Volume 5, Issue 5, May 30, 2018
UCLA Institute for Digital Research and Education
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IDRE Executive Board Member Bertozzi
Elected to National Academy of Sciences

Dr. Andrea Bertozzi, a distinguished professor of mathematics in the UCLA College and of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, was one of two UCLA faculty members elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018.

IDRE Executive Committee member Dr. Andrea Bertozzi, a distinguished professor of mathematics in the UCLA College and of mechanical and aerospace engineering in the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, was one of two UCLA faculty members elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2018. The honor recognizes their “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.”

Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors that a U.S. scientist can receive. Its members have included Albert Einstein, Robert Oppenheimer, Thomas Edison, Orville Wright and Alexander Graham Bell. The academy announced the election of 84 new members and 21 foreign associates. Read more.

IDRE-related Lectures, Seminars & Colloquia

Stretched Polymer Physics, Pinch-off Dynamics and Printability of Polymeric Complex Fluids

Friday, June 1st 
10-11 a.m.
Boelter Hall 3400

Abstract: Liquid transfer and drop formation/deposition processes associated with printing, spraying, atomization and coating flows involve complex free-surface flows including the formation of columnar necks that undergo spontaneous capillary-driven instability, thinning and pinchoff. For simple (Newtonian and inelastic) fluids, a complex interplay of capillary, inertial and viscous stresses determines the nonlinear dynamics underlying finite-time singularity as well as self-similar capillary thinning and pinch-off dynamics. In rheologically complex fluids, extra elastic stresses as well as non-Newtonian shear and extensional viscosities dramatically alter the pinch-off dynamics. Stream-wise velocity gradients that arise within the thinning columnar neck create an extensional flow field, and many complex fluids exhibit a much larger resistance to elongational flows than Newtonian fluids with similar shear viscosity. Characterization of the response to both shear and extensional flows that influence dispensing and liquid transfer applications requires bespoke instrumentation not available, or easily replicated, in most laboratories. Here we show that dripping-onto-substrate (DoS) rheometry protocols that involve visualization and analysis of capillary-driven thinning and pinch-off dynamics of a columnar neck formed between a nozzle and a sessile drop can be used for measuring extensional viscosity and relaxation time of polymeric complex fluids. We show that DoS rheometry enables characterization of low viscosity printing inks and polymer solutions that are beyond the measurable range of commercially-available capillary break-up extensional rheometer (CaBER). We find that the extensional relaxation times of semi-dilute, unentangled, uncharged polymers in good solvent exhibit a stronger concentration than observed in shear rheology, or anticipated by blob models developed for relaxation of weakly perturbed chains in a good solvent. We show that the interplay of electrostatic and hydrodynamic stretching leads to unexpected and unexplored concentration-dependent response for polyelectrolyte solutions. Finally we elucidate how polymer composition, flexibility, extensibility (molecular weight), and charge influence hydrodynamics and interactions of strongly stretched chains, and consequently, determine processability and processing timescale for printing, coating, dispensing, and spraying applications, especially in cases where fine time pinch-off is highly desirable.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Vivek Sharma is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Illinois Chicago. Before joining UIC in November 2012, he worked as a post-doctoral research associate in Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He received his Ph. D. (Polymers/MSE, 2008) and M. S. (Chemical Engineering, 2006) from Georgia Tech., an M. S. (Polymer Science, 2003) from the University of Akron, and a bachelor's degree from IIT Delhi. Dr. Sharma's research interests broadly lie in optics, dynamics, elasticity, and self-assembly (ODES) of complex fluids and soft materials. At UIC, Dr. Sharma's Soft Matter ODES-lab combines experiments and theory topursue the understanding of, and control over interfacial and nonlinear flows, focused on the interplay of (a) viscoelasticity and capillarity for printing applications and extensional rheometry, and (b) interfacial thermodynamics and hydrodynamics in fizzics (the science of bubbles, drops, thin films, jets, fibers, emulsions and foams). Dr. Sharma was selected as the Distinguished Young Rheologist by TA Instruments in 2015, and won the 2017 College of Engineering Teaching Award at UIC.

Click here for more information. 

Probing the Atomic Structure and Dynamic Behaviors of Materials by In-situ Transmission Electron Microscopy

Friday, June 1st
10:30 am to 12 p.m.
2101 Engineering V

Abstract: As advances in aberration-corrected transmission electron microscopy (TEM), the development of in situ techniques allows us to study the dynamic evolution of materials in response to applied fields and to changes in environments. In this talk, I will present our work on the development of in-situ TEM techniques for imaging electric polarization, probing the nucleation and growth of ferroelectric domains during electric polarization switching, and observing the dynamic reaction and structural evolution of catalysts under realistic conditions with atomic precision through a MEMS-based, electron-transparent closed cell with a heating stage.

Speaker Bio: Xiaoqing Pan is the Henry Samueli Endowed Chair in Engineering, Professor of Chemical Engineering & Materials Science, and Professor of Physics & Astronomy at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). He is also the inaugural Director of the Irvine Materials Research Institute at UCI. Before joining UCI, he was the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Endowed Chair Professor of Engineering, Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and Director of Electron Microbeam Analysis Laboratory at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Physics at the University of Saarland, Germany. He was elected to be a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, the American Physical Society, the Microscopy Society of America, and Materials Research Society. He is recognized internationally for his work on high resolution and in situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for understanding the atomic-scale structure-property relationships of advanced materials, including functional oxides, ferroelectrics, multiferroics, and catalysts. He has published over 350 peer-reviewed scientific papers in scholarly high impact factor journals. His work has been cited over 16,000 times and his h-factor is 68. He has given more than 250 invited talks and keynote presentations at conferences, and more than 150 invited seminars.

Click here for more information.

Theoretical Comparison of Direct-Sampling vs. Heterodyne RF Receivers

Friday, June 1st
11 am to 1 p.m.
Engineering IV Faraday Room #67-124

Abstract: An intuitive high-level argument is presented suggesting that direct-sampling radio frequency (RF) receivers using Nyquist analog-digital converters can be as power-efficient as analog heterodyne receivers for equal dynamic range specifications, at least at lower RF frequencies well below the ft of the IC process. System planning for direct-sampling receivers is reviewed, highlighting dBFS/Hz as an intrinsic measure of dynamic range, independent of channel and Nyquist bandwidths. Power dissipation versus dynamic range for recently reported heterodyne and direct-sampling receivers is examined and compared.

Speaker Bio: Ramon (Ray) Gomez (M’81–SM’10) received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from UCLA in 1993. He was staff engineer at TRW in Redondo Beach, California from 1982 to 1986, designing high-performance radios for aerospace applications. From 1993 to 1995, he was a member of the disk-drive read channel design team at Cirrus Logic in Austin, Texas. From 1995 to 2017, Ray worked at Broadcom in Irvine, California focusing on CMOS RF circuits for cable, satellite and broadcast television receivers, cable modems, and MoCA home networking. His recent work has included development of circuits and architectures for direct-sampling RF transceivers, digitally-assisted RF circuits, and efficient broadband amplifiers. He is presently a consultant and an adjunct professor with the EECS Department, University of California, Irvine. Ray was recognized as a Broadcom Fellow in 2006 for his contributions to CMOS television tuner design.

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Communicating with Cells and Microchips Inside the Body Using Sound Waves and Magnetic Fields

Monday, June 4th
12:30 pm to 1:30 p.m.
EE-IV Shannon Room #54-134

Abstract: The study of biological function in intact organisms and the development of targeted cellular therapeutics necessitate methods to image and control cellular function in vivo. Technologies such as fluorescent proteins and optogenetics serve this purpose in small, translucent specimens, but are limited by the poor penetration of light into deeper tissues. In contrast, most non-invasive techniques such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging – while based on energy forms that penetrate tissue effectively – are not effectively coupled to cellular function. Our work attempts to bridge this gap by engineering biomolecules with the appropriate physical properties to interact with magnetic fields and sound waves, and external devices and signal processing methods to interact with these biomolecules.

Speaker Bio: Mikhail G. Shapiro is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and a Heritage Principal Investigator at Caltech. He received his Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from MIT and his B.Sc. in Neuroscience from Brown. He conducted post-doctoral research in biophysics at the University of Chicago and was a Miller Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley. He has received the Burroughs Wellcome Career Award at the Scientific Interface, the DARPA Young Faculty Award, the Pew Scholarship, the Sontag Foundation Distinguished Scientist Award, the Packard Fellowship and the Technology Review TR35 award for top innovators under age 35. More information about the Shapiro Lab can be found online at

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Thermal Transport in Two-Dimensional Materials

Tuesday, June 5th 
11 am to 12 p.m.
37-124 Engineering IV

Abstract: Recently discovered or synthesized 2-dimensional materials promise new applications in electronics, photonics, and even thermal management. In this talk we will discuss studies on emerging 2D materials including van der Waals layered black phosphorous, Se, and Te single element 2D materials and topological insulators. Detailed discussions will be given on the recent work on topological insulators. Topological insulators (TIs) have gained immense interest due to their novel fundamental properties such as suppression of electron backscattering, spin-momentum locking, and spin-split Dirac cones with possible applications in spintronics and quantum computing. These properties appear only on the surface of these materials, with the bulk behaving as usual semiconductor. Hence it is important to study the surface state energy landscape. We discovered exceptionally large, room temperature in-plane thermal (and electrical) transport in Bi2Te2Se TI thin films caused by the spin-momentum locked surface state electrons. Correspondingly, the Lorenz number of these films are found to be exceptionally large, more than ten times of the Sommerfeld value. Computations were carried out to analyze the charge and thermal transport of the surface states. Moreover, we utilize infrared femtosecond pump-probe laser spectroscopy to isolate the surface state dynamics and study their contributions to transport. Detailed electron-phonon coupling in the Dirac cone, recombination time after excitation of charge and spin, and Dirac cone-bulk state coupling are studied to provide a fundamental understanding of the enhanced transport processes.

Speaker Bio: Prof. Xianfan Xu is James J. and Carol L. Shuttleworth Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He obtained his B.S. degree from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1989, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering in 1991 and 1994, both from the University of California, Berkeley. His research interests include developing novel laser processing techniques for laser micro- and nanoscale manufacturing, fundamental studies of laser-matter interactions, thermal transport in nanoscale materials, and near field nano-optics and its applications. He has given over 100 invited talks in academic institutes, technical conferences, government laboratories, and industry, and has published over 180 papers in archival journals. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), SPIE, and the Optical Society of America (OSA). He received the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award in 2014.

Click here for more information. 

CS 201: Human Online Behavior: Modeling Performance Trajectories, Cognitive Biases, and Well-Being

Tuesday, June 5th 
4:15-5:45 p.m.
3400 Boelter Hall

Abstract: The increasing availability of data across different socio-technical systems, such as online social networks and social media, presents novel challenges and intriguing research opportunities. As more online services permeate through our everyday life and as data from various domains are connected and integrated with each other, the boundary between the real and the online worlds becomes blurry. Such data convey both online and offline activities of people, as well as multiple time scales and resolutions. In this talk, I’ll discuss two research projects: in the first, I will illustrate how digital traces of human behaviors exhibited across various platforms, including online games and discussion fora, ties to performance, success, and cognitive limits and biases of human behavior. Then, I will present some preliminary results on mathematical modeling of human behavior, job performance, personality traits, well-being indicators, and other psychological constructs, by using fitness sensors, smartphone data, and a mathematical framework based on tensors.

Speaker Bio: Dr. Emilio Ferrara is a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California, Research Leader at the USC Information Sciences Institute, and Co-Director of the Machine Intelligence and Data Science (MINDS) center at USC. His research interests include modeling human behavior and performance in techno-social systems and characterizing information diffusion in online social networks. He was named 2015 IBM Watson Big Data Influencer, he is the recipient of the 2016 Complex System Society Junior Scientific Award, and he received the 2016 DARPA Young Faculty Award. Before joining USC in 2015, he was research faculty in the School of Informatics and Computing of Indiana University (2012-2015). Ferrara has published over 100 articles on social networks, machine learning, and network science. His research is published in venues like the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Communications of the ACM, and Physical Review Letters, and is regularly discussed in the mainstream media. He is Principal Investigator of projects funded by DARPA, IARPA, Air Force, and the Office of Naval Research.

Click here for more information. 

Bioengineereing Seminar -- Hideaki Tsutsui, Ph.D. 

Thursday, June 7th  
12-1 p.m.
Engineering V, Room 2101

Abstract: This talk is going to introduce two ongoing research thrusts in my research group: stem cell biomanufacturing and low-cost biosensors. An overarching principle driving these seemingly distant efforts is fluid engineering – design, modeling, and exploitation of fluid flows to improve biomedical devices. First, I will discuss stirred suspension culture of human pluripotent stem cells, in which we use fluidic agitation to control the maintenance of undifferentiated stem cells and their differentiations. The fluidic agitation dictates the size of growing cell aggregates which is a critical parameter for transport of nutrients and metabolites. In addition, the fluidic agitation modulates key signaling pathways. We use this unique mechanical cue to achieve efficient derivation of cardiac phenotypes in suspension. Second, I will discuss paper-based microfluidic tools we develop for low-cost biosensor applications. It has been a decade since the original microfluidic paper-based analytical device (μPAD) was reported. Since then, the designs and functions of these low-cost biosensors have evolved. However, sophisticated sensor functions (e.g., sequential delivery, (de-)multiplexing) often require advanced fluid transport techniques. Our tools include origami-inspired 3-D paper-based microfluidics, laser-etched fast-wicking channels, as well as an imbibition model that takes into account the effects of humidity and channel dimensions. Finally, if time allows, I will introduce an injectable nanosensor we are currently developing for in planta detection of agricultural diseases.

Speaker Bio: Hideaki Tsutsui is an Assistant Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of California, Riverside. He is also a participating faculty member of the Department of Bioengineering and the UCR Stem Cell Center. He received a B.E. from the University of Tokyo (2001), a M.S. from the University of California, San Diego (2003), and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles (2009), all in Mechanical Engineering. He then conducted postdoctoral research during 2009-2011 at the Center for Cell Control and the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at UCLA. His current research interests include low-cost medical and agricultural biosensors, and macro- and micro-fluidic tools for cell-based biomanufacturing. He is a recipient of a Grand Challenges Explorations Phase I Award from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (2012), a UCR Regents’ Faculty Fellowship (2013), a Regents’ Faculty Development Award (2017), and a Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Award from National Science Foundation (2017).

Click here for more information. 

CDI Scientific Seminar: Neurobiology and Mind-Body Interventions

Thursday, June 21st  
12-1 p.m.
Moss Auditorium (A2-342 MDCC)

Speaker Bio: Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, Professor and Director
Pediatric Pain & Palliative Care Program, Pediatric Hematology-Oncology
David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

This series is supported in part by a Catalyst Award from the UCLA Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI; NIH/NCATS grant #UL1TR001881). The UCLA Children’s Discovery and Innovation (CDI) Institute, established through initial philanthropic funding to UCLA Mattel Children’s Hospital and the Department of Pediatrics at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, encourages multidisciplinary child health research and research training at UCLA across the spectrum of basic, translational, clinical, and health services research.

Click here for more information. 

IDRE-related Workshops & Events

XSEDE HPC Workshop: Summer Boot Camp

Monday, June 4th through Thursday, June 7th 
8 am to 2 pm
IDRE Portal (5628 Math Sciences)

Overview: This 4-day event will include MPI, OpenMP, OpenACC and accelerators. It will be presented using the Wide Area Classroom(WAC) training platform and will conclude with a special hybrid exercise contest that will challenge the students to apply their skills over the following 3 weeks and be awarded the Fifth Annual XSEDE Summer Boot Camp Championship Trophy. In addition, an XSEDE Badge will be available to those who complete the Challenge.

Click here for more information.

CESMII/UCLA Presentation: Parallel Computing Using Julia, API Discussion – Part 1

Tuesday, June 5th 
10-11 am
3909 Math Sciences

Overview: IDRE will be presenting a discussion and demo of Julia programming language parallel computing capabilities on June 5th and 12th. In the first part we will discuss the Julia language itself and during the second part we will discuss the parallel computing part and look at some benchmarks.

Click here for more information.

CESMII/UCLA Presentation: Parallel Computing Using Julia, API Discussion – Part 2

Tuesday, June 12th 
10-11 am
3909 Math Sciences

Overview: IDRE will be presenting a discussion and demo of Julia programming language parallel computing capabilities on June 5th and 12th. In the first part we will discuss the Julia language itself and during the second part we will discuss the parallel computing part and look at some benchmarks.

Click here for more information.

Grant & Funding Opportunities

UCLA Office of Information Technology
Institute for Digital Research and Education
310-825-6635 |
5308 Math Sciences
Box 951557, Mail Code 155705
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1557

Barbara Woltag, Editor, IDRE Newsletter
310-794-5169 |

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