Weather Patterns Can Be Used to Forecast Rotavirus Outbreaks
By correlating weather factors like temperature, rain and
Elena Naumova, professor of civil and environmental
engineering, is able to
predict the timing and intensity of
rotavirus, a disease that causes extreme diarrhea,
dehydration and thousands of death annually, particularly
among children. Her research focused on one of the
hardest-hit regions of the world, South Asia.
Nan Yi Wins Student Award from the Materials Research Society
Yi, a chemical and biological engineering graduate
student in Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos' Nano
Catalysis & Energy Laboratory (NanoCel),
received the Graduate Student Silver Award from the
Materials Research Society (MRS).
This award is "intended to honor and encourage graduate
students whose academic achievements and current materials
research display a high level of excellence and
distinction." Nan is the first Tufts graduate student to win
Matt Panzer Wins Grant from Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) named
assistant professor in the Department of Chemical and
Biological Engineering, as one of several researchers to
receive a grant under the
MassCEC Catalyst Program, which supports the
commercialization of game-changing clean energy. Panzer will
use the MassCEC funding to build an ionogel-based
supercapacitor device prototype and to assess its energy
storage and delivery capabilities.
Fiorenzo Omenetto Named OSA Fellow
professor of biomedical engineering, was named a
Fellow of the
Optical Society of America (OSA) for contributions in
ultrafast nonlinear optics, photonic crystal fibers and for
pioneering the development of silk optical applications and
silk-based photonic structures and devices.
Reversing a Birth Defect
The work of biomedical engineer
K. Kuo could advance
the treatment of orthopedic deformities before a baby is
born. Clubfoot, one of the most common orthopedic birth
defects in the United States, affects more than 4,000
newborns each year. Exactly what goes wrong in these tendons
is still unclear, but Catherine K. Kuo is trying to figure
that out by studying how they form in a developing embryo.
||Eric Miller Elevated to IEEE Fellow
Professor Eric Miller has been named an IEEE Fellow for
contributions to inverse problems and physics-based signal
and image processing. In Miller's Lab for Imaging
Science Research his research methods can be
applied to a range of problems associated with environmental and medical sensing.
In the environmental space, he is working closely with Professor
Linda Abriola and Assistant Professor Andrew Ramsburg in the
development of processing methods for the characterization
of regions of subsurface contamination based on hydrological
as well as geophysical data sets. In the biomedical imaging
field, Miller has been looking at statistically driven
geometric image segmentation methods to help doctors better
understand MRI images.
Researchers, including Research Associate Professor Robert
Peattie in biomedical engineering and Associate Professor
Luis Dorfmann in civil and environmental engineering are
building flexible models to calculate the odds that potentially fatal
abdominal aneurysms will rupture.
Rubik's Cube's Math Secret
Andrew Winslow, EG14, a doctoral student in theoretical
computer science, and a group of Boston-area researchers
decided to figure out how a computer might most efficiently
solve the Rubik's cube—and not just the standard one with
three squares per row, but ones with up to 17 squares per
row. They came up with some surprising findings that relate
to real-world problems.
A Window on Research
As part of the Leadership Alliance program,
Tufts engineering faculty and grad students host Morehouse College
undergrads who are tracking Twitter trends and using brain
imaging technologies to explore human cognition.
Moving Toward a Human-Robot Society
Associate Professor of Computer Science Matthias Scheutz's
research is focused on enabling robots to interact with
people using natural language. "Conversations, sentence
fragments, the kind of spontaneous speech we use: how do we
incorporate this language processing into artificial
intelligence? It's very easy for people, but hard for
Summer Scholar, Jordyn Wolfand
As a Summer Scholar, Jordyn Wolfand explored possible links
between PCB exposure and Parkinson’s disease. Her senior
thesis focused on the way nanoparticles of a carbon
configuration called C-60, increasingly used in industry,
move through soil.
Climate Change Researcher, Jeffrey Cegan
Jeffrey Cegan, EG12, a Fellow in the Water: Systems, Science
and Society (WSSS) program, researches efforts to mitigate
the adverse effects of climate-induced surprises. From
coastal flooding to natural disaster prevention to the
spread of infectious disease, WSSS is tackling an endless
spread of global complexities as students from
designated schools are able to achieve a certificate and
research experience in water-related issues.
A Less Painful Colonoscopy
Scientists and engineers are continually researching new
methods of screening to reduce patient discomfort while also
ensuring the accuracy of a colonoscopy exam. Researchers at
the School of Engineering led by Associate Professor of
Mechanical Engineering Caroline G.L. Cao, have developed a
device that could potentially do both. Tufts endoscopic
fiber optic shape tracker (EFOST) technology is a possible
solution to the problem that occurs when the endoscope is
inserted into the colon during routine screening.
Flexible, Rolling Robot Copies Caterpillar's Escape Mechanism
Tufts researchers designed a robot that mimics the behavior
of caterpillars in order to better understand the mechanics
of "ballistic rolling." In a report published in
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics, graduate student Huai-Ti
Lin, Gary Leisk, senior lecturer and research assistant
professor in mechanical engineering, and biology professor
Barry Trimmer report that their GoQBot mimics two
caterpillar modes of locomotion: inching along like a worm
or ballistically rolling at comparatively high speeds.
Vandervelde Earns Air Force Grant for Photodetection Research
Tom Vandervelde, Assistant Professor in the Department of
Electrical and Computer Engineering, received an Air Force
Young Investigator Research Program (YIP) grant for his work on
exploring and increasing the capabilities of photodetectors
with applications for advances in biomedical diagnostics,
health care, and sustainable energy.
Hidden in Plain Sight
Chang uses visual analytics to puzzle out secrets from financial
fraud to terrorism. In essence, Chang says, the emerging field of
visual analysis is a way of sorting through a sea of data to find
patterns and outliers that might otherwise have gone undetected.
||Chiesa Wins Early Career Award in Sustainable Energy
With a Early Research Career Award from the Department of Energy, Luisa Chiesa will provide
valuable insight into the materials used to design the highly efficient, superconducting magnets
used for everything from medical use to high-energy physics applications, including fusion devices
that could produce safe, abundant amounts of energy.
||Portsmore Designs Engineering Education Success
Merredith Portsmore, a doctoral student at the Center for Engineering
Educational Outreach, studies how young children instinctively create and
learn to design solutions to problems.
||Don't Drink the Water: Shafiqul Islam studies
Bangladesh's arsenic-contaminated water supply
With an interdisciplinary research approach, Shafiq Islam addresses scarcity
of and access to clean drinking water.
||"Is it Natural?" Computer Scientists
Brodley, Slonim, and Cowen Study DNA
Carla Brodley and Donna Slonim distinguish between types of DNA to help
determine appropriate responses to infectious disease outbreaks.
||Baise "Shakes it up" in the classroom
and wins NSF Career Award
Laurie Gaskins Baise seeks to improve visualization and analysis tools
to evaluate seismic hazards.
||Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos: Sopping
New technology removes hydrogen sulfide from hot fuel gases before the gas
is used for power production in high-temperature fuel cells or gas turbines.
||David Kaplan: Weaving a Web to Regrow Bone
To grow bone, David Kaplan combines silica with proteins produced by golden
silk orb weaver spiders.
Upstream to the Problem: Gute working to solve public health problems
By blending epidemiology and engineering, David Gute is working to solve
public health problems at home and around the world.