Computer science undergraduate recognized for potential in computing research

Josh Daymude earned an honorable mention for exemplary research as part of the Computing Research Association’s (CRA) 2016 Outstanding Undergraduate Researchers award program, which recognizes students with outstanding potential in computing research across North America.

Josh Daymude, a senior earning concurrent degrees in computer science and mathematics, earned an honorable mention for exemplary research from the Computing Research Association
Josh Daymude, a senior earning concurrent degrees in computer science and mathematics, earned an honorable mention for exemplary research from the Computing Research Association.

Daymude conducts research in self-organizing particle systems under the supervision of computer science associate professor Andrea Richa, who nominated him for the award program.

“We are looking at the computational algorithms that underpin future forms of programmable matter,” said Daymude, a senior earning concurrent degrees in computer science and mathematics. Programmable matter refers to physical materials that can gather continuous information from their surroundings and then adapt and respond to their environments based on algorithmic rules.

Daymude’s research focuses on the particles that make up the computational units within the larger programmable matter system.

“We try to take very simple particles/computational units and make them work together to create a larger, more robust programmable matter system,” said Daymude.

Specifically, he researches the compression of these particles in order to structure the larger system as tightly as possible.

This effort involves developing algorithmic primitives (rules that the particles follow) to coordinate particle movement in order to achieve a desired configuration and to validate those primitives through analysis and simulations.

The applications of these self-organizing particle systems could be used in order to coat the surface of a bridge to monitor tension, to fill a crack in a nuclear reactor or to stop internal bleeding by covering the affected area.

“Josh is a highly enthusiastic, independent and competent researcher. The research problems he has addressed would be challenging for a Ph.D. student,” said Richa, who also complimented him for being a great team player.

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ASU/NASA Space Grant fellowship enables exploration in additive manufacturing

Aerospace engineering student Brittany Nez holding Electron Beam Melting (EBM) manufactured bars that she is prepping for a series of tests as part of her ASU/NASA Space Grant undergraduate fellowship. Photographer: Jessica Slater/ASU

Brittany Nez is exploring the intersection between 3D printing and aircraft manufacturing with a fellowship from the ASU/NASA Space Grant program.

Nez, a junior studying aerospace engineering, received an undergraduate fellowship for 2015, which provides her with a bimonthly stipend and the opportunity to advance research with a faculty mentor.

She is conducting research in 3D additive manufacturing methods under the guidance of John Parsey, a professor of practice in The Polytechnic Schools, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Additive manufacturing refers to a manufacturing process where metal, conductive inks, polymers, plastics or composites are added (one layer at a time) and joined using various technologies — such as 3D printing.

Nez’ research involves understanding whether specific materials constructed using additive manufacturing are strong enough for use in aircraft parts, such as rotor blades, airfoils for turbine engines and rotating turbochargers. As part of this research Nez and Parsey are collaborating with Honeywell Aerospace.

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Addington earns dissertation honor

Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student Caroline Addington is the recipient of the Fall 2015 Dean’s Dissertation Award. Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU
Caroline Addington, a fall 2015 graduate with a Ph.D. in bioengineering, has been named as winner of the Dean’s Dissertation Award. The dissertation award recognizes exceptional work by doctoral students that encourages the highest levels of scholarship, research and writing. Addington is originally from Greenville, S.C., and received an undergraduate degree in bioengineering from Clemson University. She is a student of bioengineering associate professor Sarah Stabenfeldt, in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. Addington’s dissertation is “Modulating chemokine receptor expression in neural stem cell transplants to promote migration after traumatic brain injury.The research focuses on the development of a platform to enhance efficacy of stem cell therapy after traumatic brain injury. Addington says current stem cell transplants after a brain injury suffer low rates of retention and survival, limiting their effectiveness. “We’ve worked to develop a novel biomaterial that enhances neural stem cell response to some of the pro-regenerative signaling locally available within the injury microenvironment,” she said. “By increasing transplant response to some of these pro-regenerative signals, we hope to overcome the pathological signaling that is largely responsible for transplant death, thus increasing their therapeutic benefit.” For Addington, the work represents a significant progression into neural tissue engineering from her undergraduate focus of orthopedic tissue engineering. “I have always been fascinated by the principles of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, having worked in orthopedic tissue engineering as an undergraduate,” she said. “While the orthopedic problem space was interesting, I am very interested in and excited about working on problems facing tissue engineering within the brain. There’s still so much to learn about neural tissue and it’s inspiring to be a part of a field tackling these problems.” Addington says she originally came to ASU in part to work with Stabenfeldt, who has been an “engaged and supportive graduate mentor.” Likewise, Addington, who plans to pursue a career in academia, says her time working with and mentoring undergraduates has been particularly rewarding. “Having mentored students for four years, I’ve been able to watch their growth into critical thinkers,” she said. “As an undergraduate student, I was very fortunate to have been mentored by an exemplary graduate student and I enjoy passing the mentoring experience forward.” After graduation, Addington will take a six-week trip through Southeast Asia with her “globetrotting sister.” Once she returns, she will begin working as a post-doctoral researcher under Jeffrey Kleim, an associate professor in bioengineering in the Fulton Schools of Engineering. In this role, she will couple her expertise in traumatic brain injury pathophysiology with Kleim’s expertise in motor rehabilitation and neural plasticity. Originally published on Full Circle

Innovators shine, earn funding through eSeed Challenge

Student entrepreneurs participating in the eSeed Challenge gather with Tom Prescott (bottom row, fourth from left), the program’s benefactor.
Fifteen teams of student entrepreneurs pitched their business startup ideas Nov. 19 to a panel of experts, in hopes of earning funding to help them reach the next steps in their ventures. The ideas were as varied as they were impressive. Swarming robots aimed to help search and rescue workers. Mobile applications that generate business leads for trade show vendors. A healthcare diagnostic solution targeted at markets in the third world. A mouth guard for athletes to help identify potential head traumas. It was all in the name of innovation and the eSeed Challenge, the premiere program of the new Fulton Schools of Engineering Startup Center. The program is made possible through a $100,000 gift from Tom and JoAnn Prescott. Tom Prescott is a Fulton Schools of Engineering alum and former CEO and director of Align Technologies, Inc. Earlier this fall, 30 teams were selected and given initial seed funding of $1,000 to support their ventures. At the eSeed Challenge Demo Day, after months of work, the top 15 teams had to give a seven-minute pitch to a panel of experts, with an additional three minutes given to the judges for questions. Ten of the teams were selected to receive an additional $5,000 in funds and admission into the eSeed Accelerator to further their ventures. The 10 ventures that received funding were:
  • Telescrypts, a mobile health solution for remote healthcare workers and low resource medical clinicians who need real-time access to patient information. Telescrypts includes Omron Blauo, Luke Undhjem, Jennifer Huedye, Hermon Gebretsadik and Anton Vannamo.
  • XingFo, a mobile application that provides information broadcasting services to vendors at events/tradeshows and helps them increase productivity and lead generation. XingFo includes Nikhil Kumar and Butterfly Cherry.
  • Feromone Robotics sells the Feromone Swarm, which is a swarm of small robots that assists in search and rescue operations by leveraging behaviors found in nature. Feromone includes Miles Mabey, Corey Hulse and Alex Opstad.
  • SlipSensed is a fall detection shower mat that can send out a distress signal (alarm, phone call, or text message) to designated personnel alerting them that a fall has occurred. SlipSensed includes Mikayle Holm, James Beauchamp and Jordan Kariniemi.
  • Tech Dispatcher provides businesses and homes with hassle-free, modern tech support at the push of a button. Tech Dispatcher includes Brandon Garrett and Dallas Grantham.
  • PhysioCheck sells sets of wearable sensors embedded within mouthpieces for athletes to gather real-time data for concussion, metabolic and other vitals analyses while they train and compete. PhysioCheck is led by John Templeton.
  • VisiBraille is developing innovative ways to teach Braille to both first-time and later-in-life Braille learners in an effort to battle the high illiteracy rate among the visually impaired. VisiBraille includes Alyssa Oberman and Markey Olson.
  • Nikola’s SolarWind Tree offers an alternative to traditional grid energy and provides a product for consumers wishing to have a hybrid green energy setup capable of fully powering their homes. Nikola includes Andres Fuentes and Paul Perdue.
  • Debug My Code is a fast-paced and comprehensive question and answer service geared towards helping computer program developers solve problems they might encounter while coding. Debug My Code includes Susan Sajadi, Rex Blank and Tim Bujnevicie.
  • #WeAllCode sells educational software to nonprofit ventures such as “GirlsWhoCode” and private companies such as IBM, Microsoft, Google, and Intel who want better trained software engineers and more diversity within the tech industry. #WeAllCode includes Wesley Coomber, Crystal Gutierriez, Daniel Tracy, Krystal Basra, Alexander Landry and Eric Dressler.
Learn more about the Fulton Schools Startup Center and the eSeed programs at   Originally published on Full Circle

‘Domesday’ prizewinner fashioned from cans and tripods

An ASU team earned third place in a recent national student competition at the Materials Science & Technology industry conference in Columbus, Ohio. The Sun Devil Dome team – materials science and engineering seniors Ryan Treadwell and Michael Moorehead, and freshman Yegor Zenkov – won the prize in the ASM Geodesic Dome Design Competition, also known as the Domesday competition.
As Cast
The Sun Devil Dome team’s original casting of its geodesic dome for the “Domesday” competition.
Twelve teams from around the country earned their way into the event, including those from Virginia Tech, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, and the University of Connecticut. Students were required to design and build small curved and latticed structures out of materials of their choice. The structures were then stress-tested in a device that could apply a force of more than six tons. The domes were evaluated on the maximum load they could withstand, maximum load to weight ratio, maximum load to cost ratio, and aesthetics. Each team was also evaluated on a presentation made to judges. The Sun Devil team’s dome was made entirely of recycled materials from aluminum cans and camera tripods, and alloyed with copper, then melted down in a homemade furnace constructed by Treadwell, Moorehead and some fellow ASU engineering students. “When tested, our dome reached the maximum weight limit of the testing machine, of over 12,000 pounds, without noticeably yielding. The addition of copper to our aluminum casting played an important role in our dome’s strength,” Moorehead said.
The final polished Sun Devil Dome team's geodesic dome. it withstood a six-ton stress test.
The final polished Sun Devil Dome team’s geodesic dome. it withstood a six-ton stress test.
“The judges liked the fact that everything involved in the casting was student-made, all of the materials were recycled, and the dome never broke,” he said. “This was the second year of the national contest, and the second year that an ASU team placed among the top three teams.  That is a great demonstration of the strong design skills that our materials engineering students are developing,” said Professor James Adams, chair of the materials science and engineering program. Adams, the faculty adviser for both ASU teams, had all freshmen materials students in FSE 100 classes compete in a local geodesic dome contest. Freshmen Sunny Situ, Andy Situ, Nathan Fink and Jash Joshi – team name, the Metal Benders – won that contest. “The dome they designed withstood a load of more than 5,000 pounds, an impressive achievement for an all-freshman team,” Adam said. Several ASU teams presented their domes for review by fellow materials students. The structures made by the Metal Benders and the Sun Devil Dome teams were judged to have the best chance of being leading contenders at the Materials Science & Technology conference competition. The competition was sponsored by ASM International, the world’s largest association of metals-centric materials scientists and engineers. Written by Joe Kullman Originally published on Inner Circle

QESST Scholar wins NSF Perfect Pitch Competition

Pablo Guimera Coll ERC Perfect Pitch Competition
Pablo Guimerá Coll
Pablo Guimerá Coll, a doctoral student in materials science and engineering, brought home a first place win in the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Centers’ Perfect Pitch Competition. Coll, a scholar in the Quantum Energy and Sustainable Solar Technologies (QESST) NSF-DOE Engineering Research Center, won a $5,000 cash prize. He brought home the winning trophy that will reside at QESST until next years’ competition. It is the first time QESST has won this prize. The Perfect Pitch Competition was held at a Capitol Hill Reception in Washington, D.C. ERC students gave a 90-second elevator speech about their research project and produced one slide to demonstrate what they were discussing. Coll, who won an earlier competition to represent QESST nationally, presented on “Sound Assisted Low Temperature Wafering for Silicon Modules.” Goals for the competition include stimulating a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, and stressing the importance of oral communication and concise and persuasive public speaking. The competitions at both the individual ERC level and the NSF level were judged by people from industry. Contestants were judged on such things as a compelling statement of the problem and the broader impact of the technology. Mariana Bertoni, assistant professor of electrical engineering and QESST Thrust 1 Leader, is Coll’s advisor and coached him on his presentation. Written by Sharon Keeler Originally published on Full Circle

GCSP student is Edson Student Entrepreneurship Initiative winner

“We are hopeful that through this program we will be able to expand the impact of our project and create a successful business that improves the lives of our customers," shares Emily Herring.
“We are hopeful that through this program we will be able to expand the impact of our project and create a successful business that improves the lives of our customers,” Emily Herring said.
Emily Herring, a senior biomedical engineering student and Grand Challenge Scholar, is a recent Edson Student Entrepreneur Initiative winner for the project she co-founded, Adaptive Designs. The Edson Initiative provides opportunities for ASU’s student startup teams to further their projects. Adaptive Designs focuses on assisting people with developmental and cognitive disabilities. As part of the Engineering Projects in Community Service program, Herring worked with Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services (STARS). She noticed individuals with cerebral palsy who had the ability to read were often unable to do so due to physical disabilities. Simply turning pages could require the assistance of a STARS staff member. Herring and her team developed the idea of an e-reader that would allow people with disabilities to read independently. The design includes a sensor-activated page turner and an adjustable mount. This e-reader offers more than reading time, it can encourage feelings of independence and an improved quality of life. The Edson program opens the doors to multiple opportunities for winning teams. The program offers office space, mentoring, seed funding and an educational program to further winning teams’ startup works. During this semester, the Adaptive Design team has been able to conduct extensive market research and customer surveys through the assistance of contacts and mentors provided by the Edson program. Originally published on Inner Circle

Electrical challenge: ASU team excels in construction competition

Flanked by Aldridge Electric contracting company employees who helped judge the construction management student competition are members of the prize-winning ASU team (from left to right): ASU lecturer Aaron Cohen, the team’s coach, along with Steven Crofoot, Sean Osborne, Brandon Propp, Alexei Burtscher, Caleb Heinold, and Taylor Mount.
Flanked by Aldridge Electric contracting company employees who helped judge the construction management student competition, the prize-winning ASU team members are (from left to right): ASU lecturer Aaron Cohen, the team’s coach, along with Steven Crofoot, Sean Osborne, Brandon Propp, Alexei Burtscher, Caleb Heinold and Taylor Mount.
The challenge: Come up with a viable, comprehensive plan for the electrical engineering tasks involved in construction of an Intelligent Transportation System for the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority. The project calls for installation of a dynamic electronic message sign, a microwave system for vehicle detection, a roadway weather information system, a closed-circuit television system, building of truss structures and light poles, and installing more than 150,00 feet of fiber optic cable. Full-fledged project planning, work scheduling and cost estimates are required along with a safety plan. Time given to complete the assignment: 15 hours. A team of students from the ASU’s Del E. Webb School of Construction performed the demanding task well enough to earn a second-place prize in a student construction management competition. Almost 200 students from top construction schools around the country made up the teams from 30 schools that participated in the competitions at the recent Associated Schools of Construction (ASC) Midwest Region conference in the Chicago area. In addition to ASU construction management students who put their skills to the test in the Electrical Problem category, another ASU team took part in the Preconstruction Services Problem category. “I’m proud of how our teams performed. The competition presented difficult problems based on the real-world challenges faced by construction and engineering professionals in our industry on a daily basis,” said ASU construction management lecturer Aaron Cohen, the team’s coach. “When our students perform well, it instills confidence in the companies that recruit from our program. They see that our students are capable of meeting the challenges and thriving in today’s demanding work environment,” he said. Written by Joe Kullman Originally published on Inner Circle

ASU team wins second place award at Intel-Cornell Cup competition

Team ADRA’s project is designed to help locate a victim, provide GPS location to rescue personnel for quick response and deliver important packages such as first aid kits, food rations and communication aids to victims. Photo courtesy of Yinong Chen
  A student team from the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University earned second place at the Intel-Cornell Cup, a college-level embedded design competition created to empower student teams to become the inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology. The Intel-Cornell Cup, based upon the highly successful Intel Cup China, was designed to invite students to construct any design they can dream up and create the next great embedded technology invention. At the final competition held this spring at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, teams competed for a $10,000 grand prize. They were given the opportunity to enhance their résumés and demonstrate their professional design skills as they transformed their ideas into a well-planned, robust reality. ASU’s team was comprised of three students at the competition: Vageesh Bhasin, a graduate student in computer science; Sami Mian, a computer systems engineering major; and David Ingraham, a mechanical engineering major. The team mentor is Yinong Chen, a senior lecturer in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering. Mian was a member of the Nao Navigators team from ASU that had a top-10 finish at the 2014 Intel-Cornell Cup. The Airborne Disaster Relief Assistant (ADRA) project was designed to help locate a victim, provide GPS location to rescue personnel for quick response, and deliver important packages such as first aid kits, food rations and communication aids to victims. The team envisioned scenarios where victims are in an unknown location in a remote area, or difficult to traverse terrain, where the deployment of resources such as food, water and medical supplies and establishing communication becomes an enormous challenge. With no knowledge of the location of victims, having the required resources available is of no use without being able to deliver them to the victims. Quick detection allows a relief worker to save precious time, which is critical for preventing and minimizing casualties. The project is aimed at developing a swarm of unmanned aerial vehicless that are designed to tackle the rescue scenario. For the the Intel-Cornell Cup 2015 competition, the team developed two quadcopters, one for reconnaissance and the other to transport resources. A master node is responsible for most of the computational work. At the time of conception, the team imagined a fully autonomous system. After conducting interviews with emergency medical service personnel who would be the main users of the system, it became evident that a fully autonomous solution was not desirable and that a human operator should act as the administrator of the system. The team shifted their focus to developing a semi-autonomous solution where the copters and the base camp do all the surveying and processing, but a human operator would be responsible for the final decisions, including verifying detected humans and dispatching the delivery copter. Written by Erik Wirtanen Originally published on Full Circle

Maroon team wins second place at Academic Bowl

Wesley Fullmer, Prad Kadambi, Rohan Murty and Daniel Martin celebrate after a correct answer in the final round of the ASU Academic Bowl. Photographer: Courtney Pedroza/ASU Now
Congratulations to the Academic Bowl participants for the Fulton Schools of Engineering. the Engineering Maroon team earned a second place overall finish, falling in the finals to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences maroon team. It was the fourth straight appearance in the finals from Engineering maroon. The team includes Wesley Fullmer (electrical engineering), Daniel Martin (computer systems engineering), Matt Askins (aerospace engineering), Prad Kadambi (electrical engineering) and Rohan Murty (chemical engineering). The team earned a total of $10,000 in scholarships for the effort. Also participating in the Academic Bowl was the Engineering gold team. The gold team includes Andrew Hoetker (chemical engineering), Miggy Eusebio (computer science), Allan Garry (aerospace engineering), Jon Malapit (electrical engineering) and Enoch Kim (computer science engineering). The ASU Academic Bowl is an academic contest between colleges throughout the university. Questions are not limited to any discipline, and test knowledge from literature and social sciences to math, science and engineering, as well as popular culture, current events and sports. Tryouts for next year’s Academic Bowl will be in early fall 2016. Watch Inner Circle for announcements.