January 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 76: January 2016

Image Formation and Processing Team Top U.S. Finisher in Global Image Challenge
A group of graduate students at the Beckman Institute was the top U.S. finisher and third overall in one category of the ImageNet Large Scale Visual Recognition Challenge (ILSVRC). Contested each year since 2010, ImageNet added video and scene classification categories this year, and Illinois’ Image Formation Processing team (UIUC-IFP), led by Thomas Huang, claimed third in the video category behind only universities from Hong Kong and South Korea, while another team formed by IFP and Microsoft Research Redmond (UIUCMSR) placed 11th overall in the very large-scale scene classification competition.

Hovakimyan Receives 2015 SWE Achievement Award
Naira Hovakimyan, affiliate in Human Perception and Performance and professor of mechanical science and engineering, has received the Society of Women Engineers 2015 Achievement Award – the society’s highest honor. The award recognizes Hovakimyan’s significant contributions to mathematical control theory and its application in safety-critical systems.

Jin Receives IEEE Award
Jianming Jin, from Beckman's Bioimaging Science and Technology Group, has received the Chen-To Tai Distinguished Educator Award from the IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society.

Christian Receives Whitehall Foundation Grant
Catherine Christian, an affiliate in the NeuroTech Group, has been named the recipient of a three-year $225,000 Whitehall Foundation grant. Christian will use the grant to study the inner workings of astrocyte cells within the brain to gain an understanding of how they may aid in the formulation of behavior.

Adesida Receives 2016 TMS Functional Materials John Bardeen Award
Ilesanmi Adesida, affiliate faculty member in the Nanoelectronics and Nanomaterials Group, has been recognized by the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS) for his contributions to the field of electronic materials.

Bashir Elected Fellow of BMES
Rashid Bashir, affiliate faculty member in 3D Micro- and Nanosystems, recently was named a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Fellow status is awarded to BMES members who demonstrate exceptional achievements and experience in the field of biomedical engineering with a record of membership and participation in the Society. A portion of a Fellow’s annual dues funds BMES activities and student awards.

Former Beckman Fellow Named Distinguished Professor
Christina Grozinger, Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow in 2001, was named a distinguished professor in the Department of Entomology at Penn State University. While at Beckman, Grozinger worked with David Clayton and Gene Robinson in the NeuroTech Group.

The following grants were awarded between November, 10, 2015 and December 31, 2015.

  • Gene and Pathway Classification of Yeast Cells Encapsulated in Extra Cellular Matrices (PI: Jakobbson, UNM)
  • Unsupervised Deep Neural Network Architectures for Multimodal Learning (PI: Huang, DOD through MIT)
  • GlaxoSmithKline Center for Optical Molecular Imaging (PI: Boppart, GSK)

‘Tis the season for award funding for a number of awards and fellowships sponsored through the Beckman Institute. Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to apply.

Graduate students can apply for the Graduate Fellows Program, go.illinois.edu/bi_graduate. Applications due FEB. 22, 2016. Female graduate students in engineering conducting research in medical imaging are encouraged to apply for the Nadine Barrie Smith Memorial Fellowship: go.illinois.edu/bi_barriesmith. Deadline: MARCH 11, 2016. The Thomas and Margaret Huang Award for Graduate Research supports graduate students in Human-Computer Intelligent Interaction (HCII) at the Beckman Institute, go.illinois.edu/bi_huang. Deadline: MARCH 11, 2016

Other awards and application information:
New this year, the Beckman Undergraduate Fellows Program, supported by funding from the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation, offers University of Illinois undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue interdisciplinary research at the Institute. go.illinois.edu/beckmanundergraduatefellow
The Erik Haferkamp Memorial Award for Undergraduate Research allows a promising undergraduate neuroscientist to pursue research at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology during the summer. go.illinois.edu/bi_haferkamp.
The Janssen Family Undergraduate Research Award allows a promising undergraduate to pursue research in neuroscience or psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology during the summer. Preference will be given to female applicants. go.illinois.edu/bi_janssen
The Carle Neuroscience Institute Undergraduate Research Award allows a promising undergraduate to pursue research in neuroscience or psychology at the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology during the summer. go.illinois.edu/CarleNeuroscienceUndergradAward

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will prohibit self-balancing personal transportation motorized devices, known as “hoverboards,” in any campus owned, leased, occupied, or controlled facilities beginning Monday, January 18.

The campus is adopting this policy as a temporary measure until the safety concerns associated with hoverboards have been resolved. The Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have issued alerts about the potential fire hazard current-model hoverboards can present.

Although the prohibition does not apply to outdoor areas such as university-owned streets, sidewalks, walkways, and parking lots, individuals using hoverboards to travel on campus will not be able to bring the hoverboards into any university buildings and should consider whether to bring them to campus at all.

The Communications Office has a number of resources to help you with presentations. See our web page for a Beckman Powerpoint and poster template, the Beckman wordmark, and other resources: beckman.illinois.edu/about/services/communications-office

We are happy to publicize news related to Beckman research (publications, grant funding, etc.) and can help connect researchers with the University of Illinois News Bureau. Contact Maeve Reilly, mjreilly@illinois.edu, for more information.


New High-Pressure Freezing/Freeze Substitution System
Thursday, Jan. 21, NOON
High-pressure freezing/freeze substitution (HPF/FS) is a proven means of preparing biological samples for transmission electron microscopy (TEM) with perhaps the highest quality preservation of cellular components possible to date. It is useful in the imaging of eukaryotic and non-eukaryotic specimens -- from animal cells and tissue to nematodes to bacteria, Archaea, and extremophiles. Using matching funds from a number of campus departments and the Office of the Vice Chancellor of Research, the University of Illinois has purchased an HPF/FS system, which is being installed in the Microscopy Suite at the Beckman Institute. This one-hour seminar will introduce the system. Pizza and soft drinks will be provided.

Annual Society of Postdoctoral Scholars Research Symposium
February 3-5, 2016
Beckman Institute

Director’s Seminar
Noon February 4, 1005 Beckman Institute
“Application of Fuzzy Transcription to Automatic Speech Recognition,” Preethi Jyothi, Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow

“Activational and Cellular Changes in the Adult Auditory Cortex Following Developmental Exposure to PCBs in Rats,” Renee Sadowski, Beckman Postdoctoral Fellow

weSTem (Women Empowered in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Conference
Feb. 6, 2016, Illini Union
For more information: http://westemillinois.com/

Graduate Student Seminar
Noon, February 10, Room 1005
George Nikolaidis - Human Perception and Performance
Hanna Ericsson - Bioimaging Science and Technology
Yu Hao Liu - 3D Micro- and Nanosystems

Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL) Student Conference
February 18-19, 2016 at CSL
Themes: Machine Learning and Decision and Control
All interested candidates working in relevant fields are welcome to apply by submitting an abstract at studentconference/csl.illinois.edu. DEADLINE: Jan. 22, 2016.

Discoveries in Bioimaging REU
May 23-July 29, 2016
Undergraduates are invited to spend 10 weeks during Summer 2016 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign training and performing research at the forefront of biomedicine using advanced imaging and microscopy technologies. http://reu.bioengineering.illinois.edu/

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.

From the Director:
As we begin the Spring 2016 semester, I’d like to welcome you all back to campus and the Beckman Institute. As many of you know, this will be my last spring serving as director of the Institute. I will be working closely with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and the as-yet-to-be-named interim director to make the transition smooth for all of you.

In the meantime, I know we all have a lot that we want to accomplish. I look forward to working with all of you throughout the spring and beyond, as many of my research activities at Illinois will be continuing.

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