ECE Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering: SURE 2012

Following are some of the videos created by Electrical and Computer Engineering students who participated in the 2012 SURE program. (A list of all the projects offered)

Additional past completed projects (20112010)

Applications of a new Ultrasound Generating Device 

Student: Holly Chiang
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Jay Guo

Project Description: The project is to design and construct a high speed photodetector circuit to receive signals from a microring resonator that is used to detect high frequency ultrasound. The target performance metric is to provide large gain (~1mV/uW) and with frequency response range of ~500MHz.



Student: Alexander Hakkola
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Euisik Yoon

Project Description: BioBolt is a cranial implant that can read brain signals as well as stimulate the brain. It must also be able to communicate with a computer. This project explores the best way for the implant to communicate with the implant.

Compressive Sensing and VLSI 


Student: Shiming Song
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Zhengya Zhang

Project Description: Advances in very-large-scale integration (VLSI) allow sophisticated signal processing to be performed with a smaller cost. In this research, you will be developing an optimization engine for recovering sparse samples collected by sensor front end. Sparse sensing reduces the power consumption of tiny sensors and increases their lifetime. However, the recovery needs to be done by a sophisticated compressive sensing processor that should be parallelized to deliver an acceptable performance. In this research, you will explore algorithmic, architectural and circuit techniques to optimize the design of the compressive sensing processor to improve its performance and power efficiency.

Design and Fabrication of Thin Film Transistors 


Student: Mykola Kravchenko
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Becky Peterson

Project Description: We would like to use ink-jet printing to make transistors for low-cost and large-area electronics on flexible substrates. In this project the student will use the ink jet printer in the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility to make the electrical insulator layer of the transistor. This will be done by printing liquid inks to form a dielectric such as alumina(aluminum oxide). The dielectric will be integrated with printed semiconductor and conductor layers which have already been developed to form an all-printed transistor.

Harvesting Energy from Bridge Vibrations 


Student: Yuan Xiang
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Khalil Najafi

Project Description: America's bridges and other civil infrastructure are rapidly aging and annual human inspections are costly, inefficient, and cannot detect rapid deterioration which might cause catastrophic failure such as the collapse of the Minnesota I-35W bridge in 2007. One solution is to utilize sensor networks which continuously monitor and report back on the bridge's condition, but it is not practical to power such sensors off of batteries or wired power. Therefore we have developed a mechanical energy harvester called the PFIG (parametric frequency increased generator – google it to learn more) which can harvest the gentle movement of the bridge and convert it into a stored DC voltage. In this project, the student will complete matlab simulations and lab-bench testing of the PFIG to correlate our existing models with measured PFIG performance. Specifically, the SURE student will use the model to hardware correlation to help optimize the mechanical-electrical transduction and latching mechanisms. Additionally, as time and interest allows, the student may help design, build and test discrete circuits used to convert the PFIG output into DC voltage.

High-performance channel coding for energy-efficient communication 


Student: Paul Rigge
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Zhengya Zhang

Project Description: Energy-efficient communication systems require both low transmit energy and low receive energy. Powerful channel codes such as Turbo and LDPC have been invented and used in all the latest wireless, wireline and satellite communication systems to reduce transmit energy, but their decoders are very complex and energy hungry. Polar code is the most recent development in coding theory that has been proven to approach the Shanon limit. The polar encoding is highly structured, which leads to highly efficient decoding. In this research, you will investigate novel hardware architectures of successive-cancellation decoders for polar codes and analyze the decoder's runtime performance. The hardware architectures will be synthesized and demonstrated on FPGA.


Multi-Target Tracking in Computer Vision

Student: Nick Genise
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Silvio Savarese

Project Description: The ability to interpret the semantic of objects, their geometric attributes as well as their spatial and functional relationships within complex environments is essential for an intelligent visual system. In visual recognition, the problem of categorizing generic objects is a highly challenging one. Single objects vary in appearances and shapes under various photometric (e.g. illumination) and geometric (e.g. scale, view point, occlusion, etc.) transformations. In order to address these challenges, researchers in the Vision Lab at the University of Michigan are developing cutting edge technology in visual recognition. Our goals are to: i) introduce novel representations for describing rigid and non‐rigid object categories. ii) Design methodologies for learning multi‐view models where training data is provided in an unorganized fashion (e.g, from the Internet); iii) design algorithms for accurate object detection and view point estimation from either images or video sequences. Be part of the team and get involved in one of our projects!

Tools developed in this project are critical in a large number of applications such as autonomous vehicle navigation, robot sensing and manipulation, mobile vision, post‐production movie editing, image database indexing, and human‐computer interface. Our technology can play a fundamental role in designing systems that can help people with reduced functional capabilities due to aging or disability toward the goal of improving and sustaining the quality of life for all people.

Ultra-Low Noise Testing of Wireless Receivers 


Student: Fred Buhler
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Michael Flynn

Project Description: This research project will evaluate wireless systems, help develop demonstrations of the wireless transceivers and help develop new transceiver circuits. Michael Flynn's research group has developed integrated wireless transceivers with record energy efficiency. These devices work with WiFi, Zigbee and other standards. Wireless systems with integrated sensors and processing are also being developed.  As an example, a wireless sensor measures magnetic field strength and transmits the measured data to a base station. This SURE project will involve the design of new boards, and the writing test software as well as software to control instruments. Some integrated circuit design will also be included in the project.