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Parker Has Leading Role in National Artificial Intelligence Directive

EECS Professor Dr. Lynne Parker in the Oval Office of the White House

Signing ceremony of the Executive Order on “Maintaining American Leadership in AI” on Monday, February 11.

UT Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Lynne Parker played a key role in a White House initiative announced Monday to bolster research, governance, and education and workforce training around artificial intelligence.

The White House directive includes five areas of emphasis to strengthen US leadership in AI, noting that, while the US was an early leader in the development of AI and machine learning, other countries also are moving forward.

Since her appointment as assistant director for artificial intelligence at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in August, Parker has helped lead the initiative, which has been months in the making.

Lynne Parker, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Parker

“This executive order to establish the American AI Initiative comes at a watershed moment in the AI community,” Parker said. “My priority since joining the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy has been to help solidify our nation’s strength in AI research and application. AI impacts everything from health care to energy to safety and defense, so an investment in AI is an investment in securing our future.”

Parker’s appointment with the OSTP is the second national leadership role she has held; she previously served as a division director for the National Science Foundation.

“Dr. Parker’s role in helping craft a national initiative on artificial intelligence is a credit to her research expertise, her forward-thinking abilities, and her leadership in this field,” said Interim Chancellor Wayne T. Davis. “We are proud to have her both as a professor and an alumna.”

The order outlines several specific objectives related to AI:

  • Promoting sustained investment in AI research and development in collaboration with industry, academia, international partners and allies, and other nonfederal entities
  • Enhancing access to high-quality and fully traceable federal data, models, and computing resources while maintaining safety, security, privacy, and confidentiality protections
  • Reducing barriers to the use of AI technologies to promote their innovative application while protecting American technology, economic and national security, civil liberties, privacy, and values
  • Ensuring that technical standards minimize vulnerability to attacks from malicious actors and reflect federal priorities for innovation, public trust, and public confidence in systems that use AI technologies, and developing international standards to promote and protect those priorities
  • Training the next generation of American AI researchers and users through apprenticeships, skills programs, and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
  • Developing and implementing an action plan to protect the advantage of the United States in AI and technology critical to US economic and national security interests against strategic competitors and foreign adversaries

While working with the White House, Parker maintains her professorship in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in UT’s Tickle College of Engineering through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.

CONTACT:

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)

Megan Boehnke (865-974-3242, mboehnke@utk.edu)

UTK Spring 2019 Engineering Expo and Interview Day

Advertising Poster for Engineering Expo and Interview Day

The Spring Engineering Expo will take place on the concourse level of Thompson-Boling Arena from 2:00-5:00pm on Wednesday, February 20. We anticipate over 90 companies and 800+ engineering students attending the expo this spring. There is an Interview Day that follows on Thursday, February 21.

The Engineering Expo is the premier on-campus recruiting event for engineering students seeking professional practice assignments in the form of co-op (multi-term) or internship (single term) with participating employers. Adding this type of professional experience to a student’s undergraduate education enhances students’ academic experience and provides the student a head start of their future plans beyond graduation.

Below are the companies that will be attending the Spring Expo that are recruiting EECS students:

Computer Engineering
402 SMXG – Robins AFB Aerospace/Defense www.afciviliancareer.com
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=369673011
AMS Corporation Energy www.ams-corp.com
Arconic Aerospace, Construction, Manufacturing, Power, Transportation https://www.arconic.com/global/en/home.asp
Cadre5, LLC High Tech/Information Tech. www.cadre5.com
Chemours Chemical, Manufacturing www.chemours.com
Cisco Systems High Tech/Information Tech. www.cisco.com
DENSO Automotive, Manufacturing https://densocareers.com
Discovery Inc. High Tech/Information Tech. careers.discovery.com
Fresenius Medical Care North America Biomedical/Medical, Electronics http://www.freseniusmedicalcare.us/en/home/
Garmin International careers.garmin.com
Huntington Ingalls Industries Aerospace/Defense https://www.huntingtoningalls.com/
Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) Consulting, Environmental www.kub.org
Mesa Associates, Inc. Consulting www.mesainc.com
OSIsoft High Tech/Information Tech. www.osisoft.com
High Tech/Information Tech. http://www.perceptics.com/
Pilot Flying J Supply Chain Management, Transportation pilotflyingj.com
Quality Manufacturing Systems, Inc. Manufacturing www.qmsionline.com
Radio Systems Corporation www.radiosystemscorporation.com
RFA Engineering Manufacturing http://www.rfamec.com/
Siemens Molecular Imaging Biomedical/Medical, Electronics, High Tech/Information Tech. https://usa.healthcare.siemens.com/molecular-imaging
SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Electronics http://spawar.navy.mil
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Energy, Power www.tva.gov/employment
Trimble High Tech/Information Tech. http://mep.trimble.com/
U.S Army Redstone Test Center Aerospace/Defense https://www.rtc.army.mil
Volkswagen (VW) – Chattanooga Operations Automotive http://www.volkswagengroupamerica.com/index.html
Computer Science
402 SMXG – Robins AFB Aerospace/Defense www.afciviliancareer.com
AMS Corporation Energy www.ams-corp.com
Arconic Aerospace, Construction, Manufacturing, Power, Transportation https://www.arconic.com/global/en/home.asp
Cadre5, LLC High Tech/Information Tech. www.cadre5.com
Cisco Systems High Tech/Information Tech. www.cisco.com
DENSO Automotive, Manufacturing https://densocareers.com
Discovery Inc. High Tech/Information Tech. careers.discovery.com
Garmin International careers.garmin.com
Huntington Ingalls Industries Aerospace/Defense https://www.huntingtoningalls.com/
Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) Consulting, Environmental www.kub.org
OSIsoft High Tech/Information Tech. www.osisoft.com
Perceptics, LLC. High Tech/Information Tech. http://www.perceptics.com/
Pilot Flying J Supply Chain Management, Transportation pilotflyingj.com
Radio Systems Corporation www.radiosystemscorporation.com
RFA Engineering Manufacturing
SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Electronics http://spawar.navy.mil
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Energy, Power www.tva.gov/employment
Trimble High Tech/Information Tech. http://mep.trimble.com/
Volkswagen (VW) – Chattanooga Operations Automotive http://www.volkswagengroupamerica.com/index.html
Electrical Engineering
402 SMXG – Robins AFB Aerospace/Defense www.afciviliancareer.com
AECOM Civil Engineering, Construction http://www.aecom.com/careers/
Amazon http://www.amazon.com/b/?node=369673011
AMS Corporation Energy www.ams-corp.com
Bayer Consumer Care Manufacturing http://www.bayer.com/
Bridgestone Americas Manufacturing https://www.bridgestoneamericas.com
BSH Home Appliances Manufacturing www.bsh-group.com/laender/us
Calstar – Carlisle Tire and Wheel Manufacturing http://www.carlisletire.com/
Cargill Manufacturing www.cargill.com
Chemours Chemical, Manufacturing www.chemours.com
Cisco Systems High Tech/Information Tech. www.cisco.com
Clean Air Engineering, Inc. Power www.cleanair.com
Dennis Group Chemical, Construction, Consulting, Power, Utilities www.dennisgroup.com
DENSO Automotive, Manufacturing https://densocareers.com
Emerson Manufacturing www.emerson.com/careers
Fresenius Medical Care North America Biomedical/Medical, Electronics http://www.freseniusmedicalcare.us/en/home/
Garmin International careers.garmin.com
Gresham Smith Civil Engineering, Construction, Consulting, Environmental, Transportation www.greshamsmith.com
Huntington Ingalls Industries Aerospace/Defense https://www.huntingtoningalls.com/
IC Thomasson Associates, Inc. Consulting www.icthomasson.com
Knoxville Utilities Board (KUB) Consulting, Environmental www.kub.org
LANXESS Corporation Chemical http://lanxess.us/
McKee Foods High Tech/Information Tech., Manufacturing http://www.mckeefoods.com/
Mesa Associates, Inc. Consulting www.mesainc.com
Messer Construction Co. Construction www.messer.com
Nissan Motor Mfg. Corp. U.S.A. Automotive
Osh Kosh Corporation Manufacturing https://www.oshkoshcorp.com/
OSIsoft High Tech/Information Tech. www.osisoft.com
PepsiCo www.pepsico.com
Perceptics, LLC. High Tech/Information Tech. http://www.perceptics.com/
Plymouth Engineered Shapes Aerospace, Manufacturing www.plymouth.com
Project Associates Inc. Consulting www.projectassociatesinc.com
Quality Manufacturing Systems, Inc. Manufacturing www.qmsionline.com
Radio Systems Corporation www.radiosystemscorporation.com
Reliability & Maintainabililty Center (RMC) Consulting http://www.rmc.utk.edu/
RFA Engineering Manufacturing http://www.rfamec.com/
Siemens Molecular Imaging Biomedical/Medical, Electronics, High Tech/Information Tech. https://usa.healthcare.siemens.com/molecular-imaging
Signal Energy Civil Engineering, Construction, Energy www.signal-energy.com
Southern Company Energy www.southerncompany.com
SPAWAR Systems Center Atlantic Electronics http://spawar.navy.mil
Steel Partners / Diversified Industrial Segment Manufacturing www.steelpartners.com
Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Energy, Power www.tva.gov/employment
The Timken Company Manufacturing http://www.timken.com/en-us/Pages/Home.aspx
TTI Floor Care- North America Manufacturing https://ttifloorcare.com/
U.S Army Redstone Test Center Aerospace/Defense https://www.rtc.army.mil
Volkswagen (VW) – Chattanooga Operations Automotive http://www.volkswagengroupamerica.com/index.html
VPT, Inc. Electronics http://www.vptpower.com/
Whiting-Turner Contracting Company Construction www.whiting-turner.com

UTRF Inventor Spotlight: Dr. Daniel Costinett

Picture of Dr. Daniel CostinettAssistant Professor Daniel Costinett wants you to lose the charger.

Whether you’re reading this on a laptop, desktop, or phone, odds are your device has recently been held captive by a wall outlet for charging. That may soon be a thing of the past, thanks to the work of the University of Tennessee’s Daniel Costinett, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Daniel’s primary research area is power electronics: the study and design of circuits for energy devices. “Power electronics is everywhere you look, in anything energy-powered, or anything smart or with a display,” explained Daniel. This ubiquity and its potential for innovation hooked him on the subject as a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Boulder. He joined UT in 2013 after earning his PhD in Electrical Engineering.

Now he’s at work on a technology to unlock wireless power transfers for consumer electronics. Just as WiFi replaced plugged-in dial-up internet, Daniel is developing ways to enable laptops, tablets, phones, and other consumer electronics to charge wirelessly, ditching the cord and wall outlet. The key is a new approach to the design of the coil that carries the current: the new structure allows the coil to be smaller, more efficient, and hold far less radiation. As current moves through the coil, it produces a magnetic field that can pass through space and materials to transfer energy.

Read more.

EECS Professor Receives Grant for Project Proposal

Picture of Dr. Garrett RoseEECS professor Dr. Garrett Rose has received a grant for a project proposal called Reconfigurable and Very Efficient Neuromorphic System (RAVENS).

The award is for $1.5 million over 3 years, as requested, with $382,900 obligated at the start.  The Air Force Research Laboratory is the sponsor.

In recent years, the semiconductor industry has begun to experience a significant slowdown in the performance improvements gained from technology scaling. While this is due in part to the impending end of Moore’s Law scaling, power consumption has also become a critical limiting factor for the level of performance achievable.

RAVENS aims to be an energy-efficient neuromorphic architecture specifically tailored for control and other spatio-temporal applications commonly implemented with resource constrained computer systems.  The ultimate objective of this work is to develop approaches that lead to low-power, reconfigurable, high-efficiency brain-inspired computing hardware for embedded control applications, and other applications dealing with dynamic and spatio-temporal data streams.

The research proposed here aims to enable future generations of computing systems by (1) leveraging an emerging, power-efficient device technology (i.e. the memristor) and (2) considering an alternative architectural model (i.e. neuromorphic) that promises to overcome many of the performance limitations of conventional von Neumann systems.

“The term ‘memristor,’ meaning memory resistor, refers to an emerging nanoscale electronic device,” said Dr. Rose.  “A memristor provides functionality that is similar to what we see in biological synapses, meaning we can essentially train memristors and, with the right peripheral circuitry, these devices can basically learn. Our collaborators at SUNY Polytechnic Institute (Albany, NY) are able to fabricate full integrated circuits that include conventional CMOS transistors and memristors.

“We worked with SUNY Polytechnic to fabricate the first mrDANNA prototype and will work with them on RAVENS to again fabricate another nanoelectronic prototype for neuromorphic computing — this time a full system targeting IoT and embedded applications.

“So, RAVENS represents nanoelectronic circuit design for brain-inspired computing.”

The RAVENS project builds on another AFRL project that they are currently wrapping up, mrDANNA.  That project has led to a neuromorphic test chip, including circuits for nanoelectronic neurons and synapses. They are currently testing the mrDANNA test chip with that project ending at the end of February.

The RAVENS project continues the mrDANNA work as they work toward the construction of a full neuromorphic (brain-inspired) computing system.

Read the executive summary here.

EECS Professor Receives Patent

A new patent has been issued for EECS Professor Dr. Yilu Liu. Patent number 10,191,094 is for “Synchrophasor Measurement Method for Power Systems” (UTRF 17111)

Congratulations, Dr. Liu!

ABSTRACT
A synchrophasor measurement method for a device configured to take synchronized measurements in a power system is provided. The synchrophasor measurement method includes receiving global positioning system (GPS)-synchronized samples of a signal sensed by the device from the power system; determining a level of distortion of the signal; selecting, based on the level of distortion, a computation method, the computation method being one of an improved zero-crossing (IZC) method and an enhanced phase-lock­ loop (EPLL) method; performing the selected computation method to determine at least one parameter of the signal at a reporting frequency, which is at least twice a line frequency of the power system; and outputting , at the reporting frequency, the at least one parameter to an operator of the power system to allow the operator to perform at least one of a monitoring and a controlling of at least one element of the power system.

Picture of Dr. Michela Taufer at the SC19 Conference in Denver

EECS Professor Selected to Receive 2019 IBM Faculty Award

EECS Professor Michela Taufer, Jack Dongarra Professor in High Performance Computing, has been selected to receive a 2019 IBM Faculty Award for $20,000 USD. This award is highly competitive and recognizes her leadership in High Performance Computing and its importance to the computing industry.
 
EECS, under Dr. Taufer, Department Head Dr. Greg Peterson and EECS Distinguished Professor Dr. Jack Dongarra, is building a partnership with IBM.
 
Dr. Taufer will lead work with IBM to bring the IBM Onsite Deep Learning Workshop on campus. Deep learning and AI are the backbone of scientific discovery these days. Training EECS students in these disciplines will open tremendous opportunities for them in Tennessee and outside the state.
 
“Greg Peterson, Jack Dongarra, and I are working with IBM to launch a Summit-like IBM cluster to enable our efforts to move software to the next generation of supercomputers,” said Dr. Taufer, “while ensuring the continued leadership of UT within High Performance Computing and computational science. The Summit-like IBM cluster is an important, missing, tile of ongoing collaboration of my lab, GCLab, and Jack’s lab, the Innovative Computing Laboratory, with UT Chattanooga’s SimCenter: Computer Science and Engineering and the Bredesen Center. As part of this collaboration, we- GCLab, ICL, SimCenter, and Bredesen- presented our work in HPC and big data at the SC conference in Dallas last fall.”
 
Dr. Taufer is the General Chair of this year’s SC19 which, with its 13,000-plus attendees, is “the” HPC conference.
 
“IBM is thrilled to recognize your leadership on High Performance Computing and partnership with Oak Ridge National Lab,” Jamie M. Thomas, IBM Systems’ General Manager, Systems Strategy and Development, said of Dr. Taufer. “As the new Partnership Executive Program executive for University of Tennessee, Knoxville, I am looking forward to working with UT Knoxville to launch a Summit-like IBM cluster to enable your efforts to move software to the next generation of supercomputers while ensuring the continued leadership of UT within High Performance Computing and computational science.”
 
Congratulations, Dr. Taufer!
Picture of Joe Jones

Joe Jones Joins TCE IT Team

Joe Jones joined the college’s IT team as a senior IT technologist. He came to work UT in 2016 after retiring from a 21-year career with the US Air Force, recently serving as IT support within the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering.

“During my tenure in the military, I was involved in various IT roles,” said Jones. “From basic IT support to working on a software development team as a functional analyst. While still serving in the military, I received my BS in IT management from the American Military University.”

Jones has experience across multiple systems, with a specialty in Windows and desktops. He can help out staff and faculty with a variety of computer issues.

“Basically, anything that involves their interaction with IT,” he said. “Whether it’s a program not functioning as intended, or if they just want something to be presented in a different way. If I personally can’t solve the problem, I’ll reach out to those that can.”

Jones also enjoys working on cars—BMWs in particular— and watching sports.

“I’m a University of Kentucky fan since that’s where I grew up,” he said. “But I also enjoy supporting UT sports—when they’re not playing UK.”

Jones and wife Melissa have been married for 21 years and have two daughters: Sophie, 12, and Sadie, 5.

Eastern Interconnection Frequency Oscillation Observed

Source: USGridSec,
01/11/2018

The Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) sent a real time notification on Friday, January 11th of an observed large frequency swings that was picked up on measurement devices across the United States Eastern Interconnection. The divergent frequency observations began of 4:45 am eastern and continued to approximately 5:00 am.

In a related posting from the PowerIT Lab at University of Tennessee, Knoxville/Oak Ridge National Lab, the frequency swings can be observed from data collection through Phasor Measurement Units that are deployed across the nation. The cause of the Frequency swings has not yet been determined.

Read more.

 

Picture of Daniel Enciso

Making Goals: Grad Succeeds as Haslam Scholar, ORNL Researcher

Four years ago, as he was finishing his senior year of high school after winning back-to-back state soccer championships, Daniel Enciso set his sights on a new goal—attending UT to study engineering.

Shoot and score: Enciso, a computer engineering major in the Tickle College of Engineering, graduated last Friday, December 14.

At UT, Enciso said, he found big opportunities.

He’s been a Haslam Scholar, conducted research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and interned at a California software company.

“Challenge yourself to do big things, be willing to adapt, and you’ll have no limit to how far you can go and what you can do,” he said.

“For me, personally, the research opportunities at ORNL have prepared me for life after college in a way that taking an internship with businesses couldn’t have,” Enciso said, adding that UT’s partnership with ORNL provides students with opportunities that simply don’t exist in many other places.

“Beyond computing, when you look at the history of the lab, the mix of disciplines all across the board, the researchers they have coming in from other universities and labs from around the world—it really sets UT apart and provides opportunities beyond what other places can offer during an undergraduate experience.

“When you step back and look at all the ways we work with them and the people we get to collaborate with through them, it really is awesome.”

While he interned with ORNL, he also landed a co-op with OSI Soft, a software company based in California, where he worked with the development of internal analytics and web services.

Enciso began dabbling with software engineering in the summer after his senior year of high school. Now it’s his favorite aspect of computer engineering and something he hopes to do in a future career.

He credits UT’s faculty for helping him hone his coding skills.

“Michael Roberts (professor emeritus) and Jens Gregor (professor and associate department head) really pushed us,” Enciso said. “Also Josh Dunn—who started out as a teaching assistant and doctoral student and is now a lecturer in the department—was the instructor for one of my last classes this semester. His insight helped shape our undergraduate learning, taught us how to communicate like older students, and stretched our capabilities.”

Enciso arrived at UT as one of 15 freshmen in the 2014 class of Haslam Scholars, and he said the program helped him grow as a student and as a citizen. It provided him with an instant group of friends which whom he shared classes, experiences, and free time.

“We had all different backgrounds, viewpoints, ideas, and the like, as you would expect from a random selection of students,” Enciso said. “But because we were bonded as a group and through common classes, it allowed us to share ideas in a civil way—to have different thoughts and it to be OK. It’s really important to have discussions like that.”

The program also offered Enciso the opportunity to travel and do community service.

He participated in Science Saturdays, an effort led by the Haslam Scholars and the Society of Physics Students that brings experiments and projects to elementary students to teach them about science, engineering, and physics. At the same time, the UT students serve as mentors to the younger students.

“It’s a big deal to these kids to be getting these experiences that they might not otherwise have,” Enciso said. “Being present. Being around. Being there to answer their questions and spark their imaginations. It’s a big deal to help them develop confidence.”

Enciso expanded his horizons by traveling to Edinburgh, Scotland, with the Haslam Scholars to learn about the Scottish Enlightenment. He also did a study abroad semester in England, studying consumer behavior at the London School of Economics.

He’s gained plenty of knowledge to prepare him for the next challenge, but he’s also learned the power of the Volunteer spirit.

“You can go to a big city and see groups from any number of schools, but it’s just different with UT,” Enciso said. “Whether I’m in Silicon Valley, or a big city somewhere, people see that you’re from UT and it is just an instant connection. It’s just something that makes this place special.”

CONTACT

David Goddard (865-974-0683, david.goddard@utk.edu)

The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System and partner in the Tennessee Transfer Pathway.