Message from the Chair

Welcome to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Rutgers

Welcome to the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Rutgers University. These are very exciting times for Rutgers University in general and the ECE Department in particular. With the full integration of the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and membership in the Big Ten Academic Alliance, Rutgers is now positioned as one of the most comprehensive public research universities in the country. Indeed, Rutgers University consistently ranks among the top public universities in the country and the world according to several published rankings. Equally exciting is our departmental news. ECE at Rutgers is ranked third in the United States in terms of the number of undergraduate degrees granted according to recent ASEE data. Our faculty and students have made ECE at Rutgers into one of the most vibrant departments, creating a community that fosters excellence in education and research. This excellence is reflected in the remarkable successes and outstanding achievements of both our students and faculty members alike. Consistent with this excellence, our student enrollment has grown dramatically with the undergraduate student class size at around 900 students and the graduate student class size at around 200 students. In May 2022, the department hosted over record-high 60 Capstone student teams with entrepreneuring and exciting senior projects under the mentorship of ECE faculty and industry sponsors.
The ECE department offers B.S. (with Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering options), M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, and boasts of world-class faculty who specialize in the areas of nanoelectronic and optical materials; bioelectrical devices and sensors; machine learning, and data science; cyber security and privacy; computer vision; cyber-physical systems; neuroimaging and modeling; signal and information processing; advanced internet and wireless networks; human-computer interaction, virtual reality, and high-performance computing. The department also offers two Certificate Graduate Programs in Machine Learning and Cyber Security. The range of specialization spans from algorithms and theory to hardware and software, with technology that supports a wide spectrum of applications related to computing, communications, commerce, energy, medicine, safety, and transportation. As such, the department is geared towards providing a holistic education and research experience for our students, including interdisciplinary opportunities.
Excellent facilities are available for collaborative research opportunities with local industry through the School’s nationally recognized centers such as the Wireless Information Network Laboratory (WINLAB), the Micro-nanofabrication and Characterization Facility, and the Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation (CAIT). There also exist collaboration opportunities at Brookhaven National Laboratory and with clinicians at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences (RBHS).
Our senior faculty members are consistently recognized with several prestigious national and international honors, including Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI), and ACM Distinguished Scientist. The department currently houses 13 IEEE Fellows, 1 AAAS Fellow, 1 NAI Fellow, 1 PFF Award, 15 NSF Career Awards, 3 DARPA Faculty Fellows, 1 ONR YIP, and 1 ARO YIP. Our faculty members are incredibly successful in winning investigator awards from NSF, NIH, DARPA, ARL, ARO, ONR, MxD, and other research agencies. The annual research expenditure of the department is around $10 million. The work of our faculty also attracts substantial media attention, such as Rutgers News, the journal Science Advances, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, and CNN news, further highlighting the broader impact of our work. Our faculty members have been awarded prestigious competitive honors such as Rodkin-Weintraub Chair, Presidential Outstanding Faculty, and Susman Award for their excellence researching and teaching works.
Our faculty and graduate students have garnered several Best Paper Awards at highly reputed conferences, including IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award, M. Barry Carlton Best Paper Award, and International Conference on Computer Communications and Networks (ICCCN) Best Paper Award. The department also successfully hosted International Women's Day with women students to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women on this day. Our graduate students have received the prestigious IEEE Communications Society Phoenix ISS Awards for their remarkable success in research and received ECE Best TA awards for their excellent teaching works. Our undergraduate students received the Ashok & Yohavalli Sethu Electrical and Computer Engineering Annual Scholarships. To cope with the pandemic, our department hosted online Open House and information sessions for accepted students and their families. The success of ECE centers such as the world-renowned WINLAB, Engineering Research Center (ERC) on Smart Streetscapes (CS3), and research groups related to high performance computing, security and privacy, data science, computer vision, neuroimaging, biosensing, and cyber-physical systems, is marked by a large number of external research grants from the NSF, NIH, and defense research agencies as well as corporate grants.
Our connection with industry has grown stronger, with multiple companies providing student internships as well as partnering and mentoring the ECE senior capstone design program. ECE also remains one of the most sought-after majors for employers from a broad spectrum of industry, with the fundamentals that ECE students are exposed to here making them versatile and productive employees from day one. The success of our alumni who continue to excel in their chosen careers be it as scholars, industry leaders or entrepreneurs, serves as a source of inspiration to our students and faculty.
I am very proud of the accomplishments highlighted in the following pages. Based on the trajectory, our department is on a path for even greater achievements in the coming years.
Yingying (Jennifer) Chen
Department Chair and Associate Director of WINLAB
Electrical and Computer Engineering