C.K. Ken Yang Named Chair of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department

Feb 19, 2020

By UCLA Samueli Newsroom

C.K. Ken Yang, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been appointed chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, starting July 1. He succeeds Greg Pottie, who has served as department chair since 2015.

Yang joined UCLA Samueli School of Engineering in 1998, and has focused his research on mixed analog-and-digital circuit design and its impact on computing systems. He is a pioneer in enabling multi-gigabit-per-second communication between processing elements and has introduced circuit techniques to overcome timing noise and data-bandwidth bottlenecks.

Prior to this appointment, Yang has been a director of the ECE department’s Integrated Circuits and Systems Laboratory, and served as vice chair of the Industry Affiliates program. He has worked closely with industry partners, including Intel, Texas Instruments, IBM, Keysight, Micron, and Xilinx, among others

“I thank Greg for being an outstanding chair these past five years and am excited about the future of ECE under Ken’s leadership,” said Jayathi Murthy, the Ronald and Valerie Sugar Dean of UCLA Samueli. “Ken’s many leadership roles in the department give him a keen appreciation of the department’s challenges and opportunities.” 

Yang is currently working on developing novel devices with new capabilities and applications through complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing.

Previously, his research group worked on optimizing algorithms to evaluate performance of new transistor elements. The team demonstrated the feasibility of new memory elements and the use of integrated parasitic diodes to enable sub-microwatt wireless radios, as well as the development of near-terahertz circuits for distance-ranging applications.

Yang has also extended his work in data communications to computer networking and has introduced software and hardware mechanisms for virtualizing network connections between computing and storage elements.

“It is an honor to serve as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,” Yang said. “I am excited by the opportunity to extend the excellence of the department with educational initiatives, research horizons and industry engagements.”

In addition to authoring more than 100 publications, Yang has also served as an associate editor for Transactions on Circuits and Systems II, as well as being a guest editor of the Journal of Solid-State Circuits. He is an IEEE Fellow, a member of Tau Beta Pi and Phi Beta Kappa, and a recipient of the 2003 and 2004 IBM Faculty Development Fellowship, and the 2003 Northrup Grumman Outstanding Teaching Award. In 2009, he co-founded Pluribus Networks Inc., which uses software-defined networking to bring virtualization to computer networking.

Yang received his undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degrees from Stanford University, all in electrical engineering.

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