Energizing Technologies

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					                   California Institute for
                   Telecommunications
                   and Information
                   Technology
                   Volume 4 | Issue 2 | Spring 2009
                   University of California, Irvine
               ®




Energizing
Technologies
        Table of


                                       Researchers create fossil fuel alternatives
                                       with novel methods and materials




                                       Advanced Power and Energy Program
                                       implements next-generation tools



                                       Companies use gaming technology to train
                                       employees and improve the bottom line


                                                                                     by Anna Lynn Spitzer

                                       Online world Second Life plays host to
                                       an anthropologist’s ethnographic study

                                                                                         he race is on to wean the U.S. from fossil fuels.
                                                                                         Economic, environmental and security concerns are
                                       A vehicle-to-vehicle communication system         fueling scientific pursuit of technologies that will produce
Interface®                             is poised to hit the highway                  clean and renewable energy to meet growing demand.
Spring 2009

Calit2@UCI
                                                                                     The Obama Administration, vowing to double the nation’s supply of renewable
G.P. Li                                                                              energy in the next three years, is allocating $8 billion in the American Recovery
Director
                                                                                     and Reinvestment Plan to energy research. Several states are requiring local utilities
Shellie Nazarenus                                                                    to acquire a larger percentage of energy from renewable sources; California’s three
Assistant Director
Marketing and Outreach                                                               major public utilities have been mandated to obtain 20 percent of their electricity
                                                                                     from clean sources by the end of next year, and a full third of their supply by 2020.
Stuart Ross
Assistant Director                                                                       It’s a challenge that ultimately will be measured in dollars and cents. To
Research Development                                                                 ensure widespread acceptance, new technologies must be cost-efficient as well as
Shellie Nazarenus – Executive Editor                                                 environmentally friendly.
Anna Lynn Spitzer – Managing Editor
Michael Marcheschi – m2design group
                                                                                         Researchers at UC Irvine are hard at work. They are developing low-cost solar cells
Paul Kennedy – Photography                                                           from nanomaterials to capture sunlight and turn it into electrical energy. They are
Mike Delaney – Meridian Graphics
                                                                                     re-engineering biofuel production to reduce manufacturing costs, and developing new
                                                                                     techniques to burn coal more efficiently. They’re maximizing output on fuel cells that
                                                                                     produce electricity with zero emissions. And they’re finding ways to recycle waste
                                                                                     from nuclear power plants.
University of California, Irvine
4100 Calit2 Building                                                                     In addition, researchers at UCI’s Advanced Power and Energy Program are
Irvine, CA 92697-2800                                                                investigating several other approaches to generating and distributing power that will
(949) 824-6900
www.calit2.net                                                                       lead to a cleaner and more sustainable future.
www.calit2.uci.edu
info@calit2.uci.edu                                                                                                                                      (continued, page 2)
                                                                                                                                                                               Page 1
                                                                Silicon solar cells turn
                                                   the unlimited energy of the sun
                                                   into electricity without harming the
                                                   environment. The technology comes
                                                   with a steep price tag, however.
                                                   Current solar cells require extremely
                                                   pure silicon and costly fabrication
                                                   techniques, putting solar electricity
                                                   out of reach for most consumers.
                                                       Nanoscale materials, on the
                                                   other hand, are potentially cheap to
                                                   manufacture. They can be produced in
                                                   large quantities by low-temperature-
                                                   solution methods, processed into inks
                                                   and deposited onto flexible substrates
                                                   using roll-to-roll printing.
                                                       Calit2-affiliated researchers in UCI’s
                                                   Center for Solar Energy in the School
                                                   of Physical Sciences are confident they
                                                   can develop more efficient, less costly
                                                   alternatives using these novel materials
                                                   and innovative construction methods.

                                                   Solar cells are made from semiconductor
                                                   materials that have two “bands” of
                                                   energy where electrons can exist. The
                                                   lower-energy valence band and the
              Matt Law measures the electrical     higher-energy conduction band are
   conductivity of a nanocrystal film comprised
         of millions of quantum dot solar cells.   separated by a bandgap that is devoid



                                                                                               of electrons. When a semiconductor    chemistry assistant professor. Nanoscale        Although quantum dot solar cells are       An argon laser lights up a nanowire array
                                                                                               absorbs photons from sunlight,                                                                                                   so Reg Penner can measure the sample’s
                                                                                                                                     generally refers to structures that are     still in their infancy, Law sees a bright      photoluminescence to determine its
                                                                                               negatively charged electrons in       100 nanometers (nm) or smaller, the         future. “Eventually, we hope to lower the      electronic properties.
                                                                                               the valence band jump across          equivalent of 1/500 the diameter of         cost per watt [of solar power] by about
                                                                                               the bandgap to the conduction         a human hair. Another way of looking        10 times,” he says. “That would put it in
                                                                                               band. This leaves empty states in     at it: the size of a nanometer when         the same ballpark as making electricity
                                                                                               the valence band called “holes”       compared to a meter is the same ratio       from coal or natural gas.”
                                                                                               that act like positive charges.       as a marble compared to the size of             Law’s group also experiments with
                                                                                                   Materials with small bandgaps     the Earth.                                  nanorod solar cells. Nanorods are
                                                                                               absorb more sunlight and therefore        Law is using these materials in         approximately 10-100 nm wide and
                                                                                               produce a large current but at        different ways. One is “quantum dots,”      can be grown vertically on a substrate,
                                                                                               a low voltage, while a larger         a nanocrystal construction that can         like trees in a forest. Sunlight can be
                                                                                               bandgap yields a higher voltage       greatly increase the device’s current       absorbed along the entire length of
                                                                                               but less current. The challenge for   without negatively affecting its voltage.   the rod and electrical charges can be
                                                                                               researchers is to maximize voltage    Law’s lab is studying these nanocrystals    collected much more efficiently than
                                                                                               and current while minimizing cost.    made from semiconductors like lead          with thin films made from the same
                                                                                                   Nanoscale materials could be      selenide and tin telluride.                 material.
                                                                                                                                                                                                          (continued, page 4)
                                                                                               the answer, according to Matt Law,
Page 2      Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Page 3
                           Other research in Law’s group focuses   electrodeposition,” which allows the         easily breaks down because the yeast                    “Right now, the cheapest ethanol
                       on synthesizing new semiconductor           nanowires to be suspended across             produces the necessary enzymes.                     is $2.90/gallon to make. If we can get
                       materials from Earth-abundant elements      air gaps as they are deposited on                But plant material contains other               this to work under anaerobic conditions,
                       like zinc, phosphorus and iron. These       photoresist-covered glass wafers.            sugars as well, namely xylose and                   which will increase the yield, we could
                       elements are readily available, non-toxic       The devices could stand alone or be      arabinose, which Saccharomyces cannot               double the ethanol production rate,” says
                       and cheap, but for various reasons have     used in combination with photovoltaics,      process. Researchers knew that E. coli              Hatfield. “That would be like cutting the
                       not been utilized successfully for solar    says Penner; both ideas will be              produces the enzymes necessary to                   cost of a gallon of fuel in half.”
                       applications. “A number of these have       evaluated.                                   break down arabinose, so they isolated                  The project is a multi-pronged effort
                       promise and we’re just beginning to             Consumer devices could be a number       the correct protein sequence from the               that encompasses researchers from the
                       learn how to control their physical and     of years down the road, but Law and          bacteria. Then they re-engineered                   CBRL, and the schools of information
                       electrical properties,” Law says.           Penner are taking their research one step    its gene with their patented gene                   and computer sciences, engineering and
                                                                   at a time. “We’re just trying to figure out   protein-production technology so                    medicine, as well as industry partner
                       Reg Penner, center director and             what works,” Penner says.                    that it would successfully express in               Verdezyne, Inc., an Orange County
                       chemistry professor, uses another                                                        Saccharomyces, inserted it into the                 synthetic biology company, which under
                       approach to solar energy. His group                                                      yeast’s old chromosome, and voila! Now              its former name, CODA Genomics, was
                       is investigating ultra-long nanowire                                                     Saccharomyces can break down arabinose              created from UCI research. The project
                       arrays that will absorb sunlight on one                                                  effectively.                                        is supported by Verdezyne and a two-
                       side and produce electricity through                                                         They are doing similar work with                year UC Discovery Grant that provides
                       direct thermal-to-electrical energy                                                      genes from other fungi that are growing             matching funds for innovative industry-
                                                                                Ethanol could be the
                       conversion. These nanowires utilize                                                      successfully on xylose.                             university research partnerships.
                                                                   grand prize in the U.S.’s race for
                       the longer rays of the spectrum,                                                             The new and improved yeast will be                  “One of the real stories of the biofuel
                                                                   environmentally neutral energy
                       generating a voltage spontaneously                                                         able to ferment sugars found in other             research has been the collaboration
                                                                   independence. It derives from
                       when they’re heated at one end.                                                              forms of biomass like switchgrass,              of disparate groups across campus and
                                                                   natural products like corn and
                           Although these materials are in use                                                        hemp, wheat stalks and wood,                  getting the synergism that we really
                                                                   sugar cane, and is high-octane,
                       now, they are extremely inefficient,                                                             expanding greatly the stockpile              hadn’t had before,” says Hatfield, who
                                                                   clean-burning and renewable.
                       Penner says. Research indicates,                                                                  of materials from which ethanol            is also UCI professor emeritus and a
                                                                       But there’s a hitch. It is
                       however, that if the materials can be                                                              can be gleaned.                           co-founder of CODA Genomics.
                                                                   expensive to manufacture and
                       formed into wires that are less than                                                                     It can also circumvent                  He says it’s a “better than even bet”
                                                                   leaves a carbon footprint
                       10 nm in diameter, efficiency can be                                                                      expensive production                that the biofuel project will succeed.
                                                                   during processing. In addition,
                       increased enormously, a goal his group                                                                     techniques. The modified           Next steps include ordering fermenters
                                                                   the U.S. produces most of its
                       is pursuing.                                                                                                 yeast strains are               and putting the new yeast organisms
                                                                   ethanol from corn, leading to
                           Current testing shows bismuth                                                                            being engineered to             through their paces. “At the end of the
                                                                   agricultural repercussions that
                       telluride and lead telluride are the most                                                                    grow anaerobically, so          grant, we hope to have an organism that
                                                                   include increased corn prices,
                       viable materials. “You have to choose                                                                      they don’t need air to            we can turn over to industry for pilot
                                                                   higher prices for livestock feed
                       a material that can be efficient at 200                                                                    function. This eliminates          plant optimization.”
                                                                   and many foods, and extensive
                       degrees Celsius,” says Penner. “Forming                                                                 the need to pump oxygen                                      (continued, page 6)
                                                                   acreage requirements to grow
                       it into nanowires should make it orders-                                                              in during fermentation,
                                                                   the crop.
                       of-magnitude more efficient.”                                                                      an expensive process that also
                                                                       UCI scientists, however, are
                           Fabrication is tricky. Thousands                                                       increases the risk of contamination.
                                                                   well on the way to solving those
                       of the nanowires, each only 10-50 nm
                                                                   problems. They are creating a yeast
                       in width and millimeters in length,                                                      If all goes according to plan, project
                                                                   strain that can produce twice as
                       must be fashioned into a device. “The                                                    leader Wes Hatfield, director of Calit2’s
                                                                   much ethanol naturally from a wide
                       nanowires are very small and fragile,                                                    Computational Biology Research
                                                                   variety of new biomaterials.
                       and very, very long,” Penner says, “and                                                  Laboratory, believes the mutated
                       we don’t want them to be in thermal                                                      yeast can double the efficiency of
                                                                   Using computational biology
                       contact with any surface because the                                                     ethanol production without diverting
                                                                   techniques, they are modifying the
                       thermal gradient needed to generate                                                      food from humans or animals.
                                                                   genetic structure of a common
                       electricity will leak into the surface if   yeast strain called Saccharomyces,
                       the nanowires touch it.”                    which produces ethanol as a
                           So his research group developed         byproduct when it ferments plant
                       and patented a process called               sugars. One of those sugars is
                       “lithographically patterned nanowire                                                     A yeast strain created by Wes Hatfield’s research team can produce
                                                                   glucose, which Saccharomyces                 ethanol efficiently from new types of biomaterial.

Page 4   Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                      Page 5
                                                                                               experts agree has long-term global-
                                                                                               warming effects on the environment.                     Residual ash from coal can be recycled
                                                                                               But in the shorter term, burning coal                   into building materials, primarily as
                                                                                               releases other pollutants as well,                      additives to cement and concrete. But
                                                               While scientists continue
                                                                                               including oxides of nitrogen and                        if it contains too much carbon, it can
                                                  to make steady progress in the search
                                                                                               mercury, which affect the air we breathe                be relegated to landfills, certainly a less
                                                  for alternative energy sources, one
                                                                                               every day.                                              satisfactory option. Slight changes in
                                                  immutable fact remains: it takes time
                                                                                                                                                       the combustion process that may reduce
                                                  to develop and broadly implement                                                                                                                      The technologies currently are being
                                                                                               Dunn-Rankin says output of those                        emissions can lead to excess carbon in
                                                  revolutionary technologies – 20 to                                                                                                                tested in co-firing applications with
                                                                                               pollutants can be reduced with simple                   the ash, making adjustments especially
                                                  30 years, most likely. Meanwhile,                                                                                                                 both coal and biomass, but could be
                                                                                               fixes based on the heterogeneous fossil                  important.
                                                  coal continues to supply the vast                                                                                                                 adapted for biomass combustion alone.
                                                                                               fuel’s specific properties. “Really, there               “The byproduct of coal can be sellable
                                                  majority of our electrical energy                                                                                                                 “When we get to the point in the future
                                                                                               is no such thing as coal; it’s actually                 or useless and a disposal challenge
                                                  needs. Doesn’t it make sense in the                                                                                                               where we’re burning biofuel instead of
                                                                                               many different kinds of coal,” he says.                 for very, very small changes in the
                                                  interim to improve coal-combustion                                                                                                                coal, we won’t have the carbon issue at
                                                                                                   There are five generic categories of                 combustion behavior,” Dunn-Rankin
                                                  tools to reduce pollutants?                                                                                                                       all,” he says.
                                                                                               coal, each of which reacts differently to               says. “The idea is to give manufacturers
                                                      UCI engineering professor Derek                                                                                                                   For now, however, Dunn-Rankin
                                                                                               combustion due to variables, including:                 a very clear handle on exactly what
                                                  Dunn-Rankin thinks so. He is developing                                                                                                           admits to some pessimism about the
                                                                                               what geographic area and even                           the key triggers are for keeping them
                                                  new technologies that can be                                                                                                                      realities of energy production. “My view
                                                                                               specifically, what seam it originated                    safely below the carbon content
                                                  implemented easily in existing power                                                                                                              is that any energy source that can be
                                                                                               in; what minerals it contains; and the                  required for clean ash while also
                                                  plants to do just that.                                                                                                                           burned will be burned,” he says. “So
                                                                                               amounts of moisture, hydrogen, carbon,                  reducing the nitric oxide emissions.”
                                                      “You can make a very small change in                                                                                                          we want to make it burn slowly and [to
                                                                                               oxygen and nitrogen it holds.                                Dunn-Rankin is careful to
                                                  the efficiency or utilization of coal, and                                                                                                         the best of our ability] so we don’t go
                                                                                                   The research, which is sponsored by                 differentiate between carbon emissions
                                                  because so much of it is used, it can make                                                                                                        through it so quickly.
                                                                                               General Electric and the UC Discovery                   and those from other pollutants. The
                                                  a huge environmental impact,” he says.                                                                                                                “And,” he adds, “we have to
                                                                                               program, employs chemical-kinetic                       retrofits suggested by his research do
                                                      It’s well known that coal combustion                                                                                                          make sure it doesn’t kill everyone in
                                                                                               descriptions of the reactions generated                 not reduce the release of carbon dioxide
                                                                            releases carbon                                                                                                         the process.”
                                                                                               by these heterogeneous fuels. This                      during combustion, but maximizing                                   (continued, page 8)
                                                                                   dioxide,
                                                                                               information allows power plant operators                efficiency reduces the overall level of
                                                                                       which
                                                                                               to model the variables and implement                    carbon emitted into the atmosphere.
                                                                                               subtle production changes, such as                      “Because so much coal is burned,” he
                                                                                               the way air is injected, to maximize                    says, “the carbon dioxide reduction
                                                                                               efficiency from different coals while                    from a very small change in efficiency
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Clean Edge, a clean-tech research and publishing
                                                                                               meeting emission requirements.                          has a huge impact on the total carbon                                                 firm, projects explosive market growth for renewable
                                                                                                   “When the fuel changes, the                         emitted.                                                                                             technologies over the next eight years.
                                                                                               combustion can change and different                          “If coal power plants could improve
                                                                                               kinds of pollutants are produced,”                      their efficiency by one percent, that is
                                                                                               Dunn-Rankin says. “In terms of                          equivalent to the entire installed wind
                                                                                               designing power plants for the future,                  energy.”
         Novel coal-combustion technologies                                                    there isn’t a good understanding
                    developed by Derek Dunn-
                            Rankin can result                                                  of what’s driving the fundamental                       His research also has applications for
                                 in significant                                                reactivity, so our objective is to                      burning biomass, which is carbon-
                          environmental gains.
                                                                                                    provide that information.”                         neutral and will most likely be used
                                                                                                                                                       to a greater extent in the future.
                                                                                                                                                           “Biomass is even more heterogeneous
                                                                                                                                                       than coal,” says Dunn-Rankin.
                                                                                                                                                       Biomaterials like wood, sawdust,
                                                                                                                                                       corn husks and ground rice hulls all
                                                                                                                                                       have different burning characteristics
                                                                                                                                                       that require similar adjustments in
                                                                                                                                                       the combustion process to maximize
                                                                                                                                                       efficiency and minimize emissions.
                                                                                                                                 Daniel A. Anderson,
                                                                                                                          University Communications




Page 6       Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Page 7
                                                                                                                                                   Air is pumped into the device’s              “We’re looking for materials that         never follow loads dynamically. Then we
                                                                                                                                               cathode, where an electrocatalytic            work better or ways to change what           started to prove that the physics of the
                                                                                                                                               reaction changes it from oxygen               we’re already using,” he says. “If we        fuel cell can respond very rapidly.”
                                                                                                                                               molecules into negatively charged             can bring the temperature of a fuel cell         First iterations of the technology will
                                                                                                                                               oxygen ions. These ions then travel           down to 800 degrees, that is a huge          be computer-controlled by people, but
                                                                                                                                               through an ion-transport membrane             move forward.”                               Brouwer envisions “smart systems” that
                                                                                                                                               called an electrolyte. The electrolyte,                                                    can respond autonomously. The systems
                                                                                                                                               made of a dense ceramic material,             Their unique properties make fuel cells      will have the intelligence to process
                                                                                                                                               passes them to the anode, where they          the perfect complement to other power-       ongoing information from independent
                                                                                                                                               oxidize hydrogen fuel.                        generation devices and systems. Jack         operators and the main grid, decide on
                                                                                                                                                   This chemical reaction produces           Brouwer, a thermal systems scientist,        the best response and react immediately.
                                                                                                                                               water and two additional electrons            is investigating ways to integrate them      “This is going to be very important for
                                                                                                                                               that pass between the anode and the           into distributed-generation systems,         the smart grid of the future.”
                                                                                                                                               cathode via an external circuit, creating     hybrid technologies like gas turbine/fuel        Hybrid technologies, including fuel
                                                                                                                                               electricity. As long as there is a constant   cell systems, the existing electrical grid   cell/gas turbine systems, also have
                                                                                                                                               flow of hydrogen and oxygen into the           and even the smart grid of the future.       lots of potential in sustainable energy
                                                                                                                                               cell, electricity will flow out.                   Building economical systems around       systems. Because of the way the two
                                                                                                                                                   The ceramic materials used in                                                          technologies interact, integrating them
                                                                                                                                               the cells present researchers with                                                         actually produces higher efficiency in
                                                                                                                                               a quandary. Because they are more                                                          the fuel cell than using it alone.
                                                                                                                                               effective at higher temperatures, solid                                                        Other benefits: emissions are reduced
                                                                                                                                               oxide fuel cells traditionally have been                                                   because the fuel cell replaces burning
                                                                                                                                               designed to operate at 1,000 degrees                                                       fuel between the compressor and the
                                                                                                                                               Celsius.                                                                                   turbine; and the fuel cell’s heat loss can
                                                                                                                                                   “The higher you go in temperature,                                                     be used to produce extra electricity.
          Martha Mecartney discusses a fuel-cell                                                   their incorporation into other systems      the faster your reactions occur,”                                                          “Not only do we get more power out of
     test with (from left) Jack Brouwer, Daniel                                                                                                Mecartney says. “But when we go               fuel cell materials can be daunting.         the fuel cell, but it also produces it at
           Mumm and Vince McDonell. The high-                                                      – hybrid technologies, distributed-
       temperature furnace in the National Fuel                                                    generation operations and the smart         to lower and lower temperatures to            Ceramics, for example, are used in           higher efficiency,” says Brouwer.
   Cell Research Center offers dual-environment                                                                                                preserve and stabilize the materials,         the stack connectors because they                The NFCRC, which is part of UCI’s
           controls for testing the SOFC and the                                                   grid of the future.
                                                                  In 1839, Welsh physics                                                       these reactions get slower.”                  can withstand the high temperatures          Advanced Power and Energy Program,
          solid oxide electrolyzer simultaneously.
                                                     professor Sir William Grove had a                                                             She focuses on finding ways to             required to run the cell efficiently. But     is at the forefront of this innovative
                                                                                                   Material scientists Daniel Mumm and
                                                     bright idea. He knew that water could                                                     change the fuel cell’s electrolyte, so        the system would become less expensive       technology. In collaboration with
                                                                                                   Martha Mecartney are making changes
                                                     be split into hydrogen and oxygen by                                                      ions can be transported more quickly at       if it incorporated metal connectors,         Southern California Edison and
                                                                                                   in the fundamental materials in one
                                                     sending an electric current through                                                       lower temperatures, while Mumm seeks          which are cheaper to manufacture but         engineering firm Siemens, they built
                                                                                                   of the most promising technologies,
                                                     it, but he wondered: if the process                                                       to develop anode and cathode materials        cannot withstand intense heat.               and tested the first proof-of-concept
                                                                                                   the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), to
                                                     were reversed, could hydrogen and                                                         that can maximize reaction speed when              Perhaps his biggest challenge,          prototype. The hybrid systems could be
                                                                                                   improve its commercial viability.
                                                     oxygen produce electricity and water?                                                     the operating temperature is reduced.         though, is developing technologies           available commercially within a couple
                                                                                                       The SOFC is comprised of four layers,
                                                         Grove proved that it could, and                                                           The electrolyte is an immensely           for advancing fuel cell systems into         of years.
                                                                                                   three of which are ceramics. A single
                                                     from his experiments, the fuel cell was                                                   resistive part of the system, Mecartney       “load-following” operations so they are          “This technology can be used in any
                                                                                                   cell consisting of these four layers
                                                     born. Scientists continue to look to the                                                  says, so she uses several approaches to       dynamic enough to interact with other        application,” Brouwer says, “from the
                                                                                                   stacked together is typically only a few
                                                     electrochemical conversion devices,                                                       make it more efficient.                        systems. Renewable energy sources like       central plants of the future down to the
                                                                                                   millimeters thick; from 30 to a couple
                                                     which leave only heat and water as                                                            “We do anything we can to move            wind and solar can be sporadic, Brouwer      neighborhood level.”
                                                                                                   hundred cells are connected to form a
                                                     byproducts, for quiet, efficient and                                                       those ions, whether it’s creating higher      says, resulting in grid instability. Fuel                           (continued, page 10)
                                                                                                   fuel cell stack.
                                                     pollution-free power generation.                                                          flux (more ions moving per unit of time)       cell systems potentially could respond
                                                         Today, there are at least six different                                               or making it easier for them to move by       to intermittent delivery issues by
                                                     types of fuel cells that power everything                                                 increasing conductivity.”                     increasing their own production and
                                                     from large generating plants and NASA                                                         Mumm is working on composites that        sending the power where it’s needed.
                                                     rockets to cars and small portable                                                        go far beyond the materials currently in           “This idea of ‘dispatchable
                                                     communication devices.                                                                    use. He also uses coatings to engineer        generation’ is very important for
                                                         UCI researchers affiliated with the                                                    better surfaces on the interconnect           complementing renewable power,” says
                                                     National Fuel Cell Research Center                                                        layers, and he studies degradation at         Brouwer. “Five years ago, scientists
                                                     (NFCRC) and Calit2 are finding ways to                                                     the interfaces.                               thought solid oxide fuel cells could
                                                     improve both the devices’ efficiency and

Page 8      Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Page 9
                                                                                           fearing it would lead to proliferation            “There are so many elements in spent     more efficient than coal, and if used
                                                                                           and facilitate terrorism. Because all         nuclear fuel – almost half of the periodic   correctly it doesn’t release anything into
                                                                                           nuclear waste in this country is stored,      table – so in order to be able to separate   the environment,” Nilsson says. “Now
                                                                                           stockpiles from 104 nuclear reactors in       them, you have to find a way to select        we have to convince the public and the
                                                           Splitting a uranium
                                                                                           35 states continue to grow at the rate        just the ones you want to try to recycle,”   politicians that we have the know-how
                                              atom produces 10 million times
                                                                                           of 2,000 tons per year, with no end           he explains.                                 to safely take care of the waste in a
                                              more energy than combusting a
                                                                                           in sight.                                         By tracking the radioactive elements,    cost-efficient manner.”
                                              carbon atom from coal. It also
                                                                                               And it’s not short-term storage either.   he learns how they behave, so he can
                                              produces widespread dissent.
                                                                                           The components of spent nuclear fuel          identify them and ultimately, remove
                                                  Proponents of nuclear energy
                                                                                           can last almost forever; Uranium-235, for     them from the “chemical soup.”
                                              cite its “clean” footprint, long-term
                                                                                           example, has a half-life of 704 million           “It’s easy to follow them once
                                              availability and efficiency. One ton of
                                                                                           years, meaning it takes that long for just    they’re radioactive,” he says, and adds,
                                              uranium produces more energy than
                                                                                           half its atoms to decay.                      laughing, “The beautiful thing about
                                              several million tons of coal or several
                                                                                               Yucca Mountain, a national waste          working with radioactivity is that it’s so
                                              million barrels of oil, without releasing
                                                                                           repository in Nevada, was scheduled           easy to detect.”
                                              pollutants into the atmosphere.
                                                                                           for completion next year, but after 20
                                                  Critics, though, vociferously condemn
                                                                                           years of planning and $9 million in           The first step is to identify the
                                              the high cost, the threat of terrorism
                                                                                           expenditures, it was recently eliminated      materials that have the longest half-                   reactor, manufactured by
                                              and proliferation, and waste disposal
                                                                                           from the federal budget.                      lives, because they will be there for                   General Atomic in the 1950s;
                                              hazards.                                                                                                                                           operating on campus since
                                                                                               There is an upside though. U.S. policy    the longest time, Nilsson says. When
                                                                                                                                                                                                 1969. Approximately 65 of
                                                  UCI chemical engineering assistant
                                                                                           was amended in 2006, so scientists like       these elements are irradiated, their                    these reactors in use around
                                              professor Mikael Nilsson wants to
                                                                                           Nilsson have redoubled their efforts          properties may change and they can                      the world.
                                              alleviate one of those concerns; he is
                                                                                           to understand chemical separation of          become other elements. These altered
                                              researching ways to reduce and recycle
                                                                                           elements in spent fuel.                       compounds usually have shorter half-                    power. San Onofre produces
                                              nuclear waste. Chemically separating
                                                                                                                                         lives, meaning they decay faster.                       3,000 megawatts. A hand-
                                              elements in spent nuclear fuel, Nilsson                                                                                                            held hairdryer or a toaster
                                                                                           Nilsson seeks to separate out the most            “Some of it will always have to be
                                              says, allows much of it to be reused and                                                                                                           uses about 1 kilowatt.
                                                                                           long-lived and toxic of the elements          stored somewhere,” he says. “But if we
                                              the remainder to be altered so it poses
                                                                                           that remain in spent fuel after the           can decrease storage time from 1 million
                                              less of a threat.                                                                                                                                  neutrons and gamma rays
                                                                                           uranium and plutonium are removed.            to a few hundred years, we’ve come a
                                                                                                                                                                                                 it produces are used to
                                                                                           Some of these elements then can               long way.”                                              investigate materials in
                                              Nuclear energy is the result of neutrons
                                                                                           be reconstituted into new fuel.                                                                       a wide variety of fields,
                                              bombarding the nuclei of uranium or
                                                                                               Transmutation, as it’s called, is not                                                             including archaeology,
                                              plutonium atoms, which causes the                                                                                                                  geology, forensics and
                                                                                           new, but the advanced separation process
                                              atoms to split in a process called nuclear                                                                                                         chemistry.
                                                                                           has never been entirely successful with
                                              fission. Splitting the atoms releases
                                                                                           nuclear fuel. “This hasn’t been done
                                              tremendous heat, as well as additional                                                                                                             examining bullet fragments
                                                                                           because it’s hard to find a good process,”
                                              neutrons. The heat is used to drive                                                                                                                supplied by the FBI from the
                                                                                           he says. “The chemicals all suffer from                                                               assassination of Pres. John
                                              generators that produce electricity,
                                                                                           poor stability, or they’re too poisonous or       Nilsson examines one component                      Kennedy. “We were able to
                                              while the neutrons continue to split
                                                                                           they may be too difficult to control in a      at a time, making the process easier                    fairly convincingly show they
                                              other atoms, causing a chain reaction.                                                                                                             all came from one bullet,”
                                                                                           commercial plant.”                            to control and track. “If you tried to
                                                 The problem, however, is that the                                                                                                               said facility supervisor
                                                                                               Nilsson’s approach is to simulate         analyze it all at once, you would get                   George Miller.
                                              reaction leaves behind highly radioactive
                                                                                           material in spent nuclear fuel by             an indication of what happens but you
                                              waste material. The toxic detritus is
                                                                                           submerging samples of a number of             would have no idea why,” he says. “By
                                              stored: first in cooling tanks and then,                                                                                                            commercial nuclear reactors.
                                                                                           different materials into UCI’s nuclear        doing a little at a time you can build a                The zirconium hydride in its
                                              when those become full, in lead-lined
                                                                                           reactor in the basement of Rowland            knowledge base, which leads to better                   fuel gives it a large negative
                                              concrete buildings at the nuclear                                                                                                                  temperature co-efficient;
                                                                                           Hall. The nuclear fission process creates      methods for processing nuclear waste.”
                                              reactor sites.                                                                                                                                     if the reactor’s temperature
                                                                                           neutrons, which in turn can activate              And although research into                          escalates beyond a certain
                                                 Recycling plants in Europe and Japan
                                                                                           the material and create radioisotopes.        separation and recycling of nuclear fuel                point, the fuel will
                                              separate the uranium and plutonium
                                                                                           He adds these radioactive elements to         has been around since the 1950s, only                   automatically cause
                                              from the spent fuel and reuse it in new                                                                                                            it to shut down.
                                                                                           a solution that mimics nuclear fuel,          recently has it gained public acceptance
                                              fuel, leaving less harmful material to
Mikael Nilsson uses the UCI Nuclear Reactor                                                allowing him to experiment with less          in the U.S., where nuclear energy
                                              accumulate. The U.S. prohibited this
to produce simulated nuclear fuel so he can                                                fear of contamination.                        currently accounts for nearly 20 percent
experiment with separating the elements.      separation process about 25 years ago,
                                                                                                                                         of electricity generation. “It’s much
Page 10     Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                    Page 11
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              e
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               l
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      /list.htm
                                                                                                                                                 In February, John Hemminger, dean             “Development of these advances
                                                                                                                                                                                           will require scientific breakthroughs




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             s/reports
                                                                                                                                                 of UCI’s School of Physical Sciences,
                                                                                                                                                 briefed members of Congress about         that come only with fundamental
                                                                                                                                                 our country’s energy future.              understanding of new materials and




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     /be
                                                      heat “recycling” improves the overall                                                          Hemminger, chair of the U.S.          chemical processes that govern the




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            roduction
                                                      efficiency of the system and reduces         APEP is also investigating alternative         Department of Energy’s Basic Energy       transfer of energy between light,
                                                      pollutants released into the atmosphere.    fuels that could power combustion              Sciences Advisory Committee, told         electricity and chemical fuels,” the




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    oe.gov/p
                                                          The UCI Power Plant is such a system,   engines. Possibilities include hydrogen,       lawmakers that advances in science        report says. “Such breakthroughs will
                                                      using its waste heat for hot water. Vince   methane from landfills or waste                 and technology are essential if America   require a major national mobilization




                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            www.sc.d
                                                      McDonell, APEP associate director, says     treatment, and biodiesels derived from         is going to successfully decrease its     of basic energy research.”
                                                      that when these systems are powered         plant oils. “Combustion as a science           dependence on foreign oil and reduce          The work taking place on campus has   as
                                                      by the most advanced gas turbine            is applicable to pretty much any               greenhouse gases.                         the “potential for major breakthroughs,”
                                                      engines, they produce the lowest            combustion system,” McDonell says, but             In a comprehensive report, “New       Hemminger says, citing research                                   hybrid nanowires that can concentrate
                                                      emissions possible.                         alternative fuels necessitate equipment        Science for a Secure and Sustainable      on thin film solar cell structures,                                solar radiation.
                         A fuel cell stack at NFCRC       APEP has collaborated with the          adjustments. “If we do switch to a             Energy Future,” the committee identified   thermoelectric materials, plasmonics                                  He believes replacing fossil fuels
                                                      U.S. Department of Defense, installing      hydrogen economy, what would the               three strategic goals that must be        for solar concentration and catalysts                             with renewable energy requires more
                                                      test CHP units on military bases in         implications be for all the boilers out        accomplished to meet the impending        for solar-energy-to-chemical-conversion                           than one approach, however. “We need
     eveloping sustainable energy                     Germany and the U.S., including one at      there, all the gas turbine engines? I’m        challenge:                                processes, as well as fuel cells. “UCI is                         to be working on all areas, including
     technologies for the future is                   a Northern California daycare facility at   trying to figure out what would have to                                                   working at the forefront of a number of                           solar, nuclear, wind and biofuels.”
     the mission at UCI’s Advanced                    Ft. Ord. There, the system is powered by    be done to allow them to use this new                                                    areas of fundamental materials sciences                               He adds that there is a critical
Power and Energy Program (APEP).                      a refrigerator-sized 60-kilowatt natural    fuel or combinations of fuels in as clean                                                as it applies to renewable energy and
                                                                                                                                                      carbon dioxide emissions; and                                                                          need for breakthroughs in the areas of
   In addition to its fuel cell research,             gas-fired microturbine that provides         and reliable a manner as possible.”                                                      global change.”                                                   energy storage and energy transmission,
APEP scientists investigate combustion                the building’s electricity and hot water,       APEP’s fuel cell arm, the National Fuel                                                  Hemminger, a chemistry professor,
                                                                                                                                                      efficiency and use.                                                                                     specifically superconductors for the
technologies, distributed generation,                 and is also set up as an emergency          Cell Research Center, is investigating                                                   conducts research through UCI’s Center                            new grid.
co-generation, air-quality impacts and                generator.                                  other implications of a new hydrogen                                                     for Solar Energy on metal/semiconductor
the hydrogen infrastructure.                              If the region’s grid is up and          infrastructure, including pipelines,
                                                      running, the CHP system displaces           hydrogen generation stations, trucking
Combustion technologies, distributed                  both electricity and natural gas used       requirements and impacts on air quality.
generation and combined heat and                      to produce hot water. But if the grid       It works hand-in-hand with vehicle
power (CHP) or combined cooling,                      goes down, the system replaces the          manufacturers like Toyota and GM to test
heating and power (CCHP) are                          lost electricity and provides heat to the   hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles,
often pieces of the same puzzle.                      building. McDonell says the research        says Jack Brouwer, associate director.
    In distributed generation (DG),                   project exceeded expectations, even             Fuel cell vehicles, electric
                                                      becoming a community gathering place        generation, distributed generation,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    to learn how researchers,
electricity is generated at the site
where it will be used, instead of being               during power outages.                       co-generation and combustion                                                                                                                      policymakers and investors
transmitted from large power plants.                      While the custom DG systems are         technologies: all impact air quality in                                                                                                           are illuminating the
It can be produced by a number of                     proving themselves effective, they also     different ways. To get a better view of
small-scale technologies, including                   fuel the concept’s biggest dilemma.         the big picture, APEP relies on computer                                                                                                          focus on environmentally
microturbines, photovoltaic cells, gas                Because each system must be unique,         modeling to predict the effects of                                                                                                                progressive technologies.
turbines and fuel cells.                              they are expensive to implement. “If        various power-generation approaches
    The CHP or CCHP systems capture                   you could find a generic application that    on surrounding air quality. By modeling                                                                                                           Presenters:
the waste heat from the fuel cells or                 would allow you to make one device that     potential scenarios with changing
                                                      would work for everything, the price        variables within the Southern California                                                                                                                     and Energy Program
combustion engines and reuse it. It
is channeled into steam turbines to                   would come down and this technology         basin, Brouwer says researchers hope to                                                                                                                      Center for Science and Society
generate more electricity or through                  could make a more substantial market        gain an enhanced understanding of how
heat exchangers to generate hot water;                penetration,” says McDonell, whose          each will affect the region’s air quality in
waste heat can be used for heating and                research includes seeking ways to           the future.
cooling buildings as well. This waste                 reduce costs.                                   A sustainable future, they hope.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Igniting Technology sponsored by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Igniting Technology is sponsored b Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP in partnership with the University of California,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Irvine division of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Ir vine di


Page 12    Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Page 13
                                                                                                                                                                                         of game technology’s potential, Scacchi      it makes sense when they are decision-
                                                                                                                                                                                         and computer programmer Craig Brown          makers or employees.”
                                                                                                                                                                                         designed what they call the “FabLab”             For Northrop Grumman, researchers
                                                                                                                                                                                         game. In this game, semiconductor            are developing different virtual worlds
                                                                                                                                                                                         manufacturing technicians, fully suited      and online game concepts to study
                                                                                                                                                                                         in clean-room attire with hood and           how people behave – how they make
                                                                                                                                                                                         facemask, perform their work activities,     decisions, how they do business, how
                                                                                                                                                                                         including diagnosing and resolving           they relate to one another. “These
                                                                                                                                                                                         material spills that contaminate the         virtual-world gathering places are like
                                                                                                                                                                                         clean room. The game shows how               vast social science Petri dishes,” says
                                                                                                                                                                                         such breakdowns in operations can be         Conger. “It’s the first time in history
                                                                                                                                                                                         modeled and collaboratively diagnosed        we can capture this many people in one
                                                                                                                                                                                         at a distance, as well as how the game       sample to do research.”
                                                                                                                                                                                         could be used to train new technicians.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Scacchi says computer-game and
                                                                                                                                                                                         Northrop Grumman is another company          virtual-world technology can improve
                                                                                                                                                                                         working with UCI researchers. As a           processes and practices in four areas.
                                                                                                                                                                                         recruitment tool on college campuses,        Exchanging information: think of a
                                                                                                                                                                                         the aerospace company uses a short           three-dimensional virtual conference or
                                                                                                                                                                                         video game that lets potential               meeting, each person interacting with
                                                                                                                                                                                         employees practice their top-level           others through their avatar. Interactive
                                                                                                                                                                                         engineering skills and build a fighter jet.   design prototyping will allow engineers
                                                                                                                                                                                         The company is also developing a game        in different locations to collaboratively


                            Getting Down to
                                                                                                                                                                                         for its current workforce to reinforce the   create products in real time. Simulation-




          Business
                                                                                                                                                                                         notion that every job contributes to the     based learning can be used to train
                                                                                                                                                                                         quality and success of the final product.     employees, and virtual product
                                                                                                                                                                                             Mark Conger is a project manager at      showrooms could help sell products.
                                                                                                                by Lori Brandt                                                                                                                             Scacchi believes that
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       as the new medium of
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       the 21st century, game
          Platforms based on gaming technology         hink playing computer games at work can get you fired?                                                                                                                                           technology will affect all
           like those developed by Walt Scacchi’s                                                                                                                                                                                                      modes of work and play,
          research team can train personnel and        Not necessarily. As more businesses look to computer game
                  improve business performance.        and virtual world technology to help them solve problems,                                                                                                                                       just as radio, television
             Opposite: Semiconductor technicians                                                                                                                                                                                                       and the Internet did in
                   consult in FabLab screen shot.   improve collaboration, train workers and compete in a global
                                                    economy, the line between work and play is fading.                                                                                                                                                 the 20th century.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           “Maybe there is no
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       fundamental difference
                                                     “Game software has improved                forms of communication that employ          hour. With 3,500 technicians who cover                                                                     between work and play,”
                                                    dramatically over the years, and business   computer-game and virtual-world             three shifts a day, Intel’s $3-billion                                                                     says Scacchi. “Playing
                                                    applications of these technologies have     technology can best help organizations,     fabrication facility in Chandler, Ariz.,                                                                   a complex, difficult
                                                    the potential to improve performance,”      as well as determine when this              consists of large, sterile clean-room        Northrop Grumman who oversees the            computer game like “World of Warcraft”
                                                    says Vijay Gurbaxani, a UCI professor       technology may not be an effective          environments. Training employees to          application of game technologies in the      can be serious work. And people say
                                                    of information systems and director of      solution.                                   deal with spills or service-equipment        company’s aerospace sector. “At Northrop     the more challenging the game is to
                                                    the Center for Research on Information                                                  problems in this environment poses an        Grumman, much of our research and            play, the more fun it is. So rather than
                                                    Technology and Organizations. “But          One such organization working with          expensive and difficult challenge. These      development can take 10-plus years to        thinking computer-game and virtual-
                                                    it is important to understand the           Calit2 researchers is the technology        workers must learn to diagnose and fix        go from concept to war fighter. If you        world technology only applies to play,
                                                    conditions under which the use of these     innovator Intel. For a high-tech company    problems on the job as they occur.           think about that, our future customers       we view it as an activity system – an
                                                    technologies is more likely to succeed.”    like Intel, which builds microprocessors,       “This presents the ideal situation for   and employees are in junior high right       interactive activity system that can
                                                         That is the goal of the recent $3      one small accident in its manufacturing     game-based virtual world technology,”        now. Rather than building our father’s       be used in many new ways to benefit
                                                    million National Science Foundation         plant could suspend production for          explains Walt Scacchi, ISR senior            system, we need to figure out, right now,     corporate enterprise.”
                                                    grant to UCI’s Institute for Software       hours or even days. A shutdown costs        research scientist and co-director of the    how to inject the technology these kids
                                                    Research: to see how the emerging           hundreds of thousands of dollars an         Calit2 Game Lab. As a demonstration          are used to into our product line, so that


Page 14       Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Page 15
          Virtuall
             Speaking
                     y                                                                                      People have needs and desires in the
                                                                                                            physical world that maybe a virtual
                                                                                                            world could fill. But new things emerge
                                                                                                                                                         look at that you wouldn’t even know
                                                                                                                                                         were there. Then I invited groups of
                                                                                                                                                         avatars to discussion groups at my
                                                                                                                                                         SL home, Ethnographia, and I also
                                                                                                                                                         conducted individual interviews.

                                                                                                            once you’re in the virtual world that you
                                                                                                            couldn’t have predicted and might find
                                                                                                            interesting. That’s often what keeps         I couldn’t get them to stop talking! Once
                   by Shellie Nazarenus       etween interviews with National Public Radio and a Dutch      people involved in virtual worlds. For       people understood I was interested in
                                              documentary film crew, Tom Boellstorff, UCI anthropology       example, people often go into Second         their SL experiences without needing to
                                              professor, sat down with me to discuss his new book,          Life (SL) to try being a different person,   know details about their physical lives,
                                          “Coming of Age in Second Life,” in which he explores how          change their gender or race, whatever,       it was almost like I had people lining
                                          virtual worlds can change ideas about identity and society.       but what they really discover is that        up. Sometimes people would ask me to
                                          The release has generated a plethora of speaking requests,        SL is a great way to stay in touch with      interview them again or their friends
                                          proving that timing is everything. When he started his research   their aunt who lives three time zones        would start messaging me. Part of that
                                          five years ago, there were only 5,000 people exploring a           away. Instead of calling each other in       is because SL is still seen as something
                                          relatively unknown virtual world called Second Life. Now there    the actual world, they meet in SL and        very new. Many people are really
                                          are often 80,000 people at once and interest is growing.          do stuff together. By the way, I say         fascinated by it in various ways, just like
                                                                                                            “the actual world” instead of “real life”    me, and they wanted to talk about it.
                                                                                                            because it’s clear that virtual worlds
                                                                                                            are real places of human culture.
                                                                                                                                                         The default look for him does. But he
                                                                                                                                                         can also look like a woman or a cat or a
                                                                                                            There have been plenty of people             dragon. I mean, I have many different
                                                                                                            looking at human-computer interaction.       avatar embodiments because you can
                                                                                                            I wanted to try something that               change your look in SL instantaneously.
                                                                                                            anthropology had not quite done              Some people completely change their
                                                                                                            before – a full-scale ethnographic           look, their race, their gender or their
                                                                                                            study of a virtual world. With that          species every day, but that’s probably
                                                                                                            in mind, it was important for me to          not the norm. Most people have a kind
                                                                                                            have a really open-ended virtual world       of default look, often some kind of
                                                                                                            where it would be easier for me to be        fantasy, idealized version of themselves.
                                                                                                            an anthropologist, create an office to        There aren’t a lot of ugly avatars.
                                                                                                            conduct interviews and do all the stuff                               (continued, page 18)
                                                                                                            I do as an actual-world researcher.




                                                                                                            The idea was to replicate the fieldwork
                                                                                                            methods that I use in my actual-
                                                                                                            world research as much as I could.
                                                                                                            Participant observation is the main
                                                                                                            thing you do with an ethnographic
                                                                                                            approach. So I created Tom Bukowski,
                                                                                                            an avatar (a graphical representation
                                                                                                            of a virtual world resident), and spent
                                                                                                            a lot of time in SL hanging out with
                                                                                                            people in everyday interactions. By
                                                                                                                                                         Opposite: Anthropologist Tom Boellstorff
                                                                                                            actually participating, you realize          explores identity and society in virtual
                                                                                                            what kinds of questions you should           world Second Life. Above: Avatar Tom
                                                                                                                                                         Bukowski began his anthropological
                                                                                                            ask or what kinds of things you should       research on June 3, 2004.


Page 16   Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                               Page 17
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       TIPS (Taking IP to Startup) is a service offered by
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Calit2 to help guide faculty and students through
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     the process of moving their research to the business
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           market. TIPS has open office hours 1 – 5 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         every Tuesday in the Calit2 Building, suite 4100.



                                                                                                                                                                                                               by Luis Vasquez,
                                                                                                                                                                                                               OCTANe LaunchPad




                                                                                                                                                   inancing a startup can be a            financing for startups is licensing               successful companies started during
                                                                                       Tom Bukowski surveys other avatars for their views.
                                                                                                                                                   challenging endeavor in normal         royalties from larger companies.                 tough economic times. Cisco Systems
                                                                                                                                                   economic times. So how should          Ironically, as companies cut their               received its first VC investment just
                                                                                           traditional anthropology book. The                entrepreneurs and researchers with           internal R&D budgets, it may open the            weeks after the stock market crash
                                           The kindness and altruism – I continue          other thing was that I wanted to reach            the dream of creating a technology-          door for outside technology through              of 1987, and Microsoft was founded
Yes. A big issue in the physical world     to be surprised at how generous and             out to a lot of people who don’t know             based company adjust their financing          increased in-licensing and open-                 during the mid-70s severe economic
is discrimination based on aspects like    giving people are in virtual worlds. They       anything about Second Life or virtual             plans in this economic recession?            innovation programs. The caveat is that          recession.
race or gender, something that you         will often give you hours of their time         worlds, and the reality is, the book form              It’s useful to first understand how      large companies’ licensing departments               Companies started during
can’t change or can change only with       if you need help or companionship.              is still the dominant way in which people         the current economic situation has           are usually looking for technology and           economic downturns are forced to be
great difficulty. In theory, you would      In popular culture, the most common             access information. The publisher does,           affected startup financing. The credit        new products that are very close to              more capital-efficient, often pay lower
think that when you could change           image of virtual worlds is from the             however, allow the first chapter of the            crisis has hit many entrepreneurs, who       commercialization. Further, there are            rates for rent and services, and have
your appearance in SL at the drop of       Matrix movies, where they enslaved              book to be available by PDF. So I actually        in recent years seed-financed their           often terms in these licensing deals             a bigger pool of talented employees.
a hat, the discrimination wouldn’t be      humanity. But realistically, in terms           put an open-able book inside of Second            startups using home equity or zero-          that may prevent competition in certain          Consequently, if they survive, they
there because it’s not an innate part      of the percentage of negative social            Life on my living room coffee table and           percent credit-card accounts. Those          markets. So while a licensing deal may           usually thrive and greatly reward
of who someone is. But – and this is       interactions in SL, it’s miniscule. The         people can read the beginning for free.           days are over.                               prevent a startup company from selling           founders and investors.
the big “but” – people often sense         reason these worlds survive and grow                                                                   Angel investors have also seen their    its own products around the world, it                So if you are trying to fund a
it’s all chosen, so they will still read   is that generosity and kindness are                                                               net worth fall as their home values and      can be a great path to revenue and a             startup right now, you must be
meaning into it. Why do you look like      more common than people who’ve                                                                    investment portfolios have taken a dive.     way to prove a market exists for its             creative, entertain alternatives that
that? What does that mean about you?       never spent time in them may think.                                                               This has decreased their risk appetite       technology.                                      you might not have considered, and
And it can in some cases trigger real-                                                                                                       and sometimes reduced the funds that              There is also the option of a               have hope that if you get off the
life prejudices. There are interesting                                                                                                       they have to invest in startups.             structured loan from an angel                    ground, you will be in a good position
cases of African-Americans who have                                                                                                               Some venture capitalists have found     investor. Unlike a normal equity                 to thrive when the economy rebounds.
white avatars at least some of the time    Right, that’s the “double sense”                                                                  it harder to get commitments from their      investment, where the investor gets                  Good luck!
because they just find it easier. But       about the phrase in my book “we are                                                               institutional investors, whose entire        his/her money back upon an IPO or
that is not always the case, and then      virtually human.” In one sense, there                                                             portfolios have suffered big losses. Plus,   company sale, structured loans provide
there are all kinds of people who are      is something new to virtual worlds                                                                the VCs are getting fewer or depressed       a mechanism to return principle to
seeing what it’s like to live as someone   and to being human inside of virtual                                                              liquidity exits due to the lack of IPOs      investors sooner, much like a loan with
with a different ethnicity than the one    worlds. But there’s also something              It’s not going to be the Matrix. Just like        and the decreased valuations of almost       interest, but with equity warrants. The
they have in the actual world. There’s     about being human that’s always been            TV, cell phones or email, it’s not going          all companies.                               terms of such deals can vary widely, so
cross-gender stuff, too, and a lot of      about being virtual. From the first              to take over our lives. Virtual worlds                 So what are some creative options?      it is imperative that entrepreneurs seek
debate on why so many female avatars       cave painting to the development of             are a relatively new technology and               Let’s start with government stimulus         legal counsel.
in virtual worlds are controlled by men    language to the first novel, there’s been        the number of people spending time                money. In an effort to pump up the                Finally, there is self-financing or
in the actual world, and to a much         a kind of virtual-ness that’s always            in them is bound to go up since not               economy, the government is spending          “bootstrapping.” This method should
lesser degree, the other way around.       been a part of the human experience.            long ago the amount of time people                trillions of dollars. Lots of that           always be considered regardless of
                                                                                           spent in them was zero! There will be             will be invested in research. Future         economic conditions. In the long run,
                                                                                           changes that result from improvements             entrepreneurs affiliated with universities    self-financing is the least expensive
                                                                                           in technology, but I actually think               may want to continue R&D as far as           alternative, especially compared to
                                                                                           [there is] a lot of interesting stuff             possible before taking the technology        taking equity investment. The downside
                                                                                           that no one’s even thought of yet                 outside. Small Business Innovation           is that it can greatly prolong the time
                                           It’s not ironic – that was actually an          that we could even do now. The lag                Research (SBIR) grants and Small             required to build a successful startup,
                                           intentional decision I made for two             in where we go from here isn’t the                Business Technology Transfer (STTR)          and it puts all the financial risk on the
                                           reasons. One is because I was trying            technology, it’s our imagination.                 grants will also increase as research        entrepreneur and his/her family.
                                           to reproduce traditional ethnographic                                                             budgets increase for federal agencies.            Despite the challenges, the good
                                           methods so I wanted to produce a                                                                       Another source of revenue and           news is that there are always wildly

Page 18    Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Page 19
                            Autonet researchers James Marca
                            (foreground) and Craig Rindt are
                            fine-tuning the autonomous vehicle-
                            to-vehicle system so it can integrate
                            street and freeway traffic information
                                                                                                                                                              alleviates traffic congestion and               all available communication options,
                                                                                                                                                              increases driver safety by enabling            including wireless networks and cell
                                                                                                                                                              cars to “communicate” with each other          phone-based communication, depending
                                                                                                                                                              via common wireless technology. A              on the situation.
                                                                                                                                                              car passing an accident or avoiding                “Some things, like a traffic jam,
                                                                                                                                                              an obstacle could alert other cars,            would be better suited to a local
                                                                                                                                                              allowing drivers to avoid the incident.        area connection, which is almost
                                                                                                                                                                  In its early days, the system was          instantaneous,” he says. On the
                                                                                                                                                              tested in a virtual simulator. Then            other hand, since Autonet “knows” a
                                                                                                                                                              the team collaborated with electrical          driver’s usual daily routes, a cell phone
                                                                                                                                                              engineering, computer science and              application could send notification before
                                                                                                                                                              database colleagues to build the               he gets in his car that there is an incident
                                                                                                                                                              prototype with off-the-shelf components.       along the way. “In my mind, the end
                                                                                                                                                              They road-tested it on freeways and            system will be both.”
                                                                                                                                                              surface streets, using 802.11 b wireless
                                                                                                                                                              networks. “That generated a lot of             When it was first introduced, the
                                                                                                                                                              excitement,” Marca says.                       concept was not well understood and
                                                                                                                                                                                                             was considered quite futuristic, says
                                                                                                                                                              Now developers see ways to advance the         Wenlong Jin, who in 2006 served as
                                                                                                                                                              system even further to help Caltrans and       guest editor of a special journal issue
                                                                                                                                                              its municipal partners manage street           focused on inter-vehicle communication
                                                                                                                                                              and freeway traffic as an integrated            and intelligent transportation systems.
                                                                                                                                                              system. “Caltrans has lots of quality,         “When we talked about this before,
                                                                                                                                                              real-time information on the freeway           many people liked the idea but were
                                                                                                                                                              systems, but they know very little about       kind of skeptical. After several years,




                                                                     Ready for
                                                                                                                                                              the streets,” says Marca. “What we             and with the continued development of
                                                                                                                                                              want to do is build the next-generation        wireless communication technologies,
                                                                                                                                                              traffic management center for them.”            people realize it is more probable.”
                                                                                                                                                                  Researchers also want to adapt the             Trevor Harmon, the paper’s lead author
                                                                                                                                                              Autonet platform for use on high-end           who earned his doctorate degree last
                                                                                                                                                              phones like Apple’s iPhone and Google’s        spring, attributes public interest in the
                                                                                                                                                              G1, which could upload information and         project to the innovative way that two
                                                                                                                                                              transmit it to the transportation agency.      familiar technologies have been merged
                                                                                                                                                              “Caltrans will be able to use the real-time    into a new product.
                                                                                                                                                              vehicle data, and in turn will provide             “It takes the principles of peer-to-
     by Anna Lynn Spitzer
                                                                                                                                                              better information to drivers than just        peer networks – which are now famous
                                                                                                                                                              [telling them to] ‘expect delays,’” he says.   thanks to Napster, BitTorrent, and the
                                                                                                                                                                  Researcher Craig Rindt credits             RIAA – and applies them to the problem
      esearchers at UC Irvine’s Institute of Transportation                Timing is everything, the researchers   – for developments that could take the     advances in technology for next-               of automobile traffic, which just about
      Studies are ready to go the extra mile with “Autonet,”           say. As wireless technology becomes         system to the next level.                  generation potential. “Transportation          everyone cares about in one way or
      the vehicle-to-vehicle, autonomous traffic-information            more ubiquitous, the public has suddenly        “It was very good fortune that [the    research has long studied human behavior       another,” he says. “Autonet marries these
  system they’ve been developing for 10 years.                         found the Autonet concept more realistic    paper] was slow to be published,” says     in the context of both spatial and             two concepts in a novel way.”
                                                                       and newly relevant. Widespread interest     James Marca, one of its authors. “Enough   social environments,” he says. “What’s             Adds Marca, “The time is finally right
                                                                       became apparent when an academic            people have seen an ‘OnStar’ system or     different now is that mobile computers         to get this going.”
                                                                       paper on the project –written in 2007       a live traffic update system to know this   directly measure this behavior via their
                                                                       but published this year – caused a recent   can work. That’s good but those systems    navigation, calendaring, and social
                                                                       flurry of media attention.                   are very limiting.”                        networking applications. This makes
                                                                           And now, with billions of dollars                                                  it possible to apply well-established
                                                                       available in the Obama Administration’s     The Autonet system, one of Calit2’s        methods to analyzing behavior, and
                                                                       stimulus plan, the time could be right      first projects, can be installed in         provide value-added services to users.”
                                                                       to secure additional funding – and,         cars and roadside monitoring posts.            Marca envisions the final product as
                                                                       researchers hope, commercial partners       Using ad hoc networks, the system          a “hybrid system” that will incorporate


Page 20     Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Page 21
FUNDINGNotes                                                                   by Stuart Ross




                                                                               National Institutes of
                                                                               Health RFA-EB-09-001
                                                                               Letters of intent are due Aug. 22, 2009;
                                                                               proposals are due Sept. 22, 2009

                                                                               This competition is part of the Small
                                                                               Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
                                                                               program. Small businesses are eligible
                                                                               to apply, and they can subcontract
                                                                               part of the work to universities.
                                                                               Technologies are sought that minimize
                                                                               barriers of distance, cost or knowledge
                                                                               that keep some populations from
                                                                               getting adequate healthcare. Examples
                                                                               might include devices for in-home
                                                                               monitoring or integrating diagnosis
                                                                               and treatment, or cheaper and
                                                                               simpler sensors. Awards are available
                                                                               for initial technology development,
                        Does crowd behavior bother you? Are you tired of
                                                                               up to $200,000 per year for up
                         reading e-mails to learn for whom the bill tolls?
                                                                               to two years.
                                 Has it been more than a week since you
                              checked with an important agency official?
                               Don’t worry – there are still other funding
                                   opportunities available. The chase will
                                be less exciting, but the support will still
                                  be useful. The following opportunities
                                            look good for Calit2 affiliates.




                                                                               National Science Foundation 09-544
                                                                               Proposals are due July 14, 2009

                                                                               This competition offers awards to
                                                                               support collaborative research teams
                                                                               that will generate useful information
                                                                               and tools to help decision-makers

Page 22   Spring 2009
                                                                                                                                   Best practices for minimizing the human carbon footprint will be explored at a May 22 program
                                                                                                                                   at the Beckman Center for the National Academies of Science and Engineering in Irvine. “Green
                                                                                                                                   Development” is a solutions-oriented conference sponsored by the Newkirk Center for Science and
                                                                                                                                   Society at UCI, and Chapman University. “This program will examine case studies of successful
                                                                                                                                   initiatives in the business sector and in the university, pointing to concepts and principles
                                                                                                                                   that explain winning results,” says Joseph DiMento, the center’s director and conference
                                                                                                                                                             co-organizer. The program is free and open to the public, but space
                                                                                                                                                             is limited and reservations are recommended: newkirk@uci.edu.




                                                                                                                                    The fifth consecutive summer
                                                                                                                                    of undergraduate research at
                                                                                                                                    Calit2 is getting underway with
                                               UCI’s Chancellor and new engineering dean paid separate visits to the Calit2         15 projects earmarked for UCI
                                               Wireless Sensor Technologies lab to try out some of the latest prototypes under      students to explore. The Summer Undergraduate
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Equipment donations from two global companies
                                               development. Among the many research projects demonstrated, Chancellor               Research Fellowship in Information Technology
                                                                                                                                                                                                 have contributed to significant research advances
                                               Drake seemed particularly interested in the XSense technology embedded into          (SURF-IT) provides a unique 10-week experience
                                                                                                                                                                                                 for Professor Aditi Majumder’s group in the Calit2
                                               head coverings such as the current baseball-cap model. The technology enables        for talented participants to become immersed
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Visualization Lab. Late last fall, Epson’s R&D arm
                                               wearers to experience a sixth sense – the ability to perceive objects that cannot    in IT-related research and applications. Selected
                                                                                                                                                                                                 donated 10 new projectors, while Canon Development
                                               be detected using their own senses. Dean Rafael Bras also viewed numerous            Fellows work under the guidance of a faculty mentor
                                                                                                                                                                                                 Americas division contributed state-of-the-art
                                               activities and sampled a floor-sensor mat system that researchers hope will           and research team. To date, 47 undergraduates from
                                                                                                                                                                                                 cameras. The research team is developing camera-
                                               provide intelligent feedback for people undergoing mobility rehabilitation.          various disciplines have developed the knowledge
                                                                                                                                                                                                 based calibration techniques and custom algorithms
                                                                                                                                    and skills that can propel them into graduate studies
                                                                                                                                                                                                 to produce realistic, high-resolution, seamless
                                                                                                                                    or careers in the technology sector. 2009 SURF-IT
                                                                                                                                                                                                 displays using multiple projectors. In the initial
                                                                                                                                    Fellow Lauren Lewis recently was first author of an
                                                                                                                                                                                                 phase, the project utilized a rear-projection system.
                                                                                                                                    article about her “Fanfiction University” research
                                                          In February, Calit2 hosted the MacArthur Foundation Portfolio                                                                          With the new equipment, the group is developing
                                                                                                                                                                   that was published in
                                                          Conference on Digital Media and Learning. Attendees from across                                                                        a front-projection configuration that produces
                                                                                                                                                                   the inaugural issue
                                                          the country spent two days discussing how digital technologies                                                                         seamless images on cylindrical screens, including
                                                                                                                                                                   of the International
                                                          are changing the way people, especially young                                                                                          wavy surfaces. “We’ve really reached some milestones
                                                                                                                                                                   Journal of Learning
                                                          people, learn, play, socialize and participate                                                                                         in terms of seamless displays,” says Majumder.
                                                                                                                                                                   and Media. The
                                                          in civic life. They also had an opportunity to
                                                                                                                                                                   computer science
                                                          visit some of the labs in the building and see
                                                                                                                                                                   major was mentored
          by Shellie Nazarenus




                                                          research projects that are developing creative
                                                                                                                                                                   by education
                                                          digital learning technologies and approaches.
                                                                                                                                                                   assistant professor
                                                          Lab stops included the eMedia Studio, Interactive
                                                                                                                                                                   Rebecca Black.
                                                          Animation, Visualization and Game Development.



Page 24                          Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                             Page 25
          Leadership Southern California 2009 Fellows spent a day in late
             January exploring science and technology sites and trends in
          Orange County. Their excursion included Calit2, where they saw                                                                As a guest entrepreneur, G.P. Li enlightened an
          first-hand how industry and university researchers                                                                             audience of researchers with lessons learned on the
           interact to stimulate innovation. The group made                                                                             road to starting up companies. Li, who directs the          Most of the 125 people who attended
                several stops, including the Visualization lab,                                                                         Calit2 Irvine division, has been involved in several        H2Ology, the Igniting Technology event held
                where lab manager Steve Jenks demonstrated                                                                              business opportunities during his 20-plus years in          in November at Calit2, were probably aware
              the capabilities of HIPerWall and explained the                                                                           academic research. He told the crowd that he considers      that a serious global water crisis is afoot.
             project’s path to recent commercialization. Each                                                                           only one of those a success story but never regrets         After watching the 15-minute film “Running Dry: A Call to
             year the Leadership Southern California program                                                                            having given them all a try. “You have to go with your      Action” that opened the event, they knew it for certain.
            selects approximately 40 mid-career participants                                                                            gut feeling. If it is something you are passionate about,   What they might not
                 from a six-county region for their leadership                                                                          and there is a good business model, then go for it,”        have realized, though,
              development program. The diverse group learns                                                                             he told listeners. “If I hadn’t tried all of those times    is the role information
             more about the business and education climate,                                                                             I wouldn’t have these good lessons to share with you        technology is playing
               public policy and regional stewardship efforts.                                                                          today.” Li was interviewed by OCTANe’s Luis Vasquez as      in the race to solve
                                                                                                                                        part of the ongoing Entrepreneurs Forum@UCI, which          the problem and avert
                                                                                                                                        is held two Fridays a month in the Calit2 building.         an all-out disaster.
                                                                                                                                                                                                    Four researchers
                                                                                                                                                                                                    discussed their various
                                                                                                                                                                                                    efforts, including
                                                                                                                                                                                                    tracking and providing
                                                                                                                                                                                                    ready access to
                                                                                                                                                                                                    previously inaccessible
                                                                    Next year, 12 miles of                                                                                                          data, translating
                                                                    murals will be displayed                                                                                                        scientific information for policymakers, monitoring
                                                                    electronically on an                                                                                                            quality and educating consumers – all enabled by
                                                                    enormous pyramid                                                                                                                the unlimited potential of information technology.
                                                                    constructed in Egypt.                                                                                                           A Washington, D.C.-based venture capitalist rounded
                                                                    Last fall, a smaller replica                                                                                                    out the presentations by acquainting the audience
                                                                    of the international                                                                                                            with new international partnerships and business
                                                                    Art Miles Mural Project                                                                                                         models that are forming as water becomes the new
                                                                    was erected in the                                                                                                              gold. Igniting Technology is a semi-annual program
            Calit2’s telemedicine initiative got a shot in the      Calit2 Building atrium.                                                                                                         sponsored by Knobbe Martens Olson & Bear LLP.
            arm this winter when the Verizon Foundation             The project, founded                                                    The Carl Zeiss Center of Excellence received a
            delivered its funding gift in support of the            by former U.N. executive Joanne Tawfilis, is meant to erase              new Ultra Plus field-emission scanning electron
            Telios project. Gary George, Verizon’s director for     boundaries between countries, and encourage a mutual respect            microscope in February, replacing an earlier
            government and external affairs, presented the          for the Earth and its many cultures. More than 5,000 murals             model. The upgrade, one of the benefits of the
            check to Calit2 Irvine director G.P. Li and the         have been created by more than 500,000 people of all ages and           Calit2 partnership with Zeiss, dramatically
            research team after seeing a demonstration of           backgrounds from 125 countries. The murals fall into one of a           improves the imaging quality of insulating
            the working prototype. Telios makes telemedicine        dozen themes, including the environment. It was this subject            materials, such as polymers and ceramics,
            options available to average individuals by             in particular that landed the four-sided, nine-foot tall portable       which are intrinsically challenging to image.
            employing a software package that brings                pyramid at Calit2 as part of the institute’s water and technology       Instruments are upgraded regularly, enabling
            healthcare providers into patients’ homes via           conference. “The Art Miles Mural Project links art, technology,         company representatives to use the lab as a
            the Internet. The system also enables doctors to        children and the world to provide a path through international          demonstration facility, while researchers have
            receive continuous updates from selected medical        cooperation for sustainability,” said conference speaker Bill           access to the newest equipment. Lab manager
            devices linked to it. The Verizon funding is            Cooper, who directs UCI’s Urban Water Research Center.                  John Porter and graduate student assistant
            being used to install and test a Telios prototype                                                                               Mai Ng got a closer look at the new microscope
            in Orange County’s Share Our Selves medical                                                                                     while it was being installed by John Laughlin,
            clinic for underserved and uninsured patients.                                                                                  a Zeiss field service engineer. The Zeiss Center
                                                                                                                                            opened in the Calit2 Building in the spring of 2006.


Page 26         Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Page 27
                 For the third consecutive year, members of the
                 Osher Lifelong Learning Institute participated                                                                   In an effort to better inform its local audience,
                 in a series of Calit2 presentations. The                                                                         Calit2@UCI announced the launch of its Irvine-
                 November program featured three primary                                                                          specific Web site, www.calit2.uci.edu. The site
                 research initiatives: green-IT, eHealth and                                                                      focuses on the division’s research activities,
                 digital learning. Each topic was presented by              On a visit sponsored by                               current projects and campus participation,
                 several researchers working on various aspects,            the British Consulate,                                and provides numerous ways for the campus
                 such as Department of Education professor                  materials scientist                                   and surrounding business community to get
                 Rebecca Black’s “Fanfiction University” project.            Valerie Randle spent                                  involved. Calit2 Building-specific information
                 After the series was complete, attendees                   three days at Calit2                                  is also featured on the new site. An online
                 indicated they had learned about useful IT                 working with graduate                                 reservation system allows users to check meeting
                 applications and creative, multidisciplinary               students to enhance their                             room availability, including the atrium and auditorium, before making a request. Detailed information about
                 research approaches. Organizer George Hume                 understanding of electron                             the facility’s labs and project rooms includes manager contact information and a system for reserving time
                 said “brief survey results are proof that again            backscatter diffraction                               on equipment in the first-floor clean rooms and microscopy center. The site also features the division’s
                 the classes were an excellent, very worthwhile             (EBSD). She concluded the                             upcoming events and an easy link for requesting inclusion on Calit2@UCI mail lists. In addition, a
                 experience.” OLLI, which offers programs                   visit by giving a public                              newsroom contains news and feature stories, as well as current and back issues of Interface magazine.
                 and classes for seniors, is managed by UCI                 seminar on the latest
                 Extension. Calit2 plans to partner with the                developments in EBSD
                 group for another round of learning next fall.             based on advances in technologies. Randle has
                                                                            been eminent in her field for more than 20 years
                                                                            and is the recipient of the Institute of Materials’
                                                                            Rosenhain Medal. She currently directs the                                                                  There were no judges, but those passing through the Calit2
                                                                            Materials Research Centre at Swansea University                                                             atrium in early November had a chance to do some dancing with
                                                                            in Wales, UK. Her visit to UCI in November was                                                              the stars, albeit virtually. Participants twirled with talented
                                                                            part of an initiative to promote British and                                                                instructors in the Dance-IT kiosk via pre-recorded lessons. The
                                                                            Southern California university collaborations. It                                                           interactive exhibit teaches dance styles from around the world,
                                                                            followed an earlier visit by a research delegation                                                          enabling individuals to select a style on a screen menu, and
                                                                            from the University of Warwick, UK, to learn                                                                then watch, learn and dance along. Dance-IT is the creation of
                                                                            more about Calit2’s Zeiss Center of Excellence.                                                             Calit2 eMedia Studio director John Crawford, who says “the goal
                                                                                                                                  The new year ushered in the opening of                of the project is to explore a new way of experiencing dance
                                                                                                                                  Calit2’s Bio-Organic Nanofabrication (BiON)           using digital media.” Technology embedded in the kiosk records
                                                                                                                                  facility. The series of clean-room labs located       and alters the perspectives of visitors’ dances and then replays a
                                                                                                                                  on the building’s first floor offers unique             montage on screens for passers-by to enjoy. Crawford is working
                                                                                                                                  prototyping capabilities for building next-           on plans to have a series of kiosks installed in various locations
          Two UCI students who work in Calit2’s Carl Zeiss Center of Excellence won awards at this year’s Southern California     generation microdevices for the biomedical            around the world and connected over a high-speed network,
          Society for Microscopy and Microanalysis Symposium held in March at UCLA. The awards were given for the best            and biotech industries. BiON specializes in           allowing participants to collectively share their experiences.
          student platform presentation and the best student                                                                      using organic and natural materials such as
          poster. Anh Duong (far right) received a $500 check                                                                     polymers, hydrogels, proteins and tissue. The
          for her presentation “3D Reconstruction of Solid                                                                        new facility will serve as Southern California’s
          Oxide Fuel Cell Cathodes using FIB/SEM.” Shehreen                                                                       innovation incubator for the development of
          Dheda received $300 for her poster “The Application                                                                     advanced healthcare technologies. Potential
          of Electron Backscatter Diffraction to Study Abnormal                                                                   users got a first look at BiON during the
          Grain Growth and Twinning in Nanocrystalline Nickel.”                                                                   Calit2 Building Open House, which also
          The awards will support travel to Richmond, Va. for the                                                                 featured lab tours, project demonstrations,
          Microscopy Society of America’s annual meeting in July.                                                                 shared-use equipment resources and
                                                                                                                                  opportunities for future collaboration.




Page 28       Spring 2009                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Page 29
The California Institute for          University of California, Irvine                                                         NONPROFIT ORG.
                                      California Institute for                                                                 U.S. POSTAGE
Telecommunications and                Telecommunications and                                                                   PAID
                                      Information Technology                                                                   Santa Ana, CA
Information Technology is a           4100 Calit2 Building
                                      Irvine, CA 92697-2800                                                                    Permit No. 1106
two-campus multidisciplinary
research institute. In
collaboration with its
sister institute at UC San
Diego, Calit2@UCI develops
innovative projects that
integrate university expertise
with industry experience. The
result: IT-based solutions that
benefit society and ignite
economic development.




   Brainquiz
   T
       hink you’re a real brainiac? An            Thelen, lets users scan small tags       indicating the accuracy of the choice.
       interactive quiz developed by two          on the surface of a large 3D brain           “The system makes use of the 800
       Calit2 researchers based on an             image with a cell phone camera. The      megavoxel 3D rendering capabilities of
   anatomical map of the human brain              user enters the name of the tagged       HIPerWall and uses a cell phone as a
   may prove otherwise. The software,             region; the answer is transmitted over   universal input and display device,”
   developed by assistant professor Joerg         a wireless network and a Web page        says Meyer, “making a seamless,
   Meyer (left) and researcher Sebastian          displays on the cell phone instantly     interactive application.”
                                                                                           (Brain data set provided by Arthur L. Toga, UCLA)

				
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