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The Dean Lytle Electrical Engineering Endowed
Lecture Series

The Dean Lytle Electrical Engineering Endowed Lecture Series is the department’s premiere annual event, featuring internationally renowned researchers in the field of communications and signal processing. The Lytle Endowed Lecture Series was made possible by a fundraising campaign led by Dean Lytle’s PhD student, Dr. Louis Scharf (Class of '69). These lectures are open to the public and free of charge.

The lectures, named as they are for Professor Lytle, are in fact a tribute to him and his cohort of friends and colleagues who taught electrical engineering during his 40-year career at the UW. They inspired their students with their technical gifts and guided them with the light touch of their mentoring.

The 2013-2014 Lytle Lecture Series Presents:

Stephen P. Boyd
Samsung Professor in the School of Engineering
Information Systems Laboratory
Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford

Host: EE Professor Maryam Fazel
Co-host: EE Professor Jenq-Neng Hwang, Chair, Lytle Endowed Lectureship Committee

Abstract     Watch the Video (general talk)     Watch the Video (colloquium)

The Science of Better: Embedded Optimization in Smart Systems
For General Audience

Monday, October 28th, 2013, 3:30-4:30pm
The Paul G. Allen Center - Microsoft Atrium
Map and Directions

Convex Optimization: From embedded real-time to large-scale distributed
Technical Colloquium
Tuesday, October 29th, 2013, 3:30-4:20pm
Electrical Engineering Building, Room 105
Map and Directions


Stephen Boyd is the Samsung Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Information Systems Laboratory at Stanford University, with courtesy appointments in the department of Computer Science and the department of Management Science and Engineering. He received the A.B. degree in Mathematics from Harvard University in 1980, and the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985, and then joined the faculty at Stanford. His current research focus is on convex optimization applications in control, signal processing, and circuit design.

Professor Boyd is the author of many research articles and three books: Convex Optimization (with Lieven Vandenberghe, 2004), Linear Matrix Inequalities in System and Control Theory (with L. El Ghaoui, E. Feron, and V. Balakrishnan, 1994), and Linear Controller Design: Limits of Performance (with Craig Barratt, 1991). His group has produced several open source tools, including CVX (with Michael Grant), a widely used parser-solver for convex optimization.

Professor Boyd has received many awards and honors for his research in control systems engineering and optimization, including an ONR Young Investigator Award, a Presidential Young Investigator Award, and the AACC Donald P. Eckman Award, given annually for the greatest contribution to the field of control engineering by someone under the age of 35. In 2013, he received the IEEE Control Systems Award, given for outstanding contributions to control systems engineering, science, or technology. In 2012, Michael Grant and he were given the Mathematical Optimization Society's Beale-Orchard-Hays Award, given every three years for excellence in computational mathematical programming. He is a Fellow of the IEEE, and a Distinguished Lecturer of the IEEE Control Systems Society. He has been invited to deliver more than 60 plenary and keynote lectures at major conferences in control, optimization, and machine learning.

About Dean Lytle

The lecture series honors the late Professor Dean W. Lytle who began his career as an assistant professor in 1958 at the University of Washington Department of Electrical Engineering. Professor Lytle's teaching and research was in communications, networks, probability and signal processing. He wrote two textbooks, Introduction to Random Processes, and with W.W. Harman, Electrical and Mechanical Networks. Professor Lytle’s consulting work included long-term and high-impact appointments at Boeing, Honeywell, and Bell Telephone.

Professor Dean Lytle received his B.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1950 from the University of California, Berkeley. He received both his M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1954 and 1957, respectively.

Previous Lytle Lecturers


Alan S. Willsky, Edwin Sibley Webster Professor at MIT

Title (General Audience): Learning & Inference for Graphical & Hierarchical Models:
A Personal Journey

Title (Colloquium): Building a Career on the Kindness of Others

Abstract     Watch the Video (general talk)     Watch the Video (colloquium)


Ingrid Daubechies, James B. Duke Professor of Mathematics at Duke University

Title (General Audience): Can Image Analysis Detect the Hand of the Master? Wavelets and Applications to the Analysis of Art Paintings

Title (Colloquium):Quantifying the (dis)similarity Between Surfaces

Abstract      Watch the Video (general talk)        Watch the Video (colloquium)


Thomas Kailath, Hitachi America Professor of Engineering Emeritus at Stanford

Title (General Audience): Mathematical Engineering: Origins and Impact

Title (Colloquium): From Radiative Transfer Theory to Fast Algorithms for Cell Phones

Abstract      Watch the Video (colloquium)


Irwin Jacobs, Co-founder of Qualcomm

Title: From Cell Phones to Smart Phones to Smart Books—An Exciting Journey

Abstract      Watch the Video


Vince Poor, Dean of the School of Engineering & Applied Sciences at Princeton University

Title (General Audience): Anytime, Anywhere: The Wireless Revolution

Title (Colloquium): Competition and Collaboration in Wireless Networks

Abstract      Watch the Video (colloquium)

Committee Members

Jenq-Neng Hwang (Committee Chair), Louis Scharf (Committee Co-Chair), Les Atlas (Committee Chair, 2007-2012), Bishnu Atal, Maryam Fazel, Jeff Bilmes, Erin Olnon

Past Members: Michael Dean Allain, Jim Ritcey

Giving to the Lytle Lecture Fund

With the generous help of many donors including the Lytle family, alumni and friends Dean Lytle’s legacy will be celebrated for generations to come. Contributions to the Lytle Fund can be made online or by mail.

Online: Indicate “Lytle” in the keyword box at:

By Mail: Send check made to UW Foundation indicate “Lytle Lecture” in subject box and mail to: UW Foundation Gift Processing, Box 359505, Seattle WA 98195-9505

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