Mechanical engineering graduate student Kimberley Mac Donald has received the 2018 Gary Cloud Scholarship from the Society for Experimental Mechanics (SEM). The scholarship is in recognition of her unique aspirations to pursue a graduate degree in experimental mechanics and to create new knowledge that leads to sustainable improvements in the human condition. [List of past recipients]
CMS alumnus Ramruthwick “Ruthwick” Pathireddy (BS ’17) is described as curious, ambitious, and rigorous. “When people talk about Caltech, they think of students studying really hard,” Ruthwick says. “While we do study hard, there’s more to it than that. I don’t think people realize the social opportunities that are available here, how enriching the activities are, and how close the entire undergraduate community is. It’s really like a family.” [Breakthrough story]
Professor Harry A. Atwater, Jr. is an advisor to a multi-disciplinary $100-million project aimed at designing a spacecraft that can be launched to planets surrounding other stars and reach them within our lifetime. The Breakthrough Starshot Program has three big technical challenges: The first is to build the so-called photon engine, the laser that's capable of propelling the sail; the second is to design the sail itself; and the third is to design the payload, which will be a tiny spacecraft capable of taking images and spectral data and then beaming them back to the earth. Professor Atwater’s role is to help the program define pathways to making a viable lightsail that's compatible with the other objectives of the whole program. [Caltech story]
Applied and computational mathematics student Ayya Alieva, advised by Professor Houman Owhadi, is a recipient of the 2018 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. Her research interests include active learning problems and tournament graphs. This summer, she will be working as a Summer Analyst at Goldman Sachs. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.
Carver Mead, one of the fathers of modern computing, combines memoir and instruction in new video series. "My feeling is that these days, if it's not on the web, it doesn't exist," Professor Mead says of the decision to launch the new video channel. The video series is available for free on YouTube, and aims to provide a better understanding of the birth and evolution of modern computing, as told by one of its key participants and witnesses. [Caltech story]
Computation and neural systems student Eshan Govil, advised by Professor Thanos Siapas, is a recipient of the 2018 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. He is fascinated by how machines can parallel the human mind, and wants to explore the applications of neurobiological research and neuroengineering to develop smart machinery and brain-computer interfaces. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.
Caltech has recognized three Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) graduates with the Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor regularly bestowed by the Institute. Gary Demos (BS '71, Engineering and Applied Science), Gary A. Flandro (MS '60, PhD '67, Aeronautics), and Ronald H. Willens (BS '53 Physics, MS '54 Mechanical Engineering, PhD '61 Engineering Science). Demos was recognized “for his pioneering achievement in the development of computer-generated images (CGI) for use in motion pictures, and in digital film scanning and recording.” Flandro was recognized for “his seminal contributions to the design and engineering of multi-outer-planet missions, including the Grand Tour, the course set for the epic explorations of the Voyager spacecraft.” Willens was honored for “his innovative and revolutionary contributions to advanced internet connectivity and telecommunications. He pioneered the Remote Authentication Dial-in User Service (RADIUS) as an access server authentication and accounting protocol, which was adapted by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) standards.” [Caltech story] [Techer article]
Electrical engineering student Dong Hyun (Andy) Kim, advised by Professor Azita Emami, is a recipient of the 2018 Henry Ford II Scholar Award. He enjoys exploring the intersection of hardware and software, with a particular interest in intelligent systems. The Henry Ford II Scholar Award is funded under an endowment provided by the Ford Motor Company Fund. The award is made annually to engineering students with the best academic record at the end of the third year of undergraduate study.
Most materials expand when heated. At temperatures below room temperature, silicon shows the opposite behavior, shrinking as it is heated. Even at room temperature the normal thermal expansion of silicon is rather small. A team led by Professor Brent Fultz wanted to know why, and found that the unusual property is the result of quantum effects coupled by the nonlinear forces between atoms in silicon. [Read the paper]
Chiara Daraio, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, and colleagues have developed robots capable of self-propulsion without using any motors, servos, or power supply. Instead, these first-of-their-kind devices paddle through water as the material they are constructed from deforms with temperature changes. "Combining simple motions together, we were able to embed programming into the material to carry out a sequence of complex behaviors," says Caltech postdoctoral scholar Osama R. Bilal, who is co-first author of the PNAS paper is titled "Harnessing bistability for directional propulsion of soft, untethered robots." [Caltech story]