Weekly Memo

Oct. 26, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    David Williams, the William G. Allyn Professor of Medical Optics, Director of the Center for Visual Science and Dean for Research in Arts, Science and Engineering, received the William Procter Prize for Scientific Achievement from the Sigma Xi scientific research society on Saturday for his "outstanding achievement in scientific research and demonstrated ability to communicate the significance of this work to scientists in other disciplines." David, who pioneered the use of adaptive optics technologies for vision applications, joins elite company. Past recipients have included Jane Goodall, Vannevar Bush and Margaret Mead. In addition to his own award, David was asked to select a younger scientist to receive a $5,000 grant-in-aid of research. He chose Sarah Walters, a PhD student at The Institute of Optics and Center for Visual Science. Read more here.

    Congratulations to both, and to:

    Engin Ipek, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who has been awarded two NSF grants. One, for $298,283, will support development of a new class of hardware accelerators for large-scale combinatorial optimization based on memristive Boltzmann Machines. This project "embodies a radically different vision of the future . . . where large scale combinatorial optimization problems are mapped onto a memory-centric, non-Von Neuman compute substrate and solved in situ within the memory cells, with orders of magnitude greater performance and energy efficiency than contemporary supercomputers." Engin, along with co-PIs Eby Friedman, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Ji Liu, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, has also received a $93,000 EAGER grant to design and implement "next generation, exascale supercomputing by leveraging recent developments at the intersection of conventional integrated circuit technology, and emerging resistive random access memory (RRAM) devices. The goal is the acceleration of solvers for large linear systems, which form the backbone of modern scientific computing."

    Daniel Nikolov, also a PhD student in Optics, who has received a Donald M. and Janet C. Barnard Fellowship from the College of Arts, Science and Engineering in recognition of his research record and his exceptional commitment to mentoring, outreach and service.

     Former Institute of Optics acting director and professor Ian Walmsley '86 (PhD Optics) of Oxford University in England, who has been elected to serve as president of The Optical Society (OSA) in 2018. Read more . . .

    Hajim School students, staff and faculty interested in entrepreneurship training and in identifying and developing valuable product opportunities from their academic research, can apply to the University of Rochester’s I-Corps Site program by Nov. 16 for grants of up to $3,000. The NSF-funded program teaches the basics of entrepreneurship and helps teams grow and refine their venture ideas and develop a commercialization strategy. This will enable teams to either transition their work into the marketplace or apply for the NSF's six-week intensive  I-Corps Team training program with the opportunity to be awarded a $50,000 grant. Read more here.

   Multiple scholarships, administered through the Rochester Engineering Society, are awarded annually at a minimum of $1,000 each to recognize outstanding engineering, science or technology students who reside or are enrolled in ABET-accredited programs in Monroe County and adjoining counties. Hajim School undergraduates who have completed two years or have junior status, and who maintain a 3.0 GPA, are eligible to apply. Click here for detailed instructions.  Deliver or mail all required application items by Friday, Jan. 15, 2016 to: The Rochester Engineering Society, 657 East Avenue, Rochester, New York 14607.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean