Saturday, February 27, 2010
Saturday February 27: Structural engineering professor Jose Restrepo is scheduled to take part in a 4:30 PM live discussion in the KUSI studio on the damage to Chile's buildings and other infrastructure in the wake of the 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Albert earned his BS, MS, and PhD at the Jacobs School of Engineering here at UC San Diego. Read more about the contest here.
Peruse the posters titles here. Register for Research Expo for full access to all the abstracts.
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Eyes on Screen: Communicating Science in the New Information Age
Sunday, February 21, 2010: 8:30 AM-11:30 AM
Data on information use patterns in the United States suggest that the screen now trumps the printed page as the favored information conveyer. Americans extract their science information predominately from television and the Internet and, although still heavily print-based, communication within the science culture is also rapidly transitioning to online platforms. While print channels will continue to serve as important homes for narrative, both popular and professional, media and science outlets are experimenting with delivering science information on screen in thoughtful and analytical ways. In this session, the panel will explore some of those efforts.
Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin
Lynne Friedmann, Friedmann Communications
Dennis Meredith, Independent Consultant Using Multimedia To Advance Your Research
Bora Zivkovic, PLoS One Science 2.0: From Tweet Through Blog to Book
(Zivkovic's blog is A blog around the clock)
Evan Hadingham, NOVA/WGBH The Changing Landscape of Science on Television
Jane Stevens, The World Company Audience, Schmaudience: Science Goes Social
Philip Bourne, University of California, San Diego Telling Research Stories Through SciVee
Robert Semper, Exploratorium Supporting Scientists To Tell Their Own Story
Video of wind turbine being tested at the UC San Diego Large Outdoor High-Performance Shake Table using the 1992 M7.3 Landers Earthquake Recorded Motion. The UCSD shake table is the largest outdoor shake table in the U.S. (More info on the shake in the media advisory.)
For more information and to find the original video, visit:http://nees.ucsd.edu/
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Smarr is the founding Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a partnership of the University of California, San Diego and UC Irvine, which will celebrate its 10th anniversary next December. He is also a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering department of UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering.
Monday, February 22, 2010
The 80-foot , 65-kilowatt turbine, donated by Oak Creek Energy Systems, was built in the 1980s and operated in Tehachapi, Calif.
Check out the live web cam:http://nees.ucsd.edu/resources/video-sw.shtml
media advisory below:
Press Briefing and Dramatic Photo Opportunity Engineers to Shake Wind Turbine During Strong Simulated Jolts
WHEN: 2 p.m., Monday, Feb. 22, 2010 (test subject to weather conditions)
WHERE: UC San Diego Englekirk Structural Engineering Center, Camp Elliott (Scripps Ranch)10205 Pomerado Rd., San Diego, 92128 map
WHO: Ahmed Elgamal, Structural Engineering Professor, UC San Diego, Enrique Luco, Structural Engineering Professor, UC San Diego, Chia-Ming Uang, Structural Engineering Professor, UC San Diego, Reps from Oak Creek Energy Systems, an Escondido, Calif,.-based wind energy company
WHAT: Witness the dramatic shaking of a wind turbine during a series of simulated earthquakes at the UC San Diego Englekirk Structural Engineering Center. UC San Diego engineers are expected to test the turbine under simulated earthquakes 7.0 magnitude and greater. This is the second in a series of shake tests. The first set of tests earlier this month was the first time a wind turbine was tested on a shake table with the blades in operation. The 80-foot , 65-kilowatt turbine, donated by Oak Creek Energy Systems, was built in the 1980s and operated in Tehachapi, Calif. The same materials are used to build modern-day wind turbines, which stand 150 feet tall and higher. Little seismic research has been conducted on wind turbines until now. As wind farms become a growing critical component of the world’s “green” power generation, industry leaders and researchers are studying their performance and looking for ways to further enhance their seismic design. Under this $400,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, UCSD engineers will be able to do just that. The Englekirk Structural Engineering Center, which has the largest outdoor shake table in the world, is the only facility capable of testing a full scale wind turbine.
CONTACT: Andrea Siedsma, (760) 840-0494(cell); firstname.lastname@example.org
The Department of NanoEngineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering announces the Bachelor of Science degree in NanoEngineering (download PDF for more info) beginning Fall 2010.
To learn about the new curriculum, and discuss options for current Freshman students to transfer into the program for Fall 2010, come to the meeting.
When? Monday, February 22 from 7-8pm.
Where? Atkinson Hall (Calit1 Auditorium)
Friday, February 19, 2010
I posted this question on Yelp...follow the conversation on best Mexican in San Diego via the thread I started here:
Summary from above Yelp thread on best Mexican kinda close to the San Diego convention center:
La Puerta (walking distance, some like, some don't. City Beat review here.)
Las Quatras Milpas (cab ride to Barrio Logan)
La Fachada (cab ride or trolley to Logan Heights) I've been here...kinda greasy Tijuana-style tacos
El Agave (Old Town...suggester said he hadn't been since 2008...can take the trolley, I think...)
Super Cocina (Normal Heights...need to cab it...cute gentrified neighborhood...fondly called by the locals "abnormal heights")
El Borrego Restaurant (City Heights...need to cab it...not gentrified San Diego neighborhood)
Salazar's Fine Mexican Food (East Village...walk or cab...not alone at night) I've never been, but I always wonder why people put "fine" in the name of a restaurant...
I'll keep updating the list.
Here is my review of La Fachada , a Mexican place east of downtown in Logan Heights. (You'll see that a few people have mentioned it on the best Mexican in San Diego Yelp thread.) It's a 30 minute walk...and I wouldn't do it alone at night. It was okay...but if you want to experience a Tijuana-style taco in San Diego, this is one option. The location is 25th and Imperial...I think there is a trolley station nearby as well...but I haven't taken it. There are a few other Mexican places to try near that intersection...the food is kind of heavy to digest, but a little taste of Tijuana without crossing the border is possible here.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Here is a nice time line of the various UC San Diego involvement at AAAS 2010 (Twitter hashtag: #AAAS10)
One of the talks tied to Calit2/SDSC/Jacobs School is called "What's Next for the Net? The Internet of Things and Ubiquitous Computing." It's on Friday from 1:30 to 3 PM.
My homemade molasses cookies are in the newsroom. I'm the guy with the blue bag with a sign that says AAAS cookies. Patrick McGinness from EurekAlert says I should highlight the fact that they are homemade. It's true. Last week, I did some serious baking.
Not into junk food? Neither am I. Say hi anyway.
Dear Reporters and PIOs at AAAS 2010,
I made about 500 molasses cookies for you. I'll be around at the meeting. If you are in dire need of a (mostly) organic molasses cookie (my great grandma's Nebraska farm recipe), I hope you find me. I'll be posting twitter updates with my location. Follow me for the latest: http://twitter.com/UCSDJacobs I'll be hashtagging #aaas2010
Some of the cookies are inspired by cell biology...I've got some mitosis cookies (cell division) and a few "four-celled organism" cookies.
If you are in San Diego for AAAS, that means you're in the convention center, and that means that if you venture out of the convention center/hotel/reception bubble you are in danger of eating overpriced and underwhelming food. Sure, there are lots of receptions with free appetizers and snacks. But if you are looking to leave the Convention Center vortex for a bit of fresh air and non-reception food (just briefly, lest Ginger Pinholster get nervous!), I have a few ideas for you. (Leave comments with additional ideas and thoughts on these ideas.)
City Beat puts out guides for eating downtown for Comic Con, and these guides are good primer on eating near the San Diego convention center...even you are not a comic book nut. Comic Con 2009 food near the San Diego convention center. Comic Con 2008 food near the San Diego convention center.
Update FridayFeb 19: There is a grass-fed burger place O'Brothers in the mall near the convention center. Yelp has more info here. I can't vouch for how fast the service is, and their veggie burger is too fried for my taste.
If you only sneak away once from the convention center for food, go to the Little Italy farmers market on Saturday. Where? ( The intersection of Date St. and India St. in downtown San Diego.) It's walking distance or a very short cab or tram ride from the Convention Center.
If you are eating in the Gaslamp, La Puerta is one place to consider...it's close to the convention center and also a spot to enjoy a cold one. Check out a recent review from City Beat by Candice Woo.
Check out all of Woo's San Diego restaurant reviews here. A quick scan will give you some quick perspective on the San Diego restaurant landscape.
Update Friday AM: More thoughts on eating in San Diego. If you are on foot, consider a place on G called Neighborhood. (Check it out on Yelp...but IMHO be wary of the Yelp reviews of the places in the Gaslamp.)
Also on G, but pricer is Cafe Chloe.
North Park (not walking distance from Convention Center)
If you are cabbing it w/ some friends, consider North Park. Here is a North Park restaurant blog: http://the2line.blogspot.com/ For local/sustainable seafood in San Diego (in North Park) check out Sea Rocket Bistro. If you go, I suggest the grilled sardines appetizers and whatever the catch of the day is.
For sustainable sausage (grass fed / humane(ish) meat) in North Park, the only place is The Linkery (but they are packed on peak dinner hours on the weekend. go early. go late.)
For a great cheese plate and fun atmosphere (props to Stacey the owner!...who I only know from being a customer), saunter up to the bar at Ritual Tavern (also in North Park).
And if you are looking for a place to observe some colorful humane plumage, check out the all-sexual-orientations-colors-ages karaoke bar in North Park called Redwing.
The AAAS Annual Meeting is in San Diego...starting...now! I'll be updating this blog from the meeting, as well as providing some background on San Diego for folks where are in town for
AAAS. Stay tuned.
I worked at AAAS for five years, so it will be fun to be back at the meeting...but as an attendee.
Update 1: Eating in San Diego near the convention center. A primer.
Bioengineering professor Gert Cauwenberghs is presenting this week at "chalk talk" at UCSD's Institute for Neural Computation. Abstract below:
We are embarking on an exciting journey in our continued and renewed efforts, with the DARPA Neovision2 program, towards reverse engineering the visual system in silicon. I will share the visions and plans of our team that spans the two coasts and the spectrum between neuroscience and neuroengineering. I will also briefly present a scalable approach to
realizing locally dense and globally sparse connectivity in large-scale reconfigurable neuromorphic systems, towards a real-time and low-power silicon model of neocortical vision with over a million neurons and a billion synapses.
INC Chalk Series Winter-Spring 2010:
2/4 Terry Sejnowski: motor cortex dynamics
2/18 Gert Cauwenberghs: Neovision2
3/4 no chalk -- INC/SCCN open house
3/18 Tzyy-Ping Jung: wireless BCI
4/15 Howard Poizner: motion capture and brain dynamics
Ingolf Krueger is involved in a variety of projects at the Jacobs School of Engineering and Calit2. He directs the Service-Oriented Software and Systems Engineering Laboratory. He also directs the Gordon Center for Engineering Leadership at the Jacobs School of Engineering.
Friday, February 12, 2010
KUSI is just one of the local TV stations that covered the earthquake tests of wind turbines. As far as we know, this is the first shake test of wind turbines in which the turbine blades were turning during the test. Below is what KUSI had to say:
UCSD quake-tests wind turbines
Earthquakes and renewable energy aren't usually mentioned in the same conversation, but a team of engineers at UC San Diego wants to know what one would do to the other.
Tuesday is E-Games: You get to drop squishy items from a huge helium balloon on Warren Mall. In the past, the students have dropped tomatoes, but this year, they are switching things up...so what exactly students will be trying to protect from the 50-foot drop is a mystery (to me at least).
Wednesday: ENSPIRE 450 8th graders come to campus and get a glimpse of life on campus, and life as an engineering student. It's a fun/exciting/wild day. And the number of Jacobs undergrads who come out to volunteer is incredible...hundreds of volunteers...and you can never have too many volunteers when you've got 450 8th graders on your hands.
Thursday: resume workshop and general prep for the big event the following day.
Friday: DECaF A huge, student-organized career fair just for engineering students from the Jacobs School. It's an impressive event.
All the info is on the TESC website:
I just put up the press release on the Jacobs School site...it is also up on the Bioengineering news site, and it will make its way up on the Institute of Engineering in Medicine site and the UC San Diego news site. The story is also up on EurekAlert.
“We are just getting to the point where the math and engineering methods are starting to be developed to allow one to study brain networks at the scale of individual cells,” said Silva. His lab collaborates with Henry Abarbanel’s group in the Department of Physics at UC San Diego on mathematical modeling of neurophysiological systems and computational neuroscience.
In the ASN NEURO paper, the researchers used calcium imaging to study a purified astrocyte network. Meanwhile, novel complementary techniques, including “two photon optical microscopy” are raising the possibility of experimental tools capable of testing and validating new theories about how the brain functions from the perspective of cellular networks. This technology could also help researchers uncover how individual brain cells behave as signals propagate through a given network. The Silva lab collaborates with Anna Devor’s Neurovascular Imaging Laboratory in the Department of Neuroscience at UC San Diego on experimental cellular imaging and neurophysiology.
Today’s fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging) tools are useful for studying the brain, but their spatial resolution is far too course to provide insights at the cellular level. “With fMRI, you have no information on what is happening at the individual circuit and network level,” said Silva. With technologies such as two photon optical microscopy, researchers are aiming to uncover how the brain works in much finer detail.
Mapping Brain Networks is Just the Start
While mapping the activity of cell networks is “a fantastically interesting problem” according to Silva, it is just the beginning. A more difficult problem involves determining how the brain uses that information. “Pushing the envelope of understanding for these types of problems requires breakthroughs in engineering, math and physics. That is the interesting part for us,” said Silva.
“Amyloid-β directly induces spontaneous calcium transients, delayed intercellular calcium waves, and gliosis in rat cortical astrocytes” by Siu-Kei Chow 1*, Diana Yu 1*, Christopher L. MacDonald 1*, Marius Buibas 1, and Gabriel A. Silva 1,2,3 at1 Department of Bioengineering,2 Department of Ophthalmology,3 Neurosciences Program, University of California, San Diego*These authors contributed equally to this work
This work was supported by funds from the NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) at the NIH (National Institutes of Health)
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Participation in the weekly seminars, presentations, and tours as scheduled all count towards the 40-hour work week. The scholarship amount of $3000 will be paid in two installments of $1500 each.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Check out the photo gallery here.
Learn more about the ViaCar project here...which, if you're keeping track, used to be called NatCar.
ViaCar is an undergraduate design competition sponsored by ViaSat and hosted by UC San Diego. Teams of undergraduate students design, build, and race an autonomous car which must follow a track marked by white tape on dark-colored carpet. Under the tape, there is a wire carrying a 100mA rms 75kHz sinusoidal signal. The fastest cars travel at average speeds of up to 10ft/s. IEEE UCSD provides funding for several teams to compete.
The goal of the ViaCar project is to build an autonomous 1/10 scale RC car car that can race around track marked by a wire carrying a sinusoidal current. Two potential approaches are optics and magnetics. Since the course is marked by white tape, an optical approach might use a camera and image processing to try to “see” the track and determine the car’s position and orientation relative to the track. The electromagnetic approach relies on Faraday’s law of induction, which states that the induced electromotive force or EMF in any closed circuit is equal to the time rate of change of the magnetic flux through the circuit. If you place a coil near the track, a sinusoidally-varying EMF will be induced in the coil, the magnitude of which will depend on the coil’s orientation and distance from the wire. One can then feed this signal into a controller which will actuate the car's steering mechanism to steer the car back on track.
The competition is held annually in May in the form of a race. The competition website has more details. The team with the lowest total time, including penalities, wins!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Scott LaFee from the San Diego Union Tribune wrote a story in the Sunday Feb 7 paper about the shake tests happening over this week and next out at the UCSD Englekirk Structural Engineering Center. They are testing wind turbines...and how wind turbines will fare during a series of earthquakes. More info on the tests is here, in a previous blog post.
LaFee's story, which includes a nice photo of structural engineering professor Ahmed Algamal is here: Wind turbine getting seismic shakedown Structure’s performance in temblors to be tested
Here is a web cam of the shake table.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Engineer's Week 2010...aka E-Week is coming to the Jacobs School. TESC has an E-Week site where you can get all the info. They also have tons of info on Facebook.
Be sure to check out the embedded videos from Last year's E-Week...available at the site above or embedded below:
DECaF (Jacobs School student-run career fair)
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Post your advice at http://blog.ucsd.edu/libstratplan/ and have your say. The blog is also linked off the libraries’ homepage. The blog is available through February 10, 2010. In addition, there will be traveling whiteboards throughout the lobbies of the libraries for you to have your say over the next three weeks.
Blog available through February 21, 2010
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
If you've never been to a Research Expo at the Jacobs School, you don't know what you are missing.
There are more than 200 posters, each with a grad student standing there ready to explain the research and it's implications. It's like a real life engineering encyclopedia...where all the entries are cutting edge.
There are also faculty talks, and a keynote by National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member Lawrence Papay entitled "Renewables and America's Energy Future". And speaking of America's energy future, reading Carbon Nation this morning, I stumbled across IEEE Spectrum's "energy wise" blog.
Last year's Research Expo grad student winners are here.
Registration info for folks who want to check out all the talented Jacobs School students is here.
This year, Research Expo is on April 15, 2010, and it starts at 12:30 PM (in the afternoon...not in the morning like it has in past years.)
If you are a grad student at the Jacobs School, make sure to submit your poster. The student poster submission site is here.
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Here is the blog post from Google (via Xconomy).
The New York Times blog post is here.
The North County Times blog post is here.
In the last issue of Pulse, the Jacobs School alumni magazine, I wrote about how Tajana Simunic Rosing is working to make data centers both green and flexible.
She and Amin Vahdat were are also part of the Multi-Scale Systems Center (MuSyC), which will focus on tackling a critical issue affecting multiple scales: energy efficiency.
Here is the Web page for computer science professor Steven Swanson.
What if breeze outside could be used to cool a building...kind of like a natural fan. That is part of the idea behind a new grant to mechanical enginering professor Paul Linden, who also directs UC San Diego Sustainability Solutions Institute.
We wrote about Linden's work with natural ventilation in conjunction with the San Diego Children's Museum. (It was a past issue of Pulse the Jacobs School alumni magazine.)
Below is part of the announcement that the UC San Diego Sustainability Solutions Institute put out today.
...but first...if you are still reading, you'll probably be interested in UC San Diego's Greenovation Forums. The next one is about sustainability and nature.
UC San Diego Sustainability Solutions Institute (SSI’s) Director and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) professor Paul Linden has been awarded $1.9 Million dollars from the California Energy Commission (CEC) to study the potential for natural ventilation retrofits in California’s commercial building stock. The contract is part of the Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program and involves partnerships with Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment, ARUP San Francisco, and CPP Wind.
Buildings are responsible for approximately 35% of greenhouse gas emissions. It is estimated that natural ventilation in new construction and, more importantly, retrofits could significantly reduce the carbon footprint of California’s commercial building stock. However, the implementation of natural ventilation is impeded by a number of significant barriers.
The goal the research is to conduct a comprehensive study of these issues and provide the knowledge and new tools to the community that will allow owners, designers and policy makers to make informed decisions about the implementation of natural ventilation in California. The proposed program will also provide the first tool in a recognized building energy simulation program to allow the different design alternatives to be analyzed, and for the potential energy savings and greenhouse gas emission reductions to be calculated accurately. The present limitations make wind-driven natural ventilation a risky strategy for a designer to recommend and so severely hamper its adoption. This program should remove these barriers and provide the tools and information for the appropriate implementation of natural ventilation in commercial buildings.More information about the CEC’s Building End-Use Energy Efficiency Research program can be found here.
Monday, February 1, 2010
The latest issue of the UCSD alumni magazine is now online. You can get the online/print hybrid experience at: http://www.pursuantmedia.com/ucsd/0110/
Or hit this page for the UCSD alumni magazine:
Page 25 includes a Q&A with engineering alum Matt Newsome.