Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sara Richardson won first place in the life and physical sciences category, an award which comes with a $1000 cash award.
Richardson received first prize for her work on “Simulation of EVA Suite Effects During Lunar and Martian Analog Exercise.” Richardson’s research explored the effects of lower body negative pressure versus lower body positive pressure as a way to simulate human exercise on the moon. She was nominated by her faculty advisor Alan Hargens, a professor of orthopedic surgery at the UCSD School of Medicine. She completed her research at the Clinical Orthopedic Lab at the UCSD Medical Center in Hillcrest.
"The research resources available from the UC San Diego Libraries have been extremely valuable in my project," said Richardson. “I have made extensive use of the UCSD Library resources listed in Sage and the E-journal subscriptions, which were necessary to view the results of my searches on PubMed and have been essential to my ability to access relevant papers. The research strategies I have picked up in this project have carried over into other aspects of my academic life—both for class and research."
Richardson is extremely involved at UC San Diego outside the library as well. She is the past president of the Jacobs School of Engineering's Triton Engineering Student Council (TESC).
Watch Richardson on YouTube (below) giving a tour of E-Games 2008.
Monday, September 28, 2009
Long considered a top cyber-security expert, Savage leads a team at the Collaborative Center for Internet Epidemiology and Defenses that last year infiltrated the infamous Storm botnet, which victimized millions of people through internet spam scams. And last month the center, which is a joint UCSD and UC-Berkeley effort, was awarded a five-year, $7 million grant from the U.S. Navy's research arm to study botnets and the threats they pose to national security.
Friday, September 25, 2009
The images above highlight the progress Engler has already made. Both images above are adult mesenchymal stem cells (or MSCs). The adult stem cells on the left were grown on gels with stiffness of 1kPa (i.e. soft). The same type of stem cells (right) were grown on intermediately stiff gels (11kPa). The 11kPa gel recapitulates muscle stiffness, hence the adult mesenchymal stem cells on the right expressed MyoD, the protein labeled in the green color. MyoD plays a key role in regulating muscle differentiation. The 1kPa gel (left) is too soft, so those cells do not make the MyoD protein and most but not all lack green staining. The new project, funded by Adam Engler’s five-year $1.5 million NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, will integrate the cue of matrix stiffness with matrix topography and growth factors in a time and spatially-dependent way in order to make a more complete stem cell niche.
Learn about all the NIH New Innovator Award Recipients for 2009 here.
Scott LaFee mentioned Adam Engler in a San Diego Union Tribune story about other recent NIH grants to UC San Diego and the La Jolla Institute for Allergy & Immunology.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Professor Elkan attended the prize ceremony in his capactiy as a judge for the competition. Below are a few insights from Elkan regarding the winning team's approach to movie recommendations. A short news story about Elkan's participation in the Netflix Prize is on the news section of the Jacobs School of Engineering news site.
"The success of the winning team [BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos] is based on groundbreaking basic research stimulated by the contest. One important idea is to use hundreds of variations of multiple methods, and then to take a sophisticated average of their predictions. This way, the errors of the different methods can partially cancel out. A second important idea is to discover from the data factors that are relevant both in describing movies and in determining the preferences of viewers. These factors are mined from the data to be maximally predictive, as opposed to being programmed in by human experts. It turns out that mined factors are more useful than any human intuitions for this task. A third important idea is to model the subtle ways in which ratings from users change both day to day and over the long term," said Charles Elkan, computer science professor from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Journalists: Charles Elkan is available for comment regarding the Netflix Prize. He can provide clear insights and explanations regarding the winning strategies and how this work ties into larger data mining trends in both business and academia. Contact me (dbkane AT ucsd DOT edt) and I'll put you in touch with professor Charles Elkan.
The official Netflix press release is here.
Insightful story from Communications of the ACM by Marina Krakovsky. This story quotes Charles Elkan.
The Wall Street Journal story by Marisa Taylor mentions Charles Elkan as a judge.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
While the solar panels on the roof are good, they're not enough, says
Washom, the university's director of strategic energy initiatives.
He's part of UCSD's effort to become a national model for finding, testing and
implementing new power technologies by having the people who run its facilities
working together with the scientists on the cutting edge.
“It's not enough anymore to install solar panels, change lightbulbs or recycle,” said Jan Kleissl, an assistant professor of engineering.
The university “is moving from today's version of sustainability and changing to tomorrow's version,” said Steve Relyea, vice chancellor of business affairs.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
"Quantum dots (QDs) are often considered as promising candidates for applications in a variety of novel devices with spin-enabling functionality, e.g. in spin light-emitting devices, for spin filtering, as well as in quantum information technology," the authors write.
The researchers showed that independent (free) carriers are more efficient than electron-hole pairs (excitons) for creating specific spin orientations in InAs quantum dots.
Nanotechweb.org is running a very nice description of this work, which is a collaboration between Linköping University, Sweden and UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering.
According to the nanotechweb.org story,
This finding is relevant for future quantum communication and quantum information storage because it points out that separate carrier injection can be advantageous for next-generation spintronic devices based on QD spins.
The paper, "Spin injection in lateral InAs quantum dot structures by optical orientation spectroscopy," appeared in print in the journal Nanotechnology. Researchers at Linköping University performed the characterization work. Suwaree Suraprapapich performed the sample growth when she was a visiting electrical engineering Ph.D. student in the group of electrical engineering professor Charles W Tu at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering. Professor Tu also serves as Associate Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering.
"Suwaree grew indium arsenide (InAs) single-quantum-dot, double-quantum-dot, and quantum-ring samples by gas-source molecular beam epitaxy in my lab during her time at the Jacobs School," said Tu.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Blink 2.0 Launched September 10
MARK YOUR CALENDAR…… for these upcoming cyberinfrastructure-connected events and training sessions. All events will be held at UC San Diego (except where noted otherwise).
Sept. 22, 2009 – 1:30-3pm – First Floor Lobby, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego
Sept. 27 - 30, 2009 – Falls Church , Virginia
Oct. 12 - 16, 2009 – SDSC Auditorium, UC San Diego
Jan. 25 - 28, 2010 – Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall, UC San Diego
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Beth Simon taught the clase, CSE8B, last winter quarter. I shot video on the final lecture, when the students held a tournament in which their "critters" battled each other. To create critters, the students had to understand "inheritance" in the computer science/Java sense of the word. Each student extend the critter class in a unique way, and then the various critters battled.
A near-final version of the video is below...I'll update this with the final version when it's ready.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Hoanh Vu--a research scientist in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering--and colleagues won a three-year, $510,000 grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)to use computer simulation tools to figure out how to successfully achieve controlled, miniaturized nuclear ignition of spherical fuel pellets in laboratory environments using lasers as energy drivers.
The Jacobs School researchers are collaborating with Los Alamos National Laboratory (NM), Lodestar Research Corporation and the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester in New York.
“The way nuclear weapons work is that there is a spherical core of deuterium-tritium that is driven by a radiation source to nuclear ignition; we know that these bombs work because they have worked underground,” Vu said. “But the nuclear materials inside these fuel cores, primarily deuterium-tritium, and the radiation sources that drive these cores to nuclear ignition, have a relatively short shelf life. We don’t know with any certainty if these weapons still work. Since we can’t test them on a full scale, what do we do? We actually look at the physics and scale down the problem so we can test the viability of these weapons in a safer and more controlled environment.
“These weapons are massive so we try to scale it down to pellets that are millimeter-size,” Vu continued. “The method of choice for compressing these fuel pellets is using a laser, which provides a radiation source.”
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
People Espanol also offers visitors to its site the chance to change your look with their "Cambia tu Look" site, also based on Taaz.com technology.