Congratulations to Our 2018-2019 Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship Winners

The recipients are Yanning Shen (advisor: Prof. Georgios Giannakis), Hari Cherupalli (advisor: Prof. John Sartori), Ahmed Zamzam (advisor: Prof. Nikos Sidiropoulos), and Zhengyang Zhao (advisor: Prof. Jian-Ping Wang).


Yanning Shen

Yanning Shen’s research interests are network science, big data analytics, and nonlinear modeling. Fittingly, her dissertation has to do with the introduction of nonlinear models and scalable online algorithms for inference and learning over large-scale dynamic networks. Her work aims to develop a unified framework to capture the dynamics and non-linearities in real-world networks. The title of her dissertation is “Topology identification and learning over graphs: Accounting for nonlinearities and dynamics” and she is working under the guidance of Prof. Georgios Giannakis. The outcomes of her research will benefit several domains such as social networks, epidemiological studies, transportation, financial networks and brain networks. For instance, with respect to brain networks, Yanning’s research can significantly enrich the information provided by an MRI and highlight key features that distinguish abnormalities from what is normal, improving medical diagnosis and treatment. Yanning comes to ECE from the University of Electronic Science and Technology in China. Post graduation, she hopes to continue her research at a university or other institution.


Hari Cherupalli

Hari Cherupalli’s research interests are computer architecture, computer aided design, security, low power, embedded processors. His dissertation is titled, “Application-specific design and optimization for ultra low-power embedded systems,” and he is working under the guidance of Prof. John Sartori. His work opens up a new direction in application analysis of microprocessors, crossing multiple layers of design abstraction, from binary to processor layout. Such an analysis can lead to significant benefits in power, cost, and security of ultra low-power microprocessors that drive the Internet of Things revolution. One of the immediate benefits is that battery operated devices could last longer on the same battery. Yet another benefit is improved form factor of systems where area and cost are critical. Currently, Hari is working on commercializing his research, and has filed patents for his work. Hari comes to ECE from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering.


Ahmed Zamzam

Ahmed Zamzam’s research interests lie in monitoring, learning, and management for smart power grids. His dissertation is titled “Intelligent monitoring and control for next generation smart grids,” and he is working under the guidance of Prof. Nikos Sidiropoulos. His research contributes to the development of efficient monitoring and resource management tools in power systems. The overarching goal is to support more reliable and secure energy systems, and a greener environment. Ahmed enjoys the research process and environment and working with students. After graduation, he hopes to pursue his interests at a research university, or work as a scientist at a national laboratory. Prior to arriving at the University, Ahmed earned his bachelor’s degree from Cairo University, Egypt, and his master’s degree from Nile University, Egypt, both in electrical engineering.


Zhengyang Zhao

Zhengyang Zhao’s research interests lie in the development of novel spintronic devices and using them in advanced memory and computing applications. His work includes resolving fundamental challenges and improving the performance of spintronic devices, and expanding the range of applications enabled by novel devices. His dissertation is titled, “Development of spintronic devices for ultra-energy efficient non-volatile memory and logic applications,” and he is working under the guidance of Prof. Jian-Ping Wang. Zhengyang’s dissertation focuses on one of the most significant application of spintronics: magnetic random access memory (MRAM). MRAM uses the spin of electrons to store data and bears certain critical advantages: non-volatility, read/write speed comparable to that of DRAM, and an unlimited lifetime. Spin Hall effect (SHE), a recently discovered phenomenon, provides a new means of spin generation that allows MRAM to be faster and more energy efficient. However, there are gaps between basic SHE devices and SHE-based MRAM. Zhengyang’s research addresses these gaps, proposing different strategies along with experimental prototyping. He is also developing solutions to mitigate limitations that arise from the speed of the computer being constrained by the data transfer between memory and CPU. Zhengyang hopes to apply his expertise in industry after he graduates. Zhengyang comes to us from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

To read about other graduate awards and honors, and their recipients, please check this link