University of California, Riverside

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Season's Greetings from the EE Chair

Season's Greetings from the EE Chair
Do you know which city has the highest tower in Asia, the third highest in the world? Where the next installment of the Mission: Impossible series was filmed? While you may be surprised to learn that the city is Shanghai, the answer is not a bit unusual. This is where I am sending my New Year’s greetings from. Dear faculty, staff, students, and friends, I wish you and your family members a wonderful holiday season and a new year of joy, happiness, and many splendors.

Season’s Greetings and Happy New Year!

Well-wishing aside, I have been reflecting upon what has happened to the department over the last year. On many accounts, it has been a year of success and exuberance, a year that merits our pride and reflection. The department continues to take great strides forward and has been gaining increasingly more visible recognition. I could enumerate many of our accomplishments but felt that these suffice to share: our faculty members and students have continued to excel, and have been recognized by prestigious awards given by international, national, and campus societies and associations. We have graduated a record number of highly accomplished Ph.D. students who have been aggressively recruited by the nation’s academic institutions. And to cap it all, our educational programs have again risen by a large margin in the national ranking. These achievements demonstrate the vitality and excellence of UCR Electrical Engineering’s teaching and research programs, and are the very fruits of your hard and dedicated work. I congratulate you on a productive year, and thank you for your contributions. It is you who have made all these accomplishments possible, and indeed, make this department continue to thrive.

My mind is also on Shanghai as I contemplate its rich history and its recent ascension in glory. A relatively obscure spot on the world map twenty years ago, this vibrant city has now caught everyone’s eye and become a global focal point. Well-poised, Shanghai is said to become the next center of the world’s commercial activities, one that will inevitably, perhaps soon, rival major metropolitan centers like New York and Paris.

I see a possible analogy between UCR Electrical Engineering and Shanghai. Being a young and up-and-coming department, we have embarked on a similar growth path with high expectations and great promise. In particular, I see in our faculty and staff a comparative vision and vigor, which, coupled with our commitment to excellence and the strong new leadership in the Bourns College of Engineering, are precisely the elements behind the “Shanghai Surprise”. Shanghai’s feat, as with our department’s future, is the certain outcome of a relentless pursuit of quality and distinction.

The name of the tower is The Oriental Pearl. Looking from the top of this grandiose structure, some 350 meters up in the sky, I cast my eyes toward California, only one Pacific away. Wang Zhihuan, a Chinese poet of the Tang Dynasty who lived in the seventh century, once wrote this philosophical verse when climbing a famous tower of his time:

One who wishes to see a thousand mile's sight
must climb one more story in height

Stepping into a new year is like climbing up a new level, and my new year’s wish to you all, colleagues, students, and my dear friends, is that the new year brings with it an ever-mounting spirit of inquiry and clarity of vision.

Jie Chen
Professor and Chair
Department of Electrical Engineering
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University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

Department Information

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Suite 343 Winston Chung Hall
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521-0429

Tel: (951) 827-2484
Fax: (951) 827-2425
E-mail: E-mail/Questions