Aitchison, Chow and Jacobsen named Fellows of the IEEE

IEEE Fellows

Professors Stewart Aitchison, Paul Chow and Hans-Arno Jacobsen (from left) were named Fellows of the IEEE, effective January 2019

January 11, 2019

Professors Stewart Aitchison, Paul Chow and Hans-Arno Jacobsen have been named Fellows of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The three professors in The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) were inducted in the 2019 cohort, joining 31 ECE faculty members, including Emeritus Professors, who hold the grade of fellow.

Professor Aitchison was elevated with the citation “for contributions to nonlinear optical devices and point-of-care testing systems.”

“Generally, my research has been in optical sensing systems and optical data processing systems,” says Professor Aitchison. “The sensing area started as a smaller part of my research group but now has grown to the major focus of the research we do.”

Professor Aitchison’s work on sensing has been applied to areas like lab-on-a-chip technologies and his group explores sensing methodologies using surface plasmons and also some waveguide-based sensing systems.

One application area for this research is in healthcare: Aitchison’s spinoff, ChipCare, which he co-founded with his then-graduate student James Dou, helps to bring diagnostics to people in remote settings. “Exploring how we can bring lab-quality diagnostics and systems out into rural and remote communities has really been some of the most rewarding work I’ve done,” says Aitchison. “It’s an honour to be named a Fellow of the IEEE and to be recognized by my peers.”

Professor Chow was elevated with the citation “for contributions to the programmability of field-programmable gate array based computing.”

“ECE has a really strong group of researchers working on Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and my work focuses on the systems-level and trying to turn these FPGAs into computing devices,” says Professor Chow. “To use FPGAs as computing devices, it’s important that we make them accessible for programmers.”

To Chow, the recent proliferation of machine learning and cloud computing has brought interesting and unique use-cases for FPGAs. “FPGAs allow you to build specific circuits to do computing so you don’t get the overhead that a processor has: you get increased performance and reduced power requirements,” says Chow. “To me, the interesting thing about building computers today is not the single chip — it’s the cloud — and my part in this is trying to work with FPGAs and get them into the cloud.”

Professor Jacobsen was elevated with the citation “for contributions to publish subscribe and event processing.”

“My research is at the intersection of distributed systems and data management systems,” says Jacobsen. “This work derives fundamental questions from large-scale, real-world distributed applications and has led to a number of patented innovations and commercial deployment.”

Professor Jacobsen’s work has focused on building content-based routing systems, publish/subscribe systems and the matching algorithms that enable these systems to operate at scale. His papers have been cited more than 9000 times and he has contributed to a number of international standardization efforts, including participating in the inception and specification of the OMG Data Distribution Service — a standard which now serves a billion-dollar industry.

“To be recognized by the IEEE for my scientific contributions to data management, distributed systems and middleware is a great honour,” says Jacobsen. “It’s been exciting to help shape this area of research for over a decade.”

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional association dedicated to advancing technology for humanity. Each year, less than one-tenth of one percent of the total voting IEEE membership are elevated to Fellow, the highest grade of membership.

“Congratulations to Professors Aitchison, Chow and Jacobsen on being named Fellows of the IEEE,” said Professor Farid Najm, chair of the ECE department. “Their career accomplishments have made significant impact in their respective fields as well as in our department here.”

More information:
Jessica MacInnis
Senior Communications Officer
The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
416-978-7997; jessica.macinnis@utoronto.ca