Innovation funds support advances in secure communications, machine learning and optical sensors

Written by
Molly Sharlach, Office of Engineering Communications
April 27, 2022

This year’s engineering school Innovation Research Grants are funding efforts to secure underwater communications, make reinforcement learning more observable, and use the mouse brain to build better sensors.

The projects number among 19 awardees of annual research grants awarded for 2022. Princeton Engineering’s Innovation Research Grants are funded by Princeton alumni, parents and other donors. This year’s awards, which total more than $1.9 million, include:

Project X Fund

Project X funding enables Princeton engineering faculty members to pursue exploratory research geared toward “creativity, tinkering and risk-taking.” The fund is made possible by G. Lynn Shostack in honor of her late husband David Gardner, a 1969 Princeton graduate. Project X grants were awarded to:

Yasaman Ghasempour, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, for the project “Securing underwater acoustic communications against terrestrial adversaries”;

Kyle Jamieson, a professor of computer science, for the project “Large-scale wireless cross-link learning”;

Chi Jin, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, for the project “Demystifying partial observability in reinforcement learning.”

J. Insley Blair Pyne Fund

Established in memory of physics and electrical engineering professor and Princeton graduate J. Insley Blair Pyne, this fund supports research at the intersection of engineering and neuroscience. Blair Pyne funds were awarded to:

Peter Ramadge, the Gordon Y.S. Wu Professor of Engineering and a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Uri Hasson, a professor of psychology and neuroscience, for the project “Using machine learning to model and analyze human language and communication;

and Hakan Tureci, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, for the project “Finding signal in the noise: mouse-brain-inspired edge processor for spectroscopic sensors.”

Editor's note: This article was adapted from the original, which includes information on all of this year's Innovation Research Grants.