Graduate commencement celebrates 'critical contributions' of doctoral and master's students

May 25, 2022

Princeton ECE held its graduate commencement ceremony on Monday, May 23, celebrating the 32 doctoral students and 11 master’s students who earned graduate degrees over the past year. The ceremony featured an invited speaker, Divya Arora, a 2007 graduate alumna, and the presentation of the department’s annual graduate student awards.

In her remarks to the graduates, Arora stressed the importance of encouraging women to excel in engineering. She said support from her family and her Ph.D. adviser Niraj Jha had been key to her own success. Arora is a currently a platform security architect at Apple.

Hongyang Jia won the Bede Liu Best Dissertation Award in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Jia’s work has led to hardware designs that his adviser Naveen Verma, professor of electrical and computer engineering, called “among the most critical contributions of the last decade in the broad field of computing.” Sharad Malik, the George Van Ness Lothrop Professor in Engineering, added that Jia’s results as a Ph.D. student succeeded “at the highest level,” contributing key expertise for the next generation of computing platforms.

Shikhar Tuli and Sophia Yoo each won the Pramod Subramanyan *17 Early Career Graduate Award, recognizing their outstanding academic and research performance during the first two years of the graduate program.

Tuli’s work on transformer architecture represents a “radical departure” from conventional methods, according to his adviser Niraj Jha, professor of electrical and computer engineering. Prateek Mittal, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, added that Tuli has been prolific to a “very rare” degree, already publishing two papers, with two more under review and several more marching toward publication this summer.

Yoo has shown remarkable skills not only as a researcher on network security but as a communicator of complex concepts, according to her adviser Jennifer Rexford, the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering and chair of computer science. Ravi Netravali, assistant professor of computer science, added that Yoo has a remarkable “ability and drive to marry concepts” from different domains within her discipline.

graduate and attendee hug by reception table

Students, graduates, faculty and staff attended the 2022 Princeton ECE graduate student commencement ceremony on Monday, May 23. Above: Cecilia York, ECE department manager, congratulates Kevin Villegas Rosales, who completed his Ph.D. last August, advised by Mansour Shayegan. Photo by Tori Repp/Fotobuddy

The full list of doctoral and master’s degree recipients for the 2021–2022 academic year is below:

Ph.D. recipients

Amir Asadi, Ph.D.
Adviser: Emmanuel Abbe
Thesis: Neural Network Learning: A Multiscale-Entropy and Self-Similarity Approach

Junhwan Alexander Bae, Ph.D.
Adviser: Sebastian Seung
Thesis: Structural and Functional Diversity of Densely Reconstructed Cells in the Mouse Visual System

Paris Blaisdell-Pijuan, Ph.D.
Adviser: Claire Gmachl
Thesis: Technology, Systems, and Policy Challenges Towards Future Hydrogen and Power Markets: Photocatalysis for Hydrogen Storage, Power System Trade-offs, and Green Hydrogen Policy

Ting-Jung Chang, Ph.D.
Adviser: David Wentzlaff
Thesis: Architectures for Organic Computing and Data Relayout

Yoon Jang Chung, Ph.D.
Adviser: Mansour Shayegan
Thesis: Ultra-High-Quality GaAs and AlAs Two-Dimensional Electron Systems Via Molecular Beam Epitaxy

Jordan Dull, Ph.D.
Adviser: Barry Rand
Thesis: Crystal Formation and Epitaxy of Thin Film Organic Semiconductors

Thomas Ferreira de Lima, Ph.D.
Adviser: Paul Prucnal
Thesis: Neuromorphic Computing with Silicon Photonics

Zecheng He, Ph.D.
Adviser: Ruby Lee
Thesis: Security Meets Deep Learning

Bo-Yuan Huang, Ph.D.
Adviser: Sharad Malik
Thesis: Instruction-Level Abstraction for Program Compilation and Verification in Accelerator-Rich Platforms

Ding Huang, Ph.D.
Adviser: Nathalie de Leon
Thesis: Building Quantum Network Nodes Based on Neutral Silicon Vacancy Centers in Diamond

Hongyang Jia, Ph.D.
Adviser: Naveen Verma
Thesis: Designing Computing Systems Based on Unconventional Technologies for Hardware Acceleration

Saeed Ahmed Khan, Ph.D.
Adviser: Hakan Türeci
Thesis: Non-Equilibrium Quantum Dynamics of Nonlinear Multimode Circuit QED Systems

Saeed-Uz-Zaman Khan, Ph.D.
Adviser: Barry Rand
Thesis: Effect of Charge Transfer State Energetic Disorder on Spectral Response, Recombination and Energy Loss of Organic Solar Cells

Weibin Liang, Ph.D.
Adviser: James Sturm
Thesis: Biological Cell Preparation and On-Chip Particle Sorting Systems at High Flow Rate

Yushan Liu, Ph.D.
Adviser: Prateek Mittal
Thesis: Enhancing Network Security and Privacy Using Graph-Theoretic Characteristics

Jie Lu, Ph.D.
Advisers: Naveen Verma and Niraj Jha
Thesis: Energy-Efficient Implementation of Machine Learning Algorithms

Ming Lyu, Ph.D.
Adviser: Claire Gmachl
Thesis: Software Design for Modeling Quantum Cascade Laser and Long Wavelength (~16μm) GaAs/AlGaAs Quantum Cascade Lasers

Hsuang-Tung Peng, Ph.D.
Adviser: Paul Prucnal
Thesis: Photonic Neural Networks for Ultrafast Neural Information Processing

Christopher Phenicie, Ph.D.
Adviser: Jeffrey Thompson
Thesis: Devices and Materials for Quantum Network Nodes Based on Rare Earth Ions

Siddhartha Sarkar, Ph.D.
Adviser: Andrej Kosmrlj
Thesis: Multipoles, Symmetry Representations and Thermal Fluctuations in Elastic Systems

Liwei Song, Ph.D.
Adviser: Prateek Mittal
Thesis: Understanding and Measuring Privacy Risks in Machine Learning

Jonathan Spencer, Ph.D.
Advisers: Peter Ramadge and Mung Chiang
Thesis: Learning from Humans: Beyond Classical Imitation Learning

Alexander Tarr, Ph.D.
Adviser: Kosuke Imai
Thesis: Machine Learning Methods for Computational Social Science

Lawrence Thul, Ph.D.
Adviser: Warren Powell
Thesis: Multi-Agent Sequential Decision Modeling for Information Collection and Intervention in Epidemics and Wildfires

Kevin Amilcar Villegas Rosales, Ph.D.
Adviser: Mansour Shayegan
Thesis: Probing Many-Body Liquids and Solids in Two-Dimensional Electron Systems

Yaotian Wang, Ph.D.
Adviser: Jason Fleischer
Thesis: On Extensions of Iterative Fourier Phase Retrieval Algorithms

Jack Wilson, Ph.D.
Adviser: Jeffrey Thompson
Thesis: New Tools for Quantum Science in Yb Rydberg Atom Arrays

Can Wu, Ph.D.
Advisers: James Sturm and Naveen Verma
Thesis: Large-Area Electronics for Wireless-Sensing Applications

Semih Yagli, Ph.D.
Adviser: Vincent Poor
Thesis: Topics in Information and Estimation Theory: Parameter Estimation, Lossless Compression, Constrained Channels, and Error Exponents

Hongce Zhang, Ph.D.
Adviser: Sharad Malik
Thesis: The Hardware-Software Interface for Systems-on-Chip: Formal Modeling and Modular Verification

Yezhezi Zhang, Ph.D.
Adviser: Claire Gmachl
Thesis: Novel Material Engineering on III-IV Semiconductor Platforms: Metamaterials with Quantum Cascade Structures

Chengjie Zhu, Ph.D.
Adviser: Kaushik Sengupta
Thesis: CMOS-Enabled Cellular and Bio-Molecular Sensing Systems: From In-Vitro Diagnostics to Ingestible Electronics

Master of Science in Engineering recipients

Mohammad Shafiqul Islam, M.S.E.
Adviser: James Sturm

Yuren Zhong, M.S.E.
Adviser: Chi Jin

Noah Walsh, M.S.E.
Adviser: Felix Heide

Master of Engineering recipients

Mark Abramovitz, M.E.

Jacob Brown, M. E.

Matthew Collins, M. E.

Michaela Hennebury, M. E.

Robert Laitner, M. E.

Lap Hei Lam, M. E.

Elianne Shapiro, M. E.

Robert Shi, M. E.