2018 News Releases
Center for Memory and Recording Research Makes Big Contribution to Data Storage Advances Over Past 35 Years
In 1983, the state-of-the-art in data storage was a 1 gigabyte hard drive that cost $100,000 and weighed 50 pounds. Today, there are 10 terabytes of storage on a single drive at a cost of 3 cents per gigabyte. The UC San Diego Center for Memory and Recording Research (CMRR), which is celebrating its 35th year of groundbreaking research, is responsible for many of the technological developments that enabled this transformation.Full Story
An innovative, eel-like robot developed by engineers and marine biologists at the University of California can swim silently in salt water without an electric motor. Instead, the robot uses artificial muscles filled with water to propel itself. The foot-long robot, which is connected to an electronics board that remains on the surface, is also virtually transparent. The team, which includes researchers from UC San Diego and UC Berkeley, details their work in the April 25 issue of Science Robotics.Full Story
The research presented at Research Expo 2018 was “on fire” thanks to UC San Diego mechanical engineering graduate student Luca Carmignani. He took home the top prize at Research Expo for his work to understand the spread of fire over real-world 3D shapes.Full Story
Some might say mathematicians speak their own language. But walk into at least one computer science and mathematics professor’s office at the University of California San Diego and you’ll see a whiteboard full of mind-numbing equations that look more like art than numeric symbols. Sometimes even colored markers are applied to these multinomial masterpieces spread across the whiteboard canvases.
Distinguished Professor of Mathematics Fan Chung Graham, a watercolorist as well as a professor of computer science and engineering, refers to mathematics as the language of science. “I love doing research in mathematics since it is like the pursuit of truth,” she said. “Such a process is often filled with fun and games.”
This perspective has yielded Chung Graham, a remarkable career primarily in graph theory, combinatorics and algorithmic analysis, ultimately earning her the recently announced 2017 Euler Medal from the Institute of Combinatorics and its Applications (ICA).Full Story
Innovators aren’t just born, they can be made, according to recent research from the University of California San Diego’s School of Global Policy and Strategy. Researchers outlined their conclusions in their National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.Full Story
A temporary tattoo for glucose monitoring developed by engineers at UC San Diego is being tested in a phase I clinical trial. The study will test the tattoo sensor’s accuracy at detecting glucose levels compared to a traditional glucometer. The clinical trial is enrolling 50 adults, ages 18 to 75, with either type 1 or 2 diabetes or diabetes due to other causes.Full Story
The University of California San Diego has emerged as a leader in how engineering and management schools within one university can collaborate in order to strengthen entrepreneurship education, startup creation, and the commercialization of innovation. The latest move: a pair of unique endowed chair professorships. The Jacobs Family Chairs in Engineering Management Leadership have been awarded to the two professors leading the UC San Diego Institute for the Global Entrepreneur, which is the centerpiece of the collaboration between the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Rady School of Management.Full Story
A UC San Diego startup company that makes printable, stretchable and flexible batteries took home $50,000 and placed third in the elevator pitch competition portion of the Rice Business Plan Competition.Full Story
From startup founders to VPs at major technology companies, eight alumni of the Jacobs School of Engineering were recognized in the first 40 Under 40 awards bestowed by the University of California San Diego.Full Story
Team TritonRoute from the University of California San Diego won the 2018 Initial Detailed Routing Contest at the 22nd ACM International Symposium on Physical Design (ISPD), held March 25 to 28, 2018 in Monterey, Calif. ISPD is the premier forum for exchange of ideas and presentation of research on topics related to the physical design of very large-scale integrated circuits.Full Story
Engineers have developed a tiny, ultra-low power chip that could be injected just under the surface of the skin for continuous, long-term alcohol monitoring. The chip is powered wirelessly by a wearable device such as a smartwatch or patch. The goal of this work is to develop a convenient, routine monitoring device for patients in substance abuse treatment programs.Full Story
Imagine if all childhood vaccines could get delivered with an inhaler rather than shots; or wiping away tuberculosis bacteria in a patient’s lungs with an inhaler; or disinfecting a hospital room thoroughly with a diffuser. These are the goals of a research team led by Professor James Friend in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of California San Diego. Their efforts were recently boosted when Friend received a prestigious $900,000 research grant from the Keck Foundation, whose mission is to support pioneering discoveries in science, engineering and medical research.Full Story
A team of California researchers has developed a robotic gripper that combines the adhesive properties of gecko toes and the adaptability of air-powered soft robots to grasp a much wider variety of objects than the state of the art. Researchers will present their findings at the 2018 International Conference on Robotics and Automation May 21 to 25 in Brisbane, Australia.Full Story
UC San Diego students met with legislators March 21 to share how their research impacts California and advocate for investment to support graduate enrollment. The graduate students took to the state capitol in Sacramento, participating in the ninth annual University of California Graduate Research Advocacy Day.
UC San Diego’s Center for Energy Research, which helped to develop the innovative power grid that allows the campus to generate most of its own energy while pumping less carbon into the atmosphere, is extending its expertise to the rest of the San Diego region.Full Story
The flashy photo that's part of the imagery for Research Expo 2018 is a photo of a supercontinuum laser source from the lab of University of California San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Boubacar Kanté. This instrument is being used to help researchers develop more efficient solar materials and compact, ultra-sensitive sensors. Kanté is one of three faculty speakers on April 19 at Research Expo 2018 at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.Full Story
The University of California San Diego hosted the 9th Annual Non-Volatile Memories Workshop (NVMW 2018) on March 11 to 13 here on campus. Over 200 scientists and engineers from around the world gathered to discuss the latest innovations in non-volatile computer memories, how they will be used to power applications ranging from “big data” to machine learning. For the first time, the workshop presented awards recognizing outstanding research in the area of non-volatile memory technologies.Full Story
Most of the human genome — 98 percent — is made up of DNA but doesn’t actually encode genes, the recipes cells use to build proteins. The vast majority of genetic mutations associated with cancer occur in these non-coding regions of the genome, yet it’s unclear how they might influence tumor development or growth. Now researchers at University of California San Diego have identified nearly 200 mutations in non-coding DNA that play a functional role in cancer. Each of the mutations could represent a new target in the search for cancer drugs. The study is published April 2, 2018 in Nature Genetics.Full Story
Someone who starts mining a crypto-currency shortly after it is listed on exchanges can potentially earn higher returns than average. But a speculator who enters the market shortly after the currency is listed might potentially earn lower returns.Full Story
Robotics and autonomy research is just one of the many reasons to come to the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering on April 19 for Research Expo. Industry recruiters and technical staff from companies across the region will be talking research with the 200+ engineering and computer science graduate students at their posters. The poster session runs from 2PM until 4:30 PM. Register today for Research Expo.Full Story
Researchers have developed a stretchable, flexible patch that could make it easier to perform ultrasound imaging on odd-shaped structures, such as engine parts, turbines, reactor pipe elbows and railroad tracks—objects that are difficult to examine using conventional ultrasound equipment. The ultrasound patch is a versatile and more convenient tool to inspect machine and building parts for defects and damage deep below the surface.Full Story
PBS NewsHour aired the first of a two-part series tonight on the Bermuda 100 Challenge, a joint initiative between the University of California San Diego’s Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI), the Bermuda Government’s Marine Heritage Section of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Look Bermuda.Full Story
Take a walk inside the entrance to UC San Diego's Atkinson Hall and you might be greeted by a robot made of two cardboard boxes stacked one upon the other, complete with a signature smiley face. BoxBot, as the bot is called, works with his counterpart TritonBot, a robot with a fully functional body, in the hopes of one day becoming a lobby receptionist for the building. But the 'bots are also being used for more sophisticated purposes: to collect information about how humans respond to robots.Full Story
UC San Diego is launching an international research collaboration to develop smart and clean transportation systems and infrastructure, with an added goal of commercializing the results. In partnership with the City of San Diego, the City of Ulsan in Korea and the Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), along with numerous industry partners, the UC San Diego Smart Transportation Innovation Program will develop technological solutions to tomorrow’s transportation challenges.Full Story
A team of researchers has developed a wearable, non-invasive system to monitor electrical activity in the stomach over 24 hours—essentially an electrocardiogram but for the gastro-intestinal (GI) tract. Applications include monitoring GI activity for patients outside of a clinical setting, which cuts down costs. Monitoring for longer periods of time also increases the likelihood of capturing abnormal events. Researchers detail their findings in the March 22 issue of Nature’s open access journal Scientific Reports.Full Story
The Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego once again ranks highly among the premier engineering schools in the nation. The Jacobs School of Engineering ranks #7 among public engineering schools and #12 overall, according to the 2019 U.S. News Best Graduate School Rankings. The Jacobs School’s #12 national ranking is up from #13 last year, and #17 two years ago.Full Story
UC San Diego Innovators: You can now apply to three commercialization programs through one new application
UC San Diego's Institute for the Global Entrepreneur (IGE) and Office of Innovation and Commercialization (OIC) have teamed up to make it easier for students, alumni, faculty and researchers to apply for support to help them commercialize their innovations. UC San Diego innovators – including alumni – can now submit just one application for consideration across three entrepreneurship programs that complement one another. Each program supports teams at different points along the pathway from breakthrough to commercialization with funding, mentorship, practical courses and access to investors.Full Story
The Cultural Heritage Engineering Initiative (CHEI), based at the University of California San Diego, has received $225,000 from San Diego-based entrepreneur Brian Strauss to enable digital visualization technologies that make it possible to see cultural heritage sites and artifacts in entirely new ways -- like “the La Brea tar pits without the tar.”
Engineers showed up in force at the second annual Ignite Conference pitch competition at UC San Diego. Almost a third of the 29 startups pitching their innovative business ideas during the Entrepreneur Challenge-led elevator pitch competition were founded by engineers—including the first, second and third place winners. That’s right, it was an engineering clean sweep.Full Story
Nanoengineering Ph.D. student Caleb Christianson and mechanical engineering Ph.D. student Benjamin Shih created the Association for Robotics Graduate Students here at UC San Diego at the end of 2016. Both Shih and Christianson are part of the Bioinspired Robotics and Design Lab led by mechanical engineering professor Mike Tolley.Full Story
Breakthrough lasers, better batteries for electric vehicles, and autonomous robots are on the docket for the faculty tech-talks at the 37th annual Jacobs School of Engineering Research Expo at the University of California San Diego.Full Story
Engineers develop most efficient red-light-activated switch that can turn genes on and off in mammalian cells
A team of researchers has developed a light-activated switch that can turn genes on and off in mammalian cells. This is the most efficient so-called “optogenetic switch” activated by red and far-red light that has been successfully designed and tested in animal cells—and it doesn’t require the addition of light sensing molecules from outside the cells.Full Story
UC San Diego dedicates Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute. The cross-disciplinary Institute will become the campus hub for data science. It will help train students in the latest data-science techniques and transform the research of scholars who are now increasingly limited in making progress in their disciplines because of the need to make sense of the massive amounts of data generated from their research.Full Story
All science is exciting. If that sounds like the premise for a podcast series focused on graduate students, you’re right. The all-science-is-exciting comment recently landed University of California San Diego NanoEngineering Ph.D. student Jungwoo Lee in front of a microphone. She is the first of a series of current and former graduate students from the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering who will be sharing perspectives on research in not-too-technical terms as well as talking about what motivates them. Listen to the six-minute conversation on SoundCloud.Full Story
A research team recently developed what they call a “visible” neural network and used it to build DCell, a model of a functioning brewer’s yeast cell, commonly used as a model in basic research. To do this, they amassed all knowledge of cell biology in one place and created a hierarchy of these cellular components. Then they mapped standard machine learning algorithms to this knowledgebase.Full Story
UC San Diego hosted 100 students for a weekend-long hackathon full of tutorials, workshops, and time for teams to develop their own virtual, augmented or mixed reality project.Full Story
The cross-disciplinary Halıcıoğlu Data Science Institute, or HDSI, will become the campus hub for data science. It will help train students in the latest data-science techniques and transform the research of scholars who are now increasingly limited in making progress in their disciplines because of the need to make sense of the massive amounts of data generated from their research.Full Story
A new computational resource called Recon3D provides a 3D view of genes, proteins and metabolites involved in human metabolism. Researchers used the tool to map disease-related mutations on proteins and also probed how genes and proteins change in response to certain drugs. The work provides a better understanding of disease-causing mutations and could enable researchers to discover new uses for existing drug treatments.Full Story
Researchers at the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation have identified the mechanism by which a clinically relevant bacterium may gain antibiotic resistance, and have come up with a model for predicting the conditions under which it spreads. The findings, which establish a framework for understanding, quantifying and hopefully combating the emergence of superbugs, were published in a recent paper in eLife.Full Story
The next computer-generated animals in King Kong or The Lion King could look a lot more realistic thanks to a breakthrough by computer scientists at the University of California. The researchers from UC San Diego and UC Berkeley developed a method that dramatically improves the way computers simulate fur, and more specifically, the way light bounces within an animal’s pelt.Full Story
Computers have helped researchers develop a new phosphor that can make LEDs cheaper and render colors more accurately. An international team led by engineers at UC San Diego first predicted the new phosphor using supercomputers and data mining algorithms, then developed a simple recipe to make it in the lab. Unlike many phosphors, this one is made of inexpensive, earth-abundant elements and can easily be made using industrial methods. As computers predicted, the new phosphor performed well in tests and in LED prototypes.Full Story
New algorithm can pinpoint mutations favored by natural selection in large sections of the human genome
A team of scientists has developed an algorithm that can accurately pinpoint, in large regions of the human genome, mutations favored by natural selection. The finding provides deeper insight into how evolution works, and ultimately could lead to better treatments for genetic disorders. For example, adaptation to chronic hypoxia at high altitude can suggest targets for cardiovascular and other ischemic diseases.
Aswini Krishnan, a fourth-year bioengineering major at the University of California San Diego, has been awarded a Winston Churchill Scholarship, one of the most prestigious and competitive awards available to American students pursuing science, mathematics and engineering fields. The award provides one year of funding to pursue a master’s degree at Winston Churchill College at the University of Cambridge. Krishnan is the fourth UC San Diego student to receive the award since the program’s inception in 1963.
A collaborative group of researchers from the University of California San Diego traveled to Turin, Italy recently to digitally map an entire portion of the city—complete with historic architecture, expansive murals and stunning works of art.
UC San Diego has amassed many accolades in recognition of its status as a world-class research university. Yet, there’s one that Charles Tu, distinguished professor of electrical and computer engineering, is most proud of: being named one of the nation’s best public universities for its dedication to upward social mobility, research and public service by both Washington Monthly magazine and the New York Times.Full Story
The EnVision Arts and Engineering Maker Studio, which provides undergraduate engineering and visual art students with a space where theoretical coursework and hands-on experience intersect, quickly filled to capacity after it opened in 2015. The studio recently doubled in size, and students are taking full advantage of the space.Full Story
A team of researchers at UC San Diego and San Diego State University has developed a pair of "4-D goggles" that allows wearers to be physically "touched" by a movie when they see a looming object on the screen, such as an approaching spacecraft. The device was developed based on a study conducted by the neuroscientists to map brain areas that integrate the sight and touch of a looming object and aid in their understanding of the perceptual and neural mechanisms of multisensory integration.
Eric Fullerton, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and nanoengineering at the Jacobs School and Director of the School's Center for Memory and Recording Research, was elected to the National Academy of Engineering “for invention and development of multilayer, high-density magnetic recording media.” His innovations made it possible for hard disk drives and non-volatile memories to store data at unprecedented levels.Full Story
On March 6-7, hundreds of investors, innovators, entrepreneurs, and activators will converge at UC San Diego for the second annual Ignite conference. Launched in 2017, the signature innovation event brings universities across Cali-Baja together with leading community partners to support life-changing entrepreneurship. Now the initiative is expanding to feature programming and competitions spanning across two days. With more than 400 startups launching annually in San Diego, the conference connects young innovators with seasoned entrepreneurs. Last year’s inaugural event drew more than 1,500 registrants from across the region.Full Story
Six UC San Diego undergraduate students have battled their way through a pool of 318 teams to make it to the final four and the Fiesta Bowl Overwatch Collegiate National Championships at Arizona State University on Feb. 17. Overwatch is a video game released by Blizzard Entertainment in May 2016, and already has its own professional league and a highly developed collegiate league with big time student interest.Full Story
Lost Treasures of the Maya Snake Kings," a new one-hour National Geographic special premiering FEb. 6 at 9/8 p.m. central, shows how LiDAR laser imaging technology is revolutionizing archaeology and features the WAVE data visualization technology created by researchers at the University of California San Diego. Albert Yu-Min Lin, who earned a Ph.D. at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, hosts the program.Full Story
Three years ago, the campus launched a pilot program to promote interdisciplinary research among undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The idea was to partner them with faculty mentors from at least two disciplines and provide them with funds so they could conduct research with the potential to make a real impact on society.
Now that the program has proved its worth, UC San Diego is making the program permanent. Last September, applications were submitted and this month the Chancellor’s Research Excellence Scholars program, formerly Frontiers of Innovation Scholars Program (FISP), has awarded 175 students with this unique multidisciplinary opportunity.Full Story
The University of California San Diego is launching an online series of courses designed to help students master the algorithmic programming techniques they may need to land a top software engineering job.
The 8-part Algorithms and Data Structures series is part of a MicroMasters® program on edX, the leading nonprofit online learning platform for massive open online courses (MOOCs). The MicroMasters program offers learners a credential for career advancement after successful completion of the seven MOOCs and one Capstone Project course.Full Story
Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed an energy-efficient process to recycle and regenerate cathodes from spent lithium ion batteries, making them work just as good as new. The process involves harvesting the degraded cathode particles from a used battery and then boiling and heat treating them. Researchers built new batteries using the regenerated cathodes. Charge storage capacity, charging time and battery lifetime were all restored to their original levels.Full Story
UC San Diego inaugurated the first open-air aerodrome for unmanned aerial vehicles here on campus last week. The opening is the first step in what engineers hope will be a new era for drone research on campus. One of the goals is to create a living laboratory for unmanned aerial vehicles by bringing together researchers from across campus, including computer scientists, structural, mechanical, aerospace, electrical and computer engineers and scientists at the Scripps Institution of OceanographyFull Story
Researchers from UC San Diego and UT Austin have demonstrated zinc-oxide thin-film transistor sensors for new functionality in touch screen displays on mobile devices.Full Story
In a paper published in Nature Microbiology on Jan. 22, a team of American and Russian computer scientists described a new algorithm that identified an order of magnitude, or roughly 10 times more, PNPs than all previous studies. Pavel Pevzner, a professor of computer science at the University of California San Diego, is the corresponding author on the paper.Full Story
A team of researchers has developed an ultrasound-based system that can non-invasively and remotely control genetic processes in live immune T cells so that they recognize and kill cancer cells.Full Story
This fall, UC San Diego computer science professor Stefan Savage began receiving calls from an unknown number in Chicago. As a cybersecurity expert who often targets hackers, Savage was wary. But he soon learned that is was the MacArthur Foundation, award him the fellowship commonly known as a “genius” award. Here he gives his insights on the future of cybersecurity and advice on how we can keep ourselves safe in cyberspace.Full Story
It’s not every day that an undergraduate class influences the way surgeons prepare for operations. But that’s exactly what happened with a freshman bioengineering class co-taught by then-PhD student Jason Caffrey ’11, MS ’13‚ and professor Robert Sah.
Nanoengineering professor Shirley Meng has been appointed the inaugural holder of the Zable Endowed Chair in Energy Technologies in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. As director of the UC San Diego Sustainable Power and Energy Center, Meng is leading efforts to advance solutions to some of the key technical challenges associated with energy generation, storage and power management.Full Story
Researchers at UC San Diego have developed macrophage "nanosponges"—nanoparticles cloaked in the cell membranes of macrophages—that can safely remove sepsis-causing molecules from the bloodstream. In lab tests, these macrophage nanosponges improved survival rates in mice with sepsis.Full Story