November 2009 Beckman Bulletin

Image of a push pin on left, with the words Beckman Bulletin to the right

The Beckman Bulletin is a monthly digest from the director of the Beckman Institute. The Bulletin is sent to all faculty and staff. Each issue will highlight the latest happenings from around the Institute.

Communication from the Director
Issue 14: November 2009


ALUMNI AND FRIENDS EVENT IN NYC
The Beckman Institute hosted a very successful networking reception for alumni and friends of the Beckman Institute and the University of Illinois on Tuesday, November 10, 2009. The event was held at the Harvard Club of New York City and featured a talk from me and Ted Brown, Founding Director of the Beckman Institute. The forty-plus guests included former Beckman Institute graduate students, staff, Fellows, and a diverse group of alumni from the College of Business, Engineering, Liberal Arts and Sciences, Law, and Media. Special thanks to all the faculty and staff who helped promote this event. A similar event will be held in Irvine, CA on January 24, 2010. Contact Tim Montague (tgmontag@illinois.edu) for more information.

MENTORING WORKSHOP
The first-ever Beckman Institute Mentoring Workshop was held November 12-13. Nearly 60 students and post-docs registered and took part in the Workshop that featured talks from faculty members Eric Pop, Art Kramer, Iwona Jasiuk, Monica Fabiani, Paul Braun, and Scott Carney. Those who attended were able to get first-hand advice on pursuing an academic career. A survey will be sent to the participants this week to get their feedback on the Workshop. This information will be used to shape future workshops. The next Beckman Institute Mentoring Workshop is planned for March, 2010.

CALLING ALL AUTHORS: BOOKS REQUESTED FOR DISPLAY
In an effort to showcase the work of Beckman Institute authors we will be creating a display for recent books authored or co-authored by our faculty, fellows, students, and staff. The book display will be near the Beckman Institute Café where people can peruse the books over lunch or on a break. The books are not intended to be removed from the display area but to be perused at the site. If you have a copy of a book that you have authored or co-authored within the last ten years that you would like contribute to our display please drop it off with Sue Johnson in Room 5361.

CLIMATE AND SOCIETY SERIES SPEAKER ON FOCUS 580
Last week’s speaker in the SDEP Climate and Society Speaker Series, Roger Kasperson, was the guest on WILL’s Focus 580 on November 13, 2009. To listen to the interview visit: http://will.illinois.edu/focus580/interview/focus091113b/.

ILLINOIS SIMULATOR LABORATORY NAME APPROVED BY BOT
It’s official! The Board of Trustees recently approved the re-naming of our south campus building to the Illinois Simulator Laboratory (ISL). The primary mission of the ISL is to support the integration of advanced technologies for experiments in human multi-modal perception and cognition. The ISL is home to labs including the Cube, the CAVE, the Driving Simulator, the Flight Simulator, and the Motion Capture Suite. For more information visit: http://isl.beckman.illinois.edu.

INDUSTRIAL DESIGN STUDENT SHARES GRAND PRIZE IN INVENTOR’S COMPETETION
Stephen Diebold, a student working with Beckman faculty member Deana McDonagh, recently won the 2009 Collegiate Inventor’s Competition. He is the only undergraduate student ever to win the prize, which he shared with a graduate student at Harvard Medical School. He was cited for his invention of the “Drop Point,” a device that helps quadriplegics with everyday tasks. Congratulations Stephen!

TODD COLEMAN JOINS PRESTIGIOUS ISAT STUDY
Congratulations to Beckman faculty member Todd Coleman for being chosen to join DARPA’s Information Science and Technology (ISAT) study group for a three-year term. The select group includes about 30 of the best and brightest scientists and engineers in the United States. The ISAT group’s main objective is to assess the state of advanced information science and technology as it relates to the U.S. Department of Defense. The group identifies new or improved computer and communication technologies, recommends research directions, and performs three large studies each year, which are kept confidential to the public.

ERIC POP RECEIVES YOUNG INVESTIGATOR GRANT
Congratulations to Beckman faculty member Eric Pop. He is one of 38 scientists and engineers who was selected to receive a 2010 Young Investigators Research Program (YIP) grant from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. The YIP’s objective is to foster creative basic research in young scientists and engineers and to enhance early career development of outstanding young investigators.

GRANT FUNDING
Congratulations to Klaus Schulten for receiving new grant funding in the period of October 15, 2009 – November 10, 2009:

  • Resource for Macromolecular Modeling (PI: K. Schulten; Sponsor: NIH)
  • Computation Biology of the Cell: The Next Decade (PI: K. Schulten; Sponsor: Lilly Corporation)

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, our website www.beckman.illinois.edu will continue to post in a timely manner all the important happenings in the institute involving our faculty, fellows, and graduate and undergraduate student researchers, their accomplishments, recognitions, and featured stories on our research programs.

Tamer Başar
November 18, 2009
Interim Director
director@beckman.illinois.edu