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Undergraduate students Zibo Chen, Shayan Doroudi, Yae Lim Lee, Gregory Izatt, and Sarah Wittman have won a gold Eric Winfreeaward at the 2011 International Bio-Molecular Design Competition (BIOMOD). BIOMOD is a competition for undergraduate teams who design research to address the control of biomolecules on the nanometer scale. The Caltech team's challenge was to make a synthetic DNA robot that has the ability to take a random walk —instead of walking on set path or track—on a two-dimensional origami surface that was also made out of DNA. The team is mentored by Professor Eric Winfree and sponsored by the Molecular Programming Project. [Caltech Feature] [Video of Project] 11.21.11

For the second year the Times Higher Education world university rankings has ranked Caltech as number one in the subject of engineering and technology. [View Rankings] [Caltech Feature] 10.25.11

Electrical engineering graduate student Guoan ZhengGuoan Zheng, working with Professor Changhuei Yang and Professor Michael Elowitz, has built a platform for a "smart" petri dish, dubbed ePetri. "Our ePetri dish is a compact, small, lens-free microscopy imaging platform. We can directly track the cell culture or bacteria culture within the incubator," explains Zheng, "the data from the ePetri dish automatically transfers to a computer outside the incubator by a cable connection... this technology can significantly streamline and improve cell culture experiments by cutting down on human labor and contamination risks." [Caltech Press Release] 10.05.11

Steven Low, Professor of Computer Steven LowScience and Electrical Engineering, is a recipient of a 2011 Okawa Foundation Research Grant for his research project entitled "Uncertainty Mitigation for Renewable Energy Integration". This prize honors top young researchers working in the fields of information and telecommunications. 09.27.11

Mani Chandy, Simon Ramo Professor Mani Chandiand Professor of Computer Science; Deputy Chair for Education, and Julian J. Bunn, Principal Computational Scientist at CACR, are working with a group of Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowships (SURF) in CMS, EE, and MCE to building a collection of medical devices that can be connected to a cell phone. "We want to exploit cell-phone technology and the Internet to provide inexpensive health-care tests for the poor in remote rural villages," says Chandy. [Caltech Feature] 08.08.11

Liang Feng, a Postdoctoral Scholar in Liang FengElectrical Engineering who works with Professor Axel Scherer, has designed a new type of optical waveguide - a 0.8-micron-wide silicon device. The waveguide allows light to go in one direction but changes the mode of the light when it travels in the opposite direction. This new technique to isolate light signals on a silicon chip, solves a longstanding problem in engineering photonic chips. [Caltech Press Release] 08.04.11

Lulu Qian, Senior Postdoctoral Scholar in Bioengineering; Erik Winfree, Professor of Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering; and Jehoshua (Shuki) Bruck, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Computation and Neural Systems and Electrical Engineering, are the first to have made an artificial neural network out of DNA, creating a circuit of interacting molecules that can recall memories based on incomplete patterns, just as a brain can. [Caltech Press Release] 07.22.11

Edward A. Keehr is the winner of this year's Charles Wilts Prize. The Charles Wilts Prize is awarded every year to one EE graduate student for outstanding independent research in electrical engineering leading to a PhD. Keehr's advisor was Ali Hajimiri, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering. 06.21.11

Dr. Sander Weinreb, Faculty Associate in Sander WeinrebElectrical Engineering, has been awarded the Karl G. Jansky Lectureship. This is an honor established to recognize outstanding contributions to the advancement of radio astronomy. Weinreb's development of the first autocorrelation spectrometer and the detection of the first interstellar molecule at radio wavelengths revolutionized astronomy. He has been a leader in the technological development of cm and mm astronomy throughout his career. 06.16.11

Lulu Qian, Senior Postdoctoral Scholar in Lulu QianBioengineering, and colleagues including Erik Winfree, Professor of Computer Science, Computation and Neural Systems, and Bioengineering, have built the most complex biochemical circuit ever created from scratch, made with DNA-based devices in a test tube that are analogous to the electronic transistors on a computer chip."We're trying to borrow the ideas that have had huge success in the electronic world, such as abstract representations of computing operations, programming languages, and compilers, and apply them to the biomolecular world," says Dr. Qian. [Caltech Press Release] 06.02.11

Joel W. Burdick, Professor of Mechanical Joel BurdickEngineering and Bioengineering, and colleagues including Yu-Chong Tai, Professor of Electrical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, have used a stimulating electrode array to assist a paralyzed man to stand, step on a treadmill Yu-Chong Taiwith assistance, and, over time, to regain voluntary movements of his limbs. Using a combination of experimentation, computational models of the array and spinal cord, and machine-learning algorithms, Professor Burdick and his colleagues are now trying to optimize the stimulation pattern to achieve the best effects, and to improve the design of the electrode array. Further advances in the technology should lead to better control of the stepping and standing processes. [Caltech Press Release] 05.20.11

Students in Ken Pickar's course Entrepreneurial Development (E 102) have the opportunity to dentify a technology currently under study at Caltech and develop a business plan for it. The ideas used by the students this year included a solid-state memory technology developed by Jehoshua (Shuki) Bruck, Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Computation and Neural Systems and Electrical Engineering. In this business plan the students proposed targeting Netflix and other high-volume streaming content providers. Another team pinpointed a new market for the vertical wind turbines of John O. Dabiri, Professor of Aeronautics and Bioengineering. A third team pitched a noninvasive method for breaking up arterial plaques using the concentrated-acoustic-pulse technology developed by Chiara Daraio, Professor of Aeronautics and Applied Physics. [Caltech Feature]

Caltech continues to rate among America's top graduate engineering programs, according to the 2012 U.S. News & World Report list of the best grad schools. U.S. News surveyed administrators at more than 1,200 programs and 13,000 academics and professionals to determine the rankings, which place Caltech among the top five schools in the country in several engineering programs, including first in Aeronautical Engineering, fourth in Mechanical Engineering, and fifth in Electrical Engineering. Overall, the engineering graduate program was rated seventh in the nation. The program, which is among the nation's smallest, was singled out as being the most selective, admitting only 9 percent of prospective students. "Given our minute size, these rankings are great," said Chair Ares Rosakis. 03.15.11

Guoan Zheng, a graduate student in Guoan Zheng and Ares RosakisElectrical Engineering working with Professor Changhuei Yang, is the winner of this year's $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Caltech Student Prize. He was awarded the prize for his innovative development of an on-chip, inexpensive microscopy imaging technology with many potential applications, including improved diagnostics for malaria and other blood-borne diseases in the developing world. [Press Coverage] 03.11.11

Wendian "Leo" Shi, a graduate student in Electrical Wendian "Leo" Shi and Ares RosakisEngineering working with Professor Yu-Chong Tai, is the winner of the $10,000 Caltech finalist prize in innovation generously donated by alumnus Michael W. Hunkapiller. Shi received the prize for the invention of the "µCyto," a portable lab-on-a-chip system for determining white blood cell counts for point-of-care diagnostics. [Press Coverage] 03.11.11

Graduate Student, Javad Lavaei, has Javad Lavaeibeen recognized by the National Engineers Week Foundation's New Faces of Engineering program for his "interesting and unique work" in Electrical Engineering and Computing and Mathematical Sciences. This program recognizes young engineers who have shown outstanding ability in projects that significantly impact public welfare or further professional development and growth. [Caltech Feature]

At a special event entitled "Meet the Volts" students had the opportunity to learn about the evolution of electric vehicles from Kent Kresa, Chair of the Caltech Board of Trustees and former Interim Chairman of GM's Board of Directors. Also, presenting at the event was Larry Nitz, GM's Executive Director of Hybrid and Electric Powertrain Engineering, who discussed the propulsion technology that makes the Volt, GM's new electric car, unique. [Watch the Presentations] 02.24.11

Simon Ramo, EE Ph.D. '36 and Life Simon RamoTrustee of Caltech, has been awarded the Goddard Memorial Trophy. This award is the National Space Club's preeminent award and it is given annually to recognize significant contribution to United States leadership in the field of rocketry and astronautics. Learn more... 02.08.11

Piya Pal, graduate student in EE, Piya Palreceived the best student paper award for her paper coauthored with Prof. P. P. Vaidyanathan, at the IEEE Digital Signal Processing workshop held in Sedona, AZ, in January 2011. The paper is entitled "Coprime sampling and the MUSIC algorithm". The idea in a nut shell is as follows: when a signal is sampled with two sets of coprime samplers, it is possible to start from sparse sampling-sets and recover a much denser set of autocorrelations. This scheme originated in an earlier paper by Prof. Vaidyanathan and Piya Pal. Piya's prize paper shows how to apply the so-called MUSIC algorithm to such a set of spatial samples (taken with a pair of sensor arrays), in order to estimate the directions of arrival of multiple signals in space. The breakthrough is that, using a very small number of sensors (say N) it is now possible to identify a very large number of uncorrelated sources (nearly N2) arriving simultaneously from many directions in space. 01.10.11


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