The process of developing a positive new habit is filled with I will statements.I will get up earlier.I will go for a run.I will eat more vegetables.But a little self-interrogation might be more motivational.A somewhat recent study, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and published in the journal Psychological Science, suggests asking yourself questions in regard to your goals is more effective than declaring something to be true.
A big-data project that connects researchers to close to a dozen supercomputers at universities and institutes across the U.S. scored a $110 million grant from the National Science Foundation, one of the largest awards so far this year.The Extreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment, known as XSEDE, is based at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has assisted more than 6,000 researchers, from physicists to archaeologists, dig into big-data sets since it was formed in 2011.Their work has ranged from mapping the Arctic and uncovering the structure of HIV, to preventing injuries from car accidents.Whether you re at a top-tier research university…or a tribal college, XSEDE offers data crunching and expertise free of charge, representing a democratization of resources, said Irene Qualters, director for the Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at NSF.The $110 million grant is the largest award given so far this year by NSF s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate, one of seven overarching departments, said Ms. Qualters.Through the project, NSF hopes to make U.S. researchers more competitive, she said.
Building 8 is focused on building new hardware products to advance mission of connecting the world.Facebook s secretive lab Building 8 has signed a collaboration agreement with 17 universities to accelerate the research cycle for hardware and software.Building 8, headed by former Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency chief and Google executive Regina Dugan, has entered into a Sponsored Academic Research Agreement SARA .The 17 initial members of SARA include Rice University, California Institute of Technology, Stanford, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Johns Hopkins, the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory.Other members include the University of California at San Francisco, Northeastern, Princeton, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Arizona State, the University of Waterloo, Texas A, Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech.Regina Dugan heads up Building 8.
Aerial robots have previously taken inspiration from insects and birds, but bats are a tougher challenge for roboticists because of their complicated skeletons and irregular flight patterns.Bats have a very complex body morphology compared to birds or insects.Their wings are very articulated, with many joints, says team member Alireza Ramezani at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Bat wings have over 40 joints for adjusting their shape during flight, but recreating this joint-for-joint would have made the robot far too bulky.Instead, Bat Bot has a nine-joint wing structure that allows it to move each wing in a range of directions.The joints are made of lightweight carbon fibre, with an ultra-thin silicone membrane that mimics stretchy bat skin covering each wing.
Bioengineers Ritu Raman and Rashid Bashir know biobots.They ve been building them for years as part of their work within Bashir s research group at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.Five years ago, they developed bio-bots that could move thanks to a power supply provided by rat heart cells.Now, the team wants to help other bioengineers build biobots of their own.They ve shared their blueprint in a paper published in the journal Nature Protocols.Biobots are robots that use biological tissues to perform certain functional tasks, Raman, the paper s lead author, told Digital Trends.
Here’s what you missed in marketing, media, and tech while you triple-checked every envelope you sent out this month…On the surface, this is a story about Go Rando, a browser extension that randomizes your reactions in order to trick Facebook’s algorithm so it can’t profile you to a dystopian degree.But the real value of the piece comes in the insights from Ben Grosser, an artist and professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, who explains why he founded the project:“I want people to think about who is reading this data.It’s for the news feed algorithm, advertising message profiling, predictive analytics.All these different systems that are looking to mine this data, hoping to understand our hopes or fears as a way of deciding how to sell us something, as a way of deciding whether we’re dangerous, as a way of deciding whether we’re worthy of getting a loan.”
Using a powerful supercomputer, meteorologists have simulated the “El Reno” tornado—a category 5 storm that swept through Oklahoma on May 24, 2011.A research team led by Leigh Orf from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) has used a high-efficiency supercomputer to visualize the inner workings of tornados and the powerful supercells that produce them.As part of the project, the researchers recreated a tornado-producing supercell that devastated the Great Plains six years ago.During a four-day stretch in late May 2011, several tornadoes touched down over the Oklahoma landscape.By the time it was over, the storm caused extensive damage along a 63-mile (101 km) long path, killing nine people and injuring 161 others.To simulate the incredibly complex set of meteorological factors required to produce this particular tornado, Orf’s team was given access to the Blue Waters Supercomputer, located at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Using a powerful supercomputer, meteorologists have simulated the “El Reno” tornado—a category 5 storm that swept through Oklahoma on May 24, 2011.A research team led by Leigh Orf from the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies (CIMSS) has used a high-efficiency supercomputer to visualise the inner workings of tornados and the powerful supercells that produce them.As part of the project, the researchers recreated a tornado-producing supercell that devastated the Great Plains six years ago.During a four-day stretch in late May 2011, several tornadoes touched down over the Oklahoma landscape.By the time it was over, the storm caused extensive damage along a 63-mile (101 km) long path, killing nine people and injuring 161 others.To simulate the incredibly complex set of meteorological factors required to produce this particular tornado, Orf’s team was given access to the Blue Waters Supercomputer, located at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
p Even if you don't own a self-driving car, you may still wind up benefiting from them.If you’re of the opinion that the traffic problems associated with human drivers will only cease when the majority of vehicles on the road are autonomous, think again!According to a recent study carried out at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, having just 5 percent of cars on the road be autonomous vehicles could eliminate stop-and-go waves of traffic — and all the accident risk and fuel inefficiency that comes with it.“We wondered what would happen if we tried to use the emerging connected and automated vehicle technologies at low penetration rates to influence the overall traffic flow,” Daniel Work, the assistant professor who served as lead researcher on the project, told Digital Trends.“We started by picking a very helpful experimental setup, inspired by experiments conducted by the Mathematical Society of Traffic Flow — famous in the transportation engineering community because it showed experimentally that ‘phantom’ traffic jams can be created entirely by human driving behavior.Based on those tests, we began to think about the possibility of an automated vehicle that could cancel the stop-and-go wave.”
After wearing a virtual reality headset for a while, you may have noticed that eye fatigue starts to set in.The reason is a little-known neuroscience effect called the vergence-accommodation conflict.In short, it's a mismatch between your eyes physically aiming at something and focusing on something.Most VR glasses ask you to stare at a screen a few centimetres from your eyes, but focus on a point that's much further away - a task that confuses the brain, which is used to those things usually being in the same place.Now, however, optical engineers have developed a new type of 3D display that they say could solve this problem."We want to replace currently used AR and VR optical display modules with our 3D display to get rid of eye fatigue problems," said Liang Gao, from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
A new research project at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois seeks to solve a $90 billion global problem in the oil industry while making oil drilling less harmful to the environment.Bruce Fouke, Professor in the departments of Geology and Microbiology and director of the Roy J.Fouke is also a faculty member in one of the IGB's eleven research themes, Biocomplexity, which explores the origin of life and the behavior of biological systems.Biosouring results from a common procedure in oil drilling, where seawater is pumped deep underground in order to maximize the amount of oil that can be extracted."The largest reservoir of living cells on earth is microbes that live underground," Fouke said.When bacteria in the ground ingest sulfate from the seawater, they create a byproduct called sulfide, which is highly corrosive and harmful to human health.
On Aug. 1, the National Science Foundation announced 17 Next Generation Networks for Neuroscience (NeuroNex) awards for projects that will yield innovative ways to tackle the mysteries of the brain.A team from Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign was awarded $2.6 million to develop a simplified genetic toolkit that will allow scientists who study animal behavior to test hypotheses about its neural underpinnings.Yehuda Ben-Shahar, the project's principal investigator and associate professor of biology in Arts & Sciences, said much of what we know about the connections between behavior and the brain is derived from work with just four species: the fruit fly, mouse, roundworm and zebrafish."Fewer scientists trained as ethologists would consider testing a hypothesis or model by genetic manipulation," Ben-Shahar said, "because they're not trained in the techniques and there are all sorts of real and imaginary barriers to adopting them."Working with Ben-Shahar will be Barani Raman, associate professor of biomedical engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University; Gene Robinson, director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; and Ian Duncan, professor of biology in Arts & Sciences at Washington University.I like to keep them on my desk so I don't forget to take care of them."
In micro-mechanical gyroscopes and accelerometers, such as those commonly found in cellphones today, microstructural disorder impacts measurement drift and overall accuracy of the sensor, analogous to how a dirty violin string might impact one's enjoyment of beautiful music.A research collaboration between the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the University of Maryland has revealed a new technique by which scattering of sound waves from disorder in a material can be suppressed on demand.The resonant echoes help to increase the interaction time between sound, light, and material disorder, making these subtle effects much easier to observe and control.Since interactions within resonators are fundamentally no different from those taking place in any other system, these can be a really compact platform for exploring the underlying physics."The key to suppressing scattering from disorder is to induce a mismatch in the propagation between the original and scattered directions.This idea is similar to how an electric current prefers to flow along the path of least resistance, or how water prefers to flow through a wider pipe rather than a constricted one.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed technology that enables a smartphone to perform lab-grade medical diagnostic tests that typically require large, expensive instruments.Costing only $550, the spectral transmission-reflectance-intensity (TRI)-Analyzer from Bioengineering and Electrical & Computer Engineering Professor Brian Cunningham's lab attaches to a smartphone and analyzes patient blood, urine, or saliva samples as reliably as clinic-based instruments that cost thousands of dollars."It's capable of performing the three most common types of tests in medical diagnostics, so in practice, thousands of already-developed tests could be adapted to it."In a recently published paper, Cunningham's team used the TRI Analyzer to perform two commercially available assays--a test to detect a biomarker associated with pre-term birth in pregnant women and the PKU test for newborns to indirectly detect an enzyme essential for normal growth and development.Their tests results were comparable to those acquired with clinic-grade spectrometer instrumentation.Among the many diagnostic tests that can be adapted to their point-of-care smartphone format, Long said, is an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), which detects and measures a wide variety of proteins and antibodies in blood and is commonly used for a wide range of health diagnostics tests.
Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage.Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.With that in mind, the research group of SungWoo Nam, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering at Illinois, has developed a cleaner and more environmentally friendly method to isolate graphene using carbon dioxide (CO2) in the form of carbonic acid as the electrolyte solution.The findings are published in the most recent Journal of Materials Chemistry C.Nam, an expert in the area of 2D materials, is especially interested in graphene for its use in sensors or flexible devices -- for instance, a wearable patch that, when placed directly on skin, is so thin and transparent, it isn't noticeable.This typically involves either dissolving away the high-purity metal or delaminating it from the substrate - which require the use of harsh chemicals that leave stubborn residue.
- University of Massachusetts Amherst chemist Sankaran "Thai" Thayumanavan has received a three-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Science Foundation to create a multi-university Center for Autonomous Chemistry, where he and colleagues, including chemist Vince Rotello, will seek to design artificial self-activating systems, or "automatic control as nature does it," in Thayumanavan's words.The center will also include one researcher each from partner institutions MIT, the University of Michigan and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.The Phase 1 funding comes as part of NSF's Center for Chemical Innovation program.Vice Chancellor for Research and Engagement Michael Malone says, "Autonomous chemistry is a terrific new area for both basic research and ultimately high-impact applications.Thayumanavan says, "We'll be looking to nature for mechanisms and techniques, looking into biomimicry, to try to understand how biological systems accomplish autonomous responses to subtle changes in their environment."For example, many components of the immune system are quiet and dormant until an irritant or pathogen is detected, he says.
"Scientists possibly detected an entirely different type of gravitational wave [source]," writes schwit1."Gossip over potential detection of colliding neutron stars has astronomers in a tizzy," reports Nature: Astrophysicists may have detected gravitational waves last week from the collision of two neutron stars in a distant galaxy -- and telescopes trained on the same region might also have spotted the event.Rumours to that effect are spreading fast online, much to researchers' excitement.Such a detection could mark a new era of astronomy: one in which phenomena are both seen by conventional telescopes and 'heard' as vibrations in the fabric of space-time."It would be an incredible advance in our understanding," says Stuart Shapiro, an astrophysicist at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign...The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) in Louisiana and Washington state has three times detected gravitational waves -- ripples in the fabric of space-time -- emerging from colliding black holes.
The University of Illinois at Chicago College of Engineering has received a grant to provide scholarships, mentoring and internship opportunities to academically-talented, low-income engineering undergraduates.Students from low-income households will be encouraged to apply for the scholarship program based on their high school grades and ACT or SAT scores."Our programs, including this new one sponsored by the National Science Foundation, provide a clear path to the upper middle-class and beyond for our students."The UIC College of Engineering designed the new program in response to growing evidence suggesting that students from low-income backgrounds have lower graduation rates and are less likely to find jobs in their respective fields than their peers from higher-income families."Students who are the first in their families to go to college don't have parents that can talk to them about what it's like going to college to prepare them for the experience, and those parents are also often at a loss when it comes to providing guidance on finding a job in their child's chosen field," said Darabi, who is also the principal investigator on the grant.In addition to providing scholarships toward tuition estimated to average $5,000 per student, scholars selected for the program will participate in activities in the summer before their first fall semester at UIC.
The work was led by bioengineering professors Peter Yingxiao Wang and Shu Chien with collaborating professors Victor Nizet and Xiangdong Xu, all at the University of California San Diego, along with researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.The team published their work this month in Nature Communications.The smart proteins, called "iSNAPS" (integrated sensing and activating proteins), are designed to detect precise molecular signals in live cells and in response, act upon those signals to enable the cells to fight disease or perform other beneficial functions.This study is the first to demonstrate how both sensing and activating capabilities can be combined into a single molecule, Wang said.The researchers inserted their iSNAPS into a type of white blood cells called macrophages and demonstrated that they dramatically enhanced the macrophages' ability to engulf and destroy rapidly dividing cancer cells.Part of their task is to remove foreign particles and harmful organisms such as pathogens and cancer cells by digesting them.
(Oct. 4, 2017) - The U.S. Army Research Laboratory recently announced the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Pennsylvania as lead research organizations for two enterprise research programs that will address challenges the military faces in internet-connected, robot-rich congested and contested battlefields.Through its Internet of Battlefield Things (IoBT) Collaborative Research Alliance, the Army has assembled a team to conduct basic and applied research involving the explosive growth of interconnected sensing and actuating technologies that include distributed and mobile communications, networks of information-driven devices, and artificially intelligent services, and how ubiquitous "things" present imposing adversarial challenges for the Army.Alliance members leading IoBT research areas include UIUC, University of Massachusetts, University of California-Los Angeles and University of Southern California.Through its Distributed and Collaborative Intelligent Systems (DCIST) Collaborative Research Alliance (CRA), the Army will perform enabling basic and applied research to extend the reach, situational awareness, and operational effectiveness of large heterogeneous teams of intelligent systems and Soldiers against dynamic threats in complex and contested environments and provide technical and operational superiority through fast, intelligent, resilient and collaborative behaviors.Individual research area leads are MIT and Georgia Tech.The U.S. Army's operational competitive advantage in a multi-domain battle will be realized through technology dominance, said ARL Director Dr. Philip Perconti.
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