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EAS Remembers George W. Housner

04-26-09

A memorial service for George W. Housner (1910 - 2008), who was the Braun Professor of Engineering and considered the father of earthquake engineering, was held on Saturday, April 18, 2009. For more on the life and legacy of Housner, see the Caltech Archives presentation of the life of George W. Housner.

Tags: MCE EAS history George Housner

Anatol Roshko Awarded the AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award

04-21-09

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) has awarded Anatol Roshko, Theodore von Karman Professor of Aeronautics, Emeritus, the AIAA Reed Aeronautics Award. This award is presented to honor notable achievement in the field of aeronautical science and engineering. Presentation of the award will take place on May 13, 2009 at the AIAA Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala in Washington, D.C. This annual black-tie event recognizes the most influential and inspiring individuals in aerospace, whose outstanding contributions merit the highest accolades. [View 2009 Recipients]

Tags: honors GALCIT Anatol Roshko

Professor Rosakis and Chairman Kresa Named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences

04-21-09

Caltech Faculty Members and Board Chair Named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences: Caltech professors Marianne Bronner-Fraser and Ares Rosakis, as well as Chairman of the Board Kent Kresa, are among the 210 new fellows elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences this year. They join an assembly that was founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock, and other scholars to provide practical solutions to pressing issues.

Tags: honors GALCIT Ares Rosakis AMACAD Ken Kresa

Pietro Perona Trains Computers to Analyze Fruit-Fly Behavior

04-08-09

Researchers led by Pietro Perona, the Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering, and David J. Anderson, the Roger W. Sperry Professor of Biology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator, have trained computers to automatically analyze aggression and courtship in fruit flies, opening the way for researchers to perform large-scale, high-throughput screens for genes that control these innate behaviors. The program allows computers to examine half an hour of video footage of pairs of interacting flies in what is almost real time; characterizing the behavior of a new line of flies "by hand" might take a biologist more than 100 hours. "This is a coming-of-age moment in this field," says Perona. "By choosing among existing machine vision techniques, we were able to put together a system that is much more capable than anything that had been demonstrated before." This work is detailed in the April issue of Nature Methods. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: EE research highlights Pietro Perona

Ali Hajimiri Awarded $6 Million to Develop Self-Healing Circuits

04-08-09

Over the past few decades, the transistors in computer chips have become progressively smaller and faster, allowing upwards of a billion individual transistors to be packed into a single circuit, thus shrinking the size of electronic devices. But these circuits have an intractable design flaw: if just a single transistor fails, the entire circuit also fails. One novel way around the problem is a so-called self-healing circuit. Such circuits are "inspired by biological systems that constantly heal themselves in the presence of random and intentional failures," says Caltech professor Ali Hajimiri.

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Ali Hajimiri

Erik Winfree Controls Complex Nucleation Processes using DNA Origami Seeds

04-08-09

"Flowers, dogs, and just about all biological objects are created from the bottom up," says Erik Winfree, associate professor of computer science, computation and neural systems, and bioengineering at Caltech. Along with his coworkers, Winfree is seeking to integrate bottom-up construction approaches with molecular fabrication processes to construct objects from parts that are just a few billionths of a meter in size that essentially assemble themselves. In a recent paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), Winfree and his colleagues describe the development of an information-containing DNA "seed" that can direct the self-assembled bottom-up growth of tiles of DNA in a precisely controlled fashion. In some ways, the process is similar to how the fertilized seeds of plants or animals contain information that directs the growth and development of those organisms. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: research highlights health CMS Erik Winfree

 
Four EAS Alumni Named by Caltech as Distinguished Alumni

03-25-09

Four EAS alumni have garnered the highest honor the Institute bestows and been named Caltech Distinguished Alumni: David B. Kirk (MS '90 Computer Science, PhD '93 Computer Science); Robert J. Lang, (BS '82 Electrical Engineering, PhD '86 Applied Physics); François M. Morel (MS '68 Civil Engineering, PhD '72 Engineering Science) and David W. Thompson (MS '78 Aeronautics). Kudos to all! [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: honors alumni

25th Annual ME 72 Contest

03-11-09

Kevin Noertker and Marc Sellsof Team Newt N' Salamander won the 25th Annual ME 72 Contest which was held on Tuesday, March 10, 2009. Teams of two students each competed to design and build an amphibious craft that would crawl into and swim across Millikan pond, clean up floating debris, and crawl out at the opposite end, depositing its cargo at the top of the bridge. Marshall Grinstead and Edmond Wong of Team Ramen and Cheesesteaks won second place this year. Congratulations to all the participants! [NBC video coverage] [CBS video coverage]

Tags: MCE

Ares Rosakis Named Chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science

03-05-09

Ares Rosakis, Theodore von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, has been named chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, effective May 1. After earning his BSc from University of Oxford and his ScM and PhD from Brown University, Rosakis joined the Caltech faculty in 1982. Since 2004, he has served as director of the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT). Provost Ed Stolper stated that "his remarkable breadth and the leadership skills he has shown as director of GALCIT have demonstrated the mix of interests, temperament, and skills required to lead the EAS division creatively and effectively as it addresses its needs, opportunities, and challenges in research and education."

Tags: GALCIT Ares Rosakis

 
EAS Remembers Thomas McGill

02-27-09

Thomas McGill, professor of applied physics, emeritus, passed away on March 19. An expert in nanostructures, he discovered how to stack silicon layers on chips in a way that could lead to significant new advances in silicon-based electronics. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS EAS history