Machine Learning Helps Robot Swarms Coordinate
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]
Alexander Popov Receives 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
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.
Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Katie Bouman Receives Okawa Research Grant
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]
June Kim Receives 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Computer science mathematics student Joo Eun (June) Kim, advised by Professor Adam Wierman, is a recipient of the 2020 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. June is largely interested in software engineering and game programming. She has previously worked at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory as part of the Mars 2020 Lander Vision System team, and at Blizzard Entertainment as a full-stack engineer intern. This summer she will be working at Riot Games as a game engineer intern and is hoping to continue her professional career in the gaming industry. 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.
Henry Ford II Scholar Award
Joo Eun Kim
Optical Microcomb Device May Result in Improved Telecommunications, Sensors, Clocks
Modern telecommunications often makes use of multiple lasers of different colors to transmit data, but a new device the size of a cigarette pack can replace them. A team of researchers from Caltech, UC Santa Barbara, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Lausanne (EPFL) have developed a new device that will lead to improved optical data transmission and could have applications ranging from communications to the miniaturization of time standards or to the search for exoplanets. Their device converts laser light of a single frequency into an evenly spaced set of many distinct frequencies (a comb of frequencies). The resulting optical frequency microcomb is built from a single piece of silicon, in much the same way as computer chips. And its many colors can replace many separate lasers for data transmission. "The new approach makes the process as easy as switching on a room light," says co-author Kerry Vahala, Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Applied Physics and executive officer for Applied Physics and Materials Science. [Caltech story]
Wei Gao Receives IEEE EMBS Academic Early Career Achievement Award
Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering, has won the 2020 IEEE EMBS Academic Early Career Achievement Award for innovative and pioneering contributions in the field of bioelectronic devices from wearable biosensors for continuous personalized health monitoring to synthetic micro/nanorobotics for in vivo biomedical applications. This award is given annually to an individual for significant contributions to the field of biomedical engineering as evidenced by innovative research design, product development, patents, and/or publications made by an individual who is within 10 years of completing their highest degree at the time of the nomination.
126th Commencement Ceremony
Caltech’s 126th commencement ceremony was held virtually on Friday, June 12, 2020, honoring graduates with 454 degrees—207 earning bachelor's degrees, 101 earning master's degrees, and 146 earning PhD degrees. Caltech president Thomas F. Rosenbaum opened the ceremony, noting the unusual circumstances of the event and emphasizing that "even in separation, community can triumph." The program kicked off with a video montage of well-wishers, including Caltech Nobel laureate Frances Arnold, Caltech faculty and staff members, and Modern Family actress Ariel Winter. The speakers congratulated the grads and anticipated successful careers filled with notable achievements. In concluding, Harry Gray, Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry and founding director of the Beckman Institute, urged graduates to "have a little fun along the way." [Watch the Ceremony] [Caltech story]