Illinois researchers built a Dropbox-like storage and analytical system for scientific data. “We have developed a cloud architecture that makes it easy for scientists to not only upload their data, but also curate and manage the data, as well as get real-time search results,” said Principal Investigator Klara Nahrstedt, the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor of Computer Science, the director of the Coordinated Science Laboratory, and member of Beckman’s Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Group.
Developed by Aerospace Engineering Associate Professor Tim Bretl and his students, Aadeel Akhtar and Kyung Yun Choi, the fingers of this flexible model prosthetic hand are smashed, twisted, and bent in every direction. Surviving the torment, the digits bend back into shape. Bretl and Akhtar are members of Beckman’s Mechanisms of Cognitive Control Group.
U of I entomologist Andrew Suarez, a member of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Techology Group, commented in Smithsonian Magazine on a new study about how ants have successfully migrated around the world. “I think ants globally really are one of the bigger and more problematic invasive taxa,” said Suarez, who has long studied invasive ants. He points to fire ants as a prime example. Their aggression in colonizing new areas and attacking rival insects helps them push out native insects and even nesting birds and reptiles.
Randy Ewoldt, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering and member of Beckman’s Autonomous Materials Systems Group, was one of just 82 of the nation’s brightest young engineers selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 23rd annual U.S. Frontiers of Engineering symposium in September. He is one of three engineers invited from the University of Illinois.
Scientists may have found a fix for one of the recurring problems of virtual reality and augmented reality: eye fatigue. A new type of display module was developed by Liang Gao, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, and graduate student Wei Cui, both members of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group. The module uses an approach called optical mapping to create realistic 3D images by using a series of 2D subpanel images.
In two new studies, University of Illinois kinesiology and community health professor Naiman Khan; postdoctoral researcher Anne Walk, who is affiliated with the Beckman Institute’s Intelligent Systems research theme; and their colleagues found links between levels of lutein in the eye and cognition and academic performance in pre-adolescent children.
Yang Zhang, an assistant professor of nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering and a member of Beckman’s Autonomous Materials Systems Group, has won the 2017 Landis Young Member Engineering Achievement Award from the American Nuclear Society.
When the University of Illinois was established, its physical presence consisted of 10 acres for its main campus and a ramshackle five-story building, nicknamed The Elephant, located where the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology now sits on the north end of campus. As the U. of I. celebrates its 150th birthday, the campus now consists of 4,550 acres (excluding the farms) and 647 buildings. A recently released book— “An Illini Place: Building the University of Illinois Campus,” published by the University of Illinois Press—traces the history of the physical place, including the many plans for the look and expansion of the campus, the architectural style of its buildings and where they would be located.
Last month, Lav R. Varshney, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and member of Beckman’s Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Group, participated in “Computational Creativity: AI and the art of ingenuity,” part of the 2017 World Science Festival at New York University. The panel discussed artificial intelligence and the development of creativity in computers.
Kimberly Sam, who earned a B.S. in molecular and cellular biology from the U of I in May 2017, was one of 14 Illinois students and alumni offered student Fulbright grants to pursue international educational, research, and teaching experiences this coming year. Sam, a member of Beckman’s Bioimaging Science and Technology Group as an undergraduate, was awarded a Fulbright grant to conduct medical research in Ecuador. She received the Erik Haferkamp Memorial Award for Undergraduate Research in 2016 to support research in neuroscience at the Beckman Institute, and she spent two years studying models of traumatic brain injury in neuronal network models while serving as a research assistant for Bioengineering Professor Parijat Sengupta, also a member of the BST Group. Upon completing her Fulbright, Sam plans to attend medical school to pursue an M.D./Ph.D.
Little has been known about visceral fat and brain health in children. For a soon-to-be-published study, researchers from Northeastern University in Boston and at Illinois tracked hundreds of 8- to 10-year-old children in a nine-month after-school exercise program in Urbana. Charles Hillman, now at Northeastern University, conducted the study while at the Beckman Institute.
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In the "News and Views" section of Nature Materials, Joseph Lyding, a professor of electrical and computer engineering and member of Beckman's Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, discusses work by H-J Gao and colleagues at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, which uses bottom-up patterning to pattern atomically precise metal-semiconductor junctions that could be used in future devices.
Dipanjan Pan, an assistant professor of bioengineering and member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, was elected a 2018 Fellow of the American College of Cardiology for his contributions to translational nanomedicine in cardiovascular science. Working with clinical researchers, Pan has developed several patented classes of targeted theranostic nanotechnologies that are useful for diagnostic imaging and drug delivery in the treatment of artherosclerosis and cancer. In fact, scientists at Washington University have licensed this technology for commercial development.
Kyle Smith, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering and a member of the Autonomous Materials Systems Group, believes that mechanical engineers have skills and knowledge to engineer the next generation of redox flow batteries, particularly in their training with design, mechanics, and transport phenomena. This includes recent work done by a Senior Design group advised by Smith.
Research by Rosalba Hernandez, an assistant professor of social work who is in the Social and Emotional Dimensions of Well-Being Group, was mentioned in a commentary in the Standard-Examiner. “Various national surveys have shown that U.S. Latinos have a positive view of their lives and the future, surpassing whites and African-Americans in their belief that better times are ahead,” said Esther J. Cepeda, of the Washington Post Writers Group. The author went on to point out that Hernandez’s research even found a statistical connection between this positive outlook and better cardiovascular health outcomes for Latinos.
News-Gazette staff writer Paul Wood chats with Anthony Griffin, a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow and Ph.D. candidate in Beckman’s Autonomous Materials Systems Group.
Twelve student ventures have been named iVenture Acclerator startups, including Autonomic Energy Solutions, created by Anthony Griffin, a graduate research assistant in Beckman’s Autonomous Materials Systems Group. The student teams will work full time this summer with support from the iVenture Accelerator's intensive 10-week summer curriculum, a network of advisers, co-working space, and funding. Griffin developed patented microcapsules that prevent fires in and extend the lives of batteries.
Autonomous Materials Systems Group members Nancy Sottos, a professor of materials science and engineering, and Scott White, a professor of aerospace engineering, say they’ve found a new way to make cellphone and laptop batteries safer and longer-lasting: self-healing technology.
Lav Varshney was one of four panelists at the 2017 World Science Festival that were showcasing how they nurture creativity in computers. Varshney, a member of the Organizational Intelligence and Computational Social Science Group, is working on a mathematical theory of creativity. “The way I’ve been defining it is things that are both novel, and of high quality in their domain,” said Varshney, an engineering theorist. For example, a new kind of food.
A UT Dallas researcher, in collaboration with Jean-Pierre Leburton, a member of Beckman’s Nanoelectronics and Naomaterials Group, and former Beckman Graduate Fellow Anuj Girdhar, has designed a novel computing system made solely from carbon that might one day replace the silicon transistors that power today’s electronic devices.
Lynn Goddard, a member of the Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, co-led a team of Illinois researchers that developed a new plasmonic sensor that will serve as a reliable early detection of biomarkers for many forms of cancer and eventually other diseases. The team published its results in Advanced Optical Materials as a cover article.