Research Areas

Computer architecture is the study of the interface between the hardware and software in computer systems, ranging from supercomputers to servers to desktop computers to notebooks to handheld computers. The program of study emphasizes design tradeoffs in implementing those interfaces both in hardware and software. There are undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs specializing in Computer Architecture and Embedded Processors.

Understanding, engineering, and interfacing with biological systems are among mankind's most important challenges, impacting numerous fields from basic science to health. Motivated by this larger vision, bioECE track is focused on the intersection of electrical and computer engineering with biology and medicine. It includes biomedical instrumentation, biophotonics, health informatics, bioinformatics, neural engineering, computational neuroscience, and synthetic biology. Associated faculty have expertise in diverse topics: cardiovascular instrumentation, neuroscience, neural engineering and the machine-brain interface, image and signal processing (feature extraction and diagnostic interpretation), health information technologies (data mining, electronic medical records analysis), VLSI biomedical circuits (biosensing, lab-on-a-chip), algorithms for large-scale genomic analysis, and molecular programming (engineering molecules that compute).

Subject areas:
  • Biomedical devices and instrumentation: Emily Porter, Nan Sun, Jon Valvano, Adela Ben-Yakar [Mech Eng]
  • Biomedical informatics (data mining, outcome prediction) / health information technologies (data collection and analysis): Alan Bovik, Joydeep Ghosh, Emily Porter, Ahmed Tewfik, Edison Thomaz, Haris Vikalo, Sriram Vishwanath, Mia Markey [Biomed Eng], Adela Ben-Yakar [Mech Eng]
  • Bioinformatics: Haris Vikalo, Joydeep Ghosh, Sriram Vishwanath
  • Medical Imaging: Alan Bovik, Emily Porter, Ahmed Tewfik
  • Neural information processing: Ahmed Tewfik, Ila Fiete [Neuroscience], Thibaud Taillefumier [Neuroscience + Mathematics], Ngoc Tran [Mathematics], Adela Ben-Yakar [Optical processing]
  • Molecular information processing: Andy Ellington [CSSB], David Soloveichik

This broad area involves research in the areas of communications, control theory, data science, information theory, machine learning, networking, optimization, signal processing, and system theory. 

This area includes the study of wave propagation ranging from ultralow frequencies to microwaves. It involves investigations of electrical geophysics, antennas and scattering, radar target identification, wireless communications, microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits, and guided wave devices and systems. The activities in acoustics involve research in transducers, atmospheric and underwater acoustics, and noise and vibration control.

This area involves research in the production, distribution, and use of electric energy, such as electromechanical devices for pulsed power applications, advanced electrical machines, power system-related analyses, simulation of power systems, energy system economics and optimization, open-access transmission, energy efficiency and demand-side management, power system harmonics, power quality, and power electronics.

The Integrated Circuits and Systems Group (ICSG) is one of the most active circuit design groups in the country with a young and creative faculty who are world leaders in their respective fields. There are 10 full-time faculty in the area and many more adjuncts from industry. Research areas include digital, analog, mixed-signal, and RF CMOS ICs for a variety of applications, verification and testing techniques for analog, digital and RF ICs, CAD tools for design and analysis, and biochips, as well as interdisciplinary research projects.

This area involves research in plasma dynamics, optics, quantum-optic and photonic devices, and plasma processing of semiconductors. Plasma investigations include the design of plasma diagnostics, high-order spectral analysis of plasma waves, and plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition. Research in quantum electronics includes optical systems, lasers and laser applications, optical signal processing, optoelectronic devices, and lightwave systems. Investigations include quantum transport studies of double barrier heterostructures, components for very-high-speed communications and computation, and high energy laser applications in materials synthesis and processing.

Software Engineering and Systems covers the complexity of software systems and requirements. In addition, research and study in this field addresses architecting, designing, building, testing, analyzing, evaluating, deploying, maintaining and evolving software systems. Problems investigated include theory, techniques, methods, processes, tools, middleware, and environments for all types of software systems in all types of domains and applications.

The Solid-State Electronics area (SSE) within Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) focuses on the development and improvement of electronic, optoelectronic and micro- and nano-electromechanical devices for a variety of applications. Device examples include transistors for nano-CMOS and post-CMOS logic, analog, and mix-signal applications; photodetectors, photodiodes and lasers, and optical interconnects for short- and long-range communication; chemical and biological sensors for medical and defense applications; and solar cells. Material systems include unstrained and strained "conventional" column IV and III-V semiconductors, organics and polymers, and novel materials such as graphene, as well as appropriate insulators such as silicon dioxide and high-dielectric-permittivity ("high-k") materials.