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2013 ECE Early Career Research Scholars Award winners announced

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Cornell ECE Early Career Research Scholars Program encourages gifted undergraduate students to pursue research interests with faculty members in ECE-related topics. Designed for students between their freshman and sophomore years, this is the first time ECE has offered support for faculty to work with undergraduate students to perform research after their first year of study. The program is intended for students in the College of Engineering who intend to major in ECE.

Students apply to the program in conjunction with a faculty adviser, by submitting a project proposal and budget. Each year, about ten students are selected to receive the award. Students participate in Early Learning Initiatives (ELI) summer informal presentations and also present their research in an ECE-centric workshop at the end of summer sessions. They also present their work to incoming ECE ENG1050 classes in the fall semester.

“I firmly believe that this program will raise the quality of students ECE attracts, with a long-lasting impact on enrollments,” said Tsuhan Chen, ECE Director.

The winners of the 2013 Cornell ECE Early Career Research Scholars Program are:

  • David Cui and Gulnar Mirza, “Investigating performance and scalability of domain-specific multicore processors for general purpose computing: a network processor's perspective,” advised by Jose Martinez
  • David Vakili, “Segmentation of human bodies in digital pictures,” advised by Tsuhan Chen
  • J. Blanton Shealy, “Capturing circulating colorectal cancer cells,” advised by Xiling Shen
  • Jonya Chen, “Hardware acceleration for sorting algorithms,” advised by Chris Batten
  • Sara Gregg, “Improved measurements in ECE's undergraduate teaching lab,” advised by Dick Shealy
  • Thomas Tapen, “Characterization of delay based DAC,” advised by Alyssa Apsel
  • Umit Gupta, “Extracting flexibility from distributed load sources: Sensing and decentralized control,” advised by Eilyan Bitar

The program was initiated by Dick Shealy and established and coordinated by Sheila Hemami. The application process and deadlines are the same as the ELI program. Proposals for the 2014 Program will be accepted at the beginning of March and will close at the end of March/beginning of April with an exact deadline announced closer to the date.

For more information on the Cornell ECE Early Career Research Scholars Program, visit

For more information on Engineering Learning Initiatives programs, visit

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