Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Technologies to Track Disasters

Bruce Bigelow has an interesting story in Xconomy about the sensors, wireless networks, wind-speed monitors and other technologies deployed in San Diego County to track and perhaps predict wildfires. Some of this work is being done here at UC San Diego (see below) and read the full story here at Xconomy.
"A more sophisticated wireless sensor network, such as the High Performance Wireless Research and Education Network developed by researchers at UC San Diego, serves as a model of the type of network that could provide even more data, including imagery, that could help in the prediction of and response to disasters, according to Hans-Werner Braun of the San Diego Supercomputer Center."

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Fall Quarter is Here: This Week @ UCSD is Back, the weekly email on what is happening (and what just happened) at UC San Diego is back. Yesterday marked the first issue of This Week.

Subscribe to This Week here.

One of the links is to a new book on the UC San Diego campus.

Monday, September 27, 2010

CleanTech San Diego and Long-Range Weather Prediction

Remember the San Diego Clean Tech Innovation and Commercialization Program that the von Liebig Center helped to run? Well, one of the projects selected (and funded at $50K) -- a novel scientific method for predicting extreme hot and cold weather events created at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO) at UC San Diego -- spun out of Scripps into EarthRisk Technologies. The latest issue of "Explorations" the e-magazine from SIO has a nice story about the project.

"Scripps climate scientist Alexander Gershunov, along with postdoctoral researcher Kristen Guirguis, developed the new approach, which uses past weather information to predict extreme temperature and precipitation events. The method offers forecasts for regions around the world with lead times up to 40 days. Existing techniques for predicting weather don't offer strong data beyond 15 days. "
The full story by Shannon Casey is here. More info on the Von Liebig Center is here.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Raj Krishnan / Biological Dynamics in Voice of San Diego Feature Story

Our old friend Raj Krishnan is featured in a Voice of San Diego story about his quest to cure cancer via the startup company (Biological Dynamics) that grew out of his bioengineering PhD research here at the Jacobs School of Engineering. Read the VoSD story by Claire Trageser here.

Below is the video interview we did with Krishnan in December 2009.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Trey Ideker Paper in Nature Methods this Week

Researchers Map Thousands of MAPK Protein Interactions

Investigators, led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have mapped a huge network of protein interactions involving Mitogen Activated Protein Kinase (MAPK) pathways. Their study will be published in the advanced online edition of Nature Methods on September 19.

“MAP kinases play an important role in human disease and as drug targets, so a better understanding of their thousands of interactions will likely identify new targets,” said principal investigator Trey Ideker, PhD, chief of the Division of Genetics at UC San Diego. Ideker is also a professor in the Department of Bioengineering here at the Jacobs School.

Read the full story by Debra Kain here.

Bridge Column Shake Video...have you seen it yet?

If you haven't seen the 24 foot bridge column swaying on the shake table, check out this video on the Jacobs School YouTube Channel.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

New! Calit2 Research Video

December 2010 marks the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology's 10th anniversary. Calit2's research unites faculty, students and technical professionals at UC San Diego and UC Irvine with private-sector partners and state or federal funding agencies to explore how emerging information technologies and ...telecommunications can transform arenas vital to the state's economy and our citizens' quality of life. In its second decade, Calit2 aims to focus much of its research on four application thrusts of broad societal importance: culture; energy; the environment; and health.

To do so, Calit2 will continue to invest in the development of cutting-edge technologies that can enable advances across multiple sectors and industries. Building on past successes, Calit2 will focus these enabling technologies on wireless communications, photonics, cyberspace, as well as nanotechnology and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS). The institute will continue to develop 'living laboratories' and research spaces to house multidisciplinary collaborations -- ensuring that the breadth and crosscutting nature of Calit2's research teams will result in new technologies, systems and expertise that are consistent with the institute's successes to date.See More

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bridge Column Shake Video on Union Tribune Web Site

The video of yesterday's bridge column shaking, along with a summary of the project and some insights from structural engineering professor Jose Restrepo, are on the Science Quest blog.

Bridge Column Shake Footage on YouTube

A short clip from yesterday's shake test is on the Jacobs School YouTube channel. Learn more at the

The seismic behavior of full-scale bridge columns designed based on current Caltrans practice is being investigated using the UCSD shake table as part of an extensive test program with E-Defense (Japan) and UC Berkeley in an effort to improve current bridge design and analysis practices. Learn more:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Shake Testing today: Bridge Columns

Today's shake tests out at Englekirk start in about 30 minutes.

Update: follow the latest from the shake tests today on twitter:

A 24-foot tall bridge column will undergo a series of simulated earthquake tests up to a 7.0 magnitude, conducted by UC San Diego structural engineers, beginning on Sept. 20. The bridge column is modeled after those designed by CALTRANS over the last 15 years. It will be the first time engineers will test a full scale bridge column of this kind on an earthquake simulator. The engineers will test the seismic vulnerability of these bridge columns and to provide additional data for improving future designs.
Check out the live cam:

Friday, September 17, 2010

In depth Implantable Glucose Sensor Story

If you want some more background and perspective on the implantable glucose sensor that worked for more than one year in pigs, below is a great place to start. The article is from "A Sweet Life: The source for the healthy diabetic" describes the research published in July in Science Translational Medicine. Here is the press release for this research led by bioengineering professor David Gough from UC San Diego.

Von Liebig Center Helps San Diego Universities Win DOE Clean Tech Grant

San Diego university and industry leaders will work to accelerate the transfer of energy efficiency and renewable energy innovations from university laboratories into the marketplace under a new three-year, $1.05 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).  The UC San Diego William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Rady School of Management in partnership with the San Diego State University will hold a series of Regional Energy Innovation Challenges, providing fellowships and extensive mentoring support for students and faculty working on the most promising technologies.

Read the full story on the Jacobs School Web site.

Rosibel Ochoa, Executive Director, Von Liebig Center, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Xconomy's Google Street View Story is Interesting

The Google Street View story in Xconomy includes a Q&A with Luc Vincent from Google who has been involved with Street View from the start. This story ties into the "Pedestrian Remover" for Street View created by UC San Diego computer science graduate student Arturo Flores and computer science professor Serge Belongie.

Mechanical Engineering Major / Water Polo Player named Athete of the Week

Mechanical engineering major Bryce Madsen is a UC San Diego Athlete of the Week this week. He is a senior driver on the Men's Water Polo team.

As a Junior in 2009, Madsen finished second on the team with 37 goals scored and added 20 assists. He scored three goals in an exciting 14-13 overtime win over Redlands in the first-round of the WWPA Championship tournament. He also scored two goals in an 8-7 upset win over Concordia at the Northern California tournament.

Learn more about Madsen on the UC San Diego Athletics Web site.

Keep up with UC San Diego Athletes of the Week Winners here.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Listen Up: A Story on How Beaked Whales Hear

Structural Engineers Develop Simulation to Better Understand the Effects of Sound on Marine Life

Below are the first two paragraphs from the story in the San Diego Union Tribune.

A team of researchers with San Diego ties has simulated the effects of sounds in whales' heads using computer software to model how marine mammals hear.

The preliminary results are important in helping academic scientists and the U.S. Navy determine if sounds such as sonar harm whales and dolphins, said Petr Krysl, a structural engineering professor at University of California San Diego and one of the researchers on the ongoing project.
Check out the full story in the San Diego Union Tribune by Lilly Leung.

The press release from the Jacobs School is here.

Bridge Columns To Be Tested on Jacobs School Shake Table

A 24-foot tall bridge column will undergo a series of simulated earthquake tests up to a 7.0 magnitude, conducted by UC San Diego structural engineers, beginning on Sept. 20. The bridge column is modeled after those designed by CALTRANS over the last 15 years. It will be the first time engineers will test a full scale bridge column of this kind on an earthquake simulator.  The engineers will test the seismic vulnerability of these bridge columns and to provide additional data for improving future designs.

Check out the live cam:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Electrical Engineering (ECE) News and Events

For the latest news, events and goings on from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), check out the ECE home page:

Monday, September 13, 2010

UC San Diego Engineering mentioned in Union Tribune look-back story on 9-11-2001

The San Diego Union Tribune story, "How the 9/11 attacks changed life in San Diego: Aftereffects of terrorist attacks include longer waits at the border, tighter security for travelers and military growth" mentions research being done here at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Friday, September 10, 2010

YY Zhou / More Reliable Computing

Calit2's Tiffany Fox wrote a nice profile on Yuanyuan (YY) Zhou, a computer science professor here at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

“People always ask why their systems fail, and the computer industry is starting to pay attention to this reliability issue,” explains Zhou, who joined the UCSD Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) in the Jacobs School of Engineering in the summer of 2009. “Fundamentally, my research is about making computer systems less vulnerable to attacks so they crash less. When Windows crashes, it’s more of an inconvenience, but when an e-commerce site crashes it can really be a problem.”

Zhou is the first holder of the Qualcomm Endowed Chair in Mobile Computing. The chair is one of four established in the Jacobs School of Engineering through Qualcomm’s original $15 million commitment to the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Read the story on the Calit2 news site.

Check out a few more great photos of computer sicnece professor YY Zhou taken by Erik Jepsen on the Calit2 Flickr site.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Working on the next issue of Pulse

We're hard at work on the Fall 2010 issue of Pulse, the alumni magazine from the Jacobs School of Engineering.

In the meantime, check out a few of my favorite stories for the last issue.

Selections from Research Expo 2010

Geckos of the Sea

San Diegans and their Cell Phones Monitor Air Pollution

The Pulse archive is here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Engineering and Science of Surfboard Story in the San Diego Union Tribune

Congratulations to Benjamin Thompson and to the team of mechanical engineering undergraduates from UC San Diego who were featured in a story printed in today's San Diego Union Tribune.

Here is the online version of the Union Tribune science of surfing story by Lily Leung.  (Check out the videos here and here and the photos are on the Jacobs School Flickr account. the original Jacobs School surfing story is here.)

Friday, September 3, 2010

GreenDroid Chip Research in San Diego Union Tribune

The UC San Diego chip prototype that uses dark silicon to improve smartphone performance is highlighted in a San Diego Union Tribune story by Ashly McGlone.

Read the full UT story here. Read the related GreenDroid Jacobs School story here.

Check out the GreenDroid page run by the researchers in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at UC San Diego. The professors leading the research are Steven Swanson and Michael Taylor. This work was presented recently at the HotChips symposium in Palo Alto. Check out the Green Droid HotChips slides here (PDF).