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Photo: Linda A. Cicero

TRANSITION: Drell will resume research and teaching, her 'first loves.'

DRELL STEPS DOWN AT SLAC

Persis Drell is returning to research and teaching as a faculty member after serving as director at SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory since December 2007. The fourth director in SLAC history, Drell will oversee the lab until a successor is selected.

Under Drell, SLAC evolved from a lab primarily devoted to research in high-energy physics to a facility widely recognized for advancing discoveries in multiple disciplines, in part through the use of the Linac Coherent Light Source X-ray laser that began operating in 2010.

HENNESSY HONORED BY TECH SOCIETY

Stanford President John Hennessy will receive the 2012 IEEE Medal of Honor, the highest award of the world's largest technical association, for pioneering the Reduced Instruction Set Computer (RISC) processor and for his leadership in computer engineering and higher education. Hennessy, Stanford's president since October 2000, co-founded MIPS Computer Systems (now MIPS Technologies), which designs microprocessors, and his research in recent years has focused on the architecture of high-performance computers.

Past medal of honor winners include Intel co-founders Gordon Moore, Andrew Grove and Robert Noyce, and former Stanford provost Frederick Terman.

EFFICIENT, FAST AND NANOSCALE

Researchers at the School of Engineering have demonstrated a nanoscale light-emitting diode (LED) dramatically lower in power usage than laser-based systems, as well as ultrafast in the transmission of data. The potential benefit is a low-power light source for on-chip data transmission.

The device was described in a research paper by Jelena Vuckovic, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Gary Shambat, a doctoral candidate in electrical engineering. The development advances previous work by Vuckovic with a nanoscale laser that operated at a much lower and impractical temperature compared to the LED, which functions at room temperature.

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