The first thousand-robot flash mob has assembled at Harvard University.
“Our research provides the first real physical understanding of the cytoplasm in mammalian cells,” says Ming Guo, Ph.D. ’14.
|—||Zoe Padilla, age 12. She participated in our free Science & Cooking for Kids program this summer.|
This robot, developed in Prof. Rob Wood’s lab, folds itself up and walks away.
TBT: Founding of the Lawrence Scientific School at Harvard, 1847
"If his generosity fail not of its object, i.e. if the persons selected to carry out his views for the scientific education of the rising generation are qualified for their trust, his magnificent foundation will be of the greatest service to the interests of the Republic, Science and Humanity. For himself he has erected a monument more durable than brass or marble."
(Harvard University Archives)
Prof. Jim Rice, an expert on earthquakes, glaciers, landslides, and other aspects of geophysics, will be honored for his “fundamental contributions to mechanics and its engineering applications.” He has been selected to receive the Theodore von Karman Medal of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
A team of engineers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), Schlumberger-Doll Research Center in Cambridge, Mass., and the University of Texas, Austin, have created a truly portable device for nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy.
NMR spectroscopy is a technique that perturbs protons within a molecule to glean important clues about its structure. It can identify unknown substances, detect very slight variations in chemical composition, and measure how molecules interact, making it an essential tool in organic chemistry, structural biology, and drug discovery, as well as for quality control in many industries.
Led by Donhee Ham, Gordon McKay Professor of Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics at Harvard SEAS, and his student Dongwan Ha, Ph.D. ’14, the team has dramatically shrunk the electronic spectrometer components, fitting them on a silicon chip smaller than a sesame seed. Combined with a compact permanent magnet, this minuscule spectrometer represents the smallest device that can presently perform multidimensional NMR spectroscopy—a process Ham calls “one of the most powerful analytical tools to determine molecular structures at atomic resolution.”
Significantly reducing both the size and cost of the device—while also preserving the broad functionality of much larger spectroscopy setups—now enables the development of portable NMR spectrometers that could travel to remote sites for online, on-demand applications or simply to laboratories where massive, state-of-the-art systems would be prohibitively expensive. The chips can also operate accurately over a wide temperature range.
Those tiny black specks at the bottom of the photo are the chips.
A new online visualization tool designed to help users see the myriad connections between faculty, academic programs, and research and teaching areas has been deployed on the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) website.
A defining characteristic of SEAS is the interconnectedness of teaching and research areas. The very structure of the school—it is organized around broad and overlapping areas, but has no traditional departments—underscores the interdisciplinary philosophy at SEAS.
“Those who work and study at SEAS experience on a daily basis the web of connections across areas, programs, and faculty,” said SEAS Dean Cherry A. Murray, John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and professor of physics. “The new visualization tool graphically illustrates those connections, and by extension helps users imagine their own place within SEAS.”
For example, graduate students or prospective industry collaborators can use the online tool to quickly identify SEAS faculty members who conduct research in a particular field. Individuals interested in one of the School’s degree programs can see how it corresponds to research areas and the faculty who teach in that program.
BUILT FOR SPEED, the Summer 2014 issue of our newsletter, Topics, delves into supercomputing!
Harvard researchers are pushing the limits of computing power to achieve new breakthroughs in science and engineering. Sustainable energy? Self-knowledge? What will high-performance computing mean for you?
|—||“Harvard students’ invention puts cake in a can,” Boston Globe (July 18, 2014).|