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EECS Professor and Student Receive Best Paper Award

Dr. Husheng Li and his student, Yawen Fan, have received the best paper award of IEEE Global Communications Conference (Globecom) 2017:

  1. Fan and H. Li, “Distributed approximating global optimality with local reinforcement learning in HetNet,” IEEE Globecom, 2017.

Dr. Li said, “Globecom is one of the two flagship conferences in the area of communications (the other one is IEEE ICC; we received the best paper award of ICC in 2011). This will be a good chance to improve the visibility of UTK and our ECCS in the filed of communications.”

EECS Alumni Spotlight: Computer Science MS Grad Xiaoyan Zhang

For its newest San Francisco hire, Reed Smith has reached across the Pacific. The firm announced the addition Monday of Xiaoyan Zhang as counsel in the firm’s Information Technology, Privacy and Data Security practice group.

The hire of Zhang will boost the firm’s level of expertise around tech-related laws in the U.S. and abroad, particularly in China. Zhang has a master’s degree in computer science [from the University of Tennessee] on top of her J.D. and years of experience working as an attorney in the U.S. and in China, most recently at Mayer Brown JSM, that firm’s Asian outpost.

“In addition to her deep experience in Asia and her language and cultural capabilities, which are obviously important, I regard her as a switch-hitter, capable of both traditional IP as well as data law work,” said Mark Melodia, Reed Smith’s IP, Tech & Data co-chair. “That’s exactly how we’ve set up our global team.”

With international legal frameworks changing at a steady clip, firms like Reed Smith are looking to hire counsel like Zhang who understand tech, data and cross-border laws. And Zhang’s experience working on privacy and cybersecurity in Asia looks to be especially crucial following China’s implementation of a tough new cybersecurity law in June.

Many U.S. companies operating in China or looking to expand there have been confused by the law and its implications—it uses language that doesn’t always translate perfectly to English. One of the law’s key international provisions hasn’t even been implemented yet. Starting in December 2018, any important data transferred outside of China will need to go through a security assessment.

Zhang said she feels a duty to help U.S. companies learn to comply with China’s new laws, as someone who’s lived and worked extensively in both China and the U.S. and understands both cultures.

“Coming back to help U.S. clients with what I’ve seen and learned in Asia, it’s quite satisfying,” Zhang said. “I really hope we can clarify some of the confusions and obstacles in trying to understand what’s required.”

During her nearly three years at Mayer Brown JSM in Hong Kong, she advised international clients on IP issues in cross-border M&A transactions, as well as privacy and cybersecurity, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, she worked as a senior associate for Hogan Lovells in New York. There, she also focused on technology licenses and M&A.

Before working in law, she spent four years in the technology security field, her profile said. After earning her master’s in computer science, she worked as an information security consultant. She spent two years as a senior information security engineer and ethical hacker for HSBC.

Melodia said Reed Smith was “really thrilled” to find an attorney who is “fluent in not just English and Mandarin, but also tech.”

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Welcome Back Celebration- Systers

Systers Announces Tutoring Program Schedule


Dear EECS Students,

The Systers Tutoring Program, a joint effort between Systers: Women in EECS and the EECS Department, has begun! Tutors for 100- and 200-level EECS courses can be found in Min Kao 217, at the following times:

EE Tutors:

Taylor: TR: 2:00-3:30
Varsha: WF: 1:30-3:00

CS Tutors:

Brandon: T 11:00-12:00 R: 2:00-3:00
Paul: MW: 2:30-3:30 
Kelsey: M: 2:30-4:30

Don’t wait until finals, give them a visit soon!

Photo of Systers Logo

Faculty Receive National Science Foundation Grant for Software Research

Congratulations, Dr. Mockus!

Four faculty members from the Haslam College of Business and Tickle College of Engineering have received a National Science Foundation grant totaling $1.7 million. The grant funds a joint proposal for research done with Carnegie Mellon University.

Bogdan Bichescu, Randy Bradley, Audris Mockus, and Russell Zaretzki will all contribute to a project attempting to map the use of open source code throughout modern software. Open source code can be identified, used, and modified by anyone, as opposed to commercial software, which users cannot see or modify and must wait for creators to update.

Read more here.

Experts from CURENT Discuss Issues Related to Power Outages in Puerto Rico due to Hurricane Maria

Hurricane Maria, the latest storm to devastate the Caribbean, has been particularly destructive in the US Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The island’s power has been completely knocked out, with some estimates saying it will be six months before the grid is fully restored. President Donald Trump is set to visit the island next week to get a first-hand look at the destruction.

CURENT—the Center for Ultra-Wide-Area Resilient Electric Energy Transmission Networks, housed in the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s Tickle College of Engineering—recently had a conference in San Juan, where they met with officials from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

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Engineering Expo Sets Records

The Fall 2017 Engineering Expo was a tremendous success, setting new records for attendance by both visiting companies and students. The Office of Engineering Professional Practice hosted the expo on Thursday, Sept 21, in Thompson-Boling Arena. The event offers a day for companies to connect with engineering students for their cooperative education (co-op) and internship education programs.

Ninety companies attended, the largest amount in the Professional Practice program’s 91-year history — up from the 80 that attended in the fall of 2016. The increased number of participating companies helped draw in a record number of 846 engineering students, also, up from last year’s 731.

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Students Enjoy the EECS Welcome Back Celebration

The annual EECS Welcome Back Celebration was held today in the Min Kao building, to celebrate the beginning of the fall semester.  Hosted by Systers: Women in EECS@UTK, the celebration was a great way to kick off the new school year!

This event featured lab tours, robot demonstrations, seminars for Oak Ridge National Laboratory, representatives from visiting employers, a free pizza party, a prize raffle and more.  Over 250 students visited today’s event.  Thank you to everyone who came and participated!

EECS Welcome Back CelebrationEECS Welcome Back Celebration- Raffle Sign-upEECS Welcome Back CelebrationWelcome Back Celebration- SystersEECS Welcome Back Celebration- IEEE RoboticsEECS Welcome Back CelebrationEECS Welcome Back CelebrationEECS Welcome Back Celebration

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