Weekly Memo

Dec. 7, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    We are pleased to announce five more winners of Hajim School International Experience Scholarships, which will help pay the students' study abroad expenses this coming spring. Olasunkanmi Asunmonu '17 of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Hetince Zhao '18 of Biomedical Engineering will study at HKUST (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology); Emily Grey '18 of Biomedical Engineering will be at the University of Sidney; Regan Wortley '17 of Mechanical Engineering will be at Dublin City University; and Grace Caza '17 of Mechanical Engineering will be in Madrid.  The scholarships provide up to $1,000 to help defray the costs of tuition, room and board, books, local transportation, insurance and international airfare. You can learn more here.

     Speaking of study abroad, here's a program that has enabled several Hajim School students to gain valuable research experience in Germany in recent years: DAAD Rise summer internships, which match students with German doctoral students.  Click here to learn more about the program, and here for details about applying. The deadline to apply  is Jan. 15. You also can read testimonials from five of the Hajim School students who participated in this program last summer.

      Thanks to funding from the BRAID initiative to increase diversity in computing, the Department of Computer Science was able to fund 19 young women to attend the recent Grace Hopper Conference in Houston, TX. Undergraduate coordinator Marty Guenther, graduate coordinator Niki Pizzutelli and department chair Sandhya Dwarkadas hosted a booth  at the 3-day Career Fair to recruit graduate students, faculty and generate interest in the Computer Science and Data Science programs at Rochester among the attendees. This was a great opportunity for the students to join more than 12,000 participants in attending talks, networking with corporations, collecting swag, meeting with recruiters, having technical interviews, and, in general, marveling at the scope of the conference and the huge number of women associated with the tech industry. Read more here.

      Edward Brown, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering who was recently featured in a Democrat and Chronicle article, has a paper out showing how a powerful multi-photon laser microscope he built can be used to judge whether breast cancer cells are likely to spread. This is done by viewing tumor biopsies and watching for certain optical patterns emitted by cancer. His discovery is based on a signal called second harmonic generation, which is produced by the collagen and other fibrous matter that surrounds a tumor.  Brown's lab studies how the structure of the fibers impacts the direction of scattered light. The structure of the fibers can also affect the ease with which cancer cells travel. This approach could provide important information for patients at diagnosis, and help women avoid being over-treated with chemotherapy. You can read more about this exciting discovery here.

      Catherine Kuo, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, who joined our faculty this school year, describes her research, which merges embryonic development with engineering to develop 3D tissue regeneration models, in the current issue of Research Connections newsletter.

      Congratulations to:

      Rohit Nayak, a Ph.D. candidate supervised by Prof. Marvin Doyley of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who was awarded "Best Graduate Student Poster" in the Clinical/Translational/Public Health Category at the recent Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) World AIDS Day Symposium. His poster was titled “Visualizing principal strains of the carotid artery using plane wave imaging”   Co-authored by Rifat Ahmed and Marvin Doyley (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Prashant Verma (Physics & Astronomy), Nancy Carson and Vikram Dogra (Imaging Sciences), Meera Singh and Sanjay Maggirwar (Microbiology & Immunology), and Giovanni Schifitto (Neurology), the poster presented the promising results from an ongoing NIH-supported HIV/vascular aging project.

     Alison Christopherson, PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, who gave an outstanding invited talk at the recent 57th meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Plasma Physics in Savannah, GA, attended by about 2,000 scientists from around the world. Alison delivered a talk on the thermonuclear processes occurring in laser fusion implosions, titled "Alpha heating and burning plasmas in Inertial Confinement Fusion."

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean