CU Denver has record-breaking participation in the American Geophysical Union

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Lunch at Matchbox Pizza near Chinatown. Left-to-right: Poorya Hosseini, Allison Goodwell, Chad Renick, Laurna Kaatz, Eric Roth, Maryam Pournasiri Poshtiri, Eric Thomas, and David Mays. Not pictured: Mark Golkowski.

CU Denver’s College of Engineering and Applied Science sent its largest-ever delegation of faculty, students and alumni to the Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union. This meeting, held in Washington, DC December 10 – 14, 2018, brought together more than 28,500 scientists studying all aspects of the earth and environmental sciences.

This record-breaking group comprised civil engineering faculty Allison Goodwell and David Mays, who presented their hydrology research with students Laurna Kaatz and Eric Thomas, and alumni Maryam Pournasiri Poshtiri and Eric Roth. The group also included electrical engineering faculty Mark Golkowski with students Poorya Hossini and Chad Renick, who presented research on atmospheric electricity and space science. Mays also presented his NSF-sponsored work on Environmental Stewardship of Indigenous Lands.

Renick also was honored with an Outstanding Student Presentation Award for his poster, LWPC Modeling of Lightning Induced Changes in D-Region Electron Density, coauthored with Golkowski and Sandeep Sarker and Georgia Tech’s Morris Cohen. This coveted award recognizes the top few percent among literally thousands of student research presentations. Congratulations, Chad!

Jacot’s research highlighted by Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation, NSF Science Nation

Bioengineering associate professor Jeffrey Jacot’s research in regenerative medicine and his work with the Children’s Colorado Heart Institute was recently featured by the Children’s Hospital Colorado Foundation. Jacot and other Children’s Colorado physician-scientists are on the brink of new breakthroughs in regenerative medicine that could radically change the way we repair congenital heart defects. This promising area of research seeks to repair or replace damaged tissue with living, functional cells.

Read the Children’s Colorado story here.

Watch the NSF video here.

Clevenger shares insight in the Colorado Convention Center construction contract scandal

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Associate professor Caroline Clevenger

In a December 16 article, CU Denver Civil Engineering associate professor Caroline Clevenger shares insight with The Denver Post as a neutral expert in the Colorado Convention Center construction contract scandal.

Denver’s plan to expand the Colorado Convention Center is supposed to draw nearly $50 million of annual spending to the city, but this could be delayed or threatened by recent allegations of “collusion” by private companies on the construction projects.

Read the Denver Post story here.

Bodine leads panel for the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine

bodine-panelOn October 24, Cathy Bodine, associate professor of bioengineering and director of Assistive Technology Partners, moderated a panel for the National Academy of Engineering, Medicine and Science on the use of artificial intelligence to create smart cities for persons with disabilities and the elderly in Washington, DC.

Key topic areas included housing, transportation and interfaces with AI.

Panelists included:
Victor Calise, New York City’s Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Henry Claypool, UCSF Community Living Policy Center
Jon Sanford, Georgia Tech School of Industrial Design
Gwo-Wei Torng, U.S Department of Transportation

Faculty receive $4.5M DARPA grant for Subterranean Challenge

Researchers from CU Denver, CU Boulder and Boston-based Scientific Systems Company have partnered to design drones that can explore underground environments like subway tunnels, mines and caves.

The U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the team a $4.5 million grant to support its participation in its national Subterranean Challenge, which will end in fall 2021. The partners will compete against five other funded teams across the country to complete three increasingly difficult underground challenges.

The CU Denver team includes Ron Rorrer, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Mark Golkowski and Jaedo Park, associate professors of electrical engineering, Chao Liu and Vijay Harid, assistant professors of electrical engineering, and Diane Williams, research associate of electrical engineering.

Read more about the project here.

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Computer science faculty receive funding for new GAANN program

A team of faculty in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering have received finding from the Department of Education GAANN program to support a proposal titled “Data-Driven Cybersecurity.”

The project provides full PhD fellowships for up to six fellows for up to three years. Fellows will pursue their PhD degree focusing on introducing data scientific solutions to address pressing national cybersecurity concerns. 

  • Total budget: $932,814  ($746,250 federal and $186,564 non-federal/CU cost-share)
  • PI: Farnoush Banaei-Kashani
  • Co-PIs: Haadi Jafarian and Ashis Biswas
  • Project start time: October 1, 2018
  • Project period: 3 Years

Congratulations!

photos left to right: Farnuosh Banaei-Kashani, Haadi Jafarian, Ashis Biswas

Benninger’s diabetes research featured on CBS4

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Richard Benninger

Richard Benninger, associate professor of bioengineering, and members of his lab are using ultrasound technology to track Type 1 diabetes. On Friday, Sept. 21, Benninger and PhD student David Ramirez were featured on CBS4, talking about their research and how they’re using ultrasound to track changing blood flow in the pancreas, an indication of inflammation, which is a key indicator of the onset of Type 1 diabetes.

Watch the report here.

 

Mays, McIntyre and Chinnasamy published in Water Policy journal

Technical and administrative feasibility of alluvial aquifer storage and recovery on the South Platte River of northeastern Colorado

What is it about?

In a world suffering from increasing water stress, this paper offers one potential option through alluvial aquifer storage and recovery. In particular, this paper suggests a legal framework, under Colorado’s doctrine of prior appropriation, through which the proposed technology is shown to be both technically and administratively feasible.

Why is it important?

Water resource management demands not only technical feasibility, but also administrative feasibility. One cannot implement clever technical designs that violate legal, regulatory, or administrative constraints. The unique contribution of this work is its dual scope that covers both technical and administrative requirements.

Perspectives, David Mays (Author)

Bill McIntyre broke new ground in his doctoral research, some of which was published last year (McIntyre, W.C. and D.C. Mays, 2017, Roles of the water court and the State Engineer for water administration in Colorado, Water Policy, 19:4, 837-850). But it was not until master student Cibi Chinnasamy joined the team that we were able to complete the groundwater simulations required for this second publication. It was a pleasure advising both gentlemen, and I wish them all the best in their careers.

Read Publication

New app created by CU researchers offers customized advice to improve learning

ok-googleOK Google, I Need My Study Tips

University of Colorado researchers have created on-demand, voice-activated apps to enhance learning and teaching for members of CU Anschutz Medical Campus and CU Denver.

VoxScholar ™ has released its first two apps, CU Study Skills and CU Faculty Development. These apps make it possible for faculty and students to talk to Google Assistant to receive study tips or to get information on faculty development topics.

VoxScholar is an initiative funded by the CU Department of Medicine and was developed by faculty at the CU Anschutz School of Medicine and the CU Denver College of Engineering and Applied Science.

While multiple voice-activated platforms exist, using the Google Assistant platform allows for the creation of higher education apps without extensive and costly infrastructure investment. Students and faculty using the apps can use devices they already own, including cell phones. This approach to academic innovation helps keep higher education affordable, responsive and relevant.

“One goal of the project was to leverage technology everyone had in their pocket – a cell phone – to transform learning,” said Janet Corral, PhD, associate professor of medicine, who leads the project. “Our busy learners and faculty are working in multiple sites: campuses and clinics, homes and offices, in the city and in rural communities. Often, they need just-in-time access to information and cannot wait until the next time they are on campus for face-to-face sessions.”

The VoxScholar apps provide more than other voice-activated apps, which typically offer information on campus meals or laundry services. VoxScholar’s apps focus on academic performance by offering improved study skills or evidence-based teaching advice. For example, students can get timely, practical tips on how to handle multiple choice questions or manage time during an exam. Faculty can get advice on leading small group sessions or improving learner engagement.

Corral is a scholar in the Department of Medicine’s Program for Academic Clinician Educators (PACE), which launched in 2017 and provides grants to support faculty in developing and improving innovative educational programs, and in engaging in educational research to guide how we teach and assess health professions learners.

Suzanne Brandenburg, MD, vice chair for education in the Department of Medicine, said, “Dr. Corral’s innovative work has the potential to transform medical education. I’m delighted that our unique PACE program has provided her the resources, time and mentorship needed to achieve this milestone.”

Corral collaborated with the CU Denver Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the College of Engineering and Applied Science to develop VoxScholar. Assistant Professor Farnoush Banaei-Kashani, PhD, an expert in intelligent and large-scale data-driven systems, along with his PhD student, Javier Pastorino, worked with Corral to develop these apps.

“We have introduced novel ideas based on machine learning and text mining to make the apps smart,” said Banaei-Kashani. “For instance, the apps can capture and use the context of the conversation with the learner or faculty member and personalize the tips it provides accordingly.”

The VoxScholar apps innovate by relying on artificial intelligence. The apps are designed to send specific tips based on the specific student’s needs. Similarly, educators offering lecture-based programming in a classroom setting receive different tips than faculty who teaching in a hospital or other clinical setting.

“The spaces where we work and study are complex, and I wanted the apps to do better than our existing fact-based learning modules and tips sheets. My goal was to create apps that respond just-in-time to what people need, and, furthermore, help coach them to success,” said Corral. Both apps have been developed in consultation with academic leaders, faculty and students. Students and faculty have also beta tested the apps prior to release.

The apps are available for free through the Google Play store, but require an official affiliation with CU Anschutz Medical Campus or CU Denver to access the content. VoxScholar plans to release additional apps throughout the spring and summer as students return to the health professions programs on both campuses.