Upcoming Seminars

Week of March 20Week of March 27Week of April 3Week of April 10

Biomedical Engineering

Generation of 6 Cell Lines from Human Adipose Derived Stem Cells

Thursday, March 23, 2017; 12:05 PM - 1:20 PM
135 Reber Building
Speaker: Dr. Ashley Leberfinger from Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Tissue engineering combines cells and biologically active molecules to create functional tissue. We attempt to optimize these components to fabricate patient specific bioengineered vascularized tissue. Adipose tissue has been thought to be nothing more than an energy reservoir. However, it contains mesenchymal stem cells and endothelial cells which can serve as the cellular starting material for tissue engineering approaches. We have successfully differentiated adipose derived stem cells (ADSCs) into multiple cell lines. Three-dimensional culture with endothelial cells allows for microvasculature development. We believe that adipose tissue can provide most of the elements for autologous tissue regeneration.

Hosted by: Jenna Sieber,  Biomedical Engineering  (jns5431@psu.edu)

Computer Science and Engineering

“Algorithm design for massive data”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017; 10:00 a.m.
222 IST Building
Speaker: Xiaorui Sun from Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing at UC Berkeley

The modern era is undergoing an explosive growth in the amount of available data, and quadratic or even linear-time algorithms can fall short of efficiency. Solving problems in this new scenario has become a major challenge for the computer science community. In this talk, I will highlight how the algorithmic perspective brings novel insights and leads to efficient methods for important problems in the big data environment. I will first talk about algorithm design in massively parallel computing models. I will describe new algorithmic techniques to solve sequential dynamic programming problems under these models. The new parallel algorithms are near-optimal for a variety of classic dynamic programming problems, including longest increasing subsequence, optimal binary search tree, and weighted interval scheduling. Second I will talk about algorithms for reconstructing the underlying structure of large data using random samples. I will present a density estimation framework based on piecewise polynomial approximation of probability distributions. The framework yields efficient density estimation algorithms for a wide range of structured distributions with near-optimal data usage.

Hosted by: Sharon Elder,  Electrical Engineering  (sle9@psu.edu)

“Building Fully Trustworthy OS Kernels through Formal Verification”

Friday, March 24, 2017; 10 a.m.
222 IST Building
Speaker: Ronghui Gu from Yale University

Operating System (OS) kernels have a significant impact on the reliability and security of today’s software system. Hence it is highly desirable to verify the OS kernels formally. Recent efforts have demonstrated the feasibility of building large scale formal proofs for the functional correctness of complex systems, but the cost of such verification is still prohibitive, and it is unclear how to extend their verified kernels to support concurrency. In this talk, we present CertiKOS, an extensible architecture for building certified sequential and concurrent OS kernels based on certified abstraction layers. We show how to specify, program, and compose layers formally and how to support different kinds of concurrency within the kernel. As a case study, we also discuss how to verify a practical concurrent OS kernel with fine-grained locking using our CertiKOS framework.

Hosted by: Sharon Elder,  Electrical Engineering  (sle9@psu.edu)

Electrical Engineering

MEMS are becoming 3D and atomically precis

Thursday, March 23, 2017; 4:35
62 Willard
Speaker: Andrei M. Shkel from University of California, Irvine

Microtechnology comes of age. Clearly, some significant advances have been made, and we see a footprint of the technology in an ever-growing consumer electronics market full of interactive products enabled by microtechnology. These products include, for example, accelerometers for gaming, gyros for auto safety, resonators for clocks, and more. The questions remain, however: Is the technology really on the level of what we consider to be precision sensing? Is making sensors small necessarily result in degradation of performance? Why do we need the precision of sensing for our daily life and what are the opportunities if we have the precision at our fingertips? Our response to these challenges is a number of think-outside-the-box technologies, including glassblowing technology for precision sensing and silicon origami-like assembly techniques for classical and atomic MEMS; all to be discussed in this talk.

Hosted by: Vishal Monga,  Electrical Engineering  (Vmonga@engr.psu.edu)

Engineering Science and Mechanics

Kinetics of Shaping Processes in Biological Membranes

Monday, March 20, 2017; 11:45am - 1:15pm
216 EES Building
Speaker: Christian Peco from Duke University

Abstract Many problems in engineering can be described in terms of two di?erentiated phases, including fracture mechanics, phase change in solidi?cation, crystal grain growth and membrane hydrodynamics, to mention a few. An accurate description of the interfacial mechanics can be critical to capture the response of these systems. In many situations, the interface separating the two domains evolves in complex geometries, raising obstacles for models treating these surfaces as sharp boundaries, as they have to be tracked, rede?ned, and evolved independently. In phase-?eld models, using a scalar ?eld and a regularization parameter, sharp interfaces are smeared and treated as a continuous transition between the two phases of the system. This technology circumvents the necessity for interface tracking and holds interesting advantages, such as interface-encoded physics and high-performance computing amenability. In this short seminar, we will address the main concepts behind the phase-?eld models and their development, illustrate the procedure with a particular example, and show di?erent applications of this technique.

Hosted by: Diane Bierly,  Engineering Science and Mechanics  (dbierly@engr.psu.edu)

Bridging from Atoms to Continua in the Mechanics of Amorphous Solids

Wednesday, March 22, 2017; 3:35pm - 4:25pm
160 Willard Building
Speaker: Michael Falk from Depts of Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Physics and Astronomy Johns Hopkins University

ABSTRACT Amorphous solids, which lack crystal structure, find wide application from consumer goods to photovoltaics and are ubiquitous in the natural world as glasses, but issues quantifying disorder have stymied reliable mechanical constitutive laws for these materials. Quantitatively predicting strain localization, a limiting failure process in high-strength metallic glasses and other amorphous materials, requires adequately capturing fluctuations in material structure and their role in the material’s mechanical response. We focus on using atomic-scale models to quantify fluctuations in the glass structure correlated with deformation in shear. We then directly crosscompare molecular dynamics simulations and continuum representations of these same materials in order to test and validate constitutive theories relating disorder and plasticity. BIO Michael Falk is a Professor of Materials Science and Engineering with joint appointments in Physics and Astronomy and Mechanical Engineering at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). He received his B.A. in physics (1990) and M.S.E. in computer science (1991) from JHU and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California, Santa Barbara (1998). He was awarded the American Physical Society (APS) Nicholas Metropolis Award for outstanding doctoral thesis in computational physics in 2000. His research interests have included topics in non-equilibrium processes in materials including fracture and deformation in amorphous solids, nanoscale friction and wear, transport processes in energy storage materials and atomistic simulation on extended time scales. He also pursues education research related to integration of computation into undergraduate engineering curriculum. In addition to his scientific and education research he serves as P.I. on a NSF funded outreach effort, STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools, that fields more than 200 volunteers and reaches over 1000 students. He also served as chair of the APS Committee on LGBT Issues and is a proponent for a supportive professional climate for LGBT scientists and engineers.

Hosted by: Akhlesh Lakhtakia,  Engineering Science and Mechanics  (mff3@psu.edu)

Leonhard Center

The end is in sight! Addressing Mid-Semester Teaching Concerns

Tuesday, March 21, 2017; 12:00 - 1:30 PM
202 Hammond Building (Stavely Conference Room)
Speaker: Sarah Zappe from The Pennsylvania State University

It's hard to believe but spring break is already over and we're now mid-way through the semester!  This is often a time when we, as instructors, start thinking about ways to address challenges and concerns that have emerged in our courses.  Join the Leonhard Center on March 21 for an informal lunchtime discussion of teaching challenges that you are encountering.  Participants will be divided into groups based on common teaching concerns to generate ideas on how to address these in their courses.  In addition to discussing teaching challenges, Leonhard Center faculty will be available to talk about the soon to be released Request for Proposals.  The RFP will include an option for individual faculty members to submit proposals for educational innovations in their courses.  Perhaps you can get funding for an innovative idea designed to address the teaching concerns that you are currently experiencing! The workshop will be held Tuesday, March 21 from 12-1:30 p.m. in 202 Hammond Building.


Hosted by: Sarah Zappe,  The Leonhard Center  (ser163@psu.edu)

Mechanical Engineering

Modeling Nonlinear Viscoelastic Response of Polymers

Monday, March 20, 2017; 4:00 - 5:00 PM
26 Hosler Building
Speaker: Anastasia H. Muliana from Texas A&M University

Polymers are appealing for many flexible and lightweight structures since they can be easily fabricated and deformed into various shapes. One of the main characteristics of polymers is their viscoelastic behavior; thus, it might be necessary to incorporate the viscoelastic response in analyzing performance of structures made of polymers. Our aim is to understand the viscoelastic response of polymers through the development of constitutive material models. We also investigate the effect of non-mechanical stimuli, such as thermal, light activation, moisture sorption, on the overall viscoelastic responses of polymers. Several examples of analyses of viscoelastic structures, i.e., biodegradable polymeric stents, folding of thin sheets under thermal and electric field inputs, and polymeric sandwich composites, will be shown.

Hosted by: Dr. Zoubeida Ounaies,  Mechanical Engineering  (mln7@psu.edu/3-6272)

School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs

Designing Materials for Socially Impactful Technologies

Monday, March 20, 2017; 11:15-12:15 pm
307 Hammond Building
Speaker: Dr. Chinmayee Subban from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

ABSTRACT:  Sustainable global development requires the use of new and efficient technologies. Often the barrier to effective implementation of new technologies is the lack of suitable, affordable, and robust materials. This seminar will provide several examples of designing materials-based solutions for advancing emerging energy and water technologies. In the case of energy, sustainable energy production from renewable resources requires efficient energy -conversion and –storage devices. Currently, key materials challenges limit potential applications of emerging energy technologies or even render them infeasible. Here, I will discuss materials-based solutions for two such energy technologies: (i) environmentally-friendly, low-cost, iron-based electrode materials for Li-ion batteries, and (ii) robust catalyst supports to minimize performance loss in hydrogen fuel cells. In the case of water, global water stress disproportionately affects populations in the developing world. Considerable resources have been devoted to preparing exotic materials for water treatment, however, such solutions are often expensive and inappropriate for rural and remote areas. Here, I will discuss two materials-based solutions for water treatment and testing in such communities: (i) a novel brackish water desalination technology that is based on low-cost electrode materials, and (ii) a reliable, accurate, and ultraportable water quality sensor using enzyme-based functional electrodes. BIO: Chinmayee Subban is currently an ITRI-Rosenfeld Postdoctoral Fellow at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. Previously, she was a Réseau sur le stockage électrochimique de l’énergie (RS2E) Postdoctoral Fellow at Collége de France. She received a Ph.D. in Chemistry from Cornell University and a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology from Linfield College. Chinmayee is keen on applying her materials chemistry knowledge to design socially relevant and impactful technologies that address growing global water stress, with a particular focus on low-income communities in the developing world.

Hosted by: Dr. Esther Obonyo,  School of Engineering Design, Technology and Professional Programs  (eao4@engr.psu.edu)

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