2020 News Releases

    3/26/20

    UC San Diego Engineers and Doctors Team Up to Retrofit and Build Ventilators with 3D-Printing

    Even as university campuses close across the nation in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus, a team of engineers and physicians at the University of California San Diego is rapidly developing simple, ready-to-use ventilators to be deployed if the need arises.

    The project kick-started several weeks ago when news started to trickle in that communities in Northern Italy with widespread COVID-19 were in dire straits.

    “One of the biggest things we heard was that there weren’t enough ventilators to treat all of the patients coming into the hospitals,” said James Friend, a professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Department of Surgery at UC San Diego. “It’s clear that if we’re not careful, we might end up in the same situation.”

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    3/20/20

    UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering jumped to #9 in U.S. News and World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools

    The University of California San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering jumped to the #9 spot in the influential U.S. News and World Report Rankings of Best Engineering Schools. This is up from #11 last year and #17 four years ago. It’s the first time the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has broken into the top 10 of this closely watched ranking.

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    3/20/20

    How Robots Can Help Combat COVID-19: Science Robotics Editorial

    Can robots be effective tools in combating the COVID-19 pandemic? A group of leaders in the field of robotics, including Henrik Christensen, director of UC San Diego’s Contextual Robotics Institute, say yes, and outline a number of examples in an editorial in the March 25 issue of Science Robotics. They say robots can be used for  clinical care such as telemedicine and decontamination; logistics such as delivery and handling of contaminated waste; and reconnaissance such as monitoring compliance with voluntary quarantines.

     

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    3/17/20

    Making cell modeling more realistic

    UC San Diego researchers have developed a computational tool that makes modeling and simulation of complex cellular processes more true to life. The tool, dubbed GAMer 2, simplifies the process of using realistic cell geometries in mathematical models.

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    3/16/20

    Undergraduate students bring Intranet to rural Ghanaian school

    A team of undergraduates, who are part of the Global Ties program at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, developed a self-sustaining and scalable computer server and intranet system. The system will allow teachers at the Semanhyiya American School (SAS) in the rural village of Senase, Ghana, to download Internet pages and educational materials that students can access anytime at school—even when there is no Internet. 

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    3/13/20

    Pathways toward realizing the promise of all-solid-state batteries

    UC San Diego nanoengineers offer a research roadmap describing four challenges that need to be addressed in order to advance a promising class of batteries, all-solid-state batteries, to commercialization. The researchers describe their work to tackle these challenges over the past three years.

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    3/12/20

    'Spillway' for electrons could keep lithium metal batteries from catching fire

    UC San Diego nanoengineers developed a safety feature that prevents lithium metal batteries from rapidly overheating and catching fire in case of an internal short circuit. The clever tweak does not prevent battery failure, but rather provides advance warning of failure and makes it much safer.

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    3/11/20

    New record set for cryptographic challenge

    An international team of computer scientists has set a new record for integer factorization, one of the most important computational problems underlying the security of nearly all public-key cryptography currently used today.

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    3/10/20

    Computer scientists receive $1 million DARPA grant to address information onslaught

    The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has awarded a $1 million grant to Computer Science and Engineering Department professors Tajana Rosing, Sanjoy Dasgupta and Electrical and Computer Engineering Department professor Tara Javidi to explore how hyperdimensional computing (HD) can help address informational onslaught. The project is called HyDREA (Hyperdimensional Computing: Robust, Efficient and Accurate).

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    3/4/20

    UC San Diego synthetic biologists redesign the way bacteria 'talk' to each other

    Bioengineers at the University of California San Diego have redesigned how harmless E. coli bacteria “talk” to each other. The new genetic circuit could become a useful new tool for synthetic biologists who, as a field, are looking for ways to better control the bacteria they engineer to perform all sorts of tasks, including drug delivery, bioproduction of valuable compounds, and environmental sensing.

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    2/27/20

    Scientists Design Way to Use Harmless Bacteria to Detect Heavy Metals in Drinking Water

    A team from UC San Diego and the San Diego startup Quantitative BioSciences has a new approach to continuous monitoring of heavy metal contamination in drinking water using bacteria as sensors of contamination. The team recently published their advances in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).

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    2/25/20

    Light-shrinking device enables detection of ultra-tiny substances

    Engineers at UC San Diego and UC Berkeley have created light-based technology that can detect biological substances with a molecular mass more than two orders of magnitude smaller than previously possible. The research could lead to the development of ultra-sensitive devices that can quickly detect pathogens in human blood and considerably reduce the time needed for patients to get results from blood tests.

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    2/25/20

    Researchers Develop Framework that Improves Firefox Security

    Researchers from the University of California San Diego, University of Texas at Austin, Stanford University and Mozilla have developed a new framework to improve web browser security. The framework, called RLBox, has been integrated into Firefox to complement Firefox’s other security-hardening efforts.

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    2/21/20

    This wearable device camouflages its wearer no matter the weather

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed a wearable technology that can hide its wearer from heat-detecting sensors such as night vision goggles, even when the ambient temperature changes--a feat that current state of the art technology cannot match.  The technology can adapt to temperature changes in just a few minutes, while keeping the wearer comfortable.

     

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    2/19/20

    Controlling CAR T cells with light selectively destroys skin tumors in mice

    UC San Diego bioengineers have developed a control system that could make CAR T-cell therapy safer and more powerful when treating cancer. By programming CAR T cells to switch on when exposed to blue light, the researchers controlled the cells to destroy skin tumors in mice without harming healthy tissue.

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    2/18/20

    Ultrasound device improves charge time and run time in lithium batteries

    Researchers at the University of California San Diego developed an ultrasound-emitting device that brings lithium metal batteries, or LMBs, one step closer to commercial viability. Although the research team focused on LMBs, the device can be used in any battery, regardless of chemistry. 

     

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    2/17/20

    New chip brings ultra-low power Wi-Fi connectivity to IoT devices

    More portable, fully wireless smart home setups. Lower power wearables. Batteryless smart devices. These could all be made possible thanks to a new ultra-low power Wi-Fi radio developed by UC San Diego engineers. It enables Wi-Fi communication at 5,000 times less power than commercial Wi-Fi radios.

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    2/14/20

    Building a new generation of software programming languages

    Nadia Polikarpova. a computer science professor, is a recent recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award for work to help software developers increase productivity and reduce the number of mistakes in their code. She is also a 2020 recipient of the Sloan Research Fellowship. Each year, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation awards two-year fellowships to just over 100 early-career scientists and scholars who demonstrate a unique potential to make a substantial contribution to their fields.

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    2/13/20

    Your AI stylist will see you now

    Do you ever wonder what shoes or purse you should wear with your outfit? Well, have no fear: AI is here to help. Computer scientists at UC San Diego, in collaboration with Pinterest, developed “Complete the Look,” an AI-powered tool that recommends accessories and other fashion items to match your outfit based on just one photo.

     

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    2/6/20

    Lim(b)itless in India: UC San Diego Students Travel Abroad to Empower Amputees

    In November, 2019, 10 UC San Diego students filed into a bustling amputee clinic in Jaipur, India. On one side of the room, men and women, some bearing crutches, watched as their new limbs took shape under the staff’s careful hands. For many of them, a prosthetic limb represented the chance to regain their mobility, independence and livelihoods. The students’ visit to the Jaipur Foot clinic—a non-profit known around the world for providing affordable, prosthetic limbs and other mobility aids to those in need—marked more than a year of painstaking work to develop technology connecting amputees directly to prosthetists. The work is part of Project Lim(b)itless, an initiative founded by Albert Lin, a recent amputee and researcher at the Qualcomm Institute (QI) at UC San Diego.

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    2/5/20

    What's for Dinner? AI Can Help

    Research from computer scientists at the University of California San Diego could eventually lead to AI-generated recipes—customized to your personal taste. The study breaks new ground in natural language processing, which studies how AI understands and generates human (natural) language. The research was published on arXiv.org.

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    2/5/20

    Integrating robots in public and private spaces for the common good

     UC San Diego alumna Hee Rin Lee, now an assistant professor in MSU’s Department of Media and Information, explores how we can integrate robots into our lives for social good, whether it be in a retirement community or a bustling factory. The roots of her research go back to her time in the lab of computer science professor Laurel Riek here at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. 

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    2/4/20

    Jacobs School faculty, student, staff honored with Inclusive Excellence Awards

    Three members of the Jacobs School of Engineering community were awarded 2020 Inclusive Excellence Awards for their outstanding contributions toward increasing diversity at all levels at UC San Diego. 

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    2/3/20

    Algae Shown to Improve Gastrointestinal Health

    A widespread, fast-growing plant called Chlamydomonas reinhardtii is famous in scientific laboratories due to its position as the world’s most exhaustively studied algae. Researchers at the University of California San Diego recently completed the first study examining the effects of consuming C. reinhardtii and demonstrated that the algae improves human gastrointestinal issues associated with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as diarrhea, gas and bloating. Results of the project are published in the Journal of Functional Foods.

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    2/3/20

    Assessing 'stickiness' of tumor cells could improve cancer prognosis

    Researchers led by UC San Diego built a device that sorts and separates cancer cells from the same tumor based on how “sticky” they are. They found that less sticky cells migrate and invade other tissues more than their stickier counterparts, and have genes that make tumor recurrence more likely.

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    1/31/20

    Microsized bacterial bait could provide new treatment for infections

    Micromotors that swim to infected sites in the body to lure, trap and destroy bacteria could offer a more efficient form of treatment against pathogens. Nanoengineers at the University of California San Diego have developed a “microtrap” that zips around in an acidic environment (like that found in the stomach) and serves as a toxic bait for E. coli bacteria.

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    1/30/20

    Machine learning technique speeds up crystal structure determination

    A computer-based method could make it less labor-intensive to determine the crystal structures of various materials and molecules, including alloys, proteins and pharmaceuticals. The method uses a machine learning algorithm, similar to the type used in facial recognition and self-driving cars, to independently analyze electron diffraction patterns, and do so with at least 95% accuracy.

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    1/30/20

    Passion drives True Tritons to service

    From creating scholarships and providing leadership, to student mentoring and preserving the arts, four shining examples of Triton passion and commitment will be honored Feb. 7 at UC San Diego’s True Triton Celebration to be held in the Great Hall on campus.

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    1/30/20

    UC San Diego startup selected as finalist in UC Pitch contest

    A startup founded by a UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering graduate student is one of five finalists in the 2020 UC Pitch Startup Showcase held Jan. 29 and 30 in tandem with the Global Corporate Venturing and Innovation Summit in Monterey, Calif.

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    1/29/20

    Land, Sea & Air

    Student engineering clubs push the limits of Tritons and their vehicles—here’s the fastest, deepest and highest-flying out there.

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    1/28/20

    Ozgur Sinanoglu (PhD '05), Cybersecurity Trailblazer

    In Ozgur Sinanoglu’s Design for Excellence lab at New York University’s Abu Dhabi campus, a major development in cybersecurity has emerged. The Electrical and Computer Engineering professor and his team of eight researchers have made news over the last couple of years with their strides to create a chip that can stand up to a variety of threats and attempts to violate its security. A first-of-its kind chip that would be unhackable. Sinanoglu is an alumnus of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at UC San Diego. 

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    1/24/20

    Mechanical engineering student awarded Brooke Owens Fellowship

    Surya Vohra, a mechanical engineering student at UC San Diego, has been selected as a 2020 Brooke Owens Fellow. The Fellowship is awarded to exceptional undergraduate women in aerospace. This marks the fourth year—since the beginning of the Brooke Owens Fellow program—that a UC San Diego engineering student has been awarded a fellowship. 

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    1/23/20

    Engineer Transforms Personal Experiences into 'Bridges to Education' for Underrepresented Students

    When he was 10 years old, Oscar Vazquez-Mena learned that his ancestors, the ancient Mayans, had once been a technologically advanced culture that excelled in mathematics, astronomy, art and architecture. He became inspired to follow in their footsteps. Now, as an assistant professor of nanoengineering at UC San Diego, Vazquez-Mena is working to support the educational development of students from marginalized communities in the United States and across the border.

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    1/16/20

    Engineering professor Graeve inducted into Mexican Academy of Sciences

    Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Professor Olivia Graeve has been inducted into the Academia Mexicana de Ciencias (Mexican Academy of Sciences or AMC). The AMC, established in 1959, is a non-profit non-governmental association of distinguished members of the Mexican scientific community. Graeve, a Tijuana native and UC San Diego alumna, is one of only three corresponding members inducted in 2019. Corresponding members are researchers who reside outside of Mexico but have made significant contributions to the development of science in Mexico. 

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    1/9/20

    Growing strained crystals could improve performance of perovskite electronics

    A new method could enable researchers to build more efficient, longer lasting perovskite solar cells and LEDs. By growing thin perovskite films on different substrates, UC San Diego engineers invented a way of fabricating perovskite single crystals with precisely deformed, or strained, structures.

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    1/9/20

    Measuring Mutations in Sperm May Reveal Risk for Autism in Future Children

    In a study published Dec. 23, 2019 in Nature Medicine, an international team of scientists, led by researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine, describe a method to measure disease-causing mutations found only in the sperm of the father, providing a more accurate assessment of ASD risk in future children.

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    1/9/20

    The Epic Lives of Albert Lin

    UC San Diego engineering alumnus Albert Yu-Min Lin can be described in many ways: explorer, engineer, scientist, artist, surfer, humanist, traveler, philosopher, father. It’s a challenge to capture Lin, whether in a few words or just for a quick phone call. He seems to have an endless supply of momentum—an energy, curiosity and optimism as big as the world he is continually exploring.

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    1/8/20

    Bianca Zadrozny (PhD '03): Developing Novel Approaches to Natural Resources Discovery and Exploration

    Since earning her PhD in computer science in 2003, Bianca Zadrozny has pursued her computer science career, in both industry and academia, in two countries. Her path has led her to IBM Research in Brazil, where she oversees natural resources analytics research.  Her group’s mission is to conduct research projects in data-driven and physically driven analytics, aiming to develop novel technologies that can help in smarter natural resources discovery and exploration.

     

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    1/8/20

    UC San Diego Researchers Receive $2.6M NSF Grant to Help Train Autistic Adults for Tech Employment

    A team of researchers from the University of California San Diego has been awarded a $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation to develop an employment-training program that will tap into the talent and potential of autistic adults for technology work.

     

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    1/7/20

    Preserving Libraries in the Sand

    Interdisciplinary partners at UC San Diego are using drones and 3D-modeling to save Puerto Rico’s indigenous history from the sea. In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in late 2018, Eric Lo, a Jacobs School alumnus who now works at the Qualcomm Institute at UC San Diego, touched down in Puerto Rico with a single goal: find the ancient archaeological site he had helped monitor for more than a year and assess the damage. 

     

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    1/6/20

    oSTEM earns Chapter of the Year award

    Just three years after it was founded, UC San Diego’s chapter of oSTEM — Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics — was awarded the Chapter of the Year designation at the oSTEM Annual Conference in Detroit. 

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