Since 2014, a group of faculty and staff in the College of Engineering have been revolutionizing how students take exams and do homework with PrairieLearn, a tool they created for online assessment. Tim Bretl, professor of aerospace engineering and member of Beckman's Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group, is a Prairie Learn SIIP project team member. This year, through a Strategic Instructional Innovations Program (SIIP) grant, the team is working to grow the number of courses using PrairieLearn, with the goal of increasing its effectiveness and impact.
An image of work from the Beckman Institute’s Biophotonics Imaging Laboratory, led by Stephen Boppart, appears on the cover of the April 2018 issue of the journal Biophotonics. The invited article, “Optical biopsies can transform pathology,” was written by Boppart, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, of bioengineering, and head of the Center for Optical Molecular Imaging at Beckman, and appears in the Biopinion section. In the article, Boppart relates how he believes current work done in the research labs will, in the future, be done by hospitals in real time. Specifically, he details how histopathology will be done with optical biopsies in real time, in vivo, without stains and without slides.
Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows Dan Kleinman and Fan Lam will present their research at the final Director’s Seminar of the spring semester beginning at noon, Thursday, May 2, in Room 1005 Beckman. Kleinman will talk about “What’s in a Word? Electrophysiological Correlates of Word Selection during Language Production,” and Lam will discuss “Ultrafast Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopic Imaging of the Brain.” The lecture is open to the public, and lunch is provided.
Three Ph.D. students will discuss their research at the Beckman Institute’s Graduate Student Seminar at noon Wednesday, May 2, in Room 1005. The presenters: Zhikun Cai, a member of the Computational Molecular Science Group; and Shachi Mittal and Jorge Tordera Mora, both members of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group (BST). Lunch will be provided.
A researcher from the University of Melbourne found that the most prestigious journals also had the fewest women authors – possibly as a result of implicit or explicit bias. “I have had a hell of a time publishing the majority of my papers, including ones that have gone on to have a high impact,” says Kate Clancy, a professor of anthropology and member of Beckman's Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group. “I wonder if that’s because I publish mostly with women. My few publications that have a few male authors were far easier to publish.
Gene Robinson, director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology and member of Beckman's Intelligence, Learning and Plasticity Group, is one of three project co-chairs of the Earth BioGenome Project aiming to sequence genomes of 1.5 million species over ten years. Researchers say this will take 10 years, cost $4.7 billion and require more than 200 petabytes of digital storage capacity.
Sameh Tawfick, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering and member of Beckman’s Autonomous Materials Systems Group, Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellow Caterina Lamuta, and colleagues recently published a study in the journal Smart Material and Structures on how to design super strong artificial muscles. The new muscles are made from carbon fiber-reinforced siloxane rubber and have a coiled geometry, and are capable of lifting up to 12,600 times their own weight. This amount is 18 times more than the specific work natural muscles are capable of producing.
The Center for Brain Plasticity, championed and supported by both the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Institute (IHSI) and the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, brings together researchers, university-wide, with the aims of advancing understanding of the brain and the power of the brain to be changed by experience and other external influences. Led by Aron Barbey, an associate professor of psychology, and Neal Cohen, a professor of psychology and head of the IHSI, the center builds upon the incredible wealth of plasticity research and data at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to provide a nexus for long-term interdisciplinary collaborations.
Students in an area middle school learned principles of coordinate math and computer programming by creating a laser light show in a collaborative project started by University of Illinois researchers in education and engineering. Arend van der Zande, professor of mechanical science and engineering, and member of Beckman's Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, is part of the project along with two other Illinois faculty members in education and engineering.
Kara is a Grants & Contracts Coordinator.
Speech and hearing science professor Laura DeThorne, a member of Beckman's Illinois Language and Literacy Initiative, along with doctoral students Henry Angulo and Veronica Vidal, discuss how the neurodiversity movement recognizes autistic individuals’ unique experiences, skills and strengths, and resists the medicalization of autism.
Researchers from the U. of I. have developed an artificial muscle made of carbon fiber and rubber that can lift more than 12,000 times its own weight. Sameh Tawfick, author of the study and assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering, leads the MechSE team on making coiled artificial muscles stronger and more practical. Tawfick is a member of Beckman's Autonomous Materials Systems Group.
Sandra Tsing Loh, host of the syndicated daily radio science minute and NPR podcast “The Loh Down on Science” and adjunct associate professor in drama and science communication at University of California, Irvine, presents a talk on effective science communication for the SmithGroup JJR Lecture at noon, Friday, April 20, in the Beckman Institute Auditorium. A reception PRECEDES the lecture at 11 am.
Fifteen students were recently named recipients of the 2018 Beckman Institute student awards. The awards, which are presented to undergraduate and graduate students, will be presented during a reception in April.
A new paper from a team of Illinois legal scholars argues that reformers of the burgeoning #MeToo movement ought to heed the core principles of restorative and transitional justice and take into account the needs of both victims and offenders, as well as the larger community. Two Beckman faculty members were co-authors of the paper: Jennifer Robbennolt, the associate dean for research at the College of Law and a member of Beckman’s Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-being Group; and Colleen Murphy, the director of the Women and Gender in Global Perspectives Program at Illinois and a member of the Organizational Intelligence and Computation Social Science Group.