A New Soliton Offers a Path Toward Compact Molecular Sensing
Scientists know that molecules in our exhaled breath can reveal a vast amount of medical information; for example, sensors to precisely measure minute changes in the concentrations of different vapors in breath may one day replace the standard blood test.” However, no technology is yet available to access this data from exhaled breath in a timely, affordable way. A new process for generating self-reinforcing wave pulses, also known as solitons, may pave the way toward bringing optical molecular sensing out of the lab and into medical devices with a compact footprint.
American Institute of Mathematics Moves to Caltech
The American Institute of Mathematics (AIM), an independent nonprofit organization funded in part by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is moving to Caltech's campus from its current home in the Bay Area. AIM organizes and funds focused collaborations among pure and applied mathematicians, theoretical biologists, computer scientists, physicists, and other scientists working on long-standing math problems. "The arrival of AIM at Caltech will build new bridges between math, applied math, and computational science, and will shine a spotlight on the role that mathematical thinking plays across all our departments and options," 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]
ME72: Live and In-Person Once More
Robots from five teams battled one another on the Ramo Auditorium stage on March 10, 2022. The all-day competition was the final exam for the ME72 Engineering Design Laboratory course, which is taught by Michael Mello, Teaching Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering. Each year, students in the two-term class are asked to design and build robots that meet particular criteria with the goal of having the machines square off in a design competition at the end of the second term. This was the 37th annual edition of the competition, which—in the years before the pandemic—always drew large crowds of student spectators as well as attention from media outlets. Overall, Mello says he is proud of all of the robots his students built. "I think we could enter some of these bots in an international competition and do pretty well," he says. [Caltech story]
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