Kim, Chen join ECE ILLINOIS faculty for fall 2015

8/21/2015 Meg Dickinson, ECE ILLINOIS

Two new faculty members joined ECE ILLINOIS at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester: Associate Professor Nam Sung Kim and Lecturer Yuting Wu Chen (BSEE '07).

Written by Meg Dickinson, ECE ILLINOIS

Two new faculty members joined ECE ILLINOIS at the beginning of the fall 2015 semester: Associate Professor Nam Sung Kim and Lecturer Yuting Wu Chen (BSEE ’07).

Nam Sung Kim

Nam Sung Kim
Nam Sung Kim
Kim worked most recently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he got an early tenured appointment in 2013. His interdisciplinary research incorporates devices, circuits, and architecture for power-efficient computing.

Before joining the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he was a senior research scientist with Intel from 2004 to 2008, where he conducted research in power-efficient digital circuits and process architecture. He earned a PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor and a master and bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology.

His research will continue to incorporate computer architecture and circuits, computing systems and software, and power efficiency from mobile devices to supercomputing systems. He’s especially interested in making data centers more energy-efficient.

“Data center electricity consumption is projected to increase to roughly 140 billion kilowatt-hours annually by 2020,” he said, “the equivalent annual output of 50 power plants, costing American businesses $13 billion annually in electricity bills and emitting nearly 100 million metric tons of carbon pollution per year.”

Improving power efficiency will affect humans in a variety of ways, from improving the battery lives of cell phones to reducing data centers’ carbon footprints.

Kim is especially excited about the interdisciplinary opportunities that will be available to him throughout ECE ILLINOIS and the Illinois campus as a whole.

“I’m seeking diverse collaborators through devices, materials, and computing,” he said, and he plans to collaborate with Professors Rakesh Kumar, Wen-mei Hwu, Ravishankar K Iyer, Naresh R Shanbhag, and faculty members at CS @ ILLINOIS, as well.

Kim is teaching ECE 385, Digital Systems Laboratory, with Lecturer Zuofu Cheng this fall.

Yuting Wu Chen

Yuting Wu Chen
Yuting Wu Chen
Chen most recently worked at IBM in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in mainframe cryptographic adapter development.

She earned her BS degree at ECE ILLINOIS in 2007, and MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2009 and 2011, respectively. While at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, she conducted research at the Center for Terahertz Research as an NSF IGERT fellow.

She teaches ECE 220, Computer Systems and Programming, and conducts research in terahertz photonic structures.

Chen decided to join the ECE ILLINOIS faculty after volunteering more than four years as a FIRST LEGO League robotics team coach.

“It’s really exciting to attend competitions and see the future generation of engineers in action,” she said.

She’s most excited about working with ECE ILLINOIS undergraduate students, and hopes she can help them understand all of the opportunities, educational and otherwise, available to them during their time on campus.

“I think my industry experience could also help guide them,” she said.

During her time as an undergraduate at ECE ILLINOIS, she especially enjoyed her lab classes and conducting research with Professor Stephen Allen Boppart.

“It prepared me well for graduate school, and I hope to help ECE students take advantage of similar opportunities,” she said.

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This story was published August 21, 2015.