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Bourns College of Engineering

BCOE Faculty Awarded $5 Million in Research Funding

BCOE Faculty Awarded $5 Million in Research Funding

October 17, 2012

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Bourns College of Engineering faculty were awarded $5 million in research grants during recent months that will fund a variety of projects across a several disciplines.

Bir Bhanu and Amit K. Roy-ChowdhuryElectrical engineering Distinguished Professor Bir Bhanu (left in photo) and Associate Professor Amit K. Roy-Chowdhury (right in photo) were awarded $750,000 by the Office of Naval Research for their project, "Continuous Learning for Unified Segmentation, Grouping and Recognition." Bhanu serves as the principal investigator of the project. This work will develop automated image and video understanding techniques for the recognition of objects and activities via integrating low-level image segmentation with high level knowledge for grouping and recognition from generative models in a continuous learning framework. This research will lead to the development of robust computer vision and machine learning algorithms and techniques for object and activity recognition in many real-world applications.

Lorenzo MangoliniAssistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lorenzo Mangolini (photo, left) was awarded a three-year, $300,000 grant by the U.S. Department of Energy to undertake a comprehensive experimental study of the interaction between ionized gasses and nanoparticles grown in plasma reactors. The research will provide a better understanding of non-thermal plasma processing, which will translate into an improvement of nanoparticle properties. This will enable the fabrication of a wide range of devices with novel, improved functionalities.

Marek ChrobakMarek Chrobak (photo, right), professor of computer science and engineering, was awarded $170,955 by the National Science Foundation for his project titled "Algorithmic Approaches to Energy-Efficient Computing," which will focus on designing algorithms for improving energy efficiency of computing systems. His proposed approach is to model the operation of various system components in the language of combinatorial optimization, with the objective function representing energy consumption, and to solve these problems using exact or approximate efficient algorithms. In addition to the algorithms the work will develop, the project will also be used to develop a course in sustainable computing.

Heejung Jung

Heejung Jung (photo, left), associate professor of mechanical engineering and research faculty at the College of Engineering – Center for Environmental Research and Technology, was awarded at $335,415 grant from the NSF for the project, "Fate and Transformation of Diesel Emissions." Among its goals, the project will establish a method to generate, characterize, and quantify physical and chemical transformation of diesel emissions. The project also aims to improve scientific literacy of the public on air pollution. Photographic images of diesel particles taken by electron microscopy during this project are planned to be exhibited at Southern California museums.

Alexander BalandinProfessor of Electrical Engineering Alexander Balandin (photo, right) was awarded a $350,000 grant by the National Science Foundation for a collaborative research project titled, "Graphene Circuits for Analog, Mixed-Signal, and RF Applications." The project is aimed at the design, development and demonstration of monolithically integrated graphene circuits for radio frequency and analog mixed signal systems. The broader impact of the project includes technical advances required to harness the early science of graphene transistors into practical solutions for radio frequency applications. The graphene circuits to be designed and demonstrated can be used in consumer electronics and communication gadgets such as smart phones as well as in radars and wireless sensors. The NSF collaborative project involves graduate students from Balandin's Nano-Device Laboratory (NDL) at UCR and researchers from the University of Pittsburgh.

Victor Rodgers and Yingbo HuaProfessor and Chair of Bioengineering Victor G. J. Rodgers (left photo) and Professor of Electrical Engineering Yingbo Hua (right photo) are lead investigators for two U.S. Department of Education GAANN fellowship grants totaling $799,566 over three years. The GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need) program provides fellowships, through academic departments and programs, to assist graduate students with excellent records who demonstrate financial need and plan to pursue the highest degree available in their course study at the institution in a field designated as an area of national need. The fellowships will support three graduate students in each of the departments of Bioengineering and Electrical Engineering.

Laxmi Bhuyan and Rajiv GuptaLaxmi Bhuyan (left photo), Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering was awarded two NSF grants, totaling nearly $700,000. Bhuyan is co-principal investigator with Professor Rajiv Gupta (right photo) on an NSF EAGER grant-funded project titled, "Developing a Programming Environment for Heterogeneous Multiprocessors." The $299,288 project will address distribution issues for systems executing on heterogeneous computing architectures. The research will seek to achieve maximum gain and resources utilization of these architectures by distributing the workload among accelerators and CPUs according to the computational capabilities of the components.

Bhuyan is also PI on the NSF-funded project, "Power-Efficient Multicore Scheduling for Network Applications," which will address the need to improve the efficiency of high-speed network systems by better understanding real-time demands, network traffic patterns, and details of specific multi-core architectures. The $400,000 project seeks to develop improved power-aware scheduling and thermal management, which will lead to greater energy efficiency and lowered costs by reducing the need for cooling and improving the reliability of hardware.

Eamonn Keogh, Walid Najjar, Vasilis TsotrasProfessor of Computer Science and Engineering Eamonn Keogh (left photo) is principal investigator on a four-year, $1.2-million grant from the NSF to work with Children's Hospital in Los Angeles to mine data collected from pediatric intensive care units. Keogh, along with colleagues and co-P.I.s Walid Najjar (center photo) and Vasilis Tsotras (right photo), professors in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and Randall Wetzel, a physician at Children's Hospital, will use a new technique to search datasets of more than one trillion objects to find patterns in health care delivery contained within patient data collected from ICUs.

Najjar (center photo, above) is also the P.I. on a new $400,000 NSG grant supporting the CHAT Project (Customized Hardware Accelerated Threads). The project aims at accelerating the execution of high-performance computing applications that exhibit irregular behavior in their access to memory, including scientific and big data applications. CHAT relies on FPGAs (Field Programmable Gate Array) to automatically generate customized multithreaded execution engines from C code.

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