Seven Columbia Engineering seniors have been selected to receive graduate research fellowships from the National Science Foundation (NSF), some of the nation’s most prestigious honors for undergraduate engineers and scientists. Fellows, who the NSF expects to “become knowledge experts who can contribute significantly to research, teaching, and innovations in science and engineering,” receive three-year annual stipends of $34,000 as well as $12,000 educational allowances to pursue graduate-level degrees and research. The Columbians, among just 2000 awardees selected from over 12,000 applicants, have research interests ranging from biomedical engineering to cutting-edge electronics.

Julia Di ’18 – Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Cofounder of the Columbia Space Initiative, Di is interested in robotics and wearable electronics. She has been collaborating with Prof. Hod Lipson (mechanical Engineering) on an open-source 3D-printed walking quadrupedal robot optimized for machine learning, and plans to earn her PhD at Stanford designing better sensors and control mechanisms for both humans and robots, especially in the context of space exploration.

Wing-Sum Adrienne Law ’18 – Mechanical Engineering
A mechanical engineer interested in cell and tissue level biomechanics, Law has previously worked with Professor Gerard Ateshian on cartilage tissue engineering. In the Fall, she will begin her PhD at Stanford studying biomechanics, starting with a rotation learning about multi-scale modeling of the brain.

Charles Liang ’18 – Materials Research
Liang’s research interests bridge materials physics and biophysics. He has worked with Columbia professor Ozgur Sahin studying Bacillus subtilis (B. subtilis) spores, which expand and contract based on humidity changes and might potentially be integrated into clean energy technology that harnesses the natural evaporation energy of water. He has also worked with scientists at Los Alamos on dynamics research. He will pursue his PhD in quantum material physics at the University of Chicago’s Institute for Molecular Engineering.

Nicholas Ouassil ’18 – Chemical Engineering
Ouassil’s many interests include producing low-cost hydrogen from biomass via integrated carbon capture, a technique he worked on in Professor Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park’s lab, and developing nanosensors for measuring neurotransmitters in living brains. He will begin his PhD this fall at the University of California, Berkeley.

Kelsey Reed ’18 – Chemical Engineering
Focused on understanding atmospheric chemistry and aerosols, Reed has worked with Professor V. Faye McNeil modeling severe haze events in urban China. Earning her PhD at MIT, she hopes to contribute to sustainable energy technologies and environmental policy.

Sarah Thompson ’18 – Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Working at the intersection of electrical engineering and materials research, Thompson is interested in novel electronics capable of qualities like flexibility and biodegradability. She has been part of Professor John Kymissis’ Columbia Laboratory for Unconventional Electronics and will pursue her PhD at the University of Pennsylvania. 

Sevahn Vorperian ’18 – Bioengineering 
With research interests spanning biomaterials, surface chemistry, and next generation sequencing, Vorperian focuses on leveraging biological processes to develop and deliver therapeutics. At Columbia, she worked with Professors Kam Leong and Allie Obermeyer. She will pursue her PhD in chemical engineering at Stanford University.

Two Columbia Engineering alums—Nai Chen Chang ‘16 and Alexandra Georgiana Hammerberg ‘13—also received fellowships.

Biomedical Engineering (BME) Postdoctoral Fellow Yifei Zhang, BME graduate student Stanislav Tsitkov, and BME Professor Henry Hess published a new paper—“Complex dynamics in a two-enzyme reaction network with substrate competition”--in Nature Catalysis on April 9. In a “Behind the Paper Post” that the group published in the Nature Research Chemistry Community, they noted that “the construction of enzymatic reaction networks in vitro with programmable and predictable dynamics is an emerging topic in synthetic and systems biology, and will enable new developments in biocomputing, biorobotics, and biomanufacturing. As we place different enzymes in unnatural scenarios, many unknown reactions and interactions will emerge, leading to both challenges and exciting discoveries.” Hess adds that the “emergence of complex patterns in chemical reactions is relatively rare. We discovered a new reaction network that leads to beautiful patterns in a dish. The experiment uses common enzymes and chemicals and can be conducted by high school students.” (April 10, 2018)
   Electrical Engineering PhD alumnus Linxiao Zhang and his thesis advisor Professor Harish Krishnaswamy, associate professor of electrical engineering, won the Best Demo Award for their demonstration at ISSCC 2017 of an innovative integrated MIMO (multiple-input- multiple-output) receiver array. They received the award at ISSCC 2018, which took place February 11–15, in San Francisco. ISSCC (International Solid-State Circuits Conference) is the foremost global forum for the presentation of advances in solid-state circuits and systems-on-a-chip. (March 13, 2018)
Computer Science Associate Professor Xi Chen has co-authored a new book, Complexity Dichotomies for Counting Problems, Volume 1, Boolean Domain, with Jin-Yi Cai (University of Wisconsin, Madison) that gives a high-level overview of the current state of dichotomies for counting problems, pulling together and summarizing the major results and key papers that have contributed to progress in the field. This is the first time much of this material is available in book form. (March 13, 2018)
Ioannis (John) Kymissis, associate professor of electrical engineering, was elected a fellow of the Society for Information Display (SID). He was recognized for his work in organic thin-film electronics, field-emission displays, and microLEDs. (March 13, 2018)
Henning Schulzrinne, Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Mathematical Methods and Computer Science, with a joint appointment in Electrical Engineering, was named to a membership in the North American Numbering Council by the FCC to review telephone number portability and related issues. (March 13, 2018)
Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park, Lenfest Associate Professor in Applied Climate Science in the earth and environmental engineering department, was selected as chair of the CO2 utilization area for the Mission Innovation (MI) on Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage Workshop held in Houston in September. Experts from 22 countries attended the meeting. MI is a global initiative that seeks to double each government’s investment in clean energy and research over the next five years. (March 13, 2018)
In a new paper, “Frequency Multiplexing for Quasi-Deterministic Heralded Single-Photon Sources,” published February 27 in Nature Communications, a team led by Applied Physics Professor Alexander Gaeta has demonstrated a new approach to creating a source that can produce single photons of light on demand by combining photons at different colors and converting them into one color, a technique called frequency multiplexing. Generating single photons on demand is essential for future quantum technologies such as quantum computers and communications, which promise to revolutionize information processing.

A number of techniques have been established to generating precisely a single photon. However, in all cases the photons are produced in a probabilistic manner such that it is not known precisely when the single photon will be generated. An approach to making photon generation deterministic is to combine many of these probabilistic sources so that a single photon will be produced on demand. This combining of sources is known as multiplexing and has been demonstrated both in space and in time domains. However, as the number of sources is scaled up to make the generation process nearly deterministic, losses in the system can lead to diminishing returns and unacceptable performance.

“Our work breaks this key limitation since frequency multiplexing is inherently more tolerant of losses as compared to spatial or temporal multiplexing,” says Gaeta. “Our experiments establish this superior scaling by exploiting low-loss fiber optics technology. Moreover, our technique is ideally suited for chip-based integration, which offers the precision and repeatability essential for creating thousands of identical single-photon sources on a miniaturized platform.”

The authors are Chaitali Joshi (Columbia Engineering and Cornell University); Alessandro Farsi and Alexander L. Gaeta (Columbia Engineering);Stéphane Clemmen (Université Libre de Bruxelles); and Sven Ramelow (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin). This work was funded by the National Science Foundation under Grants PHY-1404300 and EFMA-1641094. (March 1, 2018)

Computer Science Professors Steven Feiner and Salvatore Stolfo were recently elected as Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Feiner was cited for his “contributions to augmented reality and computer graphics” and Stolfo for his “contributions to machine learning-based computer security.” IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity, and the IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of IEEE membership, limited every year to one-tenth of one-percent of the total voting membership. (February 23, 2018)
  Three Computer Science grad studentsPeilin Zhong (PhD) and Ying Sheng and Haomin Long (both MS)won the regional finals of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) International Collegiate Programming Competition (ICPC), held November 19. Their win enables them and their coach, Chengyu Lin, also a CS PhD student, to go to the 2018 ACM-ICPC World Finals, which will be held April 19 in Beijing. Headquartered at Baylor University, ICPC is considered the premiere global programming competition conducted by and for the world’s universities. About 3,000 universities compete, usually with multiple teams, and only about 125 teams are selected for the finals. This year is the second time Columbia has made the cut: the team that went to Harbin, China, in 2010, tied for 36th in the world. (February 21, 2018)
Eugene Wu, assistant professor of computer science, won an Amazon Research Award for his proposal for his proposal “Interactive Matcher Debugging via Adversarial Generation.” Wu will use the award ($80K with an additional $20K in Amazon Web Services Cloud Credits) to fund research that extends existing techniques for entity matching, a data cleaning task that locates duplicate data entries referencing the same real-world entity (to learn, for example, that “M. S. Smith” and “Mike S. Smith” refer to the same person). Wu and his research group will meet and collaborate with Amazon research groups on his project. The resulting paper will be published, and the code written for the project will be made open source for other research groups. (February 6, 2018)
Ansaf Salleb-Aouissi,a lecturer in the department of computer science, was selected as one of the 2018 New and Future AI Educators by the Educational Advances in Artificial Intelligence. Funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation, the award covers registration and travel, lodging, and participation in EAAI-18, where researchers and educators meet to discuss pedagogical issues related to teaching and using AI in education. The eighth annual symposium was held in New Orleans, February 3 and 4, as part of the 32nd Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. (February 6, 2018)
Xiaochuan Tian, PhD ’17, was presented with the Dissertation Prize on January 10 by the Association for Woman in Mathematics (AWM), who noted that her "dissertation has produced novel mathematical results that have had significant practical impact." At Columbia, Tian worked with Qiang Du, Fu Foundation Professor of Applied Mathematics; she is now R. H. Bing Instructor at the University of Texas at Austin. Her dissertation on “Nonlocal models with a finite range of nonlocal interactions” yielded six highly cited papers in top journals that led to in major advances in numerical analysis, computational methods, and applications in the general area of integro-partial differential equations. Tian received her award at the 2018 Joint Mathematics Meetings in San Diego, CA, the largest annual meeting of mathematicians in the world hosted by the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America. (February 6, 2018)
PhD candidate Adam A. Atia, and Vasilis M. Fthenakis, senior research scientist and an adjunct professor in the department of earth and environmental engineering, proposed a desalination system design for the US-Israel Integrated Energy-Desalination Design Challenge, submitted March 2016, in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Last spring, Atia traveled to Jerusalem, Israel, to pitch the projecta design for an advanced desalination system that can flexibly interface with the modern electric gridand won the challenge. The Columbia-ORNL team was awarded $150,000 and continues to analyze the proposed system. The challenge was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources, who are seeking to improve the energy performance, efficiency, and flexibility of desalination systems to increase options for water provisioning under different conditions in water-scarce regions.

A Brooklyn native, Atia studied Earth & Environmental Engineering at the City College of New York and came to SEAS in 2013. He is also a recipient of the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Atia is now leading a team that was accepted into the PowerBridge NY Competition this past fall and submitted a full proposal in January 2018. These activities are part of the international Solar Desalination program at the School’s Center for Life Cycle Analysis founded and directed by Fthenakis. 

(January 11, 2018)
A construction management specialization offered by Columbia Video Network (CVN) has been ranked as one of the 2017 highest rated specializations on Coursera. It also placed in the top three specializations in the Business category. Launched in October 2016, this specialization is taught by Ibrahim Odeh, the director of the Global Leaders in Construction Management initiative and lecturer in discipline in construction engineering and management at the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.

The specialization features more than 20 of the leading global experts in the construction industry. As of December 2017, approximately 35,000 participants from 188 countries have enrolled, currently with more than 400 new students joining each week.

The offering, which covers four courses (Construction Project Management, Construction Scheduling, Construction Cost Estimating and Cost Control, and Construction Finance), is aimed at construction industry professionals, engineers, and architects who are looking to advance their careers in construction, as well as students interested in learning about the field of construction management. Odeh and his colleagues worked with CVN, the top-ranked online graduate engineering program in the country, to design instructional content and produce more than 50 hours of video for this specialization.

Building on the success of this specialization, Dr. Odeh is creating a second specialization in construction management, focused on technology implementation and building information modeling in construction. Over the past several years, Columbia Engineering has partnered with Coursera to provide innovative open-access online courses taught by leading faculty in a variety of fields of engineering and applied science. (January 11, 2018)

A team that included students Theofilos Petsios and Adrian Tang, together with Computer Science Professors Salvatore Stolfo and Suman Jana, and also Angelos D. Keromytis (now at DARPA), won second place in the Applied Research Challenge at the largest student-run cybersecurity competition in the world: CSAW (Cyber Security Awareness Week) at NYU Tandon School of Engineering. They won for their paper, “NEZHA: Efficient Domain-Independent Differential Testing.” The Challenge considers only peer-reviewed security papers that have already been accepted by scholarly journals and conferences. This year, top academics and practitioners in the field reviewed a record 170 papers to arrive at the list of finalists. (January 11, 2018)
Earlier this fall, a team led by Theanne Schiros won first place and a $25,000 award in the Sustainable Planet category of the National Geographic CHASING GENIUS challenge. Schiros is an adjunct associate research scientist who works with Wang Fong-Jen Professor of Mechanical Engineering James Hone in the Columbia Nano Initiative’s Center for Integrated Science and Engineering. AlgiKnit, a collaboration between the Fashion Institute of Technology and Columbia MRSEC, develops kelp-based biodegradable knitwear, apparel, and footwear that operates within a closed-loop life cycle and does not use synthetic dyes or petrochemicals, colored with natural pigment. The team, seeks to impact thinking about how the world makes, uses, and disposes of products in one of the most polluting industries while tackling the issues of climate change, plastic pollution, and fresh water scarcity. (January 11, 2018)
Computer Science Professor Steven Feiner won this year’s IEEE International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR) Career Impact Award for his “significant impact over his career to the ISMAR community.” Feiner, who directs the Computer Graphics and User Interfaces Lab, has been working in the field of augmented reality for more than 25 years and published some of the earliest scholarly papers on the subject. In 1996 he created the first outdoor mobile augmented reality system using a see-through display, paving the way for current smartphone outdoor augmented reality applications. (January 4, 2018)
Vidrovr Video analytics startup Vidrovr, founded by Columbia PhD candidates Joseph Ellis MS ’14 (Electrical Engineering) and Daniel Morozoff AM ’14 (GSAS), has received $1.25 million in seed funding led by Samsung’s early stage investment fund Samsung NEXT, with participation from Verizon Ventures, R/GA Ventures, Social Starts, and others. Vidrovr is a system that automatically analyzes large video collections to make the content inside discoverable and searchable, making it easy to search a video collection to find or recommend the perfect video content for social media posts and much more. Ellis and Morozoff developed the system working with Shih-Fu Chang, Richard Dicker Professor of Telecommunications, professor of computer science, senior executive vice dean, and Vidrovr’s technical advisor. (January 4, 2018)
A new study from a team that included PhD student Henri Palacci and Biomedical Engineering Professor Henry Hess examines how enzymes converge in cells to assemble and disassemble molecules in multiple steps. Palacci and Hess worked with colleagues at Penn State and the University of California-San Diego on “Substrate-driven chemotactic assembly in an enzyme cascade,” which was published Dec. 18 in Nature Chemistry. The study found that enzymes are attracted to their substrates, which causes them to come together and catalyze a series of reactions. A macroscale analogy would be to find that a chef is attracted to ingredients, a server is attracted to completed meals, and a dishwasher is attracted to dirty dishes, which would explain how restaurants can form spontaneously. The findings of the team provide insights into the previously mysterious formation of “metabolons” in cells, aggregates of enzymes catalyzing sequential reactions. These insights may aid in the development of new drug treatments, which do not simply interfere with the activity of one key enzyme (e.g. the “chef”) but may target the formation and operation of the metabolon (that is the “restaurant”). (December 21, 2017)
Harish Krishnaswamy, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Christoph Juchem, associate professor of biomedical engineering, are part of a team led by University of Minnesota that has won a $10.8M NIH grant titled “Imaging Human Brain Function with Minimal Mobility Restrictions.” J. Thomas Vaughan, professor of biomedical engineering and of radiology (physics), director of Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and PI at the Zuckerman Institute, is leading the Columbia portion of the grant, which is $3.8 million. (December 1, 2017)


Hande Ozturk PhD ’15, a former student of I. Cevdet Noyan, applied physics and applied mathematics department chair and professor of materials science and engineering, won a prestigious award for her thesis research with Noyan on “Computational Analysis of Diffraction from Ideal Crystalline Nanoparticles.” She was recently selected as a co-recipient of the Pittsburgh Diffraction Society’s 2017 Sidhu Award, which honors significant contributions to the science of crystallography and/or diffraction by a scientist in the early stage of their career. A native of Turkey, Öztürk graduated from Boğaziçi University in Istanbul with physics and mechanical engineering degrees and her MS in mechanical engineering from Boston University. Since 2016, she has been working at the National Synchrotron Light Source II at Brookhaven National Laboratory as a postdoctoral research associate. Her research interests include characterization of nanocrystalline materials by diffractive techniques and phase retrieval methods from diffraction data. (December 1, 2017)
Mechanical Engineering Professor of Professional Practice Mike Massimino and General Studies Dean Peter Awn were honored at the Columbia Community Impact Gala, held October 25 at the New-York Historical Society. Columbia Space Initiative co-founder and co-president Julia Di presented the Outstanding Community Service Award to Massimino in recognition his support of volunteerism and community service. The annual gala raises money to support the 28 programs of the organization, which was founded in 1981 and has grown into the University’s largest student service organization. (November 28, 2017)


Negar Reiskarimian, a PhD candidate working with Harish Krishnaswamy, associate professor of electrical engineering, has been named to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for her work on building the first miniaturized microchip capable of full-duplex wireless with a single antenna: it sends and receives at the same time, at the same frequency. This achievement could double WiFi capabilities for chips at less than half the size of current models. As Forbes notes, “This has lots of applications for smartphones, internet of things, and more.” She joins 29 other young scientists who are “inventing the future from the atom up.” Earlier this year she won the prestigious Paul Baran Young Scholar Award[HCE1]  from the Marconi Society.

A native of Iran, Reiskarimian studied telecommunications and microelectronic circuits at Sharif University of Technology and came to SEAS in 2013 to research analog/RF integrated circuits and systems as a graduate student in Krishnaswamy’s CoSMIC (Columbia high-Speed and Mm-wave IC) lab. She is a member of the interdisciplinary FlexICoN (Full-duplex Wireless: From Integrated Circuits to Networks) project and a recipient of the 2016 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. She expects to receive her PhD this spring and plans to continue her research in academia. (November 15, 2017)

Alfred V. Aho, Lawrence Gussman Professor of Computer Science at Columbia University, along with Professor John E. Hopcroft of Cornell University and Professor Emeritus Jeffrey D. Ullman of Stanford University, were awarded the 2017 NEC C&C Foundation Award in “recognition of their outstanding contributions to laying the foundation of theoretical computer science and to education in that field through numerous influential publications.”

All three professors have conducted pioneering research in core computer science disciplines such as automata, formal languages, language theory, compilers, data structures, algorithms, database theory, and graph theory, and have published numerous research papers and books about these subjects individually and in collaboration. Books co-authored by all three, including "The Design and Analysis of Computer Algorithms" (1974) and "Data Structures and Algorithms" (1983), not only provided an expert and comprehensive summary of research findings in the field at the time, but were also highly influential in educating the next generation of computer science researchers. (October 13, 2017)

Steve WaiChing Sun, assistant professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, has won the Zienkiewicz prize for his paper: “A stabilized finite element formulation for monolithic thermo-hydro-mechanical simulations at finite strain.” First awarded in 1998, the Zienkiewicz Numerical Methods in Engineering Prize is given biennially to a post-graduate researcher under the age of 40 who submits a paper that contributes most to research in the field of numerical methods in engineering. Sun specializes in computational geomechanics, a field that creates computer simulations to predict geological processes involving porous materials, such as soil, rock, concrete, and salt, and develops engineering solutions for related applications, including slope stability, mining, nuclear waste disposal, hydraulic fracture, and CO2 geological storage. He was presented with the award at the Institution of Civil Engineers headquarters in London on October 6. (October 11, 2017)
A Columbia-led team of graduate students took first place and $20,000 at a Citadel and Citadel Securities datathon, beating out more than a hundred competitors.

Columbia Engineering computer science PhD candidate Dingzeyu Li MS’15, who works with Professor Changxi Zheng in the Columbia Computer Graphics Group, joined forces with biostatistics PhD candidates Wodan Ling and Shanghong Xie from the Mailman School of Public Health and NYU master’s student Yunlin Zhang for the competition, held at Columbia Engineering September 30. Teams worked through enormous data sets to break down the economic impact of companies that offer peer-to-peer sharing of goods and services, and presented their findings to a panel of judges.

The datathon was the latest in a year-long series of events that will culminate in a “Data Open” in November for a $100,000 grand prize presented by Citadel CEO Ken Griffin. (October 11, 2017)

Brian Tackett, a PhD student working with Chemical Engineering Professor Jingguang Chen, has been selected as one of the DOE’s Office of Science 52 graduate students from across the nation for its 2017 Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program. He will be doing do a part of his dissertation research on “Fundamental Electrochemistry related to Energy Transduction, Storage, and Corrosion” at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Long Island, working with Dr. Radoslav Adzic. Tackett focuses on developing novel and low-cost electrocatalysts for water electrolysis (turning water into hydrogen and oxygen) and, at BNL, he will study the water-splitting reactions on a class of materials called transition metal nitrides. These nitrides have the potential to reduce the amount of expensive platinum currently used in electrolysis devices. Tackett,  whose project fits under the DOE’s Fundamental Electrochemistry for Energy Storage priority research area, is one of 52 new SCGSR awardees who come from 37 different universities across the U.S. The SCGSR supports these grad students in carrying out part of their doctoral dissertation/thesis research in 12 DOE national laboratories. (September 28, 2017)
Upmanu Lall, Alan and Carol Silberstein Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, with a joint appointment in Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, has been elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Lall, who is also the director of the Columbia Water Center in the Earth Institute, will be honored for his contributions at the 2017 AGU Annual Meeting in December 2017. AGU Fellows are recognized for their scientific eminence in the Earth and space sciences. (September 7, 2017)
Pierre Gentine, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, has won a Global Environmental Change Early Career Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU) for his innovative research. He is one of four to win the prestigious award, which was announced in late June. He will be honored at the 2017 AGU Fall Meeting in December 2017. (September 7, 2017)
Rajiv V. Joshi EngScD ’90 recently won one of IEEE’s top awards: the 2018 Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies. Joshi, who works at IBM as a research scientist and is the key technical lead at IBM’s T. J. Watson research center, has invented novel materials, processes, and structures that have led to low resistance and high reliability contacts and interconnects that meet the requirements for contacting smaller transistors in higher speed integrated circuits.

His inventions created a paradigm shift in the way interconnect technology is used, enabling Moore’s Law to continue to be valid for today’s microelectronics technology. These key innovations are cited in one of the 100 icons of IBM. He led successfully predictive failure analytic techniques for yield prediction that have applications in VLSI memories and are now commercialized. He also developed algorithms to predict rare failure events that are orders of magnitude superfast and accurate over conventional techniques. These have potential applications in financial sector, health science, and other data analytics applications related to a range of fields including cognition and the Internet of Everything (IoE).

Joshi, who received his B.Tech from I.I.T (Bombay, India) and his MS from M.I.T, is a prolific inventor with more than 225 US and more than 350 international patents. An IEEE Fellow, he received the 2013 Industrial Pioneer award from the EEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society and was inducted into the New Jersey Inventor Hall of Fame with Nicola Tesla in 2014. He has authored and co-authored more than 185 papers, and received the Best Editor Award from IEEE TVLSI journal. He is a recipient of 2013 IEEE CAS Industrial Pioneer award and 2013 Mehboob Khan Award from Semiconductor Research Corporation. Joshi, who is also a member of IBM Academy of Technology, will receive his latest award, the Daniel E. Noble Award for Emerging Technologies, at the 2018 IEEE International Solid-State Circuits conference in February 2018. (August 25, 2017)

Anastasia (Natassa) Romanou, research scientist in the department of applied physics and applied mathematics, is the lead author of one of the first studies to estimate how much and how quickly the ocean absorbs atmospheric gases and to contrast it with the efficiency of heat absorption. Romanou, who is also a climate scientist at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, an affiliate of the Earth Institute, and colleagues at MIT, used two computer models that simulate the ocean to find that gases are more easily absorbed over time than heat energy. She noted that, “as the ocean slows down, it will keep uptaking gases like carbon dioxide more efficiently, much more than it will keep taking up heat. It will have a different behavior for chemistry than it has for temperature… we need to think differently about how the ocean responds to taking up heat and passive tracers or greenhouse gases.” The study was published in Geophysical Research Letters June 8, 2017. The team also wrote an article on the study for NASA and AGU news. (June 23, 2017)
A paper by Earth and Environmental Engineering Professor Pierre Gentine was selected by the editors of Geophysical Research Letters as a Research Spotlight on and on the journal’s website. Research Spotlights summarize the research and findings of the best accepted articles for the broad Earth and space science community. Eos noted that Gentine’s study—"Failure of Taylor's hypothesis in the atmospheric surface layer and its correction for eddy-covariance measurements"—demonstrated that global atmospheric observations may need tweaking for turbulence: the “new study overturns an 80-year-old assumption about atmospheric turbulence that may finally resolve discrepancies in observations of atmospheric heat, water vapor, and carbon.” (June 23, 2017)
Five undergraduates won scholarships through the American Council of Engineering Companies of NY (ACEC). Joanna Zou (Civil Engineering) was awarded the NY Merit Scholarship of $5000 at the ACEC Excellence Awards Gala this spring, and Stephanie Berrios, Monte Cardenas-Metal, and John-Michael D’Andrea (all Civil Engineering), and Maxum Smith (Mechanical Engineering) won scholarships of $2500 at the ACEC NY 2017 Scholarship Lunch.
Mechanical Engineering professor Hod Lipson’s robot, PIX18, won first place and $40,000 in the 2017 Robot Art Competition. One of 38 teams from 10 countries who submitted 200 different artworks, Lipson builds robots and software capable of creating original artwork in oil on canvas. The project has gone through three generations of systems: the first was an articulated arm and the latter repurposed gantry robots. Lipson developed the software from scratch and used it to train decommissioned factory robots to paint. PIX18, which resides in Lipson’s apartment, is continuously learning and evolving. The winners were selected from public voting and judges who included working artists, critics, and technologists. Having completed the second year of a five-year international competition, Robot Art plans to hold an exhibition of robotic-created artwork following next year’s competition, in summer 2018.
ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) recently announced the inaugural class of its new Future of Computing Academy (ACM-FCA), and its 46 members include three professors with Columbia Engineering connections: Shipra Agrawal (assistant professor, industrial engineering and operations research), Lydia Chilton (who will join the computer science department as an assistant professor July 1), and Lauren Wilcox (who received her PhD in Computer Science Professor Steve Feiner’s lab in 2013 and is now an assistant professor at Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing). ACM-FCA was established to support and foster the next generation of computing professionals to become the voice of the future of the computing field. This is a unique opportunity to expand their network beyond their immediate professional environment, and to work with other accomplished individuals from diverse areas of computing towards the common goal of shaping the future of the computing community and society. Members of the inaugural class are an international group, originally from 19 different countries including Bangladesh, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Egypt, Germany, India, Israel, Italy, Morocco, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Republic of Korea, Turkey, the Ukraine, the United Kingdom, USA, and Vietnam.
Aaron Kyle, senior lecturer in biomedical engineering, has been awarded the 2017 Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching by President Lee Bollinger. This honor, made at the highest level of the University, recognizes Kyle’s methods and commitment to excellence in teaching.
Dustin Tran, a computer science PhD student, has been awarded a Google PhD Fellowship in Machine Learning for his work in Bayesian deep learning. Advised by David Blei (departments of computer science and statistics) and Andrew Gelman (departments of statistics and political science), Tran does research in the fields of Bayesian statistics, machine learning, and deep learning, with a particular focus on probabilistic modeling. His two-year fellowship recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students doing exceptional research in computer science and related disciplines. He is one of 33 PhD students to receive the 2017 fellowship
Neopenda, a startup founded in 2015 by biomedical engineering master’s students Sona Shah MS’16 and Teresa Cauvel MS’16, was named to Inc. magazine’s “30 under 30” list of coolest young entrepreneurs. Neopenda began as a class project in BME lecturer Katherine Reuther’s biomedical design class, when Shah and Cauvel teamed up to develop an innovative technology to help combat preventable newborn mortality. Their product was a wearable vital-signs monitor designed for use on newborns in developing nations, one they are continuing to develop. 
John Brooks, a PhD student advised by Professor Michael Mauel in the department of applied physics and applied mathematics, has won a fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program for his work on plasma physics. Established to support graduate students to do a part of their graduate thesis research at a DOE laboratory, the SCGSR award will fund Brook’s research at Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, a DOE lab for plasma physics and nuclear fusion science. Brooks’ work will focus on developing an active feedback system that drives current in the Scrape-Off-Layer to control plasma instabilities.
Sarah Goler, a postdoctoral research scientist working with Jim Yardley, special research scientist in the department of electrical engineering, has been awarded a Dan David Prize Scholarship for the Past Time Dimension in the field of Archaeology and Natural Sciences. The Dan David Prize is a joint international corporation, endowed by the Dan David Foundation and headquartered at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Goler’s project, part of the Columbia Nano Initiative, is titled “Variation in Raman Spectra of Carbon Inks in Ancient Egyptian Papyri and Application for Non-destructive Dating.”
Nanfang Yu, assistant professor of applied physics, has won a DARPA Director’s Fellowship, awarded to a just a few of the top performers of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) recipients. The funding will support Yu’s research on actively tunable “flat optics.” He will investigate the fundamental physics of strong interactions between light and 2D metamaterials, or “metasurfaces,” and explore novel electrically tunable optical materials for applications in active photonic devices. His goal is to demonstrate ultra-thin and ultra-fast spatial light modulators that can shape optical wavefronts into complex patterns with high speed. This work could have a profound impact on many technological areas such as navigation and surveillance; remote detection of chemicals; obstacle detection and recognition for autonomous navigation; adaptive optics for telescope, ophthalmology, and biomedical imaging; and virtual reality and augmented reality glasses.
Rebecca Trojanowski, a PhD student working with Vasilis Fthenakis, senior research scientist and adjunct professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, won the "Best Young Researcher Award: Biomass" at the 2017 World Sustainable Energy Days in Wels, Austria. The conference is one of Europe's largest sustainable energy conferences, with more than 700 attendees from 59 countries. Trojanowsi, whose work focuses on the performance of wood pellet stoves, was the only speaker from the U.S. in the young researcher session. Her paper was one of almost 80 papers submitted by young researchers in the fields of energy efficiency and biomass from 35 countries. 
Elizabeth Hillman Elizabeth M.C. Hillman, associate professor of biomedical engineering and radiology (physics), was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows for her outstanding contributions to the development of innovative optical methodologies for functional and dynamic imaging of living tissues. AIMBE’s College of Fellows comprises the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. Hillman engineers new visualization tools for imaging the brain in order to decipher how the brain drives behavior. (May 4, 2017)
Michal Lipson Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park, Lenfest Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Chemical Engineering and Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy, will receive the Rising Star Award from the American Chemical Society (ACS) at its national meeting on April 3. The award recognizes women scientists who have demonstrated outstanding promise for contributions to their fields. Park's research focuses on sustainable energy conversion pathways with an emphasis on integrated carbon capture, utilization, and storage. Her lab's work includes fundamental studies of chemical and physical interactions of natural and engineered materials with carbon dioxide, such as the development of novel nano-scale hybrid materials for integrated CO2 capture and conversion, and innovative chemical and fuel synthesis pathways using unconventional energy sources such as shale gas, biomass, and municipal solid wastes while minimizing environmental impacts. (March 21, 2017)
Michal Lipson Michal Lipson, Eugene Higgins Professor of Electrical Engineering and head of the Lipson Nanophotonics Group, has been selected for the 2017 R. W. Wood Prize from The Optical Society (OSA) for her "pioneering research contributions in silicon photonics." The award recognizes an outstanding discovery, scientific or technical achievement, or invention in the field of optics that opens a new area of research or significantly expands an established one. Lipson, a 2010 MacArthur Fellow, has invented several of the critical building blocks in the field of silicon photonics, which integrates optical micro-components into electronics to increase computing speed and capacity. (March 15, 2017)
Negar Reiskarimian Negar Reiskarimian, a PhD candidate in electrical engineering, has received several honors for her research into analog/RF/millimeter-wave integrated circuits and systems, focusing on non-reciprocal components for emerging wireless communications. Since December, she has received the IEEE Solid-State Circuit Society Pre-Doctoral Achievement Award; the Analog Devices 2017 International Solid-State Circuit Conference Outstanding Student Designer Award; CalTech's Young Investigator Lecturer in Engineering and Applied Science honor; and the 2017 IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society Graduate Fellowship. Reiskarimian is a member of Professor Harish Krishnaswamy's CoSMIC Lab and Columbia's FlexICoN project. Her work has resulted in the first integrated passive magnetic-free circulator built on a CMOS platform. (March 15, 2017)
Computer Science Assistant Professor Suman Jana, Associate Professor Martha Kim, and Professor Vishal Misra have been selected for Google Faculty Research Awards. The awards connect faculty with Google engineers and help cover tuition for a graduate student. Jana will receive $62,000 to improve fuzzing, a software testing technique that uses random data, or fuzz, to discover code vulnerabilities. Kim will receive $70,000 to develop more efficient ways of transcoding video, the process of converting user-generate video to sizes and formats for use on any viewer while lowering storage and processing costs. Misra will receive $75,000 for work on bandwidth allocation strategies for networks of data centers. (March 15, 2017)
Adam Sobel Adam Sobel, professor of applied physics and applied mathematics and of environmental sciences and the director and chief scientist of the Columbia Initiative on Extreme Weather and Climate, has been elected to the American Meteorological Society Council, the principal governing body of the AMS. Sobel, who wrote the 2014 book Storm Surge: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and Extreme Weather of the Past and Future, sees the AMS as playing important roles not only within the scientific community, but as an interface between academia, government, and the private sector on weather and climate issues, as well as in educating the public. (February 13, 2017)
Renata Wentzcovitch Renata Wentzcovitch, professor of materials science and engineering, has been elected vice chair of the American Physical Society’s Division of Computational Physics (APS/DCOMP). Wentzcovitch, who joined Columbia Engineering in January 2017, will serve on the APS/DCOMP executive committee as vice-chair for one year starting in April, then as chair-elect for one year, followed by one year as chair of the executive committee, and then one year as past chair. Her research group focuses on computational quantum mechanical studies of materials. (February 13, 2017) 
The Volatility Smile Emanuel Derman, director of Columbia’s master of science in financial engineering program and professor of professional practice in the Department of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR), has published a new book titled The Volatility Smile. In it, Derman and co-author Michael B. Miller, founder and CEO of Northstar Risk Corp. and adjunct associate professor in IEOR, discuss financial modeling, including the Black-Scholes-Merton model, and the relationship between implied volatility and strike price for financial options that, when graphed, can look like a smile. Derman’s previous books include Models. Behaving. Badly and My Life as a Quant: Reflections on Physics and Finance. (February 13, 2017) 
Karen Kasza Karen Kasza, Clare Boothe Luce Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has won a competitive grant through Columbia University Provost’s Grant Program for Junior Faculty Who Contribute to the Diversity Goals of the University. The grant program, created in 2013, provides up to $25,000 for each recipient and has supported 82 projects across the university. Kasza’s grant is for her work on tools for manipulating the mechanical forces generated by cells. Her research focuses on understanding the principles underlying the mechanics, self-organization, and morphogenesis of living tissues. (February 13, 2017) 
Vidrovr Video analytics startup Vidrovr has been awarded a $225,000 National Science Foundation Small Business Innovation Research grant for research and development of an inference engine that can leverage the data and structure within video to automatically discover and train classifiers for better tagging and searchability. The startup was created by Columbia PhD candidates Joseph Ellis MS ’14 (Electrical Engineering) and Daniel Morozoff AM ’14 (GSAS) and was recently accepted to the Techstars startup accelerator. The Vidrovr team developed a news and social media video processing system called News Rover that applies machine learning algorithms to identify people and objects on screen in real time, add tags, and link text to other text- and image-based information online. (February 13, 2017) 
Cathecare George Deodatis, Santiago and Robertina Calatrava Family Professor of Civil Engineering and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, has been elected to serve as vice president now and then as president beginning October 1, 2017, of the Engineering Mechanics Institute (EMI). The mission of the EMI, which in 2007 replaced the Engineering Mechanics Division of the American Society of Civil Engineers, is to “serve the engineering community through the development and application of engineering mechanics by anticipating and adapting to new challenges that will face tomorrow’s engineers and by creating an environment that facilitates professional growth to ensure that these future challenges will be met.” (February 10, 2017) 
  Three undergraduate computer science majors have been recognized by the Computing Research Association (CRA) for showing outstanding research potential in computing research. Terra Blevins CC’17 was named a finalist for the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher award for her work on natural language processing in Professor Kathy McKeown’s lab. Ruoxin (Amy) Jiang ’17 won honorable mention for her work, under Professor Suman Jana’s guidance, in computer security, specifically on exploring ways to streamline the API libraries (SSL) used by developers to make their applications secure. Jun Ho Yoon ’17 also received honorable mention for his research on machine learning and computational genomics, working in Itsik Pe’er’s computational biology lab. (February 10, 2017)
Daniel Bienstock Keren Bergman, Charles Batchelor Professor of Electrical Engineering and chair of the department of electrical engineering, is one of the 10 women in networking communications that you should know, according to Networking Networking Women (N2 Women), a “discipline-specific community for researchers in the communications and networking research fields.”
Cathecare PhD student Tingjun Chen (Electrical Engineering) and Professors Javad Ghaderi (EE), Dan Rubenstein (Computer Science), and Gil Zussman (EE) won the Best Paper Award at ACM CoNEXT’16, the premier conference on emerging networking technologies. The paper, “Maximizing broadcast throughput under ultra-low-power constraints,” was published in Proceedings of the ACM CoNEXT’16, Dec. 2016. (February 2, 2017) 
Cathecare CatheCare, a startup born out of last year’s Senior Design expo,won silver in the undergraduate category at the Collegiate Inventors Competition in November. Created by Aonnicha Burapachaisri, Charles Pan, Aishwarya Raja, and Chanond Sophonpanich, CatheCare is a safe, easy-to-use device that eradicates 99.9 percent of bacteria that builds up in a central venous catheter. The team has filed for an LLC, is refining its prototype, has achieved initial proof-of-concept testing, and filed a provisional patent. They plan to file a patent in the next few months and are in discussions with several hospitals in Thailand to set up clinical trials.
Andrew Laine Columbia professors James Hone (mechanical engineering) and Cory Dean (physics), together with UVA professor Avik Ghosh (electrical and computer engineering), co-authored a study, “Electron optics with p-n junctions in ballistic graphene,” that has been included in Physics World’s Top Ten Breakthroughs of 2016. The researchers directly observed—for the first time—negative refraction for electrons passing across a boundary between two regions in a conducting material. First predicted in 2007, this effect has been difficult to confirm experimentally. The team was able to observe the effect in graphene, demonstrating that electrons in the atomically thin material behave like light rays, which can be manipulated by such optical devices as lenses and prisms. Their findings, published in Science (9/30/2016), could lead to the development of new types of electron switches, based on the principles of optics rather than electronics. (December 13, 2016)
James Hone Mischa Schwartz, Charles Batchelor Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, was awarded the Henri Busignies Memorial Award by the Radio Club of America for lifetime contributions to electrical engineering and education that have benefited humanity. The award will be OR WAS presented in New York City on Nov. 18. (November 21, 2016)
Andrew Laine Feniosky Peña-Mora, Edwin Howard Armstrong Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics and Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering and of Computer Science, was inducted October 20 as a member of the National Academy of Construction's 2016 class, one of 30 honored for their “stellar careers and contributions to the engineering and construction industry.” (November 14, 2016)
Andrew Laine Applied Mathematics Professor Guillaume Bal has been named a 2017 fellow of the American Mathematical Society, in recognition of his contributions to inverse problems and wave propagation in random media. (November 10, 2016)
Andrew Laine Andrew Laine, Percy K. and Vida L. W. Hudson Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Professor of Radiology (Physics), and Biomedical Engineering Department Chair, was elected a 2016 fellow of the International Academy of Medical and Biological Engineering (IAMBE), in recognition of his "distinguished contributions to and leadership in the field of medical and biological engineering in an international level." (November 7, 2016)
Alan West Alan West, Samuel Ruben-Peter G. Viele Professor of Electrochemistry and Chemical Engineering Department Chair, was elected to the 2016 Class of Electrochemical Society (ECS) Fellows. He is now among a select group of members who have "amassed advanced individual technological contributions in the field of electrochemical and solid-state science and technology." (November 2, 2016)
X. Edward Guo Biomedical Engineering Professor X. Edward Guo received a new $1.7 million, five-year grant from the National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal, and Skin Diseases to study and test the novel regulation pathway of bone cells in response to mechanical loading. His research group discovered that in response to mechanical loading, bone cells (specifically osteocytes), are able to secrete important biological factors through muscle-like cellular contractions. Genevieve Brown, a graduate student who is working on this research, received the best basic science award from the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research at the annual meeting in September. (October 14, 2016)
Daniel Bienstock Pierre Gentine, Associate Professor of Earth and Environmental Engineering, has been given the Clarence Leroy Meisinger Award by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The award, which is given to early career scientists who have demonstrated outstanding ability, recognizes “research achievement that is, at least in part, aerological in character and concerns the observation, theory, and modeling of atmospheric motions on all scales.” (October 10, 2016)
Daniel Bienstock Keren Bergman, Electrical Engineering Department Chair and Charles Bachelor Professor of Engineering, has won the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS) 2016 Engineering Achievement Award, for her "pioneering contributions to optical interconnection networks and photonic-enabled architectures that advance communications and computing systems." The award was presented at the IEEE Society’s October 3 meeting. (October 6, 2016)
Daniel Bienstock Industrial Engineering and Operations Research Professor Daniel Bienstock and Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Gil Zussman received four grants totaling $2.5 million for their joint work on power grid resilience. Spread across the Data Science Institute, the Columbia Nanoscience Institute, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, and Electrical Engineering, the grants include: 1) a DOE grant as part of the Grid Modernization Laboratory to develop tools to monitor the stochastic and dynamic state of the transmission grid.; 2) DARPA grant as part of RADICS program.; 3) ARPA-E grant to develop methods for generating synthetic power grid topologies to enable better vulnerability analysis; and 4) DTRA grant extension to study the impact of physical attacks on power grids and telecommunications networks. (October 4, 2016)
Qiang Du Robert Farrauto, professor of professional practice in the department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, co-authored his third book, "Introduction to Catalytic and industrial Catalytic Processes" with Lucas Dorazio and Calvin Bartholomew. Published by Wiley and Sons, the textbook introduces chemical, environmental, and mechanical engineering graduate and senior level students to the fundamentals of catalysis and their application in the production of petroleum, chemical, and alternative energy products as well as environmental pollution abatement. (September 29, 2016)
Qiang Du Qiang Du, Fu Foundation Professor of Applied Mathematics, was part of a research team recently named a finalist by Supercomputing 2016 in the ACM Gordon Bell Prize in High Performance Computing. For many years, Du has been working on the phase field modeling of microstructure evolutions, an important research subject in computational materials science. Selected as one of six finalists, this new paper—“Extreme-Scale Phase Field Simulations of Coarsening Dynamics on the Sunway Taihulight Supercomputer”—presents a scalable algorithm to numerically integrate phase field equations and its efficient implementation, as well as simulations at an unprecedented scale on the world’s most powerful supercomputer.

Professor Du also shared a SIAM Outstanding Paper Prize with his PhD student Xiaochuan Tian presented at the SIAM (Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics) 2016 annual meeting in July. This major prize is awarded each year to recognize papers that exhibit originality, research that brings a fresh look at an existing field or that opens up new areas of applied mathematics. Their winning paper provided analysis and comparisons of different algorithms for the numerical solution of nonlocal models such as the peridynamic theory of continuum mechanics. (September 27, 2016)

Steven M. Bellovin Ponisseril Somasundaran, LaVon Duddleson Krumb Professor of Mineral Engineering in the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering, was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Mineral Processing Council (IMPC) at their 28th annual IMPC Congress, held in September in Quebec City. The award recognizes a lifetime of “distinguished achievement and outstanding contribution to the advancement of the art, science and industrial practice of mineral processing together with participation in and contribution to the IMPC”. Congress President Cyril O’Connor of the University of Cape Town presented the award. (September 26, 2016)
Christopher Jacobs Biomedical Engineering Professor Christopher Jacobs received the 2016 Richard Skalak Award for the best paper published in Journal of Biomechanical Engineering. In his paper, “Epigenetic Changes During Mechanically Induced Osteogenic Lineage Commitment,” he demonstrates that fluid shear stress stimulation of cells rapidly promotes the availability of genes for expression and specifically increases gene expression of later osteogenic markers. (September 13, 2016)
Steven M. Bellovin An international team led by Steven A. Sabbagh, senior research scientist and adjunct professor in the department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics (APAM), has won a three-year $3.3 million grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE) to study high performance tokamak plasma disruption prediction and avoidance in the long-pulse Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) located in Daejeon, South Korea. The grant is shared by Columbia, the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the National Fusion Research Institute in Daejeon. APAM Associate Research Scientist Young-Seok Park will be lead researcher for Columbia. (September 9, 2016)
Steven M. Bellovin Computer Science Professor Steven M. Bellovin, co-author of "Keys Under Doormats," has been named a winner of the Electronic Frontier Foundation 2016 Pioneer Award. Published in July of 2015, “Keys Under Doormats” both reviews the underlying technical considerations of the earlier encryption debate of the 1990s and examines the modern systems realities, creating a compelling, comprehensive, and scientifically grounded argument to protect and extend the availability of encrypted digital information and communications. (August 9, 2016)


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