April 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 19: April 2010


UPCOMING RESEARCH THEME REVIEW: HUMAN-COMPUTER INTELLIGENT INTERACTION
The Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction research theme will be reviewed during the first week of May. Each of the four Beckman Institute research themes is reviewed by an expert panel of every four years. The reviews provide valuable feedback about the theme’s progress and future directions. The co-chairs for HCII are Tom Huang and Art Kramer. Research groups within HCII include Artificial Intelligence (group leader: Stephen Levinson), Human Perception and Performance (group leader: Art Kramer), and Image Formation and Processing (group leader: Tom Huang). This year’s review team consists of four external members and two internal (to campus).

AMS GROUP CONTRIBUTES TO MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry opened its new Science Storms exhibit on March 18. The exhibits include “Atoms”, in which visitors can learn about topics ranging from atomic properties to materials behaviors. The Autonomous Materials Systems (AMS) group at Beckman is featured in the exhibit with self-healing and microvascular polymers. Material samples containing self-healing microcapsules provide visitors hands-on interaction. These samples “bleed” when broken as the liquid contents of the microcapsules are released upon rupture. Healing occurs within minutes, providing the visitors with an immediate appreciation for the concept of self-healing. Beckman post-doctoral researcher Susan Odom organized the AMS installation with help from students in the AMS group. They were under the direction of Beckman faculty: Jeff Moore, Scott White, Nancy Sottos, and Jennifer Lewis. The exhibit is expected to last 20-30 years before future modifications. The Beckman Institute will continue to provide samples for demonstrations to the museum, which receives 1.5 million visitors each year. Congratulations to our AMS group for elevating promotion of their research outputs and thereby promotion of the Institute to this new level, and showcasing their work in this rarely chartered territory.

POWERS ELECTED TO AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND LETTERS
Congratulations to Richard Powers, a member of Beckman’s Cognitive Neuroscience group, who has been elected as a member of the prestigious American Academy of Arts and Letters. Composed of 250 architects, artists, composers and writers, the academy fosters and sustains interest in literature, music, and the fine arts by identifying and encouraging individual artists. http://www.news.illinois.edu/news/10/0413powers.html

LIANG AND HALDAR AWARDED BEST PAPER AT ISBI
The paper “Spatiotemporal Imaging with Partially Separable Functions: A Matrix Recovery Approach” by Justin Haldar and Zhi-Pei Liang was awarded a best paper award from the IEEE International Symposium on Biomedical Imaging (ISBI). ISBI is the IEEE flagship meeting on biomedical imaging. This year’s meeting was held in Rotterdam, April 14-17. Congratulations Justin and Zhi-Pei!

BRAUN RECEIVES AWARD FROM THE HUMBOLDT FOUNDATION
Congratulations to Paul Braun who was recently selected for a “Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award” from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. This award honors scholars who are internationally renowned in their field and who completed their doctorates less than 18 years ago. They are also selected based on their promise to continue producing cutting-edge achievements.

GRANT FUNDING
Congratulations to the following investigators who have received grant funding during the one-month period of March 9 - April 14, 2010:

  • Neural systems for the dynamic use of memory (PI: J. Voss; Sponsor: NIH)
  • Petascale molecular dynamics data processing system (PI: K. Schulten; Sponsor: NIH)
  • Label free imaging of blood smears and tissue biopsies (PI: G. Popescu; Sponsor: NIH)
  • Medtable: An EMR strategy to promote patient medication understanding and use (PI: D. Morrow; Sponsor: NIH)

NEW HIRE
Please welcome the following new hire to the Beckman Institute:
Cecile Grivaz, Visiting Scholar (R. Girju)


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
April 21, 2010
Director (Interim)
director@beckman.illinois.edu