Richard Y Zhang
I am a fourth-year PhD student in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, advised by Prof. Jacob K. White and Prof. John G. Kassakian. I am in the Computational Prototyping Group (CPG) and the Laboratory for Electromagnetic and Electronics Systems (LEES).
I work in the fields of power electronics and scientific computing. The motivation for my research is succinctly summarized in a famous quote:
If Edison had a needle to find in a haystack, he would proceed at once with the diligence of the bee to examine straw after straw until he found the object of his search. I was a sorry witness of such doings, knowing that a little theory and calculation would have saved him ninety percent of his labor. - Nikola Tesla, 1931
My mission is to automate that ninety percent of labor with a little theory, so that designers and engineers can focus on the needle.
More specifically, I build computer models of engineering problems and "physics engine" algorithms to simulate them. The models and algorithms are designed to be fast, highly realistic, and massively parallel. They make it possible to examine every straw in the haystack, or to exponentially converge upon the needle using optimization strategies.
My favorite application area is electric power: electricity as a carrier of energy, and currently I am working on applying these techniques to the field of power electronics. It might sound next to impossible, but we are more than half way there if we can just solve Maxwell's equations really quickly.
- pMag - Planar Magnetics Simulator. An easy-to-use set of MATLAB code that can be used to simulate a planar magnetic component.
- pFFT.m - MATLAB precorrected FFT. A self-contained set of code that implements precorrected FFT. Can be used to accelerate dense methods, like surface / boundary integral equations, volume integral equations, molecular dynamics / n-body problems, to order near-linear complexity.
- MIT Future of the Electric Grid Study.
- Co-President, MIT Energy Club 2012-2013
- Co-Director, Friday Content for the MIT Energy Conference 2012
- MIT Graduate Student Council (GSC) Executive Committee (2011-2012)
- Orientation Committee (OC) Co-Chair
- Legislative Action Sub-committee (LASC) Member
- Workshop lead for MIT Energy Conference 2011 (2010-2011)
- Orientation Chair for the EECS GSA (2010)
- EECS Departmental Representative for the GSC (2010)
- Organizer for the LEES Colloquium (2010)
- TA for MIT 18.336J/6.335J. (2013)
- Head TA for the MITx/edX course 6.002x. (2012)
- Graduate Researcher / TA at University of Canterbury for ENEL436, ENCI303 (2009-2010)
- Power Electronics Researcher & Engineer at ABB (2009-2010)
- Power Systems Engineering Intern at Beca (2008-2009)
- Master of Science, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2012)
- Bachelor of Engineering with Honours (First Class), Electrical and Electronic Engineering, University of Canterbury (2009)