March 26, 2010
Speaker: Dr. Rahul Sarpeshkar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Nature is a great analog and digital circuit designer. She has innovated circuits in the biochemical, biomechanical, and bioelectronic domains that operate very robustly with highly imprecise parts and with incredibly low levels of power. I will discuss how analog and bio-inspired circuits and architectures have led to and are leading to novel architectures in sensing and computing, e.g., in ear-inspired radios, architectures for improving operation in noise, neuron-inspired signal-to-symbol conversion, and hybrid analog-digital architectures that are inspired by computations within cells. Such techniques can lead to highly energy-efficient parallel architectures that operate rapidly and precisely and solve computationally intensive tasks. I will provide examples from systems built in my lab for bionic ear processors for the deaf, brain-machine interfaces for the blind and paralyzed, and body sensor networks for cardiac monitoring.
Rahul Sarpeshkar obtained Bachelor's degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics at MIT. After completing his PhD at Caltech, he joined Bell Labs as a member of the technical staff. Since 1999, he has been on the faculty of MIT's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, where he is an Associate Professor and heads a research group on Analog VLSI and Biological Systems. He has received the Packard Fellow Award given to outstanding faculty, the ONR Young Investigator Award, the NSF Career Award, the Indus Technovator award, and the Junior Bose Award for excellence in teaching at MIT. He holds over 25 patents and has authored more than 100 publications, including one that was featured on the cover of Nature. His research interests include analog microelectronics, ultra-low-power circuits and systems, biologically inspired circuits and systems, biomedical systems, feedback systems, neuroscience, and molecular biology. His book, "Ultra Low Power Bioelectronics: Fundamentals, Biomedical Applications, and Bio-inspired Systems" was released in February 2010 and contains a broad and deep treatment of the fields of bioelectronics and ultra low power electronics.