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Summer Engineering and Computer Science Institute

08-29-11

Computing and Mathematical Sciences Lecturers Michael Vanier and Donnie Pinkston partnered with the Caltech Center for Diversity to work with 23 diverse and gifted high school sophomores and juniors who came to Caltech as part of the Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) Summer Engineering Institute.  The student's summer projects included a Sudoku solver, a "15-puzzle" sliding-tile puzzle game, and a Pong game. The games were a great hit at the final presentations involving Caltech faculty and staff, parents, and representatives from Apple Inc. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: CMS Michael Vanier Donnie Pinkston Center for Diversity

Building A Wind Tunnel To Produce Shear Flow

08-24-11

Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) student, Yuyang Fan, working with Research Scientist Daegyoum Kim and Professor Morteza Gharib, has built a wind tunnel that produces shear flow—flow in which wind speed changes with position or time.  The tunnel is six feet long, four feet wide, and four feet tall.  It is made from 100 coaster-sized computer fans that blow air at around nine meters per second. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: energy research highlights GALCIT Morteza Gharib SURF Yuyang Fan Daegyoum Kim

Nano-mechanics of Carbon Nanotube Research Wins Art Competition

08-22-11

Siddhartha (Sid) Pathak, a W. M. Keck Institute for Space Studies (KISS) Postdoctoral Fellow in Material Science, has received the first prize in the NanoArt 2011 International Competition. The inspiration for Dr. Pathak's entry entitled "In-situ SEM deformation of CNT micro-pillars" is his research on nano-mechanics of carbon nanotubes.  As a KISS postdoc Dr. Pathak is working with  Professor Julia Greer on mechanical testing of carbon nanotubes at submicron length scales, with a particular emphasis towards space applications.  

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Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Julia Greer KISS Siddhartha Pathak postdocs

Intel Acquires Company Founded by CMS Alumni

08-19-11

Fulcrum Microsystems Inc., a company founded by former students of Professor Alain J. Martin, has been acquired by Intel Corporation. Computing and Mathematical Sciences (CMS) alumni Uri V. Cummings (Ph.D. '05) and Andrew M. Lines (M.S. '95) founded Fulcrum Microsystems in late 1999 to commercialize on the nearly two decades of work that they and Professor Martin had done to come up with clockless, low-power, high-bandwidth chips for managing switched communications. [Press Release]

Tags: energy research highlights CMS alumni Alain Martin Uri Cummings Andrew Lines

Computer Scientists Assist with Conservation Planning

08-16-11

Postdoctoral Scholar Daniel R. Golovin and colleagues including Professor Andreas Krause have won the Outstanding Paper Award in the Computational Sustainability and Artificial Intelligence Track at the 2011 Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) Conference  for their paper entitled Dynamic Resource Allocation in Conservation Planning. The paper was selected from 975 submissions.  It addresses how computer science (in particular machine learning and adaptive optimization) can help conservation planning, by making recommendations about how to best protect rare species. [Read the paper]

Tags: honors CMS Andreas Krause Daniel Golovin postdocs

Disorder Is Key to Nanotube Mystery

08-12-11

William A. Goddard III, Charles and Mary Ferkel Professor of Chemistry, Materials Science, and Applied Physics; and Posdoctoral Scholar Tod Pascal believe to have solved the mystery of why water spontaneously flows into extremely small tubes of graphite or graphene, called carbon nanotubes.  Using a novel method to calculate the dynamics of water molecules they have found that entropy is the missing key.  "It's a pretty surprising result," says Professor Goddard "People normally focus on energy in this problem, not entropy." [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights William Goddard Tod Pascal

Professor Shepherd Wins Literature Award for Outstanding Technical Paper

08-08-11

Joseph E. Shepherd, C. L. "Kelly" Johnson Professor of Aeronautics and Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and colleague Kazuaki Inaba have received the 2011 G.E.O. Widera Literature Award for their paper entitled Flexural Waves in Fluid-filled Tubes Subject to Axial Impact.  This award is given annually to one outstanding technical paper published in the ASME Journal of Pressure Vessel Technology. [Read the Paper]

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE Joseph Shepherd Kazuaki Inaba

Cell-phone Medical Devices

08-08-11

Mani Chandy, Simon Ramo Professor and Professor of Computer Science; Deputy Chair for Education, and Julian J. Bunn, Principal Computational Scientist at CACR, are working with a group of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) in CMS, EE, and MCE to building a collection of medical devices that can be connected to a cell phone. "We want to exploit cell-phone technology and the Internet to provide inexpensive health-care tests for the poor in remote rural villages," says Chandy. [Caltech Feature]

Tags: EE research highlights health MCE CMS Kanianthra Mani Chandy Julian Bunn SURF

Engineers Solve Longstanding Problem in Photonic Chip Technology

08-04-11

Liang Feng, a Postdoctoral Scholar in Electrical Engineering who works with Professor Axel Scherer, has designed a new type of optical waveguide - a 0.8-micron-wide silicon device. The waveguide allows light to go in one direction but changes the mode of the light when it travels in the opposite direction. This new technique to isolate light signals on a silicon chip, solves a longstanding problem in engineering photonic chips. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS EE energy research highlights Liang Feng Axel Scherer postdocs

One-way Transmission System for Sound Waves

07-26-11

Postdoctoral scholar, Georgios Theocharis, and GALCIT alumnus Nicholas Boechler; working with Professor Chiara Daraio, have created the first tunable acoustic diode- a device that allows acoustic information to travel only in one direction, at controllable frequencies. [Caltech Press Release]

Tags: APhMS energy research highlights Chiara Daraio GALCIT Georgios Theocharis Nicholas Boechler postdocs