Ralph Etienne-Cummings

Professor and Chair

Primary Appointment: Electrical and Computer Engineering

Research Interests

  • Mixed signal VLSI systems
  • Computational sensors
  • Computer vision
  • Neuromorphic engineering
  • Smart structures
  • Mobile robotics
  • Legged locomotion
  • Neuroprosthetic devices


Ralph Etienne-Cummings received his B.Sc. in physics in 1988 from Lincoln University, Pennsylvania. He completed his M.S.E.E (’91) and PhD (’94) in electrical engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Dr. Etienne-Cummings is a Professor and Chairman of Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He was the founding director of the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering. He has served as Chairman of various IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Technical Committees and was elected as a member of CAS Board of Governors. He also serves on numerous editorial boards and was recently appointed Deputy Editor in Chief for the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems. He is an IEEE Fellow and the recipient of the NSF’s Career and Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program Award. He was a Visiting African Fellow at U. Cape Town, Fulbright Fellowship Grantee, Eminent Visiting Scholar at U. Western Sydney and has also won numerous publication awards, most recently the 2012 Most Outstanding Paper of the IEEE Transaction on Neural Systems and Rehabilitation Engineering. He was also recently recognized as a ScienceMaker by the HistoryMakers, an African-American history archive. He has published over 220 peer reviewed article, 11 books/chapters and holds 10 patents/applications on his work.


Awards and Honors

NSF’s Career and Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Program Awards

Named a Visiting African Fellow and a Fulbright Fellowship Grantee for his sabbatical at University of Cape Town, South Africa

2010 JHU Applied Physics Lab R.W. Hart Prize for Best R&D Project in Development


Secondary Appointments: Computer Science, Laboratory for Computation Sensing and Robotics (LCSR)

Journal Articles
  • Posch, C., Benosman, R., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2015).  Giving machines humanlike eyes.  Spectrum, IEEE.  52(12).  44–49.
  • Zhang, J., Mitra, S., Suo, Y., Cheng, A., Xiong, T., Michon, F., Welkenhuysen, M., Kloosterman, F., Chin, P. S., Hsiao, S., Tran, T. D., Yazicioglu, F., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2015).  A closed-loop compressive-sensing-based neural recording system.  Journal of neural engineering.  12(3).  036005.
  • Orchard, G., Meyer, C., Etienne-Cummings, R., Posch, C., Thakor, N., Benosman, R. (2015).  HFirst: A Temporal Approach to Object Recognition.  IEEE Transactions on Pattern Recognition and Machine Intelligence.
  • Russell, A. F., Mihalas, S., von der Heydt, R., Niebur, E., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2014).  A model of proto-object based saliency.  Vision research.  94.  1–15.
  • Zhang, J., Suo, Y., Mitra, S., Chin, S., Hsiao, S., Yazicioglu, R. F., Tran, T. D., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2014).  An efficient and compact compressed sensing microsystem for implantable neural recordings.  Biomedical Circuits and Systems, IEEE Transactions on.  8(4).  485–496.
  • Larkin, W., Etienne-Cummings, R., Van der Spiegel, J. (2014).  Bioinspired Imaging: Discovery, Emulation, and Future Prospects [Scanning the Issue].  Proceedings of the IEEE.  102(10).  1404–1410.
  • Orchard, G., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2014).  Bioinspired Visual Motion Estimation.  Proceedings of the IEEE.  102(10).  1520–1536.
  • Suo, Y., Zhang, J., Xiong, T., Chin, P. S., Etienne-Cummings, R., Tran, T. D. (2014).  Energy-Efficient Multi-Mode Compressed Sensing System for Implantable Neural Recordings.  Transactions on Biomedical Circuits and Systems.  8(5).  648–659.
Book Chapters
  • Indiveri, G., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2015).  Neuromorphic Locomotion Circuits.  Springer Handbook of Computational Intelligence.  Springer Berlin Heidelberg.  715–725.
  • Guo, X., Cheng, A., Zhang, H. K., Kang, H., Etienne-Cummings, R., Boctor, E. M. (2014).  Active Echo: A New Paradigm for Ultrasound Calibration.  Medical Image Computing and Computer-Assisted Intervention – MICCAI 2014.  Springer International Publishing.  397–404.
Other Publications
Conference Proceedings
  • Greenwald, E., So, E., Mollazadeh, M., Maier, C., Etienne-Cummings, R., Thakor, N., Cauwenberghs, G. (2015).  A 5?? W/channel 9b-ENOB BioADC array for electrocortical recording.  Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2015 IEEE.  1–4.
  • Cheng, A., Guo, X., Zhang, H. K., Kang, H., Etienne-Cummings, R., Boctor, E. M. (2015).  Active point out-of-plane ultrasound calibration.  SPIE medical imaging.  94150W–94150W.
  • Xiong, T., Zhang, J., Suo, Y., Tran, D. N., Etienne-Cummings, R., Chin, S., Tran, T. D. (2015).  An unsupervised dictionary learning algorithm for neural recordings.  Circuits and Systems (ISCAS), 2015 IEEE International Symposium on.  1010–1013.
  • Zhang, J., Suo, Y., Zhao, C., Tran, T. D., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2015).  CMOS implementation of pixel-wise coded exposure imaging for insect-based sensor node.  Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2015 IEEE.  1–4.
  • Molin, J. L., Figliolia, T., Sanni, K., Doxas, I., Andreou, A., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2015).  FPGA emulation of a spike-based, stochastic system for real-time image dewarping.  Circuits and Systems (MWSCAS), 2015 IEEE 58th International Midwest Symposium on.  1–4.
  • Molin, J. L., Etienne-Cummings, R., Niebur, E. (2015).  How is motion integrated into a proto-object based visual saliency model?.  Information Sciences and Systems (CISS), 2015 49th Annual Conference on.  1–6.
  • Molin, J. L., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2015).  Live demonstration: Real-time implementation of a proto-object-based dynamic visual saliency model.  Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2015 IEEE.  1–1.
  • Xiong, T., Zhang, J., Chin, S., Tran, T. D., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2015).  Compressed sensing block-wise exposure control algorithm using optical flow estimation.  Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2015 IEEE.  1–4.
  • Xiong, T., Suo, Y., Zhang, J., Liu, S., Etienne-Cummings, R., Chin, S., Tran, T. D. (2014).  A dictionary learning algorithm for multi-channel neural recordings.  Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2014 IEEE.  9–12.
  • Zhang, J., Xiong, T., Mitra, S., Suo, Y., Tran, T. D., Firat Yazicioglu, R., Etienne-Cummings, R. (2014).  Live demonstration: A closed loop Compressive Sensing neural recording system.  Biomedical Circuits and Systems Conference (BioCAS), 2014 IEEE.  170–170.
  • Guo, X., Tavakoli, B., Kang, H., Kang, J., Etienne-Cummings, R., Boctor, E. M. (2014).  Photoacoustic active ultrasound element for catheter tracking.  SPIE BiOS.  89435M–89435M.
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