Friday, November 21, 2008

Flow Cytomers on Chip(s) and Dip

Flow Cytometers on Chips merged with tasty chips and dip last week at the celebration for Jessica Godin, this year's winner of the R.B. Woolley Graduate Leadership Award.

One of my favorite parts of her story is the fact that Jessica, an electrical engineer, learned some cool bio-sample-loading tricks from the bioengineers she met while hanging out in the lab over at Calit2 where they all go to build their chips. It wasn't one-sided, Godin taught the bioengineers a whole lot about streamlining microfluidics fabrication.

And now she has won financial support to implement events that will increase this kind of inter-departmental interaction at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego.

below is a great video about Jessica Godin's accomplisments here at the Jacobs School. enjoy.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

From "Hello World" to "Hello Real World"

Computer Programming Gets a Makeover at UC San Diego

From “Hello World” to “Hello Real World”

What: Revolutionary new way to teach (and learn) computer programming on display. Computer science undergrads from UC San Diego will show off the glossy images they created while they learned to write computer code.

When: November 18, 2008; 4:30PM to 5:30PM

Where: UC San Diego’s computer science building
Map here:

More info:
What are “for loops” good for? New computer science students often ask this question when faced with writing their first computer programs, and many lose interest or become frustrated along the steep learning curve. In order to help students see the many opportunities available in computing and to make the learning curve more fun, computer science undergrads now learn to turn “for loops” into “for making really cool images loops.”

Welcome to UC San Diego’s reinvented intro-to-computer-programming course. The students still learn the fundamental programming concepts (like “for loops”), but instead of writing programs to calculate bank interest or spell out “hello world,” they write programs that manipulate digital images. The results of this “write-your-own-Photoshop” approach to learning computer programming will be on display tomorrow, November 18. More than 40 pairs of UCSD undergrads will show off large glossy prints of their manipulated images along with the computer code they wrote in order to create the images.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ occupational employment projections for 2016, over 800,000 of 1.4 million new professional jobs (57%) will be in computing. The new way of introducing programming is part of UC San Diego’s commitment to make computer science education as engaging and relevant to as wide and diverse a pool of students as possible. “The students are loving it!” said Beth Simon Ph.D., the computer science lecturer teaching the class.

Media Contact: Daniel Kane; 858-534-3262 (o)

Computer Science Contact: Beth Simon

Bureau of Labor Statistics report here

Class Web Site

Monday, November 17, 2008

Shaking Up an Old Building

While residents across California prepared for the “big one” during the Great California Shakeout on Nov. 13, UC San Diego engineers simulated their own earthquake in order to devise better retrofit strategies for some of California’s oldest buildings.

The researchers simulated ground motions based on the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in California, which measured 7.1 in magnitude. During the tests, the engineers subjected a 3-story, masonry-infilled, reinforced concrete frame representing structures built in California in the 1920s to a series of seismic events. This is the largest specimen of this type ever tested on a shake table.

Check out the full story here

Friday, November 7, 2008

Alumni Magazine online

The latest issue of Pulse, the alumni magazine of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering made is now online .

The issue is dedicated to highlighting some of the ways researchers at the Jacobs School are tackling the "grand challenges for engineering" set forth earlier this year by the National Academy of Engineering.

The Jacobs School communications team began with a blog that serves to collect the ways the Jacobs School and UC San Diego are working on the NAE's Grand Challenges. This issue of Pulse is a further refinement on the theme.

What is especially nice is that Jacobs School professors were addressing these challenges long before they were officially described by the NAE.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

NanoEngineering / Structural Engineering Groundbreaking

Pretty much everything is better when you involve a home-made robot...and groundbreaking ceremonies at university engineering schools are no exception. Check out the robot-version of UC San Diego's informal mascot doing the heavy lifting at the groundbreaking for the Structural and Materials Engineering Building. The building will be the home of two Jacobs School of Engineering departments—Structural Engineering and NanoEngineering—and provide studios and additional facilities for UC San Diego’s Department of Visual Arts.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Field Medic on a Chip hits Technology Review

Joseph Wang, a nanoengineering professor from the Jacobs School, recently won a $1.6M grant from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) for a technology described as a "field hospital on a chip."