Celebration of Undergraduate Research


The Computing and Mathematical Sciences (CMS) Department hosted its first Celebration of Undergraduate Research on Friday, May 30th, 2014. Fifteen students/teams participated by presenting their research via a poster and/or demo, and prizes were awarded to the top three teams, as voted by event attendees: First Place: Social Math, presented by Jianchi Chen, Ying Yu Ho, Timothy Holland, and Kexin Rong; Second Place: The Tweet Rises, presented by Aleksander Bello, Alexandru Cioc, Victor Duan, Archan Luhar, and Louis O'Bryan; Third Place: Team Ouroboroy, presented by Moya Chen and James Macdonald.

In addition the following students were recognized for their outstanding academic excellence and/or services to CMS: Erika DeBenedictis, Kevin Chen, David Ding, Angela Gong, Max Hirschhorn, Josie Kishi, Jesse Salomon, Ben Yuan, and Mike Yurko.

Many members of the CMS community attended to learn more about the research projects, and a large numbers of undergrads came to support and celebrate their classmates' hard work. On the heels of this event's success, it has been decided that the Celebration of Undergraduate Research will henceforth be an annual occurrence in CMS."

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Iris Z. Liu Wins 2014 Bhansali Prize


Iris Z. Liu, a senior student in Computer Science advised by Mathieu Desbrun and conducting research with Adam Wierman, is the recipient of the 2014 Bhansali Prize. The Bhansali Prize is awarded to an undergraduate student for outstanding research in Computer Science in the current academic year.

With increased incorporation of renewable energy in the energy grid, energy supply becomes more intermittent. As energy demands increase, demand peak periods become more problematic for energy providers. These problems of fluctuating supply and demand necessitate demand response programs. Iris’ research with Professor Adam Wierman focuses on data centers as a particularly promising industry for demand response. Through a series of simulations, she has shown that data centers provide as much (or even more) flexibility as large-scale storage when incentivized correctly. She has compared the voltage violations and generation costs of data centers versus large-scale storage, given a particular network, demands, and loads. Through this research, she was able to highlight the potential for using data centers as demand response resources.

Tags: honors CMS Mathieu Desbrun Adam Wierman Iris Liu

Dae Hyun Kim Receives 2014 Henry Ford II Scholar Award


Undergraduate student Dae Hyun Kim, working with Professor Adam Wierman, is the recipient of the 2014 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Dae Hyun is studying computer science with broad interests including computer graphics and machine learning, as well as mathematics and neuroscience. This summer, he plans to work with Professor Shinsuke Shimojo in applying a novel eigenvector based method of analyzing brain dynamics to study inter-brain dynamics in social interaction. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to the engineering student with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.

Tags: honors CMS Henry Ford II Scholar Award Adam Wierman Dae Hyun Kim

Maria I. Lopez Wins Schmitt Staff Prize


Maria I. Lopez, Lead Options Administrator in Computing & Mathematical Sciences, has won the Caltech Thomas W. Schmitt Annual Staff Prize. The prize is given to a staff member whose contributions embody the values and spirit that enables Caltech to achieve excellence in research and education. "Lopez is in charge of the organization of annual classes taken by more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students," says one of the anonymous individuals who nominated Lopez for the prize. "Maria gets thanked in every thesis defense that I attend. Her positive attitude has been quite contagious among her peers: she literally invigorated her colleagues to play as a team . . . I do not think it is an exaggeration to state that she is the energy source of the whole department." [Caltech Release]

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Professor Chandy's Paper Wins Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing


Mani Chandy, Simon Ramo Professor of Computer Science, Emeritus, and Leslie Lamport's paper entitled “Distributed Snapshots: Determining Global States of a Distributed System” has received the 2014 Edsger W. Dijkstra Prize in Distributed Computing. This prize is awarded for an outstanding paper on the principles of distributed computing, whose significance and impact on the theory and/or practice of distributed computing has been evident for at least a decade.

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Professor Preskill Elected to the National Academy of Sciences


John Preskill, Richard P. Feynman Professor of Theoretical Physics, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He is a theoretical physicist who began his career in particle physics (in particular, the interface between particle physics and cosmology) before moving to a specialization in quantum information and quantum computing. In 2000, Preskill founded the Institute for Quantum Information with the aim of harnessing principles of quantum mechanics to aid in particularly challenging information-processing tasks. The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare.[Caltech Release]

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Professor Wierman Receives IEEE William R. Bennett Prize


Adam Wierman, Professor of Computer Science, alumnus Minghong Lin (PhD ’13, CS), and colleagues has received the 2014 William R. Bennett Prize for their paper Dynamic Right-Sizing for Power-Proportional Data Centers. The William R. Bennett Prize is awarded annually by the IEEE Communications Society for the best original paper published in any journal financially sponsored or co-sponsored by the Communications Society in the previous three calendar years.

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EE students Win $100K Qualcomm Innovation Fellowships


Professor Babak Hassibi’s students Kishore Jaganathan, and Christos Thrampoulidis as well as Professor Pietro Perona’s students Ron Appel, and Krzysztof Chalupka, have won the 2014 Qualcomm Innovation Fellowship. Jaganathan, and Thrampoulidis’ proposal is entitled Interference Alignment via Matrix Completion for Cellular Networks and Network Coding. Appel, and Chalupka’s proposal is entitled Energy-Efficient Multiclass Classification for Visual Applications on Mobile Devices.  Each winner will receive a $100K fellowship. This year there were 137 submissions and only 9 winners have been announced. Caltech is the only school to have two winning teams. [List of Winners]

Tags: EE honors Pietro Perona Babak Hassibi Kishore Jaganathan Christos Thrampoulidis Ron Appel Krzysztof Chalupka

Professor Pierce Named 2014 Guggenheim Fellow


Niles A. Pierce, Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics and Bioengineering, is one of only two engineers nationwide to be named a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Professor Pierce is working to engineer programmable molecular instruments capable of reading out and regulating the state of biological circuitry within intact biological organisms.

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ENGenious Wins Silver!


The 2013 issue of ENGenious has won a silver award from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII in the Awards of Excellence category of Annual Magazines. The award is given by the CASE District VII Board of Directors and the Awards of Excellence Committee to "superior magazines published once a year." First published in 2001, ENGenious is a publication for alumni and friends of the Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS). The goal of the publication is to highlight the contributions of the EAS faculty, students, and alumni in research, education, and industry. [ENGenious]

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