UCSB places among the top 10 in the Leiden ranking of 750 major universities worldwide

leiden ranking logo

UCSB Places number seven among the top 10 in Leiden University’s annual rankings of the 750 best major universities in the world, in terms of impact in the field of the sciences

Compiled by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, the ranking is based on data from the Web of Science bibliographic database produced by Thomson Reuters. It includes the Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.

The Leiden Ranking is a compilation of the top 750 universities worldwide with the largest publication output in the Web of Science database. Impact is determined by several indicators, including the average number of citations of the publications of a university, and the proportion of publications that belong in the top 10 percent most frequently cited. Based on 2010 to 2013 numbers in the Web of Science database, UCSB’s scientific publications — which include papers in the areas of life, biomedical, mathematics, engineering, computer, natural and social sciences and humanities — are cited an average of 11.66 times, and 20.3 percent of its scientific publications belong in the top 10 percent of most frequently cited publications.

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Communication and Motion Co-Optimization of Robotic Operations

In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the wireless sensor networks and networked robotic systems. In order to achieve the full potential of such systems, integrative approaches which design the communication, navigation and sensing aspects of the systems simultaneously are needed. However, most of the existing work in control and robotics communities uses over-simplified disk models, while most of the work in networking and communication communities does not fully explore the benefits of motion.

This talk mainly focuses on co-optimizing these three aspects simultaneously in realistic communication environments that experience path loss, shadowing and multipath fading. We show how to integrate the probabilistic channel prediction framework, which allows the robots to predict the channel quality at unvisited locations, into the co-optimization design. In particular, we consider four different scenarios: 1) communication and motion energy co-optimization along a pre-defined trajectory, 2) communication and motion energy co-optimization with trajectory planning, 3) clustering and path planning strategies for robotic data collection, and 4) robotic router formation.

Our goal is to see the impact of realistic communication channels on the communication and motion strategies of the robot, the trajectory design, as well as the configuration of robotic teams. Our results show that the proposed frameworks considerably outperform the cases where the communication, motion and sensing aspects of the systems are optimized separately, indicating the necessity of co-optimization. Our results also show the significant benefits of using the realistic channel model as compared to the case of using over-simplified communication models.

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Localized Feature Representations for Classification and Visual Search

Searching for images with a specific visual content has been a topic of intense research in recent years. However, much of the recent work is focused on global image representations. Searching for regions of interest in a given image, or querying the image database with a given configuration of objects are still challenging problems. In such scenarios, having an effective visual feature representation is crucial. In this talk I will present localized feature representations for classification and visual search. A weakly supervised approach to semantic segmentation is developed. Starting with an initial coarse segmentation, a spectral clustering approach groups related image parts into communities. A community-driven graph is then constructed that captures spatial and feature relationships between communities while a label graph captures correlations between image labels. Finally, mapping the image level labels to appropriate communities is formulated as a convex optimization problem. The proposed methods are computationally efficient, can scale to large image databases, and experimental results compare favorably with the state-of-the-art methods.

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2015 ECE 188 & ECE189 and CS 189 Senior Capstone Presentation Day

During their senior year students can take the CS 189, ECE 189 or ECE 188 Senior “Capstone” Project. Every year at the end of the Spring quarter the final projects are presented at a full-day, industry sponsored and judged event where student groups publicly present their projects and participate in an outdoor lunchtime project demonstration and poster session.

EVENT SCHEDULE OVERVIEW
photo of students with their project

  • Morning (9:30-12:00):
      ECE 189 in ESB 1001 (9:30-11:00)
      ECE 188 in the ESB Courtyard (10:00-12:00)
      CS 189 in ESB 1001 (11:00-12:00)
  • Posters & FREE Pizza (12:00-1:00): Engineering Science (ESB) Courtyard
  • Afternoon (1:00-4:30): CS 189 in ESB 1001
  • Best Projects of 2015 Award Presentations:
      ECE 189 & ECE 188 @ 1:00
      CS 189 @ 4:30

For more information: Capstone 2015 Event Overview and Full Schedule


 
Electrical & Computer Engineering 189A/B Projects
9:30am -11:00am Engineering Sci. Bldg (ESB), Rm 1001

MORNING SESSION ONLY — 9:30am to 11:00am

  • 9:30am — Opening Remarks: Dr. John Johnson, Instructor
  • 9:45am — InfiniTable: an interactive, multifunctional table made up of individual tiles that users can connect in any configuration
    Team: William Miller, Sarah Pilkington, Charles Crain, Isaac Flores, Brian Phan
  • 10:20 — Open Sesame: a portable door security accessory that can unlock doors remotely w/ WiFi via an android or iOS app
    Team: Eric Taba, Grant Apodaca, Jeffrey Bolin, Richie Agpaoa, Evin Sellin
  • POSTERS & PIZZA LUNCH in the ESB Courtyard — 12:00-1:00pm

 
Electrical & Computer Engineering 188A/B Projects
10:00am -12:00pm Engineering Science Bldg (ESB) Courtyard

MORNING SESSION ONLY — 10:00am to 12:00pm

  • 10:00 — Fresh Box: a fresh take on the age old problem of (not-so) dirty clothes
    Sponsor: Dr. Aaron Rowe / Team – Henry Huang, Amir Khazaieli, Ernesto Ortiz, Yunwei Zhou
  • 10:25 — HummingbIRD: Stabilized Gimbal for Drone
    Sponsor: FLIR Systems / Team – Tal Bernard, Vincent Komala, Victor Wu, Patrick Yin
  • 10:55 — Inferno: Wireless Hands-Free Thermal Imager for Firefighting / Search & Rescue
    Sponsor: FLIR Systems / Team – Jason Farkas, Sullivan Morsa, Sean Tauber
  • 11:20 — SONEST: Speaker Reliability Test System
    Sponsor: Sonos / Team – Tyler Bellenfant, Connor Lamon, Nathan Pike
  • POSTERS & PIZZA LUNCH in the ESB Courtyard — 12:00-1:00pm


 
Computer Science 189A/B Projects
11:00am-4:30pm Engineering Sci. Bldg (ESB), Rm 1001

MORNING SESSION — 11:00am to 12:00pm

  • Mapfolio: mobile app that maps indoor spaces
    Sponsor: Appfolio / Team: Kazbek Seilkahanov (lead), Sidney Rhoads, Crystal Cheung, Tom Craig, Michael Qiu
  • Moose Blazers: showcase low power, high performance characteristics of using GPGPU acceleration compared to a serial processing CPU in computer vision applications
    Sponsor: Aerospace / Team: Jordan Pringle (lead), Melissa Anewalt, Scott Walstead, Peter Gaede

POSTERS & PIZZA LUNCH in the ESB Courtyard — 12:00-1:00pm

AFTERNOON SESSION (Part 1) — 1:00pm to 2:50pm

  • Struct By Lightning: smart assistant integrated with video-conferencing that observes the stream and provides real-time assistance and info
    Sponsor: Citrix / Team: Trevor Frese (lead), Evan Crook, Britt Christy, Kevin Malta
  • The Sixth Sensor: a multi-wavelength camera that allows users to capture image stacks, review images, and store files on a cloud-system 
    Sponsor: FLIR Systems / Team: Jocelyn Ramirez (lead), Jonnathan Terry, Javier Hernandez, Chris Inderwiesche, Yu-Cheol Shin
  • Treadsetters: connect a bike to the Internet of Things
    Sponsor: Qualcomm / Team: Saili Raje (lead), Duncan Sommer, Oliver Townsend, Joel Dick, George Karcher
  • NovaToast: a home detection system using a Lepton camera and thermal images
    Sponsor:
    Novacoast / Team: William Chen (lead), Brian Wan, Jacob Anderson, Jonathan Simozar, Christopher Kim
  • Mercury Squad: gather data, find meaningful correlations and potential causality, and visualize it in readable graphics
    Sponsor:
    HG Data / Team: Sean Spearman (lead), Aimee Galang, Cody Brown, Ray Smets, Tim Shen

COFFEE & SNACKS BREAK — 2:50pm to 3:00pm

AFTERNOON SESSION (Part 2) — 3:00pm to 4:30pm

  • Team Voice++: personal assistant for mobile devices that listens for voice commands and lets users to perform usually difficult tasks during a phone call
    Sponsor:
    Invoca / Team: Petros Khachatrian (lead), Chris Atanasian, Julio Garcia, Belsin Barkhosir, Sheng Zheng
  • Savvy-gnon: an application that enables farmers to monitor their crops using near-infrared imaging
    Sponsor:
    VineRangers / Team: Rick Waltman (lead), Iris Moridis, Ariel Xin, Amy Chen, Chien Wang 
  • Team Enigma: a mobile application for customers to find and match a range of products
    Sponsor:
    Raytheon / Team: Blake Husserl (lead), Rafal Wojciak, Jose Vasquez, Metehan Ozten, Ahmad Bayonis

For more information: Capstone 2015 Event Overview and Full Schedule

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Si-SOA Hybrid Wavelength Tunable Laser with a Tunable Coupler for High-Power Operation

We devised a new output configuration for the Si-SOA hybrid laser which is suitable for high-power operation in terms of slope efficiency and suppression of nonlinear effects in a ring resonator. These advantages were theoretically evaluated. A proof-of-concept experiment demonstrated output power of > 7 mW and tunable operation with a range of 4.8 THz.

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ECE Professors Manjunath and Liebling part of Cal-BRAIN-funded project team to study the tunicate Ciona

calcium transients in live Ciona CNS
William Smith, chair of UCSB’s Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology Dept, awarded one of 16 inaugural Cal-BRAIN grants. Smith and researchers to study how the brain of a sea squirt receives and processes information.

Smith and his team will use the $120,000 seed funding to research the tunicate Ciona, a local sea squirt that shares similar physiology and anatomy with vertebrates. His project will simultaneously record the neural activity in all cells of this simple chordate’s nervous system.

The project will be a true team effort with contributors providing expertise in a number of areas, including transgenesis and Ciona imaging, computer vision, high-speed image capture and analysis, microfluidics and connectomics. In addition to the Smith Lab, other UCSB contributors include B.S. Manjunath, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and director of the campus’s Center for Bio-image Informatics; Michael Liebling, associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Dave Bothman, principal development engineer in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Ian Meinertzhagen of Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will also play a key role in the electron microscope portion of the project.

The Cal-BRAIN awards support the development of new technologies to revolutionize the understanding of the brain 
in health and disease by improving the ability to monitor and analyze its activity.

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ECE Assistant Professor Dmitri Strukov’s research in UCSB The Current article “An Important Step in Artificial Intelligence”

strukov and research group membes

Researchers in ECE’s Strukov Research Group are seeking to make computer brains smarter by making them more like our own

In what marks a significant step forward for artificial intelligence, researchers at UC Santa Barbara have demonstrated the functionality of a simple artificial neural circuit. For the first time, a circuit of about 100 artificial synapses was proved to perform a simple version of a typical human task: image classification.

“It’s a small, but important step,” said Dmitri Strukov, a professor of electrical and computer engineering. With time and further progress, the circuitry may eventually be expanded and scaled to approach something like the human brain’s, which has 1015 (one quadrillion) synaptic connections.

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Nature publishes ECE Assistant Professor Dmitri Strukov’s research on the memristor

nature journal logo

The UCSB and Stony Brook U. research is a step toward building computers that operate more like the human brain

Electronic components called memristors have enabled a simple computing circuit to learn to perform a task from experience. After processing data during a training phase, the device classified 3-by-3-pixel images as one of three letters of the alphabet, researchers report in the May 7 Nature.

A memristor is a circuit element whose resistance depends on the past electrical pulses that surged through it. That’s similar to the way synapses work in the brain. Electrical engineer Dmitri Strukov at the University of California, Santa Barbara and colleagues created an image-classifying circuit made of 24 crisscrossing wires, with memristors slotted into each intersection point.

Future computers packed with memristors and transistors could excel at tasks such as pattern recognition that human brains tackle far more easily than today’s computers.

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ECE Assistant Professor Dmitri Strukov’s research on the memristor featured in MIT Technology Review

mit technology review logo
An electronic device developed by UCSB and Stony Brook University researchers called the memristor could be the best hope for making practical chips that borrow design points from the human brain

Memristors, exotic electronic devices only confirmed to exist in 2008, have been used to create a chip that borrows design points from the brain. The prototype chip did not learn to do anything more difficult than recognize extremely simple black-and-white patterns. But larger, more complex versions might make computers better at understanding speech, images, and the world around them.

The circuitry of the chip, built by researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and Stony Brook University, processes data not with digital logic circuits but with elements that mimic, in simplified form, the neurons and synapses of biological brains. When a network like that is exposed to new data, it “learns” as the synapses that connect neurons adjust the neurons’ influence on one another.

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2014 Nobel laureate Shuji Nakamura gives UCSB public lecture on his prize-winning bright blue LED

photo of shuji nakamura giving lecture
Professor Shuji Nakamura speaks to a rapt crowd on April 28th at the public lecture at UCSB’s Campbell Hall that covered the technology and innovation behind his Nobel Prize-winning invention of the bright blue LED

“It was very simple, no?” joked Nakamura, downplaying the sheer amount of effort it took to go from being an engineer with an idea at a small Japanese company to becoming the inventor of the bright blue LED, an innovation that led to the white LED and a global revolution in energy efficiency.

While LED lighting has been in use since its inception in the 1960s, the technology had limited application, which grew as more light-emitting diodes were developed in different colors of the spectrum. For decades, the blue LED remained elusive and the most difficult to create until 1993, when Nakamura debuted his blue LED, demonstrating the brightest blue light that had been developed at the time.

Today, LED lighting is ubiquitous, from screen displays to interior lighting. Coupled with solar cells, white-light LEDs have been fashioned into durable, clean-burning, energy efficient and economical light sources for schoolchildren in poverty-stricken off-the-grid environments by the UCSB-affiliated nonprofit Unite to Light.

There’s more to come, said Nakamura…

Meanwhile, materials professor Steve DenBaars, who is also co-director of the campus’s Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center (SSLEEC), announced that, in response to the need for better lighting in Isla Vista, he and Nakamura will be donating personal funds to an effort to bring LED lighting to the streets of the nearby community.

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