Monday, October 26, 2009

Digital Signs for Emergencies, Environmental Monitoring and Much More

Researchers from the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) are installing a number of LED digital signs in classrooms throughout UC San Diego, with the eventual goal of outfitting the entire campus with the notification system. Not only are the scrolling signs capable of broadcasting tailor-made information specific to certain classrooms via embedded computers, they will eventually alert faculty, staff and students during emergency situations. The sensor-equipped signs will also collect data pertaining to the classroom environment, such as light, temperature, humidity, particle concentration, and even carbon dioxide levels.

The digital signs project is a partnership between Calit2's Circuits Lab, the Jacobs School of Engineering's Teams in Engineering Service (TIES) program and UCSD's DEMROES group, or Decision Making Using Real-Time Observations for Environmental Sustainability, which operates a sophisticated network of wireless meteorological sensors to collect a variety of atmospheric data.

Calit2's Tiffany Fox wrote this article. Read the full story here.

Photo caption (above): A student listens to a lecture in Center Hall, where four of the LED digital signs have been installed. The signs are capable of broadcasting tailor-made information specific to certain classrooms and will eventually alert faculty, staff and students during emergency situations.

TV Refresh Rate Research

"Now, a recent study by researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) claims that 240Hz televisions could indeed be a smarter buy than previously thought."

This is a quote from a recent news story in the Korea Times entitled "Samsung, LG Debate on TV Refresh Rate," by Kim Yoo-chul. The story describes research that Electrical engineering professor Truong Nguyen and electrical engineering graduate student Stanley Chan have submitted to the IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing ICASSP 2010.

Read the full Korea Times story here.

Programming Contest Preliminaries

On October 17, 2009, UCSD students competed head-to-head during the Fall 2009 UCSD Programming Contest, pumping out code over the course of five hours.

Top honors and $1000 go to first-year CSE Graduate Student Do-Kyum Kim for solving 4 problems with a combined time of 616 minutes. Sophomore David Michon placed second, also solving 4 problems. Haoxi Fang, Jason Obenberger and Eric Levine rounded out the top 5.

The following are the top finishers:

>> 1 Do-Kyum Kim
>> 2 Dave Michon
>> 3 Haoxi Fang
>> 4 Jason Obenberger
>> 5 Eric Levine
>> 6 James Lintern
>> 7 Eric Slaughter
>> 8 Jeffrey Lu
>> 9 Van Lam
>> 10 Justin Huang
>> 11 Brian McMahon
>> 12 Cassidy Queen
>> 13 Timothy Martin
>> 14 Christopher Rebert
>> 15 David Lluncor
>> 16 Allan Souza
>> 17 Avinash Ananthakrishnan
>> 18 Scott Baar
>> 19 Norberto Salazar
>> 20 Virginia Tice

Thanks go to Mike Dini and The Dini Group for providing the prizes, pizza and soda. Michael Vrable and Michael Taylor ran the contest, with help from undergraduate Jesse Weinstein. UCSD Programming Team Captain Elliott Slaughter and UCSD Programming Team Setup Czar Justin Huang created the score-boarding infrastructure.

The top students will go on to compete in the ACM Southern California
on November 7.

More details, and photos, are available at