Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween Pumpkin Carving--IEEE style

About a dozen amateur pumpkin carvers gathered Thursday evening on Warren Mall to compete in the annual IEEE Pumpkin carving contest. They could enter their oeuvres in three categories: scary, funny and IEEE spirit. Some of the entries included a dragon, the green, three-eyed aliens from "Toy Story" and a pumkin biting on another pumpkin, perhaps the most ambitious entry. After they were carved the pumpkins were illuminated from the inside using an LED circuit.
We're wondering if all that left-over pumpkin flesh will go to making pie?










Wednesday, October 29, 2014

MiP Meets Stan Lee

MiP, a robot designed by the UCSD Robotics Lab and toymaker WowWee, got to meet Stan Lee, the legendary creator of many Marvel Comics heroes, who is probably best know for his association with Spider-Man.
The robot was featured on The Real Stan Lee website, as part of a Q&A with Davin Sufer, WowWee's CTO.
But our favorite was this video of Stan Lee interacting with MiP.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Jacobs School and Computer Science Rank Highly in New US News Global Universities Ranking

US News and World Report has a new ranking out today: Best Global Universities Rankings.

 The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering has done well in the engineering rankings.

Engineering at UC San Diego (Jacobs School of Engineering)
#20 in the world
#7 in the United States of America (USA)
#5 among public universities in the USA

Computer science was ranked separate from engineering, and computer science at UC San Diego did even better:

Computer Science at UC San Diego (Computer Science and Engineering Department)
#11 in the world (note: this has been updated: due to human error I originally reported #10)
#7 in the United States of America (USA)
#3 among public universities in the USA

US San Diego as a whole also did extremely well, coming in as the 18th best university in the world.


Here is a handy breakdown of the criteria used for the subject area rankings:

Ranking indicator 
Weight
Global research reputation
12.5%
Regional research reputation 
12.5%
Publications
12.5%
Normalized citation impact   
10%
Total citations 
10%
Number of highly cited papers
12.5%
Percentage of highly cited papers
10%
International collaboration 
10%
Number of Ph.D.s awarded
  5%
Number of Ph.D.s awarded per academic staff member
  5%



UC San Diego Engineers Will Have Strong Showing at Trillion Sensors Summit in San Diego on Nov 12-13

Engineers from the University of California, San Diego are playing a big part in the Trillion Sensors Summit (TSensors Summit), which is coming to San Diego on Nov 12-13. The presentations from professors at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering will cover the hot topics of sensors for the quantified self, ubiquitous sensing in healthcare and wellness care, ubiquitous skin sensing and sweat-powered sensors.

According to the Trillion Sensors website, this event is geared to the following types of attendees:

  • Key decision makers from industries planning to participate in, and benefit from, emerging global economic tides, such as the Internet of Everything, mHealth, Central Nervous System for the Earth and Context computing.
  • Researchers from academia and industry involved in both related R&D and restructuring of academic curriculums to pave the way for emerging global tides and massive jobs retraining need they create.
  • Government representatives involved in structuring funding of advanced technology programs and jobs creation initiatives.
  • Analysts from the financial community tracking sensors, Internet of Everything, mHealth and TSensors initiatives.

Below are the UC San Diego participants in the Trillion Sensors summit. In addition, there will be a UC San Diego lab tour for select attendees on Friday Nov 14.

Wednesday Nov 12
8:15 to 12:30 / TSensors Initiative session
Speaker: Albert P. Pisano: Dean, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Talk Title: “TSensors Technology Research Incubation and Education”


Wednesday Nov 12 
12:30 to 2:30 / TSensors for Healthcare Abundance session
Speaker: Larry Smarr, Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and a professor of computer science at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Talk Title: Assay lab within your body: biometrics and biomes


Thursday Nov 13
8:00 to 9:55 am / TSensors and Internet of Everything session

Panel discussion: Closing the Loop in Wellness Care via Trillion Sensors
Panelists:
Patrick Mercier: UC San Diego Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Assoc Director, Center of Wearable Sensors
Albert P. Pisano: Dean, UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Larry Smarr: Director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology and a professor of computer science at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering
Joseph Wang: UC San Diego Dept of NanoEngineering; Faculty Director, Center of Wearable Sensors


Thursday Nov 13
1:30 to 3:00PM / TSensors for Wearables session
Speaker: Joseph Wang, UC San Diego Dept of NanoEngineering; Faculty Director, Center of Wearable Sensors
Keynote title: “Trillion Sensors on Your Skin”


Thursday Nov 13
4:00 to 5:00PM / Wireless TSensors session
Speaker: Patrick Mercier UC San Diego Dept of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Assoc Director, Center of Wearable Sensors
Talk title: “40 pW running on 1cm2 of sweat”





Thursday, October 23, 2014

Plasymd Co-Founders Turned Academia.edu 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 academia.edu booth yesterday at the UC San Diego Science and Technology Job and Internship fair. They were busy recruiting software engineers to Academia.edu which describes itself as a platform for academics to share research papers. Akil and Wu landed at Academia.edu 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 academia.edu acquired Plasmyd. At the time, Akil told pandodaily, “[Academia.edu 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.