Weekly Memo

March 25, 2013

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

Call for submissions: I’m pleased to announce that the Dean’s Office has partnered with the Sage Art Center to host our 4th annual Clothesline Festival tent. The Clothesline Festival is one of Rochester’s premier fine arts and craft showcases that takes place on the grounds of the Memorial Art Gallery September 7-8. I invite all faculty, staff, and students to participate in this “hands-on, minds-on” full spectrum contest. The 2013 theme encourages participants to examine the ways in which art, science, and technology imaginatively intersect and innovatively influence our world. Contact Tent Coordinator, Sandra Turner at 275-4151. Click here for contest details and eligibility.
Congratulations to the following faculty members:

Danielle Benoit, assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering and of Chemical Engineering, and a principal investigator with the Center for Musculoskeletal Research, has received a National Institutes of Health R01 grant. The funded project will focus on developing hydrogel-based tissue engineered periosteum mimetics to aid bone allograft healing and integration. Using a novel approach, allograft revitalization will be achieved through stem cell localization and host-mediated vascularization. The award is for $293,569 this year; and up to $1.5 million over a five-year period, depending on availability of funds.

Paul Ampadu, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was in Grenoble, France, last week at the Design, Automation & Test in Europe (DATE) conference, the premier electronic design automation conference in Europe. He gave an invited special session talk, entitled "Breaking the Energy Barrier in Fault-Tolerant Caches for Multicore Systems," looking at solutions to operating caches in the subthreshold and near-threshold voltage regions to improve energy, while managing errors and performance simultaneously. This is particularly useful in battery operated, energy-harvesting, or other energy-constrained sensors, actuators, or processing systems that operate in harsh conditions.

Jeffrey Bigham's ongoing efforts to harness real-time crowds to benefit people with disabilities caught the eye of MIT Technology Review. It has posted a story about Scribe, a program developed by Bigham, assistant professor in Computer Science, and Walter Lasecki, one of his PhD students. Scribe enlists groups of non-expert captionists -- basically anybody who can hear and type -- to generate high-quality, real-time captions on demand to users' mobile devices. Though any one captionist might type only 30 percent of what was actually heard, by the time you apply language-processing algorithms to merge what a handful of captionists were able to capture, you're up to 90 percent accuracy. It beats automatic speech recognition, and it is less expensive than using a professional stenographer. And it could be a big help for deaf and hearing-impaired people.

Is it any wonder I get excited every time I start telling prospective students, alumni and donors about the great things we're doing here at the Hajim School?

Faculty members can get the inside scoop on applying for Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grants at a workshop from 8:30 a.m. to noon, April 18, in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library. Each year more than $2.5 billion in federal funding has been set aside for these programs, which are targeted at helping small companies, including start-ups, with research and product development. Proposals are most likely to succeed when the companies partner with a university or research center. The workshop is free, but seating is limited. Contact Cindy Gary to register. Click here to learn more.

As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean