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Researchers at the Coordinated Science Laboratory have designed a sound that is completely inaudible to humans (40 kHz or above) yet is audible to any microphone. The sound combines multiple tones that, when interacting with the microphone’s mechanics, create what researchers call a "shadow," which is a sound that the microphones can detect. 

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are looking to speed up the materials-to-device process through a novel framework called “4CeeD: Real-Time Data Acquisition and Analysis Framework for Material-related Cyber-Physical Environments.” 4CeeD connects microscopes and other scientific instruments to a cloud infrastructure through a high-speed University of Illinois campus network. The interface works much like Dropbox – with easy drag-and-drop uploading – but offers much more advanced data management, annotation, and analytics capabitilies, along with a higher level of semantic understanding.

Bespoke Processors: Cheap, Low-Power Chips That Only Do What’s Needed

A black computer chip with miniature construction workers inspecting it.
Photo: iStockphoto

“Processors are overdesigned for most applications,” says University of Illinois electrical and computer engineering professor Rakesh Kumar. It’s a well-known and necessary truth: In order to have programmability and flexibility, there’s simply going to be more stuff on a processor than any one application will use. That’s especially true of the type of ultralow power microcontrollers that drive the newest embedded computing platforms such as wearables and Internet of Things sensors. These are often running one fairly simple application and nothing else (not even an operating system), meaning that a large fraction of the circuits on a chip never, ever see a single bit of data. Kumar, University of Minnesota assistant professor John Sartori (formerly a student of Kumar’s), and their students decided to do something about all that waste.

The Engineering IT team received the 2017 Emerging Ally Award from the LGBT Resource Center. The award recognizes an individual or team for showing commendable action as they begin their journey of consciousness. 

Kelly Stephani, an assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering  had the opportunity to show off her impactful work to some of the highest officials in NASA yesterday on Capitol Hill. 

Following up on her 2016 Young Faculty Award from DARPA, Assistant Professor Amy LaViers was awarded extended funding for a third year that will continue to build on her research project, “Choreography of Embodied, Platform-invariant Motion Primitives.” 

As part of the Joint Center for Energy Storage Research (JCESR), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Kyle Smith, assistant professor of mechanical science and engineering, and his research group are developing batteries to store energy on the electric grid to enable efficient use of renewable energy resources. These redox flow batteries (RFBs) use two separate liquids that store charge in molecules at different potentials. When charge is exchanged between these liquids inside a reactor, energy is either stored or released. 

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a new nanoscale memory cell that holds tremendous promise for successful integration with superconducting processors. The new technology, created by Professor of Physics Alexey Bezryadin and graduate student Andrew Murphy, in collaboration with Dmitri Averin, a professor of theoretical physics at State University of New York at Stony Brook, provides stable memory at a smaller size than other proposed memory devices.

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