Khaleel Razak Receives NSF Career Award

Khaleel Razak, assistant professor of psychology and neuroscience, has received a $866,902 Career Award from the National Science Foundation. The five-year grant will fund Razak’s research project, “Cortical Mechanisms of Sound Localization.”

Razak said his lab studies how the auditory brain processes behaviorally relevant sounds, and the mechanisms through which such processing is altered by developmental experience,  and aging-related and communication disorders. The grant will support a project on how the auditory cortex processes information about sound locations.

“Precise sound localization can be a matter of life and death,” he explained. “The auditory cortex is necessary for sound localization, but our understanding of the relevant neural processing is rudimentary.  Sound localization is also interesting from a computational perspective because we explore how neurons integrate inputs from the two ears.”

The NSF funding will allow Razak’s lab to investigate the neural computations that generate cortical maps underlying sound localization behavior in the pallid bat.

The project will provide fundamental insights on how intra-cortical networks shape feature detectors and sensory processing, the psychologist said, and allow him to continue community outreach programs such as seminars at the bat exhibit in the California Science Center in Los Angeles, instruction to federal and state park employees on bat survey methods and conservation, and K-12 programs in the Inland Empire on bat biology and behavior.

Trio of BCOE professors receive $360,000 grant from the NSF

Three Bourns College of Engineering professors at UCR have received a three-year, $360,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to further study the thermal properties of graphene, which is expected to lead to new approaches for the removal of heat from advanced electronic and optoelectronic devices.

Alexander A. Balandin, a professor of electrical engineering and founding chair of the materials science and engineering program, Roger Lake, a professor of electrical engineering, Ashok Mulchandani, a professor of chemical engineering, will be cooperating on the project called: “Two-dimensional performance with three-dimensional capacity: Engineering the thermal properties of graphene.”

Balandin will serve as principal investigator and be responsible for materials characterization and thermal measurements. Lake will perform theoretical and computational studies while Mulchandani will conduct material synthesis and characterization.

The unique properties of graphene – a single atomic plane of carbon atoms – were discovered in Balandin’s Nano-Device Laboratory at UCR in 2008. In recent years, the attention of the research community was focused on the properties of twisted bilayer graphene – a special form of graphene bilayers where atomic planes are rotated against each other by some angle.

The objective of this grant is to investigate the effect of rotation angle on the thermal conductivity of twisted bilayer graphene. The UCR team will study the possibility of suppressing the phonon coupling in twisted graphene layers, allowing for the transfer of extraordinary large heat fluxes. The phonons are quanta of crystal lattice vibrations that carry heat in graphene.

Eight win UC’s 2013 information technology awards

Eight teams representing six locations won the University of California’s 2013 Larry L. Sautter Award for using information technology to make university operations more efficient and better serve faculty, staff, students and patients.

The annual award, which is sponsored by the UC Information Technology Leadership Council, recognizes innovations in IT that advance the university’s missions of teaching, research, public service and patient care, or that improve the effectiveness of university processes. The award encourages sharing these solutions across the UC system.

The 2013 award winners and honorable mentions are:

Golden Awards 

  • UCSF Profiles (UCSF) is a Web application that allows people to search for UCSF researchers by expertise and experience. This vital tool, managed by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), enables research networking, collaboration and faculty-student mentoring.
  • UCPATH Data Dissemination Operational Data Store (UC Office of the President) culls human resources and payroll data from a complex software package containing 20,000 tables, analyzes that data and securely relays consistent information to campuses and medical centers.
  • Tethered Meta Registry (UC Davis Health System) consolidates more than 2.1 million patient records and provides a central data source for research and projects aimed at improving services. Faculty, researchers, administrators and other staff no longer have to manage their own separate spreadsheets and databases.

Silver Awards 

  • Privacy and Protected Health Information Surveillance Technologies (UC Davis Health System) improved the medical center’s ability to manage the privacy and security of more than 2 million patient records and thousands of people who access health records.
  • Risk Assessment Determinations in Clinical Academic Laboratories (RADiCAL) (UC Davis) promotes laboratory safety by identifying the risks involved with a project and the oversight required based on specific information the researcher provides, such as what chemical components they plan to use.

Honorable Mentions

  • Google Apps @UCSC (UC Santa Cruz) allowed migration of all campus email and calendar data to Google. The project not only resulted in better, more reliable email and calendar services, but also allowed faculty, staff and students to communicate, connect and contribute in ways that were not available to them before.
  • The Cancer Genomics Hub (UC Santa Cruz) is a large data repository and user portal for the National Cancer Institute’s cancer genome research programs. It provides cancer researchers with efficient access to a rapidly growing store of valuable biomedical data.
  • UCLA Events Online 2.0 (UCLA) is the official application for producing and communicating extracurricular campus activities. It consolidates all event reservations into a central database and features a user-friendly interface that coaches event organizers with key event planning instructions, “to do” lists and required administrative approvals. It also facilitates communication between various departments.

The award was established in 2000 and is named after Larry L. Sautter, a UCR associate vice chancellor for computing and communications who died in 1999. Under his leadership, a modern data network, client server computing, and improved technical support services were developed and implemented at Riverside.

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