Distinguished Lecture Series


Upcoming lectures

John A. Rogers, Professor, McCormick School of Engineering, Northwestern University

Title: TBD

Date: September 13, 2023

Time: 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Location: Engineering 7 – 7303/7363 (Faculty Hall)


Coming soon!


Coming soon!

Past lectures

Donna Strickland, Professor and Nobel Prize laureate

Title: Generating High-Intensity, Ultrashort Optical Pulses 


With the invention of lasers, the intensity of a light wave was increased by orders of magnitude over what had been achieved with a light bulb or sunlight. This much higher intensity led to new phenomena being observed, such as violet light coming out when red light went into the material. After Gérard Mourou and I developed chirped pulse amplification, also known as CPA, the intensity again increased by more than a factor of 1,000 and it once again made new types of interactions possible between light and matter. We developed a laser that could deliver short pulses of light that knocked the electrons off their atoms. This new understanding of laser-matter interactions, led to the development of new machining techniques that are used in laser eye surgery or micromachining of glass used in cell phones.


Donna Strickland is a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Waterloo and is one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize in Physics 2018 for developing chirped pulse amplification with Gérard Mourou, her PhD supervisor at the time. They published this Nobel-winning research in 1985 when Strickland was a PhD student at the University of Rochester.

Strickland earned a B.Eng. from McMaster University and a PhD in optics from the University of Rochester. Strickland was a research associate at the National Research Council Canada, a physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and a member of technical staff at Princeton University. In 1997, she joined the University of Waterloo, where her ultrafast laser group develops high-intensity laser systems for nonlinear optics investigations. She was named a 2021 Hagler Fellow of Texas A&M University and sits on the Growth Technology Advisory Board of Applied Materials.

Strickland served as the president of the Optica (formerly OSA) in 2013 and is a fellow of Optica, SPIE, the Royal Society of Canada and the Royal Society. She is an honorary fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Institute of Physics, an international member of the US National Academy of Science and member of the Pontifical Academy of Science. Strickland was named a Companion of the Order of Canada.

Khaled Ben Letaief, New Bright Professor of Engineering, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Title: 6G: The Next AI-Empowered and Hyper-Connected World


While the deployment of the 5th generation (5G) mobile communication is accelerating worldwide, we are witnessing exciting global research and development activities driven by academia, industry, and governments to formulate and define the next-generation mobile technology, i.e., 6G, which is expected to be commercially available in the 2030 timeframe. Unlike previous generations, 6G will be transformative and will enable interconnections between humans, things, and intelligence within a deeply intertwined and hyper-connected cyber-physical world, characterized by the integration of communications, intelligence, sensing, control, and computing. It will also profoundly impact major sectors and vertical industries, including the metaverse, autonomous and smart lifestyles, intelligent transportation, brain-computer interfaces, smart healthcare, industry 5.0, and sustainable intelligent cities

In this talk, we will introduce a comprehensive overview of various aspects of 6G, including vision, technical requirements, and candidate enabling technologies. Of particular focus will be the introduction of artificial intelligence and machine-learning methods for future wireless communications systems design and optimization [1].

[1] K. B. Letaief, Y. Shi, J. Lu, and J. Lu, “Edge Artificial Intelligence for 6G: Vision, enabling technologies, and applications,” IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 5-36, Jan. 2022.


Dr. Letaief received his BS, MS, and PhD from Purdue University, USA. He is a Member of the United States National Academy of Engineering, Fellow of IEEE, Fellow of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, and Member of the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences. He is also recognized by Thomson Reuters as an ISI Highly Cited Researcher and was listed among the 2020 top 30 of AI 2000 Internet of Things Most Influential Scholars.

Dr. Letaief is the founding Editor-in-Chief of the prestigious IEEE Transactions on Wireless Communications. He is the recipient of many distinguished awards including the 2021 IEEE Communications Society Best Survey Paper Award; 2019 Distinguished Research Excellence Award by HKUST School of Engineering (Highest research award and only one recipient/3 years is honored for his/her contributions); 2019 IEEE Communications Society and Information Theory Society Joint Paper Award; 2018 IEEE Signal Processing Society Young Author Best Paper Award, 2016 IEEE Marconi Prize Award in Wireless Communications, and 2010 Purdue University Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineer Award.

He is well recognized for his dedicated service to professional societies and in particular IEEE where he has served in many leadership positions. These include the IEEE Communications Society President, the world's leading organization for communications professionals with headquarter in New York City and members in 162 countries. Since 1993, he has been with HKUST (ranked No. 20 worldwide according to the 2021 QS World’s Top Universities in Engineering & Technology) where he has held many administrative positions, including Dean of Engineering, and Head of the Electronic and Computer Engineering department. He is currently serving as member of the IEEE Board of Directors.

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Federico Rosei, Professor, Centre Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique

Electrical and Computer Engineering Distinguished Lecture/IEEE Seminar

Federico Rosei

Title:  Multifunctional materials for emerging technologies


This presentation focuses on structure property/relationships in advanced materials, emphasizing multifunctional systems that exhibit multiple functionalities. Such systems are then used as building blocks for the fabrication of various emerging technologies. In particular, nanostructured materials synthesized via the bottom–up approach present an opportunity for future generation low cost manufacturing of devices [1]. We focus in particular on recent developments in solar technologies that aim to address the energy challenge, including third generation photovoltaics, solar hydrogen production, luminescent solar concentrators and other optoelectronic devices. [2-40].


[1] J. Phys. Cond. Matt. 16, S1373 (2004); [2] Adv. Mater. 22, 1741 (2010); [3] J. Am. Chem. Soc. 132, 8868 (2010); [4] Adv. Mater. 23, 1724 (2011); [5] Appl. Phys. Lett. 98, 202902 (2011); [6] Chem. Comm. 48, 8009 (2012); [7] Adv. Func. Mater. 22, 3914 (2012); [8] Nanoscale 4, 5588 (2012); [9] Nanoscale 5, 873 (2013); [10] J. Power Sources 233, 93 (2013); [11] Chem. Comm. 49, 5856 (2013); [12] J. Phys. Chem. C 117, 14510 (2013); [13] Nature Phot. 9, 61 (2015); [14] Nanoscale 8, 3237 (2016); [15] Nano Energy 27, 265 (2016); [16] Small 12, 3888 (2016); [17] Nanotechnology 27, 215402 (2016); [18] J. Mater. Chem. C 4, 3555 (2016); [19] Sci. Rep. 6, 23312 (2016); [20] Adv. En. Mater. 6, 1501913 (2016); [21] Nanoscale 8, 4217 (2016); [22] Adv. Sci. 3, 1500345 (2016); [23] Small 11, 5741 (2015); [24] Small 11, 4018 (2015); [25] J. Mater. Chem. A 3, 2580 (2015); [26] Nano Energy 34, 214 (2017); [27] Nano Energy 35, 92 (2017); [28] Adv. Func. Mater. 27, 1401468 (2017); [29] Adv. En. Mater. 8, 1701432 (2018); [30] Chem 3, 229 (2017); [31] J. Chakrabartty et al., Nature Phot. 12, 271 (2018); [32] Nano Energy 55, 377 (2019); [33] Nanoscale Horiz. 4, 404 (2019); [34] Appl. Cat. B 250, 234 (2019); Adv. Func. Mater. 29, 1904501 (2019); [35] ACS Photonics 6, 2479 (2019); [36] Appl. Cat. B 264, 118526 (2020); [37] Adv. Func. Mater. 30, 1908467 (2020); [38] J. Mater. Chem. A 8, 20698 (2020); [39] Nano Energy 79, 105416 (2021); [40] Nano Energy 81, 105626 (2021)


Federico Rosei (MSc (1996) and PhD (2001) from the University of Rome “La Sapienza”) is Full Professor at the Centre Énergie, Matériaux et Télécommunications, Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Varennes (QC) Canada, where he served as Director (07/2011–03/2019). He held the Canada Research Chair (Junior) in Nanostructured Organic and Inorganic Materials (2003–2013) and since May 2016 he holds the Canada Research Chair (Senior) in Nanostructured Materials. Since January 2014 he holds the UNESCO Chair in Materials and Technologies for Energy Conversion, Saving and Storage.

Dr. Rosei’s research interests focus on structure/property relationships in nanomaterials and their use as building blocks in emerging technologies. His research has been supported by multiple funding sources from the Province of Quebec, the Federal Government of Canada as well as international agencies, for a total in excess of M$ 18. He has worked in partnership with over twenty Canadian R&D companies. He is co-inventor of three patents and has published over 420 articles in prestigious international journals (including Science, Nature Photonics, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci., Adv. Mater., Angew. Chem., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Adv. Func. Mater., Adv. En. Mat., Nanolett., ACS Nano, Biomaterials, Small, Phys. Rev. Lett., Nanoscale, Chem. Comm., Appl. Phys. Lett., Phys. Rev. B, etc.), has been invited to speak at over 335 international conferences and has given over 250 seminars and colloquia, over 60 professional development lectures and 40 public lectures in 48 countries on all inhabited continents. His publications have been cited over 19,100 times and his H index is 74.

He is Fellow of numerous prestigious national and international societies and academies, including: the Royal Society of Canada, the European Academy of Science, the Academia Europaea, the European Academy of Sciences and Arts, the African Academy of Sciences, the World Academy of Art and Science, the World Academy of Ceramics, the American Physical Society, AAAS, the American Ceramic Society, the Optical Society of America, SPIE, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, ASM International, the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK), the Institute of Physics, the Institution of Engineering and Technology, the Institute of Materials, Metallurgy and Mining, the Engineering Institute of Canada, the Australian Institute of Physics, Honorary Fellow of the Chinese Chemical Society, Foreign Member of the Mexican Academy of Engineering, Foreign Member of the Bangladesh Academy of Sciences, Senior Member of IEEE, Alumnus of the Global Young Academy and Member of the Sigma Xi Society.

He has received several awards and honours, including the FQRNT Strategic Professorship (2002–2007), the Tan Chin Tuan visiting Fellowship (NTU 2008), the Senior Gledden Visiting Fellowship (UWA 2009), Professor at Large at UWA (2010–2012), a Marie Curie Post-Doctoral Fellowship from the European Union (2001), a junior Canada Research Chair (2003–2013), a senior Canada Research Chair (2016–2023) a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Award (von Humboldt foundation 2011), the Rutherford Memorial Medal in Chemistry (Royal Society of Canada 2011), the Herzberg Medal (Canadian Association of Physics 2013), the Brian Ives lectureship award (ASM international 2013), the Award for Excellence in Materials Chemistry (Canadian Society for Chemistry 2014), the NSERC EWR Steacie Memorial Fellowship (2014), the José Vasconcelos Award for Education (World Cultural Council 2014), the IEEE NTC Distinguished Lectureship 2015–2016, the Lash Miller Award (Electrochemical Society 2015), the Chang Jiang Scholar Award (China), the Khwarizmi International Award (Iran), the Recognition for Excellence in Mentorship (American Vacuum Society 2015), the Selby Fellowship (Australian Academy of Sciences 2016), the John C. Polanyi Award (Canadian Society for Chemistry 2016), the Outstanding Engineer Award (IEEE Canada 2017), the President’s Visiting Fellowship for Distinguished Scientists (Chinese Academy of Sciences 2017), the Sigma Xi Distinguished Lectureship (2018–2020), the Sichuan 1000 talent (short term) award, the Lee Hsun Lecture Award (2018), the Changbai Mountain Friendship Award (2018), the IEEE Montreal Gold Medal (2018), the APS John Wheatley Award (2019), the Blaise Pascal Medal (European Academy of Science 2019), the IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lectureship (2020–2022), the Guangxi Golden Silkball Friendship Award, the TMS Brimacombe Medal (2021), the Wolfson Fellowship (Royal Society), the Prix Urgel Archambault (ACFAS 2021), the Prix du Quebec “Marie Victorin” (2021) and the Julian C. Smith Medal (Engineering Institute of Canada 2022).

Jong-Hwan Kim, KT Endowed Chair Professor, College of Engineering, KAIST, FIEEE

Title: Machine intelligence based on intelligence operating architecture


This talk introduces recent research outcomes of the Robot Intelligence Technology Laboratory (RITL) on MIL (Machine Intelligence Learning) for active knowledge acquisition and adaptive knowledge application. MIL has been applied to an agent-embedded robot, Mybot develop in the RITL, to build Machine Intelligence (MI) based on intelligence Operating Architecture (iOA). For natural interactions with users, Mybot employs imaginary keyboard (I-Keyboard), hand gesture recognition using a short-range radar sensor, and an air writing system, Air-Text three all for interface, CNN-DM (Developmental Memory) for continual learning for object recognition, Face-OICRN for online face registraton and recognition, WS-DNN (Word Similarity-DNN) and 3D Scene Graph both as semantic memory, SimVODIS for Simultaneous Visual Odometry, Object Detection, and Instance Segmentation, FSHMN (Full Sentence VQA Highway Memory Network) for VQA, EM-DRN (Episodic Memory-Developmental Resonance Network) as a long-term episodic memory, EM-DRN-Map for recommendation, e.g., the recipes of dishes. SF (Stabilized Feedback)-EM is developed for IoT-based Mybot as well. For temporal and spatiotemporal anomaly detections, RRN (Recurrent Reconstruction Network) and CRRN (Convolutional RRN) are introduced, respectively, and for multi-label classification, MarsNet and D3PointNet are also introduced. Lastly, a brand new world event, AI World Cup (http://aiworldcup.org) is introduced, which has three categories, AI Soccer, AI Commentator, and AI Journalist.


Jong-Hwan Kim received his PhD degree in electronics engineering from Seoul National University, Korea, in 1987. Since 1988, he has been with the School of Electrical Engineering at KAIST and is a KT Endowed Chair Professor. Dr. Kim is Director of both the KohYoung-KAIST AI Joint Research Center and Machine Intelligence and Robotics Multi-Sponsored Research and Education Platform (MSREP). His research interests include Intelligence Technology (InT), machine intelligence learning, and AI robots. Dr. Kim has delivered over 200 invited talks on machine intelligence and robotics including over 50 keynote speeches at international conferences.

He served as an Associate Editor for the IEEE T. on Evolutionary Computation for 1997-2015 and the IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine for 2008-2015. Dr. Kim was one of the co-founders of the International Conference on Simulated Evolution and Learning in 1996 and International Conference on Robot Intelligence Technology and Applications (RiTA) in 2012. His name was included in the Barons 500 Leaders for the New Century in 2000 as the Father of Robot Football. He is the founder of AI World Cup in 2017 and the organizing chair for the first AI World Cup 2018 in Korea.

Professor Li Deng, Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer, Citadel, FCAE, FIEEE

Title: From speech AI to finance AI, and back


A brief review will be provided first on how deep learning has disrupted speech recognition and language processing industries since 2009. Then connections will be drawn between the techniques (deep learning or otherwise) for modeling speech and language and those for financial markets. Similarities and differences of these two fields will be explored. In particular, three unique technical challenges to AI-empowered financial investment are addressed: extremely low signal-to-noise ratio, extremely strong nonstationarity (with adversarial nature), and heterogeneous big data. Finally, how the potential solutions to these challenges can come back to benefit and further advance speech recognition and language processing technology will be discussed.


Professor Li Deng is the Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer for Citadel. Prior to joining Citadel, he held the roles of Chief Scientist of Artificial Intelligence, the founder of the Deep Learning Technology Centre, and a Partner Research Manager at Microsoft and Microsoft Research - Redmond, from 2000 to 2017.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Deng was an assistant professor (1989-1992), and tenured associate (1992-1996) and full professor (1996-1999) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo. He also held faculty and research positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts (1992-1993), Advanced Telecommunications Research Institute, Kyoto, Japan (1997-1998), and the HK University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong (1995). He was also an affiliate professor at the University of Washington, Seattle.

Professor Deng is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the IEEE, Washington State Academy of Sciences, Acoustical Society of America, and the International Speech Communication Association. He was an elected member of the Board of Governors of the IEEE Signal Processing Society, and was Editor-in-Chief of the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine and the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing, for which he received the IEEE SPS Meritorious Service Award. In recognition of this pioneering work in the speech recognition industry using large-scale deep learning, Professor Deng received the 2015 IEEE SPS Technical Achievement Award for “Outstanding Contributions to Automatic Speech Recognition and to Deep Learning.” He also received dozens of best paper and patent awards for his contributions to artificial intelligence, machine learning, information retrieval, multimedia signal processing, speech processing and recognition, and human language technology.

Professor Deng is an author and co-author of six technical books on deep learning, speech processing, pattern recognition, machine learning, and natural language processing (Springer, June 2018).

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Professor Chris Wilson

Chris Wilson

Title: Generating Quantum Microwaves using Superconducting Circuits

Speaker:  Professor Chris Wilson

Christopher Wilson received his B.S. in Physics from MIT in 1996. There he performed undergraduate research on the role of nonlinear dynamics in the nervous system using analog circuit simulators. He received his Ph.D. in Physics from Yale University in 2002. His dissertation focused on the development of single-photon optical spectrometers using superconducting tunnel junctions.  He then worked at Yale as the W.M. Keck postdoctoral fellow where he started work on quantum computation and information processing using superconducting single-electronics. In 2004, he moved to Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, later becoming an Assistant Professor in 2007 and an Associate Professor in 2011. In 2011/2012, he spent a sabbatical year working at a biomedical startup company in Pasadena, where he worked on signal processing and machine learning for medical diagnostics.  In 2012, Wilson joined the University of Waterloo where he was appointed to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as an Associate Professor, and cross-appointed to the Department of Physics and Astronomy.  He also has an affiliation with the Institute for Quantum Computing. His research focuses on applications of superconducting quantum electronics to quantum information, computing and sensing and the foundations of quantum mechanics. His work has been recognized internationally, receiving the 2012 Wallmark prize from the Royal Swedish Academy and being named one of the top 5 breakthroughs of 2011 by Physics World magazine.

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Professor H. Vincent Poor

Title:  "Machine Learning Meets Mobile Communications"

Date:  June 14, 2019

Time:  10:30 a.m.

Location:  EIT 3142

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Professor David Tse

Title:  "Operating Blockchains Near Physical Limits"

Date:  June 14, 2019

Time:  2:30 p.m.

Location:  EIT 3142

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Professor Frederick H. Abernathy

Fred Abernathy

Title:  "New technology allows us to keep our lifestyle and save energy"

Date:  September 10, 2018

Time:  2:00 p.m.

Location:  EIT 3142

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Professor Yoshihisa Yamamoto

Title:  "Physics of quantum-to-classical crossover and coherent Ising machines"

Date:  July 13, 2018

Time:  2:00 p.m.

Location:  QNC

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Professor Joachim N. Burghartz

Title:  "Ultra‐thin Chips ‐ a New Paradigm in Silicon Technology"

Date:  May 8, 2018

Time:  10:30 a.m.

Location:  DC 1302

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Professor Richard Frayne

Richard Frayne

Title:  "Sparse Sampling and Constrained Reconstruction in Magnetic Resonance Imaging"

Date:        November 14, 2017

Time:       10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Location:   EIT 3142

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Professor Mathukumalli Vidyasagar

Dr. Mathukumalli Vidyasagar

Title:  "Recent Developments in Compressed Sensing"

Date:        November 6, 2017

Time:       10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Location:   EIT 3142

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Professor Göran Andersson

Dr. Goran Andersson

Title:  “Research Challenges of the Future Electric Power System”

Date:        June 19, 2017

Time:        2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Location:   EIT 3142

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Professor Chunli Bai

Dr. Chunli Bai

Title:  "Nanoscience and Nanotechnology in China:  From Fundamental Research to Applications"

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Date:        June 17, 2017

Time:        3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Location:   Quantum Nano Centre Room 0101

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Professor Simon Haykin

Dr. Simon Haykin

Title: " Cognitive Risk Control for Physical Systems"

Date:        February 17, 2017

Time:        1:30pm to 2:30pm

Location:   EIT 3142

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Professor Shankar Sastry

Professor Shankar Sastry

Title: "Societal Scale Cyber Physical Systems"

Date:        June 17, 2016

Time:        2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Location:   EIT 3142

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Photo by Miguel Henriques on Unsplash