Highlights from BYU Colleges: Engineering team makes world’s most efficient ADC, class teaches importance of inclusion


Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering

Wood Chiang, BYU professor of electrical and computer engineering, works on the analog-to-digital converter (ADC) microchip. (Jaren Wilkey/BYU Photo)

BYU electrical and computer engineering professor Wood Chiang and a team of engineering students have created the world’s most efficient, high-speed analog-to-digital converter (ADC) microchip. ADC microchips convert analog signals to digital signals. The piece is present in almost every electronic; the faster and more efficient it works the faster it is to upload and download items and other aspects like video quality, Wi-Fi and battery life improves.

Chiang and the engineering students beat the current record by a long shot. Their ADC uses only 21 milli-Watts of power at 10GHz for ultra-wideband wireless communications. In comparison, competing ADCs use hundreds of milli-Watts or even Watts of power at similar speeds. This makes their ADC faster while using less energy. Chiang is proud of the work he and his students put into this feat.

“It’s like building a little city. There are so many details that went into this project,” Chiang said. “The student team did a marvelous job — all the pieces fit perfectly together to realize this engineering feat. I am fortunate to have worked with such talented students at BYU.”

College of Life Sciences

Anna Everett sits by her work. Her and Nolan Cole are two of the recipients of the Barry Goldwater Scholarship. (College of Life Sciences)

Anna Everett and Nolan Cole are two students who the Barry Goldwater Scholarship, a prestigious award given to life science students who display excellent work. Over 5,000 students applied for the scholarship, but only a of 410 students received it. Cole has worked with internships at Harvard University and is set to intern at UCLA this summer. His work also includes meta-analysis and studying DNA with Steve Johnson in the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Biology. He applied for the scholarship as a boost to his PhD applications and believes that hard work leading up to the award was worth it.

Everett majors in neuroscience and has done research with multiple teams. Her work with professor Jeff Edwards on PTSD is what put her name over the top to receive the scholarship. She plans on continuing her study of neuroscience and research. “When you’re doing your research, you know more about something than anyone else in the world because it’s not published yet,” she said. “I feel like each of my research projects has helped me become a better scientist.”

Marriott School of Business

Students participated in adaptive skiing as a part of the course EXDM 350: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Experience Design, during the Winter 2018 semester. (Photo courtesy of Ramon Zabriskie)

A course in the Marriott School of Business is teaching students about the importance of inclusion. EXDM 350: Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Experience Design, taught by professor Ramon Zabriskie, teaches students about biases they may be unaware of and the importance of creating an inclusive atmosphere. Students get to participate in activities that help them understand the importance of diversity and equity, such as playing adaptive sports or attending diversity panels held on BYU campus.

Many of the students appreciate what they learn from the class and are eager to apply it to the real world. “The class helps students learn how they can influence those in their own spheres around them for the better— in their homes, families, workplaces, and ultimately the world around them,” Zabriskie said.

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