News Highlights

The latest updates and briefs from the Department of Electrical and Computing Engineering.


    Benton H. Calhoun Elected IEEE Fellow for Pioneering Design of Ultra-low-power Circuits

    December 03, 2020

    The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers has elected Benton H. Calhoun as a fellow for original and fundamental contributions in integrated circuit design. Calhoun, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia, specializes in energy-efficient, sub-threshold circuit design and applications that enable self-powered wireless sensing systems. These wireless sensing nodes are so low power that they no longer need to use batteries. Instead, they operate on power harvested from their environment.


    Homa Alemzadeh and Research Team Present CognitiveEMS Research at NIST Annual Meeting

    November 12, 2020

    Homa Alemzadeh and her research team have come a long way since winning a $1.1 million grant in 2018 to build an artificial intelligence assistant to help first responders make good decisions during emergency situations. As first reported in 2018, the project’s goal is to develop a wearable, voice-activated assistant that collects sound data from the incident scene and, in response, provides dynamic feedback that would help the responder by suggesting appropriate medical interventions.



    A Superconducting Journey to a Black Hole and Beyond

    November 01, 2020

    Until recently, the evidence for black holes had only been obtained indirectly; however, a large black hole consisting of 6.5 billion solar masses and residing 55 million light years away has now been imaged using superconducting detectors. This was a remarkable and common-culture captivating discovery requiring an “integrated telescope” collecting measurements from many radio astronomy observatories and an international cast of collaborating scientists and engineers. Tune in to the Applied Superconductivity Conference to hear Art Lichtenberger’s story within the story.


    Yixin Sun Publishes Research on Detecting Malware Injection

    October 19, 2020

    Yixin Sun, Anita Jones Career Enhancement Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia, joined university and industry researchers to develop a new approach to detect malware injection. Sun is first author on the team’s paper, published in the Proceedings of the 2020 IEEE European Symposium on Security and Privacy. The paper presents a new approach to effectively detect stealthy attacks from seemingly legitimate connections to popular web services made by benign programs.

    The research team built a fine-grained Program-DNS profile for each benign program to characterize expected DNS behavior. From the Program-DNS profile, the team developed six novel features on a dataset of over 130 million DNS requests collected from a real-world enterprise and 8 million requests from malware-samples executed in a sandbox environment. Their novel features successfully detected 190 malware-injected processes that would have otherwise gone unnoticed. Their study demonstrates that fine-grained Program-DNS profiles can help detect attack campaigns that bypass traditional DNS monitoring safeguards and signature-based detection techniques. Read the paper: https://conferences.computer.org/eurosp/pdfs/EuroSP2020-2psedXWK6U4prXdo7t91Gm/508700a552/508700a552.pdf




    Yixin Sun Gains Recognition through Privacy Enhancing Technologies Award Competition

    September 29, 2020

    Yixin Sun earned recognition for her outstanding contributions to the theory, design, implementation and deployment of privacy enhancing technologies. Sun, Anita Jones Career Enhancement Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Virginia, is the runner up in the 2020 Caspar Bowden Award competition



    Ph.D. Student Armita Salahi Applies Machine Learning to Improve Patient Outcomes from Chemotherapeutic Treatments

    September 23, 2020

    Armita Salahi has earned a Sture G. Olsson Fellowship to develop systems approaches in biomedical engineering. Salahi is a Ph.D. student of electrical engineering advised by Nathan Swami, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia. Salahi joined Swami’s lab in 2015 to pursue her interest in developing devices for disease diagnostics, earning her Master of Science degree within two years. To understand disease onset and progression, Salahi develops label-free microfluidic methods to measure and analyze the biophysical properties of single cells to characterize the role of heterogeneity in diseases.