News Highlights

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

    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:

    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. 

    Cong Shen’s Trifecta of NSF Grants Accelerates Machine Learning in Wireless Communications

    September 22, 2020

    Cong Shen, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Virginia, has earned three grants from the National Science Foundation to meet rising demands on wireless networks and advance machine learning. Shen is an expert in machine learning for wireless networks who possesses extensive industry R&D experience and 17 U.S. patents in wireless communication and networking.


    Shuo Li Provides Winning Answer to IEEE SSCS Challenge Problem

    September 21, 2020

    Congratulations to Shuo Li, winner of the IEEE SSCS International Student Circuit Contest. The contest engages undergraduate and graduate students in thought-provoking circuit analysis and design. Students were invited to provide an intuitive response to a challenge problem: a feedback amplifier that at first glance seems to be unstable but is perfectly stable. Li was one of two contestants whose explanation earned an award. Li is working toward his Ph.D. in electrical engineering in the Robust Low Power VLSI group led by Benton H. Calhoun, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Li’s research interests include analog/mixed-signal integrated circuit and system design, particularly in areas of energy-harvesting, DC-DC converters, sensor interfaces, and system-on-chips for ultra-low-power IoT applications. Learn more:

    IEEE Signal Processing Society Launches PROGRESS, a Diversity and Inclusion Initiative

    September 19, 2020

    UVA electrical and computer engineers support the launch of PROGRESS, a diversity, equity and inclusion initiative of the IEEE Signal Processing Society. Nikos Sidiropoulos, Louis T. Rader Professor and department chair, serves on the 2020 PROGRESS oversight committee. PROGRESS aims to motivate and support women and under-represented minorities to pursue academic careers in signal processing. An inaugural PROGRESS workshop will be held Oct. 26-27 during the 2020 IEEE International Conference on Image Processing, to provide information, tools and networking opportunities. A similar workshop is planned for the IEEE 2021 International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing. Learn more about PROGRESS and apply to participate in the IEEE ICIP PROGRESS workshop: