Weekly Memo

Feb. 16, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Engineering students have traditionally been underrepresented in study abroad programs, with a 3.9 percent participation rate nationwide. Even  at 16 percent in the Hajim School, we lag behind other disciplines. That's not good enough. Not in this era of unprecedented globalization.  We would like at least 25 percent of our students to have a study abroad experience, and to help make that happen, we are now offering scholarships of up to $500 to Hajim School students to help defray any additional costs for tuition, books and travel. These are competitive scholarships, and in return we ask recipients to help spread the word about the benefits of study abroad when they return. Some of our students who studied abroad last semester are doing just that. Check out these testimonials from Brendan Coli of ChemE, Zachary Jenkins of BME and Ian Davison of Computer Science. And click here for more details about those scholarships. Applications for Summer/Fall 2015 are due April 1.

    Congratulations to Danielle Benoit, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering and of Chemical Engineering, for receiving an NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. This is NSF's most prestigious award in support of early career teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization. Danielle received her award for her proposal "Polymer therapeutics for bone regeneration: next-generation osteoporosis treatments." Her research seeks to develop drug delivery approaches to efficiently and specifically target anabolic drugs to bone to develop novel treatments for osteoporosis. Successful completion of this research will significantly advance therapeutic strategies for osteoporosis, and the approaches developed will be readily adaptable to treat other bone diseases. Well done, Danielle!

     Jiebo Luo, Professor of Computer Science, is on a roll. With PhD student Quanzeng You and researchers at Adobe Research, he has come up with a more accurate way to train computers to digest data that comes in the form of images.  In a paper presented at the American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference in Austin, Texas, they describe a progressive training deep convolutional neural network (CNN). The trained computer can then be used to determine what sentiments these images are likely to elicit. Jiebo says that this information could be useful for things as diverse as measuring economic indicators or predicting elections. Click here to learn more. As noted in last week's memo, Jiebo also has a paper out about an innovative approach to turn any computer or smartphone with a camera into a personal mental health monitoring device.

     Congratulations as well to the Haptech team, which is one of four teams to make it to the U.S. finals of the Microsoft Imagine Cup competition and also is a finalist for the Cornell Cup.  Team members are Morgan Sinko '16 CSC,  Lucian Copeland '15 ECE, Jordan Brooks '15 MechE,  Kian Jones '17 CSC, Alexander Matthers '15 BME,  Casey Waldren '17 CSC, Christian Freitas '16 BME, Gary Ge '16 ECE/BME, and Minsoo Lee '16 ECE. If you haven't seen it already, be sure to look at this video about the team's project.

    Electrical and Computer Engineering is kicking off what promises to be a very interesting guest lecturer series on Wednesday when Douglas Hall of Propeller Music in New York City will discuss how he creates music for TV commercials. Doug, one of the industry's most accomplished composers, will talk from noon to 1 p.m.,  in  Room 209 of the Computer Studies Building.  The lecture series, featuring open discussions with industry professionals, is offered in conjunction with the new Audio for Visual Media class (AME 194) offered through our Audio and Music Engineering program. All students are invited to attend; pizza and soda will be provided.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean