Baskin News Beat - June 2018

Research Roundup

  • Todd Lowe receives $2.7 million grant from NIH 

    The funding will support research that addresses a blind spot in understanding human genes. Todd's lab is internationally recognized for leadership in RNA research.
    Read more 

  • Marco Rolandi and Marcella Gomez receive $1 million funding from DARPA BTO

    The proposal, Bioelectronic Spatiotemporal Control of Stem Cell Fate and Tissue Patterning, was written in collaboration with Michael Levin from Boston University. 

  • Fast Company publishes article on Adam Smith’s research on generating new Mario levels with AI

    The article, The machines have taught themselves to make Mario levels, references “MarioGAN,” a project that shows how AI could create video games that adapt to skill level, and features quotes from Adam.
    Read the article


  • Angela Brooks wins 2018 Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE) Award

    The WiSE Award is part of the UC Santa Cruz Chancellor’s Achievement Awards for Diversity. Congratulations Angela!
    Read more

  • Owen Arden and Chen Qian awarded NSF CAREER grants

    Chen’s proposal, Othello Hashing and Its Applications to Scalable and Dynamic Network Forwarding and Functions, aims to use an innovative hashing scheme to improve network performance without specialized and expensive hardware. 
    Read more

    Arden’s proposal, Building Secure Decentralized Applications with Trusted Hardware and Blockchains, will explore a language-based approach to building inherently secure decentralized applications. 
    Read more

  • Two BSOE faculty members receive tenure

    Congratulations to Seshadhri Comandur and Dongwook Lee for receiving tenure this year.

  • Michael Oye recognized for bringing engineering to underserved elementary schools

    Oye received a Special Congressional Recognition award on April 25 on behalf of Zoe Lofgren, the U.S. Congresswoman representing the 19th U.S. Congressional District.

  • David Harrison wins UC Santa Cruz Excellence in Teaching Award

    The Excellence in Teaching Award honors UCSC instructors who have demonstrated exemplary and inspiring teaching. Instructors are nominated by students, and the final selection is made by the Academic Senate Committee on Teaching.

  • More Excellence in Teaching

    David Lee, Assistant Professor, and Avirudh Kaushik, Teaching Assistant, each received a Baskin School of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award for 2017-18.

  • Michael John quoted in EdSource article on educational video games

    Michael offered his input on how video games can be great educational tools in the article, A new venue for video games: K-12 classrooms.
    Read more

  • Lab tours and talks

    Thank you to faculty members who have volunteered to give lab tours and talks at STEM Transfer Day, Alumni Weekend and BSOE’s Graduation Celebration Open House: Sara Abrahamsson, David Haussler, Katherine Isbister, Daniel Kim, Sri Kurniawan, Benedict Paten, Ricardo Sanfelice, Holger Schmidt, Marco Rolandi, Mircea Teodorescu, Jim Whitehead and Ali Yanik.      

Insider Information

  • This year's graduation celebration speaker to be Christopher Seiwald 

    Seiwald is the founder and former CEO of Perforce and was the principal architect behind the company’s suite of innovative version management solutions.
    Read more

  • New Baskin School of Engineering brochures are available in room BE 335

    Stop by and pick some up for your next conference or recruitment activity. 

  • Communications Support website launches

    The Communications Support website offers guidance in publishing news and events on the BSOE website; videos, images, and logos for your use; past issues of the Baskin News Beat, and more. Have an event or class you’d like to advertise? Request a course or event flyer. You can also share your news stories through the site, find photoshoot help and photo release forms, and find us on social media.
    Visit the website

Comings and Goings

  • Denise Goss, Financial Analyst

    Denise joined BSOE as a financial analyst in the business office. She was born in Santa Cruz and has lived here all her life. She has been with UCSC for over six years in various positions related to finance and human resources. She has worked on and off campus for both staff and academic departments. Denise earned her BS degree online from Crown College in Minnesota. 

  • Karen Ruhleder, Research Development Specialist

    For the past four years, Karen served on the staff of the Graduate College at Illinois, where she taught proposal writing and worked one-on-one with graduate students applying for major fellowships. Her focus at BSOE will be on large grants, new faculty grants and training grants. She will also be available to assist individual faculty members, postdocs and graduate students to find funding opportunities and prepare proposals for submission.

  • Greta Hull, Undergraduate Advisor

    Greta joins the Baskin School of Engineering as an undergraduate advisor. Greta is a UCSC alumna with a degree in Bioengineering. She was also once a peer advisor for BSOE, and she knows all about our majors. She will be working with proposed majors and advising all majors. She is located in BE 225.

  • Angelina Gutierrez heads to UC Merced

    Angelina Gutierrez has taken a position at UC Merced as the executive assistant to the dean of the School of Natural Sciences, Elizabeth Dumont. Her last day at UC Santa Cruz was May 30th.

Faculty Recruitment Update

BSOE's 2017-18 recruitment cycle is wrapping up. Thank you once again to everyone who has contributed to this effort. As of today, the status for each position is as follows:  

  • Computer Science
    • Data Science - Assistant Professor - Yang Liu 
    • Distributed Systems - Assistant Professor - Lindsey Kuper
  • Computer Engineering
    • Hardware Acceleration - Assistant Professor - Scott Beamer
    • Cyber-physical Systems - Multi-rank - offer out
  • Computational Media
    • Serious Games - Assistant Professor - Edward Melcer
    • Games and Playable Media - Assistant Professor - offer out
    • Games and Playable Media - Teaching Professor - offer scheduled to go out in the next few days

Student & Alumni News

  • Inaugural cohort of the Graduate Pedagogy Fellowship Program graduates at the end of spring quarter

    Participants of the inaugural cohort include Jacob Noone Wade (AMS), Megan Boivin (CE), Suzanne da Camara (CS) and Lin Jim (EE).
    Read more

  • Cruz Foam article published in Forbes

    The article, Cruz Foam Made From Shrimp Shells Could Help Keep Beaches Clean, profiles Electrical Engineering grad student John Felts’ startup.
    Read more

  • Alumna Avani Wildani wins NSF CRII Award

    Avani completed her PhD in Computer Science, working with Ethan Miller. She is now an Assistant Professor at Emory University. Her winning NSF proposal is entitled Skeletor: Building a Platform for Quantitative Workload Characterization.
    Read more

  • Awards recognize outstanding commitment and academic achievements of BSOE’s students

    • Congratulations to Baskin Engineering ARCS and Piatt Fellowship Awardees

      Alexey Munishkin, Computer Engineering, was awarded the 2018-19 Henry and Vera Piatt Fellowship.

      Three students from BSOE received 2018-19 ARCS Foundation Fellowships. Congratulations to these students and their advisors!

      - Charles Cole, Biomolecular Engineering; Advisor: Chris Vollmers

      - Dawn Hustig Scholtz, Computer Engineering; Advisor: Ricardo Sanfelice

      - Jared Duval, Computer Science; Advisor: Sri Kurniwan

    • Two BSOE grad students receive 2018 Graduate Research Symposium Awards

      Michael Lavell, Statistics and Applied Mathematics PhD student, and John Selberg, Electrical Engineering student, each won an award at the Symposium.
      Read more

    • Six BSOE students receive Dissertation Year Fellowships

      Dissertation Year Fellowships are state-funded, merit-based fellowships awarded to doctoral graduates who have overcome obstacles to achieve a college education.
      Read more

    • 33 undergraduates receive Dean’s and Chancellor’s Awards

      Dean’s and Chancellor’s Awards recognize undergraduate students for scholarship and creativity. This year, we honored a number of projects spanning an extraordinary array of areas, from point-of-care diagnostic technology to an indoor autonomous navigation system prototype for wheelchairs. All of the winning projects are impressive in their creativity and in their potential to have positive social impact. Because the list of winning projects is so impressive, I want to share them with the BSOE community:

      Automatized Surface Functionalization for Diagnostic System

      • Eduardo Hirata Miyasaki
      • Aditya Anantha Narayan Gumparthi
      • Ali M E Kh H Aljuraidan

      Bugs without Borders

      • Pratibha Jagannatha
      • Thuy-Khanh Tran-Dao
      • Tyler Dylan Myer
      • Alexander Bryant Pearce 
      • Brittney Dalleen Wick 
      • Casidee Frances McDonough 
      • Daniel Martin Schmelter 
      • Evan Alec Pepper-Tunick
      • Jethro Mitchell Marasigan 
      • Marissa Victoria Taub 
      • Mark Christian Lund
      • Mckenna Hicks 
      • Sara Medor 
      • Thomas Miranda Sousa 

      CNNs on FPGAs for Track Reconstruction

      • Thomas D Boser 

      Designing an EMG Controlled Assistive Glove for Stroke Survivors

      • Margaret A Pearce 

      Elucidating the relationship between Wnt and AR pathways in Prostate basal cells during Homeostasis

      • Alexander Kenneth Zee

      Indoor Autonomous Navigation System

      • Daniel Cornelius Hunter 
      • Kelvin Chau Silva
      • Kevin Antonio Beher 
      • Kyle Stokes Ebding 
      • Juan Cristian Huerta 

      Sources of HIV-1 Mutations During Infection

      • Jimmy Chan 

      Electrospatial Analog Front End for Monitoring of Cerebral Organoids

      • Henry Julian Hinton 

      Exploring Transposable Elements Regulated by ZNF649

      • Joshua S. Gu

      Sequencing and Assembly of Varroa Destructor Genome

      • Blaise Arman Nasri
      • Aisling Lorraine O'Farrell
      • Juan Carlos Perez 
      • Adam Lamine Zoubeidi
      • Samuel Robert Royle
    • Joshua Gu wins Steck Family Award

      From among the Dean’s and Chancellor’s Award winners, a single student is selected to receive the Steck Family Award for the most outstanding research project by an undergraduate student. This year, Joshua Gu, a BME student, received this prestigious award for his project, Exploring Transposable Elements Regulated by ZNF649.

    • A complete list of awards and awardees can be found on the undergraduate awards and scholarships page.

Other Goings On

  • Partners' Day 2018 

    I’m happy to report that Partners’ Day was a huge success this year. The student presentations and posters were outstanding, and eight out of nine companies who sponsored the Corporate Sponsored Senior Projects Program (CSSPP) attended the event. This year’s corporate sponsors were Amazon, Atollogy, Kateeva, Mira Bella Energy, Nanometrics, Nevro, Oracle, Seagate and Topcon. Many thanks to everyone who made it happen: Pat Mantey, Gabe Elkaim, Tela Favaloro, Stephen Peterson, Richard Jullig, David Munday, Rob Curry, Frank Howley, Angel Dominguez, Kelsey Detwiler and all of the students and sponors.

  • Steve Kang spoke on Data Science and Memristive Electronics in Washington, DC and New Jersey

    Steve visited and gave invited talks on Data Science and Memristive Electronics at the Department of Defense's Mark Center in Alexandria, VA, and at the Air Force Office of Scientific Research in Washington, DC. He also gave an invited talk on Memristive Electronics at Rowan University in New Jersey.

  • CM faculty members Michael Mateas and Noah Wardrip-Fruin both have projects represented in the Center Pompidou

    The Center Pompidou’s exhibition — "Mutation creation 2 / code the world" —  is on code in arts and media and runs from June 15 to August 27.
    Read more

  • Sammy Showcase featured student games

    Sammy Showcase, the annual festival of games created at UC Santa Cruz, took place on Saturday, June 9, at the Silicon Valley Center building. The festival featured research and game design presentations from faculty and graduate students, plus the Sammy Awards ceremony.
    Read more

Bears Repeating

  • Commencement Stories: Rachel Doran

    Rachel Doran is a Ph.D. candidate in the graduate program in biomedical sciences and engineering, working on HIV immunogens. She has won a Graduate Research Symposium award for her presentation on “From armor to Achilles heel: Targeting the glycan shield of HIV in novel vaccine strategies".
    Read more

  • Commencement Stories: Henry Hinton

    Henry Hinton graduating with a bioengineering degree from the Jack Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, will be attending Harvard University for his electrical engineering Ph.D. in the fall.
    Read more

  • Genes found only in humans influence brain size

    A set of three nearly identical genes found only in humans appear to play a critical role in the development of our large brains, according to a study led by UCSC researchers.
    Read more

  • Baskin Engineering welcomes fifth graders to campus

    Over 100 students from Westlake Elementary School toured the science and engineering labs learned about electron microscopy, and saw a demonstration of technology on everyday objects.
    Read more 

  • Transfer RNA research addresses a blind spot in understanding of human genes

    Biomolecular engineer Todd Lowe has received a $2.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support his lab’s international leadership in RNA research.
    Read more 

  • Leaving their mark, inspiring others

    This year's Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni honorees are making their mark on the world. During Alumni Weekend, they came back to campus to inspire a new generation of scholars at a career panel.
    Read more