Kevin Dick Wins Outstanding Undergraduate Award
CS undergraduate Kevin Dick has been selected as a winner of the Computing Research Association's Outstanding Undergraduate Award for 2008. This award recognizes the top undergraduate students in North American universities who show outstanding research potential in an area of computing research. Kevin was recognized for his achievements on several summer research projects (algorithms that take advantage of hardware prefetching; approximation factors for problems related to DNF minimization), coauthoring a conference publication, and maintaining an outstanding academic record.
Uncovering Genetic Underpinnings of Wood Digestion
Wood is made of three tightly intertwined compounds; taking it apart is a challenge, and termites are among the few known animals that can do it. Professor Jared Leadbetter led a team of researchers from other universities, private industry, and the Department of Energy (DOE) in uncovering the genetic underpinnings and the roles of bacteria in wood digestion by "higher termites." These insects abound in tropical and subtropical ecosystems. What the team found, says Leadbetter, is "a comprehensive set of blueprints for the bacteria that help dismantle wood." This has recently become a focus of interest for those interested in developing an effective, industrial method to convert wood into ethanol. [Caltech Press Release]
Professor Rosakis Receives the 2007 D. R. Harting Award
Ares Rosakis has received the 2007 D. R. Harting Award, from the Society of Experimental Mechanics (SEM) for the "Best Paper" published in Experimental Techniques. The title of the paper is "Supershear and Sub-Rayleigh to Supershear Transition Observed in Laboratory Earthquake Experiments". Rosakis and his co-authors, Dr. Kaiwan Xia and Professor Hiroo Kanamori received this award in June 2007 at the SEM Annual Conference, Springfield, MA.
D. R. Harting Award