Research

Wind Turbines and YouTube Finds

Each fall, Tufts undergraduate mechanical engineers are responsible for completing a Senior Design Project. The focus for this particular ME-43 class is wind turbines, an alternative energy source that can be used for charging batteries.

Here are some of this semester’s creative videos explaining various designs:

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Tufts Scientists Win Innovator Award

This year the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program Innovator Award was given to a group of Tufts scientists. According to the grant website, the Innovator Award,

supports visionary individuals who have demonstrated creativity, innovative work, and leadership in any field including, but not limited to, breast cancer.

This groundbreaking research, headed by Tufts Chemistry Department’s David Walt, Ph.D, aims to use single-cell technology to find breast cancer at its early stages. Walt’s lab focuses on single-cell and single molecule technology, genetic variation, and other biochemical areas of research.

Other team members include associate professors at Tufts School of Medicine Rachel Buchsbaum, M.D., and Charlotte Kuperwasser, Ph.D., and Professor Gail Sonenshein, Ph.D. All three also work as faculty at the Sackler School.

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Tufts Student Finalist for “Dance Your Ph.D.” Contest

Gonzo Labs’ annual “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest provides a fun and creative way for Ph.D. students across the world to show off their theses through interpretive dance.

Lara Park, a current Friedman School Ph.D. student, recently became one of 16 2011 contest finalists. The 55 dance submissions provided the largest pool of contestants in the contest’s history. With her dance to “The Effect of Western Style Diet Consumption on Epigenetic Patterns,” Park hopes to win a cash prize and a trip to Belgium in order to attend the TEDxBrussels November event.

Dance Your Ph.D. 2011: The Effect of Western Style Diet Consumption on Epigenetic Patterns. Lara Park et al from Liza Voll on Vimeo.

To get a better idea about the “Dance your Ph.D.” competition, take a look at the 2010 winner here. You can also like the 2011 “Dance Your Ph.D.” contest on Facebook.

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Diving into the Diversity Visa Lottery

For many Tufts students, senior year means one thing: the senior thesis. After a year or more of research into a specific topic of intellectual interest, graduating seniors leave academia with a wealth of knowledge and research skills under their belts. For Tufts IR students, the knowledge they take from their studies goes hand-in-hand with our principles of active citizenship and global awareness. Last year, students dove into topics ranging from resurgent China to cyber deterrence. Michael Kremer, A11, chose to tackle the issue of immigration, specifically, the Diversity Visa. In his abstract, he includes,

Every year, 50,000 immigrants obtain Legal Permanent Residency (LPR) in the United States through a program called the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery. [...] In Congress, the debate over the program has revolved primarily around the assumption that the lottery encourages increased diversity in the U.S. immigration system at the cost of attracting primarily low-skilled immigrants. The data show, however, that this perceived tradeoff does not actually exist.

The rest of Michael’s abstract as well as his entire thesis can be found on the Tufts IR Department blog, along with other student theses and IR event highlights. For more information on the IR Department, check them out on Facebook and Twitter. If you’re part of the IR program and hoping to get more involved, then be sure to join their LinkedIn group.

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September is “Pain Awareness Month”

Tufts University School of Medicine is observing September as “Pain Awareness Month.” This initiative is sponsored by PREP, or Pain Research, Education and Policy. Daniel B. Carr, Co-Founder and Director of PREP, aims to not only educate the community about those in pain, but to better practices when assisting those in painful conditions. Carr is an advocate for the newly released report by the Institute of Medicine, commenting that…

Acute, chronic and cancer-related pain are widely prevalent and exact a major economic and human burden in developed nations and even more so in resource-poor countries. Other common themes include lost opportunities for early intervention to control or prevent the transition from acute to chronic pain, the negative outcomes of undertreated pain, the importance of optimal pain control for patient-centered care, disparities in pain assessment and treatment experienced by minorities and other under-represented groups such as women or those at the extremes of age, and the need “to adopt a population-level prevention and management strategy” for pain

More information regarding pain awareness and PREP can be found here.

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Tufts Engineers In Shilongo

The Tufts chapter of Engineers Without Borders (a national organization) is dedicated to working on sustainable engineering projects in developing countries. Members of the Tufts Engineers Without Borders program are currently on a three-week implementation trip in the Shilongo village of Mbale, Uganda. The students have been updating a blog and a twitter account since they arrived on Aug. 3.

Their most recent post describes some of the planning they have been doing with members of the community:

The design of the tank and pump were explained to the community. The travel team was very impressed with the community’s questions, as they were very concerned about theft, stagnant water, and availability of spare parts. Richard, Miria, and Carol were all there to help translate for us, and they made sure that the community knew we wanted their input on everything. We decided to start excavating and laying the bricks on Monday so that Vincent could get the community ready.

Read the whole post and the rest of the blog and follow them on Twitter.

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The Robo-Sundae Creator

Does the effort of adding chocolate sauce, sprinkles and whipped cream to your ice cream ever feel like too much? Well fret no more. Summer interns Jess Scolnic and Tucker Stone at the Tufts University Center for Engineering, Education and Outreach (CEEO) have invented a Robo-Sundae Creator. Using Bluetooth wireless connection, the machine takes a bowl of ice cream down the line, adding toppings along the way.

Scolnic writes:

We’ve spent most of the day making sundaes for everyone!  These run throughs have led us to make many small adjustments to the Robo-Sundae Creator.  We ran into a small problem when one customer wanted no cherries.  Our program, however, didn’t recognize that correctly and gave him…infinity cherries.

They’ve blogged the whole process so you can catch up on all the challenges they faced and the innovative solutions they devised.

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Islam and Finance

Professor Ibrahim Warde, an adjunct professor of International Business at the Fletcher School, was interviewed by Lisa Murphy of Bloomberg Television last month. Professor Warde, who is the author of the forthcoming book Islam and Economics, discusses Islamic finance and banking principles in the following video clip:

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Panetta Honored as a Woman of Vision

On May 19, Karen Panetta, professor of electrical and computer engineering at the School of Engineering and founder of Nerd Girls, was honored as one of three recipients of the 2011 Anita Borg Women of Vision Awards. The winners were recognized for their accomplishments and contributions as women in technology. The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology created the following video about Panetta:

EDIT 6/7: Watch Panetta’s acceptance speech:

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Apple Dropping Ceremony

Every year, in addition to being hooded and receiving their diploma, graduating physics and astronomy Ph.D. students at Tufts participate in the Isaac Newton-inspired apple-dropping ceremony, conceived by Alexander Vilenkin, professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and director of the Tufts Institute of Cosmology.

“The ceremony was my idea, and it probably reflects my weird sense of humor,” said Vilenkin. “One day in 2005, I had a vision of this apple dropping ceremony. It just came out of the blue. But I thought it fits well with our antigravity stone saga and provides much needed comic relief after the serious business of the Ph.D. dissertation defense. I presented the idea to other members of the Cosmology Institute over lunch with some trepidation, but they liked it right away. The rest is history.”


Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

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