Summer 2014

JHU Business Plan Contest Goes National At WSE

The Johns Hopkins University Business Plan Competition has opened its doors to outside submissions in the highly acclaimed Medical Technology category, for both undergraduate and graduate teams. Joining 19 Hopkins teams, 16 outside teams entered, representing universities including Duke, Cornell, Harvard, and even the Euro MBA Consortium and the University of Cambridge, in the United…

SPURred to Action At WSE

Anti-ballistic missile systems, computer vision, and robots are just a few of the projects that the first “SPUR” interns will work on at Johns Hopkins’ Applied Physics Laboratory this summer under a new program administered by the Whiting School and APL. The Summer Program in Undergraduate Research pairs highly qualified engineering undergraduates with APL mentors…

Creative Solutions to Empower the Disabled At WSE

In Engineering for Professionals’ first-ever rehabilitation engineering course, students have designed projects to improve the lives of people with disabilities—from a cellphone charger powered by a manual wheelchair’s moving wheels to a device that will assist wheelchair users in handling yard tools. “This course exposes our students to a field they might not otherwise have been…

Taking Stock At WSE

A conversation with Ed Schlesinger, the Whiting School’s new Benjamin T. Rome Dean. Q: What do you see as Johns Hopkins’ unique strengths and how can the Whiting School leverage them? A: Johns Hopkins has strengths across the board. Our schools of Medicine and Public Health, for example, and the Applied Physics Lab are clear…

Sleuthing Subs Impact

Much of the drinking water for arid Phoenix, Arizona, comes from expansive Lake Pleasant, and monitoring water quality is a regional priority. Enter a pod of super-sleuthing, pollution-hunting underwater robots, designed by a team of scientists including the Whiting School’s researcher Marin Kobilarov. The robots are equipped with propellers, cameras, environmental sensors, and wireless routers…

Upstarts Impact

Stethoscope Does Double Duty Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty Mounya Elhilali, Jim West, and their students have built a high-tech stethoscope to address two problems: ambient noise and untrained users. Equipped with two microphones, the stethoscope records internal and external sounds and can then effectively cancel out the “noise” from the relevant data. West and…

Smooth Moves Impact

Human cells are remarkable machines. They convert nutrients into energy, build our tissues and organs—and, according to the Whiting School’s Sean Sun and Kostantinos Konstantopoulos—may well have been the original hybrid vehicles. In a paper recently published in the journal Cell, Sun, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Konstantopoulos, professor and chair of the…

The Eyes Have It Impact

It turns out the eyes are a window to more than just the soul. Thanks to software developed by Jerry Prince, the William B. Kouwenhoven Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, a simple scan of the eye is allowing doctors to assess and better understand the progression of multiple sclerosis. “Eye scans are not that expensive,…

Putting the Sting on Cancer Impact

Insects have always fascinated Gregory Wiedman. Luckily, the materials science graduate student has been able to connect his bug-collecting hobby with his research. In the materials science lab of Kalina Hristova, the Marlin U. Zimmerman Jr. Faculty Scholar, Wiedman is developing a new drug delivery system based on a toxin found in honeybee venom. The…

Easing the Way for Separation Impact

Carbon nanotubes, tiny pipes made of carbon atoms, have electronic properties that make them suitable for everything from computers and sensors to displays and batteries. Depending on the application, electronics manufacturers need nanotubes that are either semiconducting or metallic. The problem is that the process used to make these tiny tubes yields mixtures containing both kinds….

Heads Up on Pediatric Brain Troubles Impact

Johns Hopkins engineers and radiologists are creating a digital library of children’s brain scans to enable physicians everywhere to better treat young patients with brain abnormalities. The database, which will be easily searchable with a Google-like tool, not only will allow doctors to hunt for images that match those of their patients but also may help…

You Can’t Hide (From) Those Pryin’ Eyes Impact

Smile! If you’re using a MacBook computer, you might inadvertently find yourself on a version of the classic television show Candid Camera. Computer scientists at the Whiting School have demonstrated how hackers can take over some MacBooks, activating their Web cameras without triggering the built-in green light that warns users that they are in the spotlight….

Satellite Surgery — Without Delay Impact

Whiting School researchers are helping NASA adapt robotic systems developed for human medical procedures to fi x ailing satellites soaring miles above the Earth. During human surgery, a doctor using the da Vinci Surgical System sits at a console, remotely operating instruments inside the body, and can see immediately what the tools are doing. But…

Mining Twitter’s Archives Impact

Computer scientist Mark Dredze and his team are on the cutting edge of a movement that has scientists mining publicly available social media data to track public health trends. Recently, Dredze’s team had great success using 140-character Twitter posts to follow the spread of flu nationally, as well as in the five boroughs of New…

Kudos Impact

Zachary Gagnon, assistant professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. The award will support his work to develop inexpensive and portable biosensors for rapid, sensitive, and label-free multiplexed biomolecular detection. Jin U. Kang, Jacob Suter Jammer Professor of Electrical Engineering and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer…

The Guru of Cyber-Cryptography Features

Matt Green aims to fundamentally change the way we interact with the electronic world—to ensure complete privacy “so that nobody else can see what you’re doing.” On the third floor of Shaffer Hall, on a frozen, sunny Monday, there is music. To be precise, it is a piece of music coded early in the 19th century…

Conquering Concussion Features

With their “digital head” a team of mechanical engineers is perfecting a computer model that could have profound implications—from the battlefield to the playing field. Knocked Out. Bell Rung. Punch Drunk. Shell Shocked. Seeing Stars. The lexicon of concussion is long and colorful, but creative as these twists of phrase are, they mask a much darker truth: Head trauma is no laughing…

Hold ’em or Fold ’em? Features

The man “passionately obsessive” about poker shares his tips for going home with the winnings. Avi Rubin is no stranger to hobnobbing with the best and brightest. Perhaps that’s because he is one of them himself. A nationally recognized expert on computer security issues, Rubin has been interviewed by 60 Minutes, The New York Times, the…

Flight of Fancy Students

In Hackerman Hall, taking the stairs will improve not only your heart health, but also your mood. This spring, a flight of steps on the building’s north side was transformed into a piano of sorts that serenades with bursts of notes as people travel from the first floor to the second (or vice versa). Think…

Cheers Students

Stephen Filippone, a senior in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, is the recipient of a prestigious 2014-2015 Gates Cambridge Scholarship. The award, which underwrites the cost of a graduate degree in any fi eld at the University of Cambridge, recognizes students whose work has the potential for social/philanthropic impact. Filippone will pursue an…

Powered Up Students

Students working out at the O’Connor Recreation Center can now opt for super-healthy, protein-based fruit smoothies as an alternative to soda and chips, thanks to Hop and Shake, a new student-run business. Among the most popular smoothie options: the “prezzy d,” a strawberry-banana smoothie in honor of Johns Hopkins President Ronald J. Daniels (it was his…

Hear, Hear! An App for Cochlear Implant Users Students

Today, more than 325,000 deaf people around the world are living with cochlear implants (CI). These tiny electronic devices don’t restore normal hearing, but they provide a useful representation of sounds, making it possible to understand speech. Many people, however, face challenges learning to use cochlear implants, largely because auditory training opportunities are limited. Now three…

Bootup Baltimore Students

Concerned that Baltimore’s public school students were trying to learn on computers that are 15 years out of date, “Bootup Baltimore” came to the rescue. The Hopkins student group supplies recycled computers refurbished with up-to-date software, as well as student volunteers who train users in word processing, graphic design, hardware maintenance, Web development, and more….

To Boldly Go… Students

Dr. Leonard McCoy had it easy. To diagnose maladies aboard the fictional Star Ship Enterprise, he whipped out a tricorder: a hand-held gizmo that scanned and diagnosed the patient instantly. Now Aezon Health, a team of 15 Hopkins undergraduates, is trying to make that fiction a reality as one of 30 teams around the world—and…

Candy, Camaraderie… and Coding Students

Take an old-fashioned sewing circle, add a 21st-century twist, and you’ve got the Department of Computer Science’s weekly Coding Circle. Sponsored by the department’s Women in Computer Science (WiCS) group, Coding Circle brings together female students, a faculty mentor, chocolate, computers, salty snacks, nail polish, and occasionally even needles and thread for the purpose of…

Honoring Two WSE Founders Alumni

This year, Johns Hopkins and the Whiting School of Engineering lost two former university board members who were influential in re-establishing the School of Engineering. Willard Hackerman ’38 Few individuals have played as pivotal a role at Johns Hopkins Engineering as philanthropist Willard Hackerman ’38, the president and CEO of Baltimore-based Whiting-Turner Contracting Co. and a…

Rewind: Pretty Plush Alumni

With fireplaces and maid service, the ARMs made for luxurious dorm living. Phillips Bradford ’62 remembered being completely bowled over when he got his first introduction to the Hopkins dorm where he’d spend the next four years. “We had a suite with a fireplace in it, and there was a man who would bring firewood…

A Type-A Tracker for Fitness Buffs Alumni

Two Whiting School alums are grabbing headlines with a new fitness tracker prototype called Atlas, which is expected to hit the market by the end of 2014. “We’re targeting the fi t consumer. It’s for those people who want to take it to the next level,” says Peter Li MS ’13, who has partnered with…

Small Town, Big Issues Alumni

After the company she was working for was sold, Cecilia Lenk ’76 decided to indulge a long-standing interest in politics. She ran for a seat on her city council, won, and found herself applying what she’d learned decades earlier as an undergraduate at Johns Hopkins. Lenk joined the nine-member council that oversees Watertown, Massachusetts, in…

The Magic of Animation Alumni

As a Hopkins freshman, Cary Phillips ’85, MS ’85, took a special-interest course in chemistry. What fascinated him most wasn’t the subject itself but a new way of depicting it: a 3-D, computer-generated illustration of a chemical process. Phillips’ initial foray into digital imagery has led to a 20-year career with Industrial Light & Magic (ILM),…

Toss of the Coin Alumni

Sometimes it’s best not to be too far ahead of the market. That’s the lesson Kanishk Parashar ’03 learned when he launched a mobile application called SmartMarket in 2010. The technology was impressive—consumers and merchants could do business with just their iPhones and iPads. Thousands of applications were downloaded. “But they could never find each…

Living the Dream Alumni

Since January, technology entrepreneur Elliot Menschik ’93, MS ’93, has split his weeks between Philadelphia and Baltimore, alternating between teaching entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania and acting as managing partner (aka chief mentor and cheerleader) at DreamIt Health Baltimore. The initiative invests in and works closely with a set of health-tech startups to achieve key…

Toward a More Perfect Union Back Talk

Throughout our history, Johns Hopkins University has excelled at creating knowledge and educating scholars. As faculty, we probe the unknown with our students, churn out exciting papers, and travel the world presenting novel findings. Our preeminence in these activities, often regarded as the gold standards of productivity and success in academia, is widely acknowledged. However, if…

Dear Whiting School Community From The Dean

As I write this, the magnolia trees lining the Lower Quad are in full bloom, classes are winding down toward finals, and our seniors and their families are looking forward to Commencement. There is a palpable spirit of new beginnings—one I share as the Whiting School’s new dean, and one that I hope you’ll experience…