Win an internship at CERN

If you are a monster coder, you might be interested in this contest to streamline code used in a project to simulate the human brain. CERN and Intel are putting on the competition; whoever submits the fastest equivalent code will win either a visit or an internship at CERN. It’s not directly ECE, but I know some denizens of M5 who are mighty good codeslingers.

M5 Discussions

M5 is hosting discussions during the Fall 2015 term addressing several aspects of the Internet of Things. On Tuesday afternoons at 2:30, we will be discussing wireless communications in the context of smart sensors. On Wednesday afternoons at 2:30 we will be discussing issues of battery operation for wireless operation of smart sensors. More details and a reading list are posted at For more information, visit the link or contact Chuck Malloch (CBMalloch /

Circuits and Code – Spring 2015

imageCircuits and Code is coming! The end-of-term exposition of M5, its students, projects, and other amazing technological whizbangery is scheduled for Saturday, April 25, starting at 10AM at M5. There will be posters a presentation, and some delicious snacks. Please sign up using EventBrite (<link pending>) so we know how many people are coming!

If you have spent time at M5 this term, and would like to present your work, please use this template. Complete the template and get it to me by Wednesday for approval before I give it to Professor Soules at 3:00.

The 1:30 PM presentation by Chuck Malloch will feature Ultra Violet, the teleoperated robot M5 has made in collaboration with the Theater Department, and the differences between a project made for one’s own use and one made for delivery to another party.

See you there! Again, please sign up using EventBrite (<link pending>) so we know how many people are coming!

– Chuck Malloch

Saturday Is MakerDay [Since Feb. 28th, 2015]

Late post, but we have some projects here that are worth sharing.

First up, Jake Spinney’s [CSE ’16] 3D Printed Wifi-Booster holder for his laptop. He whipped up the design in Autodesk Inventor in a couple minutes, and hit print.


Next is Shamit Som [M.S. ECE ’15] with another 3D printed holder. This box is to hold his self-designed voltage regulator for USB charging in his car. After designing the printed circuit board, getting it manufactured, and soldering the components, he now has a regulator that performs better than most commercial USB chargers on the market. Ask him about unstable GND!


Lastly we have Alex Maerko’s [EE ’15] recreation of an arduino driven 3x3x3 LED Cube. He pulled up the instructables and put it together in a couple days:

Check it out

Keep making

M5 Talk :::>Prof. Isreal Koren

Processor-Level Fault Tolerance Techniques in Current Processors and Servers

Prof. Israel Koren was our guest speaker at the fifth M5 Talk of the spring semester:

Prof. Koren is a highly regarded expert in the areas of Fault-Tolerant Computing and Computer Arithmetic. Come to M5 and meet Prof. Koren and learn about how some computers are able to continue operating even after one or more failures occur. Prof. Koren’s bio is included below.

Thursday, 5 March 2015, 2:30 – 3:30 PM, M5

Students came and enjoyed some light refreshments and a great talk.

Dr. Israel Koren is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a fellow of the IEEE and a Master of the DeTao Masters Academy, China.

Dr. Koren has been a consultant to companies like IBM, Analog Devices, Intel, AMD and National Semiconductors. His research interests include Fault-Tolerant systems, secure cryptographic devices, VLSI yield and reliability, Computer architecture and computer arithmetic. He publishes extensively and has over 250 publications in refereed journals and conferences. He is the author of the textbook “Computer Arithmetic Algorithms,” 2nd Edition, A.K. Peters, Ltd., 2002, and a co-author of the textbook “Fault Tolerant Systems,” Morgan-Kaufman, 2007.

Dr. Koren received the B.Sc., M.Sc. and D.Sc. degrees from the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, in 1967, 1970, and 1975, respectively, all in Electrical Engineering. He is currently a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is a visiting Professor at the Instituto De Informatica, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS), Brazil. Previously he held positions with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Southern California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Saturday is Maker Day [Feb 21, 2015]

3D Printers, micromouse robotics, and robotic arms. Today was a great day for making.

Aaron Lucia [CSE ’17]  is the first to 3D print an enclosure and gears for his team’s maze-solving MicroMouse robot. Here is a video of last year’s all-freshman team taking 1st place at the MicroMouse competition:

Onlookers Walter Brown [CSE/CS ’16] (right) and Jake Spinney [CSE ’16] (left) watch the printer at work as it prints the base and walls of Aaron’s (middle) enclosure.





Walter then got to work on re-resurrecting a 1980s robotic arm, after its first (known) resurrection at last years HackUMass 14:–G

Earlier in the week, Walter and Minh Tran [CSE ’16] started reviving the arm (MiniMover) to give M5 some electronic life. It is now up and running, just in time to give a show for the early-acceptance tours coming through.



Be sure to stop by next week!

Maker Day Feb. 14th, 2015

This past Saturday, students spent the afternoon in M5 playing with arduinos, learning to solder, and brainstorming project ideas.

Walter Brown [CSE/CS ’16] introduced brother Jacob Brown [high school] to arduino. They started with a blinking LED, and adapted it to a variable tone generator. [Picture]

Jason Nguyen [EE ’17] came by to go above and beyond with his MIPS assembly code project for ECE 232, and then went through some arduino example projects.


Adish Rai [CSE/CS ’18], Anthony Chan [CSE/CS ’18], and graduate student Somnath Chakraborty [ECE ’16] brainstormed ideas for a ‘shake-to-recharge’ circuit that would harness kinetic energy via electromagnetic induction and use that to store electrical energy to be delivered to a phone. Concepts such as power and energy conservation, electromagnetic induction, rectification, inductance, capacitance, and mechanical-to-electric conversion were discussed and applied using the tools provided by M5.

We were excited to have all of these interested students, and look forward to seeing their projects in the future.



Prof. Weibo Gong was the guest speaker at our third bagel breakfast of the spring semester:

M5 Talks:::> Prof. Weibo Gong
From the Cultural Revolution to the Cyber Revolution

Thursday, 12 February 2015, 8:30 AM, M5
Marcus Hall, lower level, room 5

Bruegger’s bagels, cream cheese, coffee and loads of intelligence…

Prof. Gong was born and raised in the People’s Republic of China. In 1966, Mao Zedong (1893 – 1976), the founding father of the People’s Republic of China, began what is known as the Cultural Revolution (1966-76). Prof. Gong will share how the Cultural Revolution had a direct impact on his training and education. Prof. Gong will then proceed to discuss how his career has led him to his work in the field of automatic control and his current research interest in how the human mind works.

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