February 2010 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 17: February 2010


BECKMAN INSTITUTE POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS PROGRAM
The Program Advisory Committee has completed its evaluation of the 2010 Beckman Institute Postdoctoral Fellows applications. The selected candidates are being contacted and the announcement of the 2010 Postdoctoral Fellows class will be made by the end of this month.

BECKMAN INSTITUTE GRADUATE FELLOWS PROGRAM
Applications are now being accepted for the 2010 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellows Program. The program is open to University of Illinois students at the M.A., M.S., or Ph.D. levels. The students must propose research that involves active participation of at least two Illinois faculty members, with at least one being a Beckman Institute full-time or part-time faculty member. Proposals involving more than one Beckman Institute faculty member will be given preference. Application forms are available at www.beckman.illinois.edu/fellows. Applications must be submitted no later than Monday, March 15, 2010. Please forward this information to students who you think may be interested.

i-CUB JOINS LEVINSON LAB
The much-anticipated arrival of a highly advanced, “humanoid robot” from Italy took place last week as an i-Cub robot was delivered to Beckman Institute researcher Stephen Levinson’s Language and Acquisition and Robotics Laboratory. Levinson’s group has the honor of being the only research laboratory in the Western Hemisphere to be awarded a i-Cub.

FROM IDEA TO MARKETPLACE IN 13 SHORT YEARS
It took more than 13 years but a landmark discovery by current Beckman researcher Joe Lyding and former Beckman theme co-chair Karl Hess is going into mass production. In 1996, in a conversation in Hess’s office, the two hit on the idea to use deuterium as a way to reduce hot electron damage in integrated circuit transistors. In January an agreement was reached with electronics giant Samsung to license their method for use in semiconductor devices. Congratulations Joe and Karl!

CHASIOTIS HONORED AT WHITE HOUSE
Beckman faculty member Ionic Chasiotis received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers at ceremony at the White House in January. The award, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is the government’s highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their independent research careers. The award was announced in July of 2009, but the recipients received their awards and met with President Obama in January, 2010.

ILLINOIS SIMULATOR LABORATORY OPEN HOUSE
We will be holding a special open house at the Illinois Simulator Laboratory, which is now settled into its new south campus location. The ISL Open House will give us a chance to showcase the activities of ISL at this new location. Visitors will get a chance to see the new facility and its visualization environments including the Cave, the driving simulator, and the flight simulator. Demonstrations will also be available on ISL’s ImmersaDesks, the Motion Capture Suite, and more. The dates are March 12-13. More information will follow in the coming weeks.

FOLLOW THE BECKMAN INSTITUTE ON TWITTER
In the past few months the Beckman Institute has been sharing its news with the world via Twitter. You can follow us from www.twitter.com/BeckmanInst. Or, you can simply visit www.beckman.illinois.edu and click the “Follow us on Twitter” icon found in the lower left side of the page. Please join our growing list of followers!

STAY CONNECTED VIA LINKEDIN
Join the Beckman Institute LinkedIn group to stay informed and keep in touch with the people you’ve met along the way. Our group is called Beckman Institute Alumni and Friends. http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=1836347&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr Or you can access the LinkedIn group page via the “Join Our Group” icon found in the lower left side of www.beckman.illinois.edu.

ALUMNI AND FRIENDS EVENT IN CALIFORNIA
The Beckman Institute hosted over 50 alumni and friends at a very successful brunch event in Irvine, California on January 24, 2010. I gave the group a brief overview of the Beckman Institute, and Art Kramer engaged the guests with an overview of his research on aging and the human mind, as well as of the developing initiative, “Healthy Bodies, Brains, Minds, and Communities.” Tim Montague, Beckman Institute Director of Development, said the feedback from the event has been very positive.

SPRING MENTORING WORKSHOP SCHEDULED
We will be holding our second Beckman Institute Mentoring Workshop April 1-2, 2010. This two-session workshop is open to all Beckman Institute senior (advanced) graduate students and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in pursuing an academic career. The workshop will be led by Beckman Institute faculty members and will include a variety of topics including finding the right institutional fit, putting together a successful CV, negotiating a startup package, understanding the tenure process and much more. Registration information and a complete schedule for the workshop will be available in the coming weeks. Please share the dates with your students and postdocs so they can mark their calendars.

DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES REVIVED IN 2010
The Beckman Institute will be reviving its Distinguished Lecture Series by hosting Dr. Raj Reddy of Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Reddy, who was invited by Narendra Ahuja, is the Mozah Bint Nasser University Professor of Computer Science and Robotics in the School of Computer Science at CMU. His talk, “To Err is Human: Computational Limits to Human Thinking and the Implications for the Design of Human Centered Interfaces,” will be presented on Thursday, March 11 at 3PM in the Beckman Institute Auditorium. A reception will follow.

BECKMAN HOSTING THE SYMPOSIUM ON CONTROL AND MODELING OF BIOMEDICAL SYSTEMS
The Symposium on Control and Modeling of Biomedical Systems will be hosted at the Beckman Institute, April 22-23, 2010. This two-day, single-track symposium will expose academic and clinical researchers to key biomedical problems from the perspective of dynamic system control and modeling in an effort to initiate collaborations and future research directions. Registration is open through April 15 at http://biomedsym.beckman.illinois.edu/index.html, where also a list of invited (and confirmed) speakers can be found.

SPACE RESERVATIONS GROUP CONVERTS TO NEW ONLINE SYSTEM
The Beckman Institute Space Reservations group recently made the switch to a new online registration system. The upgraded system will make it easier to reserve Beckman Institute side conference rooms for either future or daily use, and it provides users with the ability to browse the events calendar, view a list of their pending reservations and much more. The new system is available via the Space Reservations link on the Beckman Institute web site: https://reservations.beckman.illinois.edu. For more information contact spaceres@beckman.illinois.edu or call 217-244-8379.

NEW HIRES
Please welcome the following new hires to the Beckman Institute:

  • Ly Thi Le, Visiting Scholar (K. Schulten)
  • Limei Yu, Visiting Scholar (J. Moore)
  • Matthew Dye, Affiliate Faculty (HPP/HCII)
  • Brendan Kennedy, Visiting Scholar (S. Boppart)
  • Maria Musgaard, Visiting Scholar (E. Tajkhorshid)
  • Kathy Heine, Program Coordinator (E. Jakobsson)
  • Sheng Zhong, Part-Time Faculty (BST/IntIm)

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
February 18, 2010
Director (Interim)
director@beckman.illinois.edu