News & Events


William Johnson Awarded the APS 2009 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials


William Johnson, Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, and Dr. Akihisa Inoue of the Institute for Materials Research have been awarded the American Physical Society 2009 James C. McGroddy Prize for New Materials "for the development of slow cooling methods for the fabrication of bulk metallic glasses with remarkable mechanical properties and the characterization and application of these materials" The prize will be awarded at the March 2009 APS meeting in Pittsburgh.

Tags: honors research highlights William Johnson

Michael Elowitz, Long Cai, and Chiraj Dalal Find Cells Coordinate Gene Activity with FM Bursts


How a cell achieves the coordinated control of a number of genes at the same time, a process that's necessary for it to regulate its own behavior and development, has long puzzled scientists. Michael Elowitz, assistant professor of biology and applied physics, along with postdoctoral research scholar Long Cai, and graduate student Chiraj Dalal, have discovered a surprising answer. Just as human engineers control devices ranging from dimmer switches to retrorockets using pulsed--or frequency modulated (FM)--signals, cells tune the expression of groups of genes using discrete bursts of activation. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS research highlights health Michael Elowitz postdocs

John Dabiri Named One of "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science Magazine


John Dabiri, assistant professor of aeronautics and bioengineering, has been named one of "Brilliant Ten" by Popular Science Magazine. Dabiri is the youngest scientist on the list at just 28 years of age. Dubbed "the jellyfish engineer" by the magazine, he garnered the award for his studies of the intricacies of jellyfish locomotion. Using a custom-built, high-definition video camera and a water-particle-illuminating laser, Dabiri and his colleagues are able to examine the fluid dynamics that determine how jellyfish propel themselves through their watery environment. Their hope is that those insights will be used to improve the designs of nonbiological systems as diverse as military submarines and onshore windmills. [Popular Science Article]

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT John Dabiri fluid dynamics

Paul Bellan Gives Explanation for a Strange Property of Night-shining Clouds


An explanation for a strange property of night-shining clouds has been proposed by Paul Bellan, Professor of Applied Physics. Noctilucent clouds - thin, wispy electric blue clouds clouds hovering at 85 km altitude - are highly reflective to radar. Ice grains in noctilucent clouds are coated with a thin film of metal, made of sodium and iron. The metal film causes radar waves to reflect off ripples in the cloud in a manner analogous to how x-rays reflect from a crystal lattice. [Caltech Press Release]

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NSF Awards Sossina Haile ACI Fellowship


The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded an American Competitiveness and Innovation (ACI) Fellowship to Sossina M. Haile, Professor of Materials Science and Chemical Engineering, "for her timely and transformative research in the energy field and her dedication to inclusive mentoring, education and outreach across many levels." This recognition program honors current NSF grantees who have demonstrated a combination of transformative research accomplishments and outstanding contributions toward education, mentoring, and broadening participation of women, underrepresented minorities, and people with disabilities.

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Michael Dickinson and Gwyneth Card Determine the Secret to a Fly's Evasive Maneuvering


Michael Dickinson, Esther M. and Abe M. Zarem Professor of Bioengineering, and graduate student Gwyneth Card have determined the secret to a fly's evasive maneuvering using high-resolution, high-speed digital imaging of fruit flies faced with that looming swatter. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights Michael Dickinson

Peng Yin Creates DNA Tubes with Programmable Sizes for Nanoscale Manufacturing


Peng Yin, a senior postdoctoral scholar in bioengineering and computer science at IST Center for Biological Circuit Design, along with his colleagues, has designed a series of flexible, single-stranded DNA molecules for nanoscale manufacturing. The group has developed a simple process for mass producing these molecular tubes of identical, and precisely programmable, circumferences. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights health Erik Winfree postdocs

Morteza Gharib Honored with R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award


Morteza Gharib, Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and professor of bioengineering, and his team has been honored with R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Award recognizing significant new technologies from the past year. The team designed a three-dimensional camera with a vast array of possibilities, ranging from 3-D movement tracking for rehabilitation to underwater surveillance. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: honors research highlights GALCIT Morteza Gharib

$10 Million Awarded to the Molecular Programming Project Led by Erik Winfree


The National Science Foundation's Expeditions in Computing program has awarded $10 million to the Molecular Programming Project, a collaborative effort by researchers at Caltech and the University of Washington, led by Professor Erik Winfree, to establish a fundamental approach to the design of complex molecular and chemical systems based on the principles of computer science. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights CMS Erik Winfree

Emmanuel Candes Receives Information Theory Society Paper Award


Emmanuel Candes, Ronald and Maxine Linde Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, has garnered the 2008 Information Theory Society Paper Award jointly with Terence Tao and David Donoho. Their ground-breaking papers were cited for independently introducing the new area of compressed sensing, which holds great promise for processing massive amounts of data, and has already had a broad impact on a diverse set of fields, including signal processing, information theory, function approximation, MRI, and radar design.

Tags: honors research highlights health Emmanuel Candes CMS