School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciece (EECS)

group_faculty(1)EECS Faculty pictured above. Photo courtesy of school.eecs.wsu.edu

Number of Employees:

Approximately 85

Who They Are:

The School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) offers an outstanding education, providing first-rate preparation for careers in Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering and Computer Science. EECS consistently ranks among the top 70 electrical and computer engineering schools nationally by U.S. News and World Report. They also rank WSU’s Electrical Engineering (EE) graduate program 60th among nearly 180 Ph.D.-granting EE programs in the U.S.

Our world-class faculty includes a member of the National Academy of Engineering and seven Fellows of national professional societies such as IEEE and the Institute of Physics. Read more about the EECS Award winning professors.

EECS is a key member of the NSF National Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers (IUCRC), called Center for Design of Analog Digital Integrated Circuits (CDADIC) and is a key member of another IUCRC, called Power Systems Engineering Research Center (PSERC). Only a handful in the country, these prestigious centers bring together industry and university researchers in a cooperative effort to solve pressing science challenges.

What They Are Known For:

  • Electric power/energy
  • Microelectronics and Computer engineering
  • Systems and controls
  • Data Science
  • Machine Learning
  • Distributed and networked systems
  • Bioinformatics

Big Goals:

EECS Vision and Mission.

What They Can Do For You:

EECS is always a willing and helpful participant when it comes to collaboration and engagement efforts in all other departmental areas at WSU. EECS also provides students with a top notch education to prepare them for success in a large variety of different career paths.

Interesting Department Facts:

Clint Cole, Instructor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, was part of a team that developed the first portable defibrillator. Here is the Clint Cole story, done several years ago.

Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, studied computer science at WSU. Learn more about Paul and the Paul G. Allen Center for Global Animal Health Research Building.

Ed Schweitzer who started Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), received his PhD in the School of EECS where he developed his idea for digital protective relays.  Ed also taught at WSU from 1979 to 1982 and was recognized with the 2014 Top Alumni Award.

Anjan Bose, Regents Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and served as a senior advisor to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on the electric power grid. Learn more about Anjan Bose. 

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Pictured (L-R) Clint Cole, Paul Allen, Ed Schweitzer, and Anjan Bose

Significant Achievements:

One Achievement:  Center for Advanced Studies on Adaptive Systems (CASAS) SMART Home

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Researchers in the CASAS SMART Home lab have been designing activity-predictive approaches to cyber-physical systems including home automation. In recent years, cyber-physical systems (CPS) have been enhanced by the notion of context–aware computing. Sensing and representing the current situation can improve the design of the physical system and enhance its real-time system resiliency and responsiveness. CASAS researchers are introducing the science of activity-predictive cyber-physical systems. Deploying activity-aware cyber-physical systems (CPS) “in the wild” requires several computational components to make them aware of user activities. We need a method of identifying current activities (activity recognition) as well as a method of forecasting which activities will occur in the near future (activity prediction).

We hypothesize that cyber-physical systems can benefit from being activity aware. We validate this hypothesis in the context of a cyber-physical system that automates home control for energy efficiency. Our activity-aware home automation system, CASAS-AHS, is built on the foundation of the CASAS SMART Home infrastructure. Data is collected from sensors embedded in everyday home settings. The collected data is used to identify activities that residents are performing and to determine the devices that are used in the context of those activities. The CASAS-AHS home is automated to turn off devices that are not needed for the current activity and leave on devices that are required.

Another Achievement: Project on Detecting Pain in Babies 

Facial expression has been widely accepted as a method for pain detection in pediatric patients. Methods include pen and paper scales that require clinician observation, as well as experimental approaches using computer vision. The key in detecting pain in babies is the identification of facial grimacing, e.g. the opening of the mouth or movement of muscles involved. However, the small opening size of premature newborns with only 3.5 cm maximum displacement makes the task of automatically detecting and establishing pain scales using a pen and paper method a challenge. Further, real-time monitoring of mouth opening using image sensing and processing requires high resolution image sensors for accurate measurement and additional cameras are needed to cover all the angles in the incubator as infants usually move a lot, leading to an increase of the system’s cost and complexity. Additionally, the use of cameras at the bedside, raises practical issues of confidentiality, and privacy. Moreover, one set of high-definition cameras can only monitor one incubator which greatly increases the power consumption and cost of the system. Therefore, an alternative way which is reliable, energy and cost-efficient needs to be found.

In this project, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences and College of Nursing are developing a multidimensional approach (i.e. behavioral and physiologic signals) to detect, quantify and report pain in premature infants in the newborn intensive care unit (NICU).  Our goal is to develop a device that monitors pain in infants 24/7 and in near “real-time.” The small facial features of a preterm (few cm’s) makes it extremely hard and painful to place a wired sensor. The project involves design of a 3D-bonded ultra-small form factor micro-Watt device that communicates facial mouth movement wirelessly to a remote device by interfacing with a piezo-resistive sensor. The remote device runs a neural network algorithm which combines the output of the facial signals to other signals such as heart-rate variability (HRV) and finger flexion and eventually predicts a pain score in the range of 1-10.

Another Achievement: Transactive Campus Energy Project

WSU’s Energy Systems Innovation Center (ESIC), recently became part of a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)-sponsored project to research, develop and demonstrate technologies needed to create “smart” buildings, campuses and cities to better manage energy usage. Once buildings and devices are smarter – managing energy resources optimally on their own – they can also be more responsive to the needs of the power grid.  Led by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and including the University of Washington, the pioneering regional partnership brings the three campuses together to demonstrate transaction-based energy management for the first time, testing the large-scale use of transactive controls involving multiple buildings and devices. The transactive idea combines financial signals and control techniques to shift energy usage in devices, buildings and campuses.  As part of the project, WSU researchers will install solar panels on the Pullman campus for the first time and integrate them into Pullman’s “Smart City’’ test bed and WSU’s microgrid system.

Another Achievement: Development of RettGait

RettGait_SmartShoeRett Syndrome (RS) is a neurologic disorder caused by mutations on the X chromosome, and hence affects girls almost exclusively. Rett often leads to severe learning, speech, breathing and movement impairments. Treatment of the diseases involves dealing with problems such as functional limitations, hypotonia, ataxia, apraxia, loss of transitional movements, spasticity, loss of ambulation, loss of hand function, foot deformities, and spatial disorientation. In particular, patient’s walking behavior is significantly affected because of the symptom.

At the WSU Embedded & Pervasive Systems Lab (EPSL), we are developing RettGait, a wearable sensor platform for real-time collection and analysis of sensor data from children with Rett syndrome. Our shoe-integrated platform includes accelerometers, gyroscopes, and pressure sensors that allow clinicians to examine gait abnormalities and assess the impact of mobility-enhancing treatments (e.g., physical therapy) on gait behaviors in children with RS. We collaborate with clinical researchers in the Rett Syndrome Clinic in Emory University Hospital, Atlanta, GA, to test the technology and to collect sensor data for gait analysis and health assessment.

Another Achievement: Robosub Project

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Students from WSU and the University of Idaho have teamed up to compete in an annual competition taking place July 2016 in San Diego, California. RoboSub Club of the Palouse designs, fabricates, assembles, and programs a submarine that must complete a series of underwater tasks. And the sub must be completely autonomous!

Students from mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering, and computer science all work together on this difficult interdisciplinary project. Challenges include designing the structure for hydrodynamics and full waterproofing, designing circuit boards, processing vision and audio data to localize, sending precise control signals to the submarine’s propulsion fans, and allowing the submarine to weigh risks and rewards to make autonomous decisions.

Additionally, the club works throughout the year to continually provide tutorials to members. Our goal is to ensure new students are able to learn both technical and leadership skills so that the club continues to make progress over this multi-year project.

Support for this project is provided by NavSea and the Intelligent Robotic Learning Laboratory.

To learn more about and/or how you can make a gift to the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at WSU, please visit: school.eecs.wsu.edu


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