EECS Perspective from Teaching Assistant Tania Khanna

Tania Khanna, is a PhD candidate in the Microsystems Technology Laboratories and works with Professor Joel Dawson. She works on minimally invasive sensory monitors and is designing an electronic platform for the long term monitoring of Parkinson tremors.

Tania Khanna, PhD candidate working with Professor Joel Dawson in the Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

Tania Khanna, PhD candidate working with Professor Joel Dawson in the Microsystems Technology Laboratories.

Q. How has your view of EE and CS changed during your time in the EECS Department at MIT?

Tania Khanna: “Often EE is seen as the foundation for CS, but with the evolution of various communication techniques, CS has become a fundamental feedback tool to better design various circuits in EE. For example, in the 6.02 curriculum a set of labs show that bit and error coding schemes enable easier design of receiver and transmitter blocks within the communication system chain. In other words, by taking advantage of CS concepts, we can leverage our knowledge in the EE domain to develop more efficient circuits. This integrative learning approach enables new EECS undergrads to think in a system context and therefore allows them to apply fundamental theory to a wide variety of fields, not just limited to EE and CS.”

Q. How does the blending of EE and CS help you in your graduate research?

Tania Khanna: “As a graduate student there is considerable cross-over between EE and CS. Mentioned above, CS techniques simplify the design of communication systems and the EE circuits blocks within the systems.

For example, in my research in the field of medical implants, I am utilizing a mostly CS technique, compressive sensing, to lessen the memory and energy requirements demanded of the system. Furthermore, there is a greater need for system design and optimization, which is complicated by the increased number of design variables. And CS is a tool used to implement mathematical optimization techniques to design EE circuit blocks.”

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