Wednesday, September 12, 2012

International Conferences Chooses Jacobs School Paper as Top 5 in Past 30 Years

The International Conference on Computer Design chose a paper coauthored by Dean Tullsen, a computer scientist at the Jacobs School of Engineering, and George Cai, of Intel, as one of the five mostly influential papers in the conference's 30-year history. 

"This is the sort of stuff that puts CSE and UCSD on the map," Rajesh Gupta, chair of computer science at the Jacobs School, wrote in an email announcing the honor.

The paper, "Power-Sensitive Multithreaded Architecture," published in 2000, was first to quantify the energy advantages of multithreaded architectures, which can provide significant performance gains with marginal increased power cost.  It also presented architectural optimizations which would enable a multithreaded architecture to achieve the trifecta: lower power, higher performance, and lower energy than conventional architectures.

Paper co-author and Jacobs School alum John Seng, now a professor at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, will present a retrospective on the paper during a special session at the conference, which takes place from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3 in Montreal. 

Read the abstract and full paper here.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Robotic Hat Project Inspires Girls

 It’s not often you hear a room full of tween and teen-age girls discussing breadboards, LEDs and Arduino servos like they were the latest hot fashion accessories from Forever 21.

Congratuations to Jacobs School alumna Saura Naderi for making this happen. Read the full story, "Girls Hat Day' Melds Fashion and Function to Get Girls Interested in Engineering" on the Calit2 website. The video is below.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Renewable Energy Program Pushes Novel Concepts Forward

Joshua Windmiller, a postdoctoral researcher working in the lab of UC San Diego nanoengineering Professor Joseph Wang, is working on a commercially viable printed biofuel cell that could derive power from urine, sewage and other wastewater sources. The technology is designed to meet a need for field-deployable and mobile power solutions particularly for recharging the electronic devices that soldiers carry with them into the battlefield such as night vision goggles, GPS systems, and two-way radios in order to prolong deployments. This technology could lighten the load of batteries soldiers must carry with them on missions into remote areas. 

Windmiller is one one of the awardees of  four new graduate fellowships from the von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at UC San Diego to pursue the commercialization of research that will increase energy efficiency and the growth of renewable energy sources. The fellowships are funded through the Southern California Clean Energy Technology Acceleration Program, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy and in partnership with  UC San Diego Rady School of Management and San Diego State University.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Jacobs Legacy Videos on YouTube

We recently posted our Jacobs Legacy videos to the Jacobs School YouTube channel.  This series of videos represents a video biography of Irwin M. Jacobs, prepared on the occasion of his 70th birthday (in 2003). More info here.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Computer Science Professors Receive $500 NSF Award

This just in from the CSE Monthly Newsletter:

"Steve Swanson and Yannis Papakonstantinou combine their hardware architecture and database expertise in the project "Re-engineering Database Systems for Fast Solid State Drives", which was recently awarded $500,000 by the National Science Foundation.
A new class of non-volatile, solid-state memories (e.g., phase-change memory, spin-torque MRAMs, and the memristor) are emerging that promise to revolutionize the way that computer systems store and
process data. Getting the full benefit of these new memories requires us to re-engineer database systems. This project is analyzing the implications for these new memories on database systems and devising now hardware and software mechanisms to improve performance in transacting with the database, improve performance in analyzing Big Data and reduce energy consumption.
The potential impacts of these optimizations is wide-reaching. Database (in various forms) constitute the heart of the cloud computing infrastructure that supports many of the "killer apps" that are driving technologies forward. Leveraging these new technologies, will make it cheaper, easier, and greener to implement existing applications and will enable new applications that are not currently possible."

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bioengineering Professor Has Asteroid Named After Him

Bioengineering emeritus professor Y.C. Fung, widely recognized as the father of biomechanics, can add an usual honor to the long list of accolades he has received: an asteroid has been named after him.

210434 Fungyuancheng orbits about 2.425 astronomical units from the Earth, in the vast asteroid belt that separates the inner solar system, and the smaller planets, including Earth, from Jupiter and the other gas giants. The asteroid was discovered on Dec. 20, 2008. The International Astronomical Union approved its new name earlier this month.  

Fung joined UCSD in 1966 to initiate a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. program in bioengineering. He is the recipient of the President's National Medal of Science, the Founder's Award from the National Academy of Engineering and numerous other prestigious honors and prizes. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, National Institute of Medicine and National Academy of Sciences. He has written many authoritative books on biomechanics that are used as textbooks around the world, in addition to books on solid mechanics and continuum mechanics. Prior to joining UC San Diego, Fung was a faculty member in the Department of Aeronautics at the California Institute of Technology, where he received his Ph.D. in 1948. 

Fung’s accomplishments and insights have directly contributed to designs, inventions, and applications that save lives, mitigate the severity of soft tissue injury, enhance the recovery and functionality of injured soft tissue, and improve the effectiveness and longevity of prosthetic orthopedic devices. His research contributed to the development of artificial skin, which has accelerated healing for millions of people with burns and other tissue trauma. Fung’s research also is the basis for the entire field of automotive safety design – all automobile crash tests today rely on his fundamental studies about tissue response.

Fung's theories on the mechanical properties and functions of blood cells and capillary blood vessels have led our understanding of microcirculation, endothelial biology, and atherosclerosis.   His "sheet-flow" theory provided a quantitative description of pulmonary circulation, hypertension, edema and respiratory distress syndrome.  Problems related to severe thorax impact injuries have been solved by Fung's "stress wave propagation" theory. More recently, Fung directly contributed to tissue engineering through the development of engineered products for treating burns and severe tissue injuries and the development of engineered blood vessels. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

UC San Diego's Smart Grid Highlighted by California Energy Commission

The California Energy Commission puts UC San Diego's smart grid in the spotlight in this video. The video explores the benefits of UC San Diego's microgrid system and how it is helping energy researchers at the U.S. Navy to deploy smart grid technologies at military bases. The microgrid was developed partly thanks to research by scientists at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Biz leaders, researchers, SBA advocate look for solutions to keep entrepreneurism alive and well

Winslow Sargeant, chief counsel for advocacy at the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, was on campus this week for a roundtable discussion with entrepreneurs and researchers about the regulatory and bureaucratic barriers, and funding limitations that can keep good inventions stuck in the laboratory. The discussion was hosted by the von Liebig Center forEntrepreneurism and Technology Advancement and CONNECT

“Research is the transformation of money into knowledge. Innovation is the transformation of knowledge into money in the form of companies, products and services,” said Sargeant. “We want you to make it to the other side,” he added, referencing the dreaded valley of death, where many an innovative idea has died due to lack of resources and funding. 

Several challenges were raised during the discussion, including dwindling federal and state funding for research and commercialization via the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program (combined with increased competition for those dollars), mismatched priorities between the kind of research that federal agencies fund and the needs of the medical community, and the funding process by which proposals are reviewed, which several in attendance described as “broken.” 

The uncertainty about funding for research is creating a discouraging environment for undergraduate and graduate students considering whether to pursue a doctorate degree, which several attendees agreed could be “devastating” at the junior faculty level over the long-term. Sargeant said this trend is especially problematic. “If we’re encouraging young people to go into STEM fields, there has to be a pathway. There can’t be a valley of death for the entrepreneur and scientist,” he said.

Solutions were also proposed. Among them: shortening the review cycle for Small Business Innovation Research grants from nine months or more to three to five months; providing more education and training to individuals who review the SBIR funding proposals; a mentoring program to help less experienced entrepreneurs compete for this type of funding; and a pre-proposal process to weed out and provide feedback to researchers whose ideas need more work.  Attendees also recommended changing an SBIR rule that requires the principal investigator on any grant to be primarily employed (more than 50 percent of the time) by the company.  The requirement often means faculty members or researchers need to leave the university – and the health care and other benefits it provides – to pursue a highly risky venture. 

Sargeant is currently traveling around the country visiting with business leaders, inventors and entrepreneurs about the challenges that may be impeding the growth of small businesses. As chief counsel for advocacy at the SBA, Sargeant advocates for policies that support the growth and development of small businesses. The von Liebig Center at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering provides proof of concept funding and advisory services to accelerate the commercialization of university research throughout Southern California.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Computer Scientists with Ties to Jacobs School Win Prestigious Prize

Christos Papadimitriou and Elias Koutsoupias have won the 2012 Gödel Prize. Papadimitriou is a former computer science faculty member and was Koutsoupias' adviser when he received his Ph.D. in 1994. The Gödel Prize is jointly awarded by the European Association for Theoretical Computer Science and the ACM Special Interest Group on Algorithms and Computation Theory in recognition of outstanding papers in theoretical computer science.  Koutsoupias and Papadimtriou's "Worst-case Equilibria" paper introduced the "price of anarchy" concept, a measure of the extent to which competition approximates cooperation.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

UC San Diego Students Rock Concert at The Loft

FoXXy Chancellor, Marlena and The Wang and SO3, led by computer science professor Serge Belongie, were some of that bands that took over The Loft at the Price Center June 9 for the 2012 edition of the Jacobs School of Rock.

The musical tradition is now in its fifth year. But for some of the bands, made up of senior students, it was the last chance to perform. FoXXy Chancellor brings together three electrical engineering majors, one Ph.D. student in economics and one philosophy major. 

"Performing at The Loft for our final year at UCSD was incredible," said Nicholas Huynh Thien, a double e major from France who plays the keyboard in the band.  "We've been jamming together from the first time we met, our first year at UCSD."

The band decided that JSOR should actually stand for Jacobs School of Rap. So they performed their take on Lil Jon, Juvenile and 2Live Crew. All our friends came out to support us, dance with us, jeer at other bands with us," Thien said. "We definitely ended our time at UCSD on a high note with JSOR."

Check out pictures from the concert on the JSOR's Facebook page:

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Ring Ceremony Photos / Jacobs School of Engineering

Congratulations to all the Jacobs School of Engineering students who graduated last year. Check out the photos from our Ring Ceremony on the Jacobs School Facebook page.

A short story highlighting the students individally honored at Ring Ceremony 2012 is on the way. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Medical Technologies dominate Entrepreneur Challenge

The pitches included technologies to cure cancer, brain computer interfaces for patients without speech, an automated portfolio management system, sensor assisted orthopedic surgery, garbage compactors, and an enhanced dental implant. More than 300 students, faculty, investors, professionals and entrepreneurs were in attendance as an esteemed panel of judges representing San Diego’s business and technology communities decided who would take home $100K in funding and advisory services in the 6th annual University of California, San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge.

In the end, medical technologies ruled the day.  Kenan Azam, CEO for the Entrepreneur Challenge and a programmer/analyst in the Jacobs School’s Department of Bioengineering, described 2012 as a record year in both number and quality of submissions, which he believes is an indication of growth in San Diego’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. The quality of the participating teams forced planners to expand the number of finalists from five to seven. Teams connected to the Jacobs School took the top two spots.

Nasseo, the first prize winner, with the Entrepreneur Challenge team and judges. Photo courtesy: UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge.

First prize, with $57,000 in cash and services went to Nasseo, Inc., a medical device startup that has developed novel technologies to treat dental/orthopedic implant failures.  The technology was primarily developed in the lab of Sungho Jin, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Nasseo is led by Garrett Cale Smith (Co-Founder, CEO), a PhD Candidate in Bioengineering at the Jacobs School.

Second prize with $28,000 in cash and services went to SONRGY, which is aiming to be a leader in localized drug delivery directed to cancer tumors.  SONRGY’s focused ultrasound enabled proprietary nanocarriers improve the effectiveness of cancer therapy by reducing administered dose and toxic side effects through exquisite 3D spatial selectivity.  SONRGY is led by a seasoned team of technology leaders, entrepreneurs, and marketing experts including co-inventors Michael Benchimol and professor Sadik Esener from the NanoEngineering Department and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center.

In its six years of existence, the Entrepreneur Challenge has raised and awarded over $500,000 in prizes to enterprising students and researchers.  Many of these start-ups have continued to grow and have raised significant venture funding.  Challenge VP Rajesh Grover, a scientist at The Scripps Research Institute, and COO Helen Saad, a PhD candidate in bioengineering, honored six San Diego based start-ups that started out by winning the Entrepreneur Challenge. These companies are: NeuroVigil, Biological Dynamics, Cognionics, Cypher Genomics, Lumedyne Technologies and The Nicholas Conor Cancer Institute.
You can read more about the Entrepreneur Challenge and the winning teams here.

UCSD Graduate Students Present at Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition

University of California San Diego graduate students Jayadev Acharya and Nevena Rakuljic presented their research at the inaugural Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition that took place June 6 and 7 in Irvine and was sponsored by Broadcom Foundation.

Acharya and Rakuljic, who both are studying electrical and computer engineering, were among 12 student finalists from 10 universities competing in a poster session at the opening reception of Broadcom’s annual Technical Conference. Rakuljic is a Jacobs Scholar at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Acharya presented his project “Algorithms and Limits for Competitive Learning,” which helps to design everyday decision algorithms that are more efficient, accurate and need fewer data samples. Rakuljic demonstrated her project “Suppression of QuantizationInduced Convergence Error in Pipelined ADCs with Digital Calibration,” which furthers the technological advancement in the field of analogtodigital converters that are key components of communication systems and medical instrumentation.

The finalists, who were selected by Broadcom Foundation’s STEM University sub-committee, discussed their projects and how future application of their research would improve lives and contribute to society at large. More than 400 distinguished Broadcom engineers judged the entries on technology, content and presentation with the top three winners being awarded an unrestricted cash prize of $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 respectively.

Broadcom Foundation is a nonprofit organization founded by the Broadcom Corportation. Its mission is to advance education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by funding research, recognizing scholarship and increasing opportunity.

Pictured above: Jacobs School grad student Nevena Rakuljic presenting her research at a poster session at the Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition. From left to right: Broadcom Foundation Head Paula Golden, Rakuljic and Broadcom Executive Vice President of  Global Human Resources Terri Timberman.