Faculty Speakers at the 2012 Share the Vision Technology Showcase

Our faculty speakers, listed below, include winners of the MacArthur Fellowship, Lemelson-MIT Prize, NIH New Innovator Award, Korea’s Ho-Am Prize in Science, Howard Hughes Medical Institute Scientist Awards, Humboldt Awards, and IEEE awards, among other national and international accolades.


View the full breakout of the faculty speaking times here.

Systems & Devices for Health


 Rashid Bashir

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of Research: BioMEMS, Lab on a chip, nano‐biotechnology, interfacing biology and engineering from molecular to tissue scale, and applications of semiconductor fabrication to biology, all applied to solve biomedical problems.

Start-up: BioVitesse Inc., develops, manufactures and markets automated in-process quality control monitoring systems and solutions for Rapid Bacterial Detection and Identification for the industrial microbiological markets. More information can be found at www.biovitesse.com.

Title of Talk: Microfluidics and Nanotechnology for Point of Care Diagnostics

Abstract: Integration of biology, medicine, and fabrication methods at the micro and nano scale offers tremendous opportunities for solving important problems in biology and medicine and to enable a wide range of applications in diagnostics, therapeutics, and tissue engineering. In this talk, we will present an overview of our work in microfluidics and nanotechnology to develop point of care biochips for detection of specific cells from blood for global health application. We are specifically addressing the detection of CD4+ T lymphocytes for detection and management of HIV/AIDs, especially a problem in sub-Saharan African countries and beyond. In the very resource limited regions, the patients or their blood samples cannot always be taken to the laboratory for CD4 testing; hence the laboratory test needs to be taken to the patient. Similarly, the detection of bacteria and viruses also need to be detected from body fluids for detection and management of infectious diseases. PCR is the gold standard but has not been realized at point of care. We have developed a novel electrical heating method which allows rapid PCR in very small volumes. These methods utilizing microfluidics and nanotechnology are amenable to the development of integrated point of care cartridges for detection of blood cells, bacteria, and viruses.

Visit Rashid Bashir's webpage.


 Brian Cunningham

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Area of Research: Application of sub‐wavelength optical phenomena and fabrication methods to the development of novel devices and instrumentation for the life sciences, including optical biosensors, photonic crystals, nanofabrication, finite difference time domain analysis, and sensor design and instrumentation.

Start-up: SRU Biosystems, a global provider of novel, label-free, detection tools used in drug discovery and life sciences research. Our patented BIND® technology rapidly analyzes biomolecular interactions of cells, proteins, genomic materials, peptides, antibodies and small molecule compound libraries. BIND technology represents a fundamental advance in the ability to monitor label-free biological interactions with high sensitivity and high throughput. For more information, visit www.srubiosystems.com.

Title of Talk: Photonic Nanosensors for Biomedical Point of Care Monitoring and Diagnostics

Abstract: Introduction of sensors to the point of care will reduce the incidence of medical errors, enable real-time monitoring, and help to usher in the era of individualized medical treatment.  For these exciting capabilities to become broadly available, it will be necessary for sensors to be inexpensively manufacturable while their associated detection instrumentation must be rugged, miniature, and inexpensive.  This talk will describe efforts in the Nano Sensors Group to develop sensors based upon photonic nanostructures that are produced upon flexible plastic substrates by replica molding or mass produced from silicon.  We are demonstrating the capability for multiplexed detection of breast cancer biomarkers from a single drop of serum at <pg/ml concentrations with the goal of producing a point-of-care system for complementing mammography, using Photonic Crystal Enhanced Fluorescence (PCEF).  In a separate project, we are developing the capability to detect and quantify the chemical contents of biomedical tubing using Photonic Nanodome Arrays (PNAs).  The PNAs are being applied towards detection of drugs being delivered intravenously (as an added safety measure), and for detection of urinary metabolites in catheter tubing (for monitoring kidney function).

Visit Brian Cunningham's webpage.


Yi Lu


Area of Research: New chemical approaches to provide deeper insight into biological structures and functions including, biosynthetic inorganic chemistry and its application in environmentally benign catalysis in renewable energy generation and pharmaceuticals; fundamental understanding of DNAzymes and their applications in environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, and targeted drug delivery; employing principles from biology directed assemble of nanomaterials and its applications in photonics and sensing.

Start-ups: ANDalyze, offers products for testing water contamination using catalytic DNA technologies. The company has developed a methodology for detecting and quantifying chemical levels based on the recent discovery of the catalytic properties of DNA. Company contact and product information can be found at www.andalyze.com.

GlucoSentient, Inc., company using GlucoSentient Technology (GSI), which translates non-glucose targets into glucose signal, allows one widely available device for many tests (using interchangeable test strips), takes advantage of more than 30 years of engineering and marketing of glucose meters, and uses any commercially available glucose meters, including wireless versions.

Title of Talk: Novel Biosensors for On-Site and Real-Time Environmental Monitoring and Point-of-Care Medical Diagnostics

Abstract: Sensing is very important for on-site and real-time environment monitoring and point-of-care medical diagnostics. Despite much effort, designing sensors based on a single class of molecules for a broad range of targets, particularly small molecular targets (such as toxic metal ions, organic toxins and cancer biomarkers), with high sensitivity and selectivity remains a significant challenge. Most processes are on a trial and error basis where successes in designing sensors for one target can be difficult to translate success in designing sensors for other targets.

To overcome these limitations, we have developed general strategies to obtain sensing molecules called function DNAs (DNAzymes and aptamers) that can bind a broad range of targets with high selectivity, and to transform them into fluorescent, colorimetric and MRI sensors with high sensitivity (down to 11 ppt) and selectivity (up to millions of fold selectivity). A novel approach of using an inactive variant of functional DNA to tune the dynamic range of the sensors to match the detection thresholds defined by the EPA or CDC is also demonstrated. These sensors have been converted into simple “dipstick” tests for even more straightforward field or home applications. Finally, to lower the costs of developing and marketing device for quantitative detection, we have taken advantages of the wide availability and low cost of the pocket-sized personal glucose meter (PGM) and make PGMs to detect many non-glucose targets ranging from heavy metal ions, organic toxins, bacteria, viruses, to diseases such as TB, heart diseases and cancers.

Visit Yi Lu's webpage.


 John Rogers

Materials Science and Engineering

Area of Research: Unconventional semiconductor materials, and their use in classes of devices that cannot be achieved
using established, wafer-based technologies. The focus ranges from materials to mechanical engineering, manufacturing science, device design and system integration. Outcomes of recent work include the first hemispherical digital imagers, epidermal electronic devices and instrumented catheter balloons.

Start-ups: Semprius Inc., is commercializing low cost, high performance concentrator photovoltaic (CPV)
modules for utility scale power generation. The company’s unique micro-transfer printing technology enables CPV modules with world-record efficiencies, in forms that offer excellent reliability and straightforward paths to high-volume manufacturing. www.semprius.com

mc10 Inc., is commercializing classes of electronics that can fold, stretch, twist and conform to three dimensional surfaces, in ways that are not possible with technologies that exist today. Applications range from wearable sports monitors, to advanced surgical tools, curved focal plane cameras, structural sensors and others. www.mc10inc.com.

Honors: Recipient of the 2011 Lemelson - MIT Prize for innovation. Breakthrough 'electronic skin' technology featured in numerous national publications.

Title of Talk: Bio-Integrated Electronics for Consumer and Clinical Applications

Abstract: Biology is curved, soft and elastic; silicon wafers are not.  Semiconductor technologies that can bridge this gap in form and mechanics will create new opportunities in devices that adopt biologically inspired designs or require intimate integration with the human body.  This talk describes the development of ideas for electronics that offer the performance of state-of-the-art, wafer-based systems but with the mechanical properties of a rubber band.  We explain the underlying materials science and mechanics of these approaches, and illustrate their use in bio-integrated, ‘tissue-like’ electronics with unique capabilities for mapping cardiac electrophysiology, in both endocardial and epicardial modes, and for performing electrocorticography.  We also describe ‘epidermal’ devices that mount non-invasively on the surface of the skin as health/wellness monitors and human-machine interfaces.

Visit John Rogers' webpage.



Therapeutics & Enabling Technologies


Jianjun Cheng

Materials Science and Engineering

Area of Research: Design, synthesis, characterization and evaluation of polymeric and nano-structured biomaterials for drug delivery and issue engineering applications across broad scope of multidisciplinary areas, including materials science, organic and polymer chemistry, bionanotechnology, bioengineering and pharmaceutical science.   

Honors: Recipient of 2010 National Institute of Health Director’s New Innovator Award.

Title of Talk: Development of Drug and Gene Delivery Nanomedicine

Abstract: Nanoparticles are promising carriers for drug and gene delivery. I will briefly describe three nanoparticulate delivery technologies we developed that are potentially clinically applicable.  In one study, we developed the nanoconjugation technique, utilizing hydroxyl-containing therapeutic agents initiated lactide polymerization followed by nanoprecipitation to develop polymeric nanoconjugates with defined drug loading, loading efficiency, particle size and release kinetics. We also developed drug-conjugate silica nanoparticles with precisely controlled particle sizes and demonstrated the size-dependent tumor tissue penetration. Preliminary studies on cancer targeting using aptamer-nanoparticle conjugates was also evaluated and demonstrated in vitro and vivo. To address low transfection issue of non-viral gene delivery, we developed α-helical, cationic polypeptides that have successfully mediated gene delivery to various cells.

Visit Jianjun Cheng's webpage.



Brendan Harley

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Area of Research: Engineered Cellular Microenvironments and Microstructures (ECM2), including developing tools to fabricate, characterize, model, and use three-dimensional biomaterials for a wide range of tissue engineering and regenerative medicine applications.

Start-up: Orthomimetics Ltd., a medical technology company that specializes in the design, development, and manufacture of regenerative medical implants and minimally invasive delivery systems for the treatment of sports injuries, trauma and other conditions that affect knees, ankles and other articular joints. Acquired by TiGenix. For more information, visit www.tigenix.com.

Title of Talk: Orthopedic and Soft Tissue Engineering

Visit Brendan Harley's webpage.


Paul Hergenrother


Areas of Research:  Identifying novel cellular targets that can be exploited in the treatment of diseases including cancer, neurodegeneration, and drug-resistant bacteria through small organic compounds. Identified through a variety of approaches, including natural product synthesis, combinatorial chemistry, structure-based design, and high-throughput screening.

Start-up: Vanquish Oncology, Inc., a drug development company focused on targeting molecular defects in specific cancer cells to create personalized oncology therapeutics for unmet or underserved cancer markets.

Honors: Recipient of 2008 Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry, ACS. Technology Review magazine's list of top innovators under age 35, 2005.

Title of Talk: Personalized Therapeutics for the Treatment of Cancer

Visit Dr. Hergenrother's webpage.


David Kranz


Area of Research: How mammals can eliminate millions of different antigens that are "foreign" (e.g. viruses, bacteria) without destroying antigens that are "self" (e.g. one's own tissues), a fundamental issue in immunology. Focus on the antigen‐specific receptor expressed by T lymphocytes (T cell receptor, TCR).

Start-ups: ImmuVen, Inc., develops novel drugs that can be used to treat infectious diseases and cancer. The company harnesses a powerful, emerging life science technology, T cell receptors, which are a unique class of immune-targeting therapeutic and diagnostic agent. For more information, visit www.immuven.net.   

BioDisplay Technologies, Inc., commercialize technology that dramatically shortens the time it takes to discover various drugs that can be tested for their potential therapeutic application. Acquired by Abbott Laboratories. For more information, visit www.abbott.com.

Title of Talk: ImmuVen: Developing T cell receptors as biotherapeutics for cancer, infectious disease, and autoimmune disease

Abstract: ImmuVen, Inc. is an early stage biotechnology company building a powerful, emerging technology platform for discovery of novel immunotherapies. The platform is based on high-affinity T cell receptors as specific, targeted biomolecules. ImmuVen was co-founded by Professors David Kranz, University of Illinois, and Patrick Schlievert, University of Iowa. Basic research in establishing T cell receptors as therapeutics has been an ongoing effort for over 20 years in the laboratories of the co-founders. The high-affinity proteins have been engineered using a patented yeast-display platform. The lead drug against Staphylococcal diseases, including methicillin-resistant organisms (MRSA), has now been successfully validated in animal models; continued development for clinical use is supported by a recent Phase II SBIR from the NIH. In addition, the company is actively engaged inwork on other T cell receptor-based drugs that are aimed at specific targets associated with cancer, viruses, and autoimmune disease.

Dr. Cheryl Quinn, who serves as acting CEO, has held positions at Cubist, aTyr Pharma, and Pfizer, where she was director of anti-bacterial therapies. ImmuVen has a strong, diverse patent portfolio that includes seven issued U.S. patents and various pending U.S. and foreign patents. The intellectual property law firm of Cooley (Seattle), under the leadership of attorney Bill Christiansen, has performed IP and FTO analyses for ImmuVen. ImmuVen formally began operations in EnterpriseWorks, the biotechnology incubator at the University of Illinois, in 2010 and has been supported by a combination of founder and angel investment, and several NIH SBIR grants.

Visit David Kranz's webpage.


James Morrissey


Areas of Research:  Role of protein-membrane interactions in clotting and the mechanisms by which polyphosphate modulates blood clotting and inflammation.  Developing improved hemostatic agents to treat surgical and traumatic bleeding, and improved diagnostic tests for identifying persons at risk of thrombotic disease.

Title of Talk: Novel Modulators of Blood Clotting and Fibrinolysis:  Diagnostics and Hemostatic Agents

Abstract: Our laboratory has identified novel modulators of the blood clotting system, including inorganic polyphosphate and nanoscale assemblies of membranes together with proteins that trigger blood coagulation.  Polyphosphate has only recently been found to be secreted in relatively large quantities from activated human platelets, and our studies have identified the steps in the blood clotting system at which polyphosphate acts. We have also developed new technologies to modify polyphosphate in order to modulate its pro-hemostatic functions, to immobilize it onto solid supports, and to couple it to potential targeting molecules. These technologies have applications as therapeutics for treatment of bleeding disorders, both as topical and injectable hemostatic agents.

Visit James Morrissey's webpage.


Stephen Sligar

Director, School of Molecular and Cellular Biology

Area of research: Mechanisms of biological oxidation, structure of collective assemblies of organized protein, lipid, and nucleic acid systems, basis of molecular recognition in protein-protein and protein-nucleic acid complexes, and detailed chemistry and physical operation of oxygenase and oxidase catalysis.

Licenses: Dr. Sligar’s Nanodisc Technology has been licensed to Sigma-Aldrich.

Title of Talk: Self-Assembly and Delivery of Protein Systems

Visit Stephen Sligar's webpage.


Wilfred van der Donk


Area of Research: The discovery and design of new antibiotics—mode of action and mechanism of biosynthesis of two classes of antibiotics that have been underexplored but have great potential for human therapeutic use, lantibiotics and phosphonate antibiotics—and anti‐inflammatory agents, specifically prostaglandin H synthase (PGHS), sometimes called cyclooxygenase (COX).

Honors: 2008 Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Title of Talk: Discovery and Manipulation of New Antibiotics

Abstract: The van der Donk group currently focuses on the following topics:
• Genome mining for phosphonate natural products
• Genome mining for cyclic peptide natural products
• Bioengineering of natural product biosynthetic pathways
• Synthetic chemistry to generate natural product analogs
• Mode of action studies of phosphonate and cyclic peptide natural products
• Development of co-factor regeneration enzymes

Cyclic peptides are attracting increased attention for their potential applications. They are metabolically more stable than linear peptides and are promising candidates for disruption of protein-protein interactions. Natural product cyclic peptides are generated by both non-ribosomal and ribosomal pathways. The molecules produced by the latter route have rapidly expanded in recent years as a consequence of the explosion in genomic sequence information. These pathways, in which a linear precursor peptide is generated ribosomally and subsequently post-translationally modified, provide many attractive opportunities for bioengineering. Firstly, the amino acid sequence is genetically encoded, allowing site-directed mutagenesis approaches to access analogues. Secondly, the pathways towards these compounds usually involve a relatively small number of biosynthetic enzymes. In turn, such relatively short pathways are more amenable to bioengineering approaches. Thirdly, the biosynthetic enzymes are often highly promiscuous. We have demonstrated that genome mining can uncover new cyclic peptides with novel structures and activities and we have shown that these pathways lend themselves well for engineering. We also have developed tools to discover new phosphonates (compounds with a P-C bonds) and are continuing our studies of phosphite dehydrogenase for NAD(P)H regeneration.

Visit Wilfred van der Donk's webpage.


Matthew Wheeler

Animal Sciences 

Area of Research: Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in the development of differentiated functions in ovarian and embryonic cells, using swine, cattle, and mice as model systems.

Licenses: Dr. Wheeler’s technology has been licensed to Origio Inc.

Title of Talk: Customized Implantable Therapeutics (CITs) for Wound Healing

Abstract: Engineered scaffolds provide the controlled physiochemical environments required for high-level tissue growth and cell culture. Currently, there is no method to fabricate arbitrary three-dimensional (3D) cell scaffolding with well-defined, open architectures at the microscale. This situation makes it difficult to: 1) Deliver nutrients to supported cells or remove waste in current systems, and 2) Allow stem cells to retain pluripotency for longer than ~30 days. These obstacles limit the sizes, types and complexity of tissue that can be grown. Newly developed Illinois technology of 3D printing of hydrogel materials enables the fabrication of tailored micro-scaffolds for tissue growth. We can precisely control the porosity and the geometry over wide size range (from 1 mm to 1 mm). Scaffolds can be fabricated from a wide range of hydrogel materials, including poly(hyaluronic acid), poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) and others. It also affords the ability to spatially tailor mechanical and chemical properties. This technology is being developed to produce customized implantable therapeutics (CITs) for a broad range of tissue repair including osteochondral (bone and cartilage) applications.

Visit Matthew Wheeler's webpage.


Imaging for the Clinic


Rohit Bhargava


Area of Research: Combining spectroscopic and structural information to understand biochemical processes and materials, including chemical Imaging, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, cancer pathology, polymer dynamics, biomedical image processing.

Title of Talk: Spectroscopy for Cancer Pathology

Abstract: Traditionally, cancer diagnosis has been made using dyes to stain tissue after biopsy. Human examination of the microstructure of the tissue provides a diagnosis. This process is limited by a number of factors and, while the clinical gold standard, could use a lot of improvement to better patients’ lives and treatment as well as provide effective healthcare at reasonable cost. Here we present a new approach to cancer pathology in which dyes are not used and the power of modern computing is integrated with significantly more information to improve diagnoses. Our approach uses optical spectroscopy and focuses on using the molecular content native in tissue to make diagnoses. We describe recent progress and results from key applications that are ripe for clinical translation.

Visit Dr. Bhargava's webpage.


Stephen Boppart

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Area of Research: Developing optical coherence tomography and multi-photon microscopy, two emerging high-resolution imaging technologies, to investigate bioMEM systems and tumor cell dynamics.

Start-up: Diagnostic Photonics is developing advanced imaging technology to assist clinicians in the evaluation of diseased tissue during surgery.  The company's breakthrough medical imaging originated in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, an interdisciplinary research institute devoted to leading-edge research. For more information, visit www.diagnosticphotonics.com.

Title of Talk: Disease Detection and Diagnosis via Optical Coherence Tomography

Abstract: Disease processes originate at the molecular and cellular levels. Therefore, developing new and innovative biomedical imaging modalities that can detect disease at these levels will lead to more successful treatment outcomes and cures. Optical biomedical imaging techniques readily enable high spatial and temporal resolutions for real-time imaging at microscopic resolutions. Optical coherence tomography (OCT) is a high-resolution, high-speed biomedical imaging technology that can perform “optical biopsies” of tissue with images that resemble histological tissue sections, but without having to physically resect, process, section, and stain specimens. OCT has emerged with clinical utility in ophthalmology, cardiology, oncology, surgery, and primary care, among many others. This presentation will review the background and successful translation of OCT from the laboratory to clinical application, and focus on its use as a real-time intraoperative imaging technology to assess tumor margins and lymph nodes during cancer surgery, as well as its integration in primary care medicine. New advances in optical molecular imaging offer the potential to image the early molecular changes that occur in disease with either target-specific contrast agents or label-free molecular vibrational imaging. OCT is likely to continue to rapidly expand into many areas of biological and medical science as well as clinical detection, diagnostic, and monitoring applications. The advantages of OCT have the potential to reduce healthcare costs by providing real-time diagnostic feedback, reducing or eliminating re-operation or return patient rates, and screening for and detecting disease in primary care settings, at the point-of-care, when diseases are more effectively treated.

Visit Dr. Boppart's webpage.


Paul Scott Carney

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Area of Research: Optical physics including imaging, near-field microscopy, classical and quantum coherence theory, beam propagation, fundamental issues of energy conservation, and mathematical methods in inverse scattering and the propagation of light.

Start-up: Diagnostic Photonics is developing advanced imaging technology to assist clinicians in the evaluation of diseased tissue during surgery.  The company's breakthrough medical imaging originated in the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Illinois, an interdisciplinary research institute devoted to leading-edge research. For more information, visit www.diagnosticphotonics.com.

Title of Talk: Computed Microscopy

Abstract: Medical imaging has been revolutionized by computed imaging techniques. MRI, CT, and PET arose when hardware, theory, and necessary computational power converged. Those positioned to bring these technologies to the clinic now participate in a multibillion-dollar market. We are today at the beginning of a similar revolution in optical microscopy.

Optical microscopy reveals cellular-scale images of tissues. These images are valuable in the diagnosis and treatment of many types of disease. New laser sources, detectors, optical components are now making new types of data available. However, data available are sometimes related to the sample in a complicated fashion requiring sophisticated data processing to recover the underlying object, that is computed microscopy. Methods in computed optical microscopy are just now enabled by advances on the theoretical front together with the emergence of massively parallel computing on the desk top.

I will discuss commercial opportunities  for computed microscopy. Algorithms developed at UIUC provide functionality not before available. They enable the design and implementation of more robust and compact instruments. They allow for significant cost savings in capital investment and per procedure. An established UIUC start-up, Diagnostic Photonics, Inc. is applying some of this work to surgical guidance in the treatment of breast cancer, alone a $200-400M market. Other more recent advances in computed microscopy are yet to be commercialized and will be discussed along with potential markets.

Visit Dr. Carney's webpage.


Taekjip Ha


Area of Research: Using physical concepts and experimental techniques to study fundamental questions in molecular biology. The biological systems under study include helicases that unzip DNA, DNA recombination intermediate called Holliday junction and its associated enzymes, folding and catalysis of hairpin and VS ribozymes, DNA replication machinery, and chromatin remodeling complexes.

Honors: Recipient of National Science Foundation Award, Center for the Physics of Living Cells.

Title of Talk: Single molecule imaging: Life at a higher resolution

Abstract: We use single molecule fluorescence imaging tools and manipulation techniques to study the dynamics and function of biological macromolecules in vitro, in vitro and semi-vivo with unprecedented precision and clarity. In particular, we are developing new methods to perform proteomics and interactome analysis at the single cell level (Jain et al, "Probing cellular protein complexes using single-molecule pull-down", Nature,473, 484-488, 2011) and to measure the DNA and RNA processes with the ultimate resolution of single basepairs and at the same time measure the structural dynamics of enzymes (Comstock et al, “Ultra-high resolution optical trap with single fluorophore sensitivity”, Nature Methods, 8, 335-340, 2011).

Visit Dr. Ha's webpage.


Ling Jian Meng

Nuclear, Plasma and Radiological Engineering

Area of Research: Radiation sensors and nuclear imaging instrumentation.

Licenses: Some of Dr. Meng’s technologies have been licensed to EnDepth Vision Systems.

Title of Talk: Shaper Eyes for Future Nuclear Visualization Systems

Abstract: Nuclear imaging modalities, such as X-ray computed tomography (CT), single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and positron emission tomography (PET) have a long history that goes back to the 19th century. While the basic image formation principles have been well established, the technology utilized in the current generation nuclear imaging systems have left much to be desired.

Nuclear imaging sensors are playing a vital role, as human eyes, in collecting imaging information that ultimately determines system performance. In our lab, we are making use of the recent advances in detector technology and microelectronics to develop a new generation of imaging sensors that offers dramatically improved spatial, temporal and energy information. The keys to these advanced sensors are room-temperature semiconductor detector (RTSD) materials and custom-designed readout circuitries specially tailored to pick up the spatial and temporal responses induced by the incident photons (X-rays and gamma rays). We are currently funded by NIH, DOE and NASA for developing several sensors systems for a wide range of imaging applications. The focus of this presentation will be on the development desktop nuclear imaging systems for micro emission tomography (Micro-ET) of small lab animals under in vivo settings.

Visit Dr. Meng's webpage.


Gabriel Popescu

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Area of Research: Developing novel optical methods based on light scattering, interferometry and microscopy to quantify structure and dynamics of cells and tissues in health and disease.  Quantitative light imaging of cells and tissues, cell membrane dynamics, viscoelastic properties of live cells, cancer diagnosis, optical properties of cells and tissues, interference microscopy, globally affordable blood testing.

Title of Talk: Quantitative phase imaging: from image to knowledge

Abstract: The optical microscope, or light microscope, employs visible light to detect small objects. It is the most commonly used tool in biomedicine. Users of optical microscopy are faced with difficult decisions in regards to their equipment. Typical off-the-shelf optical microscopes are low cost but cannot offer any quantitative insight into the properties of the structures of interest. On the other hand, 3D metrology instruments (electron/ion beam microscopes, AFM) serve the purposes of a number of specific industries/markets including the life sciences, medical diagnostics, nanotechnology and the semiconductor industries. They provide information about the topography of specimens with nanoscale accuracy. However, these instruments are invasive, i.e., incompatible with imaging living organisms, they are bulky and expensive. Our Quantitative Light Imaging Lab at the Beckman Institute is working toward adding the quantitative and nanoscale features to the light microcopy that is uniquely fit for noninvasive studies of cells and tissues. Our technology provides a long-awaited solution to studying live specimens in their natural state (i.e. without heavy preparation). Our technology is called Quantitative Phase Imaging (QPI) and we believe that it will set the basis for the next generation, smart, optical microscopes. We anticipate QPI will enable acquiring new knowledge in basic and clinical research, i.e., understanding cell function and disease.

Visit Dr. Popescu's webpage.



Advanced Materials, Clean Energy & Sustainability


Jennifer Bernhard

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of Research: Electromagnetics for wireless communication—effects of packaging on antenna performance, develop design-oriented models for internal antennas, embedded antennas, and diversity schemes—and reconfigurable active and passive antennas—reconfigurability in antenna structures to provide flexibility in operating frequency, bandwidth, and radiation pattern performance.

Honors: President of IEEE Antennas and Propagation Society, 2008.

Title of Talk: Package Integrated Antennas

Abstract: This overview will describe some of our antenna designs and antenna isolation techniques that support antenna deployment in small packages and in challenging environments, especially near metallic objects. These technologies are important to expand the spread of wireless sensing and communication in scenarios that currently prohibit or limit the application of traditional antenna technologies.

Visit Jennifer Bernhard's webpage.


Hans Blaschek

Director, Center for Advanced BioEnergy Research

Area of Research: Genetics and Physiology of the solvent-producing clostridia for biotechnology application in the fermentation industry.

Start-up: TetraVitae Biosciences, a company that is commercializing the butanol fermentation using the solvent-producing clostridia. Acquired by Eastman Renewable Materials, LLC. More information can be found at www.eastman.com.

Honors: Recipient of Funk Award for Outstanding Contribution to Betterment of Agriculture.

Title of Talk: Fermentation Processes for Bioenergy

Visit Hans Blaschek's webage.


Paul Braun

Materials Science & Engineering

Area of Research: The formation and study of nano and microstructures through self and directed assembly, including the use of liquid crystals to create chemically functionalized hollow nanospheres, which would serve as site-specific drug delivery agents and low dielectric constant materials for high-speed microelectronics. Formation and characterization of photonic bandgap structures.

Start-ups: Xerion Advanced Battery Corp., exploring a novel method of using nanotechnology to increase ion transport and energy extraction to produce a new electrode architecture called StructurePore. The StructurePore technology has the potential to charge electric car batteries in minutes and cell phone batteries in seconds.  The company is exploring military, industrial, and consumer applications. For more information, visit www.xerionmaterials.com.

Autonomic Materials Inc., developing self-healing technologies that extend the lifetime of coatings. The technologies can be used in elastomer coatings, thermosetting coatings, and powder coatings, making them useful across a wide range of markets, from marine to aerospace. For more information, visit www.autonomicmaterials.com.

Title of Talk: Ultra-High Power and Energy Density Rechargeable Batteries

Abstract: Rapid charge and discharge is an increasingly sought-out feature of electrical energy storage devices, but causes dramatic capacity reductions in most rechargeable batteries. Supercapacitors do not suffer from this problem, but have much lower energy densities than batteries. A storage technology that combines the rate performance of supercapacitors with the energy density of batteries would revolutionize portable and distributed power. Here we demonstrate charge and discharge rates of up to 400C and 1,000C for lithium-ion and nickel-metal hydride chemistries, respectively, with minimal capacity loss (400C is a 9 second charge or discharge and 1,000C is a 3.6 second charge or discharge). The final structure also has energy densities comparable to current commercial systems. This is achieved using a self-assembled colloidal crystal templated three dimensional (3D) bicontinuous nanoarchitecture consisting of an electrolytically active material sandwiched between rapid ion and electron transport pathways. Finally, a full-cell lithium-ion battery constructed from a bicontinuous lithiated MnO2 cathode and a conventional graphite anode was charged to 90% capacity in 2 minutes. The 3D bicontinuous electrode approach presented here is quite general, and as we will show, is applicable to many battery chemistries including ultra-high energy density materials such as silicon.

Visit Paul Braun's webpage.


Martin Burke


Area of Research: The synthesis and study of small molecules with the capacity to perform protein-like functions. Development of molecular prosthetics as a general strategy for the understanding and betterment of human health, including Iterative Cross-Coupling (ICC), towards a general strategy for complex small molecule synthesis, towards the total synthesis of Amphotericin B via ICC, and harnessing the power of synthesis to probe the structure and function of the Amphotericin B ion channel.

Licenses: Professor Burke developed a class of protected boronates (MIDA Boronates). This technology has been licensed to Sigma-Aldrich, Allychem Co., and BoroPharm.

Honors: Recipient of 2011 Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, American Chemical Society and 2009 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Early Career Scientist.

Title of Talk: A Universal Platform for Organic Synthesis

Abstract: Small molecules (pharmaceuticals, natural products, and organic materials) represent one of the most important molecular feedstocks for the advancement of medicine, science, and engineering. Highly trained chemists have traditionally prepared such compounds in the laboratory via the development of a unique pathway for each type of
targeted structure. In stark contrast, peptides, oligonucleotides, and oligosaccharides (the three other major classes of biologically active molecules) are now all readily prepared via systematic, building block-based approaches that have been fully automated. The widespread impact of these advances has been profound. To promote a similar transformation with small molecules and thereby enable their extraordinary functional potential to be maximally harnessed, my group has developed a powerful new platform for organic synthesis that employs a single reaction iteratively to rapidly and precisely assemble "MIDA boronate" building blocks having all of the required structural elements pre-installed. More than 75 of our MIDA boronates are already commercially-available, and these building blocks are being widely utilized to speed the discovery of new medicines by major pharmaceutical companies throughout the U.S., Europe, India, and Asia, including applications on both the discovery and process scales. This work has been extensively highlighted in both the scientific and mainstream media, been the subject of a Chemical and Engineering News Worldwide Webinar presentation (http://pubs.acs.org/cen/webinar/webinar-sigma.html), and is supported by an extensive IP portfolio. Most recently, we have made substantial progress towards rendering this process fully automated. Ultimately, this powerful platform stands to bring the power of organic synthesis to the non-expert and have a profound and pervasive impact on many areas of research and development.

Visit Martin Burke's webpage.


Gary Eden

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Area of Research: The study and applications of the interaction of visible and ultraviolet radiation with matter. The laboratory has discovered more than a dozen lasers or amplifiers in the ultraviolet, visible, and near-infrared, including the first ultraviolet and violet fiber lasers, atomic lasers pumped by the photo excitation of atomic collision pairs, and the Cd– and Zn-halide diatomic systems.

Start-ups: Eden Park Illumination, a young dynamic lighting technology company anchored in over fifty years of technology heritage through their affiliation with the Laboratory of Optical Physics and Engineering at the University of Illinois. Leaders in the areas of research, development and commercialization of Microplasma. For more information, visit www.edenpark.com.

Title of Talk: Microcavity Plasma Devices for Lighting and Water Purification

Visit Gary Eden's webpage.


Yong-Su Jin

Food Science & Human Nutrition

Areas of Research: The discovery and understanding of genetic and environmental perturbations which elicit beneficial phenotypes of microorganism through systems and synthetic approaches. Specifically, Dr. Jin is working on elucidating relationships between genotype and phenotypes in the context of value-added biotransformation (fuels and chemicals) and stress tolerance (solvents, nanomaterials, and antibiotics).

Title of Talk: Simultaneous co-fermentation of mixed sugars: a promising strategy for producing
cellulosic biofuels and chemicals

Abstract: The lack of microbial strains capable of fermenting all sugars present in plant cell wall hydrolyzates to fuels and chemicals is a major challenge of industrial biotechnology. While naturally existing or engineered microorganisms can ferment mixed sugars (glucose, xylose, and galactose) in hydrolyzates from terrestrial or marine biomass, the preferential utilization of glucose before other non-glucose sugars often results in lower conversion yield and productivity of fuels and chemicals. To overcome these bottlenecks, we engineered yeasts to simultaneously co-ferment mixtures of cellobiose and xylose. After constructing an efficient xylose-fermenting strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae through rational and combinatorial strategies, we introduced a cellobiose utilizing pathway into the xylose-fermenting strain. In this yeast strain, hydrolysis of cellobiose takes place inside yeast cells through the action of an intracellular β- glucosidase following import by a cellodextrin transporter. The resulting yeast strain not only co-fermented cellobiose and xylose simultaneously, but also exhibited improved ethanol yield as compared to when either cellobiose or xylose was used as a sole carbon source. With a similar strategy, we demonstrate that co-fermentation of cellobiose and galactose and enhanced production of xylitol from a mixture of cellobiose and xylose are also feasible. Our results suggest that this simultaneous co-fermentation of mixed sugars is a promising strategy for producing fuels and chemicals from plant biomass.

Visit Dr. Jin's webpage.


William King

Mechanical Science & Engineering

Areas of Research: Develops thermal processing tools that are used for manufacturing, metrology and materials analysis at the micrometer and nanometer scales. These tools and techniques make high-volume production of nanotechnology-based products economically feasible.

Start-up: Hoowaki Inc., develops microtechnology for improved, functional surfaces on extruded products and processes. Reduce sliding friction, lower drag along the surface, and control surface tension, among other phenomenal capabilities. Using their proprietary technology, Hoowaki creates microstructured surfaces on industrial tooling to create micron-sized features on your polymer and metal surfaces. For more information, visit www.hoowaki.com.

Title of Talk: Integrating Microstructures into Consumer, Medical, and Industrial Products

Abstract: This presentation describes a new technology for controlling materials properties, which is based on controlling surface texture at the micrometer scale.  These microstructures can be engineered to control the properties of a surface including friction properties, water repellency, and surface stickiness.  The engineered microstructured surface can be incorporated into everyday products using a low-cost and scalable manufacturing technology.  This surface microstructure technology offers a low-cost substitute for materials challenges that have been traditionally addressed through expensive coatings or materials chemistry.  The presentation describes applications for consumer, medical, and industrial products.

Visit Bill King's webpage.


Philip Krein

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of Research: Power and energy systems, including identifying the best methods, best materials, and best engineering practices for the conversion and control of electrical energy. Research also covers dominant application areas, including electric machinery and electromechanics.

Start-up: SolarBridge Technologies, making solar energy easier, more reliable and more affordable. SolarBridge and its partners are working together to drive solar adoption by delivering AC modules to the residential and commercial markets. Through its module-integrated design and superior reliability, SolarBridge reduces the Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) and ultimately accelerates grid parity for solar energy. For more information, visit www.solarbridgetech.com.

Licenses: Dr. Krein’s technology has been licensed to Alpha Technologies

Title of Talk: Overcoming the Power Wall: 10x Power Reduction for Next-Generation Computing

Abstract: Computing is hitting a “power wall” where thermal and power limits impede progress. This technology breaks the power barrier, and supports 10x energy reduction in computing systems. It works by connecting computing circuits into “series domains,” building up complex processes in long chains. This can be done on chip, among groups of chips, among boards, or at higher levels of abstraction for data centers. Conventional “low-power” computing tries to decrease operating voltages, but just moves the problem to the power circuits, where extra losses may even increase overall energy. In contrast, the new approach supports high power efficiency at arbitrarily low digital circuit voltages. The power organization alone can reduce energy consumption in a data center by 30%, but when the technology is also used for low voltage, at least 10x total reduction is possible. The series domain approach requires active balancing – an ideal challenge for parallel computing methods. The team combines experts in digital circuits, power circuits, and advanced software to achieve this major system-level breakthrough. An industry expert who evaluated the solution remarked “This will put us out of business,” referring to its disruptive potential.

Visit Philip Krein's webpage.


Jennifer Lewis

Materials Science and Engineering

Director, Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory

Area of Research: Novel inks for direct‐write assembly of planar and 3‐D structures with locally tailored composition and architecture. A myriad of ink designs, including colloidal, nanoparticle, fugitive organic, polyelectrolyte and sol‐gel inks enable construction of complex 3D structures with minimum feature sizes ranging from ~ 0.2 μm to 300 μm.

Licenses: Dr. Lewis’ technology has been licensed to SELEE.

Title of Talk: Printing Functional Materials

Abstract: The ability to pattern functional materials in planar and three-dimensional forms is of critical importance for several emerging applications, including energy harvesting, printed electronics, and tissue engineering scaffolds. Direct-write assembly enables one to rapidly design and fabricate materials in arbitrary shapes without the need for expensive tooling, dies, or lithographic masks. Recent advances in conductive and hydrogel ink designs and microscale printing will be highlighted, including printing of flexible microelectrodes, conformal printing of electrically small antennas, and hydrogel scaffolds for 3D cell-culture models.

Visit Jennifer Lewis' webpage.


Bill Spencer

Civil & Environmental Engineering

Areas of Research: Smart wireless sensor technology, damage detection and health monitoring, structural control, stochastic fatigue, stochastic computational mechanics, earthquake engineering, and civil engineering applications of information technology.

Licenses: Dr. Spencer's technology has been licensed to Memsic, Inc.

Title of Talk: Smart Wireless Sensor Systems for Structural Health Monitoring

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Scott White

Aerospace Engineering

Areas of Research: Materials design covering the areas of autonomic materials systems, composite materials, meso- and micro structural design, and the processing science of polymeric materials. 

Start-up: Autonomic Materials Inc., develop self-healing technologies that extend the lifetime of coatings. The technologies can be used in elastomer coatings, thermosetting coatings, and powder coatings, making them useful across a wide range of markets, from marine to aerospace. For more information, visit www.autonomicmaterials.com.

Licenses: Dr. White's technology has been licensed to CornBoard Manufacturing Inc. Cornboard™ is a green wood alternative that is made from biomass residue called corn stover.  CornBoard takes the abundant and underutilized corn stover biomass material and turns it into a new building material that is an economical and environmentally responsible alternative to pressed wood products.  The company has already launched a line of longboards and outdoor furnishings and has plans to expand into the construction industry. 

Title of Talk: Autonomous Materials: Self-Regulating Materials for Coatings, Health Monitoring, Intelligent Processing, and Non-Destructive Evaluation


Autonomic materials systems are inspired by biological systems in which an external trigger produces an autonomic functional response.  While biology provides many examples of this behavior, their achievement in engineered materials has been only recently demonstrated.  Microcapsule-based self-healing in polymers and polymer composites is one example of this approach with numerous success stories across multiple materials, applications, and technologies.  While most research has focused on the healing of mechanical damage, these same principles are now being applied to microelectronics and energy storage.  Beyond these microencapsulated self-healing concepts, more recent research on microvascular materials systems has demonstrated enhanced performance, new functionalities, and pluripotent behavior.  These materials may one day provide the capability for self-sensing, thermal stasis, regrowth and other biologically-inspired functions.

Visit Scott White's webpage.


Parallel Computing, Advanced Visualization, & Security


Roy Campbell

Computer Science

Areas of Research: Security assessment of SCADA networks, operating system dependability and security, active spaces for ubiquitous computing, and the design of peer-to-peer distributed operating systems.

Title of Talk: A novel algorithm for fast edit distance computation on GPUs

Abstract: The problem of finding the edit distance between two sequences (and its closely related problem of longest common subsequence) are important problems with applications in many domains like virus scanners, security kernels, natural language translation and genome sequence alignment. The traditional dynamic-programming based algorithm is hard to parallelize on SIMD processors as the algorithm is memory intensive and has many divergent control paths.

We introduce a new algorithm which modifies the dynamic programming method to reduce its amount of data storage and eliminate control flow divergences. Our algorithm divides the problem into independent `quadrants' and makes efficient use of shared memory and registers available in GPUs to store data between different phases of the algorithm. Further, we eliminate any control flow divergences by embedding condition variables in the program logic to ensure all the threads execute the same instructions even though they work on different data items.

We present an implementation of this algorithm on an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 275 GPU and compare against an optimized multi-threaded implementation on an Intel Core i7-920 quad core CPU with hyper-threading support.

Our results show that our GPU implementation is up to 8x faster when operating on a large number of sequences. This work paves way for future work on rapid DNA sequencing. With the widespread availability of GPUs and their low cost, we envision cheap, fast and readily available DNA sequencing.

Visit Dr. Campbell's webpage.


Donna Cox

National Center for Supercomputing Applications

Areas of Research: Scientific visualization for public outreach and education.

Licenses: Donna Cox’s work has been licensed to multiple museums and media outlets.

Title of Talk: Advanced Scientific Visualization 

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David Forsyth

Computer Science

Areas of Research: Understanding human activity including tracking, animation, labeling, and object recognition.

Title of Talk: Applications of Computer Vision

Abstract: I will describe computer vision methods that can automatically interpret pictures. Our methods can, for example, recognize some objects. They can produce meaningful descriptions of unfamiliar objects. They can estimate the rough spatial layout of rooms (where could I walk? where could I sit? and so on). Recently, by assembling a series of these methods, we have demonstrated procedures that can insert computer graphics objects into legacy images---this means that, for example, you can see what a vendor's statue or sofa would look like in your own living room, without taking it home.

Visit Dr. Forsyth's webpage.


Carl Gunter

Computer Science

Areas of Research: The semantics of programming languages, formal analysis of networks and security, and privacy, including the interpretation of subtypes using implicit coercions, type inference for continuations and prompts, the use of Grothendieck fibrations as a model of parametric polymorphism, the mixed powerdomain, and the use of Petri nets as a model of linear logic.

Start-up: Probaris Technologies, leading provider of trusted identity software and services. We specialize in the development and deployment of Personal Identity Verification (PIV) and PIV interoperable (PIV-I) credential solutions. For more information, visit www.probaris.com.

Title of Talk: Security and Privacy Tools for Electronic Health Records, Health Information Exchange, and Telemedicine

Abstract: I will overview two of the technologies being developed as part of the ONC/HHS Strategic Health Advanced Research Projects on Security (SHARPS). The two technologies in question concern audit log analysis and isolation techniques for System on Chip (SoC) hardware.

One of the key problems arising with the management of EHR data in large organizations is the need to review the logs to deter violations of access rights. We are all familiar with this problem when it arises for celebrities, but there are additional emerging threats from sources like identity theft and medical fraud that drive the need for more sophisticated analysis techniques, including a higher degree of automation. These techniques will be critical to the healthcare sector, which manages large amounts of private data under strict regulations, but is relevant to other organizations where there are significant insider threats, including government agencies. We are developing tools and techniques to support a form of continuous process improvement technique we call Experience-Based Access Management (EBAM) that aims to use audit log analytics to diminish exposure risks in a continuous management cycle over time. We believe there are commercial opportunities for platforms and methodology support in this area.

Another problem facing healthcare organizations is the need to deal with dual use of wireless mobiles such as smartphones and tablets. Trusted personnel use these devices both for personal and business purposes. For example, there is a growing collection of applications on iPhones to support hospital personnel and these applications are coming to involve sensitive patient data. Technologies to support clean separation of personal and business uses of mobiles are therefore of growing importance. The technology we have been developing in this area is called a Network on Chip Firewall (NoCF), which can be viewed as mapping ideas from enterprise network firewalls down to the level of the communication architectures of SoC devices, particularly for smart phones and new medical devices. This technology provides low level capabilities that can be added to SoC designs in a modular way. New ideas in this area can be protected by patent and licensed to SoC designers and have applicability to contain the security threats arising from increasingly untrustworthy supply chains for hardware components.

To learn more about SHARPS visit http://sharps.org. To learn more about Carl Gunter and Illinois Security Lab, visit http://illinois.edu/~cgunter andhttp://seclab.illinois.edu.

Visit Dr. Gunter's webpage.


Wen-Mei Hwu

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Areas of Research: Architecture, implementation, and software for high-performance computer systems, and parallel processing.

Start-up: MulticoreWare Inc., a Software and Systems Integration solutions company providing heterogeneous multicore (h-multicore solutions) for high performance computing applications using multicore and many core processors. MulticoreWare embraces heterogeneous computing and its solutions benefit customers who require a higher order of magnitude performance with power and space constraints. For more information, visit www.multicorewareinc.com.

Title of Talk: Ultra-Throughput Genome Assembly

Abstract: The recent advances in next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have provided us with unprecedented opportunities to better understand basic biology and disease mechanisms (such as cancer). All existing methods for assembling NGS reads into full genome need excessive amount of computational resource (in particular, memory). For example, current assemblers typically require more than 200GB of DRAM, whereas a commodity computer today has 8GB of memory. The root of this problem is that existing approaches cannot decompose the genome assembly problem into modest sized sub-problems that can be solved with high efficiency and high quality. The excessive computing resource requirement has limited practical use of genomic information for individualized medical treatments and large scale biological research. In this presentation, we will demonstrate a new breakthrough. We have developed a new approach to decomposing the problem of genome assembly for NGS reads and iteratively derive high-quality solutions. Based on this approach, we have built and tested a prototype genome assembly system that is shown to generate high-quality contigs for human genome using as computers with as little as 4GB memory. This approach can incorporate existing assemblers and even improve their best results. With this new approach, we expect to use a massive number of low-cost, energy efficient computers to provide high-quality NGS genome assembly service with virtually unlimited throughput capacity.

Visit Dr. Hwu's webpage:


Klara Nahrstedt

Computer Science

Areas of Research: Communication Networks, including quality of service (QoS), support, real-time protocols, network management, guaranteed services, QoS in wireless networks; Middleware, including QoS-aware resource management, soft-real-time scheduling, QoS languages and translations, QoS-aware middlewares; Applications, including multimedia distributed systems and applications, 3D tele-immersion, tools for creative choreography; Security, including multimedia and internet security, quality of protection, wireless security in first responder systems, security in power grid SCADA networks; Tele-immersive Systems, including bandwidth management, view management.

Start-up: 4D Teleport Technologies, Inc. seeks to greatly simplify people’s ability to collect, integrate and share data for richer and more diverse real time interactivity. It does this through cutting edge spatial multimedia streaming services provided by middleware software for distributed cyber physical system applications. For more information, visit www.4dteleport.com.

Title of Talk: Simplifying High Quality Interactivity with Cutting-Edge Overlay Network

Abstract: Distributed Interactive Multimedia Environments (DIMEs) such as teleimmersion, telepresence, multi-player exergames, tele-health assessment, are becoming extensively media rich and ubiquitous. The reason for this trend is the continuing decreased cost of input and output end-devices such as cameras, displays, phones, and other multi-modal sensory devices, and increased functional capabilities of these media devices. Co-located camera arrays, microphone arrays, and other sensory arrays within single space and these media-rich spaces being interconnected via high-speed networks can deliver new benefits to users. However, with the increase of accessible co-located media devices, and distributed media-rich spaces, problems of configurability, programmability and adaptation increase as well and translate in potentially prohibitive installation and maintenance costs.

We present a cutting-edge gateway-based overlay network that (a) assists in easy configurability of media rich spaces, (b) simplifies programmable session flows in DIMEs, and (c) provides adaptive and synchronized control of media streams and resources depending on activities in DIMEs. Our current results within the TEEVE (Tele immersion for Everybody) system already demonstrate easy and quick configurability of 3D video and audio devices in TEEVE rooms, simple programmable manipulation of media streams among TEEVE sites, and adaptive control of resources and streams based on activities happening in distributed TEEVE rooms. The future goal is to increase the number of multi-modal devices, further simplify and speedup configurability of media-rich spaces, and increase easy, fast and functionally-rich control of sessions to enable rich experience of DIME-based applications such as tele-health and distributed gaming.

Visit Dr. Nahrstedt's webpage.


William Sanders

Electrical & Computer Engineering

Areas of Research: The design and validation of dependable and secure networked systems; Fault-tolerant computing; Reliable and secure distributed systems, Computer networks and protocols, Stochastic modeling.

Title of Talk: Assured Cloud Computing

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Dan Roth

Computer Science

Areas of Research: Computational foundations of intelligent behavior, including developing theories and systems pertaining to intelligent behavior using a unified methodology -- at the heart of which is the idea that learning has a central role in intelligence.

Title of Talk: Making Sense of Unstructured Data

Abstract: Recent studies have shown that over 85% of the information people and organizations deal with is unstructured – the vast majority of which is text in different forms. A multitude of techniques has to be used in order to enable intelligent access to this information and support transforming it to forms that allow sensible use of the information. The fundamental issue that all these techniques have to address is that of semantics – there is a need to move toward understanding the text at an appropriate level, beyond the word level, in order to support access, knowledge extraction and synthesis. We will discuss two key issues: (1) From Data to Meaning: There are several dimensions of text understanding that can facilitate access to information and the extraction of knowledge from unstructured text, and (2) Trustworthiness of Information: While we can locate and extract information quite reliably, we lack ready means to determine whether we should actually believe them.

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Karrie Karahalios

Computer Science

Area of Research: Designing and implementing communication channels for interaction between people in networked environments. These channels involve sensing the social cues people perceive in networked electronic spaces and incorporating them into the physical and virtual interface such that mediated interaction becomes intuitive and breaks away from the traditional computer screen.

Title of Talk: Designing Social Mediated Spaces - Online and Face-to-Face

Abstract: We have many years of experience speaking and interacting in face-to-face situations. We have developed complex rules of etiquette and social norms to facilitate this communication. How does this translate in online and hybrid mixed online and off-line environments? The Social Spaces Group investigates communication in online and face-to-face settings. We create tools to facilitate and create new forms of interaction, we study existing interaction in social media environments, and seek to create a visual language to facilitate a growing vocabulary for networked online and co-located social mores, values, and context. To illustrate this motivation, I will discuss the concept of strong and weak ties and how a model created from Facebook data maps to our non-Facebook lives. This model can them be used to design new social media interfaces that incorporate notions of tie strength.

Visit Dr. Karahalios' webpage.


Minh N. Do

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Area of Research: Developing new "true" multidimensional tools that can capture geometrical structures that typically are the dominant feature in images and multidimensional data.

Start-up: Nuvixa makes video more useful in online communications. The company's audio-visual conference technology provides customers with presence through a virtual green-screen, where they can chat with friends in a virtual space complete with interesting backgrounds. For more information, visit www.nuvixa.com.

Title of Talk: Immersive Visual Communication with Depth

Abstract: The ubiquity of digital cameras has made a great impact on visual communication as can be seen from the explosive growth of visual contents on the Internet and the default inclusion of a digital camera on cellphones and laptops. The recent emerging of low-cost and fast depth cameras (e.g. Kinect) provides a great opportunity to revolutionize visual communication futher by enabling immersive and interactive capabilities. Depth measurements provide a perfect complementary information to the traditional color imaging in capturing the three-dimensional (3D) scene. By effectively integrate color and depth information, we develop real-time systems that capture the live scene and render 3D free view-point videos, and potentially augment the captured scene with 3D virtual worlds. Such system can provide unprecedented immersive and interactive 3D viewing experiences for personalized distance learning and tele-presence.

Visit Dr. Do's webpage.