in 2013.

Negar Reiskarimian received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Iran in 2011 and 2013, respectively. She is currently a fifth year doctoral candidate in the CoSMIC (Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC) lab, which is led by Prof. Harish Krishnaswamy.

Negar’s research broadly focuses on integrated circuits and systems and applied electromagnetics, with an emphasis on novel non-reciprocal components for emerging wireless communication paradigms. Her discovery, and eventual implementation of CMOS-compatible non-reciprocal circulators and isolators, has been widely recognized as having the potential to revolutionize the field of telecommunications.

Her work has appeared in top-tier IEEE IC-related journals and conferences, such as Journal of Solid-State Circuits and the International Solid-States Circuits Conference, as well as broader- interest high-impact journals in the Nature family. Her research has been widely covered in the press, and featured in IEEE Spectrum, Gizmodo, and EE Times among others. Negar is the recipient of numerous awards, fellowships and honors, including the Marconi Society Paul Baran Young Scholar award, Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship, Caltech's Young Investigator Lecturer in Engineering and Applied Sciences, the IEEE Solid-State Circuits Society Predoctoral Achievement Award, the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Graduate Fellowship and the ISSCC Analog Devices Outstanding Student Designer Award.

Aida Colon is working on the fabrication and application of thin film piezoelectric resonators integrated on the back-end of silicon integrated circuits  while working in the Columbia Laboratory for Unconventional Electronics (CLUE) directed by her advisor Professor John Kymissis.  These devices have broad application in radio frequency circuitry as well as in high sensitivity sensors for detection of vapors, gases, and liquid analytes.  Aida has developed the processes required to build these integrated resonators as well as demonstrated the characterization and design tools required to integrate the devices in circuits that share area between the resonator and the underlying circuitry.  These devices can be used in a range of next generation electronic devices.

Aida graduated with her BS from University of Puerto Rico in Electrical Engineering in 2013, and joined Columbia in the fall of that year. She is an NSF Research Fellow and previous to joining Columbia, she interned at NIST, UC Berkeley and IBM Tokyo, working on metrology and calibration for devices at the fempto- to nano-ampere domain, printed organic solar cells and optical characterisation for chip-on-chip interconnects, respectively. She expects to graduate with her PhD in the Spring of 2018.

By Jessica B. Rodriguez

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