Four Graduate Students Headed to 2017 Rising Stars Workshop

Come November, four ECE students will be headed to Stanford University to attend the Rising Stars 2017 workshop. Sandhya Koteshwara, Nazila Haratipour, Sha Shi, and Yenning Shen have been invited to attend the work designed for highly accomplished women graduate students and postdocs as they prepare to set off on academic careers. The workshop comprises research presentations, panel discussions, sessions on interviews and promotions, and opportunities to network and connect with other participants. Application to the workshop is competitive and around 60 applicants are selected each year to attend the workshop.

Here’s a closer look at the research profiles of these accomplished scholars:

Sandhya Koteshwara

Sandhya is a doctoral candidate, and working under the guidance of Prof. Keshab Parhi, she is pursuing three topics: hardware obfuscation, authenticated encryption, and architectures for machine learning. In a paper published recently in the IEEE Transactions on Information Forensics and Security, she introduced a dynamic obfuscation scheme where the time to attack is lower, bounded by an exponential function of the key size. Her research also addresses architectures and evaluation of candidates for the ongoing standard CAESAR: Competition for Authenticated Encryption: Security, Applicability, and Robustness. She is also working on low-energy machine learning systems using approximate computing.

Sandhya started work on her doctoral degree at the University of Minnesota in 2012. Prior to this, she worked at Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions in Bengaluru, India. She has pursued internships with Advanced Micro Devices, MA, and Intel Security Center for Excellence, OR. She has received a Best-in-Session award at the 2016 SRC TECHCON and has a best paper nomination for the 2017 Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers.

Sha Shi

After completing her secondary schooling in Tieling, in the Liaoning Province, Sha enrolled at Sichuan University where she earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Physics in 2008 and 2011 respectively. While at Sichuan University, her research focused on developing lithography methods based on plasmonics; the institution awarded her the Excellence Fellowship Award and the Outstanding Senior Award for her contributions. She started her doctoral studies at the University of Minnesota in fall 2011 under the guidance of Prof. Paul Ruden. In the doctoral program, Sha’s research focuses on the physics of organic semiconductor materials and devices. The work extends from the analysis of the properties of materials, to the development of analytical and numerical models for applications in flexible electronic and spintronic devices including organic molecular tunnel junctions and spin valves.

She has published in Journal of Applied Physics, ACS Nano, Physical Review B, and in a chapter of the book Spin in Organics (World Scientific Publishing, edited by Z. V. Vardeny). Sha Shi is the recipient of the College of Science and Engineering fellowship, and the Graduate School Doctoral Dissertation fellowship.

Nazila Haratipour

Nazila Haratipour received her bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering in 2011 from the University of Tehran, Iran. She received her master’s degree in Electrical Engineering with a minor in physics and her doctoral degree in Electrical Engineering under the supervision of Prof. Steven J. Koester from the University of Minnesota in 2017. Her research has focused on fabrication, characterization, and analysis of field effect transistors based on novel two-dimensional materials such as graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides and black phosphorus for future generation of electronics. Nazila’s PhD dissertation is centered around two-dimensional black phosphorus for high-performance field effect transistors. She has done comprehensive experimental and theoretical studies to improve black phosphorus transistor performance.

Nazila has published 14 papers and abstracts in leading journals and major conferences. She was awarded the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship in 2016-17. She recently joined Intel Corporation in Hillsboro, OR as a Components Research Engineer.

Yanning Shen

Yanning Shen is a PhD student in the Department, working under the guidance of Prof. Georgios Giannakis. She received her BS and MS degree in 2011 and 2014, respectively, both from University of Electronic Science and Technology of China. Her research interests include network science, nonlinear modeling, and online convex optimization. Yanning mainly focuses on introducing general nonlinear models and scalable online algorithms for inference and learning over large-scale dynamic networks. Outcomes of her research will benefit various application domains such as social networks, epidemiological studies, transportation, financial networks and brain networks.

Yanning has published her research in IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing and in conference publications. She is also the recipient of several awards including the IEEE Signal Processing Society (SPS) Travel Grant Award (in 2013, and 2016), and the NSF Student Travel Grant Award (2016).