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Baskin News Beat 2017

The Baskin News Beat is a new BSOE bulletin for sharing successes, anecdotes, insider information, goings on, and other information not generally communicated via other channels such as Tuesday Newsday and email announcements.

There are many good things happening here in the Baskin School of Engineering. I invite you to share your stories, successes and insider information with the BSOE community. Just email to at any time. 

Alexander L. Wolf, Dean

Baskin News Beat - November 2017

Research Roundup
  • Ricardo Sanfelice's proposal to the National Science Foundation's Electrical, Communications, and Cyber Systems program was funded $360K over 3 years. Hybrid Predictive Control for Distributed Multi-agent Systems will advance the knowledge on the systematic design of algorithms that use prediction and optimization to make distributed decisions in multi-agent systems.     
    Read more     
  • Ike Nassi's paper Scaling the Computer to the Problem: Application Programming with Unlimited Memory was the cover feature in the August issue of IEEE Computer Society's Computer journal.     


  • Phokion Kolaitis was elected a Foreign Member of Academia Europaea in the Informatics Section, after being nominated by Maurizio Lenzerini (University of Rome La Sapienza) and Georg Gottlob (University of Oxford).     
    Read more     
  • Gabe Elkaim's 2006 paper Calibration of strapdown magnetometers in magnetic field domain is among the top cited Aviation & Aerospace Engineering publications of 2006.     
    Read more     
  • Professor Katherine Isbister was a keynote speaker at CHI PLAY 2017, the ACM SIGCHI Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play.     
    Read more 
  • Sung-Mo Steve Kang gave a keynote talk at the University at Buffalo, SUNY, on September 30 for its celebration of the 50th anniversary of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) Department. He also received a Distinguished Alumni Award from the CSE Department.

Student Scoop   

  • Raquel Robinson's work on adding heartrate and emotional state to a Twitch feed was picked up by New Scientist. Raquel's advisor is Katherine Isbister.     
    Read more     
  • Joe Osborn and Adam Summerville's work on Mappy, a system for automatically extracting game level maps from NES carts, was picked up by Slate's Future Tense column. Michael Mateas is the advisor for Joe and Adam.     
    Read more     
  • Also getting attention from Slate are former EIS'ers Anne Sullivan (now an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida) and Josh McCoy (now an Assistant Professor at UC Davis), whose game, Loominary, uses fabric color choices while weaving to move a Twine story along. It was also featured at the Smithsonian American Art Museum Arcade.     
    Read more  

Inside Scoop   

  • Four companies joined our line up of research centers: Volley joined the Data Science (D3) Research Center; Huawei and Broadcom joined the Center for Research in Storage Systems (CRSS); and Western Digital joined the Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS).   
  • The Baskin School of Engineering has a new graduate studies website! Kudos to the graduate advising team, Kristin Bradham and Abel Rodriguez for working together to launch the new site. This is BSOE's first Drupal 8 site.     
    Check out the site     
  • We'll be upgrading the rest of the BSOE sites over the next several months. We're working on a process and roadmap and will invite the BSOE community to participate and provide feedback. Stay tuned!     
  • The Hummingbird Computational Cluster has recently been upgraded to feature a new operating system, job scheduler, more nodes and faster storage. What makes Hummingbird so great? It has over 600 Intel and AMD cores linked together to crunch all types of university data. Because there are preinstalled software packages for science and engineering, faculty and students alike can use Hummingbird to compute large amounts of data without having to administer their own cluster. Hummingbird is available to anyone on campus with a Cruz ID!     

Comings and Goings

  • I've announced our new faculty members in previous issues of the Baskin News Beat, but here in one place is a list, with photographs, of all faculty members joining the Baskin School of Engineering this academic year: 11 Faculty Members Join the Baskin School of Engineering in 2017-18
  • Alex McCafferty joined our team as BSOE's Director of Finance. Alex M.'s office is BE 343B, his office phone is 459-2224 and his email is

Get involved   

  • As you may have read in a recent email from Angelina, my office will begin hosting monthly gatherings for faculty and staff to share concerns, questions, issues and other information with me. The first gathering will take place on Friday, November 3rd from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m in E2 599.  
  • The Humans of BSOE project features the students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Baskin School of Engineering. Through individual profiles, Humans of BSOE celebrates the individuality and diversity within the school. Profiles are shared on BSOE and campus social media, on the primary BSOE website, and on various other sites such as the new Graduate Studies website.     
    We invite you to nominate a student (undergraduate or graduate), alumnus/alumna, faculty member, researcher, and/or staff member by completing the HOBSOE submission form.   
  • While we always send out a call for items from department chairs and managers, you can submit news items at any time. Here's how:    

    - mail to: 
    - or fill out this form     


  • The Institute for the Biology of Stem Cells (IBSC) hosted an open house on Sept. 26 with special guest Senator Art Torres (Ret.) board member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), California's stem cell agency. Over 80 guests attended the event to learn about the stem cell research taking place at UC Santa Cruz.     
  • From August 14 to August 18, the statistics group held a workshop on Bayesian Modeling for Spatial and Spatio-Temporal Data. They had about 80 participants, including the instructor of the course, who delivered 10 two-hour lectures, and three invited speakers, as well 32 junior statisticians that were sponsored by an NSF funded grant.   
  • Be Bold, Go Bald! The Genomics Institute and the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative hosted the 2nd annual St. Baldrick's "Battle of the Bald" Fundraiser on Wednesday October 25th.     

Bears Repeating     

  • Baskin Fellowship Recognizes Enterprising Work of Nathan Schaefer     
    This year's fellowship recipient is at the cutting edge of biomolecular engineering.     
    Read more     
  • NSF Awards $1.5 Million Grant for Data Science Research at UC Santa Cruz     
    A cross-disciplinary team of computer scientists, statisticians, and mathematicians is developing the theoretical foundations of the emerging field of data science.     
    Read more     
  • Engineering Undergraduates Create New Social App: Getting Real With "RealTime"
    Third-year students Kevin Robertson and Vernon Coleman connect the masses with their app.
    Read more

  • New Mirror-Coating Technology Promises Dramatic Improvements in Telescopes     
    An electrical engineer teamed up with astronomers to improve telescope mirrors using thin-film technology from the electronics industry.
    Read more     

  • UC Santa Cruz Researchers Develop Scalable Method for Virus Detection     
    Powerful diagnostic tool allows simultaneous detection and differentiation of multiple pathogens and biomarkers.     
    Read more     
  • Games and Playable Media Faculty Discuss Future Trends at IndieCade Festival     
    SceneSampler, a game from UCSC's Social Emotional Technology Lab, is an official game selection to be demonstrated at the international festival of independent games.     
    Read more     
  • Holger Schmidt's Lab was honored with the 2016-2017 Lab Safety Recognition Award. His group accomplished several key tasks, including attending quarterly LSR meetings, completing inspection reports, and handling hazardous waste appropriately.   
  • David Haussler & Josh Stuart were featured in an LA Times story about cancer 
    With cancer, it's not necessarily where it starts but how it starts.
    Read more    
  • David Deamer was mentioned in a Time magazine article on DNA sequencing    

    The future of DNA sequencing will be in the palm of your hand.
    Read more     

  • covered Devin Francom's research that has created methods that can estimate the source of an atmospheric release with more accuracy than ever before. Faculty advisor Bruno Sanso considers the results to be a great example of what we can achieve through collaboration with national laboratories.     
    Read more     
  • Ten years ago, Dr. Camilla Forsberg received a grant for two million dollars to study how the HSCs in mice decided their fate. The grant came from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the California stem cell program. Not only did Dr. Forsberg's CIRM-sponsored research bring in seven million dollars to California, but it also paid off in people power. Since starting her lab at UCSC in 2007, over 50 trainees have worked and learned there: undergraduate and graduate students, post-doctoral fellows, and other research scientists.     
    Read more  


Baskin News Beat - August 2017

Research Roundup

  • Ricardo Sanfelice receives Phase I funding from the Air Force SBIR Program
    The award will fund the first phase of the project, which is to develop innovative approaches for hybrid mode-logic/discrete-time control/continuous-time physics spacecraft systems that provide mathematically rigorous guarantees of system behavior and performance.
    Read more

  • Holger Schmidt and David Deamer begin collaborations with NASA Ames to explore the moons of Jupiter and Saturn 
    Electrical Engineering professor Holger Schmidt and Biomolecular Engineering professor David Deamer are working on a new project under the NASA COLDTech program to develop solid-state nanopore-based sensor instruments for a mission to search for signs of life in extraterrestrial environments such as Europa and Enceladus. 

    Read more

  • Chen Qian receives his second National Science Foundation grant 
    Computer Engineering professor Chen Qian received a three-year NSF Networking Technology and Systems grant for research into low-cost, convenient, and non-intrusive methods for enabling the Internet of Things. The proposed project focuses on low-cost methods that either attach RFID tags to objects or place tags in the objects' environment. 

    Read more

  • Holger Schmidt receives a three-year NSF Biophotonics grant
    Electrical Engineering professor Holger Schmidt received funding from NSF's Biophotonics program to develop an all-in-one optofluidic platform for sample-to-answer diagnosis. The grant will fund development of optofluidic chips that combine light sources, sample processing, and optical analysis. Professor Schmidt and team will demonstrate the platform's capabilities with combined nucleic acid and antibody detection of the Zika virus.

    Read more


  • Rulai development team, with the assistance of TM professor Yi Zhang, raise $6.5 million to roll out new chatbot tool

    The chatbot development tool allows customer service managers to develop chatbots that will perform tasks based on customer conversations. Managers are able to write scripts and create action items--without code--to customize their chatbots.
    Read more 

  • Baskin School of Engineering faculty rank among top 1,000 Computer Science and Electronics scholars 
    Rankings are based on the individual's h-index score, a measure of productivity and impact.
    #9:  David Haussler
    #122:  J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves 
    #170:  Martin Abadi
    See the full list

  • Computer Science professor Manfred Warmuth honored by peers
    This year marks the 30th Annual Conference on Computational Learning Theory (COLT) as well as a "significant" birthday for Computer Science professor Manfred Warmuth. Manfred helped start the COLT conference and found the machine learning theory research community. To celebrate these events and honor Manfred's research leadership and other contributions to the area, a special two-session "Manfredfest" was held before last month's COLT conference in Amsterdam. Many colleagues gave invited talks and described how Manfred shaped the development of the area and impacted their own careers. Kudos Manfred!

  • Classic and distinguished publications by Baskin School of Engineering faculty 

    A paper coauthored by J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves and Katia Obraczka in 2006 made Google Scholar's "Classic Papers" list 
    in Computer Networks and Wireless Communications: a list of the ten most-cited articles published ten years earlier. The paper, "Energy-Efficient, Collision-Free Medium Access Control for Wireless Sensor Networks," was published in the Journal of Wireless Networks.
    Read more

    A paper by former Professor Bill Dunbar also made it onto the Classic Papers list in 2006. The paper, "Distributed Receding Horizon Control for Multi-Vehicle Formation Stabilization," was listed in the Automation and Control Theory category. 

    Computer Science professor Phokion Kolaitis co-authored "Generalized Satisfiability Problems via Operator Assignments," a paper that recently won the Best Paper Award at the 21st International Symposium on Fundamentals of Computation Theory.
    Read more 

    Professor Cormac Flanagan and co-authors won the "Distinguished Artifact Award" for their paper "BigFoot: Static Check Placement for Dynamic Race Detection" at the 2017 ACM Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation
    Read more

Goings On

  • Baskin School of Engineering faculty members part of inaugural cohort of Faculty Fellows in the new UCSC Center for Innovations in Teaching and Learning 

    Abel Rodriguez, Associate Dean for Graduate Affairs and AMS professor, and Angus Forbes, CM professor, will be among the group of 22 Faculty Fellows who will help shape the future of CITL in its mission to provide resources to all who teach on campus, with the goal of enhancing undergraduate and graduate education at UC Santa Cruz. Angus will seek to promote critical inquiry through project-based curricula, focusing initially on the visualization of complex systems. Abel will help design a comprehensive training program for teaching assistants and graduate student instructors. 

  • Nathan Altice talks at 2017 California Extreme show

    Computational Media professor Nathan Altice gave a talk on "Re-Playing the Cardboard Arcade," which explores board game adaptations of arcade video games. California Extreme is the largest classic arcade show in California.

Comings and Goings

  • Comings: I am pleased to report that, in addition to the seven new faculty members we announced in the last edition of the Baskin News Beat, we have four additional confirmations. Please help me welcome these eleven new faculty members to the Baskin School of Engineering in 2017-18!

    • Snigdha Chaturvedi: Assistant Professor, Computer Science
      Recruitment/Research Area: Data Driven Applications
    • Angus Forbes: Assistant Professor, Computational Media
      Recruitment/Research Area: Computer Graphics
    • Faisal Nawab: Assistant Professor, Computer Science
      Recruitment/Research Area: Big Data
    • Yu Zhang: Assistant Professor, Electrical Engineering 
      Recruitment/Research Area: Smart Power

  • Goings: David Bornstein, Research Analyst for BSOE, retired this summer. His last day of work was June 29th. Thank you David for your hard work and dedication to BSOE!

Inside Scoop

  • Two new programs will help support BSOE faculty: 

    • The Research Development Travel Grant program supports faculty efforts to develop and pursue research funding opportunities. Find out more.
    • The New Faculty Mentoring Program will help new faculty members succeed in their research and teaching endeavors at the Baskin School of Engineering. Find out more. 

Student Scoop

  • Recent Biomolecular Engineering PhD alum publishes paper on the information storage potential of DNA
    As part of Jeff Nivala's work as a post-doc, he used the CRISPR-Cas system to encode the pixel values of black and white images and a short movie into the genomes of a population of living bacteria. The work was also mentioned in Scientific American
    Read more

  • Student-built games wow the indie gaming world
    UC Santa Cruz's student games received rave reviews at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) "Mix" event in June. ArsTechnica called CtrlShift a "sleeper hit" of E3 (
    video of CtrlShift begins at 4:00), and both CtrlShift and PhantomJump were recognized as the brightest indie games at the show. CtrlShift was created by a team of masters students in UC Santa Cruz's Games and Playable Media M.S. program in Santa Clara. PhantomJump was created by a team of students in the undergraduate Computer Game Design major at UC Santa Cruz.

    Read more 

Bears Repeating

  • Undergraduate student Stefanie Brizuela awarded prestigious NIH research scholarship
    As a UGSP Scholar, Brizuela will receive a scholarship for the 2017-2018 academic year. She will also participate in research training at the NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland for the next two summers. After graduating from UC Santa Cruz, Brizuela will be employed at the NIH as a research trainee in exchange for each year of scholarship support received. 
    Read more

  • UC Santa Cruz launches new Data Science Research Center, D3
    UC Santa Cruz has launched a new data science research center, Data, Discovery, and Decisions (D3). Led by Lise Getoor, professor of computer science in UCSC's Baskin School of Engineering, D3 provides a platform for collaboration between industry and academia in the emerging field of data science.
    Read more

  • Nanopipette technology wins first place in NIH "Follow That Cell" Challenge
    Nader Pourmand, professor of biomolecular engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, has won the $300,000 first place prize in the Follow that Cell Challenge organized by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
    Read more

  • Olena Morozova featured in "In Depth" 
    Olena Morozova, founder and scientific lead of the Treehouse Childhood Cancer Initiative, was  featured in the Santa Cruz Economic Development journal.
    Read full article

  • Artificial intelligence research helps disabled passengers use public transportation
    Researchers in the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz are collaborating with IBM Research's Almaden facility in San Jose and Valley Transportation Authority to design and install an Internet of Things system that could help disabled people use public transportation. 
    Read full article

  • Katherine Isbister lends expertise on fidgeting to several mainstream outlets 
    The Games and Playable Media professor weighed in on the fidget spinner phenomenon for The Washington PostWiredScientific American, and as a guest on NPR's Science Friday. The stories were also picked up by IFLScience!Atlas Obscura, and Tincture.

  • David Deamer is one of the authors of Scientific American's August cover story, "The New Origins of Life."
    Read more 




Baskin News Beat - May 2017


Research Roundup

  • Peter Alvaro's research was selected for publication in ACM Queue's "Research for Practice" column
    The RfP column provides a short, curated selection of papers on a concentrated, practically oriented topic. Get a crash course from Peter on Tracing and Debugging Distributed Systems.
    Read more

  • Research by Daniele Venturi and colleagues takes the guesswork out of complex military systems
    Computational models and simulations are helpful for designing complex military systems such as new aerospace vehicles. However, realistic models require enormous amounts of computing power. Researchers, including BSOE Professor Daniele Venturi, are building theoretical foundations for Design Under Uncertainty (DUU), which aims to simplify design processes for unconventional defense systems where the number of parameters, or system features, can be in the thousands and the design requires taking into account such variables as uncertain operating conditions, novel materials whose behavior may not be fully understood, and manufacturing imperfections whose relevance has yet to be determined. 

    Read more

  • Ricardo Sanfelice and J.J. Garcia-Luna-Aceves took two of the four awards made by Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) & CITRIS and the Banatao Institute
    Building on a successful binational partnership launched in 2013, four new projects were selected to receive seed funding from Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) jointly with CITRIS and the Banatao Institute. 

    Ricardo teamed up 
    with ITESM researcher Rita Q. Fuentes-Aguilar on "Hybrid Algorithms for Real-Time Identification and Manipulation of Deformable Soft Tissue." The project focuses on solutions to the "soft-object manipulation problem," which can arise when a robot grasps a soft (rather than rigid) object. The research is motivated by the growing use of artificial tissue, but also has applications in home robots, medical robotics, manufacturing, and the food industry. J.J.'s winning proposal "Channel Modeling for Intelligent Transportation Systems: Characterizing V2X Links" looks at Wireless Sensor Networks for vehicle-to-infrastructure deployment in Vehicular ad hoc Networks (VANETs).
    Read more

  • The Battle Against Fake News: Luca de Alfaro makes it into the UK's Register
    Fake news is an acknowledged problem for internet users and has wide political and societal implications. Luca has co-authored a paper, "Some like it Hoax: Automated Fake News Detection in Social Media," in which is discussed how a set of users who "like" a post can automatically determine if the post is a hoax or not.  
    Read more

  • Collecting Data While Preserving User Privacy: Abrhadeep Guha Thakurta's research helps ensure privacy for iPhone users
    Differential privacy works by algorithmically scrambling individual user data so that it can't be traced back to the individual and then analyzing the data in bulk for large-scale trend patterns. The goal is to protect the user's identity and the specifics of their data while still extracting some general information to propel machine learning. Abrhadeep Guha Thakurta is the lead inventor of a method using differential privacy techniques for Apple iOS users to effectively adapt user dictionaries based on the word usage patterns on individuals' devices while provably preserving privacy.
    Read more

  • The Future is in Interactive Storytelling
    Noah Wardrip-Fruin and Michael Mateas describe the art and engineering of interactive storytelling. Check out their article in The Conversation.
    Read more


  • Hellman Fellows: Dongwook Lee and Christopher Vollmers received Hellman Fellowships 

    The Hellman Fellows Program supports assistant professors who show great promise and distinction in their studies and research. 

    Dongwook Lee: New High-Order Schemes for Computational Fluid Dynamics using Gaussian Processes.
     Dongwook develops numerical algorithms for computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations running on high-performance computing (HPC) machines to help us understand the origin of magnetic fields, space weather prediction, self-sustaining nuclear fusion reaction for clean energy and other important phenomenon. 

    Christopher Vollmers: Determining the Diversity of Individual Human B Cells Using Nanopore Sequencing. Chris has developed a new approach that allows us to measure RNA transcripts expressed from all the genes in individual immune cells with unprecedented accuracy. The ability to determine such information at the level of individual cells is critical for an accurate understanding the human adaptive immune system, our last line of defense against potentially deadly diseases.  

  • Patent Awards: Xiaodong Tao, Joel Kubby and Nader Pourmand recognized  

    Tao/Kubby's technology, Interferometric focusing of guide-stars for direct wavefront sensing, provides a clear look into biological tissue. 
    Read more

    Pourmand's technology, Nanopipette apparatus for manipulating cells, is a new biotechnology for controlling single cells. 
    Read more

  • Thank you to faculty who gave lab tours on Alumni Weekend!
    Rebecca DuBois, Katherine Isbister, Sri Kurniawan, and Mircea Teodorescu entertained and educated our alumni visitors on Saturday April 29th. For those who would like to do lab tours next year, mark your calendars for April 28th!
    See pictures from the Baskin School of Engineering Alumni Brunch

Comings and Goings

  • Comings: Several new faculty will be joining the Baskin School of Engineering this year. Here's a list of confirmations to date (more to come!)

    • Sara Abrahamsson: Assistant Professor, EE
      Current postition and affiliation: Postdoctoral Fellow at Rockefeller University
      Recruitment/Research area: Bioelectronics
    • Marcella Gomez: Assistant Professor, AMS
      Current postition and affiliation: Postdoctoral Researcher at UC Berkeley
      Recruitment/Research area: Mathematical Biology
    • Abhishek Halder: Assistant Professor, AMS
      Current postition and affiliation: Postdoctoral Researcher at UC Irvine 
      Recruitment/Research area: Control Systems
    • Heiner Litz: Assistant Professor, CE
      Current postition and affiliation: Lecturer and Research Group Leader, Stanford University 
      Recruitment/Research area: Hardware
    • Benedict Paten: Assistant Professor, BME
      Current postition and affiliation: Associate Researcher at UC Santa Cruz 
      Recruitment/Research area: Comparative/Medical Genomics
    • Narges Norouzi: Teaching Professor, CS
      Current postition and affiliation: Ph.D student in Computer Engineering, University of Toronto
    • Michael Wehner: Assistant Professor, CE
      Current postition and affiliation: Postdoctoral Researcher at Harvard University
      Recruitment/Research area: Robotics
  • Goings: Barbara Jolley, Research Administration Manager for BSOE, has retired. Her last day of work was today, Friday May 26th. Thank you Barbara for your hard work and dedication to BSOE!

Inside Scoop

  • 2016-17 BSOE faculty recruitment by the (very-approximate-not-meant-for-statistical-analysis) numbers:

    • 9 recruitments
    • 870 applicants

    • 532 qualified applicants

    • 44 candidates visited campus

    • 44 seminars

    • 502 faculty meetings 

    • 155 Entertainment Reimbursement forms, 44 Payee Set Up forms, 44 Post Travel Forms ...

Student Scoop

  • Paper by Ph.D. student Shweta Jain was awarded best paper at the 2017 World Wide Web conference
    Coauthored by Jain's 
    advisor Seshadri Commandur, the paper is titled "A Fast and Provable Method for Estimating Clique Counts Using Turan's Theorem." The result uses classic theorems in extremal combinatorics for practical clique-counting algorithms for social networks. 
    Read more

  • Sabina Tomkins will present her research at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI)
    Ph.D. student Sabina Tomkins has been invited to present her paper, "Disambiguating Energy Disaggregation: A Collective Probabilistic Approach," at the International Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence (IJCAI) in Melbourne Australia this summer. The IJCAI is the main international gathering of researchers in Artificial Intelligence.
    Read more

  • Congrats to Edward Rice and Jordan Eizenga, who were selected as ARCS scholars for 2017-2018!
    The ARCS Foundation provides financial awards to academically outstanding students completing degrees in science, engineering and medical research.


Bears Repeating

  • Doug Cutting Appointed CROSS Distinguished Fellow
    Doug Cutting was recently appointed Distinguished Fellow of the Center for Research in Open Source Software (CROSS). This appointment by the Baskin School of Engineering (BSOE) at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) highlights the importance the university places on strengthening CROSS’s ability to bridge the gap between student prototypes and successful open-source software (OSS) projects. 
    Read full article

  • UC Santa Cruz Genetics Lab Helps Solve the Mystery of “Miranda Eve†
    On May 9, 2016, a contractor discovered the casket of a child while excavating the backyard of the Karner family in the Lone Mountain neighborhood of San Francisco, setting off a search for the child's identity that garnered international attention. Ancient DNA expert Ed Green helped identify the remains of a 19th-century baby Jane Doe found in San Francisco backyard. 
    Read full article
  • Graduate Student John Felts Takes Second Place in UC Glam Slam
    John Felts, a graduate student in electrical engineering at UC Santa Cruz, placed second in the 2017 UC Grad Slam competition, held Thursday, May 4, at LinkedIn’s downtown San Francisco office. Felts presented his work on Cruz Foam, a biodegradable alternative to polyurethane and polystyrene foam. 
    Read full article

  • Computer Pioneer Harry Huskey Dies at Age 101
    Harry Huskey, professor emeritus of computer science, worked on early computing systems and helped universities around the world establish computer science programs. A professor emeritus of computer science at UC Santa Cruz, Huskey began his career teaching mathematics at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he worked on the famed ENIAC project in the 1940s. ENIAC was the first large-scale electronic computer, containing 18,000 vacuum tubes, and Huskey was among the last surviving members of the ENIAC team. 
    Read full article

  • Five Graduate Student Alumni Return for Awards
    The five honorees were presented with the first Distinguished Graduate Student Alumni Award on April 29th and were part of panel discussions where they shared their stories on career and entrepreneurship opportunities. 
    Read full article

  • A Role Models for Girls Who Code
    Regine De Guzman, a self-taught coding whiz, wants to close the Silicon Valley gender gap by encouraging girls to pursue tech careers. De Guzman has become a champion and a mentor for girls considering careers in high-tech. She shared her words of wisdom at the TEDxLosGatosHighSchool, where she made a strong appeal to parents who would like to help their girls achieve high-tech success. 
    Read full article

  • Baskin Engineering Professor Angela Brooks named "Scientist to Watch" by The Scientist Magazine
    At the University of California, Santa Cruz,  Brooks combs the cancer genome, looking for weaknesses. 
    Read full article

  • UC Santa Cruz ranked among top schools for game design
    UCSC is featured on Princeton Review's 2017 lists for top undergraduate and graduate programs in game design. UC Santa Cruz ranked 13th on the Princeton Review's list of the "Top 25" graduate schools and 21st on the list of the "Top 50" undergraduate programs. In addition to B.S. and B.A. degrees in game design, the campus also has three graduate programs with an emphasis on games: the professional M.S. in games and playable media; the Ph.D. or M.S. in computational media; and the M.F.A. in digital arts and new media. 
    Read full article



Baskin News Beat - March 2017


  • Katherine Isbister's book, How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design, was awarded Outstanding Academic Title by the American Library Association
    Every year, the American Library Association's Choice magazine publishes a list of Outstanding Academic Titles. Katherine Isibister's book, How Games Move Us: Emotion by Design was selected, based on criteria including overall excellence in presentation and scholarship, originality and/or uniqueness of treatment, and importance in building undergraduate library collections. The book explores how video games influence empathy, emotion, and social connection. Isbister challenges the stereotype that games produce indifferent and antisocial players; rather, she argues that game designers create supportive environments for emotional and social growth.
    Read more
  • Phokion Kolaitis was invited to join the Scientific Advisory Board of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing
    Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and Principal Research Staff Member of the Theory Group at the IBM Almaden Research Center, Phokion Kolaitis was invited to join the Scientific Advisory Board (SAB) of the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing. Comprising 16-20 members with broad scientific vision, expert knowledge of theoretical computer science, and a record of scientific leadership, the SAB provides broad-based external advice and guidance to the Institute's leadership team on a wide range of programmatic issues.
    Read more

Insider Information

  • Humans of BSOE: A new project featuring the humans who make up the Baskin School of Engineering
    The Humans of the Baskin School of Engineering (Humans of BSOE) is one of many new projects in the Baskin School of Engineering. Based on Brandon Stanton's popular and ongoing photo project Humans of New YorkHumans of BSOE features the stories of the humans who make up the Baskin School of Engineering and will eventually include faculty, students and staff. 
    Go to Humans of BSOE
  • Find more funding opportunities: UC Santa Cruz Office of Research purchases subscription to GrantForward 
    UCSC now has an institutional subscription to the funding opportunity database GrantForward. New grant opportunities are posted daily. 
    Go to GrantForward

How To

  • Sign up for weekly engineering news from the UCSC Newscenter
    Did you know you can sign up for weekly engineering news and other categories from the UCSC Newscenter? In fewer than 20 seconds (so they say), you can sign up to receive one news update per category each week. Or you can subscribe to a monthly newsletter to get the current month's news and events.
    Sign up to receive news

Goings On

  • Faculty, alums, and students attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco
    Baskin School of Engineering was well-represented at the 2017 Game Developers Conference, the world's largest professional game industry event, earlier this month. With more than 27,000 attendees, those involved in the development of interactive games and virtual reality came together to exchange ideas and help shape the future of the industry. Jim Whitehead gave a talk about university games programs and partnering with industry and Michael Mateas and Katherine Isbister ran the Education Summit. Several students and alums gave talks, too.
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Bears Repeating

  • Two Baskin School of Engineering faculty received NSF CAREER awards this year
    Peter Alvaro, assistant professor of computer science and Jishen Zhao, assistant professor of computer engineering were awarded Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). NSF presents the CAREER award to faculty "who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research." The awards provide funding to support the recipients' research, teaching and outreach activities.
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  • UCSC Biomolecular Engineer Russ Corbett-Detig wins Sloan Research Fellowship
    The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation has awarded a Sloan Research Fellowship to Russ Corbett-Detig, assistant professor of biomolecular engineering at UC Santa Cruz. The prestigious two-year fellowship includes a grant of $60,000 to support Corbett-Detig's research, which focuses on evolutionary genetics and bioinformatics. Awarded annually since 1955, Sloan Research Fellowships are given to early-career scientists and scholars whose achievements and potential identify them as rising stars, the next generation of scientific leaders.
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  • UCSC Grad Slam Winner envisions surfing on shrimp shells
    Twelve UC Santa Cruz graduate students provided brief glimpses into their ongoing research in the third annual campuswide Grad Slam, a three-minute elevator pitch competition to encourage better storytelling about complex academic topics. Two Baskin School of Engineering students came out on top. John Felts, a second year Ph.D. electrical engineering student, earned top marks for his talk about creating environmentally friendly surfboard foam from the shells of shrimp. He won $3,000 and the opportunity to compete in a UC-wide competition on May 4.  Sam Mansfield, whose research into how technology can help avoid the epidemic of bed sores among the elderly and most vulnerable, earned second place honors and $1,500. He also won the coveted People's Choice Award, which came with a $750 prize.
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  • UC Santa Cruz hosts Giving Day 2017 - 100+ projects
    Building on the success of last year's event, Giving Day 2017 brought in 5,673 gifts totaling $525,284. Projects initiated by Baskin School of Engineering students, staff and faculty did well, raising nearly $65,000 in total. Formula Slug won the Final Frenzy match, a bonus $10,000, for having the most donors all day.    

    Formula Slug raised $20,564 from 449 gifts
    Girls in Engineering raised $12,860 from 52 gifts
    Plant the Seed for Big Dreamers (STEM Diversity) raised $10,676 from 214 gifts
    Academic Excellence (ACE) Program raised $10,938 from 136 gifts
    Women in Science and Engineering raised $4,439 from 54 gifts
    iGEM 2017 raised $2,491 from 157 gifts 
    MESA: Opening Pathways to College and STEM raised $1,260 from 33 gifts
    Society for Hispanic Professional Engineers raised $1,051 from 16 gifts
    Hack-y-thon raised $430 from 23 gifts
    Trash Toss Game for Sustainability raised $160 from 6 gifts

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  • Baskin Engineering Director of Undergraduate Affairs wins award
    Dr. Carmen Robinson, Director of Undergraduate Affairs for the Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz, was awarded the Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champions Award for her work to improve the process and experience for students transferring from two-year institutions to four-year institutions. The award is given to individuals whose efforts have made a significant contribution to the improvement of transfer student access and success.  
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  • Two Pore Guys gear up for a big year
    Two Pore Guys makes a hand-held digital single-molecule sensor based on solid state nanopore technology with applications in medical diagnostics, agriculture, food safety and environmental monitoring. The company's founder and CEO, William Dunbar, is a former Baskin School of Engineering faculty member. 
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