Monday, December 13, 2010

My UC San Diego Twitter List / Are you on it?

Below is the UC San Diego Twitter list that I have been building. If you know of other UC San Diego Twitter feeds that should be on this, let me know.!/UCSDJacobs/uc-san-diego-13

Follow the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering on Twitter

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Nanoengineers from UC San Diego Win the IDTechEx Printed Electronics Academic R&D award

Left: NanoEngienering PhD student Joshua Windmiller
From the NanoEngineering website:

Congratulations to Joshua Windmiller and NanoEngineering Professor Joseph Wang's Nanobioelectronic Sensor team on winning the IDTechEx Printed Electronics Academic R&D award at the 2010 Printed Electronics USA conference and tradeshow for their work on textile-based printed bioelectronic sensors.

From Printed Electronics World:

The University of California, San Diego won this award for its work on textile based printed bioelectric sensors. The University fabricated thick-film (screen-printed) amperometric sensors that were printed directly onto the elastic waist of undergarments for physiological monitoring. Additionally, they demonstrated the highly sensitive detection of trace concentrations of explosive agents using screen-printed sensors on GORE-TEX®fabrics. The University reports, "Our research has demonstrated the feasibility of employing screen-printed biosensors for a number of utilitarian applications leading to the realization of a new class of wearable biosensors that enables a "wear and forget" paradigm."

This is tied into the "smart underwear" project that made headlines around the world earlier this year:

This prestigious, world-renowned award is given to an academic research organization that has made a significant contribution over the past 24 months to the understanding of the principles and accrued knowledge behind printed electronics or photovoltaics.

Another photo of Josh below:

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Stefan Savage and Pavel Pevzner named 2010 ACM Fellows

Congrats to Stefan Savage and Pavel Pevzner, both named 2010 ACM Fellows.

Pavel Pevzner

Stefan Savage

Stefan Savage is being recognized by the ACM “for contributions to large scale systems and network security.”

Pavel Pevzner is being recognized by the ACM “for contributions to algorithms for genome rearrangements, DNA sequencing, and proteomics.”

Both are professors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego.

UC San Diego computer science professor Stefan Savage’s work has focused on the security threats enabled by broad Internet connectivity; including worms, viruses, denial-of-service, botnets and spam. He is known for advancing a quantitative approach towards computer security, including the development of empirical techniques to measure and analyze global-scale attacks and efforts to identify the economics driving modern attackers.

Savage is part of the Systems & Networking and Security research groups in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. Savage is also the Acting Director of the UC San Diego Center for Networked Systems. His interests range from the economics of e-crime, to characterizing availability, to automotive systems to routing protocols and data center virtualization.

UC San Diego computer science professor Pavel Pevzner’s work has focused broadly on algorithmic aspects of bioinformatics. Bioinformatics has become a part of modern biology and often dictates new fashions, enables new approaches, and drives further biological developments. Pevzner’s work focuses of DNA sequencing, proteomics, and genome rearrangements, the key areas of algorithmic biology. He authored influential graduate and undegraduate textbooks on bioinformatics algorithms and is now interested in new approaches to interdisciplinary computer science education and introducing computer science to education of biologists. 
Pavel Pevzner is the Ronald R. Taylor Professor of Computer Science at UC San Diego; Director of the NIH Center for Computational Mass Spectrometry; and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor.

Friday, December 3, 2010

What is the state of certain kinds of security problems in the real web?

Another tidbit related to the history sniffing story from computer scientists at UC San Diego.

“The tool we ended up with is useful for answering questions that no one knew how to answer at all before: ‘what is the state of certain kinds of security problems in the real web?’” said computer science professor Hovav Shacham from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. 

The UC San Diego computer scientists did this while working on the cutting edge of how to efficiently do information tracking in a JavaScript setting.

History Sniffing and Browser Tracking / What about Mobile Browsers?

While the original history sniffing research presented at CCS10  did not look at mobile browsers, the UC San Diego computer scientists say that is something they are looking into now. 

“In general, the mobile browsers and mobile sites seem to be way behind in security,” said computer science professor Hovav Shacham from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. 

A few more details on the History Sniffing / Browser History / JavaScript story from UC San Diego

Another tidbit on the history sniffing story from the computer scientists here at UC San Diego:

The UC San Diego computer scientists added their new JavaScript information flow engine to the Chrome browser, but the approach could be implemented in other browsers. The history-sniffing detection tool currently adds an additional 60 to 70 percent to total page loading time over a fast network – fast enough to be a useful research tool but too slow for consumer use.

The Forbes story is below: 

History Sniffing: How YouPorn Checks What Other Porn Sites You’ve Visited and Ad Networks Test The Quality of Their Data

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

FICO, UC San Diego Announce Winners of International Predictive Analytics Competition

SAN DIEGO, Nov 24, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- FICO , the leading provider of analytics and decision management technology, and the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) today announced the winners of the seventh annual UCSD-FICO Data Mining Contest. Participants from six countries on four continents were among the winners who developed predictive analytics to determine which consumers were most likely to shop online.

This year, contestants were given anonymous data for more than 130,000 consumers. The data included no personally identifiable information. Based on that data, competitors built models to predict which consumers were most likely to buy products online. Participants were judged on how accurately they were able to predict future purchases.

The competition was divided into two categories -- one category utilized raw data, and one category utilized transformed data -- and each category had a Graduate and Undergraduate division. The top three finishers in each category and each division shared $10,000 in cash prizes.

"Students around the world look forward to the UCSD-FICO Data Mining Contest each year as an opportunity to put the skills they've learned in the classroom to use in a rigorous real-world competition," said professor Charles Elkan of UC San Diego Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) within the Jacobs School of Engineering.

"It's been exciting to see the growth of this competition since its inception, with over 140 participants from six continents competing this year. We are proud of all the students who participated, and we appreciate FICO's ongoing commitment to developing and encouraging the next generation of innovators in predictive analytics," said Elkan.   (Read the full press release here.)

CRCA event / Jeremy Douglass introduces Get Lamp

Get Lamp is a documentary film about text-based computer games. In the late 1970s, Adventure and Zork broke ground in the early computer game genre that is still being created today as "interactive fiction”. CRCA’s own video game scholar and postdoctoral researcher, Jeremy Douglass, who appears in the film, will introduce a screening with comments on connections to his research.

For more information about Jeremy’s work:
For more information about Get Lamp: Trailer: and Film:

For more information about CRCA :

Text Adventures featuring Yra van Dijk and Jeremy Douglass
Thursday 9th December 2010, 5pm-7pm,  followed by a reception
Calit2 Auditorium, First Floor, Atkinson Hall
UCSD Voigt Drive, La Jolla

$1000 Elevator Pitch Competition / UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge

December 3 at 5 PM is the deadline for submitting a pitch for the $1000 Elevator Pitch Competition sponsored by the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge.

Eligibility Requirements (partial). Full details here.

Each team must consist of at least one full time student, post-doctoral trainee, or recent graduate from either UCSD or the other Torrey Pines Mesa Research Institutions (The Salk Institute, Burnham Institute, Scripps Research Institute, and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography).  Recent graduates must have received their UCSD degree after August 15th in the year the current Challenge begins.

The Student/post-doc must be an active, contributing team member who is the founder or co-founder of the team, and, together with all other student/post doc team members, hold in the aggregate at least 20% of the ownership interest in the company which is the subject of such team’s submission in the competition.

Tonight: Science to Idea to Company

Learn how laboratory projects are turned into commercial ventures. The event is Dec 1, 2010: "Understanding Tech Transfer"

Where: Rady School of Management, UC San Diego
When: Dec 1, 6 to 7:30 pm


Monday, November 29, 2010

Valley of the Khans Project in San Diego Business Journal

Luke Barrington, a UC San Diego electrical engineering PhD candidate and Albert Yu-Min Lin, who earned his undergrad and graduate degrees from the Jacobs School, are in a recent San Diego Business Journal article that describes the “Field Expedition: Mongolia — Valley of the Khans Project” that Lin is leading. The article also discusses the San Diego firm -- Digitaria Interactive Inc. -- that helped build the online experience that is so crucial to this National Geographic project that enables people from around the world to help in their exploration from their computers. Learn how you can participate here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dispersive Grating

Given that cooking is on so many minds this afternoon (including mine), I have to agree to "dispersive grating" does sound like a messy and/or distributed method for grating carrots, cheese or turnips. But that's not the "dispersive grating" that UC San Diego electrical engineering PhD student Dawn Tan developed.
Scanning electron micrograph of dispersive grating before deposition of SiO2 overcladding. (Decorative blue filter added to image.)  Image credit: UC San Diego / Dawn Tan

Her dispersive grating is for manipulating light on the nanoscale in order to compress pulses of light on computer chips. This kind of on-chip pulse compression is crucial for making the optical interconnects that will replace the copper wires that connect chips in computers of the future.

Read more about this silicon photonics advance published in the journal Nature Communications.

On-Chip Light Pulses / Nature Communications

The idea of using light to carry information around within computers has been around for a long time, but making it happen has been difficult. Electrical engineers from UC San Diego took an important step forward when they created a light pulse compressor that works on silicon chips. Compressing light pulses on chips will be necessary to realize optical time division multiplexing or OTDM.

“In communications, there is this technique called optical time division multiplexing or OTDM, where different signals are interleaved in time to produce a single data stream with higher data rates, on the order of terabytes per second. We’ve created a compression component that is essential for OTDM,” said electrical engineering PhD student Dawn Tan, the first author on a new Nature Communications paper that describes the work.

The UC San Diego electrical engineers say they are the first to report a pulse compressor on a CMOS-compatible integrated platform that is strong enough for OTDM.

“In the future, this work will enable integrating multiple ‘slow’ bandwidth channels with pulse compression into a single ultra-high-bandwidth OTDM channel on a chip. Such aggregation devices will be critical for future inter- and intra-high speed digital electronic processors interconnections for numerous applications such as data centers, field-programmable gate arrays, high performance computing and more,” said Yeshaiahu Fainman, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and the last author on the new paper.

Scanning electron micrograph of dispersive grating before deposition of SiO2 overcladding. It is this dispersive grating that is responsible for the record breaking pulse compression. (Decorative blue filter added to image.)  Image credit: UC San Diego / Dawn Tan

Scanning electron micrograph of dispersive grating before deposition of SiO2 overcladding. It is this dispersive grating that is responsible for the record breaking pulse compression. (Decorative blue filter added to image.)  Image credit: UC San Diego / Dawn Tan

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Flying School Bus: Visions of the Future

See Zach Salin holding his flying school bus here.
A flying school bus isn't on the current list of Global TIES projects, but according to Zach Salin's whimsical drawing from the Jacobs School booth at UC San Diego Founders' Day, 50 years from now, that's what Jacobs School undergrads might be working on.

I can only assume the bus is running on hydrogen extracted from water via a process that requires very little or no energy to generate and store the hydrogen. 

Considering humanitarian engineering project of the future is a fun, mind-bending exercise. Anyone else have ideas of what Global TIES students will be working on in 50 years? Leave a comment or email ideas to me at: dbkane AT ucsd DOT edu

Monday, November 22, 2010

UCSD@50 Special Section in the San Diego Union Tribune

On Sunday Nov 14, the Union Tribune ran a special section outlining some of the history and highlights of UC San Diego's first 50 years.

Check out the coverage online:

Below is a screen shot of one of the pages. It includes future looking quotes from UC San Diego Bioengineering professor Gert Cauwenberghs and NanoEngineering professor Joseph Wang.

The special section includes information on how structural engineers from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering played an important role in retrofitting bridges to prepare them for earthquakes.

(That same page also has a great image of Jacobs School undergrads floating in near-zero gravity in order to made better space toilets.)

Friday, November 19, 2010

Founders' Day Photo Booth: Your Vision of the Next 50 Years

More than 150 people drew their visions of the next 50 years at a photo booth at a celebration of the University of California, San Diego’s first 50 years.

The official photo booth “directions” challenged people to envision the future of information technology and communications, health and medicine, and solutions for sustainability. Brain-to-brain and brain-to-human communications systems caught people’s imaginations, as did a wide range of sustainability solutions, and stem cell and genome-based medicines. Lots of students took on the task of envisioning the UC San Diego of the future.

UC San Diego Founders’ Day photo booth directions. Side 1Side 2.
“I have cancer. But my body will heal itself”
“I can perform photosynthesis.”
All will communicate using American Sign Language. How cool would that be?? Bilingual!!
It will all be telepathy with an option of “out of office” message from your head.

Way less traffic since we can fly.

UC San Diego cloud campus

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

UC San Diego Bioengineering Professor Shyni Varghese: "We need to know what is happening in nature before we can successfully mimic it"

UC San Diego Professor Shyni Varghese’s bioengineering research projects span the continuum from basic research to translational work aimed at bridging the bench-to-bed divide. The lab, however, is united by one overarching goal: to treat dysfunctional tissues or organs using stem cells and healthy tissues derived from stem cells.

“I strongly believe that if we don’t fundamentally understand the science, then the translational work cannot happen. We need to know what is happening in nature before we can successfully mimic it,” said Varghese.

Read about a recent project from the Varghese lab that was led by undergraduate bioengineering students from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Undergrad Bioengineers Advance Stem Cell Science at UC San Diego

Han Lim (right)and bioengineering professor Shyni Varghese (left) in 2008.  Lim is one of the bioengineering undergraduates who created an artificial environment for stem cells that simultaneously provides the chemical, mechanical and electrical cues necessary for stem cell growth and differentiation.  

Check out the stem cell research performed by undergraduate bioengineers at UC San Diego.

The translucent materials bridging the dishes in the photo are “agarose salt bridges” -- part of the electrochemical cell used to subject hydrogels to an electric field. Learn more.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Engineering Bear Gets a Scarf

The rock sculpture of the bear in the engineering courtyard got a hand-knitted scarf this morning, thanks to a dedicated and talented group of UC San Diego friends and supporters.

I don't have all the details of how this came about, but the photos speak for themselves. This is part of UC San Diego's 50th birthday party.  Check out more photos on UCSD Bear's Facebook page:

The official name of the bear is "Bear."  Read more about this Tim Hawkinson sculpture on the Stuart Collection website.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

For Students Only: Free Thanksgiving Weekend Shuttle from UC San Diego to San Airport

UC San Diego FREE holiday shuttle for students

More holiday shuttle info:

Scenes from a NanoEngineering Lab: (Part 3)

Here is the third post on chemical engineering major Maria Zimmerman, who is an undergraduate student researcher in a nanomachine-focused lab run by NanoEngineering professor Joseph Wang.

In a previous post, Maria said that she got her foot in the Wang lab door through a fellowship, and stayed because she loved it. It was a fellowship for the UC San Diego California Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (CAMP) in Science, Engineering and Mathematics program.

In the first post and second post, Maria in photographed in the lab and gives a bit of advice to undergrads thinking about trying their (gloved) hands at research:

Maria said: "Ask for responsibility. The work only gets interesting if they trust you want to do it. You are just wasting your time if you go in to clean pipette tips."

But what does Maria actually do in the lab?

"I work in the nanomotors section of Dr Wang's research lab. My recent work has been on nanomotor controlled in vitro drug delivery. We are able to manually control the nanomotors ability to pick up, transport, and drop off cancer drug carrying microparticles. We are striving towards a realistic model for in vivo applications," said Maria Zimmerman.