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2013 News Releases

    12/20/13
    Industry: Meet the Jacobs School's Students

    Intel. Microsoft. Cisco. These were three of the 18 science and tech companies that sent recruiters to meet with Jacobs School students at the fifth annual Professional Evening with Industry Nov. 22 at the Price Center. Put on by three student diversity organizations–the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)–in conjunction with the IDEA Student Center, the event gave Jacobs School students the opportunity to dine with the recruiters as well as industry engineers before a career fair, where they could hand over resumes and talk about job or internship opportunities.

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    12/19/13
    Class Creates Budding Entrepreneurs

    Kevin Fructuoso didn’t think about being an entrepreneur—until he took the Product Design and Entrepreneurship class taught by mechanical engineering Teaching Professor Nathan Delson.  During the class, he teamed up with three other students to come up with a product that  helps meet the unique sleep needs of students, who often live in noisy dorms. Students had to identify a market need, design the product, conduct marker research, study interfaces and usability and learn how to use a 3D printer, among other requirements. The class culminated in a three-hour pitch fest, where students attempted to sell their products to three entrepreneurs and product designers who served as judges, Dec. 12 at the Qualcomm Conference Center in Jacobs Hall. Three teams won $2000 to pursue their product idea and join the Moxie Center, the campus’ undergraduate entrepreneurship incubator.

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    12/13/13
    2013: The Year in Review

    From the largest alumni gift in the campus’ history, which went to the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, to the arrival of Dean Al Pisano, it’s been a busy year here at the Jacobs School of Engineering. The school produced many research milestones, from a Google map of the human metabolism to the world’s first zoomable contact lens. Students got into the action too and UC San Diego became the first university to design, build and test a 3D-printed rocket engine. Here are some of the most memorable stories of the year—but not all: the list would be too long. 

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    12/12/13
    ACM Recognizes Two UC San Diego Computer Scientists

    Two computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego are among the 50 members of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) elected Fellows of the organization in 2013. Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) professors Yuanyuan (YY) Zhou and Mihir Bellare in UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering were among the elite group of researchers hailing from leading universities, corporations and research labs.

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    12/12/13
    With 'Cool Gizmo,' Research Team Hopes Citizen-Sensors Will Improve World Health

    Enterprising researchers and students at the University of California, San Diego are looking for funding to complete a “citizen-sensor” project that, they hope, will revolutionize global health and environmental monitoring – especially in remote and undeveloped areas of the planet. They also hope to attract the faith and funding of people around the world through the open, global crowd-funding resource Indiegogo, the first partnership between UC San Diego and a funding platform.

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    12/11/13
    Bullet Trains, Express Lanes' and Aspen Trees

    Computer scientists from the University of California, San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering didn’t have far to travel to attend the 9th ACM International Conference on Emerging Networking Experiments and Technologies (CoNEXT) in Santa Barbara, Calif. So why the big focus on “bullet trains” and “express lanes”? For researchers and students in UC San Diego’s Center for Networked Systems (CNS) and Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department, those transportation terms do not mean quite the same thing in computer networking as they do for consumers eager to get home by train, bus or car for the holidays. CNS research scientist George Porter co-authored two papers with CSE colleagues, and they were presented on Dec. 11 during a CoNEXT session called, “Trains, Lanes and Autobalancing.”

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    12/10/13
    Hipster, surfer or biker? Computers may soon be able to tell the difference

    Are you a hipster, surfer or biker? What is your urban tribe? Your computer may soon be able to tell. Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, are developing an algorithm that uses group pictures to determine to which of these groups, or urban tribes, you belong. So far, the algorithm is 48 percent accurate on average. That’s better than chance--which gets answers right only nine percent of the time--but researchers would like the algorithm perform at least as well as humans would. 

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    12/3/13
    Learning by Shaking

    Over the past seven years, more than 7,000 sixth-graders from 26 schools in San Diego County built their own structures and got to test them on small shake tables at the Jacobs School of Engineering. It’s all part of the Earthquake Engineering with K’NEX Outreach Program run by the UC San Diego chapter of the Society of Civil and Structural Engineers.

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    12/2/13
    Nanosponge Vaccine Fights MRSA Toxins

    Nanosponges that soak up a dangerous pore-forming toxin produced by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) could serve as a safe and effective vaccine against this toxin. This “nanosponge vaccine” enabled the immune systems of mice to block the adverse effects of the alpha-haemolysin toxin from MRSA—both within the bloodstream and on the skin. Nanoengineers from the University of California, San Diego described the safety and efficacy of this nanosponge vaccine in the December 1 issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

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    11/25/13
    Bioengineering Professor Among Six UC San Diego Faculty Named 2013 AAAS Fellows

    Six professors at the University of California, San Diego have been named 2013 Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nation’s largest general science organization.

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    11/20/13
    Understanding Information: How We Get It, How We Use It, How to Benefit from It

    For most computer users, information is only valuable when it serves a context-specific purpose, such as providing the GPS coordinates for a new restaurant or a list of search results for a query on airline flights to Fiji.

    But for University of California, San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Tara Javidi, understanding how people acquire and use information in various engineering applications is just as valuable. Her most recent grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) — a $1 million collaborative research award to Javidi, Andrea Goldsmith of Stanford University and Bruno Sinopoli at Carnegie Mellon University — will fund the development of a new theoretical framework for understanding how to best control information flow in large cyber-physical systems such as datacenters or smart energy grids.

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    11/18/13
    New Models Predict Where E. coli Strains Will Thrive

    Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have used the genomic sequences of 55 E. coli strains to reconstruct the metabolic repertoire for each strain. Surprisingly, these reconstructions do an excellent job of predicting the kind of environment where each strain will thrive, the researchers found. Their analysis, published in the Nov. 18, 2013 early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could prove useful in developing ways to control deadly E. coli infections and to learn more about how certain strains of the bacteria become virulent.

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    11/15/13
    Chemical Engineering Students Share Their Passion at UC San Diego Founders' Day

    A small car that runs on chemical reactions, elephant toothpaste and a non-Newtonian fluid—a substance that is both a liquid and a solid. It was all part of the fun at the Jacobs School of Engineering booth at Founders’ Day, Friday, Nov. 15.

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    11/13/13
    UC San Diego Shake Table, Robot Win Best of What's New Awards from Popular Science

    The biggest outdoor shake table in the world and a robot designed to move along utility lines have received Best of What’s New awards from Popular Science, the world’s largest science and technology magazine. The two projects are featured in the magazine’s December issue, now on newsstands.

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    11/12/13
    Single-Cell Genome Sequencing Gets Better

    Researchers led by bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have generated the most complete genome sequences from single E. coli cells and individual neurons from the human brain. The breakthrough comes from a new single-cell genome sequencing technique that confines genome amplification to fluid-filled wells with a volume of just 12 nanoliters. 

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    11/6/13
    UC San Diego Computer Scientist Wins Prestigious Award

    He is the first professor from the University of California, San Diego to win the prestigious SIGOPS Mark Weiser Award. On Nov. 5, computer science and engineering professor Stefan Savage received the 2013 award from the ACM Special Interest Group on Operating Systems (SIGOPS) during the Symposium on Operating Systems Principles (SOSP) in Farmington, Penn.

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    11/5/13
    Undergraduates Get to Ignite Fire in Space for Science

    Four UC San Diego undergraduates boarded a special NASA plane and soared in microgravity over the Gulf of Mexico this summer. Their goal: understanding how biofuels behave in space.

    “The best way to describe the feeling was like being on a roller coaster. In the first second before the microgravity occurs, it feels like you’re at the peak of the roller coaster, and just as the zero gravity takes effect, you’re suddenly free from the floor,” said Sam Avery, a fourth-year aerospace engineering major. “It was a great experience.”

    Avery and three fellow students were there because the UCSD Microgravity team -- a student organization captained by Avery – won a NASA competition for university students. The eight-student organization proposed an experiment to test the combustion rates of biofuels in zero-gravity. The group was one of seven universities that were awarded a zero-gravity trip -- commercially worth $5,000 per person.

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    11/5/13
    Are Racks-on-Chip the Future of Data Centers?

    Increasing the scale and decreasing the cost and power of data centers requires greatly boosting the density of computing, storage and networking within those centers. That is the hard truth spelled out in the journal Science by faculty from the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego.

    Writing in the Oct. 11 edition of Science, Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Chair Shaya Fainman and Center for Networked Systems (CNS) Research Scientist George Porter – who is also a member of the Computer Science and Engineering systems and networking group – argue that one promising avenue to deliver increased density involves “racks on a chip.” These devices would contain many individual computer processing cores integrated with sufficient network capability to fully utilize those cores by supporting massive amounts of data transfer into and out of them.

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    11/5/13
    Pioneer in Smart Car Revolution Honored by IEEE Society

    University of California, San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Mohan Trivedi is the recipient of the 2013 Outstanding Research Award from the IEEE Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Society. The award is given annually to recognize outstanding contributions to research in intelligent transportation as well as contributions to the ITS community.

    Professor Trivedi was cited for his “contributions to machine vision and learning for intelligent vehicles, and driver assistance and transportation systems.” He was honored with the award at the 16th International IEEE Conference on Intelligent Transport Systems in the Dutch capital, The Hague.

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    11/1/13
    Rocketing Ahead

    On a hot Saturday afternoon in the Mojave Desert, a team of UC San Diego engineering students huddled in a small underground bunker and watched quietly as the rocket engine they had designed over the past eight months flared to life on a test platform. As a jet of rocket fuel sprang out of the engine at supersonic speed, the students cheered loudly.

    The test by the UC San Diego chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space (SEDS) marked the first time that a university-led group had successfully designed, built and tested a 3-D-printed rocket engine, according to Space.com.

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    11/1/13
    Nanoengineer Joseph Wang Named one of 100 Most Influential Analytical Scientists

     UC San Diego NanoEngineering professor Joseph Wang has been named one of the 100 most influential analytical scientists in the world, according to the magazine the Analytical Scientist

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    11/1/13
    Countering Click Spam

    When is a click not a click? When an advertising network registers a click on one of their online advertisements, how can it be sure that a single consumer – a “pair of eyeballs” in Madison Avenue jargon – and not a malware computer program, is behind that one click? Or that the viewer’s click was intentional, not induced by deceptive or misleading advertising?
    Click-spam has become a little-known way of life on the Internet. Little known, compared to other types of spam, because much of the fraud is targeted at the advertising networks, rather than at consumers directly. So what happens when an automated system can “click” on hundreds of ads in less than a second?

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    10/30/13
    Genomatica Among 100 Companies Highlighted for Economic Boost of Research

    Two innovative UC San Diego spinoffs are among the 100 companies cited by The Science Coalition in a new report touting the positive economic payoff of federally funded university research.

    Genomatica, a biotechnology company that grew from research conducted in Bernhard Palsson’s laboratory at UC San Diego; and Senomyx, a provider of flavor ingredients for the food and beverage industries that arose from research conducted by Charles Zuker at UC San Diego, help demonstrate how support of basic and applied research at American universities pays strong economic dividends.

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    10/29/13
    UC San Diego Alumnus Publishes Manifesto on Computing for New Forms of Cultural Expression

    2013 is turning out to be a banner year for University of California, San Diego alumnus D. Fox Harrell (Ph.D. Computer Science and Cognitive Science, ’07). In July he received tenure at MIT, where he is an associate professor of digital media. He juggles an appointment in Comparative Media Studies and in the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL). Now Harrell is coming to a bookstore near you with the publication this week of “Phantasmal Media: An Approach to Imagination, Computation, and Expression” (MIT Press). Carefully grounded in computer science, cognitive linguistics, and media studies, and using illustrative multicultural references ranging from classic cinema to science fiction, from Ralph Ellison to Franz Kafka, Harrell’s work has been called a manifesto on how computing can create powerful new forms of cultural expression.

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    10/24/13
    NSF Awards $1.2 Million to UCSD/UCLA to Pinpoint Unused Space in Wireless Spectrum

    A research collaboration between the University of California campuses in San Diego and Los Angeles has been awarded $1.2 million from the National Science Foundation to enable smartphones, sensors and other software-defined radio devices to rapidly and precisely pinpoint bands of unused radio spectrum and eliminate any existing signal interference.

    The team’s hardware-based approach will “open up the radio spectrum and make high-speed communication more accessible to more people in our society,” explained Prof. James Buckwalter of the UC San Diego Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department.

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    10/22/13
    Bioinformatics Breakthrough: High Quality Transcriptome from as Few as Fifty Cells

    Bioengineers from the University of California, San Diego have created a new method for analyzing RNA transcripts from samples of 50 to 100 cells. The approach could be used to develop inexpensive and rapid methods for diagnosing cancers at early stages, as well as better tools for forensics, drug discovery and developmental biology.

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    10/17/13
    Bioengineers Team with High School Students to Study Age-Related Heart Disease

    Bioengineering professor Adam Engler recently launched a six-week fruit fly experiment with a group of 11th grade biology students in a study of age-related heart disease. The question driving the project is whether genetic mutations in the heart, mutations that are common in humans as we age and that are correlated with poor heart function, also contribute to a shortened lifespan?

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    10/17/13
    Meet the Newest Class of Jacobs Scholars at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

    Each academic year, about ten incoming freshman to the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego are named “Jacobs Scholars.” Recipients are selected for their academic achievement, leadership potential and commitment to community service. The exceptional individuals receive a scholarship that includes full tuition and living expenses, invitations to cultural and other social events, and access to a network of current and former Jacobs Scholars.

    Irwin and Joan Jacobs created the program in order to enrich the student body of the Jacobs School of Engineering with a special group of world-class students who are highly likely to contribute to engineering innovation — and are also likely to encourage and inspire other students to do the same.

    Below are profiles of many of the Jacobs Scholars who began their undergraduate careers at UC San Diego in Fall 2013.

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    10/11/13
    National Engineering Forum Comes to San Diego: Movement focuses on engineering to secure America's future

    The National Engineering Forum (NEF) was in San Diego this week to foster actionable discussions on sustaining America’s engineering enterprise. 

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    10/8/13
    Bioengineers uncover cause, treatment for insulin resistance in shock patients

    Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have discovered that insulin resistance in shock patients is caused by the leakage of powerful digestive enzymes from the small intestine that eat away and destroy the insulin receptor in cells. Reporting in the journal Shock, the team has also found a way to stop these enzymes’ destructive path by blocking them in the intestine, where they are normally used to digest food.

    The research team includes Frank DeLano, lead investigator, and co-investigator Geert Schmid-Schönbein, professor and chair of bioengineering at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

    Doctors have long known that trauma patients going into shock are at risk of developing acute insulin resistance, leading to hyperglycemia. The pancreas releases insulin to deliver glucose to cells to convert into energy for the body.  When cells are unable to process insulin properly, a condition known as insulin resistance, blood sugars rise and the pancreas releases more insulin, compounding the problem. Until now, doctors have not known what mechanism causes insulin resistance to develop in shock patients or how to treat it.

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    10/7/13
    Teams of engineering students solve problems for their summer employers

    One team developed an app that speeds up and improves the quality of satellite dish installations for ViaSat. Another team engineered a solution to mounting issues for Solar Turbines' modules and auxiliary systems that could lead to a patent. These students and many more took part in the Team in Internship Program at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego this summer, making significant contributions to the companies they worked for and learning a lot in the process, too. 

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    10/3/13
    Students to test one-of-a-kind, 3D-printed rocket engine

    A group of engineering students at the University of California, San Diego, will boldly go where no university student group has gone before by testing a 3D-printed rocket engine made out of metal at 10 a.m. on Sunday Oct. 5 at the Friends of Amateur Rocketry testing site in the Mojave Desert.

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    10/1/13
    Computer Scientists Develop New Approach to Sort Cells Up to 38 Times Faster

    A team of engineers led by computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, has developed a new approach that marries computer vision and hardware optimization to sort cells up to 38 times faster than is currently possible. The approach could be used for clinical diagnostics, stem cell characterization and other applications. 

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    9/30/13
    Is Massive Open Online Research the Next Frontier for Education?

    A team from UC San Diego is launching a new course on the Coursera online learning network that breaks ground on several fronts.  In “Bioinformatics Algorithms – Part 1,” UC San Diego computer science and engineering professor Pavel Pevzner and his graduate students are offering a course that incorporates a substantial research component for the first time.

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    9/27/13
    Improving Lithium-Ion Batteries with Nanoscale Research Between UC San Diego and The National Labs

    New research led by an electrical engineer at the University of California, San Diego is aimed at improving lithium (Li) ion batteries through possible new electrode architectures with precise nano-scale designs.

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    9/26/13
    UC San Diego Researchers to Build Cyberinfrastructure to Simulate and Predict Wildfires

    Three research organizations at the University of California, San Diego, have been awarded a multi-year National Science Foundation grant to build an end-to-end cyberinfrastructure that will  assess, simulate, predict and visualize wildfire behavior based on real-time data. The project, called WIFIRE, kicks off Oct. 1 and is funded under a three-year grant worth approximately $2.65 million. Participants include researchers from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego, the San Diego Supercomputer Center and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology’s (Calit2) Qualcomm Institute. Also participating in the project is the University of Maryland’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering.

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    9/25/13
    New miniaturized wide-angle lens one-tenth of the size of a regular lens, captures pictures in high-resolution

    A new type of miniature camera system developed by engineers at the University of California, San Diego, promises to give users a big picture view without sacrificing high-resolution. The new imager achieves the optical performance of a full-size wide-angle lens in a device less than one-10th of the volume of a regular lens. 

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    9/18/13
    'Wildly Heterogeneous Genes'

    Cancer tumors almost never share the exact same genetic mutations, a fact that has confounded scientific efforts to better categorize cancer types and develop more targeted, effective treatments.

    In a paper published in the September 15 advanced online edition of Nature Methods, researchers at the University of California, San Diego propose a new approach called network-based stratification (NBS), which identifies cancer subtypes not by the singular mutations of individual patients, but by how those mutations affect shared genetic networks or systems.

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    9/17/13
    Bioengineers Researching Smart Cameras and Sensors that Mimic, Exceed Human Capability

    University of California, San Diego bioengineering professor Gert Cauwenberghs has been selected by the National Science Foundation to take part in a five-year, multi-institutional, $10 million research project to develop a computer vision system that will approach or exceed the capabilities and efficiencies of human vision.

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    9/16/13
    iPad App Teaches Students Key Skill for Success in Math, Science, Engineering

    Engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an iPad app that helps students learn spatial visualization, an essential skill for doing well in science, math and engineering. They have been testing the app during a high school summer program at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, as well as on undergraduate students at the school. 

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    9/13/13
    Calit2 Research Scientist Albert Lin Teams with TopCoder, NASA

    A crowdsourcing effort led by University of California, San Diego research scientist Albert Yu-Min Lin is central to a new challenge as programmers worldwide are invited to develop a machine-learning algorithm to match human perception in picking out interesting features in satellite imagery. While the images come from Lin's search for the lost burial site of Genghis Khan, a new algorithm could help NASA scientists decipher images of distant planets.

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    9/6/13
    After Touch Screens, Researchers Demonstrate Electronic Recording and Replay of Human Touch

    Researchers at the University of California, San Diego report a breakthrough in technology that could pave the way for digital systems to record, store, edit and replay information in a dimension that goes beyond what we can see or hear: touch.
    “Touch was largely bypassed by the digital revolution, except for touch-screen displays, because it seemed too difficult to replicate what analog haptic devices – or human touch – can produce,” said Deli Wang, a professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) in UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering. “But think about it: being able to reproduce the sense of touch in connection with audio and visual information could create a new communications revolution.”

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    9/6/13
    Albert P. Pisano Awarded Top UC Berkeley Honor

    Albert P. Pisano, dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, was awarded the Berkeley Citation on August 29, 2013. This prestigious honor is given to individuals and organizations “whose attainments significantly exceed the standards of excellence in their fields and whose contributions to UC Berkeley are manifestly above and beyond the call of duty.”

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    9/4/13
    Clean Energy Program Accelerates the Commercialization of University Technologies to the Market

    The Southern California Clean Energy Technology Acceleration Program (SoCal TAP) selected four revolutionary research teams from the University of California, San Diego and University of Southern California to receive $180,000 each in commercialization awards as part of a program overseen by the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.  SoCal TAP is funded by the Commercialization Program within the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

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    9/4/13
    UC San Diego Bioengineering and IEM Programmer Named 2013 Presidential Innovation Fellow

    Justin Grevich, a web developer and systems administrator in bioengineering and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, has been named a 2013 Presidential Innovation Fellow.

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    8/29/13
    Center for Networked Systems: Finding the Silver Lining in a Sometimes Dark 'Cloud'

    UC San Diego faculty, researchers and students and collaborators from industry recently came together for the twice-yearly Center for Networked Systems research review.

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    8/27/13
    Computer Science at UC San Diego Jumps in Global Rankings: Reading Between the Ranks

    The computer science program at the University of California, San Diego is on a roll. It jumped several notches in a widely-reported international ranking of top universities by discipline, and the increase occurred prior to changes now under way in the wake of the largest gift ever in the history of the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department.

    According to the computer science Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) in released last week, UC San Diego reached #11 in 2013. That is a substantial jump compared to rankings of #14 in 2012, and #16 in 2011. The ARWU list is produced by a research unit based at Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

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    8/21/13
    Liangfang Zhang Makes MIT Technology Review's Annual Innovators Under 35 List

    MIT Technology Review has named Liangfang Zhang, a professor of nanoengineering at the University of California, San Diego, among the top 35 young innovators of 2013. For over a decade, the global media company has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. Zhang, who joined the faculty of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering in 2008, has been honored as a pioneer on the list for his work in nanotechnology and materials.

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    8/21/13
    Three UC San Diego Professors Win $21M from DOD to Lead Innovative Collaborations

    Shaya Fainman, professor and chair, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and two other University of California, San Diego faculty have garnered three of 15 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative awards granted by the Department of Defense this year. The MURI program supports research by teams of investigators that encompass several traditional science and engineering disciplines to accelerate research progress.

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    8/15/13
    Mountain High: Genetic Adaptation for High-Altitudes Identified

    A team led by scientists from the University of California, San Diego has decoded the genetic basis of chronic mountain sickness (CMS) or Monge’s disease.  Their study provides important information that validates the genetic basis of adaptation to high altitudes, and provides potential targets for CMS treatment. The study will be published online Aug. 15 in advance of print in the Sept. 5 issue of American Journal of Human Genetics.

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    8/13/13
    Team Investigates Earthquake Retrofits for 'Soft' First-floor Buildings on Jacobs School Shake Table

    A team of researchers, led by Colorado State University engineering professor John van de Lindt, has spent the last month shaking a four-story building on the world’s largest outdoor shake table at the University of California, San Diego, to learn how to make structures with first-floor garages better withstand seismic shocks.

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    8/12/13
    Nice Threads! Computer scientists develop new model to simulate cloth on a computer with unprecedented accuracy

    Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new model to simulate with unprecedented accuracy on the computer the way cloth and light interact. The new model can be used in animated movies and in video games to make cloth look more realistic. Existing models are either too simplistic and produce unrealistic results; or too complex and costly for practical use. Researchers presented their findings at the SIGGRAPH 2013 conference held July 21 to 25 in Anaheim, Calif.

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    8/12/13
    New electron beam writer enables next-gen biomedical and information technologies

    The new electron beam writer housed in the Nano3 cleanroom facility at the Qualcomm Institute is important for electrical engineering professor Shadi Dayeh’s two major areas of research. He is developing next-generation, nanoscale transistors for integrated electronics; and he is developing neural probes that have the capacity to extract electrical signals from individual brain cells and transmit the information to a prosthetic device or computer. Achieving this level of signal extraction or manipulation requires tiny sensors spaced very closely together for the highest resolution and signal acquisition. Enter the new electron beam writer.

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    8/8/13
    Currents, Waves and Hawaiian Reefs

    A team of researchers is installing instruments off the leeward side of Oahu this summer to collect data that will help engineers improve computerized models that simulate how currents and waves behave when they encounter coral reefs. One application of the work will be to help model how storm waves flood tropical coastlines. 

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    8/7/13
    Computer Science Startup LonoCloud Acquired by ViaSat

    ViaSat has acquired LonoCloud, co-founded by Ingolf Krueger, a professor of computer science and engineering at the Jacobs School, with an adjunct appointment in the Rady School of Management. LonoCloud has developed an innovative, cloud-based service platform to support the “Internet of Things.” 

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    8/6/13
    Crowdsourcing the World

    Every day, satellites take high-resolution pictures of the Earth. But it is almost impossible for humans to review these billions of pixels of information.  Enter Tomnod, a start-up co-founded by four alumni of the Jacobs School of Engineering who have harnessed crowdsourcing to sort through all these pixels. Their company was recently acquired by Colorado-based Digital Globe, a leading supplier of commercial satellite imagery.  

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    8/5/13
    Computer Science Tutors Get Together for a Family Reunion

    “To me, it's not a tutor reunion, it's a family reunion.” That's how Anu Mupparthi (BS '08, MS '11) described her experience at the recent computer science tutor reunion June 7 on campus. "I come back to the people who made me who I am," said Mupparthi, who now works in the Google+ photo group. She is one of the 170 alumni of the tutor program who came back to UC San Diego for their second-ever reunion.

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    8/2/13
    Health Data Exploration Survey Seeks Participants Who Self-Track Health

    The Health Data Exploration project has announced a call for participants in an online survey that seeks to uncover insights into how individuals, companies and researchers are using the data that are captured through digital devices such as fitness apps.

    Another goal of the survey is to determine how willing individuals are to share their digitally captured health data with others for research purposes.

    This initiative – housed at the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) – will explore how new technologies like smartphones and digital apps are yielding an increasingly large amount of data that can be mined for insights into individual and population health and well-being.

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    7/31/13
    von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center Named NSF Innovation Corps Site

    The University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has been selected as an Innovation Corps site by the National Science Foundation, including $300,000 in funding over the next three years to support the efforts of budding young entrepreneurs. The program will be led by the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering.

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    7/31/13
    Cleaning Solar Panels Often Not Worth the Cost, Engineers at UC San Diego Find

    Don’t hire someone to wash your dirty solar panels. That’s the conclusion of a study recently conducted by a team of engineers at the University of California, San Diego. Their findings were published in the July 25 online issue of Solar Energy. Researchers found panels that hadn’t been cleaned, or rained on, for 145 days during a summer drought in California, lost only 7.4 percent of their efficiency. 

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    7/29/13
    UC San Diego Researcher Receives Prestigious Computer Science Award

    William G. Griswold, a computer scientist at the University of California, San Diego, along with a team of colleagues, has been awarded the 2013 Impact Paper Award from ACM’s Special Interest Group on Software Engineering. 

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    7/29/13
    Conference for African-American Researchers in Mathematics Connects Students to Mentors

    For Lauren Crudup, a third-year bioengineering student at the University of California, San Diego, the Conference for African-American Researchers in the Mathematical Sciences (CAARMS) presented a unique opportunity to learn just how applicable mathematics is in the real-world—especially compared to the pure mathematics she learned in high school and earlier undergraduate courses.

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    7/24/13
    UC San Diego Students Win Top Honors for Innovation at Imaging Competition

    A team of engineering graduate students at the University of California, San Diego, has won the second annual Student Infrared Imaging Competition, a contest that allows students to showcase their innovative ideas using thermal imaging technologies.  The UC San Diego team won the “Best Overall Project” award for their "3D Thermal RGB Mapping for Firefighting Robots" project and received the $10,000 grand prize. The team consists of Will Warren, Daniel Yang and Yuncong Chen, all students in the research group of Thomas Bewley, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. 

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    7/22/13
    Researchers Create a Wave Frozen in Time

    Scientists at the Universidad Carlos III of Madrid (UC3M) and the University of California, San Diego have created, in a laboratory, a static “pipeline wave,” with a crest that moves neither forward nor backward. This research, published in the journal Experiments in Fluids, could lead to improvements in boat and seaport designs as well as analyses of how carbon dioxide exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere occurs. 

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    7/15/13
    UC San Diego Names New Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering

    The University of California, San Diego has named professor Albert P. (Al) Pisano, a highly accomplished mechanical engineer from UC Berkeley, as the next dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Pisano’s appointment begins Sept. 1, 2013. 

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    7/9/13
    Network Calculus Pioneer, UC San Diego Professor Rene Cruz, Dies at 54

    Rene Leonardo Cruz, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and a distinguished scholar in the field of communication networks, died at his home from complications of pancreatic cancer on Saturday, June 29. He was 54.

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    7/9/13
    Telescopic Contact Lens Could Improve Eyesight for the Visually Impaired

    A team of engineers has designed a telescopic contact lens that can switch between normal and magnified vision by using slightly modified off-the-shelf 3D television glasses. The researchers, led by Joseph Ford, a professor of electrical engineering at the University of California, San Diego, built a prototype of the lens and tested it on a mechanical eye. Researchers report their findings in the June 27 online issue of Optics Express, an open-access journal of the Optical Society.

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    6/27/13
    Faculty Invited to Exclusive Symposium for 'Creative Young Engineers'

    Jacobs School of Engineering professors Karen Christman and Gert Lanckriet are among 81 of the nation’s most “creative young engineers” selected to attend this year’s U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium by the National Academy of Engineering. Participation in the event is by invitation-only to engineers between the ages of 30-45 who have “demonstrated accomplishment in engineering research and technical work with recognizable contributions to advancing the frontiers of engineering,” according to an NAE announcement.

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    6/21/13
    Technology-Enhanced Learning: From Campus to the World

    The academic landscape is changing rapidly, due in no small part to recent advances in technologies to enable, enhance and deliver teaching and learning to a worldwide audience. At the University of California, San Diego, administrators and faculty are particularly focused on using technology to transform the undergraduate learning experience (saving money in the process). They’re doing this in the context of the UC San Diego Education Initiative, as well as the Technology-Enhanced Learning (TEL) Initiative jump-started by Calit2’s Qualcomm Institute. Both programs are helping to formulate a way forward for the campus, with the Education Initiative focused on policy, and the TEL Initiative experimenting with various models of online learning.

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    6/19/13
    Almost Half of Mobile Apps Access Privacy-sensitive Data on iOS Devices, Computer Scientists Find

    Almost half of the mobile apps running on Apple’s iOS operating system access the unique identifier of the devices where they’re downloaded, computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have found. In addition, more than 13 percent access the devices’ location and more than 6 percent the address book. The researchers developed a new app that detects what data the other apps running on an iOS device are trying to access. 

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    6/18/13
    Nanoengineering Graduates Ready to Solve Technology's Most Challenging Problems

    The University of California, San Diego conferred its first undergraduate degrees in nanoengineering this June. Although most engineering programs now offer courses about engineering at the nanoscale, very few provide a focused curriculum dedicated to this rapidly growing field. UC San Diego was the first in the nation to create a Department of NanoEngineering in 2007 and began offering it as an undergraduate degree program in fall 2010. Since then, undergraduate enrollment has grown from 51 students to 273, and is expected to reach nearly 400 students this fall with the arrival of a new crop of freshmen.

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    6/14/13
    Tackling the Next Frontier in Single-Cell Sequencing

    You’ve heard of Mini-Me. Now along comes the uncomical field of Mini-Metagenomics. Building on their earlier successes in developing computational tools to assemble the genomes of individual bacterial cells, researchers have developed a method for sequencing the DNA of a collection of bacteria simultaneously – effectively decoding the genome of rare, low-abundance bacteria found on a hospital restroom sink.

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    6/14/13
    Engineering Students Gear Up to Compete in National UAV Challenge

    Their mission: make an unmanned autonomous vehicle, better known as a UAV, take off, fly over specific markers, find five to 11 targets and then land—all in half an hour. That is the challenge that a team of 25 students at UC San Diego is getting ready to tackle this week. They are taking part in the Student Unmanned Aerial Systems Competition June 20 to 23 at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland. The winning team can take home as much as $15,000.

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    6/13/13
    Three Jacobs School Scholars Among 10 Distinguished Campus Teachers

    Hyonny Kim from structural engineering and Richard Ord and Kevin Webb from computer science and engineering are among the 10 UC San Diego scholars recognized with teaching awards.

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    6/11/13
    Gordon Scholars Learn from Experience

    Integrity. Honesty. Teamwork. And smartphones. These are a few of the essential leadership tools engineering students and young engineering professionals need to become successful entrepreneurs in the new economy, said Ronald Reedy, co-founder of Peregrine Semiconductor at a recent Gordon Engineering Leadership forum for students, staff and alumni of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.  Organized by the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, the forum is one of many opportunities students have to learn from the experience of their predecessors.

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    6/10/13
    Positive Peer Pressure More Effective Than Cash Incentives, Study Finds

    Appealing to people’s desire for a good reputation is more effective than cold, hard cash, researchers at Harvard, Yale, the Federal Trade Commission and the University of California, San Diego, found in a study published June 18 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Their findings could be applied to everything from increasing recycling rates, reducing energy usage to cutting carbon emissions. 

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    6/6/13
    Metabolic Model of E. coli Integrated with Protein Structures Reveals How Bacterial Growth Responds to Temperature Change

    Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have developed a computational model of 1,366 genes in E. colithat includes 3D protein structures and has enabled them to compute the temperature sensitivity of the bacterium’s proteins.  The study, published June 7 in the journal Science, opens the door for engineers to create heat-tolerant microbial strains for production of commodity chemicals, therapeutic proteins and other industrial applications.

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    6/6/13
    $18.5 Million Alumni Gift Lifts UC San Diego's Computer Science and Engineering Dept. into New Era

    An $18.5 million gift from a UC San Diego alumnus will set the computer science and engineering department on a new course into the future, funding new faculty endowed chairs, top-of-the-line teaching labs, support for graduate students, and expanded mentoring and tutoring programs for the next generation of undergraduates. The gift marks a milestone in UC San Diego’s history as it is the largest gift ever made to the university by one of its alumni.

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    6/5/13
    Firefighting Robot Paints 3D Thermal Imaging Picture for Rescuers

    Engineers in the Coordinated Robotics Lab at the University of California, San Diego, have developed new image processing techniques for rapid exploration and characterization of structural fires by small Segway-like robotic vehicles. A sophisticated on-board software system takes the thermal data recorded by the robot’s small infrared camera and maps it onto a 3D scene constructed from the images taken by a pair of stereo RGB cameras. 

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    6/5/13
    Video Games on Syllabus for Popular Computer Science Class

    Dust bunnies that want to eat your food. A tentacle monster that is holding you prisoner on a space ship. Rocket pilots who are trying to steal resources away from you. These are some of the foes featured in video games designed—from scratch—by students in Computer Science and Engineering 125. They will be showing off their work at 4 p.m. June 7 at Atkinson Hall. The demo session is open to the public, who will get a chance to battle the enemies students created.

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    6/4/13
    Why Innovation Thrives in Cities

    In the latest issue of Nature Communications, researchers from the MIT Media Laboratory’s Human Dynamics Lab and Manuel Cebrian, a computer scientist at the University of California, San Diego, propose a new explanation for “superlinear scaling”: increases in urban population density give residents greater opportunity for face-to-face interaction.

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    5/31/13
    Bioengineer Christian Metallo Selected as 2013 Searle Scholar and Hellman Faculty Fellow

    University of California, San Diego bioengineering professor Christian Metallo has been named a 2013 Searle Scholar.  He will receive $300,000 over the next three years to pursue his research on the role of oxygen availability in dictating how fat is produced and metabolized in the body.  This work will provide therapeutic insights into metabolic diseases such as obesity.  Metallo is one of just 15 young investigators across the United States selected from 176 applications submitted by 125 universities.Metallo is the first Searle Scholar representing the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

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    5/29/13
    Jacobs School Associate Dean Charles Tu Awarded Honorary Doctorate

    Electrical Engineering Professor Charles W. Tu has been awarded an honorary doctorate of engineering at Linköping University. At the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, Tu serves as Associate Dean and as a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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    5/23/13
    Zahn Prize Competition Gives Undergraduates Opportunity, Mentoring to Launch Startups

    It was standing room only at the grand opening of the Moxie Center for Undergraduate Entrepreneurship as 10 undergraduate student teams waited to see who among them would win one of three Zahn prizes, for a total of $10,000 in cash to help them bring their products to market. The room was filled with students, faculty, industry partners and investors as well as San Diego Mayor Bob Filner, University of California, San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla, and Juan C. Lasheras, interim dean of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

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    5/17/13
    Entrepreneurial Undergrads Competing for Moxie Center's Zahn Prize

    The Moxie Center for Undergraduate Entrepreneurship will host its grand opening May 20 at the University of California, San Diego, Jacobs School of Engineering. The event will feature an awards presentation for the first-ever Zahn Prize, a five-week business plan competition amongst teams of undergraduate students that have been admitted to the Moxie Center’s Incubator program.

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    5/16/13
    UC San Diego Creates Center for Brain Activity Mapping

    Responding to President Barack Obama’s “grand challenge” to chart the function of the human brain in unprecedented detail, the University of California, San Diego has established the Center for Brain Activity Mapping (CBAM). The new center, under the aegis of the interdisciplinary Kavli Institute for Brain and Mind at UC San Diego, will tackle the technological and biological challenge of developing a new generation of tools to enable recording of neuronal activity throughout the brain. It will also conduct brain-mapping experiments and analyze the collected data.

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    5/14/13
    Alexander Vardy Named First Jack Keil Wolf Chair in Electrical Engineering

    Electrical engineering Professor Alexander Vardy, a renowned researcher in information and coding theory, has been appointed as the first Jack Keil Wolf Endowed Chair in Electrical Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. The endowed chair was established in memory of Jack Keil Wolf, a longtime professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering and a pioneer in information theory and its applications.

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    5/12/13
    Students Connect, Collaborate and Career Search on New Interactive Portfolio Platform

    Students at the UC San Diego are known for their innovative ideas that transcend classroom walls, but these achievements can lose their vigor when confined to a single bullet point on a traditional printed resume. In a digital world that prioritizes portability and values visual content, Jacobs School alumnus Adam Markowitz believes he has a solution to help students make a lasting impression: a new interactive portfolio platform called thePortfolium. Designed to dynamically showcase students’ multidisciplinary projects, the website allows users to network, upload their top work and search for jobs all in one place.

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    5/10/13
    Junkyard Derby Goes on, Rain or Shine

     

    The big storm system that drenched most of San Diego County this week didn't stop 46 teams from taking part in this year's Junkyard Derby May 6 on Peterson Hill. On Monday, 46 teams of students readied themselves for what would be the culmination of a week’s worth of preparation for this year’s derby, organized by UCSD’s Triton Student Engineering Council.  This year’s winner was team Premium Motion.  

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    5/3/13
    Watch Jacobs School Faculty Talks at Research Expo 2013

     

    New faculty from all six departments at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering gave ten-minute talks at Research Expo 2013. Watch the talks online. 

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    5/2/13
    Saura Naderi's Award-Winning Week

    It was shaping up to be just another typical week for the UC San Diego’s Saura Naderi: She’d prepped robotics kits for her engineering classes, given advice to an engineering undergraduate about what servos she should buy for her senior design project and met with members of the Junior National Society of Black Engineers chapter for San Diego to review the chapter’s bylaws. But a text message she received Monday afternoon was the first hint Naderi’s week would be something extra special. The text, from Lovella Cacho, Naderi’s colleague at the UC San Diego Qualcomm Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, read: “You’re one of the top 10 up for UC San Diego Employee of the Year Award.”

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    4/29/13
    Seahorse's Armor Gives Engineers Insight Into Robotics Designs

     

    The tail of a seahorse can be compressed to about half its size before permanent damage occurs, engineers at the University of California, San Diego, have found. The tail’s exceptional flexibility is due to its structure, made up of bony, armored plates, which slide past each other. Researchers are hoping to use a similar structure to create a flexible robotic arm equipped with muscles made out of polymer, which could be used in medical devices, underwater exploration and unmanned bomb detection and detonation. UC San Diego engineers, led by materials science professors Joanna McKittrick and Marc Meyers, detailed their findings in the March 2013 issue of the journal Acta Biomaterialia.

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    4/23/13
    UC San Diego Computer Engineering Students Take Lead in Circuit Design Contest

    A team composed of students from the University of California, San Diego and the University of Michigan won more prize money than any other entry in the 2013 Discrete Gate Sizing Contest at the ACM International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD). The gate-sizing contest judged the teams in two categories. The “primary” category looked at circuit-power quality only; the “secondary” category looked at how well each entry did with the tradeoff between circuit-power quality and runtime optimization. (Runtime is the wall clock time from the beginning to the end of the execution of the submitted binary code program.)

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    4/23/13
    Life and Career Advice from an Alumna for Aspiring Computer Scientists and Engineers

     

    Always ask a lot of questions. Look for mentors and sponsors. When you teach others, you will learn more. Luck is really opportunity plus preparation. Stereotypes and preconceptions really are dares.
    Those were the five pieces of advice that computer science alumna Jennifer Arguello  gave a group of prospective Jacobs School of Engineering undergrads April 5 . The studentswere taking part in an overnight program run by the IDEA Student Center at the Jacobs School. The event was part of Triton Day at the University of California, San Diego. 

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    4/23/13
    Nanosponges that Remove Toxins from Blood Take Top Prize at Research Expo 2013

    More than 100 judges representing industry and engineering faculty circled around 200 engineering research posters at the University of California, San Diego April 18, asking the graduate students about their research. The students, representing the six academic departments of the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, explained the content of their research to the judges as well as Research Expo attendees from industry, academia, the government and nonprofits.  Judges ranked the students on their research and on how well they articulated their work to judges who may or may not work in their particular engineering sub-field. Students were called to explain the essential findings and why they matter to other researchers, to industry and to society.

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    4/19/13
    Symposium at UC San Diego Marks 70th Birthday of Former Engineering Dean

    Within days of each other, Robert W. Conn recently made two trips to Washington, D.C. to meet President Barack Obama at the White House. The Dean Emeritus of the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, Dr. Conn is President of The Kavli Foundation. As the Foundation’s President, on March 28, Conn visited the Oval Office with the 2012 U.S. winners of the Kavli Prizes. The visit was an opportunity for the President to acknowledge the newest laureates and to express how greatly the country depends on basic science. The meeting was also attended by the President’s Science Advisor, Dr. John Holdren, Norwegian Ambassador to the U.S. Wegger Chr. Strommen, and Mr. Rock Hankin, Vice Chairman of the Foundation’s board of directors.

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    4/18/13
    Biosensor Tattoo Monitors Sweat For Health Indicators

    By integrating complex electrochemical sensors with simple, fairground tattoos, nanoengineers have created a highly sensitive, wearable biosensor that monitors electrolyte and metabolite levels in sweat to assess the metabolic health of a patient, and, in particular, their stamina.

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    4/16/13
    SkySweeper Robot Makes Inspecting Power Lines Simple and Inexpensive

    Mechanical engineers at the University of California, San Diego invented a robot designed to scoot along utility lines, searching for damage and other problems that require repairs.

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    4/14/13
    Nanosponges Soak Up Toxins Released by Bacterial Infections and Venom

    Engineers at the University of California, San Diego have invented a “nanosponge” capable of safely removing a broad class of dangerous toxins from the bloodstream – including toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli, poisonous snakes and bees.

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    4/9/13
    UC San Diego Launches Summer Research Opportunity for Undergraduate Explorers

    From three-dimensional imaging of underwater artifacts to thermal imaging-based tracking of animals in the wild, the Engineers for Exploration program at the University of California, San Diego is continually seeking new ways to break down barriers in the world of exploration with UC San Diego’s partners in the program, the National Geographic Society, Hubbs SeaWorld Research Institute, and San Diego Zoo Global. Now, with support from a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) grant awarded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to program co-directors Ryan Kastner, Albert Yu-Min Lin, and Curt Schurgers, a new crop of undergraduate students will spend their summer in San Diego tackling real-world engineering challenges in exploration and scientific discovery.

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    4/9/13
    Kids Can Code Too

     

    Step into a classroom inside UC San Diego’s Computer Science and Engineering building during the weekend, and this is what you will find: two dozen elementary, middle and high school students, about half of them girls, huddled around laptops and computer circuit boards. They’re hard at work on computer programming tasks with fun names, including “Do the wave” and “Horton finds food.” One group of students is developing a gun-less laser tag game, for which they’re trying to get funding. It’s all part of a program started by three UC San Diego graduate students. Called ThoughtSTEM, it’s designed to teach children ages 8 to 18 how to program through hands-on activities. 

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    4/8/13
    UC San Diego Computer Scientists Develop First-person Player Video Game that Teaches How to Program in Java

     

    Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, have developed an immersive, first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary to high school how to program in Java, one of the most common programming languages in use today. The researchers tested the game on a group of 40 girls, ages 10 to 12, who had never been exposed to programming before. They detailed their findings in a paper they presented at the SIGCSE conference in March in Denver. Computer scientists found that within just one hour of play, the girls had mastered some of Java’s basic components and were able to use the language to create new ways of playing with the game. 

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    4/8/13
    1,100 Alumni Strong

    Since 2000, more than 1,100 students have given back by serving as tutors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Jacobs School. The program helps instill in students the department's philosophy, which encourages them to work together rather than compete against one another.

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    4/4/13
    Want to Connect with the Future? Attend Research Expo at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering

     

    Advances in tattoo sensors for health monitoring, on-chip optical networking, low-cost cancer diagnostics, video games designed to teach computer programming, new materials for protecting soldiers from blasts, and energy-efficient high-wire robots. These are just a few of the 200+ projects from Jacobs School of Engineering graduate students that will be on display at Research Expo on April 18 at the University of California, San Diego.

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    4/2/13
    UC San Diego Team Achieves Petaflop-Level Earthquake Simulations on GPU-Powered Supercomputers

    A team of researchers at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) and the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, has developed a highly scalable computer code that promises to dramatically cut both research times and energy costs in simulating seismic hazards throughout California and elsewhere.

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    4/2/13
    Multidisciplinary Research Institute at UC San Diego Named in Honor of Qualcomm

    The University of California, San Diego is renaming its division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) in honor of the philanthropy of the San Diego-based wireless technology leader, Qualcomm Incorporated. The multidisciplinary research center will now be known as the Qualcomm Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, the UC San Diego Division of Calit2, or Qualcomm Institute for short.

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    3/28/13
    Border App Developed by Computer Scientists Wins Third Place at Mobile World Congress

    A team of computer science students from the University of California, San Diego recently took home third place at the 2013 Mobile World Congress (MWC) after pitching their “Best Time to Cross the Border” app to a panel of judges from technology powerhouses such as Facebook and China Mobile.

    The team of students, Matthew Davis, Tarfah Alrashed and Rodrigo Rallo, competed with researchers at 40 universities around the world in the University Mobile Challenge. The top prizewas ultimately awarded to the creators of an app called “Flowbit” out of the University of California, Berkeley, which allows water providers to remotely control water supplies in the developing world. Teams from the University of Waterloo and Harvard University took second and fourth place, respectively.

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    3/25/13
    Better, Cheaper, Faster Ways for Making (and Destroying) Memories

    For literary types, memory is often linked with Marcel Proust’s madeleine cookie, which, in a single bite, launches a nostalgic reverie that lasts through seven volumes. But for scientists and engineers at the University of California, San Diego, ‘memory’ in the computing sense is all about a different kind of sweet: layer cake.  By following a so-called “layer-cake approach” to data storage and retrieval, all components of such systems evolve in tandem, so that advances in hardware don’t rapidly eclipse advances in software, or vice versa. UC San Diego’s annual Non-Volatile Memories Workshop (NVMW), now in its fourth year, is an opportunity for the many academic researchers working in the field of non-volatile memories to partner with industry representatives “and bring all the layers together to nudge academics in the right direction,” said Steven Swanson, associate professor of Computer Science and Engineering in UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering.

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    3/25/13
    Engineers Develop Nanofoams for Better Body Armor, Layers of Protection for Buildings

     

    Engineers at the University of California, San Diego are developing nanofoams that could be used to make better body armor; prevent traumatic brain injury and blast-related lung injuries in soldiers; and protect buildings from impacts and blasts. It’s the first time researchers are investigating the use of nanofoams for structural protection.

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    3/22/13
    Could a Robotic Skateboard Defeat Tony Hawk? One Day, Maybe

     

    “Five! Four! Three! Two! One!” A robotic skateboard soared high into the air and above Paul Schmitt, a scientist and skateboard maker, then landed with a thud on the floor of the Main Gym on the UC San Diego campus on Monday, March 18. It was all part of a San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering event designed to show that science is cool. The robotic skateboard was created by a team of UC San Diego seniors studying mechanical engineering. They had to understand the physics of skateboarding, design the robot, run simulations that would predict how it would perform and build it. The project is part of the capstone design course for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at UC San Diego.

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    3/19/13
    Sujit Dey Named Faculty Director of the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center

    Sujit Dey has been named faculty director of the von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement at the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, which offers pre-seed funding and business advisory services to researchers and students developing innovative technology at universities throughout Southern California.

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    3/15/13
    A Good Day for Pi(e)

     

    The camaraderie. The exercise. The pie. These were some of the reasons more than 160 people turned out for the second annual Pi-Mile Run and Walk at the Jacobs School of Engineering on March 14, also known as Pi Day. 

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    3/13/13
    Research Shows How Earthquake Damage Can Impact Building Fire Safety Performance

    Damage to building structural elements, elevators, stairs and fire protection systems caused by the shaking from a major earthquake can play a critical role in the spread of fire and hamper the ability of occupants to evacuate, and impede fire departments in their emergency response operations. These are among the conclusions of a groundbreaking study of post-earthquake building fire performance conducted in 2012 by researchers in the Department of Fire Protection Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

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    3/12/13
    Feed Your Entrepreneurial Spirit with Know-How

    Aspire to be an entrepreneurial scientist but lack the know-how? The von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center is excited to announce that it has partnered with the American Chemical Society to provide entrepreneurial training online from the perspective of accomplished entrepreneurs Neil Senturia and Barbara Bry. The 2013 ACS Chemical Entreprenurial Series of webinars, features subject matter experts exploring how to start and grow a science and technology focused company.

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    3/11/13
    Alumnus Mike Chi is Developing Better EEG Recording Equipment at Cognionics

    When Mike Chi finished his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at UC San Diego in 2011, he co-founded Cognionics. One of his big goals is to put better sensor technologies into the labs of researchers and physicians who study the electrical signals produced by the brain (EEG) and heart (ECG) for a variety of basic research and medical applications such as diagnosing cardiac disorders or conducting high-resolution brain imaging on freely moving subjects.

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    3/11/13
    What is the Story Behind the Research Expo Gold Squares?

    The gold squares on the Research Expo 2013 postcards…what are they?

    The gold squares are ceramic packages that house experimental circuits developed in the lab of bioengineering professor Gert Cauwenberghs at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. The research is aimed at developing new circuits that increase the speed and decrease the energy required to wirelessly transfer biological data—such as ECG signals from the heart and EEG signals from the brain—from sensors worn on the body to nearby data collectors. 

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    3/11/13
    Jacobs School Celebrates Pi Day With 3.14-Mile Run and Walk

     

    Running 3.14 miles is hard. The two undergraduates who won the first-ever T-shirt design contest for the upcoming Pi-Mile Run and Walk on March 14 both agreed on that. That gave Yashna Bowen, a freshman and computer science major, an idea: the T-shirt could show a runner leaping over the number Pi—the very number of miles participants would have to overcome. She and Salome Vazquez, a mechanical engineering major, polished their design and submitted it for the contest. A few days later, they found out they had won. This is the race’s second year and the first year students could take part in a design contest for the T-shirt that all participants receive.

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    3/6/13
    Engineers Develop Techniques to Improve Efficiency of Cloud Computing Infrastructure by as Much as 20 Percent

     

    Computer scientists at the University of California, San Diego, and Google have developed a novel approach that allows the massive infrastructure powering cloud computing to run more efficiently. The new approach can make these warehouse-scale computers run as much as 15 to 20 percent more efficiently. This novel model has already been applied at Google. Researchers presented their findings at the IEEE International Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture conference Feb. 23 to 27 in China. 

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    3/4/13
    International Consortium Builds 'Google Map' of Human Metabolism

    Building on earlier pioneering work by researchers at the University of California, San Diego, an international consortium of university researchers has produced the most comprehensive virtual reconstruction of human metabolism to date. Scientists could use the model, known as Recon 2, to identify causes of and new treatments for diseases like cancer, diabetes and even psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders.

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    3/4/13
    Peer Mentoring Program, Dean Emeritus Receive Diversity Awards

     

    The Jacobs School of Engineering was in the spotlight at this year’s Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action awards ceremony Feb. 13 here on campus. A pair of graduate students from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering , Laura Connelly and Margie Mathewson, who created a peer-mentoring program, as well as Frieder Seible, now Dean Emeritus of the Jacobs School of Engineering, received three of  eight campus-wide awards. 

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    2/28/13
    It May be Called DECaF, But It's Got Recruiters and Students Buzzing

    Why would more than 2,300 students dress up in their best business attire and line up in front of the Price Center ballrooms at 9 a.m. on a Friday? That would be the Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair, also known as DECaF, which this year gave undergraduate and graduate students alike the opportunity to talk to recruiters from 95 companies.

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    2/28/13
    UC San Diego's Massimo Franceschetti Wins Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize

    Massimo Franceschetti, an associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize. The IEEE Control Systems Society awards the prize annually to recognize a young researcher's cutting-edge, multidisciplinary contributions in both the theory and real-world applications of systems and control.

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    2/25/13
    'Robot Combat League' Stars Jacobs School Alumna in 'Fight to the Death'

    A new television series featuring 12 giant robots who ‘fight to the death’ casts University of California, San Diego engineering physics alumna Saura Naderi (B.S., '07) as one of a dozen ‘robo-techs’ who partner with a human fighter (‘robo-jockey’) and a super-sized robot to compete for a $100,000 prize.

    The premiere episode, dubbed “Rise of the Machines,” begins airing Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on the Syfy network. The series bills itself as the “next generation of arena combat” and is hosted by World Wrestling Entertainment’s Chris Jericho. Each episode features tournament-style battles between eight-foot-tall humanoid robots, which the robo-techs and robo-jockeys control using a high-tech exoskeleton suit that translates their exact movements to the robots.

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    2/21/13
    UC San Diego Computer Scientist Among Young Faculty Recipients of Sloan Research Fellowships

    An expert in bioinformatics and computational mass spectrometry at the University of California, San Diego is among the 2013 crop of young faculty members identified by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders.

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    2/21/13
    Water Bottle Rockets and Non-Newtonian Liquid? Must be E-Week at the Jacobs School

    "Three, two, one...Wow!" Rockets made from soda bottles flew over Warren Mall Wednesday while groups of middle school students cheered wildly. It was all part of Enspire, an annual outreach event organized by the Triton Engineering Student Council. During the day-long event, students got to build their own robots and tour the campus. They also visited labs and took part in hands-on activities, including making a cup of oobleck or slime, scientifically known as a non-Newtonian liquid, meaning that it’s both a liquid and a solid at the same time.

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    2/20/13
    Engineer, Alumna and Olympic Runner

    Meet Sonali Merrill, a Jacobs School alumna, who also is a member of Sri Lanka’s Olympic track and field team. The San Diego Union-Tribune has called her “the accidental Olympian.” Here she talks to us about her passion for engineering and her experiences as a student athlete and engineering student at the University of California, San Diego.

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    2/20/13
    Future of New Memory Technologies Explored at UC San Diego Workshop

    Scientists and engineers from around the world will gather to discuss innovations in non-volatile computer memories that help power today’s electronic mobile devices during a three-day workshop held March 3 to 5 at the University of California, San Diego. The Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego is hosting the fourth Annual Non-Volatile Memories Workshop, which will examine how the technology will be used in tomorrow’s mobile electronic devices and how it’s shaping the future of high-performance and cloud computing.

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    2/20/13
    New injectable hydrogel encourages regeneration and improves functionality after a heart attack

    University of California, San Diego bioengineers have demonstrated in a study in pigs that a new injectable hydrogel can repair damage from heart attacks, help the heart grow new tissue and blood vessels, and get the heart moving closer to how a healthy heart should. The results of the study were published Feb. 20 in Science Translational Medicine and clear the way for clinical trials to begin this year in Europe. The gel is injected through a catheter without requiring surgery or general anesthesia -- a less invasive procedure for patients.

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    2/19/13
    Student Develop App to Help Protect Marine Conservation Areas

    A team of engineering students at UC San Diego have been working hard to help protect the beaches and waters off the La Jolla coastline. Their contribution to the environment is a web app that will allow volunteers to monitor the health of marine conservation areas off the coast of Southern California. Volunteers will input information about human activity, pollution, and even poaching into the app via an interactive form. The information will then be stored in a database.

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    2/14/13
    Tough, Light and Strong: Lessons From Nature Could Lead to the Creation of New Materials, Science Study Says

     

    In a sweeping review of the field of bio-inspired engineering and biomimicry in the Feb. 15 issue of the journal Science, two engineers at the University of California, San Diego, identify three characteristics of biological materials that they believe engineers would do well to emulate in man-made materials: light weight, toughness and strength. Joanna McKittrick and Marc Meyers, from the materials science program at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, examine the three characteristics in a wide range of materials, from spider silk, to lobster and abalone shells, to toucan beaks and porcupine quills. Lessons learned from these materials could lead to better body armor, lighter aircraft and stronger, more flexible materials, researchers said. 

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    2/14/13
    Sciences, Engineering Join Therapeutics in UC San Diego 'Express License' Program

    With the launch of a second "Express License" program, founding a company with engineering or physical sciences technology invented at UC San Diego just got easier.

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    2/13/13
    In Hot Computer Science Course, Students Build 3D, Multiplayer Networked Games

    An early March deadline is fast approaching for University of California, San Diego students who want to take one of the hottest courses on campus – and one of the most competitive, with only 30 slots each spring.

    The course, Computer Science and Engineering 125, will also dazzle high-school students who descend on the UC San Diego campus on April 6 for Triton Day, with their admission letters in hand. The CSE department will showcase what sets the UCSD program apart from computer science at other top-notch universities, and that will include showing a freshly-minted video about last spring’s course.

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    2/8/13
    Engineering a Future

    Equipped with circuit wires, small motors, batteries and cardboard boxes, more than 150 high school girls constructed, decorated and launched miniature robots during a workshop designed to show them the fun side of engineering. Hosted by the UC San Diego Society for Women Engineers (SWE), the Jan. 26 Envision event presented a chance for young women—especially those from underrepresented schools—to experience the multitude of pathways available in the field of engineering.

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    2/7/13
    Shu Chien Named San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering Chief Engineer

    At the 2011 National Medal of Science ceremony in which Shu Chien accepted his award, President Obama stressed the importance of encouraging young students to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) fields. Chien, a UC San Diego professor of bioengineering and medicine and director of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine, echoed the sentiment: “The strength of our country depends on science and engineering,” he said. Now, Chien is serving as the chief engineer of the 2013 San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering, taking place March 16 to 23.

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    1/30/13
    Working Alone Won't Get You Good Grades

     

    Students who work together and interact online are more likely to be successful in their college classes, according to a study published Jan. 30 in the journal Nature Scientific Reports and co-authored by Manuel Cebrian, a computer scientist at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California San Diego.

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    1/29/13
    Alumnus' Passion for Design Leads to Award at International Consumer Electronics Show

    Last month, one of the products developed by Jacobs School alum Andre Berracasa for MaxLinear was recognized at the 2013 International CES show with a Design and Engineering Award in the embedded technologies category. He attributes his success to his education at UC San Diego.  

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    1/24/13
    Jacobs School Freshman Wins TriNet Business Challenge

    A student team led by Uzair Mohammed, a freshman at the University of California, San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, took the top prize at this year’s TriNet Challenge, a business competition aimed at fostering creativity and supporting new ideas in innovation and technology.  Mohammed’s team, which included MBA student Loren Change from the Rady School, received $6,000 to further fund their project utilizing a highly cost-effective biofiltration technology for purification of drinking water, river cleaning, urban development and water infrastructure.

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    1/23/13
    Blocking Digestive Enzymes May Reverse Shock, Stop Multiorgan Failure

    New research from the University of California, San Diego published in the Jan. 23 issue of Science Translational Medicine moves researchers closer to understanding and developing treatments for shock, sepsis and multiorgan failure. Collectively, these maladies represent a major unmet medical need: they are the number one cause of mortality in intensive care units in the United States, with hundreds of thousands of deaths annually. There is currently no treatment for these conditions in spite of many clinical trials

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    1/15/13
    Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering Search

     

     

    An international search for a new Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering has just begun, and the university is pleased to invite applications and nominations for this position.

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    1/11/13
    Grant to Support Partnership With Howard University Aims to Increase Number of Underrepresented STEM Graduate Students

    UC San Diego and Howard University are forming a partnership program aimed at increasing the number of African-American applicants to UC San Diego graduate programs, particularly in the fields of science and engineering. Supported by a $288,000 grant from the University of California Office of the President, the UC San Diego/Howard University Partnership for Graduate Student Success will provide Howard undergraduates with an intensive summer research experience at the La Jolla campus, as well as mentorship from UC San Diego faculty throughout the academic year. In addition, program participants who apply and are admitted to a University of California graduate program will have their student fees covered by UC.

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    1/9/13
    Jacobs School Hires 15 New Faculty

    From UC San Diego's new chancellor, to researchers who build biomedical devices; design new materials; and work on better ways to make airplanes safer, it's been a busy year for academic hiring at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Read more about the 15 new faculty members that were hired during the 2012-13 academic year.

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    1/7/13
    Genomic 'Hotspots' Offer Clues to Causes of Autism, Other Disorders

    An international team, led by researchers from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine, has discovered that “random” mutations in the genome are not quite so random after all. Their study, to be published in the journal Cell on December 21, shows that the DNA sequence in some regions of the human genome is quite volatile and can mutate ten times more frequently than the rest of the genome. Genes that are linked to autism and a variety of other disorders have a particularly strong tendency to mutate.

    Clusters of mutations or “hotspots” are not unique to the autism genome but instead are an intrinsic characteristic of the human genome, according to principal investigator Jonathan Sebat, PhD, professor of psychiatry and cellular and molecule medicine, and chief of the Beyster Center for Molecular Genomics of Neuropsychiatric Diseases at UC San Diego.

    “Our findings provide some insights into the underlying basis of autism—that, surprisingly, the genome is not shy about tinkering with its important genes” said Sebat.  “To the contrary, disease-causing genes tend to be hypermutable.”

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    1/3/13
    In Epigenomics, Location is Everything

    In a novel use of gene knockout technology, researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine tested the same gene inserted into 90 different locations in a yeast chromosome – and discovered that while the inserted gene never altered its surrounding chromatin landscape, differences in that immediate landscape measurably affected gene activity. 

    The findings, published online in the Jan. 3 issue of Cell Reports, demonstrate that regulation of chromatin – the combination of DNA and proteins that comprise a cell’s nucleus – is not governed by a uniform “histone code” but by specific interactions between chromatin and genetic factors.

    “One of the main challenges of epigenetics has been to get a handle on how the position of a gene in chromatin affects its expression,” said senior author Trey Ideker, PhD, chief of the Division of Genetics in the School of Medicine and professor of bioengineering in UC San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering.

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