From the Ground Up

What's it like to build an entire research program from scratch? It's all about becoming part of a community, according to three brand-new professors who chat about their experiences in "From the Ground Up," an article in the Spring 2012 issue of Caltech's Engineering & Science magazine.

Leadbetter Elected Fellow of American Academy of Microbiology

Jared R. Leadbetter, professor of environmental microbiology, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows of the academy are elected annually through a selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

Caltech Offers Online Course with Live Lectures in Machine Learning

Anyone anywhere can watch one of Caltech's most popular courses on machine learning, complete with live lectures, beginning April 3. Every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the spring term, Yaser Abu-Mostafa, professor of electrical engineering and computer science at Caltech, will deliver lectures for his Learning From Data class live on Caltech's Ustream channel. 

Liquid-like Materials May Pave Way for New Thermoelectric Devices

In the continual quest for better thermoelectric materials—which convert heat into electricity and vice versa—researchers have identified a liquid-like compound whose properties give it the potential to be even more efficient than traditional thermoelectrics.

ME 72 Robots Prepared to Take Over Caltech's Millikan Pond

Robots designed and built by Caltech undergraduate students will battle in head-to-head competition on Thursday, March 8, in what has been dubbed "The Conquest of Millikan Islands," this year's ME 72 Engineering Design Contest. Setup for the contest, which has become a popular event in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, begins at 1 p.m. at Millikan Pond, and the competition is scheduled to begin around 2 p.m.

Plasmas Torn Apart

Using high-speed cameras to look at jets of plasma in the lab, Caltech researchers have made a discovery that may be important in understanding phenomena like solar flares and in developing nuclear fusion as a future energy source.

Two Caltech Researchers Receive Frontiers of Knowledge Award

For their work in information and communication technologies, and biomedicine, Carver Mead, Moore Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Applied Science, and Alexander Varshavsky, Smits Professor of Cell Biology, have been honored by the BBVA Foundation as recipients of 2011 Frontiers of Knowledge awards. 

Rosakis Receives Commandeur de l'Ordre des Palmes Academiques

Ares Rosakis, von Kármán Professor of Aeronautics and professor of mechanical engineering, and chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science, has been selected to receive the Commandeur de l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques—the Commander grade of the French Republic's Order of Academic Palms. 

New Faculty Members in EAS Zoom in on the Nanoscale

Three new faculty members in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS) have big ideas about really small things. Assistant professors Hyuck Choo, Dennis Kochmann, and Austin Minnich focus on quite different challenges, but they all home in on the nanoscale, where they manipulate, model, and measure structures and phenomena at the level of individual atoms.

Caltech Faculty Receive Gates Foundation Grants for Global Health Initiatives

On December 15, the Gates Foundation and Grand Challenge Canada announced over $31 million in new grants to help advance healthcare in the developing world. James Heath, Gilloon Professor and professor of chemistry, and Axel Scherer, Neches Professor of Electrical Engineering, Applied Physics, and Physics, were among the 12 grant recipients who will be funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Caltech was the only organization to receive more than one award.

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