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September 2019

CBE Seminar: “Embryogenesis: A Cascade of Dynamical Systems”

September 4 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall, 3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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Abstract: We aim to establish and experimentally test mathematical models of embryogenesis. While the foundation of this research is based on models of isolated developmental events, the ultimate challenge is to formulate and understand dynamical systems encompassing multiple stages of development and multiple levels of regulation. These range from specific chemical reactions in single cells to coordinated dynamics of multiple cells during morphogenesis. Examples of our dynamical systems models of embryogenesis – from the events in the Drosophila egg to…

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“Compressive Sensing: From Algorithms to Circuits”

September 5 at 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM
Towne 337

Compressive Sensing is an acquisition technique which relies on the sparsity of the underlying signals, to enable sampling below the classical Nyquist rate. To do so, the signals must be acquired in an incoherent way with respect to the sparsity basis, which is classically obtained in practice by acquiring the signal through projection on a random PAM signal with i.i.d. symbols. We first show that advantages with respect to the above “classical” compressive sensing approach can be achieved by exploiting…

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MSE Lab Safety Seminar

September 5 at 10:45 AM - 11:45 AM
Auditorium, LRSM Building, 3231 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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MSE Thesis Defense: “High Loading Oxide Anodes for Lithium Ion Batteries via a Superelastic Graphene Composite Approach”

September 9 at 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM
LRSM 325, 3231 Walnut St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
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MEAM Seminar: “Dynamical Systems Approach to Geophysical and Aerospace Flows”

September 10 at 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall, 3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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A dynamical systems approach is taken to explain the dynamics of two classes of ‘gap-leaping’ geophysical flow as well as the hypersonic second-mode instability. First, in the context of a loop current system, it is shown that multiple steady flow patterns with hysteresis exist and appear to satisfy a cusp catastrophe geometry of solutions. Which state the system assumes (looping or leaping or periodic eddy shedding) and when transitions between states occur, will be discussed in terms of fundamental vorticity…

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CBE Seminar: “Complexity in the Chemistry and Physics of Lipid Membranes as a Handle to Activate the Delivery of Cargo to Cells”

September 11 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall, 3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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Abstract: Lipid materials having nanostructures that deviate from the conventional flat bilayer arrangement such as hexagonally packed lipid tubes and bi-continuous cubic phases are ubiquitous in nature. Their role remains elusive but over the years several pathologies and organelle functions have been coupled to lipid membrane structural complexity. In this talk, we will discuss lipid membrane polymorphism and how it can be exploited to generate a new class of materials for the delivery of cargo to cells. We combine a number of techniques including…

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PRiML Seminar: “Building Algorithms by Playing Games”

September 13 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Room 401B, 3401 Walnut, 3401 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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A very popular trick for solving certain types of optimization problems is this: write your objective as the solution of a two-player zero-sum game, endow both players with an appropriate learning algorithm, watch how the opponents compete, and extract an (approximate) solution from the actions/decisions taken by the players throughout the process. This approach is very generic and provides a natural template to produce new and interesting algorithms. I will describe this framework and show how it applies in several scenarios,…

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MEAM Seminar: “Engineering Microdevices Using Atomic Layer Deposition and Electrowetting”

September 17 at 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall, 3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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This talk will cover 1) devices created one atomic layer at a time and 2) electrowetting optical elements. Atomic layer deposition (ALD) and Atomic Layer Etching (ALE) are self-limiting processes that enable accurate atomic-scale thickness control either through deposition or etching of various materials. We are developing novel manufacturing processes that study how ALD materials can be used to create nano-scale transducers. Example applications include thin film coatings for MEMS, materials with tunable properties, nano-scale sensors and actuators. We are…

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ESE & Statistics Seminar: “Large Neural Networks: Insights from Linearized Models”

September 17 at 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Towne 337

Abstract: Modern machine learning models, and in particular multilayer neural networks, exhibit a broad range of puzzling phenomena. Their training requires to minimize a highly non-convex high-dimensional cost function, and yet it is efficiently addressed using simple gradient descent (GD) or stochastic gradient descent (SGD) algorithms. This model contains more parameters than the number of samples, and indeed they often are able to achieve zero training error, i.e. to perfectly interpolate or classify the training data. In fact, they can…

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CBE Seminar: “Evolution of the Conformational-free Energy Landscapes of Proteins”

September 18 at 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Wu and Chen Auditorium (Room 101), Levine Hall, 3330 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104 United States
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Abstract: One of the holy grails of drug-design is to obtain high-selectivity binding of a drug to the target protein, an extremely challenging endeavor for proteins that share high sequence and structural similarity. We investigate several systems of high biological importance to elucidate how selectivity emerged during evolution and how it can inform the design of selective drugs. In particular, we investigate three protein families, i.e. human protein kinases, receptors for plant hormone, and strigolactone and SWEET transporters. These proteins…

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