The University of Texas at Dallas

Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science


Media Spotlight


UT Dallas Researchers Save Historic NASA Recordings
January 4, 2018

North Texas researchers are preserving space history one step at a time. Engineers transcribed 19,000 hours of audio recordings from several NASA moon missions kept on an outdated analog tape system. One track might have between three to 33 people speaking at one time. The communications can be listened to on the Explore Apollo website.

“Developing the technologies to pull that audio off, digitize it, but also start to learn how people worked collaboratively when they didn’t see each other and how to solve these problems was a major challenge,” said Dr. John Hansen, holder of the Distinguished Chair in Telecommunications, professor of electrical and computer engineering and a leader of the project.


Listen To Unheard Audio From NASA's Apollo Missions, Dusted Off By UT Dallas Researchers December 20, 2017

Speech signal processers in the Jonsson School’s Center for Robust Speech Systems (CRSS) analyzed and processed audio from NASA moon missions to make them public through the Explore Apollo website. At the time of these missions, computers were only used for computational purposes so all communications were done orally.

“When we think about NASA we think about how the astronauts accomplished an enormous feat in walking on the moon, but one of the things that actually people tend to not emphasize as much is the thousands of people behind the scenes working collaboratively to make sure that the mission was going to be a success,” said Dr. John Hansen, founder and director of CRSS and professor of electrical and computer engineering. “So this project was really focused on trying to understand how people work collaboratively together to actually achieve these really challenging engineering and scientific obstacles.”

Taylor Press

Hutto United Robotics Team Wins State
December 16, 2017

The Hutto United Robotics team claimed the 2017 UIL State Championship at the BEST of Texas Robotics Tournament, held Dec. 7-9 at the University of Texas at Dallas. The championship comes after last year's second place finish in the State UIL competition.

New Atlas

Speech Recognition Technology Used to Analyze Apollo Mission Tapes
December 9, 2017

There was a lot more said during the Apollo 11 missions besides "the Eagle has landed" and "that's one step for man." To help preserve and make accessible the thousands of hours of recorded mission audio, a team of researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas used speech recognition technology to unscramble and analyze the conversations between astronauts, mission control, and technicians across a quarter of a million miles of space. The research was published in IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing.

“We couldn’t’ use [SoundScriber], so we had to design a new one,” said Dr. John Hansen, associate dean for research in the Jonsson School and professor of electrical and computer engineering about the one device – SoundScriber – that could play raw recordings of audio from the missions. Using SoundScriber alone, it would have taken 170 years to handle the Apollo 11 mission tapes alone.

“We designed our own 30-track read head, and built a parallel solution to capture all 30 tracks at one time. This is the only solution that exists on the planet.”

Dallas Innovates

UTD Research Could Aid Radioactive Materials Storage
November 1, 2017

UT Dallas researchers are investigating the effectiveness of a nanoscale “sponge” that may help filter out radioactive particles from nuclear waste. In work published in Nature Communications, they trapped radioactive molecules using tiny metal-organic frameworks, or MOFs, which are composed of metal ion centers and organic molecules that link parts of the structure together. That link creates a microscopic scaffold, or trap, that is able to capture specific gases and other molecules.

“In a spent radioactive fuel rod, there are several elements that decay at different rates. Radioactive iodine is one of the primary byproducts,” said Dr. Kui Tan, a research scientist in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering and an author of the study. “By attaching a nitrogen-containing molecule to the MOFs, our colleagues showed they could capture these radioactive molecules very efficiently.” 

Dallas Business Journal

Meet the Woman Behind UTD’s Cybersecurity Program
October 2017

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, who was honored by the Dallas Business Journal as a 2017 Women In Technology honoree for being a leader of technological innovation in North Texas, shares her favorite advice to give to others.

“Work hard, be motivated and do the best you can,” said the Louis A. Beecherl Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and executive director of the UT Dallas Cyber Security Research and Education Institute.

CBS News

Researchers: New Wearable Sweat-Sensing Device Measures Blood Sugar
October 6, 2017

A Jonsson school biomedical engineering team has developed a revolutionary, wearable device that measures blood glucose, cortisol and interleukin – compounds that need to be measured for diseases related to inflammation and diabetes – without a needle prick.

“Our vision for this is you can go to a grocery store or Wal-Mart and buy it there,” said Dr. Shalini Prasad, professor of bioengineering and senior researcher of the technology that was published in Nature Scientific Reports.


New Wearable Sensor Can Test Blood Sugar Levels in Sweat
September 6, 2017

Dr. Shalini Prasad, professor of bioengineering and Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science, about the global uses for the wearable device that was created by her team.

“This would work not just in the United States or in the European Union, it would also very well work in Africa, in Asia, highly populated countries where diabetes is highly prevalent,” she said.

Dallas Business Journal

This DFW Mentor has Spent a Decade Connecting Women, Minorities to STEM
August 24, 2017

Dr. Magaly Spector, assistant to the provost for strategic initiatives and professor in practice, about her program Young Women in Science and Engineering (YWISE) Investigators, which won the Tech Titan of the Future Award; Tech Titans is the largest technology trade association in Texas.

“If you are lacking (feminine) skills in your workforce in important fields like engineering and science, you have lost capabilities and creativity in something that’s driving the country to be one of the most advanced in the world,” she said. “Females can contribute creativity and innovation in a strong way.”

Dallas Business Journal

How Drones and Consumer Electronics Help Amputees Walk
August 14, 2017

Dr. Robert Gregg, assistant professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering who was a finalist for a Tech Titan of the Year Award, on the development of technology like drones and consumer electronics that can help amputees walk.

“We can actually use these technologies in these wearable devices to help people move better,” he said. “It’s kind of a perfect timing to be working in this area and combining these technologies.”

IEEE Signal Processing Magazine

Innovative Sensors Promise Longer and Healthier Lives
July 2017

Dr. Shalini Prasad, professor of bioengineering and Cecil H. and Ida Green Professor in Systems Biology Science, about her wearable device that monitors glucose levels through sweat.

“Our sensor mechanism uses the same chemistry and enzymatic reaction found in blood glucose strips,” she said. “Our design, however, accounts for the low volume of ambient sweat typically present in areas such as under a wrist device or patch.”


This Coin-Sized Sensor Could Help Detect Risk for Type 2 Diabetes Without Finger Pricking
July 12, 2017

Badrinath Jagannath, research assistant in bioengineering, about his team’s wearable sensor that could replace blood draws for monitoring Type 2 Diabetes.

“With sweat…I don’t have to specifically use a finger-pricking device to actually draw and see the measurement,” he said.


Honda Engineers in Ohio Build New Arm for Co-Worker
July 5, 2017

Scott Jones BS ’14 a mechanical engineering alumnus who 3-D printed an arm for a fellow employee of Honda of Ohio.

“I was sent an email with a scan that looked nothing like any car parts I had seen before; my first response was ‘What is this?’” Jones said. “My next response was please, please, get me involved, I wanted to help.”

Dallas News by The Dallas Morning News logo

UT Dallas Students Think Their 150-Pound Fidget Spinner is Largest in World
June 29, 2017

University students built a fidget spinner that has a diameter of 45 inches when spinning. The students built the spinner in the Makerspace Lab.

“It’s visually aesthetic,” said Ian Bouton, a mechanical engineering major about the fidget spinner’s appeal. “Rotation in general is something that catches people’s eyes. It’s a cool toy that’s cheap and you can put in your pocket. But…not ours”

Fox 4 News

UT Dallas Students May Have Built World’s Largest Fidget Spinner
June 29, 2017

The finished product took 20-man hours to build and weighs 150 pounds.

CBS News

Russian Hackers Targeted Dallas
June 2017

Dr. Zhiqiang Lin, professor of computer science and member of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute at UT Dallas, about thwarted hacking attempts from Russians trying to access Dallas election machines.

“They like to steal the data or manipulate the data,” he said. “They may want to change the outcome of the election.”

Dallas Business Journal

UT Dallas Signs Big Lease with San Francisco-based firm for campus-adjacent complex
June 2017

University leaders signed a lease to expand space for the UTDesign® program.

HPC Wire

Promising Spintronic Switch Proposed by UTD Researcher-Led Team
June 8, 2017

Dr. Joseph Friedman, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, about his work published in the journal Nature that describes the development of an all-carbon spintronic system in which spintronic switches function as gates; this technology might one day replace transistors in powering electronic devices.

“The concept brings together an assortment of existing nanoscale technologies and combines them in a new way,” Friedman said.

Dallas Observer logo

Two College Students Start A Social Media Platform for Geeks, and Raise 600K in Eight Months
May 15, 2017

Zac Cooner, a software engineering junior and co-founder of the Cosmunity platform that allows “geeks” to connect online, about turning the popular app into a business.

"Between the fundraising, the technical capabilities and the design that we put together, that was enough to get the ball rolling last summer," Cooner said.

Forbes logo

Watch A Very Vulnerable $140 Quadcopter Drone Get Hacked Out of the Sky
April 25, 2017

Doctoral candidate Junia Valente about her lab uncovering a bug in the DBPOWER Quadcopter.

"The device contains an open access point not protected by any password and a misconfigured FTP [file transfer protocol] server that allows unauthorized users to read and write to the drone filesystem," she said. "One of the attacks we did was precisely to overwrite sensitive system files to gain full root access."

Dallas News by The Dallas Morning News logo

Scared to Get Hacked? Use These Digital Protection Strategies
April 11, 2017

Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, professor of computer science and member of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute, using public Wi-Fi stations.

"Sometimes those chargers may be hooked to another compromised device," he said. "If you go to a website Wi-Fi, and then it asks for you to download something, I wouldn't do that"

WFAA 8 ABC logo

Who Hacked Into Dallas’ Emergency Sirens System
April 8, 2017

Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, professor of computer science and member of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute, on Dallas’ emergency siren systems being hacked resulting in blasting sirens across Dallas in the middle of the night for an hour and a half.

"This could be exploited either from remotely…or even from the inside," he said.

Dallas News by The Dallas Morning News logo

Is This UT Dallas Discovery Pop Art or Nanotechnology?
March 21, 2017

Dr. Moon Kim, professor of materials science and engineering and arts and technology, about advanced microscopy that revealed on materials at the atomic level a pattern looked like an American flag.

"First, we saw a new pattern begin to emerge that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye," said Kim, a Louis Beecherl Jr. Distinguished Professor. "When we examined the material more closely, we found that the transition we were seeing from 'stripes' to 'stars' was not in any of the phase diagrams. ... Normally, when you heat up particular materials, you expect to see a different kind of material emerge as predicted by a phase diagram. But in this case, something unusual happened — it formed a whole new phase."

Richardson Today Online logo

Area K-12 Students Enriched Numerous Ways by UT Dallas
March 2017

The highly ranked university has been a major asset to area children and teens with its many camps, workshops and outreach programs, enhancing the students’ studies or introducing them to something new.

CBS News

Top 5 New Computer Security Threats To Your Personal Information
February 28, 2017

Dr. Murat Kantarcioglu, professor of computer science and member of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute, on our online footprint:

"We are very vulnerable,” he said. “Being aware of these kinds of attacks and always verifying and limiting what you disclose will make it less risky for you."


Cosmunity Brings the Geek Convention Experience Online
February 21, 2017

Zac Cooner, a software engineering junior and co-founder of Cosmunity, an app for "geeks" to be comfortable "expressing their true selves."

"We do take a strong stance [on tone] – we believe that this is a positivity-driven community," he said.

IEEE Spectrum

New Paradigm in Microscopy: Atomic Force Microscope on a Chip
February 21, 2017

Dr. Reza Moheimani, holder of the James Von Ehr Distinguished Chair in Science and Technology and professor of mechanical engineering, about his team’s creation of an atomic force microscope that fits onto a computer chip.

"Our ultimate aim is to develop a system that can perform video-rate AFM imaging using a single MEMS chip. The current device successfully demonstrates many of the capabilities required, and future iterations of the device will be designed to further work towards this goal. Such a device would enable high-speed AFM imaging to be performed using a portable and cost-effective system."


This UV-Light Controlled Adhesive Could Help Ordinary Humans Become Spiderman
January 27, 2017

Dr. Taylor Ware, assistant professor of bioengineering, about the creation of a strong adhesive that can quickly stick and unstick with just a flash of light.

"Each one of these pillars is like rubber, as well as its backing, which would feel similar to a rubber band," he said. "In theory it would leave no more residue than rubber if they engineer the material in such a way that you can effectively prevent the breaking of these columns."


How to Spot a Fake Shopping App
November 24, 2016

Dr. Kevin Hamlen, associate professor of computer science and member of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute, about fake apps available in technology stores.

"Consumers of those devices sort of have this sense of confidence that anything in the story is probably trustworthy and that might be unwise."

UT Dallas Working on Better Treatment Options for Brain Injuries
November 11, 2016

Dr. Robert Rennaker, a former Marine who now heads the Department of Bioengineering and directs the Texas Biomedical Device Center, about brain injury treatment being tested.

"As a marine, you see these guys coming back with injuries and the doctors really can't do anything for them," he said.  "My hope is that when they come back the docs will say, 'Hey we've got something for you,' whereas right now we don't."

Dallas Business Journal

TI CEO Templeton to UT Dallas Students: Curiosity is Your Friend
October 28, 2016

Texas Instruments CEO Richard K. Templeton at a lecture in celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, as well as University Founders Day, about how students can maximize their time at UT Dallas.

"It really comes down to your creativity, your curiosity, your urgency, your desire to make an impact," said Templeton, also TI’s president and chairman. "Those will be the differentiators that go on top of that knowledge that you pick up while you’re here."

KERA Radio

How Autonomous Cars Work
October 25, 2016

Dr. Nicholas Gans, clinical associate professor of electrical engineering, on KERA’s Think program.

"I think what will be more likely in the near future is that the vehicles will have the ability to communicate with each other via the internet with civil infrastructure or with authorities."

R&D Magazine

Bioengineering Develop Sweat-Based Sensor to Monitor Glucose
October 14, 2016

Dr. Shalini Prasad, associate professor of bioengineering, about her work published in Sensors and Actuators B: Chemical about the development of a wearable device that can monitor an individual’s glucose level via perspiration on the skin.

"We used known properties of textiles and weaves in our design," she said. "What was innovative was the way we incorporated and positioned the electrodes onto this textile in such a way that allows a very small volume of sweat to spread effectively through the surface."

Dallas Magazine

Robert Rennaker Wants to Rewire Your Brain
October 10, 2016

Dr. Robert Rennaker, head of the Department of Bioengineering and holder of the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Bioengineering, on becoming a world-class researcher who uses vagus nerve stimulation to rewire connections in the brain to treat a variety of neurological disorders.

"We are walking in the woods and smell a particular odor,” he said. “If a bear immediately jumps out, and we happen to survive, we will forever connect that smell with the danger of a bear."


Faulty Lithium-Ion Batteries Raise Concerns for Electronics Users
September 13, 2016

Dr. Kyeongjae (KJ) Cho, professor of materials science and engineering, on news about faulty lithium-ion batteries that explode.

"When you see something happening you tend to panic and try not to use any battery. I’m going to throw away my cell phone because there’s a battery inside. That’s not a good attitude."

Fox 4 News

Self-Driving Cars
August 5, 2016

Dr. Nicholas Gans, an assistant professor of electrical engineering who is part of the computer engineering program, on making some of the key technology that will make self-driving cars practical, affordable and reliably safe.

"I would consider a self-driving car to be a robot. And you’ll find that the researchers that are working on these problems all for the most part came out of the robotics community – the technology, the mathematics, the understanding of sensors and motion planning and interplay – these really are fields of robotics."


High-Tech Thieves Stealing Credit Card Info at Gas Pumps
August 5, 2016

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, professor of computer science and executive director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute, on.

"Whenever you have a microprocessor, there is a potential for vulnerability because there is the hardware and software that goes with it. There is some malicious code they could have exploited."

The New York Times

Facebook Moves One Step Closer to Light-Based Wireless Communication
July 21, 2016

Dr. Kamran Kiasaleh, associate dean of assessment for the Jonsson School, on Facebook using light to wirelessly transmit internet signals.

Because of all these benefits, building on Facebook’s proof of concept holds tremendous potential not just for remote areas, but for meeting increased data demand all over the world, he said

Huffington Post

Virtual Reality Gaining Traction in Healthcare Industry
June 16, 2016

Dr. Ryan McMahan, assistant professor of computer science, about using virtual reality to train surgical staff.

"Medical VR training can ensure that healthcare professionals are aware of proper procedures and protocols, can allow them to practice those procedures without harming others, and can inform those workers what the consequences of bad practices could be. Altogether, these aspects should ensure that healthcare workers are better prepared for their jobs and ultimately provide better patient care."

Daily Mail

Could This Help Your Mobile Last FIVE Times Longer? New catalysts could mean lithium batteries only need recharged once a week
May 23, 2016

Dr. Kyeongjae Cho, professor of materials science and engineering, on using soluble catalysts in lithium-air batteries instead of conventional solid crystals.

"There’s huge promise in lithium-air batteries. However, despite the aggressive research being done by groups all over the world, those promises are not being delivered in real life…hopefully this discovery will revitalize research in this area and create momentum for further development."


Bipedal Robot Conquers Uneven Ground
May 8, 2016

Dr. Robert Gregg, assistant professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering, about robots such as MARLO that walk on unstable terrain.

"The ability of MARLO to gracefully navigate uneven terrains is very exciting for my work in prosthetics."

The Dallas Morning News

Goal of Creating a 200 mpg Car Fuels UT Dallas Students Headed to Motor City
April 21, 2016

Aaron Quigg, a mechanical engineering student and leader of a team building a single-seat, gas-powered, 200-pound vehicle to compete in the Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2016.

"I would rather be doing this than homework. It’s more fun."


Computer Ransom Crime on The Rise
April 15, 2016

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, executive director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute at UT Dallas, on ransomware being like a home burglar.

"But this is even more dangerous, because you can attack a person’s machine from anywhere. It’s a malicious way of doing things. They really want to cause as much havoc as possible."


Meet the Scholarship Winners of a Contest Based on A Minecraft-Inspired Game
April 12, 2016

Husam Wadi, a mechanical engineering student who so far has won $4,000 in scholarships playing Polycraft World, the comprehensive Minecraft modification kit created by a UT Dallas team. Polycraft World was created to infuse polymer chemistry into the video game.

"So for instance what’s this one? Quiksilver! Quiksilver," Wadi says to his youngest brother in the video. "So my little brother, who has no idea of the periodic table or anything else, can now easily find out what element goes to what. Because before Polycraft, there was just iron, diamond and gold. That’s it. Then you come to Polycraft and there’s 20 different elements."

Fox 4 News

Engineering Brighter Futures For Autism
April 2, 2016

Dr. Arif Malik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, about event organized to help teenagers on autism spectrum gain experience in group design problems.

"What we want to do is give them the team working skills so that they pursue college and careers beyond college in science and engineering, that they’ll be successful in working on those teams"

KERA Radio

Electromagnetic Fields from Cellphone Towers Can Amplify Pain in Amputees, Study Finds
February 24, 2016

Dr. Mario Romero-Ortega, associate professor of bioengineering, on his research that found animals with neuropathy can experience pain around cellphone towers.

"I met Ret. Maj. Underwood, who visited our lab. He was the one who told me his experience feeling tremendous pain, basically reliving the explosion that took off his arm in Iraq. [He said] to me that he relives that pain every time he drives through a cellphone tower in Texas. So, to me, that was incredible. I have never heard anything like that before. So knowing how the nerve responds to injury, I thought I could possibly test that in the lab."

Dallas Innovates

TxACE at UT Dallas is Creating a Pathway for New Breath Analysis Technology
January 5, 2016

Dr. Kenneth K. O, professor of electrical engineering and director of the Texas Analog Center of Excellence (TxACE) at UT Dallas about an electronic circuits manufactured is CMOS technology that could make breath analysis affordable.

"It means blood test, without taking blood samples. Breath analyses using the programmable electronic nose tests both blood and digestive systems. The applications are limitless."

The New York Times CBS DFW News ABC News Associated Press MSN

High-Tech Toys Make Coding Fun For Kids
September 2015

Jey Veerasamy, senior lecturer in computer science, on waiting to introduce kids to coding until they are at least second grade.

"There’s no need to rush. Younger kids may benefit, but you have to remember that it’s not for everybody."

Communications of the ACM

Electrical Engineer’s Work May Signal Better Wireless Connections
November 5, 2015

Aria Nosratinia, professor of electrical engineering, about one of three grants recently awarded from the National Science Foundation to investigate wireless communications technology.

"We aim to develop methods that break the wireless messages into microstreams, or smaller pieces, enabling them to be transmitted through-rather than against-other signals in the environment."

myStatesman from Austin American-Statesman

Texas Veterans First to Test New Cyber Rehab Technology
October 6, 2015

Dr. Balakrishnan Prabhakaran, professor of computer science, principal investigator of a National Science Foundation-funded project that uses haptic devices to enhance remote visits between doctors and patients.

"We’re bringing the sense of touch to telemedicine."

UT Dallas Awarded $6.4 Million Grant to Study PTSD Treatment
October 5, 2015

Dr. Robert Rennaker, head of the Department of Bioengineering in the Jonsson School and director of the Texas Biomedical Device Center.

"The current preclinical models of fear are poor models for PTSD. This grant includes a new preclinical model so we can better understand the mechanisms behind PTSD before moving it to clinical trials."

Scientists’ Discovery Could Have Powerful Effect on Electronics
October 1, 2015

Dr. Robert Wallace, professor of materials science and engineering, about his team’s work published in Nature Communications on how transition metal dichalogenides, or TMDs, could behave like a semiconductor switch.

"If realized, these materials could revolutionize the electronics industry and better enable even higher-performance portable devices like smartphones and the Internet of Things. Their atomically thin layer nature gives rise to the concept of two-dimensional semiconductor materials."

MIT Technology Review

A Robotic Replacement Leg Struts Its Stuff
August 18, 2015

Dr. Robert Gregg, assistant professor of bioengineering and mechanical engineering, about his powered prosthetic that can dynamically respond to the wearer’s environment and help amputees walk.

"The feedback from the amputee patients we've worked with has been very positive," Gregg says. "They felt like the prosthetic leg seemed to be following them rather than them following the leg. They can start or stop, and the leg will respond; they can go faster or slower, and the leg will respond to that naturally."