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So far Lauren Mason has created 109 blog entries.

Cool it: Nano-scale discovery could help prevent overheating in electronics

A team of physicists at CU Boulder has solved the mystery behind a perplexing phenomenon in the nano realm: why some ultra-small heat sources cool down faster if you pack them closer together. The findings, which will publish this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), could one day help the tech industry design speedier electronic devices that overheat less.

“Often heat is a challenging consideration in designing electronics. You build a device then discover that it’s heating up faster than desired,” said study co-author Joshua Knobloch, postdoctoral research associate at JILA, a joint research institute between CU Boulder and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). “Our goal is to understand the fundamental physics involved so we can engineer future devices to efficiently manage the flow of heat.”

From Plane Propellers to Helicopter Rotors

For laser science, one major goal is to achieve full control over the spatial, temporal and polarization properties of light, and to learn how to precisely manipulate these properties.  A  property of light is called the Orbital Angular Momentum (OAM), that depends on the spatial distribution of the phase (or crests) of a donut-shaped light beam. More recently, a new variant of OAM was discovered – called the spatial-temporal OAM (ST-OAM), with much more elusive properties, since the phase/crests of light evolve both temporally and spatially. In a collaboration led by senior scientist Dr. Chen-Ting Liao, working with graduate student Guan Gui and JILA Fellows Margaret Murnane and Henry Kapteyn, the team explored how such beams change after propagating through nonlinear crystals that can change their color…

Congrats to Calina Glynn for Being Selected as a 2020-2021 Audree Fowler Fellow in Protein Science

Calina Glynn (Callie) is a fifth year Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology (BMSB) student in Professor Jose Rodriguez’s group. Prior to coming to UCLA in 2016, Callie received her B.A. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Boston University, where she studied Fe-S cluster binding proteins with Dr. Deborah Perlstein.

Callie’s graduate work focuses on uncovering the structures of prion fibrils that bestow them with unique biophysical properties. Prion diseases arise via the self-templated misfolding of the soluble prion protein into pathogenic protease, denaturant, and heat resistant prion fibrils (PrPSc). Callie has uncovered the structure of a protease and denaturant-resistant human prion fibril that explains the unique biophysical properties characteristic of PrPSc using cryo-electron microscopy. Callie aims to uncover differences in the favored fold, stability, and seeding ability of fibrils from disease-associated variants of the human prion protein and other mammalian prion proteins whose aggregation leads to disease.

The title of Callie’s Fowler Fellow talk is “Structures at the Core of Mammalian Prions”.

Congrats to Dr. Marcus Gallagher-Jones for Receiving a 2021 UCLA Postdoctoral Research Award

Dr. Marcus Gallagher-Jones joined Professor Jose Rodriguez’s group in 2017. In the Rodriguez group he has developed pioneering methods in electron diffraction and determining important structures. “Everywhere he goes, Marcus makes a lasting positive impression on colleagues,” said Rodriguez. “He is highly regarded in our structural biology group, is an active member of our NSF-sponsored science and technology center. In short, Marcus is an outstanding colleague and an exceptional young scientist and leader”. Marcus received his bachelor’s degree in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry from Durham University (2010) and his Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics from the University of Liverpool (2015). While his Ph.D. was awarded by Liverpool, Marcus conducted his thesis work half-way around the world, at one of the most powerful X-ray lasers in the world – the Japanese X-ray free electron laser facility (XFEL) and synchrotron source (Spring-8).

Congrats to Leyla Kabuli for Receiving the 2021 University Medal from UC Berkeley

Leyla Kabuli, a senior graduating in music and electrical engineering and computer sciences, is the winner of the 2021 University Medal from UC Berkeley. The 150-year-old University Medal recognizes a graduating student’s outstanding research, public service and strength of character, and comes with a cash prize. Leyla is currently working in Laura Waller’s research group and will continue with the Waller group as a graduate student in fall 2021.

By her senior year, she was fielding offers of full graduate fellowships from Berkeley, Stanford and MIT. She’s sticking with Berkeley for graduate school. “I might be biased, but Berkeley has the best electrical engineering program in the country,” says Kabuli, who was born in Berkeley and raised in Davis, California. She also credits the campus’s culture, diversity and grit for her decision to accept the Berkeley Fellowship for Graduate Study, which provides financial support for five years. As top graduating senior, Kabuli, 21, a simultaneous degree student in EECS and music, with a perfect 4.0 GPA, will speak this Saturday, May 15, to thousands of her peers, in cap and gown, at a campus-wide virtual commencement ceremony.


Congrats to Charles Dove for Receiving a Hertz Fellowship

Charles Dove uses artificial intelligence (AI) to harness the physics of light. A PhD student in electrical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, Charles uses principles from machine learning and differentiable programming to create new methods for the simulation and fully automatic design of light-based technology. This capability would enable significant growth in the scale, scope, and capabilities of nearly all light-based technology, including biomedical imaging, cellular manipulation and characterization, optical telecommunications, photonic quantum computing, and LIDAR.

A researcher in AI since his freshman year at Clemson University, Charles is the inventor of multiple technologies that combine electromagnetic wave physics and machine learning. His method for the efficient recovery of blood-flow information from scattered laser light is currently being evaluated for potential use in optometry and brain surgery, and his method for 3D artificial vision through multi-frequency scattering offers a promising and practical alternative to conventional LIDAR.

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