Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Eitan Yaakobi is Making Flash Memory Better

Eitan Yaakobi earned a 2010 Intel Ph.D. Fellowship

"The number of times you can erase the memory is limited,” said Eitan Yaakobi, an electrical engineering PhD student at UC San Diego. “We are working on advanced coding schemes for flash to extend the lifetime and reliability of the memory so the next generation of flash will be more reliable and will have better endurance.”

Yaakobi is advised by professors Paul Siegel, Alexander Vardy and Jack Wolf from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

Learn more about Yaakobi's work on the Jacobs School news site.

Seismic Testing of Wind Turbines / UCSD TV Tonight

Tonight at 9 PM US PT is the first airing of a new UCSD TV program, "Seismic Testing of Wind Turbines for Renewable Energy."

The show will be online shortly. Check back here for the online version.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

LED Pumpkin Contest

What: LED Pumpkin Contest
When: Thursday 10/28/10, 4:00 pm

Where: Warren Mall

Compete with fellow engineers and join our 2nd annual LED Pumpkin Contest! Carve out an engineering themed pumpkin, light it with LEDs and win a prize! Everyone's welcome so invite your friends and form a team! It's free and fun! Please RSVP your team at:

 Check out last year's contest.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cross-Border Regional Entrepreneurism and Technology Alliance

UC San Diego is partnering with Universidad Autónoma de Baja California (UABC) in a research and education program designed to stimulate technology commercialization and economic development in the Southern California-Baja California region. Under the partnership, UC San Diego’s top-ranked Jacobs School of Engineering and its William J. von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement will work with UABC’s highly regarded Institute of Engineering and the Center for Technology Development and Transfer to form a crossborder regional entrepreneurism and technology alliance called “CREATE.”

Read more the Jacobs School news site: cross-border regional entrepreneurism and technology alliance.

From L to R, Eugenio Clariond Reyes-Retana, CEO of Verzatec and a member of the Council of Advisors for the Jacobs School of Engineering; Rosibel Ochoa, director of the von Liebig Center; and Gabriel Estrella Valenzuela, president of UABC.

More photos from Bioengineers Teaching About Heart Valves and How Blood Defies Gravity

More photos from Bioengineers Teaching About Heart Valves and How Blood Defies Gravity

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Paper Heart Valves and Kids Finally Meet

Adam Young says it's going great at the UC San Diego bioengineering booth at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Here are two snapshot views of the booth in action. 

Bioengineers in DC at USA Science & Engineering Festival / Photos!

Photos from Saturday morning booth set up at the USA Science & Engineering Festival. Read all about the project here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Booth Progress: Paper Valve Making...Not Yet

The banners are up, the posters are up, the kids...well, they are still at home patiently waiting for tomorrow. And so are we. In the meantime, setup photos below and full story is here.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Valves in your Heart and Veins are One Way Streets.

The Valves in your Heart and Veins are One Way Streets. But don't take my word for it. Talk to the bioengineering students who are taking this message to the nation's capital this weekend. It's part of the USA Science & Engineering Festival.

Read all about the project on the heart valve story on the Jacobs School Web site.

Watch a preliminary video of the UCSD bioengineering students in the process of creating their make-your-own-blood-valves activity for kids.

 A few photos are below, and stay tuned for photos and updates from the students at the event over the weekend.

                                          Bioengineering undergad Robert Amezquita with one of the valves from the students heart-valve timeline.

                                           The heart-vavle timeline.
                                           (Above and below: Bioengineering Ph.D. student Jessica DeQuach holds a Bjork-Shiley heart valve, part of the heart valve timeline the students created for the USA Science & Engineering Festi

Union Tribune Story: UCSD part of $1.6 million smart-grid grant

Check out Onell Soto's story in today's San Diego Union Tribune on the new smart-grid grant that UC San Diego is part of.

Two Jacobs School Employees on "40 under 40" List from Urban League of San Diego County

The Urban League of San Diego County, Equal Opportunity Day and Diversity Summit announced its first class of Forty Under 40 awardees on October 1, 2010. Terrance Mayes, director of Engineering Student Services at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, and Ebonee Williams, Managing Director, Bernard and Sophia Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering, are two of the award winners. (Photos to come.)

The award is intended to introduce young leaders who are playing critical roles in the community and professional arenas within San Diego County.  The Forty Under 40 awards program honors 40 men and women under the age of 40 who have been making headlines in their fields. Read more.

Tau Beta Pi / Computer Science Honor Society Wins Outstanding Chapter Award

UCSD's engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi, was awarded the "nation's most outstanding chapter" award, which they also won in 2007.
The chapter was established in 1994 and with more than 150 members is one of the most visible and active student organizations on campus. The chapter provides community service and works with other student organizations to plan campus-wide events. TBP offers free tutoring for all engineering students in lower and upper division engineering classes, and sends members to local grade schools each week to teach basic science and engineering principles using experiments.

Read through the chapter's calendar of events to get a sense of the whirlwind of activities that the members organize each month. Coming up is the LED Pumpkin Carving Contest, IM Dodgeball, a Kayaking excursion, several community service opportunities, and its spring ThinkGREEN! event to encourage high school students to pursue careers in sustainable and renewable energy.
Tau Beta Pi is open to the top eighth of juniors and top fifth of seniors at the Jacobs School. To be initiated, prospective members are required to put in 15 hours of work for the honor society. Members are encouraged to continue participating in activities long after the minimum service requirement is met.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

2010 Programming Contest

On October 16, 2010, UCSD students participatedin the Fall 2010 UCSD Programming Contest over the course of five hours. 36 students participated and 20 pizzas were consumed. Below is a summary of thecontest, more details (photos and detailed results) are available at:

The contest consisted of 8 problems, and the top honors go to Elliott Slaughter for solving 5 problems with a combined time of 420 minutes. Junior David Michon placed second, and Haoxi Fang,Van Lam, Andrew Chen, and Matt Der rounded out the top six, each with 4 problems solved. Below is a list of the top fifteen placers in the contest:
1 Elliott Slaughter
2 David Michon
3 Haoxi Fang
4 Van Lam
5 Andrew Chen
6 Matt Der
7 Ellison Bayan
8 Justin Yuhsong Huang
9 Yimai Fang *
10 Rohan Anil
11 Timothy Martin
12 Daniel Price
13 Eric Dorman
14 Yixin Zhu
15 Tim Wheeler
16 Adrian Teng-Amnuay

* unofficial contestant

Thanks go to Mike Dini and The Dini Group for providingthe prizes, food and drink, and support for the contest. Michael Vrable, Mohammad Moghimi, Do-Kyum Kim,Keliang Zhao and Faculty Coach Michael Taylor ran the contest, with help from UCSD Programming Team Co-Captain Justin Huang, CSES President Chris Moghbel, and other folks at CSES. Additional results (and photos) can be viewed here:

StarCAVE Up for an "Immy"

Today is the last day to vote for the Calit2 StarCAVE for an immersive Technology Award / You can vote! (one vote per IP address).

Learn more from the Calit2 story from Tiffany Fox

San Diego, Oct. 4, 2010 -- Immersive virtual reality has been a cornerstone of Calit2’s research into scientific visualization from the institute’s very beginning almost 10 years ago. The latest validation of that research may be handed out on Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, when Calit2 could win one of the inaugural Immersive Tech Awards, dubbed the ‘Immys’.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Jacobs School Engineers at "SUPERMATH: Better Living Through Analytics"

SUPERMATH, is a one day conference in San Diego bringing together national analytics experts and business practitioners across industries for a day of thought provoking presentations and discussions to inspire, educate and collaborate.

Jacobs School engineers will be participating in participate in the SUPERMATH "Expo and Neighborhoods."

Elelctrical and computer engineering PhD student Anup Doshi will present some of his work on innovative approaches to making future automobiles safer and “intelligent.”

Yuvraj Agarwal (Ph.D.'09), a Research Scientist in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering will be highlighting various aspects of SleepServer, a software-only approach for reducing energy consumption.

Elelctrical and computer engineering PhD student Luke Barrington will describe his work on the Valley of the Khans virtual exploration project.

Conference details below:

On November 10, 2010, San Diego Software Industry Council ( will be hosting a first-of-its-kind event – "SUPERMATH: Better Living Through Analytics” - to showcase and celebrate the history and innovation of analytics technologies and applications. The invitation-only conference will also include an Expo open to the public, to demonstrate how analytics affect our lives today and tomorrow.

There are four Neighborhoods for participation:
• Healthcare and Medicine
• Energy and CleanTech
• Security, Fraud and Risk
• Social Networks and Marketing/Sales

The Conference will be held at the Del Mar Marriott and the expo is open to the public. The rest of the conference requires paid admission.

CAPTCHA Project on NPR Weekend Edition

The August 2010 CAPTCHA paper from computer scientists at UC San Diego made it's way to NPR's Weekend Edition on Sunday. Listen to the story, "Spammers Use the Human Touch To Avoic CAPTCHA"

The paper referenced in the NPR story is below:
Re: CAPTCHAs -- Understanding CAPTCHA-Solving from an Economic Context, by Marti Motoyama, Kirill Levchenko, Chris Kanich, Damon McCoy, Geoffrey M. Voelker, and Stefan Savage from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at UC San Diego, published in Proceedings of the USENIX Security Symposium, Washington, D.C., August 2010.

Savage talks big picture about CAPTCHAs and hits one of the findings from the paper:

"On the one hand, CAPTCHAs do not keep the bad guys out, but at the same time, they actually are effective at keeping the problem in control," Savage says.

Below is the abstract to the paper Re: CAPTCHAs -- Understanding CAPTCHA-Solving from an Economic Context:
Reverse Turing tests, or CAPTCHAs, have become an ubiquitous defense used to protect open Web resources from being exploited at scale. An effective CAPTCHA resists existing mechanistic software solving, yet can be solved with high probability by a human being. In response, a robust solving ecosystem has emerged, reselling both automated solving technology and realtime human labor to bypass these protections. Thus, CAPTCHAs can increasingly be understood and evaluated in purely economic terms; the market price of a solution vs the monetizable value of the asset being protected.We examine the market-side of this question in depth, analyzing the behavior and dynamics of CAPTCHA-solving service providers, their price performance, and the underlying labor markets driving this economy.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Science Today at the University of California

Science Today at the University of California offers a nice selection of research stories coming out of the University of California system.

Science Today, a five-day-a-week, one-minute radio program is produced for the Westwood One/CBS Radio Network by the University of California. Each week, Science Today features stories highlighting the latest scientific breakthroughs and discoveries at the university and its two affiliated national laboratories. Topics focus primarily on health, nutrition, the environment and social & physical sciences. Hosted by Larissa Branin, Science Today airs nationally on various CBS radio affiliates.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Trey Ideker in Xconomy

The Oct 6, 2010 Xconomy headline: "Stanford, UCSD Biologists Take Plunge Into Arpanet-Style Project With Sage Bionetworks"

Learn more about UC San Diego's Trey Ideker on his lab Web page.

Dr. Ideker is Chief of Genetics at the UCSD School of Medicine.  He also serves as Professor of Medicine and Bioengineering, Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Member of the Moores UCSD Cancer Center. 

Calit2 StarCAVE nominated for immersive Technology Award / You can vote!

The StarCAVE at Calit2 is among the nominees for the 2010 Immersive Technology Awards. You can vote for StarCAVE here:

Learn more from the Calit2 story:

San Diego, Oct. 4, 2010  -- Immersive virtual reality has been a cornerstone of Calit2’s research into scientific visualization from the institute’s very beginning almost 10 years ago. The latest validation of that research may be handed out on Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, when Calit2 could win one of the inaugural Immersive Tech Awards, dubbed the ‘Immys’. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wireless Heart Monitor Research in Union Tribune / Yu Mike Chi and Gert Cauwenberghs

Congrats to electrical engineering PhD student Yu Mike Chi, bioengineering professor Gert Cauwenberghs and the rest of the crew who made it on the front page of the business section of today's San Diego Union Tribune.

Two photos from the San Diego Union Tribune story by Keith Darce "San Diego hosts global wireless health meeting" are below:

Shake Table on DIY Network

Check out Jacobs School researchers on House vs. Nature on the DIY Network.  The photo above is a screen shot from the episode...showing one of the computer rooms at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center at the UC San Diego Jacobs School.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Raj Krishnan Voice of San Diego Series / Part 2

Part 2 of the ongoing series about Raj Krishnan is up on the Voice of San Diego site.  (Part 1 is here)

The story includes some info about two other Jacobs School alums: Roy Lefkowitz and Gene Hsiao.

Lefkowitz won the NanoEngineering best poster award at Research Expo 2010: "An Early Point-of-Care Shock Diagnostic: Clinically Relevant Detection of Protease Activity in Whole Blood."

Lefkowitz was also among the inagural class of Sieble Scholars in the Department of Bioengineering at UC San Diego.

The other former grad student in the story is Gene Hsiao, who we wrote about for his work related to insulin resistance published in PNAS in 2009.

Monday, October 4, 2010

From Grad Student to CEO!

Check out this event on Friday Oct 8 at Calit2:

From GSR to CTO: A Celebration and Contemplation on Information Theory and its Applications
Graduate student researchers (GSRs) from the Jacobs School of Engineering's Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) department recently received significant recognition for their research achievements. Five were nominated for the prestigious Student Paper Award at the International Symposium on Information Theory, and two won a coveted Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship.
To celebrate these accomplishments, Calit2's Information Theory and Applications Center (ITA) asked the students to present their work, and invited three of the communications industry's leading innovators -- all of them Chief Technology Officers -- to share their views on the future of the information theory field, and to answer the questions: What does it take to transform great research into commercial success? And to go from GSR... to CTO?

The five GSR presenters will be:

- Hessam Mahdavifar, on Achieving the Secrecy Capacity of Wiretap Channels Using Polar Codes;
- Jayadev Acharya, on Reconstructing Strings from their Substring Compositions;
- Brian McFee, on Metric Learning for Information Retrieval;
- Nikhil Karamchandani, on Function Computation via Subspace Cooling; and
- Eitan Yaakobi, on Multiple Error-Correcting WOM-Codes.

The afternoon speakers will include Ramesh Rao, director of Calit2 at UC San Diego, who will talk about information theory in the context of Calit2's mission; and ECE chair Larry Larson, who will open the afternoon session.
Subsequently, three CTOs will engage in a panel discussion and Q&A session with the audience about their respective journeys from GSR to CTO, and their advice to graduate students:
- Roberto Padovani, Executive VP and CTO, Qualcomm, Inc. and Member, NAE;

- Arogyaswami Paulraj, CTO, Beceem, Inc., Member, NAE and Professor Emeritus, Stanford University; and

- Nambi Seshadri, CTO, Broadcom Inc


Everyone is invited to attend, but food will be limited to participants who RSVP in advance to John Minan at Space is limited, so please respond early.

Friday, October 1, 2010

VIDEO: As a Jacobs School Engineering Undergrad You Can...

As a Jacobs School undergrad you can:

* use a weather balloon to perform experiments in space

* publish papers in with world-renowned NanoEngineers

*build robotic cars

*have a ton of fun and enjoy the campus

*share the lab bench with bioengineering professors

*build software with NASA

...but don't take my word for the video and see for yourself.

short version...b/c sometimes 2:22 is all the time you have!