Blog Archive

Check out all blog posts in my blog archive. Click on a headline to read the teaser.

Presented By Satya Kushwaha, Chemistry › Crystal Growth and characterization of Topological materials
The topological materials are the new state of matter. These show the unusual electronic properties possible technological applications in spintronics and quantum computation. These materials have been of great interest for the condensed matter community around the world, since few years. However, the defects in these materials significantly affect their topological properties. It is a big challenge to produce the clean samples, so the true electronic properties could be studied. I will present the growth of high quality crystals of some of the topological materials and few results obtained on these. Read More ›

Presented By Dr Yana Shkel, Electrical Engineering › Channel Coding with Unequal Message Protection
Information theory is a branch of applied mathematics which studies fundamental laws of data transmission and compression. The field was started by Claude Shannon in his celebrated 1948 paper, *``A mathematical Theory of Communication''* a work which is widely regarded as a marker of the beginning of digital revolution. In this talk we survey the key information theoretic results with focus on data compression, transmission, and the ``separation principle''. To place our own work in context, we explore implications of channel coding with unequal message protection on the separation principle and design of error correcting codes. Read More ›

Presented By Dr Gregory Ducker › Starving cancer to kill it: revising the origins of chemotherapy with new technology
Cancer is at its most basic a disease of uncontrolled growth. Targe8ng the biochemical reac8ons that fuel this growth has been a successful treatment strategy, underlying much of chemotherapy. However, these therapies are rarely curativve, in part because of the toxic side effects they engender. My research leverages new genomics datasets to study pathways of cancer growth that are unique to disease and have the poten8al to generate new therapeu8cs with much lower toxicity. To that end, I have studied a set of enzymes that use the vitamin folate to help cancer cells grow. I have genetically engineered human cells to not have these enzymes and studied their behavior. My research has led to me to discover that these enzymes are conditionally critical to cancer growth, leading to new hypotheses about how to selectively target cancer cell growth by focusing on disease specific metabolism. Read More ›

Presented By Dr Francois Laforge, Chemistry › Making sense of the world around us & Corporate Academia: how the growing intrusion of business in academia affects the lives of university research staff
Over the past decades a decrease in state funding as well as an increase in private money has contributed to the transforma8on of Academia from a public service that delivers a public good to a semi-­‐private en8ty that more and more exclusively serves the needs of business ( i.e. profit, reproduc8on of skilled labor, acceptance/ reproduc8on of exis8ng class inequali8es). I will explain the different aspects of this transforma8on – with examples in scien8fic research – and the broader consequences for university research staff. Read More ›