Duke ECE Graduate Student Workshop

The 6th Annual Duke ECE Graduate Student Workshop will be held on Friday, September 8, 2017, at The Cotton Room (807 East Main Street, Building 2, Room 350) in the Golden Belt Historic District in Downtown Durham.


This annual academic event brings together graduate students from each of our curricular groups to showcase their recent research accomplishments to peers and faculty from throughout the department. This year, we will alter the format to allow more students to participate and also add a faculty participation component. Both students and faculty will present brief 5-minute talks throughout the day, and students will have a chance to give extended discussions of their work during the afternoon poster session. In addition, during the afternoon and evening meals, we'll hear from ECE alumni about their successful research endeavors and feature distinguished lecturer Lou Scheffer.


  • Kick off the academic year by celebrating Duke ECE’s research accomplishments and goals
  • Embrace Pratt’s interdisciplinary emphasis by learning about research outside of your curricular area
  • Share your research accomplishments with your peers
  • Earn a chance at travel award prizes for the most outstanding talks and posters
  • Mingle with new ECE graduate students
  • Enjoy meals and socialize with ECE faculty and classmates that you don’t often see
  • Get Duke ECE swag!

Registration Information

All attendees must register using this Registration link. Registration will remain open through August 23, 2017.

We encourage full day participation!

Register now

Abstract Submission (closed)

Abstract submission now closed.

Duke ECE PhD, MS, and MEng Students are highly encouraged to submit abstracts for 5-minute talks and for the poster session. The deadline for abstract submissions is Friday, August 11, 2017. Presenters will receive acceptance notifications by August 14, 2017. 

The best talks and posters of the day will earn prizes in the form of travel awards:

  • $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 travel awards given for the top three 5-minute talks
  • $2,000, $1,500, and $1,000 travel awards given for the top 3 poster presentations

Faculty judges will determine the winners of the talk and poster awards.

Event Agenda

View our current draft of the agenda. Event Agenda

Distinguished Seminar Speaker

Dr. Lou Scheffer, Janelia Research Campus - Howard Hughes Medical Institute

Lou Scheffer was trained as an EE at Caltech and Stanford. He spent the next 30 years designing integrated circuits, and the software tools used to design them, at Hewlett Packard and Cadence.  In 2008, he switched fields, moving to studying the brain at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.  There his research interests include methods to derive the detailed structure of the brain, and using this information to try to figure out how it works.  His outside interests include SETI (the search for extraterrestrial life) and science education.  He is the author of the usual collection of papers, books, and patents.

Distinguished Seminar Talk: "Brain Research and the Internet of Things"

This talk looks at the intersection of two rapidly developing fields.  The first is research into the structure and function of the brain, as exemplified by the Brain Initiatives of governments, and research organizations such as the Allen Brain Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Max Planck Society.  The second is the Internet of Things, allowing the real time monitoring and perhaps control of many aspects of our environment.  Here we look at existing and proposed methods of brain research with an eye on which ones could be adapted to the Internet of Things.  The implications are many and various, ranging from the good (early detection and treatment of neurological disease), to the bad (violations of privacy and civil liberties), and the ugly (advertising and propositions targeted to those most vulnerable).  Careful vigilance of this field is advised.

Learn more about Dr. Lou Scheffer's current research: http://www.hhmi.org/research/applying-electrical-engineering-techniques-reconstruction-nervous-systems.

Alumni Speaker

Qiuyun LlullDr. Qiuyun Llull, VMWare

Qiuyun joined the ECE PhD program in Fall 2012 with advisor Dr. Ben Lee, and graduated in 2017 as a recipient of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award 2016 – 2017. In his nomination of her for the award, Dr. Lee praised Qiuyun’s “meticulous experimental work and deep analytical power.” Qiuyun led two projects in Dr. Lee’s lab and collaborated on others; she has four first-author publications for journals or conferences in the field, and she completed a 6-month internship at Oracle Labs in California. Additionally, Qiuyun's leadership and mentorship efforts at Duke are notable; she served as the president of Duke’s ACM-W chapter and a member of ECE’s PhD Student Advocacy Group, as well as a mentor for multiple undergraduate students on ECE projects in Dr. Lee’s lab.

Alumna Talk: Microeconomic Models for Managing Shared Datacenters 

As demands for users’ applications’ data increase, the world’s computing platforms are moving towards more capable machines -- servers and warehouse-scale datacenters. Diverse users share datacenters for complex computation and compete for shared resources. In some systems, such as public clouds where users pay for reserved hardware, management policies pursue performance goals. In contrast, private systems consist of users who voluntarily combine their resources and subscribe to a common management policy. These users reserve the right to opt-out from shared systems if resources are managed poorly. The system management framework needs to ensure fairness among strategic users, encouraging users to participate while guaranteeing every individual’s performance and preserving the system’s performance. Microeconomics models are well suited for studying individual behavior and the allocation of scarce resources. In this talk, I will use two pieces of work on task colocation and hardware resource allocation to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Meals and Refreshments

Two meals and afternoon hors d’oeuvres will be served, and an open beer and wine bar will be available during the cocktail hour and dinner.

Full conference attendance will provide

  • Catered lunch buffet
  • Coffee available throughout the day
  • Cocktail reception during the poster session, with beer, wine, and passed hors d'oeuvres
  • Catered dinner buffet with beer and wine, and dessert

Transportation and Parking

From campus, the Bull City Connector bus offers a direct route from Research Drive (near the Circuit Drive traffic circle) to Golden Belt, approximatley a 20-minute ride. Click here for the Bull City Connector schedule. Please note that the final bus leaves Golden Belt at 9:07 pm.

Free parking is also available at Golden Belt:

807 East Main Street
Building 2, Room 350
Durham, North Carolina 27701

Contact Amy Kostrewa or Tony Strimple if you have any specific needs or concerns about conference attendance.

PDF icon 2017 Grad Workshop Agenda.pdf220.31 KB