February 2016 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.

Issue 77: February 2016


State of the Beckman Institute
3 pm Thursday, April 7, Beckman Auditorium
Beckman Institute Director Art Kramer will provide comments regarding Beckman Institute and introduce the interim director. Mark your calendars!

Recently Awarded

Paris Smaragdis, part-time faculty member in Artificial Intelligence and assistant professor in computer science, recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER award to pursue research in computation and sound, specifically in scaling source separation to big audio data. Smaragdis is an expert in working with machine learning techniques and signal processing as it applies to audio data.
Klara Nahrstedt, affiliate in the Imaging Formation and Processing Group and professor of computer science, has been named to the inaugural list of “10 Women in Networking/Communications That You Should Know” by Networking Networking Women (N2Women), a program of SIGMOBILE. Nahrstedt is the Ralph and Catherine Fisher Professor of Computer Science and the director of the multidisciplinary Coordinated Science Laboratory at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Lui Sha, affiliate in Artificial Intelligence and professor of computer science, and his colleagues John Lehoczky and Ragunathan Rajkumar (both from Carnegie Mellon University) were named co-recipients of the 2016 IEEE Simon Ramo Medal. IEEE Medals are the highest distinctions that the IEEE presents, and the medals reflect the significant and broad IEEE interests and purposes. The three recipients of the Simon Ramo Medal are being recognized “for technical leadership and contributions to fundamental theory, practice, and standardization for engineering real-time systems.”
A paper by Nancy Sottos, part-time faculty member in the Autonomous Materials Systems Group and Willett Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been selected to receive the 2016 Hetényi Award from the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM). The award is given annually for the best research paper published in Experimental Mechanics in a given year. The paper, “In Situ Measurements of Strains in Composite Battery Electrodes during Electromechanical Cycling,” E. M. C. Jones, M. N. Silberstein, S. R. White, N. R. Sottos, Experimental Mechanics, July 2014, 54 (6), 971-985, was selected by the SEM honors committee from among a group of outstanding papers nominated by the Experimental Mechanics editorial board. 

Reestablish Your Printer Connections!

On Tuesday, March 1, Beckman Institute Information Technology Services (ITS) will be upgrading to a new print server (replacing bi-print.beckman.illinois.edu).  As a result of this upgrade, users will need to reestablish their printer connections.  For further details please see: http://beckman.illinois.edu/its/printer-upgrade-preview or contact the ITS Help Desk at 244-2904 or email helpdesk@beckman.illinois.edu.

New Employees

Welcome to the following recently appointed employees:

  • Xiangming Li, Visiting Scholar (P.Braun)
  • Martin Schnell, Visiting Scholar (S. Carney)
  • Najah Imane Bentabet, Visiting Scholar (K. Schulten)
  • Heeyoung Choo, Postdoctoral Research Associate (D. Beck)

Grants Awarded

The following grants were awarded between January 1, 2016, and February 15, 2016.

    • Horizon 2020: Individual Fellowship (PI: Carney, Asociatcion Centro Investgacion Coop Nanocencias CIC nanoGUNE)


SciTechNow on WILL-TV
7:30 pm Friday, March 4
Teaching Bert: iCub Robot Learns about the World
Can also be seen on Beckman’s YouTube site: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JBImFrI6h7Q

Graduate Student Seminars
Noon, March 9, Room 1005

  • Joanne Li - Bioimaging Science and Technology
  • Cassandra Jacobs - Cognitive Science
  • Angela Barragan - Theoretical and Computational Biophysics

SmithGroup Lecture
Noon Friday, April 15, Beckman Auditorium
“Mechanisms of Brain Network and Brain State Training,” Michael Posner, professor emeritus, Department of Psychology, University of Oregon

Good-bye Party for Art Kramer, Director of the Beckman Institute
Join us in the Beckman Atrium from 3-5 pm on Thursday, April 21, as we celebrate Art’s accomplishments as Beckman director and wish him luck in his future endeavors.

Note from the Director

As you all know, there is much concern about the State of Illinois budget and its impact on higher education. Plan to join me at 3 pm Thursday, April 7, in the Beckman Auditorium as we present an update on the Institute and introduce the interim director.

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, our web site 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 feature stories on our research programs.

Art Kramer
Director, Beckman Institute