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Ralph Etienne-Cummings

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Information about Ralph Etienne-Cummings

Profile image of Ralph Etienne-Cummings

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Electrical Engineer
Computer Scientist
Engineering Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
White
Favorite Food:
Chicken Curry
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Seychelles
Favorite Quote:
Essentially.

Birthplace

Born:
8/20/1967
Birth Location:
Mahe,

Profession

Category:
ScienceMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Electrical Engineer
Computer Scientist
Engineering Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
White
Favorite Food:
Chicken Curry
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall, Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Seychelles
Favorite Quote:
Essentially.

Birthplace

Born:
8/20/1967
Birth Location:
Mahe
See how Ralph Etienne-Cummings is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Electrical engineer, computer scientist and engineering professor Ralph Etienne-Cummings was born in August 20, 1967 in Mahe, Seychelles to Marguerita Etienne and Eddie Micock. His mother later married Herman Cummings, who formally adopted him. Etienne-Cummings first showed his aptitude for engineering when he fixed the reception on his short wave radio in order to listen to a soccer match. After attending a British boarding school, he moved to the United States with his family. Etienne-Cummings received his B.S. degree in physics from Lincoln University in Pennsylvania in 1988. He went on to receive his M.S. in electrical engineering and his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990 and 1994, respectively.

Shortly after receiving his Ph.D., Etienne-Cummings took a position as an assistant professor at Southern Illinois University. In 1998, he moved to Maryland where he began teaching as an assistant professor at Johns Hopkins University. From 2002 to 2004, Etienne-Cummings taught at the University of Maryland, College Park as an associate professor while also holding the position of director at the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering. In January 2004, he was appointed Associate Director for Education and Outreach of the ERC on Computer Integrated Surgical Systems and Technology at Johns Hopkins University. In 2005, Etienne-Cummings received a secondary appointment in computer science at Johns Hopkins University and in 2008, he became a professor of electrical and computer engineering. While at Johns Hopkins University, Etienne-Cummings sponsored a number of diversity and mentoring programs including serving as co-chair of the Diversity Committee and mentor of the school's Robotics Club. In addition to teaching, Etienne-Cummings served as a consultant engineer for several technology firms including Nova Sensors, Inc., Innovative Wireless Technologies, Singular Computing, Panasonic N. American & Corporation, Avago Technologies, Micron Technologies and others. His research interests include systems and algorithms for biologically inspired and low-power processing, biomorphic robots, applied neuroscience, neural prosthetics, and computer integrated surgical systems and technologies. He holds seven patents and has mentored over thirty-five students at the graduate level.

Etienne-Cummings has served as a visiting scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and as a visiting African scholar at the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He received the National Science Foundation's CAREER Award in 1996 and the Young Investigators Program Award from the Office of Naval Research in 2000. In 2006, Science Spectrum awarded him its Trailblazer Award for Top Minorities in Science and in 2007, Etienne-Cummings was named a Kavli Frontiers in Science Fellow by the National Academies of Science. He has also won best paper awards in high impact technical Journals and Conferences. In 2012, he was elected Fellow of the IEEE for contribution in “Neuromorphic Sensory-Motor Circuits and Systems”. He is married to Shatima Etienne-Cummings, a patent attorney.

Ralph Etienne-Cummings was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on June 28, 2012.

See how Ralph Etienne-Cummings is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Ralph Etienne-Cummings' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his mother's growing up in the Seychelles
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the people and the history of the Seychelles
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes the architecture, weather, and government of the Seychelles
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his mother's education and career aspirations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his relationship with his biological father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his step-father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his biological father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his adopted father, Herman Cummings
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his earliest childhood memory
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes the sights, sounds and smells of growing up
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about race relations in the Seychelles
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his early education
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his early interest in science
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his grades and his favorite teacher, Madame Moutia
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about living and studying in the United Kingdom
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his involvement in track and field in the United Kingdom
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about graduating from high school
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about life in New Orleans
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his decision to attend Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his experience at Lincoln University and his exposure to African American culture
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes personal computers and resources at Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the faculty and notable graduates of Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses his physics research at Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his activities and honors at Lincoln University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his doctoral research
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes how he met his wife and her work at GTE
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his work at Southern Illinois University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his work at the Institute of Neuromorphic Engineering
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the National Science Foundation's Career Award
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses his research at Johns Hopkins University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his research on computer controlled locomotion in animals
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses technology controlled by neural impulses
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his honors and awards
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes a typical day in his lab
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his students' work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings discusses his current research on overt attention
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings shares his personal ambition
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his hopes for the future of robotics
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about reactions to his work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes the one change he would have made to his career path
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings shares his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about the Seychelles Islands
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about his time in South Africa and Australia
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Ralph Etienne-Cummings describes his photographs