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Caltech and Disney Engineers Collaborate on Robotics

01-18-18

Caltech and Disney Research have entered into a joint research agreement to pioneer robotic control systems and further explore artificial intelligence technologies. Pietro Perona will work with Disney roboticist Martin Buehler to create navigation and perception software that could allow robotic characters to safely move through dense crowds and interact with people. Aaron Ames will work with Disney Research's Lanny Smoot to further explore robot autonomy and machine learning by creating objects that can self-navigate and perform stunts. Yisong Yue has been working with engineers from Disney Research on the use of machine learning to analyze the behavior of soccer players and to measure audience engagement. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MCE CMS Pietro Perona Yisong Yue Aaron Ames

Professor Ames Receives 2017 Okawa Foundation Research Grant

07-06-17

Aaron Ames, Bren Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and Control and Dynamical Systems, is a recipient of a 2017 Okawa Foundation Research Grant for his research project entitled "Safety-Critical Autonomy in Robotic Locomotion". This prize honors top young researchers working in the fields of information and telecommunications.

Tags: honors MCE CMS Aaron Ames

Winners of the 2017 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes Announced

06-07-17

The student winners of the 2017 Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes have been announced. Manuel Alejandro Monge Osorio received the prize in Biotechnology for his work with Professor Azita Emami which involves developing novel techniques for the miniaturization of implantable medical electronics in two important pillars: localization of medical devices and electrical stimulation. Pinaky Bhattacharyya was the recipient of the prize in Seismo-Engineering, Prediction, and Protection for his work with Professor Jim Beck investigating an information-theoretic approach to the problem of the optimal sensor placement for Bayesian system identification of structures using response time-history data. Bryan M. Hunter, working with Professor Harry Gray, received the prize in Environmentally Benign Renewable Energy Sources for his work on the development and characterization of a nickel-iron layered double hydroxide water oxidation catalyst with the goal of developing a solar-driven device for the synthesis of fuels, with hydrogen production as a target. The winner of the prize in Nanotechnology was Anupama Thubagere Jagadeesh whose research interests are focused on understanding the engineering principles behind designing and synthesizing programmable molecular machines.. Anupama’s graduate advisor was Professor Lulu Qian. The prize in Entrepreneurship was given to Ken Y. Chan who was advised by Professor Viviana Gradinaru. His research interests lie in developing tissue clearing technologies to render whole organs transparent for optical investigation..

Tags: EE honors MedE MCE CMS Demetriades - Tsafka - Kokkalis Prizes James Beck Lulu Qian Harry Gray Azita Emami Manuel Alejandro Monge Osorio Pinaky Bhattacharyya Bryan Hunter Ken Chan Viviana Gradinaru Anupama Thubagere Jagadeesh

Kun ho (John) Kim Receives 2017 Henry Ford II Scholar Award

05-09-17

Computer science and mechanical engineering student Kun ho (John) Kim is a recipient of the 2017 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. John is working with Professors Burdick and Perona to develop novel machine learning methods for medical applications and crowd sourced data mining. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to the engineering student with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors MCE CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award Pietro Perona Joel Burdick Kun ho (John) Kim

One Step at a Time: A Conversation with Professor Ames

05-05-17

Aaron Ames, Bren Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, handbuilds bipedal robots and designs the algorithms that govern how they walk. These algorithms couple efficiency equations with boundary constraints to teach robots to generate their own walking gait. [Interview with Professor Ames]

Tags: research highlights MCE CMS Aaron Ames

The Future is Autonomous

05-01-17

On April 19, 2017 Electrical Engineering alumnus Evangelos Simoudis (BS '83) moderated a panel titled "The Road Ahead: A Panel on the Future of Driverless Vehicles," hosted by the Caltech Associates. The panel members were Professors Mory Gharib, Richard Murray, and Pietro Perona, along with Reuters automotive industry reporter, Paul Lienert. They discuss a variety of opportunities and challenges associated with autonomous technologies and systems. Beyond the legal and ethical challenges, several technological obstacles must be overcome before driverless cars become common on the road. One key challenge is teaching driverless cars how to read the behavior of other cars and react accordingly. Professor Perona described the problem of a car attempting to merge onto a crowded freeway. A driverless car would see an impenetrable wall of vehicles, but a human driver could edge forward and wave at other drivers to work his or her way into the line of traffic. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE GALCIT CMS Morteza Gharib Pietro Perona alumni Richard Murray Evangelos Simoudis Paul Lienert

Professor Beck Receives Housner Medal

04-14-17

James L. Beck, George W. Housner Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus, has been selected by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Engineering Mechanics Institute to receive the 2017 George W. Housner Structural Control and Monitoring Medal “For his exceptional and influential scholarship in structural monitoring and control research, and for his leadership in tackling uncertainty and model complexity through probabilistic approaches with emphasis on Bayesian methods.”

Tags: honors MCE CMS James Beck

Engineers Explore New Media Art

03-14-17

Students in Professor Hillary Mushkin’s media arts seminar (E/H/Art 89 New Media Arts in the 20th and 21st Centuries) displayed and discussed their projects at a recent campus event. The projects used a variety of approaches to explore cyberspace, gaming, the internet, and privacy. [List of projects]

Tags: EE MCE CMS Hillary Mushkin

New President of the French Academy of Sciences

02-02-17

Alumnus Sébastien Candel (PhD '72) has been elected as president of the French Academy of Sciences (Académie des sciences, Institut de France). The Academy, which was created in 1666, is committed to the advancement of science and advises government authorities on scientific issues.  Candel obtained his PhD in mechanical engineering and applied mathematics from Caltech and is a receipient of the Caltech Distinguished Alumni Award for his contributions to aerospace. [Caltech story] [Candel's Marble Lecture]

Tags: GALCIT MCE CMS alumni Sébastien Candel

Visualization Brings Data to Life

10-28-16

Students participating in Caltech's Data Visualization program aim to tackle cumbersome data-manipulation problem such as how to drive a rover on Mars from a command room on Earth. One of the goals of the program is to develop innovative software to streamline the ways in which scientists and engineers visually manipulate their data. "We use a human-centered design methodology," Professor Mushkin says. "Design students create sketches and ask the researchers to 'interact' with them by pointing, talking, shuffling, and annotating the paper, while computer science students create rough drafts of a variety of possible approaches to coding the visualization." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MCE CMS Hillary Mushkin