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New Center to Study the Global Environment

04-15-08

To address the complex issue of global climate change from a wide range of disciplines, Ronald and Maxine Linde have established an $18 million endowment for the Ronald and Maxine Linde Center for Global Environmental Science, uniting faculty from chemistry, engineering, geology, environmental science, and other fields. The initiative will help Caltech achieve its vision of having an integrated program in global environmental science, spanning the many disciplines that must make up such a program. Edward Stolper, Caltech's provost, explains that the Linde Center "will provide a central home and focus for researchers and students working on understanding natural variations in and the impact of human activity on the global environment. These are among the most important and most difficult problems facing our society." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: ESE

Roukes and Rothemund Display Work at MoMA

04-10-08

"If you make structures that are impeccably designed, they also often tend to work really well," says Michael Roukes, Professor of Physics, Applied Physics, and Bioengineering. He along with senior research associate in computation and neural systems and computer science Paul Rothemund are scientists who can now add artist to their resumes. Rothemund's DNA origami and a colorized electron micrograph of Roukes's nanoscience work were displayed in Design and the Elastic Mind at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. Roukes's micrograph was even selected for the museum's permanent collection. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights health Michael Roukes Paul Rothemund

 
A New Take on Microbrewing

04-09-08

David Boyd, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, graduate student James Adleman, Demitri Psaltis, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, and David Goodwin, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, have crafted the world's tiniest still to concentrate scant amounts of micromolecules for easier detection. This device may help to overcome difficulties in tracking extremely low-abundance molecular biomarkers, which can indicate disease. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE David Boyd

 
Gordon Moore and Carver Mead Discuss Electronics Revolution

03-27-08

Gordon Moore (PhD '54) and Carver Mead (BS '56, MS '57, PhD '60), Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, chat about the electronics revolution (posted on You Tube in late 2007, conversation begins about 19 minutes into the clip).

Tags: EE research highlights Carver Mead Gordon Moore

 
Space Shuttle Endeavour touches Down at NASA's Kennedy Space Center

03-27-08

After 16 days in space and 250 orbits of Earth, space shuttle Endeavour touched down at 8:39 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, March 26, at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. According to NASA managers, the crew members, including Caltech alumnus Robert Behnken (MS '93, PhD '97), "are in excellent shape after a safe and successful landing". 

Tags: research highlights alumni

Michael Dickinson, Gaby Maimon, and Andrew Straw Reveal Secrets of Common Fruit Fly Decision Making

03-25-08

Using a flight simulator, Michael Dickinson, the Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, and postdoctoral students Gaby Maimon and Andrew Straw, have come closer to understanding what guides the decision making of the common fruit fly as it zips through space. Their experiments were conducted on both free-flying flies and on flies tethered within a virtual-reality flight simulator. In the flight simulator, flies could steer toward or away from images displayed on an electronic panorama. "We can present the fly with different scenes and the fly reacts to them, like a 12-year-old boy playing a video game," says Dickinson. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights Michael Dickinson

Alumni Lift Off on the Endeavor Space Shuttle

03-11-08

On March 11, two Caltech mechanical-engineering alumni, Garrett Reisman (MS '92, PhD '97) and Robert Behnken (MS '93, PhD '97) lifted off on the Endeavor Space Shuttle as part of a seven-man team enroute to the International Space Station. The mission was directed from Houston by a third alumnus, Philip Engelauf (BS '78).

Tags: research highlights alumni

Recent Cover Story in Science News Highlights the Work John Dabiri

02-23-08

550 million years of jet-setting (and jet paddling): modes of jellyfish propulsion are finally being understood and used for engineering inspiration. Read the recent cover story in Science News that highlights
the work of Professor John Dabiri.

Tags: research highlights GALCIT John Dabiri

Christof Koch and Colleagues Find Pupil Dilation Marks Decision Making

02-12-08

Christof Koch, the Troendle Professor of Cognitive and Behavioral Biology and Professor of Computation and Neural Systems, and his colleagues, have found that changes in pupil diameter correspond to the moment when a simple decision is made. The pupil, which is about 2 mm wide in bright light, dilated by as much as 1 mm at that moment--a change that, in theory, could be noticeable to a casual observer. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: EE research highlights health Christof Koch

 
Designing the 700 MHz Auction

01-10-08

The FCC's auction of the 700MHz spectrum, with reserve prices set at $10 billion, was designed by Caltech economics professor Jacob Goeree and economics professor Charles Holt from the University of Virginia. The system was tested and refined through a series of laboratory experiments in which more than 200 Caltech undergraduates participated over the course of two years. Currently, a few companies dominate the U.S. wireless market. This auction is the last chance for new entrants to create a national footprint. The 700 MHz frequency is particularly appealing for wireless - the signal can penetrate walls, and each tower broadcasting in this range can cover at least four times as many square miles as conventional cell-phone towers. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights