Srivastava, Dey, Mirsky, King win 2014 ISR Awards

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ISR Director Reza Ghodssi presents awards to (clockwise from top left) Ankur Srivastava, Biswadip Dey, Regina King and Daniel Mirsky.

ISR recognized the outstanding work of its faculty, staff, graduate and undergraduate students at its annual awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 6.

Outstanding ISR Faculty Award: Ankur Srivastava

Associate Professor Ankur Srivastava (ECE/ISR) is this year’s winner of the ISR Outstanding Faculty Award. He was nominated by Steve Marcus with support from Joseph JaJa and Avi Bar-Cohen.

Srivastava has been heavily involved in ISR’s research and educational programs since he joined us in 2008. He primarily develops engineering principles for designing low power, fast, reliable, lightweight, large-scale integrated circuits using nanoscale components.

Srivastava’s research has advanced the frontiers of chip design technology and received much attention and recognition. He publishes in the best journals and conferences and is well cited. He has graduated excellent Ph.D. and M.S. students who win many best paper awards and have gone on to prestigious positions in academia and industry.

Srivastava is especially active in seeking out interdisciplinary collaborations with other faculty in a wide variety of applications. Just a few of many examples:

-- With Michael Fuhrer, analyzing carbon nanotube and grapheme strip integrated circuits

-- With Avi Bar-Cohen, unifying thermal and electronic aspects of electronic design automation

-- With Prakash Narayan, information theoretic thermal profile estimation in multi-core processes

Most recently, along with Gang Qu, Srivastava is part of the new MURI with UConn and Rice University on Security Theory for Nano-Scale Devices.

George Harhalakis Outstanding Systems Engineering Graduate Student Award: Biswadip Dey

Biswadip Dey is the winner of this year’s George Harhalakis Outstanding Systems Engineering Graduate Student Award. He was nominated by his Ph.D. advisor, P. S. Krishnaprasad.

Dey joined the University of Maryland in fall 2009 after completing his M.Tech degree in the Interdisciplinary Program on Systems and Control at IIT Bombay.

The focus of his doctoral research in control theory is collective behavior in nature, such as flocking in birds, and the realization of flocking in robotics. He plans to exploit critical statistical and information-theoretic ideas pertaining to causality discovery and apply them to flock data.

Dey also works in three other areas:

-- computational study using optimization algorithms for regularized inversion of trajectory data pertaining to bat behavior

-- optimal control on matrix Lie groups with costs associated to navigating a succession of waypoints

-- reconstructing feedback laws for flocking from sampled observations of starling data.

Dey has helped lead the restructuring of the Intelligent Servosystems Laboratory and its new high-precision motion capture system. He guides undergraduates in the laboratory and was a summer intern at Intelligent Automation Inc. in 2012.

ISR Outstanding Systems Engineering Undergraduate Student Award: Daniel Mirsky

Daniel Mirsky is the winner of this year’s ISR Outstanding Systems Engineering Undergraduate Student Award. He was nominated by Sarah Bergbreiter.

Bergbreiter recruited Mirsky to her lab to work on the Antbots project when he was just a freshman. She needed a student who had microcontroller programming experience, and when she met with Mirsky, his intelligence and motivation came through immediately.

Bergbreiter took a chance and is happy she did. “Daniel is an outstanding student and researcher,” she says. He helped develop the Tiny Terps project, working on algorithms, software architecture, circuit design and mechanical hardware. He also was co-first author on a paper presented at IEEE ICRA, a top robotics conference. Bergbreiter says that through his experiences Mirsky has gained a systems view of abstracting the most important details.

As use of the Tiny Terps platform has spread across the college, Mirsky has been instrumental in getting other students up to speed. Mirsky has provided his circuits and software knowledge to other students in the lab for projects in tactile sensing, appendages for steering robots, and electrowetting. In addition, he has been a tireless presenter at Maryland Robotics Days and lab tours over the years.

Susan Frazier Outstanding ISR Staff Award: Regina King

Regina King is the recipient of this year’s Susan Frazier Outstanding Systems Engineering Staff Award.

King is being recognized for her outstanding work with the MBSE faculty search committee and the ISR student organization. She was nominated by Steve Sutton, with letters of support from David Lovell, the MBSE faculty search chair; and the ISR student organization.

For the student organization, King handles all the logistics for events. She also meets with the student leaders and offers them guidance and suggestions. She makes sure the students are on track with planning every event, processes requests quickly, thinks ahead and takes care of issues others overlook. The student organization says “Regina always helped us take care of things down to the smallest detail—even contacting the fire marshal to make sure the grills we used at the fall picnic complied with regulations!”

During the MBSE faculty search, King suddenly had the responsibility for coordinating domestic and international travel, agendas and interviews for six candidates within a four-week period. She dealt with three different departments and many people she had never worked with before. She was accessible by staying in email contact at all hours and personally escorted candidates when necessary. She made the process work smoothly and showed true ISR hospitality. Dave Lovell says, “She was a real lifesaver to me and made the search committee look like it knew what it was doing.”

Published May 7, 2014