Duke Engineer Wins Prestigious IEEE Mid-Career Award

6/4/20 Pratt School of Engineering

Electrical and computer engineering faculty member Yiran Chen is recognized for pioneering contributions to the field of cyber-physical systems

Yiran Chen
Duke Engineer Wins Prestigious IEEE Mid-Career Award

Yiran Chen, a Duke professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), has won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Council on Electronic Design Automation’s Technical Committee on Cyber-Physical Systems (SYSC/CEDA TCCPS) Mid-Career Award.  

Chen was nominated by Duke ECE professor Vahid Tarokh, who emphasized that Chen’s research contributions have “fundamentally changed the landscape of the computing framework of learning-based cyber-physical systems.” 

Chen was one of the first engineers to envision the promising future of machine learning technology; his seminal 2009 paper, “Statistical memristor modeling and case study in neuromorphic computing,” which concerned emerging computing platforms for neural networks, was among the first works on the topic published in Design Automation Conference proceedings. 

“Since then,” said Tarokh, “Professor Chen has published a series of remarkable results regarding the applications of memristors to building intelligent computing systems for machine learning and neural networks, creating the body of what was the genesis of a significant sub-area in the field—one that continues to guide relevant research in the community.”

Additionally, Chen pioneered research in computing frameworks for machine learning acceleration. The structured sparsity technique Chen proposed in 2016 has become an industry standard. 

Chen is the director of the NSF Industry–University Cooperative Research Center for Alternative Sustainable and Intelligent Computing and co-directs the Duke Center for Computational Evolutionary Intelligence (CEI) alongside ECE professor Hai Li. Earlier this year, Chen was inducted into the High-Performance Computer Architecture Hall of Fame.

The award ceremony will be held during the CEDA International Conference on Computer Aided Design (ICCAD) in November 2020 in San Diego.