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Collecting Hot Carriers: New Process Harvests Excited Quasiparticles

08-12-20

Professor Harry Atwater has developed a way to eke more energy out of solar power by collecting freshly charged particles before they have an opportunity to cool off. This fundamental research could one day help scientists harvest energy from the sun more efficiently than by the natural photosynthesis used by plants. "If hot carriers, transporting more energy, could be captured, we would be able to wring three to four times as much energy from solar power," says Atwater. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Harry Atwater

Anima Anandkumar Receives VentureBeat AI Research Award

08-06-20

Anima Anandkumar, Bren Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, has received the 2020 VentureBeat AI Research Award. The award is given in recognition for outstanding contributions in the AI field, from advancing the work in ethics and fairness in AI, to trailblazing research critical to AI innovation, to ensuring young women entering the field have the opportunity and mentorship necessary to thrive. 

Tags: honors CMS Animashree Anandkumar

A Pathway to Longer-Lasting Lithium Batteries

08-06-20

The energy density of batteries have been a major challenge for consumer electronics, electric vehicles, and renewable energy sources. Professor Julia R. Greer has made a discovery that could lead to lithium-ion batteries that are both safer and more powerful. Findings provide guidance for how lithium-ion batteries, one of the most common kinds of rechargeable batteries, can safely hold up to 50 percent more energy. "Every power-requiring application would benefit from batteries with lithium instead of graphite anodes because they can power so much more," says Greer. "Lithium is lightweight, it doesn't occupy much space, and it's tremendously energy dense." [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE Julia Greer

Dabiri Receives Waterman Award from the National Science Foundation

08-05-20

The National Science Foundation (NSF) honors John O. Dabiri, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering, with the 2020 Alan T. Waterman Award. The Alan T. Waterman Award is given to an outstanding young U.S. scientist or engineer along with a medal and other recognition. "This year's scientific pioneers are innovators who are creatively addressing some of the most challenging scientific questions," said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. "John Dabiri has looked to the fluid mechanics of sea life for inspiration to build better wind farms that appear to boost efficiency with a much smaller footprint." [NSF story] [Caltech story

Tags: honors GALCIT MCE John Dabiri Waterman Award

Ari Rosner Develops Tool That Configures Socially-Distanced Students In Classrooms

07-31-20

Mechanical engineering student Ari Rosner, has developed an interactive Excel worksheet powered by advanced algorithms to help schools with social distancing in classrooms. Schools can plug a room’s dimensions and social distancing parameters into the worksheet, and the most efficient configuration of students for a designated classroom would automatically be mapped out. Rosner’s model situates students in rows or in a hexagonal pattern, depending on a room’s shape, in order to safely maximize space. "I cried when I saw how this worked," said Rachael Burton, the development director at a small private school in Brooklyn, New York. "I knew Ari’s mathematical chart could save our lives." [Forbes story]

Tags: research highlights MCE Ari Rosner

Superconducting Twisted Bilayer Graphene—Magic not Needed?

07-16-20

A new study shows that superconductivity in twisted bilayer graphene can exist away from the magic angle when coupled to a two-dimensional semiconductor. "Our observations were quite unexpected. It implies that we only scratched the surface of graphene twistronics. These are exciting times for the field," says Stevan Nadj-Perge, Assistant Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Stevan Nadj-Perge

Machine Learning Helps Robot Swarms Coordinate

07-14-20

Soon-Jo Chung, Bren Professor of Aerospace, Yisong Yue, Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, postdoctoral scholar Wolfgang Hönig, and graduate students Benjamin Rivière and Guanya Shi, have designed a new data-driven method to control the movement of multiple robots through cluttered, unmapped spaces, so they do not run into one another. "Our work shows some promising results to overcome the safety, robustness, and scalability issues of conventional black-box artificial intelligence (AI) approaches for swarm motion planning with GLAS and close-proximity control for multiple drones using Neural-Swarm," says Chung. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT CMS Yisong Yue Soon-Jo Chung postdocs Benjamin Rivière Guanya Shi Wolfgang Hönig

Matthew S. Bauer Receives 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award

07-03-20

Computation and neural systems student Matthew S. Bauer is a recipient of the 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors Henry Ford II Scholar Award Matthew Bauer

Alexander Popov Receives 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award

06-30-20

Computer science student Alexander Popov, advised by Professor Yaser Abu-Mostafa, is a recipient of the 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Some of the most interesting classes that Alexander has taken at Caltech have been team-based interdisciplinary project classes. These classes have allowed him to gain experience working in teams with varying specialties, while designing and implementing interesting projects (for example, a robot arm designed to recognize users’ hand gestures and assist them in executing complicated drawing-related tasks, such as exactly copying an area of a whiteboard). This summer he will be working as a software engineer at Facebook. After graduation, he aims to work at a company where he is able to further develop his knowledge of machine learning and the application thereof. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award Yaser Abu-Mostafa Alexander Popov

Katie Bouman Receives Okawa Research Grant

06-26-20

Katie Bouman, Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Electrical Engineering; Rosenberg Scholar, is a recipient of a 2020 Okawa Foundation Research Grant for her work on "AI Meets Real-World Science: Optimal Sensing for Next-Generation Imaging." This is a prize awarded to faculty involved in the fields of computer science, information systems and/or telecommunications, and other scientific fields inspired by these approaches. [Past Recipients]

Tags: EE honors CMS Katie Bouman