Weekly Memo

May 18, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Best wishes to all our Hajim School seniors and graduate students who received diplomas yesterday and Saturday. And thanks to University President Joel Seligman, Board of Trustees Chair Edmund Hajim ('58 ChemE), and Richard Rashid ’77 (MA), ’80 (PhD), a Computer Science alumnus, for their remarks at yesterday's diploma ceremony at Kodak Hall. Rashid, who is Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Division, received an honorary doctor of science degree during the College's commencement ceremony. His remarkable career lends credence to his advice to our grads to keep pushing themselves in their professions -- and in their personal lives. Click here to read more about his comments.

    After listing a multitude of student awards the last couple of weeks, it is time to catch up on some noteworthy achievements by our faculty.

    David Williams, the William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics and Director of the Center for Visual Science, and his colleagues will receive a $3.8 million grant from the National Eye Institute to develop a new imaging system that will accelerate development of the next generation of cures for blindness. You can read more here.

     Diane Dalecki, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound, and Denise C. Hocking, Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Physiology, received the Best Paper Award at the Micro- and Nanotechnology Sensors, Systems, and Applications Conference of the SPIE Defense + Security Symposium. Their paper, co-authored by Sally Child, Carol Raeman, and BME graduate students Eric Comeau and Laura Hobbs, detailed three biomedical ultrasound technologies under development in their laboratories to stimulate tissue formation and regeneration. Click here to read more.

    Stephen McAleavey, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, has been awarded a University PumpPrimer II grant for a research project aimed at using ultrasound to characterize non-linear mechanical properties of tissues non-invasively and in vivo. This could improve the differentiation of malignant and benign lesions of the breast without having to resort to biopsies; similarly, it could improve the ability of elastography to distinguish early stages of liver fibrosis. Read more here.

     Nick Vamivakas, Assistant Professor of Quantum Optics and Quantum Physics, and his lab have published a paper showing how tungsten diselenide (WSe2) can be fashioned into an atomically thin semiconductor that serves as a platform for solid-state quantum dots. This could be useful for the integration of quantum photonics with solid-state electronics — the combination known as integrated photonics. Materials Science PhD student Chitraleema Chakraborty is first author; other team members include Optics graduate students Kenneth Goodfellow and Ryan Beams.  Click here to learn more.

    In a paper published recently in Optica, Optics PhD student Fabrizio Buccheri and Xi-Cheng Zhang,  Director of The Institute of Optics and M. Parker Givens Professor of Optics, demonstrated that an approach for generating terahertz waves using intense laser pulses in air – first pioneered in 1993 – can be done with much lower power lasers, a major challenge until now. This could potentially have applications in explosives or drug monitoring. Read more here.

    Tomorrow, 33 graduate students and young faculty members -- nearly half of them from the Hajim School -- will have three minutes each to present their ideas for changing the world. The winner of our inaugural Falling Walls competition, which starts at 1:30 p.m. in Sloan Auditorium, will earn an all-expenses paid trip to the international Falling Walls conference in Berlin this fall. Please plan on stopping by to support these young researchers and scholars; it will be an exciting opportunity to hear about cutting edge ideas that may very well change our world.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean