News & Events


Ask a Caltech Expert: Yaser Abu-Mostafa on AI and Finance


Can AI Predict Economic Downturns? There has been a symbiotic relationship between financial institutions and the artificial intelligence community since the 1980s. That's when the field of neural networks started in earnest. Although there was lots of activity, we can see in hindsight that neural networks did not reach their full potential owing to the lack of computational resources and lack of abundant data. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights Yaser Abu-Mostafa

Minqiang Wang Receives Baxter Young Investigator Award


Minqiang Wang, Postdoctoral Scholar Research Associate in Medical Engineering, working with Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar, has received a first-tier Baxter Young Investigator Award for his work on wearable biosensors for precision nutrition. Baxter's Young Investigator Awards seek to stimulate and reward research applicable to the development of therapies and medical products that save and sustain patients' lives. [Past Winners]

Tags: honors MedE Wei Gao postdocs Minqiang Wang

Mimicking Termites to Generate New Materials


Inspired by the way termites build their nests, researchers at Caltech have developed a framework to design new materials that mimic the fundamental rules hidden in nature's growth patterns. "We thought that by understanding how a termite contributes to the nest's fabrication, we could define simple rules for designing architected materials with unique mechanical properties," says Chiara Daraio, G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Chiara Daraio MCE

Caltech Charts the Course to a Green Electrical Grid


Caltech is working to transform energy systems by developing a "smart grid": a flexible, responsive, efficient, system that incorporates renewable energy sources while meeting growing power demands. "Engineering grand challenges are inspiring much of the research at Caltech, especially in the broad area of sustainability," says Harry Atwater, Otis Booth Leadership Chair, Division of Engineering and Applied Science; Howard Hughes Professor of Applied Physics and Materials Science; Director, Liquid Sunlight Alliance. [Caltech story]

Tags: Harry Atwater Adam Wierman Zachary Lee Kimberly See George Lee

Tweaking Turbine Angles Squeezes More Power Out of Wind Farms


A new control algorithm for wind farms that alters how individual turbines are oriented into the wind promises to boost farms' overall efficiency and energy output by optimizing how they deal with their turbulent wake. "Individual turbines generate choppy air, or a wake, which hurts the performance of every turbine downwind of them," says John O. Dabiri, Centennial Professor of Aeronautics and Mechanical Engineering. "To cope with that, wind farm turbines are traditionally spaced as far apart as possible, which unfortunately takes up a lot of real estate." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE John Dabiri alumni Michael Howland

New Wearable Sensor Detects Even More Compounds in Human Sweat


A team of researchers from Caltech has unveiled a new wearable sensor that can detect in human sweat even minute levels of many common nutrients and biological compounds that can serve as indicators of human health. The sensor technology was developed in the lab of Wei Gao, Assistant Professor of Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute; Ronald and JoAnne Willens Scholar. [Caltech story]

Tags: Wei Gao Medical Engineering Daniel Mukasa Jihong Min Changhao Xu Minqiang Wang Yiran Yang Cui Ye Nicole Heflin

New Research "UNCOVERS" Hidden Objects in High Resolution


Imagine driving home after a long day at work. Suddenly, a car careens out of an obscured side street and turns right in front of you. Luckily, your autonomous car saw this vehicle long before it came within your line of sight and slowed to avoid a crash. This might seem like magic, but a novel technique developed in the laboratory of Changhuei Yang, Thomas G. Myers Professor of Electrical Engineering, Bioengineering, and Medical Engineering; Investigator, Heritage Medical Research Institute, could bring it closer to a reality. "We can see all the traffic on the crossroads with this method. This might help the cars to foresee the potential danger that one is not able to see directly." explains electrical engineering graduate student Ruizhi Cao. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights Changhuei Yang MedE Ruizhi Cao

A Quantitative Snapshot of the Human Impact on the Planet


Caltech researchers have developed a database containing global data on how humans have impacted the planet. The Human Impacts Database is designed to be accessible to scientists, policymakers, and everyday citizens. "In my view, the root to understanding is numeracy: once you have the numbers, it becomes clear what the problems are, which things are significant, and which things are less so," says Rob Phillips, Fred and Nancy Morris Professor of Biophysics, Biology, and Physics. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights alumni Rob Phillips Griffin Chure Rachel Banks

New Optical Switch Could Lead to Ultrafast All-Optical Signal Processing


One of the major limitations of optics-based systems at present is that, at a certain point, they still need to have electronics-based transistors to efficiently process the data. Now, a team led by Alireza Marandi, assistant professor of electrical engineering and applied physics at Caltech, has created an all-optical switch. Such a switch could eventually enable data processing using photons. Device nanofabrication was performed at the Kavli Nanoscience Institute (KNI) at Caltech. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights KNI Alireza Marandi Rajveer Nehra Saman Jahani Luis Ledezma Arkadev Roy Qiushi Guo Ryoto Sekine Robert Gray

Improving Aircraft Design with Machine Learning and a More Efficient Model of Turbulent Airflows


Turbulent airflows are chaotic and unpredictable: consider the bumps and jolts one might experience during an airplane flight encountering turbulent air. With increased knowledge of turbulent airflows, airplane designs could become safer, more resilient, and ultimately more fuel efficient.  H. Jane Bae, Assistant Professor of Aerospace, has developed a way to use machine learning to further improve the design process. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT H. Jane Bae