2014 CoE Towner Prize for Outstanding Graduate Students

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Each year the College of Engineering awards the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Prize for Distinguished Academic Achievement to an outstanding graduate student (Master's or Ph.D.) in each degree program. The following students received the award in 2014 based on their participation in research, leadership, and academic performance.


Nick Asendorf Nick Asendorf

Nick is a doctoral student in the Electrical Engineering:Systems program. His research interests include data driven algorithms for machine learning and statistical signal processing applications; and random matrix theory. He is advised by Prof. Raj Nadakuditi.

Nick has published an article in the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing, and presented articles at the Statistical Signal Processing Workshop (SSP) and the 45th Asilomar Conference on Signals, Systems and Computers. He presented an invited talk with his advisor at the SPIE Defense, Security, and Sensing. He is the President of the ECE Graduate Student Council, and helps run the Student SPeecs Seminar Series.


Armin Jam Armin Jam

Armin is a doctoral student in the Electrical Engineering program. His research lies in the general area of applied electromagnetics and RF circuits, and he is advised by Kamal Sarabandi, the Rufus S. Teesdale Professor of Engineering.

His specific area of research is development of a novel, low-profile and low-cost radar system operating at the sub-millimeter-wave frequency range of the electromagnetics waves. He has published three papers that were presented at the IEEE International Antennas and Propagation Symposium, where he also served as Session Chair at the 2013 meeting. Armin will receive a certificate from the Program in Entrepreneurship this term.


Elaine Wah Elaine Wah

Elaine is a doctoral student in the Computer Science and Engineering program. Her research interests lie at the intersection of finance and artificial intelligence, specifically in applying computational methods to study financial markets. She is advised by Prof. Michael Wellman.

Since coming to Michigan, she has co-authored papers that were presented at the 23rd IEEE International Conference on Tools with Artificial Intelligence and at the 14th ACM Conference on Electronic Commerce. The second of these, entitled "Latency Arbitrage, Market Fragmentation, and Efficiency: A Two-market Model," was authored with Prof. Wellman and advanced the finding that high-frequency trading strategies designed to exploit today's fragmented equity markets have the effect of reducing investor profits overall.