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Undergraduate News


2014 News Releases

Film Project Highlights Entrepreneurism at UC San Diego and on Torrey Pines Mesa

Film Project Highlights Entrepreneurism at UC San Diego and on Torrey Pines Mesa

December 22, 2014

A breakthrough today was a crazy idea yesterday. That’s a line from a new film project that documents a student-driven effort at UC San Diego and the research institutions across the Torrey Pines Mesa to help and encourage students to turn ideas and breakthroughs into startup companies. This short documentary film was produced and directed by Dr. Rajesh Grover, an assistant professor at The Scripps Research Institute and a visiting investigator at the  J. Craig Venter Institute in La Jolla, and Kenan Azam, a data scientist in the laboratory of UC San Diego bioengineering professor Shankar Subramaniam.  Both are former leaders of the UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge for the academic year 2011-12. Full Story


New Minecraft Modding Software Revolutionizes the Way We Teach Kids Coding

New Minecraft Modding Software Revolutionizes the Way We Teach Kids Coding

December 17, 2014

A new e-learning software, developed by San Diego education start-up ThoughtSTEM, teaches K-12 students how to code by allowing them to write mods (“modifications”) to the popular video game, Minecraft. The software, called LearnToMod, was recently tested by over 1,000 Beta users and 100 teachers, and the final release of LearnToMod is slated for Jan. 15, 2015. ThoughtSTEM was co-founded by computer science Ph.D. students Stephen Foster and Sarah Esper.  Full Story


NSF grant to improve visualization capabilities for the biosciences and geosciences

NSF grant to improve visualization capabilities for the biosciences and geosciences

December 17, 2014

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is partnering with the University of California, San Diego (UC San Diego), to expand and enhance visualization capabilities in the bio- and geosciences through a grant from the National Science Foundation. Full Story


UC San Diego Receives $3 Million Award to Help Advance Energy Storage Systems

December 17, 2014

The University of California, San Diego has been awarded $3 million by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to help move innovative energy storage technologies out of the lab and into the market. UC San Diego will help test and validate the performance of ARPA-E-funded technologies through a program called Cycling Hardware to Analyze and Ready Grid-Scale Electricity Storage (CHARGES). Full Story


CWC 5G Wireless Forum: The Promise and the Potential of a New User Experience

CWC 5G Wireless Forum: The Promise and the Potential of a New User Experience

December 16, 2014

What’s certain is that 5G is coming. What’s less certain is what 5G will look like once it arrives.It’s a testament to the excitement building around emerging fifth-generation (5G) wireless technologies that with only one month’s notice, 130 key experts from academia, government and industry met at the University of California, San Diego for the recent CWC 5G Forum on Next-Generation Wireless Systems – an opportunity to share insights, best practices and remaining research questions about the emerging systems and applications that are expected to drive 5G user experience. Full Story


Researchers generate tunable photon-pair spectrum using a room temperature quantum optics silicon chip

Researchers generate tunable photon-pair spectrum using a room temperature quantum optics silicon chip

December 15, 2014

A team of researchers from the University of California, San Diego have demonstrated a way to emit and control quantum light generated using a chip made from silicon—one of the most widely used materialsfor modern electronics. The UC San Diego researchers recently described their new device’s performanceonline in the journal Nature Communications, available via Open Access. Full Story


Student Entrepreneurs Find Success with Smart Earplugs

Student Entrepreneurs Find Success with Smart Earplugs

December 11, 2014

When Daniel Lee enrolled in Nate Delson’s Product Design and Entrepreneurship class at UC San Diego, becoming an entrepreneur wasn’t on his radar. But a little more than a year later, Lee and two other students at the Jacobs School of Engineering already have raised more than $450,000 through crowdfunding for their start-up company, Hush Technology. Their product? Smart wireless earplugs that block out external sounds but still allow users to hear their alarm clock and important messages via a smartphone app.Lee, a mechanical engineering major, dreamed up the idea for the earplugs—which also double as a sound machine that plays white noise and ocean wave sounds—during Delson’s class. The class also provided him the tools to take his professional destiny in his own hands and start his own company, first at the Moxie Center for Student Entrepreneurship at UC San Diego and then at San Diego’s EvoNexus incubator. The devices will be manufactured here in San Diego. Full Story


Triton Rocket Club in Furious Race to Make Campus First University to Launch Rocket into Space

Triton Rocket Club in Furious Race to Make Campus First University to Launch Rocket into Space

December 4, 2014

It’s Wednesday afternoon, and about a dozen students are hard at work trying to make history in the basement of Jacobs Hall. The students are building a 20-foot, two-stage rocket that they hope will make UC San Diego the first higher education institution to successfully send a rocket into space. They are in an unofficial race against Boston University and the University of Southern California. Both campuses are pursuing the same goal and have launches planned this coming spring or summer. The Triton Rocket Club at UC San Diego is hoping to beat them to the finish line by launching in March. Full Story


Two UC San Diego Computer Scientists, One Electrical Engineer Named IEEE Fellows

Two UC San Diego Computer Scientists, One Electrical Engineer Named IEEE Fellows

December 1, 2014

Three members of the Jacobs School of Engineering faculty at the University of California, San Diego have been elevated to be Fellows in the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Prof. David Kriegman was honored for his contributions to computer vision, and CSE Prof. Yuanyuan (YY) Zhou was cited for her “contributions to scalable algorithms and tools for computer reliability.” Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Prof. Young-Han Kim was honored for his contributions to feedback communication and network information theory. All three faculty members are also affiliated with the Qualcomm Institute. Full Story


Vegetable Oil Ingredient Key to Destroying Gastric Disease Bacteria

Vegetable Oil Ingredient Key to Destroying Gastric Disease Bacteria

November 24, 2014

The bacterium Helicobacter pylori is strongly associated with gastric ulcers and cancer. To combat the infection, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Jacobs School of Engineering developed LipoLLA, a therapeutic nanoparticle that contains linolenic acid, a component in vegetable oils. In mice, LipoLLA was safe and more effective against H. pylori infection than standard antibiotic treatments.The results are published online Nov. 24 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Full Story


Shu Chien Receives U.C. San Diego Roger Revelle Medal

Shu Chien Receives U.C. San Diego Roger Revelle Medal

November 20, 2014

University of California, San Diego bioengineering professor Shu Chien has received the Roger Revelle Medal from UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla with the citation: “Shu Chien is widely known as an exceptional researcher, instructor, mentor and citizen of the university and his professional community.”  Full Story


UC San Diego Achieves a Hat Trick with 2014 HPCwire Awards

UC San Diego Achieves a Hat Trick with 2014 HPCwire Awards

November 20, 2014

The San Diego Supercomputer Center at the University of California, San Diego, has achieved a hat trick in garnering three awards for its university-wide WIFIRE project as part of the annual HPCwire Readers’ and Editors’ Choice Awards presented at the 2014 International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage and Analysis (SC14), in New Orleans. Full Story


Four Computer Science Majors Win 'Best iOS Hack' at USC Hackathon

Four Computer Science Majors Win 'Best iOS Hack' at USC Hackathon

November 19, 2014

Four computer science undergraduate students won the best iOS Hack at the HackSC competition organized by the University of Southern California Nov. 7 to 9.  Josh Anatalio, Noah Martin, Lawrence Luk and Alvin Ho created an app called ezTouch, which allows users to lock and unlock one or more remote Mac computers using an iPhone’s fingerprint scanner. Full Story


Software engineer Debbie Lu Remembers Global TIES Program

Software engineer Debbie Lu Remembers Global TIES Program

November 10, 2014

Software engineer Debbie Lu (BS ’06, Computer Engineering) took a few minutes out of a busy day to talk about her time as a computer engineering student at UC San Diego.  Full Story


Wireless Center at UC San Diego Organizes Forum on Future of 5G

Wireless Center at UC San Diego Organizes Forum on Future of 5G

November 10, 2014

Wireless technologies have revolutionized almost every aspect of our lives: the way we work, interact, and socialize. Global adoption and emerging applications are fueling expectations and debate about so-called fifth-generation, or 5G, wireless technologies, and the expectations, needs, and directions for 5G are not as clear as those for the previous digital generations (3G and 4G). The Center for Wireless Communications (CWC) at the University of California, San Diego is organizing and hosting the 5G Forum on Next-Generation Wireless Systems and Applications, bringing together key experts from industry, government and academia to present and discuss their vision and research roadmaps for 5G. Full Story


Qualcomm Institute Invites Proposals for Digitally-Mediated Events at UC San Diego

Qualcomm Institute Invites Proposals for Digitally-Mediated Events at UC San Diego

November 5, 2014

The Qualcomm Institute is inviting University of California, San Diego-affiliated musicians, video artists, composers, engineers, and scientists to submit interdisciplinary event proposals to develop and/or stage their works and research in the institute’s high-tech venues. The new round of proposals will lead to the selection of works and research for the 2015 season of the institute’s Initiative for Digital Exploration of Arts and Sciences (IDEAS), with as many as a dozen residencies, presentations and performances to take place between January and November 2015. Full Story


ARCS Foundation Awards $232,500 in Fellowships for UC San Diego Graduate Students

ARCS Foundation Awards $232,500 in Fellowships for UC San Diego Graduate Students

October 27, 2014

Dustin Richmond, a third-year graduate student in computer science and engineering, builds complex computer hardware systems with the power to process large data sets—such as the data involved with DNA sequencing. In his first year, Richmond worked with technology company Cognex to design an ultra-high-speed image processing pipeline—specifically for active 3D scanners—that could decompress and process 20,000 images per second. He is one of 31 UC San Diego graduate students who have been awarded a fellowship from the San Diego chapter of ARCS Foundation, Inc. for the 2014-2015 academic year. Members of the San Diego chapter presented the award check, totaling $232,500, to Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla on Oct. 13 at the Ida and Cecil Green Faculty Club at UC San Diego. Full Story


Jacobs School alum and Facebook engineer talks about 'Safety Check' feature

Jacobs School alum and Facebook engineer talks about 'Safety Check' feature

October 23, 2014

When disaster strikes, we want to know that our loved ones are safe, but sometimes it can be hours before we are sure. Peter Cottle, a Jacob’s School alumnus, B.S.  ’11, has helped make the process a bit simpler. Cottle is a software engineer at Facebook and the creator of the new feature “Safety Check,” which the site launched in October 2014. On Oct. 20, he gave a talk to UC San Diego students about the concepts behind the feature and why it was developed. Full Story


UC San Diego students help design toddler-tantrum-proof plate

UC San Diego students help design toddler-tantrum-proof plate

October 22, 2014

It’s a scene that many parents have witnessed, helplessly. It’s time for dinner and your toddler is getting restless. The object of their wrath? The dinner plate, which goes flying off the table and spills its contents all over the floor. A group of mechanical engineering undergraduate students at the University of California, San Diego helped a San Diego entrepreneur come up with a solution to this problem. It’s called the Adi, the stay-put plate.  Full Story


Robotics Legends Converge at UC San Diego Forum

Robotics Legends Converge at UC San Diego Forum

October 16, 2014

After the industrial revolution and the Internet revolution, we are now poised for the robotics revolution. Influential robotics researchers and industry leaders made this prediction in many different ways on Friday at the Contextual Robotics Technologies International Forum. The speakers and more than 250 attendees gathered to reflect on what opportunities and challenges this revolution would bring, and how San Diego fits into this picture.  Full Story


Students, Faculty Celebrate Women in Computing

Students, Faculty Celebrate Women in Computing

October 13, 2014

Nearly 40 students from the University of California, San Diego – most of them affiliated with the university’s chapter of Women in Computing – attended the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration for Women in Computing Oct. 8 tp 10 in Phoenix, Ariz For two of the undergraduates majoring in computer science, it was also an opportunity to showcase research projects in the area of sketch recognition. Full Story


Fun, bounce houses and snow cones: Engineers on the Green helps boost student involvement

Fun, bounce houses and snow cones: Engineers on the Green helps boost student involvement

October 13, 2014

Tritons of all majors got to take a study break Oct. 6 at the Engineers on the Green fair in Matthews’s quad. Students made themselves busy playing games, making friends and most importantly gathering information about student engineering organizations eager to recruit members.  Full Story


Team Internship Program: Building the next generation of engineers.

Team Internship Program: Building the next generation of engineers.

October 7, 2014

They worked on the next generation of drones for 3D Robotics. At Cubic Transportation Systems, they created applications to allow public transit users to enhance their mobility and pay fares on their own mobile devices. At UTC Aerospace Systems, they re-engineered the designs for manufacturing aircraft parts. In all, 330 students participated in the Team Internship Program at the Jacobs School of Engineering at the University of California, San Diego this summer. They worked for 42 companies in the United States and around the world, including Yahoo!, Qualcomm and Solar Turbines, among many others.  Full Story


Biomedical Engineers Win 'People's Choice' Award for Inspiring Video

Biomedical Engineers Win 'People's Choice' Award for Inspiring Video

October 3, 2014

The National Academy of Engineering named a group of University of California, San Diego bioengineering students as the “People’s Choice” award winner in a video contest celebrating the 50th anniversary of the NAE. The Biomedical Engineering Society at UC San Diego received $5,000 in prize money for their award-winning video titled “The Future is Boundless.” Full Story


Diabetes in a Dish

Diabetes in a Dish

October 2, 2014

Although type 1 diabetes can be controlled with insulin injections and lifestyle modifications, major advances in treating the disease have not been made in more than two decades and there remain fundamental gaps in what is understood about its causes and how to halt its progression.With a 5-year, $4-million grant from the National Institutes of Health, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and bioengineers at UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, with colleagues at UC Irvine and Washington University in St. Louis hope to change this. Full Story


Capturing Ancient Maya Sites from Both a Rat's and a 'Bat's Eye View'

Capturing Ancient Maya Sites from Both a Rat's and a 'Bat's Eye View'

September 25, 2014

A trip to the Guatemalan jungle usually nets a few souvenirs: Photographs of Maya ruins, bragging rights about encounters with venomous snakes, perhaps a bug bite or two. Following a recent field expedition to the Mesoamerican archaeological site known as El Zotz, researchers from the University of California, San Diego’s Qualcomm Institute (QI) returned home from Guatemala with all of the above – plus 300 gigabytes of 3D data derived from a bevy of high-tech virtual devices. Full Story


UC San Diego Researchers Build First 500 GHz Photon Switch

UC San Diego Researchers Build First 500 GHz Photon Switch

September 10, 2014

Electrical engineers at UC San Diego have built the first 500 Gigahertz (GHz) photon switch. “Our switch is more than an order of magnitude faster than any previously published result to date,” said UC San Diego electrical and computer engineering professor Stojan Radic. “That exceeds the speed of the fastest lightwave information channels in use today.” Full Story


The mystartupXX Program Receives $50,000 Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration

The mystartupXX Program Receives $50,000 Grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration

September 5, 2014

The mystartupXX program, a collaboration of the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego and the von Liebig Entrepreneurism Center at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering is pleased to announce it has been chosen as the recipient of a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA). The announcement was made at the Rady School by SBA Administrator, and Obama Administration Cabinet member, Maria Contreras-Sweet. “There is so much innovation and job creation in San Diego and I believe the economic leadership at UC San Diego is extraordinary,” said Administrator Maria Contreras-Sweet. “I am pleased to announce the first winner of the grant based in California, mystartupXX. The mystartupXX program is doing something special and is a great contribution to America and to women.” Full Story


Scientists sequence complete genome of E. coli Strain responsible for food poisoning

Scientists sequence complete genome of E. coli Strain responsible for food poisoning

August 29, 2014

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego have produced the first complete genome sequencing of a strain of E. coli that is a common cause of outbreaks of food poisoning in the United States. Although the E. coli strain EDL933 was first isolated in the 1980s, it gained national attention in 1993 when it was linked to an outbreak of food poisoning from Jack-in-the-Box restaurants in the western United States. Their paper published online Aug. 14 in the journal Genome Announcements reports the full, complete sequence with no gaps. Their analysis includes so-called jumping genes that can move around the same genome, sometimes causing damage to individual genes or enabling antibiotic resistance. Full Story


UC San Diego Extends Global Partnership to University in Tijuana

UC San Diego Extends Global Partnership to University in Tijuana

August 28, 2014

The University of California, San Diego and the Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Mexico (UABC) have embarked on an initiative to increase collaboration and exchange among students and faculty from both universities. The initiative was formalized by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla and UABC President Felipe Cuamea Velazquez. Full Story


COSMOS program celebrates 10th anniversary

COSMOS program celebrates 10th anniversary

August 19, 2014

What have you accomplished over the past four weeks? Made your own biodiesel? Miniaturized a pollution particle counter? Created an app for the color-blind? No? Then you’re probably not in the COSMOS program. The California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science (COSMOS) is a four-week residential summer program designed for talented and motivated high school students – students so motivated they’re not afraid to dream big, technologically speaking, to take on some of the world’s most difficult problems. The program celebrated its 10th anniversary this year. Full Story


A taste of engineering for incoming freshmen

A taste of engineering for incoming freshmen

August 6, 2014

The four-day Summer PrEP program is organized by the IDEA Student Center at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. In all, 51 students took part this year. They met with faculty members who gave them advice about academics and with students and alums who gave them advice on student life and life after graduation. Students also took part in many fun activities. In fall, they will become IDEA Scholars, who received mentoring from Jacobs School students, alumni and faculty and are involved in undergraduate research, among other things.  Full Story


UC San Diego Professor Awarded $300K for Mobile Health Lab-on-Chip Technology

UC San Diego Professor Awarded $300K for Mobile Health Lab-on-Chip Technology

August 4, 2014

University of California, San Diego Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Shaya Fainman has been awarded $300,000 from the National Science Foundation to develop a portable device with a disposable cartridge “lab-on-chip” (CLOC). The device will use bodily fluids to help people determine if they have a viral or bacterial infection or are experiencing an allergic reaction. Full Story


UC San Diego Engineering Graduates Aim For Game-Changing Green Chemistry

UC San Diego Engineering Graduates Aim For Game-Changing Green Chemistry

July 29, 2014

San Diego-based company Genomatica, co-founded by UC San Diego bioengineering alumnus Christophe Schilling, sustainably produces chemicals essential in the manufacture of thousands of products from fabrics to plastics.  Full Story


Computer Science Ph.D. Student's 'Unconventional Odyssey' to SMART Fellowship

Computer Science Ph.D. Student's 'Unconventional Odyssey' to SMART Fellowship

July 29, 2014

Natalie Larson has three years to finish her Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, San Diego, and she wasn’t entirely certain where she would find the support to complete her degree. But now she is. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded Larson a Science, Mathematics and Research for Transformation (SMART) Fellowship, which will cover all of her costs for the next three years in return for a commitment to work the next two summers and at least three years in a DoD lab after graduating in 2017. Full Story


Liangfang Zhang Receives Allan P. Colburn Award from AIChE

Liangfang Zhang Receives Allan P. Colburn Award from AIChE

July 24, 2014

University of California, San Diego nanoengineering professor Liangfang Zhang has received the AIChE Allan P. Colburn Award for Excellence in Publications by a Young Member of the Institute, which recognizes significant contributions to chemical engineering by researchers under 36. Zhang is being recognized for “outstanding contributions to biomimetic nanomaterials for drug delivery to improve the treatments of cancers and infectious diseases.” Full Story


Qualcomm Institute Announces Seed Grants to Build Clusters in Brain, Medical and Robotics Research

Qualcomm Institute Announces Seed Grants to Build Clusters in Brain, Medical and Robotics Research

July 18, 2014

The Qualcomm Institute at the University of California, San Diego has given the green light to 35 new projects that are part of the institute’s Calit2 Strategic Research Opportunities (CSRO) program. Each one-year seed grant is worth up to $50,000 in support for researchers in areas of critical interest to the research mission of the institute—and the university. (The Qualcomm Institute is the UC San Diego division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, or Calit2.) Full Story


A GEM of a Prize

A GEM of a Prize

July 17, 2014

Two physician-engineer teams from UC San Diego have been selected as the 2014 recipients of the Galvanizing Engineering in Medicine (GEM) awards from the Clinical and Translational Research Institute (CTRI) and the Institute of Engineering in Medicine (IEM). GEM, an initiative of UC San Diego's CTRI and IEM, supports projects that identify clinical challenges for which engineering solutions can be developed and implemented to improve health care. Full Story


Outstanding students, professor recognized at 2014 Ring Ceremony

Outstanding students, professor recognized at 2014 Ring Ceremony

July 3, 2014

More than 340 of this year’s 700 graduating seniors attended this year’s Ring Ceremony at the Jacobs School of Engineering. They heard from Qualcomm CEO Steven Mollenkopf, who served as the keynote speaker, as well as from student speakers Pooja Makhijani, former president of the Triton Engineering Student Council and bioengineering major, and Neha Shekhar, also a bioengineering major. Kevin Yin, TESC’s vice president of finance, served as master of ceremonies.  Full Story


SDSC's kc claffy Receives Annual IEEE Internet Award

SDSC's kc claffy Receives Annual IEEE Internet Award

July 3, 2014

kc claffy, the principal investigator and co-founder of the Center for Applied Internet Data Analysis (CAIDA) based at the San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, has been awarded the latest IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Internet Award. Full Story


UC San Diego to Launch New Master's Program in Data Science and Engineering

UC San Diego to Launch New Master's Program in Data Science and Engineering

June 25, 2014

The University of California, San Diego has announced a new master’s degreeprogram in Data Science and Engineering, intended for working professionals with a broad educational background and/or training in computer science, engineering, or mathematics. Full Story


Engineering students develop clock-inspired, electronics-free device to transport stem cells on planes

Engineering students develop clock-inspired, electronics-free device to transport stem cells on planes

June 24, 2014

A group of mechanical engineering students are developing a device to transport stem cells on airplanes—an  important problem for the research and biomedical community. The challenge with transporting live cells for stem cell therapies on a plane is twofold. The cells need to be constantly agitated so that they don’t clump together and lose their medical properties. And the FAA doesn’t allow packages with running electronics on airplanes— so a standard device driven by motors  is not an option for transport. Full Story


Students design and program bioreactor to make biofuel from algae, autonomous quadcopter-and more-in embedded systems class

June 23, 2014

A bioreactor that costs just $500. A robot that solves a Rubik’s cube in under 30 seconds. A quadcopter that flies around the room and avoids obstacles autonomously. These were just a few of the projects designed by students in the CSE 145 and 237 classes taught by computer science professor Ryan Kastner. The class’ goal is to teach students to build an embedded computing system. They learn the fundamentals of microcontrollers, such as Arduino and Beagle Bone Black, sensors and actuators. Students are also introduced to end-to-end system building and the hardware and software tools they will need to build a project in a team environment. Full Story


New Star on Tijuana Walk of Fame Encourages Girls to Pursue Engineering

New Star on Tijuana Walk of Fame Encourages Girls to Pursue Engineering

June 19, 2014

One of the first initiatives Olivia Graeve put in place when she arrived on the UC San Diego campus last year was an academic summer program for female high school students from Tijuana and San Ysidro. The girls lived on campus and conducted research in engineering and biology labs. As a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering who specializes in materials science, she hopes to inspire more female students to follow her path. Graeve will be recognized for her scientific endeavors and her cross-border outreach efforts in July by being inducted in the Tijuana Walk of Fame. Full Story


Outstanding Graduates from Class of 2014 Share Their Stories

Outstanding Graduates from Class of 2014 Share Their Stories

June 18, 2014

Engineering swept the outstanding student awards at this year's All Campus Graduation Celebration. Damini Tandon, a bioengineering major, was recognized as outstanding undergraduate student for her efforts to make health education and medical treatment accessible. Michael Porter, a Ph.D. student in the research group of materials science professor Joanna McKittrick, received the outstanding graduate student award for his academic achievements and his mentoring.  Full Story


CISA3 Researchers to Document Underwater Cave, Paleoamerican Remains

CISA3 Researchers to Document Underwater Cave, Paleoamerican Remains

June 18, 2014

Scientists were able to analyze mitochondrial DNA taken from one of Naia’s wisdom teeth to reveal that Naia’s ancestry derived from an Asian genetic lineage only seen in Native Americans. For the first time, Naia’s remains presented hard evidence to support the theory that Native Americans descended from Siberians who crossed into America via a land bridge over the Bering Strait. This analysis was published in a recent issue of Science magazine. Full Story


Faculty Mentors Inspire Howard University Students to Pursue Doctorates at UC San Diego

Faculty Mentors Inspire Howard University Students to Pursue Doctorates at UC San Diego

May 29, 2014

Last summer, Daril Brown and Nailah Seale arrived on UC San Diego’s campus for the first time as visiting undergraduates from Howard University. They spent eight weeks immersed in bioengineering research alongside UC San Diego faculty and graduate students, while learning strategies for applying to graduate school. Now, both Brown and Seale will return to the La Jolla campus in the fall to pursue their doctoral degrees, thanks in part to the mentorship they received that summer. In addition, each has been awarded a prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support their studies. Full Story


A Snapshot of Success

A Snapshot of Success

May 28, 2014

When she first applied for computer science internships, Brina Lee, who had a bachelor’s in communications from UC San Diego and a background in marketing, felt like she’d hit a wall of rejection. Now fast-forward just two years, and with a master’s in computer science from UC San Diego under her belt, she is the first female engineer to have been hired at Instagram, the company behind the popular image-sharing app. Full Story


Supercomputing Our Way to Better Materials

Supercomputing Our Way to Better Materials

May 27, 2014

Impatience drives the materials science research of Shyue Ping Ong. The professor of nanoengineering says the world cannot afford to wait for a slow trial and error approach to discover new materials that could be used to build more energy-efficient technologies. The crisis of global climate change demands a faster and better answer. Ong was recently awarded a prestigious “Early Career” research award from the U.S. Department of Energy to apply his supercomputing approach to the challenge. Full Story


Outstanding grads 2014

Outstanding grads 2014

May 23, 2014

More than 1,000 students will be graduating from the Jacobs School of Engineering next month. We couldn’t possibly profile them all, so we asked for help from our faculty to find a few of them that exemplify all the amazing achievements of our undergraduates. Full Story


Engineering freshmen learn rocket science

Engineering freshmen learn rocket science

May 23, 2014

A total of 7.2 seconds: that was the longest flight time for water rockets designed by undergraduate students in a structural engineering freshman seminar at the Jacobs School. The class is designed to teach students about different structures in aerospace, including rockets and aircraft, explained Hyonny Kim, a professor of structural engineering.  Full Story


Remembering Anouchka Mihaylova

Remembering Anouchka Mihaylova

May 21, 2014

Anouchka Mihaylova, a project scientist in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego died on May 17 after being struck by a hit-and-run driver while walking with her husband in Rancho Bernardo. Mihaylova joined the department in 2000, where she was a researcher in the Cardiac Mechanics Laboratory led by bioengineering professor Andrew McCulloch in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Mihaylova was a key investigator of the National Biomedical Computation Resource. Full Story


Mechanical engineering student and star diver earns NCCA Postgraduate Scholarship

Mechanical engineering student and star diver earns NCCA Postgraduate Scholarship

May 15, 2014

Luke Calkins, an All-American senior diver for the UC San Diego men’s swimming and diving program this past winter and a mechanical engineering major has been awarded an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. Calkins, a native of Kansas City, Kansas is a two-time Capital One Academic All-American. The one-time grants of $7500 are awarded to student athletes who excel both academically and athletically and are at least in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition.  Full Story


New Online Voting Platform Aims to Give Public Unprecedented Lobbying Power

New Online Voting Platform Aims to Give Public Unprecedented Lobbying Power

April 25, 2014

A new online voting platform developed by UC San Diego alumnus Arshya “Ary” Sharifian and UC San Diego undergraduate Miles Minton now allows voters in North County San Diego to directly lobby their elected officials through weekly polls. Full Story


Closing the Loop on Computer-Aided Design & Manufacturing

Closing the Loop on Computer-Aided Design & Manufacturing

April 9, 2014

It seems a bit like a choose-your-own adventure story: You use computer-aided design to create a wind turbine. For 10 years you operate your turbine successfully but then disaster strikes in the form of a 6.8 (moment magnitude scale) earthquake. The decision is yours: Do you have confidence the turbine can continue to be safely operated, or do you decommission it, take your money and run? Full Story


Good Vibrations: Using Light-Heated Water to Deliver Drugs

Good Vibrations: Using Light-Heated Water to Deliver Drugs

April 4, 2014

Researchers from the University of California, San Diego Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, in collaboration with materials scientists, engineers and neurobiologists, have discovered a new mechanism for using light to activate drug-delivering nanoparticles and other targeted therapeutic substances inside the body. Full Story


Help From On High: UCSD Students Use Aerial 'Balloon Cam' to Document Racehorse Exhumation

Help From On High: UCSD Students Use Aerial 'Balloon Cam' to Document Racehorse Exhumation

April 1, 2014

The world is getting one last look at the famed racehorse Native Diver courtesy of students from the University of California, San Diego and the aerial camera platform developed by the Engineers for Exploration program, which is based at the University’s Qualcomm Institute (QI).  Full Story


Online Course Developed in Computer Science and Engineering Ranks No. 1

Online Course Developed in Computer Science and Engineering Ranks No. 1

April 1, 2014

According to CourseTalk, which tracks user reviews and ratings for Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) on a worldwide basis, the UC San Diego-based course on Bioinformatics Algorithms (Part I) currently ranks No. 1 among all online courses with ratings. The rankings are based on the course's five-star ranking, and 13 superlative reviews that averaged 4.9 out of 5 points. The course just completed, and students may submit more reviews, so it's difficult to know how long the UC San Diego course will remain No. 1. Full Story


Recent Computer Science Alumna Makes Waves ' Not Photo Filters ' at Instagram

Recent Computer Science Alumna Makes Waves ' Not Photo Filters ' at Instagram

April 1, 2014

It isn’t often that a computer scientist is written up in an international fashion magazine, but an alumna of the Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department at the University of California, San Diego is taking the publicity in stride. Brina Lee (BS Communications ’08, MS Computer Science ’13) was the first full-time female engineer hired at Instagram. She joined a year ago, and she found herself playing in a much bigger pond following Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in late 2012. In the latest edition of the magazine ELLE, Lee is quoted as saying, “It’s great now that Instagram is a part of Facebook, so we can leverage all the women here!” Full Story


Cymer Co-Founder Richard Sandstrom and Wife, Sandra Timmons, Give $1.2 Million for Students

Cymer Co-Founder Richard Sandstrom and Wife, Sandra Timmons, Give $1.2 Million for Students

March 27, 2014

University of California, San Diego alumni Sandra Timmons and Richard Sandstrom, co-founder of Cymer, Inc., are passionate about their alma mater and helping future students achieve the same world-class education they received at UC San Diego. That’s why the couple recently pledged a gift of $1.2 million to the campus for student support through their charitable Timmstrom Family Fund. The gift will be split, per the donors’ wishes, to support graduate students in the Jacobs School of Engineering and undergraduates through the Chancellor’s Associates Scholars program. Full Story


It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a...pie?

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a...pie?

March 26, 2014

Move over watermelons and pumpkins! There’s a new addition to the list of things that are being dropped from the top of UC San Diego’s buildings—pie. To be more precise, a 13-inch, 4.5 pounds cherry pie from Costco, which was dropped from the third floor of the Structural and Materials Engineering building. It was all part of Pi Day celebrations March 14 at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Fun for the day also included the third annual Pi-Mile Run and Walk, which set a record for turnout, with more than 200 people taking part.  Full Story


Engineering students help Boy Scouts earn badges

Engineering students help Boy Scouts earn badges

March 25, 2014

“A lot of times when you think about the skills Boy Scouts learn you think about tying knots, pioneering and fishing, not so much learning how to code,” said local Scout Leader Ron Anderson while his Vista-based troop defied that stereotype and worked through a programming tutorial in UC San Diego’s computer science laboratory in pursuit of their computer science merit badge. On March 8, more than 100 Boy Scouts descended on the UC San Diego campus to take part in the second annual merit badge fair organized by the campus’ chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering student. The local scouts – aged 11 to 18 – had the option of earning badges in either electrical engineering or computer programming. Full Story


Facebook Feelings Are Contagious, Study Shows

Facebook Feelings Are Contagious, Study Shows

March 12, 2014

You can’t catch a cold from a friend online. But can you catch a mood? It would seem so, according to new research from the University of California, San Diego. Published in PLOS ONE, the study analyzes over a billion anonymized status updates among more than 100 million users of Facebook in the United States. Positive posts beget positive posts, the study finds, and negative posts beget negative ones, with the positive posts being more influential, or more contagious. “Our study suggests that people are not just choosing other people like themselves to associate with but actually causing their friends’ emotional expressions to change,” said lead author James Fowler, professor of political science in the Division of Social Sciences and of medical genetics in the School of Medicine at UC San Diego. “We have enough power in this data set to show that emotional expressions spread online and also that positive expressions spread more than negative.” Full Story


New UC San Diego Biosensor Will Guard Water Supplies from Toxic Threats

New UC San Diego Biosensor Will Guard Water Supplies from Toxic Threats

March 11, 2014

Supported by a $953,958 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), researchers at the University of California San Diego will develop a sophisticated new biosensor that can protect the nation’s water supplies from a wide range of toxins, including heavy metals and other poisons. The project, led by Jeff Hasty, director of the BioCircuits Institute at UC San Diego, will combine next-generation sequencing, synthetic biology, and microfluidic technologies to engineer a highly specific array of biosensors that will continuously monitor water supplies for the presence of toxins. Full Story


Coding for a Cause

Coding for a Cause

March 10, 2014

Sneha Jayaprakash, a sophomore at UC San Diego, is passionate about two things: computer science and social change. As part of the 2013 Microsoft YouthSpark Challenge for Change contest, she developed a winning proposal for a mobile app to engage students with volunteerism and social issues—and received a prize of $2,500 to get the project going. Now, with an additional $10,000 awarded by the Microsoft Imagine Fund last month, Jayaprakash is getting the opportunity to turn her idea into a successful startup. Full Story


Jobs, internships on tap for students at engineering career fair

Jobs, internships on tap for students at engineering career fair

February 28, 2014

The line of UC San Diego engineering students waiting to be admitted to the annual Disciplines of Engineering Career Fair wrapped all the way around the Price Center at UC San Diego Friday, Feb. 21. Dressed in their best business attire and with their resumes in tow, around 2,000 students crowded the center’s ballrooms, where recruiters in search of future employees set up shop. Full Story


Bioengineering Students Recognized for Outstanding Research

February 28, 2014

Several bioengineering students have been recognized for their outstanding research. Full Story


Calit2 Director Honored with Golden Goose Award

Calit2 Director Honored with Golden Goose Award

February 18, 2014

Larry Smarr, an engineer and physicist whose work at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on calculating black hole collisions led him to champion a federal commitment to dramatically enhance U.S. computing power – which in turn led to the development of NCSA Mosaic, the precursor to web browsers – was named today as the first 2014 recipient of the Golden Goose Award, which goes to three or four winners annually. Smarr is a Professor of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of California, San Diego, and Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2), a partnership of UC San Diego and UC Irvine. Full Story


Real-life Toy Story

Real-life Toy Story

January 29, 2014

well as tens of thousands of consumers mobbed the WowWee booth for four days to get a peek at the next generation of robotic toys.  This was the scene at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month, where WowWee and their collaborators from the UC San Diego Coordinated Robotics Lab unveiled MiP, the first in a one-of-a-kind new line of self-balancing vehicles.  At CES, MiP was named a Product of the Future by Popular Science, earned an Innovation and Design award from ShowStoppers, was a highly popular finalist in CES’s Last Gadget Standing competition and received critical acclaim from many in the industry. Full Story


UC San Diego Highlighted in Governor's State of the State Address

UC San Diego Highlighted in Governor's State of the State Address

January 24, 2014

As Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. delivered his annual State of the State address to the Legislature yesterday, he highlighted the University of California, San Diego as a leader in developing medical and scientific advances. In prepared remarks, Gov. Brown noted, “Four out of the world’s 20 leading academic bioscience institutions are located here in California: UCSF and Berkeley, UCLA, Stanford and UC San Diego. Just as California has led the way with stem cell research, so too can we pioneer the new field of precision medicine which uses genomics, medical devices, computer sciences and other fields to treat individual patients, instead of broad populations.” Full Story


UC San Diego Students Look Back on Fall Field Expedition in Florence

UC San Diego Students Look Back on Fall Field Expedition in Florence

January 16, 2014

When they weren’t traveling to give research presentations or participate in archaeological digs and engineering collaborations in southern Italy or Greece, six graduate students from the University of California, San Diego spent most of the Fall 2013 quarter in Florence through late November. [Note: Much of the data gathered in Florence will be on view at the next Open Lab Night of the Center of Interdisciplinary Science for Art, Architecture and Archaeology (CISA3). The Open Lab Night takes place Feb. 20 from 5-7pm, and the public is invited to meet with the students and researchers, and to view results on the center's new WAVE curved 3D display system.] Full Story


Calling All Girls: Coding Is Cool!

Calling All Girls: Coding Is Cool!

January 15, 2014

The San Diego Supercomputer Center (SDSC) at the University of California, San Diego, in a partnership with other local universities and industry support groups, is launching a non-profit collaborative community program aimed at encouraging and educating young women to learn and apply computing skills. The program, called GirlTECH San Diego, is being launched this month by a partnership that so far includes UC San Diego, San Diego State University, the University of San Diego, and Point Loma Nazarene University. Workshops will begin later this quarter. Full Story


RF MEMS: New Possibilities for Smartphones

RF MEMS: New Possibilities for Smartphones

January 14, 2014

The antennas in most of today's smartphones do not function efficiently in 3G and 4G/LTE wireless environments. This leads to slower download speeds, reduced voice quality, lower energy efficiency and more dropped calls. A technology commonly used in satellite and defense applications-RF MEMS or Radio Frequency Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems-is now poised to improve smartphone performance in the near future by way of higher antenna efficiency. Full Story


Teaching Kids How to Code

Teaching Kids How to Code

January 14, 2014

Kids shouldn't have to wait until college to learn programming-and to learn that it can be fun. That's the premise that led computer science Ph.D. students Sarah Esper and Stephen Foster to develop CodeSpells, a first-person player video game designed to teach students in elementary through high school how to program in Java. The pair, along with biochemistry Ph.D. student Lindsey Handley, also launched ThoughtSTEM, a startup that provides computer science workshops, afterschool programs and camps for children ages 8 to 18. Full Story