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Jacobs School of Engineering News: Top Stories



Top Stories



Published: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:03:56 PDT

Last Build Date: Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:03:56 PDT

Copyright: Copyright 2017, Regents of the University of California.
 



Updated brain cell map connects various brain diseases to specific cell types

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Researchers have developed new single-cell sequencing methods that could be used to map the cell origins of various brain disorders, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. By analyzing individual nuclei of cells from adult human brains, researchers have identified 35 different subtypes of neurons and glial cells and discovered which of these subtypes are most susceptible to common risk factors for different brain diseases.


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Computer Graphics and Vision Expert Elected ACM Fellow

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

UC San Diego computer science and engineering professor Ravi Ramamoorthi has been elected a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society. Ramamoorthi is the founding director of the Center for Visual Computing at UC San Diego.


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UC San Diego Researcher Named Semi-Finalist for Women's Safety XPRIZE

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

UC San Diego’s Debashis Sahoo is one of 21 semi-finalists in the $1 million Anu & Naveen Jain Women’s Safety XPRIZE, which challenges competitors around the world to develop technological solutions to improve women’s safety in instances of violence or harassment. Sahoo is a professor in the departments of pediatrics and computer science and engineering.


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Smartphone case offers blood glucose monitoring on the go

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Engineers at the UC San Diego Center for Wearable Sensors have developed a smartphone case and app that could make it easier for patients to record and track their blood glucose readings, whether they’re at home or on the go.


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Five Engineering Faculty Named Most Influential in Their Fields

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Thirty two faculty members at the University of California San Diego, including five at the Jacobs School of Engineering, are among the world’s most influential researchers in their fields, based on their publications over the past decade.  Clarivate Analytics, which provides insights and analytics on research trends, compiled its 2017 Highly Cited Researchers list of more than 3,300 scientists from around the world whose studies were among the top one percent most-cited publications in their field over a recent 11-year period.


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Teaching the joy of coding

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

CSE 190 is a computer science class at the University of California San Diego that is designed to prepare undergraduate students to teach others how to code in the wild—in libraries, as well elementary, middle and high schools. The class is taught by Sarah Guthals, who earned a Ph.D. in computer science at UC San Diego in 2014 and received a Forbes 30 Under 30 award in 2016 for her efforts to teach children how to code.


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Smart earplug company developed by UC San Diego undergrads acquired by Bose

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Hush, a noise-cancelling smart earplug startup that was conceptualized by UC San Diego engineering undergraduates in professor Nate Delson’s Product Design and Entrepreneurship class has been acquired by audio giant Bose. 


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Roberto and Colleen Padovani establish scholarship for electrical engineers at UC San Diego

Wed, 06 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Roberto and Colleen Padovani are establishing a $1 million endowed scholarship focused on exceptional undergraduates with financial need in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at the Jacobs School of Engineering.


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Experimental drug blocks toxic ion flow linked to Alzheimer's disease

Tue, 05 Dec 2017 00:00:00 PDT

A new small-molecule drug can restore brain function and memory in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. The molecule, called anle138b, works by stopping toxic ion flow in the brain that is known to trigger nerve cell death. Scientists envision that this drug could be used to treat Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and ALS.


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Self-Described School False Starter Aims to Pay It Forward in EdTech

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

What if we could use artificial intelligence to dramatically reduce the number of students who drop out of STEM-related majors? That's the question Monal Parmar, a first-generation UC San Diego alumnus, who is currently working on a master's at the Jacobs School of Engineering, asked himself. Parmar developed a device to that could help answer this question in the affirmative. He has received advice from the Jacobs School's Institute for the Global Entrepreneur. His efforts were rewarded when he was invited recently to compete in the Entrepreneurs' Organization's (EO) Global Student Entrepreneur Awards (GSEA) competition, held on Nov. 14.


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Irwin Jacobs, Founding Muir College Faculty Member and Qualcomm Co-founder, Shares Stories of Success and Inspiration

Thu, 30 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

When Irwin Jacobs left Massachusetts Institute of Technology to take a job UC San Diego, the professor of computer science and engineering knew there was something distinctive about the university. “The thing that I noticed the most when I came here was it was very small and there were very few people—and that had very positive aspects,” Jacobs said. “For example, at MIT I was mostly involved with people who were engineering because I was engineering. But here, there were so few people that you had to be involved with many people from all backgrounds.”


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Researchers trained neural networks to be fashion designers (sort of)

Tue, 28 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Researchers from the University of California San Diego and Adobe Research have demonstrated how artificial intelligence and neural networks could one day create custom apparel designs to help retailers and apparel makers sell clothing to consumers based on what they learned from a buyer's preferences.



UC San Diego Mars rover team sets their sights on top 10 finish

Mon, 27 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

After making it to the final round of the 2017 University Rover Challenge (URC)— an international competition where college students build rovers that could one day work on Mars— University of California San Diego student robotics organization Yonder Dynamics is back at it again and hoping to crack the top 10 in 2018.


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Watching atoms move in hybrid perovskite crystals reveals clues to improving solar cells

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

The discovery of nanoscale changes deep inside hybrid perovskites could shed light on developing low-cost, high-efficiency solar cells. Using X-ray beams and lasers, a team of researchers led by the University of California San Diego discovered how the movement of ions in hybrid perovskites causes certain regions within the material to become better solar cells than other parts.


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Researchers discover specific tumor environment that triggers cells to metastasize

Tue, 21 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

A team of bioengineers and bioinformaticians at the University of California San Diego have discovered how the environment surrounding a tumor can trigger metastatic behavior in cancer cells. Specifically, when tumor cells are confined in a dense environment, the researchers found that they turn on a specific set of genes and begin to form structures that resemble blood vessels. 


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Scripps Scientists Use Photomosaic Technology to Find Order in the Chaos of Coral Reefs

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

In a study published recently in Coral Reefs, scientists from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego created and analyzed detailed photomosaics of the coral reef at Palmyra Atoll, and made surprising discoveries around coral spatial ecology. The scientists, led by graduate student Clinton Edwards, canvassed more than 17,000 square feet of reef, and 44,008 coral colonies, taking more than 39,000 images that were then stitched together to create 3D photomosaics that encompassed the reef.  


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Controls expert Miroslav Krstic holds record seven fellowships in technical and scientific societies

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

2017 is turning out to be a banner year for Miroslav Krstic, a controls expert at the University of California San Diego who also serves as the senior associate vice chancellor for research here on campus. 


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Improving prediction accuracy of Crohn's disease based on repeated fecal sampling

Mon, 20 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Researchers at the University of California San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation (CMI) have found that sampling the gut microbiome over time can provide insights that are not available with a single time point. The findings could help doctors and researchers more accurately determine if a patient has Crohn's disease. The findings were published as a letter in Gut on October 21, 2017.[...]


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Franklin Antonio, UC San Diego alumnus and Qualcomm co-founder, gives $30M toward new campus engineering building

Fri, 17 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

University of California San Diego alumnus and Qualcomm co-founder Franklin Antonio is donating $30 million to the university in support of a new building for engineering research and education.


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Let It Snow Crystalline Dendrites

Thu, 16 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

This image of a crystalline dendrite, captured by nanoengineering Ph.D. student Kevin Kaufmann, wins the first annual Jacobs School of Engineering Art Contest. The contest provided engineers at UC San Diego an opportunity to share their research through original artwork.


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UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation Announces Pfizer as Corporate Member

Wed, 15 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Pfizer has joined the UC San Diego Center for Microbiome Innovation as a platinum-level industry sponsor. According to Center director Rob Knight, this relationship aims to build on recent evidence connecting the microbiome to drug response and, together with our other partners in microbiome methods and data science, will potentially help us move from reading out changes in the microbiome to using it to improve patient care. Pfizer will have the opportunity to influence the research directions of the Center by holding two seats on the corporate member board, as well as having regular communication with the center team of experts. 


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Speedy collision detector could make robots better human assistants

Mon, 13 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

A faster collision detection algorithm could enable robots to work more fluidly in the operating room or at home for assisted living. The algorithm, dubbed “Fastron,” runs up to 8 times faster than existing collision detection algorithms. It uses machine learning to help robots avoid moving objects and weave through complex, rapidly changing environments in real time.


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UC San Diego Honored for Cross-Border Commitment

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

For leadership that fosters opportunity and cross-cultural collaboration, the University of California San Diego has received the Cross-Border Collaboration Award from the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. The chamber honored the university at a tribute dinner Oct. 25. in part for its open dialogue, multiple exchange programs and development of resources that help increase student access and success. Research initiatives led by the Center for U.S.-Mexican Studies and Jacobs School of Engineering were highlighted. 


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A Steady Increase in Women Leading the Biggest Research Grants

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Eight of the top 10 research grants awarded to UC San Diego departments outside of health sciences this year are led by women. And Karen Christman, a professor in the Department of Bioengineering, is one of them. Christman brought in $2.8 million dollars in research grants from the State of California. 


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Fruit fly brains inform search engines of the future

Thu, 09 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Salk and UC San Diego scientists have discovered that the fruit fly brain has an elegant and efficient method of performing similarity searches. For flies, it helps them identify odors that are most similar to those they’ve encountered before, so they know how to behave in response to the odor, such as to approach or avoid it. New details on the fly’s computational approach to smelly similarity searches, described in the journal Science on Nov. 9, 2017, could inform computer algorithms of the future.


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UC San Diego's Biomedical Engineering Society earns top honor

Wed, 08 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

UC San Diego’s chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) was recognized with the Chapter Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2017 BMES annual meeting.


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Five UC San Diego bioengineering graduate students selected for prestigious Siebel Scholars program

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Five bioengineering graduate students from the University of California San Diego have been named 2018 Siebel Scholars. 


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Immune cells mistake heart attacks for viral infections

Fri, 03 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

A study led by Kevin King, a bioengineer and physician at the University of California San Diego, has found that the immune system plays a surprising role in the aftermath of heart attacks.  The research could lead to new therapeutic strategies for heart disease.


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UC San Diego Takes the Driver's Seat for Intelligent Vehicles

Thu, 02 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

The Contextual Robotics Forum brought the leading intelligent vehicle companies and researchers together on campus Oct. 27 to take stock of the developments and challenges in the space, highlight the university’s plans to roll out autonomous vehicle testing, and align research efforts.


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Mapping the Microbiome of' Everything

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 00:00:00 PDT

In the Earth Microbiome Project, an extensive global team co-led by researchers at University of California San Diego, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory collected more than 27,000 samples from numerous, diverse environments around the globe. They analyzed the unique collections of microbes — the microbiomes — living in each sample to generate the first reference database of bacteria colonizing the planet. Thanks to newly standardized protocols, original analytical methods and open data-sharing, the project will continue to grow and improve as new data are added. [...]


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UC San Diego Scientists Create Device for Ultra-Accurate Genome Sequencing of Single Human Cells

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has developed a technology for very accurate sequencing and haplotyping of genomes from single human cells. Their findings were published online in advance of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)* print edition.“Accurate sequencing of single cells will enable the identification of mutations that cause cancer and genetic disease,” said senior author Kun Zhang, a professor of bioengineering in the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. “At the same time, precise haplotyping will allow for the genotyping of haplotypes, combinations of different genes or alleles as a group from either parent.”


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Can Organisms Sense via Radio Frequency? A Team of UC San Diego Researchers Awarded Grant to Find Out

Tue, 31 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Can organisms use radio frequencies to sense surroundings? A new project by researchers at the University of California San Diego will investigate this biological mystery.


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SMART: Facial recognition for molecular structures

Mon, 30 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of California San Diego has developed a method to identify the molecular structures of natural products that is significantly faster and more accurate than existing methods. This development could represent a paradigm shift in the chemical analysis, pharmaceutical and drug discovery fields since 70 percent of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs are based on natural products such as soil microorganisms, terrestrial plants and, increasingly, marine life forms such as algae.


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UC San Diego Contextual Robotics Institute Director Receives Qualcomm Chancellor's Endowed Chair in Robotic Systems

Fri, 27 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Henrik Christensen, an internationally renowned expert in robotics, has been appointed as the inaugural holder of the Qualcomm Chancellor’s Endowed Chair in Robotic Systems at the University of California San Diego. The chair was made possible by a generous $1 million gift from Qualcomm Incorporated and a $500,000 match from the campus Chancellor’s Chair Challenge, a program created to support the recruitment and retention of quality tenured faculty. Christensen leads the Contextual Robotics Institute at UC San Diego and serves as a professor in the Computer Science and Engineering Department  at the Jacobs School of Engineering. This gift contributes to the Campaign for UC San Diego.


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Self-driving carts to make their debut on UC San Diego roads in January

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

The University of California San Diego will turn its campus into a test bed for self-driving vehicles starting in January 2018. The project will be implemented in stages. The first will be to put self-driving mail delivery carts on the road. The carts will run on algorithms developed by UC San Diego researchers who are part of the Contextual Robotics Institute. Back-up drivers will initially ride in the carts as a safety measure.


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11 UC San Diego Faculty Members Honored with Hellman Fellowships

Thu, 26 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Husband and wife Warren and Chris Hellman established the Hellman Fellows Program at UC San Diego in 1995 to support and encourage junior faculty to pursue research projects and creative endeavors with the goal of enhancing their candidacy for tenure. This year, 11 faculty members representing a variety of academic disciplines have been awarded a total of approximately $500,000.The UC San Diego Hellman Fellowship Program was launched by the Hellman Family Foundation with an initial gift of $2.5 million. The program proved so successful that it has since been rolled out at all 10 University of California campuses. At UC San Diego, the foundation has committed a total of $7.5 million to date for the program. The Hellmans have stated that “creating the Hellman Fellows Program is one of the best things our family has ever done with our giving.”


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Machine Learning Detects Marketing and Sale of Opioids on Twitter

Wed, 25 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

Using advanced machine learning, a cross disciplinary team of University of California San Diego researchers developed technology that mined Twitter to identify entities illegally selling prescription opioids online.  The findings, published online in the American Journal of Public Health in October, detected 1,778 posts that were marketing the sale of controlled substances, 90 percent included hyperlinks to online sites for purchase.


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Cybercrime Fighter Wins Genius Award

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

A few weeks ago, Stefan Savage, a UC San Diego computer science professor started receiving calls on a daily basis—sometimes more than once a day—from a phone number with a Chicago area code. The caller didn’t leave a voicemail. Savage never answers calls from a number he doesn’t recognize. He is a security researcher and at least one of his collaborators has been targeted by cybercriminals. So he looked up the phone number. To his relief, it tracked back to the MacArthur Foundation’s headquarters in Chicago. A few phone calls later, after he was asked to prove his identity, Savage found out that he was one of the 2017 MacArthur Fellows. Better known as the MacArthur “genius” award, the prestigious, no-strings attached five-year fellowship awards a total of $625,000 to each recipient.


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The Microbial Anatomy of an Organ

Thu, 19 Oct 2017 00:00:00 PDT

​University of California San Diego researchers have developed the first 3D spatial visualization tool for mapping “’omics” data onto whole organs. The tool helps researchers and clinicians understand the effects of chemicals, such as microbial metabolites and medications, on a diseased organ in the context of microbes that also inhabit the region. The work could advance targeted drug delivery for cystic fibrosis and other conditions where medications are unable to penetrate.


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