EECS lauds leadership of Amarasinghe, White and Leeb - welcomes new officers Lee, Miller and Berggren

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July 22, 2014

Outgoing Co-Education Officers (top row from left) Saman Amarasinghe and Jacob White and Undergraduate Laboratory Officer Steven Leeb are praised for their leadership and new officers (bottom row from left) Harry Lee and Rob Miller, co-education officers and Karl Berggren, new undergraduate laboratory officer.

Anantha Chandrakasan, Department Head of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department at MIT recently acknowledged the contributions of three faculty members who served as part of the Department Leadership Group (DLG) since July 1, 2011. Saman Amarasinghe and Jacob White, both served as co-education officers and Steven Leeb, as undergraduate laboratory officer. Chandrakasan also welcomed the new DLG members (since July 1, 2014) including co-education officers Hae-Seung “Harry” Lee, Rob Miller and undergraduate laboratory officer Karl Berggren.

In his first year as Co-Education Officer, Amarasinghe developed and deployed a web-based portal for course administration allowing students to apply for TA positions online, faculty to provide teaching and TA preferences, education officers to make class assignments TA selections and provide faculty and students up-to-date information about course staffing. He has continued to expand this online accessibility. As these online tools have been used since 2012, multi-year planning based on TA evaluations has also become available. Amarasinghe was the first chair of the newly formulated Education Curriculum Committee, and under his leadership an orderly process for updating the curriculum was created. With the dramatic increase in enrollment over the past few years, Amarasinghe helped alleviate the shortage of TAs by creating the Undergraduate Teaching Assistant (UTA) program in spring 2013. His creation of Course 6 class overviews at EECS faculty lunches provided a wider understanding of the latest curricular thinking and application to department teaching.

With fellow co-education officer Amarasinghe, White led the education task force of the 2012 EECS Strategic Plan. Under White’s leadership, educational innovation across the department resulted in nearly a dozen new classes, and a new level of transparency and load balancing on teaching nurtured the educational enterprise throughout the department. By creating the Extraordinary Educators in EECS (EE-EECS) White helped the department address the enrollment increase. Through this program, six highly motivated and experienced educators, each with a three-year contract have additionally provided creative input on curriculum development. With Dennis Freeman, professor of electrical engineering and MIT Dean for Undergraduate Education, White worked with Eta Kappa Nu to enable the move of the department to the Institute on-line class evaluation system.

As EECS Undergraduate Laboratory Officer, Steven Leeb co-led the Undergraduate Committee in development of the 2012 Strategic Plan, paving the way for significant improvements in the undergraduate laboratory safety procedures and facilities. Based on his personal goal for EECS to have an advanced prototyping facility, Leeb built the infrastructure needed for the creation and realization of the 2500 square foot space now known as the Cypress Engineering Design Studio. His collaboration with faculty in EECS (and from across the Institute and beyond) in the running of the Department Teaching Laboratories has provided the context for creatively connecting deep analytical tools with practice for countless students. Working with industry leaders from Cypress Semiconductor and Agilent Technologies, Leeb not only built the potential for the new design studio—but in the process helped EECS faculty realize innovative ways to benefit from the new facility. EDS is now being used in a number of classes and in design competitions.

Hae-Seung Lee, the Advanced Television and Signal Processing (ATSP) Professor of Electrical Engineering and member of the MIT EECS Department since 1984, is well known for his contributions to greater efficiency in modern analog integrated circuits, his leadership in the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL) and his teaching excellence in the department. He served as Associate Director of MTL from 2009 to 2011. As a graduate student at U.C. Berkeley, he developed the now-widely used self-calibration techniques for A/D converters. Professor Lee works in the area of analog integrated circuits focusing on data converters, bio-medical circuits and systems, and sensor systems. He has directed the Center for Integrated Circuits and Systems (CICS) since 1998. He is the recipient of the 1988 Presidential Young Investigators’ Award and a Fellow of the IEEE. He has served on a number of technical program committees including the International Electron Devices Meeting, the International Solid-State Circuits Conference and the IEEE Symposium on VLSI Circuits. Professor Lee has taught 6.002, 6.775 Design of Analog MOS LSI and will teach 6.301 Solid-State Circuits this coming term. Prof. Lee received the Louis D. Smullin (1939) Award for Teaching Excellence in 2013.

Rob Miller, professor of computer science and member of the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 2013 for outstanding contributions to undergraduate education. Professor Miller’s research interests lie at the intersection of programming and human computer interaction including crowd computing, online education, software development tools and end-user programming. Rob’s teaching has included 6.813, User Interface Design and Implementation, 6.005 Elements of Software Construction, 6.811 Principles and Practice of Assistive Technology, and 6.MITx Building MITx Courseware. Professor Miller received the 2011 Jamieson Prize for excellence in teaching. Professor Miller has been program co-chair for UIST 2010 and Learning at Scale 2015, general chair for UIST 2012, associate editor of ACM TOCHI, and associate director of MIT CSAIL.

Karl K. Berggren is a member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE), where he directs the Nanostructures Laboratory, and is a core faculty member in the Microsystems Technology Laboratories (MTL). From December of 1996 to September of 2003, Professor Berggren served as a staff member at MIT Lincoln Laboratory in Lexington, Massachusetts, and from 2010 to 2011, was on sabbatical at the Technical University of Delft. Professor Berggren’s current research focuses on methods of nanofabrication, especially applied to superconductive quantum circuits, photodetectors, and high-speed superconductive electronics. His thesis work focused on nanolithographic methods using neutral atoms. In fall 2014 Professor Beggren will be the head lecturer for 6.002, Circuits and Electronics, a class for which he has served many times on the teaching staff. This spring he was recipient of the Jerome Saltzer Award, given to a faculty member for sustained excellence in teaching of recitations.