Friday, June 28, 2013

UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge Business Plan Winners 2013

Congratulations to all the winning teams in the 2013 UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge business plan competition. Read Bruce Bigelow’s roundup over at Xconomy San Diego. Presentation videos from the winning teams at the May 31 and June 7 events are linked below.

May 31 was the BioTech/MedTech track

First Place: DevaNano (students affiliated with UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering). Watch DevaNano’s Inanc Ortec give the winning presentation here on YouTube.

Second Place: Wolf Biosciences (students affiliated with UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering). Watch Adam Young from Wolf Biosciences give his talk here on YouTube.

Audience Choice: Electrozyme (students affiliated with UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering). Watch Joshua Windmiller from Electrozyme give his talk here onYouTube.

June 7 was the Tech/Innovation track
First Place and Audience Choice: GrollTex (students affiliated with UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering) Watch Aliaksandr Zaretski give the winning talk.

Second Place: LumaWake (students affiliated with UC San Diego Rady School of Management) Watch Chris Shively give the LumaWake presentation.

(Our preview blog post is here.)

UC San Diego Entrepreneur Challenge
The Entrepreneur Challenge is a UC San Diego student-run organization that promotes the commercialization of the research and innovation that occurs on the Torrey Pines Mesa, in San Diego.

The mission of the Entrepreneur Challenge is to foster community involvement and technological innovation by bringing multidisciplinary teams of engineers, scientists, and business-minded students together with local area entrepreneurs and professionals in order that they might shape the world of tomorrow by securing the health of San Diego’s economy today.

The Entrepreneur Challenge focuses on start-ups from the inception phase to the early seed-stage. Their goal is to give teams the confidence and resources necessary to launch a successful company that otherwise might not exist.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society to Honor Dr. Michael I. Baskes with Symposium

The Minerals Metals and Materials Society (TMS) will honor Michael I. Baskes, an adjunct professor in the department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering, at the TMS annual meeting in February 2014 through a special symposium entitled: "Progress Towards Rational Materials Design in the Three Decades Since the Invention of the Embedded Atom Method: An MPMD Symposium in Honor of Dr. Michael I Baskes."

Symposium organizers:
Srinivasan Gopalan SrivilliputhurUniversity of North Texas
Amit Misra, Los Alamos National LaboratoryNeville Moody, Sandia National LaboratoriesStephen Foiles, Sandia National LaboratoriesMark Asta, University of California Alan Needleman, University of North Texas

TMS: Nanomechanical Materials Behavior Committee

TMS Symposium Description This symposium will honor the remarkable contributions of Dr. Michael I. Baskes to the field of computational materials science. Along his career Dr. Baskes has pioneered the theoretical and numerical development of models of materials behavior, with emphasis on the role played by atomistic defects on the anisotropic behavior of engineering materials. His many contributions have been critical to establish a strong connection between models and experiments, and to bridge different scales in the pursuit of robust multiscale models with experimental integration.

This symposium intends to bring together materials scientists and engineers to address current theoretical, computational and experimental issues related to microstructure-property relationships in engineering materials, including the deformation of single, polycrystalline materials, and nanocrystalline materials, development of high-fidelity atomistic models for alloys and their application in studying defect physics over experimentally relevant length and timescales, and, most importantly, unresolved challenges and problems in computational materials science in general. Special attention will be paid to research that closely couple experiments with computational modeling across length and time scales.

In 2012, Baskes was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, along with three others with affiliations at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering. Details below.

Mike I. Baskes has been elected “for contributions to the embedded atom method for predicting the structure and properties of metals and alloys.” Baskes uses computational methods to investigate material properties and has developed models that predict the behavior of helium in metals as well as a model that explains hydrogen isotope recombination.

Juan C. Lasheras has been elected for “studies of atomization, turbulent mixing, and heat transfer and for the development of medical devices.” Lasheras is an international expert working at the intersection of mechanics, biology and medicine. He has made pioneering contributions to the design of novel medical devices; the mechanics of cell migration and invasion; the study of turbulent and two-phase flows; and the efficiency of jet engine propulsion.
Robert Skelton has been elected “for contributions to robust control, system identification, and methodology for control-structure interaction.” Skelton is a leading theorist, whose work combines the disciplines of structures and controls. He has been involved with Skylab and the Hubble Space Telescope as well as a variety of projects here on Earth, from robots to red blood cells.
Peter C. Farrell has been elected “for research and development of devices for treatment of sleep-disordered breathing.” Farrell is the founder, chairman and CEO of San Diego-based ResMed, a leading developer, manufacturer and distributor of medical equipment for treating, diagnosing, and managing sleep-disordered breathing and other respiratory disorders. Farrell is a member of the Council of Advisors of the Dean of the Jacobs School of Engineering.

Start-Up Co-Founded by CS Ph.D. Students Featured in Forbes

"A Star is Born at the Googleplex:" that was the headline on a story on the Forbes website highlighting computer science Ph.D. student Sarah Esper and ThoughtSTEM, the start-up she co-founded. 

Esper recently took part in a pitch contest at the LATISM/Latino2 event at the Google Ventures Startup Lab in Mountain View. ThoughtSTEM went on to win the top award for start-ups at the event, bringing home $10,000.

Incidentally, the LATISM/Latino2 event was organized by Jennifer Arguello, a Jacobs School cS alumni and member of the CSE Alumni Board.

Students in the ThoughtSTEM program start at the same level as UC San Diego freshmen majoring in computer science, Esper said in a story that profiled her start-up, which she co-founded with fellow CS Ph.D. student Stephen Foster and biochemistry Ph.D. student Lindsey Handley. If they enroll in ThoughtSTEM in middle school and continue until they graduate high school, children can be reach the same level as students graduating from UC San Diego with a major in computer science.
Students learn mostly from hands-on tasks and are paired with UC San Diego computer science graduate and undergraduate students, who mentor them and help them master programming skills.

That's what caught the eye of Giovanni Rodriguez, who wrote the Forbes story and is an entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of SocialxDesign, a new tech consulting company. 

"What I like most about this is ThoughtSTEM’s focus on the offline experience. Unlike most tech ventures that get an audience in Silicon Valley, ThoughtSTEM is bullish on the immersive experience that can only happen face-to-face.  But they are betting that online tech can supplement the experience, and give them greater reach.  A technology platform is in the works, and when Esper spoke about it, I could see the VCs nodding in approval," he wrote.

ThoughtSTEM and four other start-ups were selected for an opportunity to pitch at the Latism conference after submitting an application. Esper and fellow entrepreneurs got an chance to meet one on one with venture capitalists and other startup gurus. She gave a four-minute pitch and answered a three-minute Q&A. 

In addition to the $10,000, ThoughtSTEM also won a table and a Chromebook. 

"We have also gained connections with incredible VCs, accelerators and startups all dedicated to improving the state of computer science education as we are!" Esper wrote in an email. 

Read the whole Forbes story here.  

Read a story on the Jacobs School website about ThoughtSTEM here

Go to the ThoughtSTEM website:

Minerals, Metals, and Materials Society to Honor Professor Marc A. Meyers with Symposium

The Minerals Metals and Materials Society (TMS) will honor Marc A. Meyers, a materials science professor at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering at their annual meeting in February 2014 through a special symposium on Dynamic Behavior of Materials. (Meyers is affiliated with Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, and NanoEngineering at the Jacobs School.)

Symposium organizers: Naresh Thadhani, Georgia Institute of Technology and George Thompson Gray, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Sponsorship: TMS/ASM: Mechanical Behavior of Materials Committee
Abstract submission is open until July 1. A description of the symposium from the website of TMS2014 is below.

The dynamic behavior of materials encompasses a broad range of phenomena associated with extreme environment and with relevance to technological applications in military and civilian sectors. The field of dynamic behavior of materials comprises diverse phenomena such as deformation, fracture, fragmentation, shear localization, damage dissipation, chemical reactions under extreme conditions, and processing (combustion synthesis; shock compaction; explosive welding and fabrication; shock and shear synthesis of novel materials). It has evolved considerably in the past twenty years and is now at a stage where its significance to all classes of materials including metals, ceramics, polymers, and composites is becoming relevant.

It is recognized today, as evidenced by the contributions herein, that materials aspects are of utmost importance in extreme dynamic loading events. The macro mechanical and physical processes that govern the phenomena manifest themselves at the microstructural level, by dazzling complexity of defect configurations and effects. Nevertheless, these processes/mechanisms can be quantitatively treated on the basis of accumulated knowledge. We are entering an exciting stage where our capabilities, from continuum and molecular dynamics computations, enable realistic predictions of materials performances and are starting to guide not only the design process but also our further micromechanical understanding of deformation processes at every level, including the basic dislocation mechanisms. The multiple technologies applications of this field include crashworthiness, machining, and important military effects of armor and projectile designs, ballistic penetrations, and explosive dynamics leading in general to the design of conventional and nuclear weapons. Applications in the medical field are also becoming important, with recent developments aimed at understanding traumatic brain injury and drug delivery. The dynamic behavior of materials during processing, including during compaction, synthesis, welding, forming, etc., is also of considerable importance. The symposium organizers hope that, through the publications of the symposium articles, the materials community will become more exposed to this research field.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Jacobs School Alum Designs LEGO's New Mars Rover

Stephen Pakbaz, who earned a master's in mechanical engineering in 2007 from the Jacobs School, can now add another prestigious item to his resume: LEGO will start manufacturing a replica of the Curiosity rover that he built during his spare time. 

Pakbaz had uploaded a picture of his rover to LEGO's online fans community, known as CUUSOO (Japanese for imagination). He also included a PDF with step-by-step instructions to build the rover out of pieces LEGO enthusiasts already own. 

Fan submissions on CUUSOO need to collect 10,000 to be considered for commercial release. Pakbaz' Curiosity reached that goal in August 2012, according to "My hope was to have a set produced while the real rover was still active on Mars so that the model could help kids learn about the real rover's discoveries as they occurred," Pakbaz told in an interview last year. 

"I'm sure that LEGO played a major part in me becoming a mechanical engineer and I thought that designing the Mars Curiosity rover was a nice way to return the favor," Pakbaz told his hometown newspaper, the Vacaville Reporter. 

By the way, Pakbaz also built a replica of the Curiosity's famous Sky Crane out of LEGOs. He posted instructions here -- just in case you're looking for something to do this weekend.

LEGO hasn't said yet when the model will be available in stores.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Jacobs School of Engineering Overview / Triton Day 2013 / CSE and ECE

Below is video of the overview of the Jacobs School of Engineering that Interim Dean Juan C. Lasheras gave to prospective undergraduate students in Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) at Triton Day (formerly called Admit Day) in April 2013.

Friday, June 21, 2013 Jacobs School of Engineering Undergraduate Education Overview Videos 2013 / Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Structural Engineering

Below is video of the overview of the Jacobs School of Engineering that Jacobs School of Engineering Interim Dean Juan C. Lasheras gave to prospective undergraduate students in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering and Structural Engineering at Triton Day (formerly called Admit Day) in April 2013.

Also, an MAE FAQ for incoming undergraduate students is here (PDF).

 (Tap tip to the Jacobs School of Engineering IDEA Student Center for posting the video.)

Jacobs School of Engineering Undergraduate Education Overview Videos 2013 / Bioengineering and NanoEngineering

Below are the Jacobs School of Engineering overview talks that Interim Dean Juan C. Lasheras gave to prospective undergraduate students in  Bioengineering and NanoEngineering in April 2013 at Triton Day. (Tap tip to the Jacobs School of Engineering IDEA Student Center for posting the video.)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Electrical Engineering Grad Student Christian Venerus Finalist in Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition

Electrical Engineering Grad Student Christian Venerus Finalist in Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition
Christian Venerus, an electrical engineering graduate student from electrical and computer engineering professor Ian Galton’s Integrated Signal Processing Group was one of 12 finalists at the Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition earlier this month. (Read the Broadcom press release.)

Christian Venerus’ project “A 3-4GHz Mostly-Digital GSM-Compliant 1.0/1.2V PLL in 65 nm CMOS” studied how making the implementation of frequency synthesizers in chipsets more digital results in effective collaboration and communication, accurate location, and faster response for law enforcement agencies, remote monitoring and diagnosis of health conditions.

Other research from Venerus: A recent paper by Venerus and Galton “Delta-Sigma FDC Based Fractional- PLLs,” published by IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers is posted on the Integrated Signal Processing Group publications page.

Broadcom Foundation’s mission is to advance education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by funding research, recognizing scholarship and increasing opportunity.

Electrical Engineering Grad Student Christian Venerus Finalist in Broadcom Foundation University Research Competition

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Great Turnout for CSE Tutor Reunion

UC San Diego is really a second home. That was the word from many of the 170 alumni of the computer science tutor program who got together on a somewhat chilly Friday afternoon in the Bear Courtyard for their second-ever reunion.

"To me, it's not a tutor reunion, it's a family reunion," said Anu Mupparthi, who earned her master's here in 2011. "I come back to the people who made me who I am."

Mupparthi now works in the Google + Photo group. She found out about the tutor program her first quarter and tutored until graduating. She also had two children while at the Jacobs School.

"To raise two kids, work 30 hours a week and take classes, you need to be a superwoman and you need to have a superfamily," she said. "When so many people believe in you and support you, you can’t fail. You study harder, you dig deeper. You held me up," she told an audience of tutors and faculty members, "until I found the strength to stand on my own." 

We have pictures on Facebook here: A few snapshots below: 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Engineering Superheroes at the Jacobs School

On Saturday June 1, the Jacobs School’s Team Internship Program (TIP) and the Gordon Engineering Leadership Center hosted “Engineering Superheroes” – an event that served as a TIP training day and Gordon Center orientation day for students at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

The overall goal of the event was to prepare students to succeed in their summer internships, their student jobs, and their post-graduation careers. (More information on the event to come.) In the meantime, great photos from the event, which are posted on the Calit2 / Qualcomm Institute Flickr feed.)

The day included a wide range of presentations from industry professionals including: Mentoring, Building Trust & Team Accountability, Advanced Presentation Skills, Personal Brand Management,  When & How to Adjust your Leadership Style, Managing Conflict More Effectively, Project & Task Management, Communications Skills & Report Writing, and a Team Internship Program (TIP) Alumni Panel. 

$18.5 Million Alumni Gift to Computer Science

An $18.5 million gift from a UC San Diego alumnus will set the computer science and engineering department on a new course into the future, funding new faculty endowed chairs, top-of-the-line teaching labs, support for graduate students, and expanded mentoring and tutoring programs for the next generation of undergraduates.
The gift marks a milestone in UC San Diego’s history as it is the largest gift ever made to the university by one of its alumni.
“This is a game-changing gift for UC San Diego – both in terms of alumni support and in terms of the tremendous impact it will have on our computer science and engineering department,” said UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla. “Now that UC San Diego is over 50 years old, we are entering an era in which alumni are coming forward in unprecedented ways to strengthen this institution.”
This gift will enable the computer science and engineering department at the Jacobs School of Engineering to reach new levels of excellence in all areas, with a particular focus on students.
Undergraduate students, for example, will benefit from a greatly expanded computer science and engineering tutor program. Tutors are stationed in computer science and engineering labs, where they provide one-on-one and small-group mentoring. Students in introductory classes get help at crucial moments; tutors develop marketable leadership and teaching skills; and the entire department benefits from a stronger sense of community.

Monday, June 3, 2013

UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab develops new technologies for robotic fire surveillance

Update 06/06/13: Our firefighting robot has been getting quite a big of media attention in the past few days, including:


 IEEE Spectrum

Huffpost Tech, U.K.

Researchers in the UCSD Coordinated Robotics Lab have developed new image processing techniques for rapid exploration and characterization of structural fires by small Segway-like robotic vehicles.  
The robot's system takes the thermal data taken by the vehicle's small infrared camera and maps it onto a 3D scene constructed from the images taken by the vehicle's pair of stereo RGB cameras.  
This allows small mobile robotic vehicles to create an temperature-painted virtual reality that can be used immediately by first responders as the robot drives through a potentially smoky building with hot spots and people distributed within it. 
This new technology is described in the video below -- look in particular for the signature of the fingerprints in the lower-right corner at 1:21, as well as the explosive ending.