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Nine college students worked on programming the University of Arizona's Cognitive and Autonomous Test driverless vehicle Aug. 8 as part of the National Science Foundation's Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

Larry Head, UA professor of systems and industrial engineering and an expert in connected and automated driving vehicle systems, headed up the REU program this year, alongside Tamal Bose, professor and head of the UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Alongside UA students, participants from institutions such as Seattle University, Monmouth College, Lipscomb University and Western Colorado State University worked with the CAT driverless vehicle. The objective was to see if the students could program a basic sensor to gather enough data to allow the car to travel, but not too much for a computer to process quickly.

Associate professor Roman Lysecky, an expert in embedded electronic systems, is working hard to prevent hacks of implantable medical devices like pacemakers and insulin pumps. His team's technique uses runtime anomaly detection to catch 100 percent of mimicked malware attacks.

As Bob Karson noted in a recent episode of the NSF's Discovery Files podcast, these threats are, thankfully, still theoretical -- but ECE researchers are staying a heartbeat ahead of the hackers.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Computational Intelligence Society Administrative Committee has announced it will be recognizing ECE professor Gregory Ditzler and co-authors Manuel Roveri, Cesare Alippi and Robi Polikar with the Outstanding Paper Award for their article "Learning in Nonstationary Environments: A Survey."

The organization presents the award annually to authors of outstanding papers published in the IEEE Computational Intelligence Magazine. Ditzler's work appeared in the November 2015 issue of the publication.

The IEEE CIS ADCOM will officially recognize the professors and confer the $1,000 award during the 2018 IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Juniors, seniors and transfer students are invited to apply to the UA’s new online bachelor’s degree in electrical and computer engineering, offered in fall 2017 through UA Online. Students with the appropriate prerequisites will have the opportunity to complete their degree on their own schedule, from anywhere! Explore advanced embedded systems, wireless technology, robotics and more.

Required courses include introductory programming, chemistry, mechanics and thermodynamics, as well as mid-level circuits, digital logic and mathematics.

For more information, including a full list of prerequisites and admissions requirements, see the UA Online application, or email advisor Athena Andriakos at

University of Arizona College of Engineering