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NEWS RELEASE

September 16, 2002

Media Contacts:
   Denine Hagen, (858) 534-2920 or dhagen@ucsd.edu

Editors Note:
   For complete profiles on new faculty click here.

UCSD JACOBS SCHOOL HIRES 15 FACULTY IN KEY FOCUS AREAS

The Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) announced today that it has hired 15 new faculty, making this the most successful recruiting season in the School's recent history. The new hires strengthen UCSD's expertise in nanotechnology and embedded systems, optical networking and sensors, bioinformatics, datamining and machine learning, computer graphics and network systems.

The Jacobs School is in the midst of a significant growth phase which began in 1994 and will continue through 2010. The size of the faculty has nearly doubled from 92 in 1994 to 160 today. Plans call for an additional 70 faculty by the end of the decade. Concurrently, the student body is growing and the Jacobs School expects total undergraduate and graduate student enrollment to increase to 5000 in Fall 2002, up from approximately 4700 last year.

"We are pleased by the extraordinary quality of the new faculty who are adding to our strengths in focus areas critical for future innovation," said Frieder Seible, Interim Dean of the Jacobs School. Seible says much of this research is focused on important application areas such as healthcare, critical infrastructure and environmental monitoring, telecommunications and mobile computing, and enhancements to the Internet.

An expert in the area of materials and nanotechnology, Sungho Jin has joined the School's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department as the Kazuo Iwama Professor for Materials Science. A National Academy of Engineering member, Jin specializes in ultra-small materials for many applications including implantable medical devices and optical networks. Jim has more than 170 patents to his name and was most recently a technical manager at Bell Labs.

Research in sensor networks is increasingly critical to environmental and critical infrastructure monitoring, and the School further strengthened its Department of Structural Engineering with the addition of Michael Todd, who specializes in damage diagnostics and using sensor technologies to monitor the health and performance of civil, naval and aerospace structures.

Two additional faculty with expertise in optical networks joined the School's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. George Papen specializes in fiber optic communications systems while Joseph Ford focuses on optical devices for applications including data storage, telecommunications, and optoelectronic computing. The Electrical and Computer Engineering department also added two faculty in the area of signal processing. Nuno Vasconcelos specializes in computer vision, and pattern recognition and works on retrieval of images, video, audio, speech, and DNA sequences. Curt Schurgers works on power-efficient embedded systems for sensor and signal networks.

The Computer Science and Engineering Department leads this year's recruitment with six new faculty. Strengthening the Jacobs School's focus on nanotechnology and networking is Rajesh Gupta, Qualcomm Professor of Embedded Microsystems. Gupta is an expert in embedded systems and mobile computing, including the integration of software and hardware to make computers more portable and energy efficient. Alex Snoeren also joins the department and adds expertise in computer systems with a focus on secure and robust wide-area mobile computing.

The Computer Science and Engineering Department enhanced its computer graphics and machine vision program with two new faculty: David Kriegman is a widely cited expert on face recognition, a crucial component of vision based security systems. Henrik Wann Jensen specializes in rendering of realistic images of natural phenomena. In the area of data and pattern recognition, Sanjoy Dasgupta focuses on machine learning and uncovering patterns in high dimensional data such as genomic information and environmental data. Alin Deutsch specializes in integrating data from multiple sources.

Such work in high dimensional data is important for the emerging field of bioinformatics and systems biology, and the Jacobs School's Department of Bioengineering added two experts in this frontier area. Jeff Hasty engineers gene networks in order to gain insight into gene regulation and the control of cell function. One of his goals is to build synthetic genetic switches or oscillators which could be inserted into a patient's cells to tightly regulate the expression of a desired protein, or even to cause an undesirable cell to self-destruct. Xiaohua Huang focuses on nanotechnology devices for massive parallelization and miniaturization of biochemical reactions and biomolecular analyses. He will apply his newly developed technology of rolling circle DNA amplification, together with bioinformatics, to elucidate genetic regulatory networks. The Department of Bioengineering also recruited Wayne Giles, who holds a joint appointment with the School of Medicine. Giles studies the electrical impulses and chemical signals that control heart beat. His work provides insight into the design of cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, as well as drugs which control dangerous heart rhythms, which left unchecked, can lead to heart attacks. Giles' appointment will further enhance the strong ties between Bioengineering and the School of Medicine in molecular cardiology and cardiovascular engineering.

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