Wednesday, February 23, 2011

UCSD@50 Video

The latest installment of the UCSD@50 video series includes a bit about the Jacobs School alums (the Antonorsi brothers) who founded Chuao Chocolatier.

EGames is an Engineers Week Highlight

The giant balloon looming over Warren Mall on the UC San Diego campus means just one thing this time of year: EGames.

This year, the wacky engineering competition's crowning event, the "tomato death drop" included water balloons. Students had to build contraptions from everyday objects linke paper plates, tape and newspaper that protected the tomatoes and water balloons and prevented them from getting destroyed when the contraption hit the ground after the fall from the helium balloon high above Warren Mall.

EGames is part of Engineers Week, and is organized by TESC, the Triton Engineering Student Council.

Below are a few photo highlights from the tomato drop. More photos are on the Jacobs School Flickr stream. Also, check out the EGames coverage from NBC.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

This Week at UCSD: IDEaS: Innovation Day Expo and Symposia

Engage and network with leading innovators.  IDEaS features a week of free high-profile events for the campus and community highlighting the exciting innovation emerging from UC San Diego. The Innovation Symposia takes place February 22-24; on February 25, UC San Diego will host an engaging expo featuring live demonstrations, hands-on exhibits and face-to-face interaction with the innovators themselves.

INNOVATION SYMPOSIA                                                             
IDEaS will feature a dynamic series of evening talks that will be presented by innovators from our UC San Diego community. From Tuesday, February 22 through Thursday, February 24, the Innovation Symposia will host lectures featuring a panel of star-studded Nobel laureates, medical innovators and noted alumnus Maurizio Seracini. In addition, three day-time programs will focus on cultural innovation and social justice. All are free and open to the campus and community members, and will be presented in an open and lively discussion forum.
WHERE:  UC San Diego Price Center West Ballroom                    
WHEN:    February 22-24, 2011

Meet face-to-face with some of the world’s most prominent leaders, scientists and researchers, including keynote speaker, renowned artist, filmmaker and alumnus Kip Fulbeck’88, MFA ’92. Free snacks provided. To attend, register at

WHERE:  RIMAC Arena Floor                                   
WHEN:    February 25, 2011
3 p.m.:     “Who Are You? The Changing Face of America”
   UC San Diego alumnus Kip Fulbeck ’88, MFA ’92, one the world’s premier artists exploring multiracial    
   identity uses his own multiracial background as a springboard, inspiring audiences to honestly   
   consider, “Who Am I?”
4 p.m.:     Meet face-to-face with world renowned leaders, scientists and researchers at the Innovation Day Expo,
   featuring live demonstrations, hands-on exhibits and networking with the innovators.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Seismic Retrofits for Hostpitals in San Diego

I didn't feel the quake in Baja this morning, but hearing people talk about it reminded me that I hadn't yet posted this story about hospital earthquake retrofits in San Diego. The story by Janet Lavelle "Hospitals on track for 2013 seismic deadline" ran in the San Diego Union Tribune on Wednesday.

One of the issues that came up in the story is strengthening/stiffening buildings vs. making them perform better in earthquakes. A couple of structural engineers tied to the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering are quoted in the story: Structural engineering professor Benson Shing and adjunct structural engineering professor Robert Englekirk.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Science Fair / a Life-Long Journey

Computer engineering alumna Shirley Miranda has been involved in the San Diego Science and Engineering Fair since she was 13. And no, this is not a recurring nightmare! Watch the video below.

Miranda is also deeply involved in COSMOS. Check out Miranda's Cosmos YouTube video here.

Speeding Toyotas

Tom Fudge from KPBS has an interesting piece on speeding Toyatas, with insights from two Jacobs School of Engineering professors: computer science (CSE) professor Ingolf Krueger and electrical engineering (ECE) professor Mohan Trivedi.

Envision 2011

We are working on a story about student-organized and student-run outreach event here at the Jacobs School. It's called Envision 2011 and it brings young women from local high schools to campus to experience engineering: lab tours, web programming, robot building and more.

Stay tuned.

Monday, February 7, 2011

History Sniffing Story on KPBS These Days

The UC San Diego computer scientists involved in the history sniffing research were on "These Days" on KPBS this morning. The transcript and audio file of the show with Hovav Shacham, Sorin Lerner, and Ranjit Jhala will be posted shortly here on the KPBS site. The Jacobs School of Engineering history sniffing press release is here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Warehouse Fire Video / Story

In case you need a break from pre-superbowl hype, check out this research on how corrugated cardboard boxes stacked up very high in warehouses burns. They looked at cardboard boxes filled with Styrofoam cups. With warehouse fires, the trick is to get the fire out while just the outsides of the cardboard boxes is burning. Once the contents of the boxes catch fire, it's much harder to get the fire out. And this is why the researchers are studying how cardboard boxes burn...if you know exactly how they burn, you can set up better systems for getting the fires out before they get out of control.

Read the full story on the Jacobs School of Engineering news site:

UC San Diego Engineers Play Role in Warehouse Fire Safety

Check out the short video clip from YouTube embedded below.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The Future of Music Search and Discovery

Electrical engineering professor Gert Lanckriet recently won an NSF CAREER grant for work on developing automated ways to search, annotate and generally make sense of the ever-growing sea of digital music. More info on the funded project is below. Also, check out some cool related stories (and video!) from Lanckriet and his collaborators:

CAREER: An Integrated Framework for Multimodal Music Search and Discovery.

A revolution in music production and distribution has made millions of songs instantly available to virtually anyone, on the Internet. However, a listener looking for "dark electronica with cello" or "music like U2's", without knowing a relevant artist or song name, or a musicologist wanting to search through large amounts of unknown ethnic music, would face serious challenges. Novel music search and discovery technologies are required to help users find the desired content.

The non-text-based, multimodal character of Internet-wide information about music (audio clips, lyrics, web documents, images, band networks, etc.) poses a new and difficult challenge to existing database technology that depends on unimodal, text-based data-structures. This project addresses two fundamental research questions at the core of addressing this challenge: (1) The automated annotation of (non-text-based) audio content with descriptive keywords; and (2) the automated integration of the heterogeneous content of multimodal databases, to improve music search and discovery on the Internet or in a personal database. The resulting architecture leverages the automation and scalability of machine learning with the effectiveness of human computation, engaging music professionals or enthusiasts around the world.

The research addresses questions at the core of multimedia information retrieval in general, enabling the design of a new generation of expressive and flexible retrieval systems for multimodal databases, with applications to music discovery, video retrieval, indexing multimedia content on the home PC, etc.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Engineer's Week is Coming

Jacobs School undergrads are going all out again this year to make National Engineers Week at UC San Diego useful, interesting and fun. And if you're a Jacobs School student, you might even get a job out of the deas (ie: DECaF career fair).

Check out all the Engineers Week events on the TESC site.

National Engineers Week site.

IDEaS: Innovation Day Expo and Symposia

Innovation Day Expo and Symposia (IDEaS) Feb. 22-25: this is a week of free events at UC San Diego that will feature dynamic leaders in the arts, sciences, technology, medicine and education who are making a positive impact in San Diego, the nation and the world.

Read the full story on the Jacobs School of Engineering news site.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Where Renewables / Electric Vehicles and the Electric Grid Meet

The intersection of renewable energy, electric vehicles, and the electric grid was the topic of conversation yesterday at a press conference here at UC San Diego.  Read the press release on the Jacobs School news site.