Weekly Memo

April 28, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Congratulations to several Hajim School students and faculty members.

     Racquel (Ivy) Awuor, a junior in Electrical & Computer Engineering, has been awarded an American Heart Association Founders Affiliate Undergraduate Student Summer Fellowship. The fellowship was awarded for her proposal titled, "Development of Nonlinear Intravascular Ultrasound System for Imaging the Vasa Vasorum in Coronary Arteries." Ivy will spend this summer conducting her research  in Assoc. Prof. Marvin Doyley's lab.  The American Heart Association supports highly promising undergraduate students with full-time research fellowships over a minimum of ten weeks during the summer to encourage students to pursue careers in cardiovascular research. Well done, Raquel!

    Computer Science junior Tait Madsen won a first-place prize in the Undergraduate Writing Colloquium Contest for the natural and applied sciences category. This award recognizes excellent undergraduate writing at the University of Rochester. The essay, “Vowel Shapes: An open-source, interactive tool to assist singers with learning vowels,” was written by Tait and his team in the Human-Computer Interaction class taught by Asst. Prof. Ehsan Hoque. Read more about their project here. Special acknowledgement to Marty Guenther, the department's undergraduate coordinator, for encouraging faculty members to nominate students for this competitive award.

    Alexander Shestopalov, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, has a paper out showing how to reliably control the current that flows through a circuit that is the width of a single molecule. This moves us a step closer to to nanoscale circuitry. You can read more here. Good work, Alex.

    More good news from Profs. Krystel Huxlin, Wayne Knox, and Jon Ellis, who have won a CTSI Incubator Program “super-pilot project” award for their work to develop a Noninvasive Approach to Vision Correction using Femtosecond Lasers. The awards are designed to accelerate innovative scientific discovery in the life sciences and public health, leading to new independently funded research programs. The award is funded at $125,000 per year for two years. “The URMC Scientific Advisory Council was impressed by the very strong potential of your work to have a major impact in the field. This is precisely the type of high-risk and high-reward science that the SAC incubator program was created to support,” noted Stephen Dewhurst, SMD's Vice Dean for Research and Associate Vice President for Health Sciences Research.

     More than 60 participants and a half dozen corporate sponsors supported the Spring 2014 RocHack Hackathon recently at Rettner Hall. "The goal? Come to the hackathon with an idea, work on it for 24 hours, complete as much coding and rapid prototyping as possible, then present the work—and potentially win prizes. Sleep is optional," writes Sofia Tokar in an article at The Buzz. Kudos to Steve Gattuso ’16 and Dan Hassin ’16 of Computer Science, who organized the event and plan to hold another RocHack Hackathon next spring; they are considering making the event a semi-annual one. “Most of the hackers this year were Rochester students,” says Hassin. “But with some more advertising and promotion, we hope to increase participation from area colleges and universities. We also want to encourage more people who are new to computer science to attend.”

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean