Week in Review: 9/6/15 – 9/12/15

September 11, 2015

A new molecular design approach
Using a novel mathematical approach, a team of MIT researchers developed a domain-specific programming language for generating custom materials based on a set of design specifications. The software, dubbed Matriarch for “Materials Architecture”, allows users to combine and rearrange material building blocks in almost any conceivable shape.

September 10, 2015

Chad Mirkin Receives Sackler Prize in Convergence Research
Nanoscientist is the first recipient of new National Academy of Sciences honor
A researcher whose work cuts across disciplines, Mirkin is being recognized “for impressively integrating chemistry, materials science, molecular biology and biomedicine in the development of spherical nucleic acids that are widely used in the rapid and automated diagnosis of infectious diseases and many other human diseases — including cancers and cardiac disease — and in the detection of drug-resistant bacteria.”

September 8, 2015

New nanomaterial maintains conductivity in three dimensions
An international team of scientists has developed what may be the first one-step process for making seamless carbon-based nanomaterials that possess superior thermal, electrical and mechanical properties in three dimensions. The research holds potential for increased energy storage in high efficiency batteries and supercapacitors, increasing the efficiency of energy conversion in solar cells, for lightweight thermal coatings and more. The study is published today (Sept. 4) in the online journal Science Advances.

MATH AND CRIME: Data Models of Social Networks Can Help Police Fight Gangs
CGU mathematics Professor Allon Percus and other collaborators used methods created for solving partial differential equations to create new data classification techniques to analyze a social network of known or suspected gang members in Los Angeles. Mathematical models of such networks help explain how these groups recruit members and can assist police in identifying crime hot spots.

Panesi earns NASA Early Career Faculty Award for Modeling of Mars Entry
AE Assistant Prof. Marco Panesi has won several awards over the past year for his work in modeling non-equilibrium thermophysical processes that occur during hypersonic flight.NASA has recently selected Panesi’s project, “Reduced Order Modeling for Non-equilibrium Radiation Hydrodynamics of Base Flow and Wakes: Enabling Manned Missions to Mars,” for the Early Career Faculty Award. Earlier this year, Panesi was also selected for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) Young Investigator Award (YIP). Panesi’s early YIP research efforts were then selected for the 2015 Physical Modeling Award at the 8th European Symposium on the Aerothermodynamics for Space Vehicles in the spring for his paper, “A Reduced-order Modeling Approach to Enable Kinetic Simulations of Non-equilibrium Hypersonic Flows.”

Computer Science Researcher Appointed to National DARPA Study Group
UCF robotics expert Gita Sukthankar will help inform a federal agency on new research breakthroughs in computer science. The associate professor has been appointed to the Information Science and Technology study group for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).