ECE Students Place First, Second in Premier Microelectronics Undergraduate Research Competition

<p>ECE students and TECHCON poster competition winners Cynthia Wang and Tyler Lizzo. </p>

ECE students and TECHCON poster competition winners Cynthia Wang and Tyler Lizzo. 

Cynthia Wang and Tyler Lizzo placed first and second respectively in the Joint University Microelectronics Program (JUMP) Undergraduate Research Initiative (URI) Poster Competition at Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) TECHCON 2022.

Wang and Lizzo’s winning research projects are part of the Opportunity Research Scholars’ (ORS) program in the Georgia Tech School of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Through ORS, ECE undergraduate students work on a research project for two-consecutive semesters supervised by a Ph.D. mentor and faculty advisor.

Wang, a computer engineering major, received top overall recognition for her research project, “Peak Finding Algorithm for Real-Time mmWave FMCW Radar and mmID Tag Tracking Systems.” The project’s faculty advisor was Emmanouil Tentzeris, and the Ph.D. mentor was Charles A. Lynch III.

Wang’s research interests include computer architecture and systems software. She was part of the ATHENA lab research group led by Tentzeris during the 2021-22 academic year where her research focused on a 60-GHz mmWave FMCW radar reader and backscattering tag system for high fidelity real-time tracking. In addition to her research, Wang has interned at Google and more recently joined NVIDIA as an architect intern, working on performance analysis for functional models of GPU architectures.

“TECHCON was truly a great experience,” said Wang. “Not only did I learn from and meet a bunch of accomplished researchers in semiconductors and microelectronics, but I also had the opportunity to form connections with industry leaders.”

Lizzo graduated with a computer engineering bachelor’s degree in Spring 2022 and is a current master’s student in ECE. He was an ORS scholar for the last two years of his undergraduate career, culminating in first and second place finishes in the TECHCON Undergraduate Research Competition in 2021 and 2022, respectively.

His award-wining 2022 project, “LSTM-based Model Predictive Control For Heat Dissipation of IMDs,” proposes using machine learning and control techniques to dynamically manage the power consumption of Implantable Medical Devices (IMDs). The project’s faculty advisor was ECE Professor Ying Zhang, and the Ph.D. mentor was Ayça Ermiş.

Lizzo’s research focused on Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) architectures, a type of neural network that is incredibly efficient for long-term relationships. One important research direction was the implementation of online/real-time learning, which allows the machine learning model to continue to update as data is being processed, integral for a system as complex and dynamic as the human body. Integration of online learning led to a 41.6% improvement in error performance.

“TECHCON was a wonderful experience,” said Lizzo. “It was truly amazing to see all the wonderful research that fellow undergraduate students were undertaking.”

TECHCON 2022 was held September 18-20, 2022 in Austin, Texas. Each year, SRC brings industry leaders and university researchers highly involved in microelectronics research together at TECHCON to support advancements in the semiconductor industry. Student presenters enjoy multiple formal and informal occasions to network with SRC member companies, opening the door to internship and job opportunities.

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