The South Carolina newspaper The State recently mentioned The Princeton Laptop Orchestra in a review of a concert devoted to pieces by electronic music guru Paul Lansky. The reviewer refers to Princeton as the home of the “geek-revered” Laptop Orchestra (aka PLOrk). Geek or not, you can hear some of PLOrk’s much-celebrated music here.
What skills will the engineer of the future need?
Leah Jamieson, a keynote speaker at DesignCon 2007 this week, said that in addition to imparting superb technical skills, engineering schools must reward ingenuity and flexibility and give students opportunities to develop leadership and business skills.
Jamieson, who received her doctorate from Princeton Engineering in 1977 and who is the dean of engineering at Purdue, said that the current “half life” of an engineer’s education — by which she means the point at which half of what an engineer has learned is obsolete — may be as little as five years.
“In many ways, the world is changing,” said Jamieson. “Are our graduates going to have the skills they need over the next 40 years?” Jamieson’s comments reflect the mission of Princeton’s Center for Innovation in Engineering Education (Jamieson sits on CIEE’s advisory council).
At DesignCon, Jamieson, who is president of IEEE this year, was given the International Engineering Consortium Fellow Award. As an IEC fellow, she is in good company: other fellows include Gordon Moore, Jack Kilby, and David Packard.
Both EETimes and EDN covered Jamieson’s address. View Jamieson’s whole speech via streaming video on the DesignCon website. You can also read a roundtable discussion on engineering education featuring Jamieson, Michigan’s David Munson and Princeton’s H. Vincent Poor (all three Princeton Engineering Ph.D.s who were named deans of engineering this year).
Matt Blumberg, CEO of the email marketing company Return Path, writes in his blog about David Billington’s new book, The Innovators: The Engineering Pioneers Who Made America Modern.
“It feels at many points in the book that you could insert some different names and dates and be reading a history of the Internet or information age,” writes Blumberg, who graduated from Princeton in 1992 and who says that Billington was his favorite teacher and his senior thesis advisor.
Ed Felten, Alex Halderman, and Ari Feldman last fall proved that Diebold’s electronic election machines were susceptible to being infected with malicious, vote-altering software. In their now-famous video, they also demonstrated that the lock to the machine’s memory card door was easily picked.
But why pick the lock when you can make a duplicate, asks Ross Kinard at SploitCast? Kinard sent Halderman three keys that he made at home with a drill, by following a photograph of the keys that Diebold featured on its website.
Halderman reports that two of the three homemade keys open the Diebold machine that the Princeton trio has in its possession.
A National Academies committee of distinguished scientists today recommended that the National Science Foundation sponsor prizes to spur innovation in strategic areas such as pollution sensors, self-assembly in nanotechnology and low-carbon energy technologies.
One of the committee members is Princeton’s Claire Gmachl, director of a multimillion-dollar NSF-funded Engineering Research Center known as MIRTHE whose goal is to revolutionize sensor technology.
You can download the committee’s full report from the National Academies home page.
Scientific American reports today on a super-efficient fuel cell invented Jay Benziger and his former undergraduate student Claire Woo.
One of the first possible applications of the fuel cell might be in lawnmowers, which surprisingly are big contributors to greenhouse gases. Benziger and Woo will publish their findings in the February issue of the journal Chemical Engineering News.
Red Herring today reports on Stephen Chou’s latest improvement on a nanoimprinting technique he pioneered that promises to revolutionize the way computer chips are made.
Nanoimprinting greatly simplifies the production of computer microchips by creating molds that can emboss intricate patterns onto silicon chips. But air bubbles created during one type of nanoimprinting can distort the patterns in the molds. Now Chou has figured out a way to get rid of the bubbles.
Nanonex, the company founded by Chou to commercialize the technology, thusfar has sold primarily to laboratories. But Chou said that this latest development could make nanoimprinted chips feasible for the mass market. This has potentially huge implications, since nanoimprinting may accelerate Moore’s Law, which holds that the number of transistors on integrated circuits doubles every 18 months.
In 2003, MIT’s Technology Review identified nanoimprinting as one of “ten emerging technologies that will change the world.” Last month, Chou’s work was cited in a report in Science.
Chou’s latest breakthrough has been reported widely on the web. Best headline award goes to The Engineer Online for “Bursting the cheap-chip bubble barrier.” You can also read more on Eurekalert.
The School of Engineering at Princeton University has a long, august tradition of producing world-class leaders in industry and government. But liberal pundits?
Yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer featured Juan Melli, a graduate student in mechanical and aerospace engineering whose political blog has “become a galvanizing force for New Jersey liberals and an increasingly influential must-read for the politically inclined.”
New Jersey Gov. Corzine invited Melli to his “state of the state” address last week. And last month the blog Politicsnj named Melli “politician of the year.”
Read the full Inquirer article here.
The three decades of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s at Bell Laboratories were to black scientists what the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s was to black artists, according to William Massey, who was at Bell Labs during that era and who is now a professor at Princeton.
Today, as part of the University of Michigan’s Martin Luther King Symposium Massey is delivering an address on Bell Labs as an incubator for talented African-American scientists and innovators.
The address is in honor of Marjorie Lee Browne, the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Michigan.
Massey, Edwin S. Wilsey Professor of Operations Research and Financial Engineering at Princeton, specializes in queueing theory, a key mathematical tool used to solve many problems of providing communications services, from the old-fashioned telephone service to Internet phenomena like Napster and YouTube.
In November he was awarded the Blackwell-Tapia Prize, in recognition of his outstanding record of achievement in mathematical research and his mentoring of minorities and women in the field of mathematics. Also in November Massey and Robert Vanderbei were inducted as fellows of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences — an honor accorded to fewer than 1 percent of the institute’s membership and made in recognition of significant research contributions.”
Read a recent profile of Massey here.
Controversial stock options for company executives may be much less costly to shareholders than current mathematical models suggest, according to research presented Jan. 5 by Tim Leung of Princeton’s Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering.
At the annual meeting of the American Mathematical Society, Leung demonstrated that, in one scenario, stock options were worth about half of what they would be valued if one were to calculate their worth using a conventional method.
Leung and Ronnie Sircar, also of ORFE, submitted a paper on this research to the journal Social Science Research Network, where an abstract and a downloadable copy of the paper can be found.
Read more on Eurekalert!
About this blog
EQN is a blog from Princeton University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science that highlights faculty, students and alumni who, through innovation and leadership, are changing the world.
- Technology Review: mining cellphone data without violating privacy
- Dean H. Vincent Poor elected fellow of Royal Society of Edinburgh
- Bob Kahn wins Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering
- Saving lives, gathering data: Laura Ray’s ‘cool robot’
- Optics & Photonics highlights Branko Glisic’s structural sensing research
- Pi Day comedy mashup to feature Princeton faculty
- Princeton chapter wins national EWB award
- Princeton faculty are part of $194 million STARnet initiative
- Mike McAlpine named one of ’20 mightiest minds’
- Princeton Fung Global Forum contemplates the future of the city
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