Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science News

What’s Your Big Idea?—Michael Pickelsimer

Faculty, staff, students, and alumni are sharing the big ideas that make a difference in their world. Michael Pickelsimer, graduate student in electrical engineering, has the big idea of charging electrical vehicles without ever having to plug them in.

Big Idea: Professor Finds New Way of Teaching Computer Programming

Brad Vander Zanden

Brad Vander Zanden, a professor in electrical engineering and computer science, developed a big idea to help beginning computer science students. Vander Zanden created a program to use in Computer Science 102 that gives students an easy way to enter computer programs and test them in class. It is a simplified introduction to the type of programming that professionals do.

Engineering Team Develops Chip for Mars Rover

Ben Blalock

NASA’s Mars Science Laboratory Rover Curiosity would have a hard time completing its mission if it were not for a successful partnership between the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and a professor-student team at UT. Ben Blalock, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, and two graduate students, designed a tiny microchip that weighs close to a paper clip and helps control the motors on the rover.

Friends to Honor Jesse Poore Friday

A gathering of friends will take place from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Friday, May 18, at the UT Gardens Shade Garden to honor Jesse Poore, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who died on April 25. Poore came to UT in 1986 as chair of the Department of Computer Science and served as director of the UT-ORNL Science Alliance from 2000 to 2011.

In Memoriam: Jesse Poore

Jesse H. Poore, a professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, former co-director of the UT-ORNL Joint Institute for Computational Sciences and director of the UT-ORNL Science Alliance, died on April 25 at his home. Poore came to UT in 1986. He served as co-director of JICS from 2000 to 2005; director of the Science Alliance from 2000 to 2011; and UT System vice president for information technology and chief information officer from 2008 to 2009.

What’s Your Big Idea?—Min Kao

When UT alum Min Kao, founder and chairman of Garmin, heard that the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science had outgrown its current home in Ferris Hall, he donated $12.5 million toward a new building to house the department. Kao visited the campus last month to dedicate the Min H. Kao Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Building.

UT Researchers Invent Device to Rapidly Detect Infectious Disease

Infectious diseases can spread very rapidly, so quickly identifying them can be crucial to stopping an epidemic. However, current testing for such diseases can take hours and days. But not for much longer. Associate professors Jayne Wu and Shigetoshi Eda have developed a portable device that can be used onsite to detect infectious diseases in people and animals.

The New York Times: Japanese ‘K’ Computer Is Ranked Most Powerful

Professor Jack Dongarra discusses the Japanese “K Computer” in this New York Times article. The machine recently earned the top stop on the list of the world’s most powerful supercomputers. Dongarra, a distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering, keeps the official rankings of computer performance.

The New York Times: The iPad in Your Hand: As Fast as a Supercomputer of Yore

This story in The New York Times looks at Jack Dongarra’s comparison of the current iPad 2 tablet computer with its predecessor, the original iPad, as well as with the Cray 2 supercomputer, which was the world’s fastest supercomputer in 1985. Dongarra is a distinguished professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering, and the director of UT Knoxville’s Center of Information Technology Research.