Two EECS PhD students receive Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship

Cameron Haire and Jiale Zhang have been selected as recipients of the prestigious fellowship, which aims to support forward-thinking PhD student research.
Cameron Haire
Jiale Zhang

Two PhD students in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) Department have been chosen as winners of the 2023 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. Cameron Haire and Jiale Zhang join a select cohort of 18 student teams from across North America recognized for their forward-thinking and innovative research.

Qualcomm is a global leader in semiconductor manufacturing, wireless technology, and software development. Through its selective Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship program, the company seeks to partner with and support university PhD students in order to “cultivate new and forward thinking ideas.”

The fellowship is awarded to PhD students in a range of technical areas who propose to further Qualcomm’s core values of innovation, execution, and teamwork. Winners of the fellowship receive both financial support as well as direct mentorship from Qualcomm engineers to advance their research goals.

Cameron and Jiale are among just 18 research teams selected from nearly 200 applicants to receive the fellowship. The award recognizes the innovativeness of their proposal titled “UltraMic: Privacy-preserving Indoor Activity Tracking and Recognition with Microphone Array.” With Qualcomm’s support, they aim to improve acoustic-based activity recognition by creating a privacy-preserving microphone array that collects high-frequency sounds without ever recording users’ speech. By analyzing the unique ultrasonic sounds emitted when users interact with household objects and devices, the team’s system will enable new ways to detect human behavior, monitor health and wellness,  and enable new smart home applications. 

Cameron is a PhD student in computer science and engineering under advisor Prof. Alanson Sample. He is part of the Interactive Sensing and Computing Lab, where he has worked on a number of projects related to wireless communication, embedded systems, virtual reality program development, and more.

Jiale is a PhD student in electrical and computer engineering under advisor Prof. Pei Zhang. He recently completed his master’s degree in electrical and computer engineering, during which time he also worked with Prof. Sample in the ISC Lab. Jiale’s research focuses on building human-oriented sensing systems with the knowledge of sensor fusion and embedded systems.