Embedded Systems Research Gaining Speed

in NEWS

Professor Yehia Massoud, the Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, spoke at Boston University last month as part of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Departments Fall 2013 Distinguished Lecture Series.
Professor Yehia Massoud, the Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, spoke at Boston University last month as part of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department’s Fall 2013 Distinguished Lecture Series.

Computing and embedded systems might not be something you think about everyday, but they’re found in devices we see all the time like MP3 players and traffic lights.

The potential of these systems continues to rise as engineers perfect their design. Imagine driving a car that could recognize traffic and switch lanes to avoid congestion or using a brain pacemaker to treat Parkinson’s disease.

Those were just a few of the possibilities Professor Yehia Massoud, the Head of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, mentioned last month when he visited Boston University. He spoke as part of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department’s Fall 2013 Distinguished Lecture Series.

Massoud was excited about current work being done on computing and embedded systems but said that before engineers are able to make some of the ideas a reality, scientists need to work on creating computing systems that are faster and perform better.

“Size is also important,” said Massoud. “They have to be small and very portable.”

He added that some of the problems engineers face concern overheating and configurability.

“Some of the ways we might solve this include new circuit design techniques, efficient signal processing techniques, developing new technologies, and using smart processing to sufficiently extract information,” said Massoud.

Massoud’s research team has been exploring how to automate analog/RF design and looking at how doing so could improve reliability, power consumption, and performance of embedded systems.

“The ultimate goal is to design a model in which there is an efficient trade-off for speed and accuracy,” he said.

Massoud is the editor of Mixed Signal Letters and an associate editor of the IEEE TVLSI and IEEE TCAS-I. He is a recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the DAC fellowship, the Synopsys Special Recognition Engineering Award, and Best Paper Awards at the 2007 IEEE International Symposium on Quality Electronic Design and the 2011 IEEE International Conference on Nanotechnology.

Massoud’s talk was the first in the three-part Fall 2013 Distinguished Lecture Series. The next talk features Professor George J. Pappas of the University of Pennsylvania who will speak on the topic, “Differential Privacy in Estimation and Control.” Hear him on October 23, 2013, at 4 p.m. in PHO 211.

-Rachel Harrington (rachelah@bu.edu)