Monday, May 3, 2010

Chile 2010 Earthquake Seminar Tonight

Structural engineering professor Tara Hutchinson, Department of Structural Engineering UC San Diego will give a talk tonight about the magnitute 8.8 earthquake that struck central Chile on February 27.

The talk title: “Ground Failure Impacts on Infrastructure during the 2010 Maule, Chile Earthquake”

When? Monday May 3, 6 PM to 7 PM

Where? UCSD, Center Hall, Room 109

The talk is aimed at an undergraduate level you'll have to think, but it should be (mostly) understandable.

The 2010 Maule, Chile Earthquake impacted a region 600 km by 100 km and 80% of the population. A tsunami was initiated by the rupture, devastating portions of the coastline and resulting in the loss of hundreds of lives. Over 500,000 homes were destroyed and economic estimates are on the order of 15-20Billion USD (10-15% of Chile’s GDP).

This earthquake tested numerous modern structures and was therefore the subject of several post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts. Geotechnical impacts on structures during this event were manifested through strong ground shaking and site effects, liquefaction and lateral spreading, and slope instability. Where severe ground failure occurred, the impact on infrastructure such as buildings, transportation, and port structures was significant. This presentation will provide an overview of the engineering seismology and ground motion characteristics for this event and resulting damage patterns, with particular focus on the impacts of ground failure on the built environment. Liquefaction significantly impacted a number of buildings, while liquefaction-induced lateral spreading resulted in significant structural damage to bridges and waterfront structures. Important case histories from this event will be described in the discussion.

Cell Phone / Pollution Monitoring Project in North County Times

The CitiSense project led by computer scientists at the Jacobs School is in the news. Brad Fikes from the North County Times covered the CitiSense project on April 26, which is supposed to provide up-to-the-minute information on outdoor and indoor air quality, based on environmental information collected by hundreds, and eventually thousands, of sensors attached to the backpacks, purses, jackets and board shorts of San Diegans going about daily life.

Cell phones will serve as info-shuttlers that move info from the sensors to centralized computing centers, and then back out to individuals.

In the North County Times story, computer science professor Ingolf Krueger says that the system will probably first be set up to monitor pollution relevant for people with asthma.

New Blog in Town / Science Quest from SD Union Tribune

Gary Robbins is the new science/technology journalist at the San Diego Union Tribune, and he has started a new science blog called "Science Quest". Check it out here.

Car Electronics Expert / Computer Science Professor on NPR's Science Friday

Car electronics / car software / computer science professor Ingolf Krueger picked up the Science Friday microphone on April 30 and shared his knowledge with Ira Flatow and with the world.

Listen to the NPR Science Friday show here:

Two computer science graduate students working in Krueger's lab presented related work recently at the Jacobs School Research Expo 2010. A summary of their poster presentation is below:
Diagnostic Systems for Cars
Computer science Ph.D. students Massimiliano Menarini and Filippo Seracini are analyzing automotive diagnostics with an eye toward improving them. The modern car is a heterogeneous system made up of components from many different suppliers, and implementation of the diagnostic system is often treated as a byproduct of the software implementation. Menarini and Seracini are part of a team looking to remedy this situation. Their service-oriented software architecture approach, which offers solutions for integrating heterogeneous systems, is already being used in disaster response and environmental monitoring projects. One challenge: deploying just enough computer code to identify and report all failures to the driver — while still enabling repair centers to connect testing equipment to the vehicle and identify all details of the failure.

Back from Vacation / Nature Photonics paper is out

I'm back from vacation and have a bunch of updates to Jacobs School blog. The first thing on my to-do list is to post the story about Jacobs School / Calit2 research in the journal Nature Photonics.

Below is the first paragraph of the story by Doug Ramsey of Calit2:

Imagine packing 4 billion nanolasers on a three-inch semiconductor wafer. That is now nearer to reality, thanks to researchers at the University of California, San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering, who have demonstrated a micron-sized laser – less than one-thousandth of a millimeter on each side – that can operate at room temperature.