Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Monday, September 26, 2011
The Discovery Channel's Daily Planet recently visited the UC San Diego Department of Structural Engineering and Englekirk Structural Engineering Center as part of a 9/11 anniversary special looking at technological advances designed to thwart future attacks.
The Discovery crew filmed the department's blast simulator, the only one of its kind in the world, and interviewed Professor and department Chair Gil Hegemier, an expert in blast mitigation. The hour-long special, which aired in Canada on September 9, featured just seven stories from around the world. The segment on the blast simulator is in Part 3.
You can view the entire special here. The large structure featured in the picture isn't the blast simulator, in case you're wondering. It's the five-story structure the Structural Engineering Department is building at the Englekirk Structural Engineering Center to assess how well current nonstructural elements hold up to earthquakes and post-earthquake fires. The tests will focus on a broad range of systems and equipment that can malfunction during an earthquake and make it more difficult to evacuate buildings, which can lead to more injuries and deaths.
A live version of “Angry Birds,” a giant inflatable bounce house, free food. These were some of the attractions that brought together hundreds of students to Matthews Quad Wednesday for “Engineers on the Green.” The annual meet and greet event hosted by student organizations at the Jacobs School of Engineering takes place the day before classes start.
This year, students could play carnival-style games, earn tickets and win free giveaways. The Women in Computing group, which recently launched an undergraduate chapter, put on a live version of “Angry Birds,” using plush toys and makeshift catapults. Several student-run projects also were on display. IEEE showcased some of its robots, including the famous micromouse. The Human Powered Vehicle team showed off two of its vehicles. Students could also feast of tacos and corn on the cob, among other goodies.
Read more about Engineers on the Green here.
Watch our Engineers on the Green slideshow on Flickr here.
Friday, September 23, 2011
KPBS in San Diego recently aired a piece about research by scientists who have developed a new method to sequence and analyze the dark matter of life--the genomes of thousands of bacteria species previously beyond scientists' reach. Researchers at UC San Diego, the J. Craig Venter Institute and Illumina, Inc. published their findings is the Sept. 18 online issue of the journal Nature Biotechnology.
Pavel Pevzner, a computer science professor at the Jacobs School of Engineering and Glenn Tesler, a UCSD mathematics professor, teamed up to design an algorithm that makes this possible.
Click here to listen to the KPBS story.
Click here to read the full press release about the research.
The North County Times also did a piece about the study. Click here to read it.
Hi everyone, we're about to chat with Meera Ramakrishnan, one of the co-founders of the undergraduate chapter of Women in Computing. Meera, are you there?
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Women in Computing, also known as WIC, is starting a new undergraduate chapter—and wants everyone to join, including male students.
One of the organization's primary goals is to provide a support network for women in computer science—and men need to be part of that equation, said Meera Ramakrishnan, one of the group's founders. Another goal is to attract and retain more women in the major.
Undergraduate students want to know how to do well on an interview and how to write a good resume, Ramakrishnan said. They also want to hear from professionals, she said. The undergraduate chapter plans to offer career advice, tech talks and fun events.
The organization is working on bringing two top women researchers from HP Labs to the Jacobs School for a tech talk. It also plans to create partnerships with other organizations to set up programming competitions and video game nights, that younger students, especially women, might feel too intimidated to attend otherwise, said Marjori Pomarole, another co-founder of the group. "We want to talk—and play," she said. Ice cream socials also are in the works.
The idea for the new chapter started with a group of undergraduates who regularly had lunch with WIC graduate students last year. There are now 25 members on the new group's roster. But that number is expected to grow. Founders recently advertised the organization at freshmen orientation.
Bonus: members get a "Ladies by Day, Hackers by Night" T-shirt.