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  • Feb 4, 2014

    Fully autonomous vehicles are on the horizon. The future designers of these modernistic vehicles will be participating in the annual Freescale Cup challenge in April at Rochester Institute of Technology.

    Registration is open for the regional competition, taking place April 18 and 19 in RIT’s Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies.

    The Freescale Cup is a collegiate design challenge where students build autonomous model racecars with embedded technologies, navigating their vehicles around a track at top speeds. Students are also judged on the design of the model car and their understanding of the software programming and integrated systems of hardware and sensor technologies being used.

    “This is an exciting challenge where students across the globe participate and have an opportunity to learn more about interfacing hardware components and embedded systems,” said Andy Mastronardi, director Freescale University Programs. “This same technology is being used to develop intelligent cars and these students are being prepared for careers in this emerging field.”

    This is the first year the regional challenge will be held at RIT, and hosted by the computer engineering department in the university’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. More than 30 university teams from the Northeast are expected to attend. For more information about the event or to register a team, contact Mastronardi by email at andy.mastronardi@freescale.com

    Feb 4, 2014

    Rochester Institute of Technology entered into an international educational partnership agreement on Dec. 1 with National Taiwan University of Science and Technology to provide an accelerated, five-year program for students to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree from the Taiwanese university and a Master of Science degree from RIT.

    Under the agreement, students would study for three years in Taiwan, earning a bachelor’s degree in electronic and computer engineering, electrical engineering, or computer science and information engineering. They would follow up with two years in the United States at RIT, receiving a master’s degree in computer engineering from RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

    “The international BS/MS program provides opportunities for students to gain a broader and international perspective through the expedited degree program,” says Shanchieh Jay Yang, department head of computer engineering in the engineering college.

    “Computer engineering at RIT will complement the students’ education in three closely related undergraduate programs at NTUST, in not only hands-on engineering education but also research experience as part of the computer engineering MS degree requirement. This partnership can further foster research collaboration between NTUST and RIT, enabling interdisciplinary advances in both institutions.”

    The first students in the program are expected to enroll in fall 2014.

    RIT has more than 30 international educational agreements that provide student and faculty exchanges, increased educational opportunities and expanded research collaborations. A similar partnership program was initiated recently between RIT’s Saunders College of Business and Beijing Jiaotong University in China. Other agreements have been established with government organizations and agencies around the world, including Rwanda, Libya, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Malaysia, the Dominican Republic, Brazil and Peru, said Diane Ellison, assistant vice president, Part-time and Graduate Enrollment Services at RIT.

    “The agreements provide opportunities for students and faculty in Rochester to connect and interact with others globally,” she added.

    The National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, located in Taipei, is known for its applied research in engineering disciplines, science and the humanities, promotion of entrepreneurship and university-industry cooperation.

    “This program is an excellent example of faculty leadership and cross-divisional collaboration leading to international partnerships and opportunities,” says James Myers, RIT’s associate provost of international education and global programs. “Dr. Yang had the vision for the program and led its development through his connections in Taiwan. Offices in Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management have supported his vision and worked closely together to create a very innovative model. Of course, our colleagues in Taiwan have been central to the process and have excellent partners to work with throughout.”

    Feb 4, 2014

    You can teach old dogs new technology tricks.

    Jason Kridner, co-founder of Beagleboard.org, an Open Source technology organization, will be discussing new technology, specifically the software and hardware used in embedded computing, as the keynote speaker for RIT’s fourth annual ARM Developer Day.

    The all-day event takes place from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Jan. 31, at RIT. Registration check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. in RIT’s Center for Student Innovation, and Kridner’s keynote address follows at 8:30 a.m. in the same location. A full schedule of the hands-on workshops and locations is available.

    The event is free and open to students, faculty and staff. Registration is required and can be done online.

    Kridner, currently the open platforms technologist at Texas Instruments, founded BeagleBoard.org with co-worker Gerald Coley as a community focused on providing affordable, powerful, open hardware computers to learn about electronics and embedded systems. Its primary platform technology is the BeagleBoard, a general-purpose microprocessor that can be used to connect a variety of peripherals. Kridner’s presentation, “The Next Economy is Hardware Included,” focuses on the new product development landscape that includes low-cost, low-power ARM development boards, such as BeagleBone Black. These high-level operating systems provide Internet connectivity through a variety of interfaces and allow developers to decrease the time and cost to bring a potential product to market.

    This is the fourth year RIT has hosted the ARM Developer Day program, and it has grown from a handful of students and national companies involved to more than 250 students and a dozen companies, said Adriana Becker-Gomez, lecturer in RIT’s computer engineering department.

    “This is a wonderful opportunity for the students, it inspires them,” she said. “We bring in field engineers from companies such as Texas Instruments, Freescale, Cypress and mbed, and our students are able to talk to technical people about the microprocessors, and how they work, not sales people. These are hands-on sessions and they get to keep the boards, too.”

    Participating companies are ARM, Texas Instruments, BeagleBoard.com, Freescale, Cypress Semiconductor, ST Micro, Atmel Inc., mbed, NXP Semiconductors, MathWorks, Raspberry Pi, Keil, Element14 and CadSoft EAGLE.

    Sep 27, 2013
    Designing with Freescale Seminar Takes Place Oct. 3 at RIT Inn & Conference Center

    Embedded systems solutions being developed for products such as industrial control and data networking, enhanced graphical and touch-based user interfaces and low power, battery-based systems will be featured at the 2012 Freescale Semiconductor Rochester Technology Symposium. The annual event will take place Oct. 3 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, 5257 West Henrietta Road. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. and the first session will start at 8:30 a.m. The Designing with Freescale event is free, and participants can register online. This year keynote speaker will Internet of Things thought-leadere Kaivan Karimi.

    Internet of Things thought-leader Kaivan Karimi gives keynote address at annual event

    Embedded systems, enhanced graphical technologies and touch-based user interfaces are only a few of the intelligent systems that make up the Internet of Things.

    Kaivan Karimi will discuss the Internet of Things—considered a new era in computing technology, also referred to as the Internet of intelligent systems—at the 2013 Designing with Freescale Seminar Series in Rochester. The annual event will take place Oct. 3 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center, 5257 West Henrietta Road. Registration begins at 7:45 a.m. and the first session will start at 8:30 a.m. The Designing with Freescale event is free, and participants can register online.

    Karimi has been at the forefront of defining and driving the technology, product and business strategies related to the Internet of Things for Freescale, where he is executive director of its Global Strategy and Business Development team. He has more than 19 years of experience in the semiconductor and telecommunications business and has been with Freescale for nine years serving in a variety of leadership positions.

    The Freescale seminar is open to design engineers, engineering faculty and students, industry partners and executive managers. Participants attend hands-on training, laboratory demonstrations and presentations highlighting development tools, reference designs, customer products, student applications and projects.

    Featured technologies at the symposium will include Kinetis L, Freescale’s next-generation ARM Cortex M0+ core-based microcontroller and its Vybrid A5+M4 ARM multi-core technology.

    The event has expanded considerably, says Andy Mastronardi, Global Director of University Programs for Freescale. “There are more hands-on workshops and tracks related to Freescale products, applications and tools. The series was created to enable engineers to accelerate the development of innovative end-products using Freescale technologies.”

    This is the eighth year of the symposium. More than 200 participants from businesses and universities in the Northeast are expected to attend. Computer engineering students from RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering will display research projects, and a product tradeshow takes place throughout the day.

    At the close of the seminar, participants can tour the Golisano Institute for Sustainability, located on the Rochester Institute of Technology campus. A shuttle bus will leave the RIT Inn & Conference Center at 4:30 p.m. The Golisano Institute for Sustainability conducts leading research in alternative energy, remanufacturing, nanotechnology and sustainable production. It is considered a “living laboratory” and has incorporated sustainable systems within the building including a Purecell fuel cell system, the primary energy source; a water collection and filtration system; a microgrid and geothermal system. The institute also houses one of the world’s first Ph.D. programs in sustainable manufacturing and industrial development, as well as master’s degrees in sustainable systems and sustainable architecture.

  • Jul 18, 2012
    RIT Professor Receives National Science Foundation Grant to Improve On-chip Networks with Wireless Technology

    Technology being developed by researchers from three universities is expected to improve next-generation integrated circuits called network-on-chip. The work will support the growing demand for computing power and could improve overall performance of multi-core processors by integrating wireless technology with copper wiring on devices.

    Amlan Ganguly, an assistant professor of computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, is part of the team that received an $800,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for the project. He will be working with project leader Partha Pande, associate professor of electrical engineering at Washington State University, and researchers from Georgia Institute of Technology to develop the new infrastructure that could increase the speed and reduce the power usage in today’s computer processors, augmenting the on-chip network of miniature copper wires with wireless interconnects.

    The on-chip wireless protocol that Ganguly will develop, called “Hierarchical On-Chip Millimeter-Wave Wireless Micro-Networks for Multi-Core Systems,” will allow for multiple processing engines on the chip to communicate simultaneously using a process much like that of traditional mobile telephone networks.

    This first-of-its-kind process is projected to have improved results from earlier work on a token-based protocol where access on the wireless channel is granted to only a single processor one time, he says.

    “The role of on-chip networks is to communicate between multiple cores, or processors, on a chip efficiently so that they can share their results and can communicate effectively with each other,” Ganguly says. “That communication has been a bottleneck over the past 10 years because the communication has been taking up a lot of energy, a lot of processing time. The major thrust in this area is to reduce that energy dissipation, to make computing systems more sustainable.”

    On-chip networks are subsystems on computer chips, also referred to as integrated circuits. Currently, the chips are designed with copper wiring and circuitry. The team is developing an alternative data transfer process modeled, in part, on cellular telephone technology—with single antennae capable of accommodating multiple users at one time—yet on a significantly smaller scale on the chip.

    Additionally, the new protocol is expected to reduce energy consumption for computer processors that operate day-in and day-out.

    “The wireless bandwidth is very limited because it is in a small, miniature scale, so it’s not like a cellular network where you have thousands of cell phones working on really huge base stations,” Ganguly says. “When we put the wireless nodes on a chip and they try to communicate, there has to be a way that we are sure they can communicate without interfering with each other. My goal is to design a collision-free, non-interfering wireless, medium-access protocol for the network-on-chip.”

    “That is a big leap in terms of usage of the available wireless resources,” Ganguly says. “You lose your dependence on energy, and that pushes us toward green computing and makes it more sustainable.”

    Washington State University is overseeing the entire project and, in collaboration with RIT, is designing the architecture. Georgia Tech researchers are designing the on-chip antennae that will enable the wireless technology on the chip.

    Dec 13, 2011

    Andrés Kwasinski, assistant professor of computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, has been named to the editorial staff of two national engineering publications, Transactions on Wireless Communications and Signal Processing Magazine.

    Kwasinski will serve as editor of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Transactions on Wireless Communications, a peer-reviewed journal, for one year.

    “Serving as editor for a technical journal offers the unique opportunity of being constantly exposed to new and exciting research work,” says Kwasinski, a member of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering since 2008. “It also carries an important responsibility, since editors manage the review process for papers and decide on their worthiness for publication.”

    Effective January 2012, Kwasinski will also be area editor for IEEE’s Signal Processing Magazine, with responsibilities over seven of the magazine’s regular columns, for a three-year term. Prior to this, he was associate editor for the publication’s “In the Spotlight” column.

    “Being an area editor offers the opportunity to contribute my vision applicable to the IEEE Signal Processing Society,” says Kwasinski, who adds that the magazine is considered an influential resource in the electrical and electronic engineering field.

    “The position also offers the opportunity to interact regularly with the top researchers in the field of signal processing. It is a very rewarding position because it allows you to go from thinking about an idea for something interesting and valuable to be communicated to your peers, and after some hard work, to see the result in your hands, in the form of a publication that will be received and read by all your peers,” he says.

    Both publications are part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers organization, also referred to as IEEE. The international association publishes several journals, magazines, monographs and conference proceedings related to its different societies and broad engineering disciplines.

    In 2009, Kwasinski published Cooperative Communications and Networking. The textbook for computer engineers was recently translated into Chinese.

    Oct 17, 2011

    Andreas Savakis, professor of computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, will take on a new role as he begins his appointment as an American Council on Education Fellow for the 2011–2012 academic year. The program offers accelerated learning experiences developed by the council to help universities advance institutional projects and personnel.

    Fellows are assigned to experienced leaders at other academic institutions for mentoring and participation on host university project teams that can be mutually beneficial to both institutions. Savakis will work with University of Rochester Provost Ralph Kuncl during the fall semester on research commercialization and technology transfer for economic development. During the spring semester, he will work with Chancellor Jean MacCormack of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth on strategies in developing interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs.

    He will also interact with RIT personnel such as the provost and academic leadership throughout the fellows program, as well as work closely with his current cohort of fellows, meeting for seminars quarterly.

    “Most ACE fellows spend a semester or a full year at the host institution,” says Savakis, the first ACE Fellow from RIT, who is participating in the program after serving 10 years as department head of the computer engineering program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

    “The mentorship is a very important part of the process. It gives you a different perspective and an opportunity to step back and observe different aspects of a university. It is an exceptional learning experience,” he says, adding that both organizations work within common interests so that both can benefit.

    Nominated by RIT Provost Jeremy Haefner, Savakis will participate in projects that can contribute to the growing research infrastructure at RIT—from advancing the corporate research and development initiatives for economic impact to preparing students for success in the global economy. He will also be able to contribute his expertise in technology transfer to host institutions.

    “The ACE Fellows program, with the mentor-protégé learning experience, is the premier professional development program for individuals interested in higher education academic leadership,” says Haefner, adding that the program allows emerging leaders at a campus to learn how other institutes deal with similar issues, how leaders think and how their own skills can be sharpened to serve and lead. “It builds bridges in all sorts of ways. We are honored that Andreas was selected in the program and to be hosted by excellent mentors.”

    Jun 28, 2011

    Students from Rochester Institute of Technology were grand-prize winners for their E-Health Intelligence System at the Freescale Technology Forum “Make It Challenge” event on June 22. The system is a health-monitoring device, small enough to fit in a patient’s pocket, and the data can be accessed anywhere in the world by physicians.

    “We were very excited to win this,” says Daniel Liu, who graduated from RIT with a dual degree, Bachelor of Science/Master of Science degree in computer engineering. “We put in a lot of effort, sleeping as little as three hours each night to get this project completed in the time limit.”

    The E-Health Intelligence System is a low-power mobile device that can collect different vital signs such as heart rate, respiration information or EKG data, Liu explains. It consists of a network of sensors and wireless receivers that can monitor patient vitals and transmit this information to doctors. Physicians would be able to access this medical data in real time from an Android phone or a tablet computer, improving access outside of a clinical or hospital environment.

    The student design contest was sponsored by Freescale Semiconductors and held at the company’s national conference in San Antonio, June 20–23. In addition to Liu, the project team also consisted of Daniel Cheung and Sam Skalicky, students in the computer engineering program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. It was the first time the RIT team had entered the national contest.

    Contestants were required to use at least one of Freescale’s controller hardware modules for the prototype design. Projects were judged on creativity, innovation, design efficiency and commercial suitability. The system was built using the Freescale Kinetis K60 Tower System that uses a 802.15.4 mesh networking standard in addition to a custom designed software stack, Liu explains.

    For the team’s first-place finish in the Tower System category, the students received $3,000. For the grand prize overall, each member will receive a VIP weekend at a NASCAR event to view the new developments and how Freescale Semiconductor’s products are helping to improve the race car’s performance. Also included in the prize is admission to the race, pit access, grandstand seating, accommodations and monetary stipends.

    The team expects to continue development, add additional functionality and present the prototype to physicians groups that have shown interest in the product.

    “This grand prize recognition solidifies RIT’s position as a top engineering school,” says Ken Hsu, professor of computer engineering and the students’ project advisor. “This was a big competition. We received many compliments on the students’ design. People will know RIT has a strong engineering program, especially in embedded systems design.”

  • Jun 1, 2011
    Department of Computer Engineering gain status of a CUDA Teaching Center for 2011-12

    The Department of Computer Engineering has been named a CUDA Teaching Center for 2011-012 from Nvidia. As part of this recognition, Nvidia has donated 10 GeForce GTX480s high-performance graphics processing units and 1 Tesla C2070 GPU computing processor with 448 CUDA cores, 20 copies of the "Programming Massively Parallel Processors" book authored by David B. Kirk & Wen-mei W. Hwu, and funds to support a Teaching Assistant.

    This donation will be used to develop coursework on high performance parallel computing. This recognition has been achieved thanks to the efforts of Dr. Sonia Lopez Alarcon, Assistant Professor in the department, and Dr. Roy Melton, Senior Lecturer in the department.

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