Big Data for Earlier Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease and Autonomous Vehicles for Coal Mines

IEEE members made headlines this month

19 December 2017

Fellow Andrea Goldsmith received the 2017 Women in Communications Engineering Mentorship Award from the IEEE Communications Society. She was recognized for her efforts in bringing diversity to her field and for mentorship of her students at Stanford, where she is a professor of electrical engineering.

Goldsmith heads the newly formed IEEE Technical Activities Board Committee on Diversity and Inclusion, which creates guidelines and best practices for awards, committees, and leadership within the organization. She was co-chair of the Rising Stars in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, an academic career workshop for women held at Stanford in November.

She is a member of the IEEE Communications and IEEE Information Theory societies.


Member Sungeun Kim received a US $119,000 grant from the U.S. National Institutes of Health to develop a computer program that can quickly parse and compare medical data among a large pool of patients to help diagnose and treat neurodegenerative diseases.

The program is designed to parse massive data sets to analyze genes, biomarkers, and patient data to more accurately predict the onset of diseases such as Alzheimer’s—which could pave the way for early treatment and more effective drugs.

Kim is an assistant professor of computer engineering at the State University of New York in Owego. He is also an adjunct assistant research professor at the Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis, where he has worked for years on projects related to Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other diseases exhibiting progressive dementia.

He is a member of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.


Senior Member Joseph Sottile and his colleagues Zach Agioutantis and Steven Schafrik received a four-year, $2.19 million grant from the Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health. The three mining engineering professors at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, are working on a project to integrate autonomous shuttle cars into existing underground coal mine infrastructure.

Limited visibility and mobility in mines can pose serious risks to workers who operate the shuttle cars currently used to transport coal. Schafrik says in an article on University of Kentucky’s website that the intent of the project is not to replace the shuttle car operator but to give that person different responsibilities. Instead of operating the shuttle car, the worker would remotely oversee the shuttle’s movements and could override them if necessary.

Sottile is a member of the IEEE Industry Applications and IEEE Power & Energy societies.


Senior Member Narayan Srinivasa joined Eta Compute as chief technology officer. The company, in Westgate Village, Calif., develops artificial-intelligence and machine-learning applications for mobile devices.

Previously Srinivasa was chief scientist and senior principal engineer at Intel Labs, in Hillsboro, Ore., where his work focused on neuromorphic computing—the use of very-large-scale integration systems containing electronic analog circuits to mimic neurobiological architectures present in the nervous system.


Senior Member Beth Wilson received the 2017 Exemplary Teaching Award from the University Professional and Continuing Education Association.

Wilson is a systems engineering professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Massachusetts. Before joining WPI, Wilson taught in-house professional development classes at Raytheon in Waltham, Mass., where she was an engineer for 33 years.

She is a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society and IEEE Women in Engineering.

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