Anandkumar Training Algorithms to Spot Online Trolls


Anima Anandkumar, Bren Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences, and research team have demonstrated that machine-learning algorithms can monitor online social media conversations as they evolve, which could one day lead to an effective and automated way to spot online trolling. "It was an eye-opening experience about just how ugly trolling can get. Hopefully, the tools we're developing now will help fight all kinds of harassment in the future," says Anandkumar. The research team includes Professor Michael Alvarez; Anqi Liu, postdoctoral scholar; Maya Srikanth, student; and Nicholas Adams-Cohen, Stanford University. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights CMS IST CNS Animashree Anandkumar postdocs Anqi Liu Maya Srikanth

Joel Tropp Elected Fellow of IEEE


Joel A. Tropp, Steele Family Professor of Applied and Computational Mathematics, has been elected as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for his contributions to sparse signal processing. The IEEE Fellow is one of the most prestigious honors of the IEEE, and is bestowed upon a very limited number of Senior Members who have contributed importantly to the advancement or application of engineering, science and technology. 

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Researchers Develop New Quantum Algorithm


Austin Minnich, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics, Fernando Brandão, Bren Professor of Theoretical Physics, and Garnet Chan, Bren Professor of Chemistry, have developed an algorithm for quantum computers that will help them find use in simulations in the physical sciences. The new algorithm allows a user to find the lowest energy of a given molecule or material. Many people are interested in how to simulate the ground states of molecules and materials. "If we want to do a simulation of water, we could look at how water behaves after it has been blasted into a plasma—an electrically charged gas—but that's not the state water is usually found in; it is not the ground state of water. Ground states are of special interest in understanding the world under ordinary conditions," says Chan. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MCE KNI Austin Minnich Fernando Brandão Garnet Chan

Professor Ames Receives Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize


Aaron Ames, Bren Professor of Mechanical and Civil Engineering and Control and Dynamical Systems, has won the Antonio Ruberti Young Researcher Prize. This prize is given to recognize outstanding achievement in research in systems and control by a young researcher and to honor the memory of Dr. Antonio Ruberti. [Past recipients]

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Students Selected for Kortschak Scholars Program


Graduate Students Noel Csomay-Shanklin, Berthy Feng, Zongyi Li, and Wyatt Ubellacker have been selected for the Kortschak Scholars Program. It was founded in 2017 with the objective of launching a new era of scholarship, inquiry, and innovation in Computing and Mathematical Sciences at Caltech. The program provides multi-year fellowships to entering PhD students, allowing them to explore emerging areas in computing and mathematical sciences without being tied to grants and quarterly deliverables. [Current Scholars]

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Caltech Announces the Schmidt Academy for Software Engineering


Caltech has launched the Schmidt Academy for Software Engineering to train the next generation of science-savvy software engineers and set new standards in scientific software. "This is a recognition that computing, software, and machine learning are going to play a very big role in science. Because Caltech is small and collaborative, we have the opportunity to really make a push in that direction," says Kaushik Bhattacharya, the Howell N. Tyson, Sr., Professor of Mechanics and Materials Science and vice provost. [Caltech release]

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Techers Attend 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration


Caltech alumni and members of the Information Science and Technology (IST) Advisory Council brought forty Caltech students to the 2019 Grace Hopper Celebration. The Grace Hopper Celebration is the world's largest gathering of women technologists.

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Katie Bouman Named Recipient of the 2020 Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics


Katie Bouman, Assistant Professor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences and Rosenberg Scholar, has been named a recipient of the 2020 Breakthrough Prize for Fundamental Physics as part of the Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) team that generated the first-ever image of a black hole. [Caltech story] [Breakthrough Prize Announcement]

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PowerFlex’s Patented Technology Incubated out of Steven Low’s NetLab


EDF Renewables North America has acquired PowerFlex Systems, a pioneer in managed electric vehicle (EV) charging technology. PowerFlex’s patented technology was incubated out of Steven Low’s NetLab research laboratory. PowerFlex and EDF Renewables agree on the vision of large-scale EV adoption that will achieve meaningful reductions of carbon emissions in the transportation sector. [Read full article]

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A Promising Step in Returning Bipedal Mobility


Professors Aaron Ames and Joel Burdick have launched a new research initiative, RoAMS (Robotic Assisted Mobility Science), aimed at restoring natural and stable locomotion to individuals with walking deficiencies that result from spinal cord injuries and strokes. RoAMS unites robotic assistive devices—including exoskeletons and prostheses—with artificial intelligence (AI)-infused neurocontrol. "Bipedal walking is difficult to achieve in a stable fashion," says Professor Ames. "While crutches help users of the exoskeletons to stay upright, they undercut many of the health benefits that upright locomotion might otherwise provide. In addition, they do not allow users to do anything else with their hands while walking." [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights MedE Yu-Chong Tai MCE CMS Joel Burdick Yisong Yue Aaron Ames