Baskin News Beat - August 2017

Research Roundup

  • Ricardo Sanfelice receives Phase I funding from the Air Force SBIR Program
    The award will fund the first phase of the project, which is to develop innovative approaches for hybrid mode-logic/discrete-time control/continuous-time physics spacecraft systems that provide mathematically rigorous guarantees of system behavior and performance.
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  • Holger Schmidt and David Deamer begin collaborations with NASA Ames to explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn 
    Electrical Engineering professor Holger Schmidt and Biomolecular Engineering professor David Deamer are working on a new project under the NASA COLDTech program to develop solid-state nanopore-based sensor instruments for a mission to search for signs of life in extraterrestrial environments such as Europa and Enceladus. 

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  • Chen Qian receives his second National Science Foundation grant 
    Computer Engineering professor Chen Qian received a three-year NSF Networking Technology and Systems grant for research into low-cost, convenient, and non-intrusive methods for enabling the Internet of Things. The proposed project focuses on low-cost methods that either attach RFID tags to objects or place tags in the objects' environment. 

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  • Holger Schmidt receives a three-year NSF Biophotonics grant
    Electrical Engineering professor Holger Schmidt received funding from NSF's Biophotonics program to develop an all-in-one optofluidic platform for sample-to-answer diagnosis. The grant will fund development of optofluidic chips that combine light sources, sample processing, and optical analysis. Professor Schmidt and team will demonstrate the platform's capabilities with combined nucleic acid and antibody detection of the Zika virus.

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  • Rulai development team, with the assistance of TM professor Yi Zhang, raise $6.5 million to roll out new chatbot tool

    The chatbot development tool allows customer service managers to develop chatbots that will perform tasks based on customer conversations. Managers are able to write scripts and create action items--without code--to customize their chatbots.
    Read more 

  • Baskin School of Engineering faculty rank among top 1,000 Computer Science and Electronics scholars 
    Rankings are based on the individual's h-index score, a measure of productivity and impact.
    #9:  David Haussler
    #122:  J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves 
    #170:  Martin Abadi
    See the full list
  • Computer Science professor Manfred Warmuth honored by peers
    This year marks the 30th Annual Conference on Computational Learning Theory (COLT) as well as a "significant" birthday for Computer Science professor Manfred Warmuth. Manfred helped start the COLT conference and found the machine learning theory research community. To celebrate these events and honor Manfred's research leadership and other contributions to the area, a special two-session "Manfredfest" was held before last month's COLT conference in Amsterdam. Many colleagues gave invited talks and described how Manfred shaped the development of the area and impacted their own careers. Kudos Manfred!

  • Classic and distinguished publications by Baskin School of Engineering faculty 

    A paper coauthored by J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves and Katia Obraczka in 2006 made Google Scholar's "Classic Papers" list in Computer Networks and Wireless Communications: a list of the ten most-cited articles published ten years earlier. The paper, "Energy-Efficient, Collision-Free Medium Access Control for Wireless Sensor Networks," was published in the Journal of Wireless Networks.
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    A paper by former Professor Bill Dunbar also made it onto the Classic Papers list in 2006. The paper, "Distributed Receding Horizon Control for Multi-Vehicle Formation Stabilization," was listed in the Automation and Control Theory category. 

    Computer Science professor Phokion Kolaitis co-authored "Generalized Satisfiability Problems via Operator Assignments," a paper that recently won the Best Paper Award at the 21st International Symposium on Fundamentals of Computation Theory.
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    Professor Cormac Flanagan and co-authors won the "Distinguished Artifact Award" for their paper "BigFoot: Static Check Placement for Dynamic Race Detection" at the 2017 ACM Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation
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Goings On

  • Baskin School of Engineering faculty members part of inaugural cohort of Faculty Fellows in the new UCSC Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning 

    Abel Rodriguez, Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs and AMS professor, and Angus Forbes, CM professor, will be among the group of 22 Faculty Fellows who will help shape the future of CITL in its mission to provide resources to all who teach on campus, with the goal of enhancing undergraduate and graduate education at UC Santa Cruz. Angus will seek to promote critical inquiry through project-based curricula, focusing initially on the visualization of complex systems. Abel will help design a comprehensive training program for teaching assistants and graduate student instructors. 

  • Nathan Altice talks at 2017 California Extreme show

    Computational Media professor Nathan Altice gave a talk on "Re-Playing the Cardboard Arcade," which explores board game adaptations of arcade video games. California Extreme is the largest classic arcade show in California.

Comings and Goings

  • Comings: I am pleased to report that, in addition to the seven new faculty members we announced in the last edition of the Baskin News Beat, we have four additional confirmations. Please help me welcome these eleven new faculty members to the Baskin School of Engineering in 2017-18!

    • Snigdha Chaturvedi: Assistant Professor, Computer Science
      Recruitment/Research Area: Data Driven Applications
    • Angus Forbes: Assistant Professor, Computational Media
      Recruitment/Research Area: Computer Graphics
    • Faisal Nawab: Assistant Professor, Computer Science
      Recruitment/Research Area: Big Data
    • Yu Zhang: Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering 
      Recruitment/Research Area: Smart Power
  • Goings: David Bornstein, Research Analyst for BSOE, retired this summer. His last day of work was June 29th. Thank you David for your hard work and dedication to BSOE!

Inside Scoop

  • Two new programs will help support BSOE faculty: 

    • The Research Development Travel Grant program supports faculty efforts to develop and pursue research funding opportunities. Find out more.
    • The New Faculty Mentoring Program will help new faculty members succeed in their research and teaching endeavors at the Baskin School of Engineering. Find out more. 

Student Scoop

  • Recent Biomolecular Engineering PhD alum publishes paper on the information storage potential of DNA
    As part of Jeff Nivala's work as a post-doc, he used the CRISPR-Cas system to encode the pixel values of black and white images and a short movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria. The work was also mentioned in Scientific American
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  • Student-built games wow the indie gaming world
    UC Santa Cruz's student games received rave reviews at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) "Mix" event in June. ArsTechnica called CtrlShift a "sleeper hit" of E3 (video of CtrlShift begins at 4:00), and both CtrlShift and PhantomJump were recognized as the brightest indie games at the show. CtrlShift was created by a team of masters students in UC Santa Cruz's Games and Playable Media M.S. program in Santa Clara. PhantomJump was created by a team of students in the undergraduate Computer Game Design major at UC Santa Cruz.

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Bears Repeating

  • Undergraduate student Stefanie Brizuela awarded prestigious NIH research scholarship
    As a UGSP Scholar, Brizuela will receive a scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. She will also participate in research training at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland for the next two summers. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Brizuela will be employed at the NIH as a research trainee in exchange for each year of scholarship support received. 
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  • UC Santa Cruz launches new Data Science Research Center, D3
    UC Santa Cruz has launched a new data science research center, Data, Discovery, and Decisions (D3). Led by Lise Getoor, professor of computer science in UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering, D3 provides a platform for collaboration between industry and academia in the emerging field of data science.
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  • Nanopipette technology wins first place in NIH "Follow That Cell" Challenge
    Nader Pourmand, professor of biomolecular engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, has won the $300,000 first place prize in the Follow that Cell Challenge organized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
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  • Olena Morozova featured in "In Depth" 
    Olena Morozova, founder and scientific lead of the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative, was  featured in the Santa Cruz Economic Development journal.
    Read full article

  • Artificial intelligence research helps disabled passengers use public transportation
    Researchers in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz are collaborating with IBM Research's Almaden facility in San Jose and Valley Transportation Authority to design and install an Internet of Things system that could help disabled people use public transportation. 
    Read full article

  • Katherine Isbister lends expertise on fidgeting to several mainstream outlets 
    The Games and Playable Media professor weighed in on the fidget spinner phenomenon for The Washington PostWiredScientific American, and as a guest on NPR's Science Friday. The stories were also picked up by IFLScience!Atlas Obscura, and Tincture.

  • David Deamer is one of the authors of Scientific American's August cover story, "The New Origins of Life."
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