About Us

Pamela Abshire
University of Maryland

Jennifer Blain Christen
Arizona State University

Nicole McFarlane
University of Tennessee

Maira Samary
Boston College

Stephen D. Senturia Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Emeritus

Pamela Abshire, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland, College Park

Pamela Abshire, Professor of Electrical Engineering and the Institute for Systems Research at the University of Maryland, College Park, likes to study questions at the interface between microelectronics and biology, particularly as they pertain to physical computing and efficiency. Her most prominent contributions have been in novel CMOS biosensors for laboratory on CMOS systems. Other notable contributions include CMOS contact imaging, integrated micro-fluorometers, SPADs in CMOS, cell-substrate capacitance sensors, adaptive integrated circuits, and studies of the fundamental limits of low power computation. She currently leads projects on biological computation as performed by living neurons, AI biomarker discovery and sensing, and information-power efficiency of cognitive multi-spectral sensors. She is an IEEE Fellow and a University of Maryland Distinguished Scholar-Teacher.

Jennifer Blain Christen, Associate Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Energy Engineering, Arizona State University

Jennifer Blain Christen is an Associate Professor at Arizona State University. She engineers highly deployable biosensing and bioelectronic systems; her team thrives in participatory engineering endeavors working closely with stakeholders. Her research focuses on human health ranging from implantable neural and cardiac devices to wearables and point of care/need diagnostics for low resource/global health settings. Implementation spans embedded systems, low power analog design, microfabrication, sensors and transducers, microfluidics, optoelectronics, and wireless, battery-free systems. Jennifer co-founded FlexBioTech, a molecular diagnostics company with a focus on health equity. She is a Fulton Entrepreneurial Professor and Joseph C. Palais Distinguished Faculty Scholar. Her work as an NSF ADVANCE fellow, DII@FSE taskforce founding member, and Women in Engineering has focused on ensuring all gender identities and expressions have the opportunity to thrive in STEM.

Nicole McFarlane, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Nicole McFarlane is an Associate Professor at the University of Tennessee working on circuits and devices for sensing systems. Her main research includes carbon based nanostructures and CMOS based solutions for biological, environmental, and nuclear science applications. She also works on hardware implemented security solutions. At the University of Tennessee she has done significant outreach and mentoring to underrepresented groups at the high school, undergraduate, and graduate levels.  She currently serves on the Biomedical and Life Science Circuits and Systems and the Sensory Systems Technical Committees. She has served on the organizing committee for ISCAS 2017, 2022, and 2024 and MWSCAS 2023. She is a member of the CASS Board of Governors (2018-2020, 2021-2023). She is an associate editor for Transaction of Biomedical Circuits and Systems and  Assoc. Ed. in Chief for Digital Communications (2022) and EIC (2023) for the Open Journal of Circuits and Systems.

Maíra Samary, Assistant Professor of the Practice of Computer Science, Boston College

Maíra Marques Samary is an assistant professor of the practice in the Computer Science Department at Boston College. Her research focuses on Computer Science education for college students at the beginning of their academic path and the acquisition of skills that are not typically part of computer science programs, such as software engineering soft skills. She has worked directly with undergraduate students in Brazil, Chile, and the United States, where, across countries, women and gender non-conforming students and students of color experience the highest levels of attrition in computer science courses. Her current research investigates the environmental factors important in designing a safe and motivating program in order to make the computer science field more inclusive. She holds a Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Chile, and a Master’s degree in Education Research and Methodology from Boston College.

Stephen Senturia, Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Stephen Senturia, Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been a leader in developing MEMS technology, devices that combine electronics with moving parts, enabling such applications as pressure sensors, accelerometers, gyroscopes, and light valves. In 2003 he was honored by election to the National Academy of Engineering. A widely sought consultant to industry, he founded two companies, the second of which, Polychromix, provided the infrared spectrometers for the NASA LCROSS mission that discovered bulk water on the moon. Since his retirement, he has continued to be active as a mentor to aspiring academics, and has also turned to writing novels about “The Academic Life.” Two of the dramatizations in this workshop series are based on his first novel, One Man’s Purpose.