RLE News Articles

Professor Rahul Sarpeshkar wins Packard Award

sarpeshkar_rahulProfessor Rahul Sarpeshkar of the Research Laboratory of Electronics has been named a recipient of the prestigious David and Lucille Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering.  This fellowship program is supported by the David and Lucille Packard Foundation.  Fellowships are awarded to encourage the nation’s most promising new university professors early in their careers to pursue their science and engineering research with few funding restrictions and limited paperwork requirements.  Professor Sarpeshkar is one of only 24 winners of this fellowship this year nationwide.

Professor Sarpeshkar’s research group in RLE focuses on low-power analog Very Large Scale Integrated (VLSI) systems.  Their current emphasis is on building bionic systems for the deaf and blind, and biologically-inspired sensor and mixed signal computing systems.  Professor Sarpeshkar’s work on the silicon cochlea was inspired by the biophysics of the human cochlea and is now regarded as the state of the art in the field.  It is being investigated for use in bionic implants for the deaf, both in his laboratory and by researchers worldwide.  Professor Sarpeshkar has also pioneered the field of spike-based analog-digital computing, assembling numerous patents in this area.  His work on visual motion sensors resulted in the widest dynamic range analog VLSI velocity sensor to date.

The Packard Fellowship will provide support totaling $625,000 to Professor Sarpeshkar over the next five years, enabling a wide range of innovative work by his research group.

Professor Wolfgang Ketterle is a previous RLE recipient of this award.

The David and Lucille Packard Foundation was created in 1964 by David Packard and Lucile Salter Packard.  The Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations in areas such as conservation; population studies; science; children, families, and communities; the arts; and organizational effectiveness and philanthropy.

Related Links:

Sarpeshkar Biography

Analog VLSI and Biological Systems Group

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

“MIT and Bell Labs researchers create electronic circuit that mimics the brain’s circuitry” (MIT News Release, 6/21/2001)

“Digital selection and analogue amplification coexist in a cortex-inspired silicon circuit” (Nature, 6/22/2001)

“Building a Smarter Circuit” (Wired Magazine, 6/22/2001)

“Silicon Circuit Mimics the Human Brain” (from the Associated Press, 6/22/2001)

“An Electronic Circuit That Draws Its Inspiration From Life” (from the New York TImes, 6/29/2001)