Thursday, October 23, 2014

Plasymd Co-Founders Turned Employees Recruiting at UC San Diego Career Fair

Adnan Akil (center) and Kevin Wu (right) 
UC San Diego alumni Adnan Akil and Kevin Wu staffed the booth yesterday at the UC San Diego Science and Technology Job and Internship fair. They were busy recruiting software engineers to which describes itself as a platform for academics to share research papers. Akil and Wu landed at by way of a startup they co-founded: a peer-review platform called Plasmyd.

Almost a year ago to the day, the announcement came out that acquired Plasmyd. At the time, Akil told pandodaily, “[ has] built the largest online community of scientists while we’ve been working on building the next generation tools of peer review,” said Plasmyd’s co-founder Adnan Akil.

Headlines from media reports of the acquisition paint a picture:

Akil, a Jacobs Scholar, was a bioengineering major at UC San Diego and went on to UC Irvine for graduate studies in stem cell biology. Wu studied bioinformatics at UC San Diego.

About a year before the acquisition, Tech Crunch wrote this story: Meet Plasmyd, A Search Engine/Discussion Platform Just For Scientists

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

MiP was on Big Bang Theory

Fans of the Big Bang Theory on CBS, you may want to watch this week's episode again. It was the most-watched prime-time show this past Monday, Oct. 20 in all demographics. And MiP, a toy robot designed by the UCSD Coordinated Lab and toymaker WowWee made an appearance in one key scene.
Remember that scene when Penny and Leonard are talking to Bernadette and Howard about finances? Look at the objects on the table. There is a MiP, right there. It's unclear whether the robot will be part of a plot in upcoming episodes. We'll keep watching.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

These two Jacobs School-related robots were featured in Science special issue on robotics

We were excited to see both WowWee's MiP and Brain Corporation's eyeRover make an appearance in Science magazine's special robotics issue that came out Oct. 10.

MiP, which appears in this infographic, was designed by the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab, led by  Prof. Thomas Bewley, and by toymaker WowWee.  MiP, short for Mobile Inverted Pendulum, can balance itself and drive around on two wheels. You can interact with the robot using intuitive hand gestures. More on MiP here and here.
Meanwhile, eyeRover is partially the brain child of Jacobs School alum Marius Buibas (Ph.D. 2011). Buibas led the design of the robot's hardware--the electronics, mechanics and 3D-printed body. The difference between eyeRover and other robots is that it can be taught to do a task, rather than programmed.

According to Science:
EyeRover may look like a toy, but it's packed with some of the most advanced robotic technology ever devised, including a prototype computing platform designed to emulate the human brain. Unlike conventional computer chips and software, which execute a linear sequence of tasks, this new approach—called neuromorphic computing—carries out processing and memory tasks simultaneously, just as our brains do for complex tasks such as vision and hearing.
 There is a common thread between the two robots: Nick Morozovsky, a student in Bewley's research group, who just earned his Ph.D. from the Jacobs School. Morozovsky developed a tool combining hardware and software to evaluate various motors to balance MiP. He also worked part-time at Brain Corporation and was the architect behind an earlier version of eyeRover that inspired the robot featured in Science. Industry recruiters, take note: Morozovsky is currently looking for a full time job.

Bonus: the special issue's online version features a video of origami robots, which then postdoctoral student Michael Tolley helped develop. Tolley will join the Jacobs School faculty Nov. 1.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When Facebook and Pinterest are both on campus to recruit students

Computer science alumna Brina Lee interviews UC San Diego students during a Facebook recruiting event.

A line of students sneaked around the lobby of the Computer Science and Engineering building Oct. 16, waiting to talk to Facebook recruiters and employees--including our very own alum, Brina Lee, the first female engineer to work at Instagram after it was purchased by Facebook.
Freshmen Nancy Ponce and Maya Bello stood patiently in line, talking with other students. "We're hoping to get a summer internship to get more experience," said Ponce, a computer engineering major who is from San Diego. She hoped the internship would help her figure out whether to she wants to switch to computer science. Ponce said she already felt comfortable around campus after attending the 5-week Summer Program for Incoming Students organized by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.
"It's always good to put yourself out there," said Bello, a computer science major from Oakland. She chose to come to UC San Diego because of its great computer science program--and because of the weather, she said.
Even if they didn't get an internship, this would be good practice, they both agreed.
Lee took a break from interviewing students to say that she had seen great candidates. So far, she wanted to interview them all, she said. "A lot of them are industry-focused," she said. "Which is great."
Some of the students peeled away from the Facebook line to attend a presentation by Pinterest right next door. The company handles a total of more than 20 terabytes of data and fields 110,000 requests a second. It's looking for engineers to help it grow. The event was organized by the UC San Diego chapter of Women in Computing. Everyone got pizza--and a Pinterest-labeled Mason jar.
Maya Bello, left, talks with a fellow student.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Jacobs School students: Get your photos the cover of Pulse magazine

Calling all Jacobs School of Engineering students. 

Send in your exciting / dramatic / fun photos & illustrations of your engineering projects or activities from classes, labs, project teams, outreach initiatives or other activities related to your engineering studies at UC San Diego. 

We are looking for an image (or images) for the cover of the next issue of Pulse magazine (the Jacobs School of Engineering's alumni magazine). 

The image of images should somehow fit with the theme “Innovation Happens Here.” 

You can see past cover images here. We are looking for an image or images that capture the excitement of some of the projects happening at the Jacobs School. 

Deadline for submission: Nov 3.

Please send print quality images and / or download links and a caption of your photo to Daniel Kane:

dbkane AT ucsd DOT edu

If your photos are in the running for the cover, we will let you know. All images that illustrate engineering at the Jacobs School and include a caption will be posted here, on the Jacobs School blog. 

Questions: feel free to send me an email. 


Daniel Kane
Jacobs School of Engineering dean's office

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Engineers for Exploration at UC San Diego / Learn How to Get Involved on Oct 9

Engineers for Exploration is one of the many great opportunities at the fingertips of engineering students at the Jacobs School of Engineering at UC San Diego. Just peruse their list of technology platforms and you will get an idea of the exciting opportunities (see below).

Find out about the opportunities in person and hear about some of their exciting past adventures.

When? Thursday, Oct. 9 from 4:30-5:30pm in the Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall.

Where? Calit2 Auditorium, Atkinson Hall (Qualcomm Institute). All majors welcome.

Aerial Camera Platform

Free Lecture: Exploring Health Disparity through Engineering Leadership

Attend this Gordon Engineering Leadership Forum on Thursday October 16, 3:30-4:30 pm at Atkinson Hall Auditorium (Qualcomm Institute).

Forum speaker: Dr. Bert Lubin, President and CEO of Children's Hospital & Research Center in Oakland, CA.

Talk title: “Exploring Health Disparity through Engineering Leadership”

Gordon Engineering Leadership Forums are a great opportunity for the Jacobs School of Engineering community including students, faculty, alumni, staff and local industry professionals, to connect and gain insights on many different aspects of engineering leadership through the experiences of remarkable individuals. 

The program will be followed by networking with refreshments. The Gordon Engineering Leadership Center will provide parking codes to alumni who attend.

For more information, contact the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center at 858-822-5636 and

About the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center

The engineering students of today are the technology leaders -- and job-creators -- of tomorrow. As a testament to the value of training and developing these future leaders, the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has established the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Engineering Leadership Center, which is generously supported with a gift from the Bernard and Sophia Gordon Foundation.

The Gordon Center offers a novel, end-to-end set of leadership and training curricula for students at the high school, undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as for professionals working in the technology fields.

Through its Gordon Scholars and Engineering Leadership Awards, the Center identifies and celebrates talented individuals with leadership potential. In addition, the Center exposes students to the advice, experience and attitudes of proven engineering leaders through training events including workshops, leadership forums, and summer schools.