sealPurdue Future of Computers Experts

Chip technology

Fred Regnier

Professor, chemistry
(765) 494-3878

Has developed a way to take specialized instruments from the chemistry lab and shrink them one thousand to one million times and put them on a computer chip. The miniature laboratories can separate mixtures into pure chemical components. The unique design will allow scientists to pack dozens or hundreds of "laboratories" on a single silicon chip, reducing the cost and boosting the efficiency of many chemical and medical analyses. The laboratory chips, which should be available in three to five years, may allow physicians and medical professionals to perform chemical analyses that now must be done at specialized laboratories.

Jerry M. Woodall

Charles W. Harrison Distinguished Professor of Microelectronics
Director, NSF Center for Technology-Enabling Heterostructure Materials
(765) 494-0732

Research focuses on developing new types of compound semiconductors, which are used widely in a variety of consumer electronics. Is former research staff member and fellow of the IBM Watson Research Center. Expert in development and commercial applications of gallium arsenide technology. Has extensive experience with media. One of his many inventions is a high-efficiency solar cell used by NASA on space vehicles. Is member of the National Academy of Engineering.


Yuehwern Yih

Associate professor, production control and manufacturing
(765) 494-0826

Research interests include using artificial intelligence to develop intelligent manufacturing systems, such as real-time production control and knowledge-based systems. Uses computers and neural networks to develop flexible manufacturing systems that "learn" to perform certain tasks efficiently, such as scheduling machines and delivering materials. Is a 1993 National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award recipient.


Ronald Andres

Professor, chemical engineering
(765) 494-4047

Has created an ultrathin film -- made from tiny clusters of gold atoms -- that conducts electricity at room temperature by allowing electrons to "hop" one at a time from cluster to cluster. Electrical current passing through a device in this fashion would largely eliminate the problem of heat buildup in electronic devices, which currently rely on a continuous flow of current through silicon-based circuits. The new material may be used to develop ultrasmall components that could be used to build more powerful computers and miniaturized electrical devices, including those that could be inserted in the body.

Parallel processing

Henry (Hank) G. Dietz

Associate professor, electrical and computer engineering
(765) 494-3357

Research interests include linking multiple personal computers to function as a high-performance, parallel processing supercomputer; computer architecture; computational linguistics; digital imaging; and real-time systems. Is chairman of the International Conference on Parallel Processing.

Rudolf Eigenmann

Assistant professor, electrical and computer engineering
(765) 494-1741

Is an expert on high-performance, parallel processing computers. Has a National Science Foundation grant to pursue the next generation of supercomputers -- petaflop computers -- that would theoretically be capable of performing a quadrillion operations per second, one thousand times faster than today's fastest computers. Developed a compiler to automatically translate scientific and engineering computer programs into a form that can be run on a parallel processing machine, a process that increases the speed of the program.

Joseph F. Pekny

Associate professor, chemical engineering
(765) 494-7901

Research interests include the application of high-performance parallel computers and supercomputers to complex chemical engineering problems, such as process design and management of process operations. Has developed computer algorithms that are used in chemical manufacturing facilities.

Speech recognition

Leah H. Jamieson

Professor, electrical engineering
Co-director, Engineering Projects in Community Service
(765) 494-3653

Directs the Spoken Language Processing Group at Purdue, conducting research in the areas of speech recognition, integration of speech and natural language processing systems, recognition of spoken proper names, and speech coding. Research also addresses how the computer might select the correct meaning of an utterance. Co-edited books specializing in parallel computers (supercomputers) and the characteristics of parallel algorithms. Served as an associate editor for international journals on parallel and distributed computing, and speech and signal processing. Served on advisory committees of the National Science Foundation and the Army Research Office. Co-directs undergraduate engineering course in which students complete community service projects. Is co-chair of the Computing Research Association's Committee on the Status of Women in Computing Research.

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