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Undergraduate News


2011 News Releases

Computer Simulations Shed Light on the Physics of Rainbows

Computer Simulations Shed Light on the Physics of Rainbows

December 6, 2011

  Computer scientists at UC San Diego, who set out to simulate all rainbows found in nature, wound up answering  questions about the physics of rainbows as well. The scientists recreated a wide variety of rainbows – primary rainbows, secondary rainbows, redbows that form at sunset and cloudbows that form on foggy days – by using an improved method for simulating how light interacts with water drops of various shapes and sizes. Their new approach even yielded realistic simulations of difficult-to-replicate “twinned” rainbows that split their primary bow in two. Full Story


Up in the Air

Up in the Air

December 2, 2011

  Students in an introductory aerospace engineering class at the Jacobs School got a unique opportunity this week: they launched three balloons that are now cruising above California and may land in Arizona. The students also designed payload and instrumentation for the balloons. In the process, they learned some lessons about engineering.  Full Story


Fallen Star Hoist at the Jacobs School

Fallen Star Hoist at the Jacobs School

November 15, 2011

  A scene right out of the “Wizard of Oz,” with a few modern twists, is taking place today here at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. A small house is about to land on top of EBU 1, hoisted by one of the largest cranes in the United States. The house is scheduled to be hoisted at 11:30 AM on Tuesday November 15, 2011. Full Story


The Team Internship Program at the Jacobs School of Engineering

The Team Internship Program at the Jacobs School of Engineering

November 9, 2011

  Do you need a team of top-notch interns to handle a project for your company over the summer? The Team Internship Program, or TIP, at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering can help.  Full Story


Mentoring Program Connects Graduate and Undergraduate Students

Mentoring Program Connects Graduate and Undergraduate Students

October 19, 2011

  The Jacobs Undergraduate Mentoring Program, or JUMP, brings together 10 graduate students and 60 undergraduates. They are divided into small groups of seven, comprised of one graduate student, two seniors and juniors and four freshmen and sophomores. The small groups are set to meet every other week. The large group will meet at least twice a quarter. Students also will be able to ask questions online through e-mentoring. The program is a partnership between the IDEA Student Center and the Jacobs Graduate Student Council.  Full Story


New Student Center Focuses on Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence and Advancement

New Student Center Focuses on Inclusion, Diversity, Excellence and Advancement

October 19, 2011

  The goals of the IDEA Student Center, which opened this fall, are summed up by the four words that form the IDEA acronym: inclusion, diversity, excellence and advancement. The center aims to improve retention and graduation rates; attract more underrepresented students; encourage undergraduates to pursue research; and get students in elementary, middle and high school, as well as community college, excited about a career in engineering.  Full Story


San Diego Union-Tribune Seeks UCSD-developed 'Killer Apps'

San Diego Union-Tribune Seeks UCSD-developed 'Killer Apps'

October 6, 2011

The San Diego Union-Tribune will award $4,500 in prizes to undergraduates at the University of California, San Diego, as part of a week-long contest to develop the next “killer app” for mobile devices. Full Story


National Geographic Explorers to Speak at UCSD

National Geographic Explorers to Speak at UCSD

September 19, 2011

Two accomplished explorers — one who works in some of Earth’s highest places and the other who explores its depths — will describe their National Geographic adventures at a free public presentation at the University of California, San Diego, on Saturday, Oct. 1.  Hosted by John Francis, vice president of research, conservation and exploration at National Geographic, and Albert Yu-Min Lin, research scientist in the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, the event will be held at Mandeville Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.; doors will open at 7 p.m.   Full Story


Car Talk

Car Talk

September 16, 2011

  Calling all gamers: If you like to play first-person racing games, you may be able to help campus researchers better understand typical driving behaviors. The objective is to develop "intelligent" technologies that will help reduce accidents on the road. The behavioral research study is underway in UC San Diego's Laboratory for Intelligent and Safe Automobiles (LISA), a sprawling set of spaces replete with cameras, microphones, computers and experimental facilities like the driving simulator. Led by Mohan Trivedi, a professor of electrical engineering at the Jacobs School of Engineering and researcher in the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), LISA is also bustling with more than a dozen graduate students and postdoctoral researchers in electrical and computer engineering, and cognitive science. Full Story


New Summer Program  Focuses on Academics, Friendship

New Summer Program Focuses on Academics, Friendship

September 14, 2011

  How do you maintain a 3.0 grade-point average while taking at least 12 units a quarter? What’s an elevator pitch? And where’s the nearest beach? These were some of the questions 22 incoming freshmen at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego were trying to answer last week as part of the school’s first-ever residential summer program designed to prepare students for the transition from high school to engineering school. Of course, they had help from faculty and staff members, as well as undergraduate students.  Full Story


Far from Home, Undergrads Contribute to Earthquake Research

Far from Home, Undergrads Contribute to Earthquake Research

August 22, 2011

This summer, structural engineering undergraduates from the University of California, San Diego investigated earthquakes along parts of the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area of the world touching several continents surrounding the Pacific Ocean where large numbers of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions occur. Full Story


COSMOS Students Explore Engineering Universe

COSMOS Students Explore Engineering Universe

August 8, 2011

  Four weeks to build a programmable, moving sculpture that can interact with those viewing it. That was the challenge facing more than two dozen high school students this summer at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. They were taking part in COSMOS, a summer residential program for ninth- to 12th-graders who show a demonstrated interest in science and engineering.  Full Story


Space Shuttle Memories

Space Shuttle Memories

August 1, 2011

  Douglas Spore was just 24 when he landed his dream job: working on the new space shuttle NASA was building. The year was 1973. The end of the space shuttle program last month brought back many memories from that time. Full Story


Near-Space Balloon Team Lands on the Front Page

Near-Space Balloon Team Lands on the Front Page

July 26, 2011

  The Near-Space Balloon Team at UC San Diego, under the direction of mechanical and aerospace engineering Prof. John Kosmatka, is planning to send a balloon across the United States—and their efforts have landed them on the front page of the San Diego Union-Tribune Monday, July 25. It would be the first time a U.S. university would fly a helium-filled, zero-pressure balloon across the nation.  Full Story


Engineering Hats for Opening Day at the Races

Engineering Hats for Opening Day at the Races

July 15, 2011

Two dozen girls participating in an engineering workshop at the University of California, San Diego have developed technology-inspired hats featuring mechanized horses for Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The workshop is run by by Sauri Naderi, a 2007 UCSD engineering physics graduate who now directs community outreach programs offered by MyLab @ Variability Expedition at the UCSD division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2). Full Story


Undergrads Spending the Summer as Full-time Researchers

Undergrads Spending the Summer as Full-time Researchers

July 6, 2011

Two dozen undergraduates at the University of California, San Diego, including nine engineering students, have begun a summer of full-time research, guided by faculty advisors across campus. The Calit2 Summer Scholars are majoring in more than a dozen different fields from four academic divisions and are working on a wide range of projects. Full Story


Oh the Places She'll Go

Oh the Places She'll Go

June 29, 2011

  During her time here at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego, Heather Ruderian tutored students, took challenging classes and interviewed for jobs. She did it all while working with the university to accommodate her disability: she is hard of hearing in both ears. Ruderian graduated in March and was named a campuswide outstanding graduate by This Week @ UCSD. She is now a software development engineer at Microsoft in Bellevue, Wash.  Full Story


Jacobs School to Open Doors for First-ever Family Day

Jacobs School to Open Doors for First-ever Family Day

June 17, 2011

  Watch microscopic rockets that can cruise through blood samples and detect cancer. Learn more about wildfires and how they spread. Engage in fun, hands-on activities with your children. Visitors will get the opportunity to do all this—and more—when they take part in the first-ever Family Day at the Jacobs School of Engineering from 1 to 3 p.m. June 26. Full Story


There's a Mouse in the Maze: UCSD IEEE Organizes First-ever Southern California Robotic Mouse Competition

There's a Mouse in the Maze: UCSD IEEE Organizes First-ever Southern California Robotic Mouse Competition

June 14, 2011

First, there was Mickey Mouse. Then came Mighty Mouse. Now, at the dawn of the 21st century, comes micromouse, the little robot that could. Actually, a total of 13 micromice visited the UC San Diego campus last month, for a competition pitting teams from eight universities. It was the first Southern California competition hosted by UCSD IEEE at the Jacobs School of Engineering, but Kansas State University joined in the fun too. Fittingly, UCSD teams took first and second place in the competition. UCLA came in third. Full Story


UCSD Undergrad's National Geographic Collaboration Leads to Internship

UCSD Undergrad's National Geographic Collaboration Leads to Internship

June 10, 2011

Like many undergraduate students, Alan Turchik's academic journey has been full of random twists and turns.  So, it is no wonder that he spent the past year building a collection of sensor and motors to counteract random twists and turns. A graduating senior in mechanical engineering in the University of California, San Diego's Jacob's School of Engineering, Turchik has been working with the National Geographic Society (NGS) to develop a stabilization mechanism for a camera mounted to an aerial platform that takes bird’s-eye view photos of archaeological dig sites. Full Story


As Gravity Wanes and Pressures Gain, It's Pain and Bane for the Brain

As Gravity Wanes and Pressures Gain, It's Pain and Bane for the Brain

May 24, 2011

A group of students from the University of California, San Diego and Grossmont Community College have designed a set of experiments to precisely measure intracranial pressures in microgravity using a contraption that mimics the circulatory system of the human brain. Full Story


Food in the Fridge Hack Wins Top Prize at Yahoo! Competition

May 23, 2011

Most college students wouldn’t need a digital app to tell them what’s in their refrigerators, since the answer is usually “not much.” But a group of graduate students from the University of California, San Diego’s Jacobs School of Engineering knew the idea had some merit — and fortunately for them, Yahoo! felt the same way. Full Story


The Fastest Boxcar on Campus

The Fastest Boxcar on Campus

May 20, 2011

2,000 burgers. 300 participants. 39 teams. And a parking lot full of scrap metal and junk. Some play it safe with simple, clean designs.  Some go crazy with paint and costumes. But every year since 2004, UC San Diego students, faculty, alumni and staff have turned out to play Junkyard Derby, a race to see which team can combine their skills, engineering know-how and showmanship into the fastest boxcar on campus. Full Story


Mathematician and Kyoto Prize-Winner Laszlo Lovasz to Speak at UC San Diego April 5

Mathematician and Kyoto Prize-Winner Laszlo Lovasz to Speak at UC San Diego April 5

March 21, 2011

László Lovász, Ph.D., considered one of the world’s most accomplished mathematicians, will speak at the University of California, San Diego, April 5 at 3:30 p.m., as part of the 10th Annual Kyoto Prize Symposium. The talk is free and open to the public. Lovász is one of three outstanding academics who received the 2010 Kyoto Prize—Japan’s highest private award for global achievement. Full Story




NSF and Science Honor Scientific Animation Advances at UC San Diego

NSF and Science Honor Scientific Animation Advances at UC San Diego

March 8, 2011

UC San Diego researchers affiliated with Calit2 – Jürgen Schulze and Mark Ellisman – are on two of the winning teams in the 2010 International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge. The Challenge is organized annually by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the journal Science. Full Story


A Killer Job Fair and other 'Engineers Week' Highlights

A Killer Job Fair and other 'Engineers Week' Highlights

March 3, 2011

From wowing tech companies looking to hire new  grads, to teaching middle school students about engineering, to dropping tomatoes from a helium balloon 100 feet in the air, UC San Diego engineering students tackled Engineers Week. Full Story


Mutations Found In Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Mutations Found In Human-Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

March 1, 2011

Ordinary human cells reprogrammed as induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) may ultimately revolutionize personalized medicine by creating new and diverse therapies unique to individual patients, but important and unanswered questions have persisted about the safety of these cells, in particular whether their genetic material is altered during the reprogramming process. Full Story


UC San Diego Engineers Play Role in Warehouse Fire Safety

UC San Diego Engineers Play Role in Warehouse Fire Safety

February 2, 2011

Imagine this: Firefighters enter a several football field-sized, 60-foot high, pitch-black warehouse  and they can’t see inside—they don’t know if there is an inferno or a small fire with a lot of smoke. It’s a very dangerous situation, making choices hard. Engineers at UC San Diego have made a breakthrough discovery that could help ease these situations by predicting where and how quickly initial fires spread in warehouses. Full Story


Bioengineers among UC San Diego Researchers Awarded CIRM Grants in Support of Innovative Technologies

Bioengineers among UC San Diego Researchers Awarded CIRM Grants in Support of Innovative Technologies

January 28, 2011

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has awarded three grants totaling nearly $5.8 million to researchers at the University of California, San Diego – including bioengineering professors Shu Chien and Shyni Varghese -- for development of innovative technologies designed to advance translational stem cell research. Full Story


UC San Diego Video Processing Lab: Bringing 3D to the Operating Room

UC San Diego Video Processing Lab: Bringing 3D to the Operating Room

January 28, 2011

For all of their high-tech advantages, laparoscopic surgical systems are only capable of providing a two-dimensional visualization — or in other words, no depth perception. “This means that often surgeons can’t pinpoint the exact location of an organ until they brush up against it with their tools,” explains Ramsin Khoshabeh, a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of California, San Diego. “I hate to put it this way, but some surgical procedures are still done by brute force.” Full Story


Global TIES: Humanitarian Engineering Students Go Global with Solar Suitcase

Global TIES: Humanitarian Engineering Students Go Global with Solar Suitcase

January 24, 2011

Last summer, Jacobs School of Engineering undergraduates at UC San Diego travelled to Mbita, Kenya as part of the Global TIES - Teams in Engineering Service - Program. The team visited the site of their humanitarian engineering project, which is aimed at bringing renewable energy to an off-the-grid island community. Full Story


UC San Diego Teams with Other Universities and Audi to Help Urban Drivers

UC San Diego Teams with Other Universities and Audi to Help Urban Drivers

January 20, 2011

A new research initiative launched by Audi, its Electronics Research Laboratory in Silicon Valley, the University of California, San Diego and three other major U.S. research universities will develop technologies aimed at easing the congestion, dangers and inconveniences that often confront drivers in the world’s biggest cities. Full Story