Volume 4, Issue 8, August 22, 2017
View this email in your browser
UCLA Institute for Digital Research and Education
Contact Us

On the Mind: Grant Seeks to Understand the Brain

Dr. Peyman Golshani's project, entitled “Miniaturized open source devices for calcium imaging, electrophysiology, and real-time control of neural activity,” aims to understand how the brain processes information, creates and retrieves memories, and makes decisions, through electrical and optical recordings of brain cell activity.

Getting inside someone's head is no longer just the stuff of telekinetic characters in comic books. A recently announced National Science Foundation award called Next Generation Network for Neuroscience (NeuroNex) helps to fund university scientists and their research into the interworkings of the brain. 

Through NSF funding, one of nine NeuroNex Technology Hubs will be established at UCLA, which includes the work of several Institute for Digital Research and Education (IDRE) collaborators including the grant's Principal Investigator Dr. Peyman Golshani, associate professor of neurology and psychiatry at UCLA's School of Medicine. Read more here.

News & Publications

MX Conference Gathers Researchers, Technologists

Registration is now open for UCLA's Mobile Experience Conference (MX Conference), a unique mobile technology event that will convene a community of mobile tech experts, faculty, researchers, and students at UCLA's California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) on Thursday, October 12. The daylong conference, presented by Office of Information Technology's Mobile and Web Strategy, Education, and Research Team, will showcase experts in a variety of mobile technologies:
  • Wearable sensors
  • Augmented reality
  • Virtual reality
  • Personality mobile apps
Sessions throughout the day will explore how students, researchers, and faculty can use these immersive technologies to rethink how they collect data, visualize information, and tell engaging stories. At the conclusion of the day, UCLA's fourth annual Code for the Mission (CFTM) competition will unveil the winning teams of its app design contest at an awards ceremony.

This inaugural conference will be an important event for researchers, faculty, technologists, and students to connect with experts who can help them explore the use of these emerging technologies. The event is sponsored by UCLA and space is limited; to register for the conference visit the Mobile Experience Conference website

Looking for Volunteers for Staff Assembly Learn @ Lunch Tech Talk

Staff Assembly is looking for volunteers for its Learn @ Lunch Tech Talks in the Young Research Library (YRL) on Wednesday, Sept. 6th at noon. Volunteers are needed to talk about the following technologies:

1. Box
2. Zoom
3. SurveyMonkey
4. Google Apps for Education
5. Adobe Creative Cloud
6. Confluence
7. Slack

Please fill out this Google Form to sign up. Contact Lucy Tseng with any questions.

IDRE-related Lectures, Seminars & Colloquia

Lunch-N-Learn Seminar Series for UCLA Entrepreneurs

Wednesday, August 23 
12 noon to 1 p.m.
California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA
570 Westwood Plaza
5th Floor Presentation Room

Topic: "From Discovery to Blockbuster: Patent strategies for novel therapeutics"

Speakers: Lars H. Genieser, VENABLE LLP; Michael E. Jung, Distinguished Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Speaker Bios:

Professor Jung
received his BA degree at Rice University and his Ph.D. from Columbia University. He then did his postdoctoral research at the Eidgenössiche Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zurich, He joined the faculty at UCLA as an Assistant Professor in 1974 and became Professor in 1983. In 2004, he became Distinguished Professor of Chemistry. He is on the Scientific Advisory Boards of several pharmaceutical firms and consults currently for more than 20 industrial laboratories in both the biotech and big pharma settings. Professor Jung is an authority on synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry and has more than 25 patents arising from both his consulting activities and his own research.

Lars Genieser is a patent attorney with Venable LLP who focuses his practice on pharmaceutical, chemical, medical, and nanoscale technologies. Together with the UCLA Technology Development Group, Dr. Genieser obtained patent protection and manages the international patent portfolio for the Xtandi
® therapeutic, developed in the groups of Profs. Michael Jung and Charles Sawyers, for the treatment of castration-resistant prostate cancer. Dr. Genieser holds a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.S.E. from Princeton University. He applies his research experience in academic and industrial settings to anticipate challenges faced by and counsel his technology-driven clients, and Dr. Genieser develops and carries out integrated strategies for protecting and commercializing his clients' inventions. Register here.

The Future of Humans as Sensors

Friday, August 25
1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs
337 Charles E. Young Dr. East -- Room 2343

The premise of computational social science is that digital technology turns humans into sensors that generate behavioral data on an unprecedented scale. A golden age of computational social science may be ending, however: Facebook is essentially closed to social science questions, Instagram curtailed their API in 2016, and Twitter appears to have plateaued. This workshop will discuss how "humans as sensors" can continue to yield productive research agendas. We will focus on how to extract more data from existing sources and promising sources of new data.
  • Michael Macy presents "Digital Footprints: Where Are They Leading?"
  • Joseph Reisinger presents "Robust Statistical Measurement and Rapid Policy Evaluation with Targeted Crowds"
  • Zachary Steinert-Threlkeld presents "Measuring Protests with Social Media"
  • Joshua Blumenstock presents "Using Data to Fight Poverty"
  • Pablo Barbera presents "How Demographic Sample Weights Can Improve Public Opinion Estimates Based on Twitter Data"
  • Jennifer Pan presents "Social Media and Collective Action"
  • Keith Chen presents "What Can We Learn from Tracking Smartphones?"
Reception to follow. RSVP required.

The Benefits (and Drawbacks) of Biotech Incubators

Friday, September 1
9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.
UCLA Technology Development Group Offices
10889 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 820-20

UCLA Technology Development Group (UCLA TDG) is pleased to host the monthly educational series, FirstFridays@TDG. The continental breakfast networking event occurs on the first Friday of every month from 9:00-10:30 in our new large conference room Suite 820-20, 10889 Wilshire Boulevard. The purpose of the events is to provide an opportunity for the campus and local communities to come and meet our staff and Technology Fellows, to hear a brief presentation on a variety of topics relevant to intellectual property and entrepreneurship at UCLA, and to ask questions and network. Please visit our Eventbrite page for future events. 

Space is limited. RSVP is recommended. Thank you!

Speaker Bio:

Marie Rippen is the CEO of Lab Launch Inc., a non-profit dedicated to providing L.A.'s biotech entrepreneurs with quality, affordable lab space. She has been with the company since they opened their first laboratory facility in Monrovia, and she's now planning to open their second location in Chatsworth, scheduled for this fall. While at Lab Launch, Marie recruited 12 member organizations to form the Biotechnology Entrepreneurship Coalition, a group of L.A.-area non-profits, industry organizations, and research institutions that work to help educate academic scientists about startups. Marie came from academic scientists herself, completing her Ph.D. in developmental and stem biology at USC in 2015. She is also a proud graduate of CSU Long Beach. 

IDRE-related Workshops & Events

Mean Field Games

Monday, August 28 through Friday, September 1
Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics (IPAM)
460 Portola Plaza Building

Mean Field Games (MFGs) are games with a very large number of agents interacting in a mean field manner in such a way that each agent has a very small impact on the outcome. As a result, the game can be analyzed in the limit of an infinite number of agents. This subject, introduced independently by Lasry & Lions and by Huang, Caines & Malhame in 2006, is widely recognized as an important approach systems or war games. At the same time, both the theory and numerical computations of mean field game equilibria remain significant challenges.

There are currently two approaches to the formulation and the analysis of MFGs. The first is based on the solution of a coupled system of highly nonlinear PDEs (Hamilton-Jacobi-Bellman and Fokker-Plank). The second approach is probabilistic: it relies on the solution of a forward-backward stochastic differential system of equations of McKean-Vlasov type.

This workshop will bring together experts in the field and researchers in other fields with an interest in Mean Field Games. It will cover the formulation and theory of MFGs, generalizations including additional effects, numerical methods and applications of MFGs. Register here.

Complex High-Dimensional Energy Landscapes Tutorial

Tuesday, September 12 through Friday, September 15
Institute for Pure & Applied Mathematics (IPAM)
460 Portola Plaza Building

The program opens with four days of tutorials that will provide an introduction to major themes of the entire program and the four workshops. Topics that will be discussed during the tutorials include: Minimization and saddle-point methods, surrogate models, stochastic sampling and rare event simulation techniques, and genetic algorithms. Register here

Startup UCLA Summer Accelerator 2017 Demo Day

Thursday, September 7
6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Carnesale Commons -- Palisades Room

This event is Startup UCLA's Summer Accelerator 2017 Demo Day.

The Summer Accelerator will have about 10 startups pitching their venture to the Los Angeles community of Bruins and community members alike.

The purpose is to culminate the Summer Accelerator in a meaningful way for these participants and hopefully engage a crowd of people about their new venture and potentially make connections for future funding. Register here.

IDRE Stat Consulting Group

The goal of the UCLA IDRE Statistical Consulting Group is to help UCLA faculty, staff, and graduate students perform top-notch research, with the greatest emphasis on data analysis related to grants and publications, but also including dissertation research. We provide advice and resources to enable you to develop and/or extend your statistical computing skills, helping you to independently use common statistical packages for the analysis of your research. Current hours for walk-in consulting are Monday-Thursday 12-3 PM. 

Walk-in consulting is in Math Sciences 4919. See our online schedule for days and hours.

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 |

If you do not wish to receive announcements from IDRE, you may unsubscribe yourself from this list. If you need assistance, please email