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Hajim memo 1015

October 15, 2018

Dear members of the Hajim School community,

Congratulations to three of our faculty members who will play important roles in the new Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence in Parkinson’s Disease Research, which is being established at the Medical Center with a $9.2 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.  Ehsan Hoque, assistant professor of computer science and the Asaro Biggar Family Fellow in Data Science as well as interim director of the Goergen Institute for Data Science, and Gaurav Sharma, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will be part of an interdisciplinary team that will develop and evaluate remote monitoring and wearable technologies to help researchers better understand how Parkinson’s disease affects individuals. This will extend beyond what is observed when patients visit the clinic by monitoring patients in their homes and daily lives. Jiebo Luo, professor of computer science, will help support the center’s research as part of an advanced analytics core. Read more here.

Here’s another interdisciplinary project involving Hajim faculty members. Anne Luebke, associate professor, and Ross Maddox, assistant professor, both of biomedical engineering, along with co-PI Elizabeth Marvin, professor of music theory at the Eastman School, have received a National Science Foundation award. They will test the hypothesis that early musical exposure has benefits that extend beyond music to critical aspects of human communication, such as speech perception in noise. In addition, the project will test whether early musical training is associated with less severe effects of aging on the ability to understand speech in noisy backgrounds. This intriguing project also involves researchers at the University of Minnesota, Purdue University, Carnegie Mellon University, Boston University, and University of Western Ontario.

Congratulations as well to:

  • Elysia Masters, a biomedical engineering PhD student advised by Hani Awad and Edward Schwarz; Greg Madejski, a BME postdoctoral associate in James McGrath’s lab; and Justin Schultz, an optics postdoctoral associate in Nick Vamivakas’ lab. All three placed well in recent competitions that give researchers just a few minutes and a slide or two to clearly explain their research. Elysia tied for second in the Falling Walls Competition and Greg tied for second in the Steadman Family Postdoctoral Award in Interdisciplinary Research, in which Justin tied for the people’s choice award. Communicating science in a succinct, easily understood way is critical for connecting with potential collaborators from other disciplines, and for explaining the importance of research to the general public.
  • Gene Kim, a  PhD student in computer science advised by Len Schubert. Gene recently participated in the Heidelberg Laureate Forum, after being selected for the American delegation by Oak Ridge Associated Universities and the National Science Foundation. The forum is a week-long conversation between recipients of the most prestigious awards in mathematics and computer science, and the next generation of young researchers in both fields. Read more here.

Here’s an opportunity for engineering alumni to make a difference for our students: The Writing, Speaking, and Argument Program, in collaboration with the Gwen M. Greene Center for Career Education and Connections, is looking for Hajim alumni who would like to work with engineering students as they develop resumes and cover letters, practice spoken communication skills, and reflect on their career goals. Interested? Volunteer as a Real Reader for WRT 273 (a required course called “Communicating Your Professional Identity”). All career fields welcome; two or more years of work experience preferred. For more information, contact michelle.marks-hook@rochester.edu.

Thanks to Robert Huang ’70 (MS) ’76 (MA), an electrical engineering alumnus and founder of SYNNEX Corp., and his wife Lily for their generous gift that established the Huang Series in Technology, Innovation, and Research. This is an annual program focused on engaging and educating our alumni and friends while enhancing the presence of the University in the Bay Area. Last Thursday, more than 75 people joined me in Palo Alto to hear Martin Zand, senior associate dean for clinical research, discuss the role of the University’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute as part of the Huang series. This is a great format for connecting alumni and friends, and spreading the word about the exciting work being done at the University.

Reminder: Students interested in becoming Grand Challenges Scholars can attend an informational session from 1 to 2 p.m. this Friday, October 19 at the iZone Forum at Rush Rhees Library, led by Emma Derisi, our coordinator for undergraduate global initiatives. The program is open to all majors, so bring your friends!

The inaugural Biomedical Ultrasound Symposium Day will be held from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 6 at the Feldman Ballroom.  Hosted by the Rochester Center for Bioimedical Ultrasound, this event will include special lectures, graduate student presentations, a poster session, lunch, and networking. Frederick W. Kremkau, professor of radiologic sciences and director of the Program for Medical Ultrasound at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, will deliver the Distinguished Edwin and Pam Carstensen Family Lecture. Edwin Carstensen was the founding director of the RCBU and the Arthur Gould Yates Professor Emeritus of Engineering. Theresa Tuthill ’84, ’87 (MS), ’91 (PhD), senior director of clinical and translational imaging at Pfizer Inc., will deliver the RCBU Distinguished Alumni Lecture. RSVP to carlaboff@rochester.edu. Include your name, affiliation, any dietary restrictions, and whether you will be presenting a poster.

The Industrial Associates of the Institute of Optics will be on campus starting Thursday for their four-day fall meeting. This is a great opportunity for member companies to talk about their work and receive updates on research at the Institute, and for students to interview with company representatives for potential internships and job opportunities. Drop by the Feldman Ballroom on Friday for the day-long symposium. Read more here.

Have a great week!

Your dean,
Wendi Heinzelman