Summer 2015

Hager Named Inaugural Bellmore Professor At WSE

Greg Hager, professor and past chair of the Department of Computer Science, has been named the Whiting School’s inaugural Mandell Bellmore Professor. The endowed professorship was created by John Malone, PhD ’69, and is named in honor of Malone’s thesis advisor in the Department of Operations Research. Hager is a leader in the development of…

At the Frontier of Discovery At WSE

Sharon Gerecht, associate professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, thought she was scheduled to meet an influential alumnus one afternoon last January. So when Engineering Dean Ed Schlesinger, accompanied by the university president, provost, and other division leaders, entered the nondescript classroom, she was slightly befuddled. But Gerecht’s surprise quickly turned to delight when she…

Jump-Start Engineering At WSE

Hundreds of high school students each summer get a jump on engineering through Engineering Innovation, a monthlong program held on 11 campuses nationwide in which students do everything from measuring a campus with a ruler, masking tape, and a rope to building bridges out of spaghetti strands. What’s better, they can earn Johns Hopkins credits….

WSE’s First Bloomberg Scholars Named At WSE

Two renowned, cross-disciplinary Whiting School scholars—Steven Salzberg and Alexander Szalay —join the ranks of Bloomberg Distinguished Professors at Johns Hopkins University. To date, Johns Hopkins has named 10 Bloomberg Distinguished Professors, a number expected to swell to 50 in four years. The endowed professorships, supported by a $350 million gift by alumnus and former New York…

Extreme Art At WSE

When K.T. Ramesh, the Alonzo G. Decker Jr. Chair in Science and Engineering and director of the Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute, talks about how materials behave under extreme impact, it’s hard not to imagine asteroids slamming into Earth. But for much of HEMI’s work—theoretical, computational, and basic—few images exist to show how materials change at…

A Jump in the Ratings for EP At WSE

Engineering and computer information technology graduate programs at Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals were highlighted in the 2015 U.S. News & World Report Best Online Programs rankings. Johns Hopkins EP, which offers part-time and online graduate courses, secured No. 12 in the Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs rankings, up two spots from last year. EP’s graduate online programs…

Losing a Legend At WSE

A. James Clark, chairman and CEO of Clark Enterprises, an international engineering and construction firm, as well as a Johns Hopkins University and School of Medicine trustee emeritus and a longtime supporter of the Whiting School, died on March 20. “Mr. Clark was a visionary whose impact on engineering education and practice has shaped our…

The Quest for Metallic Glass Impact

Five thousand years after the first metallurgists melded copper and arsenic to kick off the Bronze Age, Evan Ma, professor of materials science and engineering, is on a fascinating quest to re-engineer the internal atomic architecture that metals are made of. Ma’s specialty is the mysterious yet highly promising realm of metallic glasses: alloys that…

Monitoring Movement Through Sound Impact

Children and adults hitting virtual baseballs and throwing punches at TV screens have become a common sight, thanks to video games with motion sensors. Today’s motion-sensing devices track actions using images made by cameras and infrared sensors. “But using camera images raises privacy issues,” says Andreas Andreou, PhD ’86, professor of electrical and computer engineering….

Who’s Calling? Impact

The call comes into the White House switchboard and the voice on the other end of the line hisses: “The president better not come to New York tomorrow if he knows what’s good for him.” “Wouldn’t the Secret Service like to know who is calling?” asks Sanjeev Khudanpur, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering…

Upstarts Impact

Tackling Blindness A new drug-delivery strategy for vision loss, particularly effective in diabetic patients and the elderly, is closer to clinical trials in patients, says Jordan Green, co-inventor and co-founder of the startup AsclepiX Therapeutics. Green, who has joint appointments in Biomedical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering, five years ago teamed up with Aleksander…

Powering the Grid Impact

Batteries and other energy storage could ease many of the woes currently faced by our power grid, notes Dennice Gayme, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering. Having megawatt hours of reserve electricity for on-demand delivery would make the grid more efficient and reliable, and could speed up the adoption of unpredictable wind and solar power….

A Difficult Ding–Made Easier Impact

Learning a neue language can be a difficult Ding, but drei Professoren in the Department of Computer Science and the School of Education’s Center for Technology Education think they may have found a novel Weg to do it. The trick, says machine translation expert Philipp Koehn—who is working with computer scientist Jason Eisner and the…

A Vial Solution for TB Impact

Health care workers who treat tuberculosis in developing nations diagnose the disease through an observation test. They smear a sample of sputum onto a glass slide, add a staining agent, and then count the visible bacteria under a microscope. The test is simple, cheap—and has not changed for more than 100 years. But more than…

Trending Impact

“Conformity is ‘doubly hard’ to beat—it can obviously happen when people imitate one another, but it can also set in even when folks are trying to be distinct.” 3/4/15, DISCOVERY Joshua Epstein, a mathematical scientist and a member of the Whiting School’s Institute for Computational Medicine, who developed a new model to measure conformity that…

Tech Tools Impact

A Safer Suit Health care workers battling Ebola on the front lines in West Africa work in oppressive heat and face many potentially deadly hazards—all of which are exacerbated by the protective gear they wear while treating patients. Last fall, the Whiting School’s Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design partnered with Jhpiego, a Johns Hopkins…

Battling Brain Cancer with Nanofibers Impact

Glioblastoma, a rare form of brain cancer, is always fatal and kills its victims within months. Surgery, which is the standard of care, may add only a few months to a patient’s life before the cancer reappears. “Even though surgical removal is the number one choice for treatment, the surgeon knows that some of the…

Kudos Impact

AMITABH BASU, assistant professor in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, has been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Basu’s grant will support his research in “Foundational Aspects for Discrete Optimization: Theory and Algorithms.” JAAFAR EL-AWADY, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has also been awarded a National Science Foundation CAREER…

Healthy Measures Features

In labs across Johns Hopkins, engineers and medical experts are teaming up to design innovative devices, analyze vast treasure troves of data, and optimize complex systems to revolutionize health care. A little more than a century ago, visionaries lauded the founding of a fledgling school in applied science and advanced technology at the Johns Hopkins…

A Table of Contents for the Universe Features

Thanks to some “elegant” math, Tamás Budavári and his team have created a user-friendly catalog of images from the Hubble Space Telescope, effectively putting all the insights they hold at our fingertips. During its 25 years orbiting 350 miles above Earth, the Hubble Space Telescope has transformed the way we view the universe. The so-called…

In Her Nature Features

As an engineer and an environmentalist, Erica Schoenberger is committed to finding ways to improve our unhealthy relationship with Mother Earth. Her new book lays out causes of our troubles and offers some fairly radical fixes.

All Systems Go Students

How would Los Angeles react to the release of a toxic airborne agent? How does an epidemic spread across a town, a country, or the world? What did the ancient Anasazi civilization look like, and why did it disappear? In Systems Science for a Dynamic World, a new course taught by Joshua Epstein and Erez…

One for the Papers Students

When historic Homewood Museum was considering re-wallpapering its drawing room, its conservators turned to a purchased fragment of late 18th-century French wallpaper. The paper would have been made for elegant interior decoration around the same time that Homewood—the original estate of Charles Carroll Jr., which later became the site of the Homewood campus—was constructed in…

Cambridge Bound Students

Sandya Subramanian ’15, who developed a tool to help doctors pinpoint the region of the brain responsible for seizures in people with epilepsy, has won a scholarship from the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States for graduate study at England’s University of Cambridge. The Churchill Scholarship is awarded annually to at least 14 students…

Drive for the XPrize Students

The time for clever Star Trek allusions was long past as a team of Johns Hopkins undergraduates, aiming to build a hand-held, lifesaving diagnostic “tricorder,” scrambled throughout the early spring to manufacture and mass-produce the real McCoy. At stake for Aezon Health, the youngest—and only undergraduate—team among the 10 global finalists for the Qualcomm Tricorder…

Design Takes Flight Students

When she was a senior, Melanie Shimano, MS ’15, worked as a teaching assistant for an oral presentation class at the Whiting School. One of the assignments she gave students was to develop a hypothetical, two-minute “elevator pitch” that they’d give the CEO of a company where they hoped to intern. In the summer of…

Hopkins Hat Trick Students

Three sisters took different paths but arrived at the same place—the Whiting School of Engineering—for the 2014–15 academic year. The Lugo-Fagundo sisters—Nahyr, Carolina, and Maria—were all undergraduate students here studying engineering. Their parents, Carlos Lugo, an interventional radiologist, and Nahir Fagundo, an industrial engineer, live in the family’s native Puerto Rico with younger brother Elias,…

Shape of Things to Come Students

Seal-Bin Han ’17, a self-described “scrawny, nerdy kid,” came back from Johns Hopkins’ Ralph S. O’Connor Recreation Center one night last semester feeling down. “It’s a culture,” he says of the gym. “I didn’t know how to use the equipment, and people looked at me funny when I went to the weight room.” Stopping by…

Community Effort Students

Community Effort The Saturday after unrest erupted in Baltimore, biomedical engineering student Samy Ramadane ’17 and others from the Johns Hopkins men’s soccer team were out as a unified squad. As part of the third annual Johns Hopkins In Action, they joined roughly 400 other volunteers in activities ranging from river cleanups to packing lunches…

Finding Treasure in Trash Students

One of Aman Luthra’s favorite memories from his childhood growing up in Delhi was watching the excitement generated by the arrival of the neighborhood “kabariwala” (literally “itinerant buyer of recyclables”). “As soon as my mother and the other neighborhood women heard him crying out that he was there, they’d rush to sell him all the…

World Changer Alumni

ELIZABETH NANCE, PHD ’12, jokes that she made Forbes magazine’s 30 under 30 list—which recognizes outstanding young professionals—by the skin of her teeth. “I just squeezed in,” laughs the North Carolina native, who turned 30 in early February. In her postdoc fellowship at the School of Medicine, Nance worked on promising new treatments for brain…

Combing the Deep Web Alumni

Chris White, PhD ’09, thinks that the current “one-size-fits-all” Internet is not suited for data analysis. “You use the same search engine to buy birthday presents that law enforcement uses for investigations,” says White, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s former country lead for Afghanistan. “There’s a need for technology that allows for domain-specific discovery…

Speak and Your Device Will Listen Alumni

As a staff research scientist with Google, Carolina Parada, PHD ’11, is changing the way people interact with their devices. Parada’s speech recognition team recently used hot word detection, also known as keyword spotting, to create an algorithm that detects sound. The result? The popular “OK Google,” a catchphrase of sorts that enables users to…

An Era of Protest Alumni

REWIND The late 1960s brought turmoil on campus and off. Soon after Charles Goldstein, MSE ’68, arrived at Johns Hopkins in the mid-1960s to pursue his graduate degree, he went apartment hunting. He remembers being surprised to find that housing in Maryland was still segregated. “In the row houses near Hopkins, the landlord could choose…

An Engaging Idea Alumni

Aaron Baughman, MS ’07, was planning a trip to Disney World with his daughters when an idea seized him: What if there was a device that would lead them to the rides they’d love best? “The idea is to have people [wearing] devices like heart-rate monitors that get signals from the body, or from cameras…

Toward Better Wound Care Alumni

As students at Johns Hopkins, Joshua Budman ’13, MSE ’14, and Kevin Keenahan ’13, MSE ’14, noticed medical personnel measuring wounds with rulers. They found the routine practice archaic. “That was our ‘aha!’ moment,” recalls Budman. “We saw a big need.” The result: Tissue Analytics, a Baltimore-based startup founded by Budman, Keenahan, and Gabriel Brat,…

Moving Baltimore Forward Back Talk

Moving Baltimore Forward This spring, unrest rocked the city of Baltimore following the tragic death of Freddie Gray in police custody. Both the eruptions of violence and the peaceful demonstrations before and after illuminated the wrenching issues of systemic racial and economic inequalities roiling cities across our country. This is a critical time for Baltimore,…

Dear Whiting School Community From The Dean

The recent civil unrest in Baltimore has reminded us all of the deep and long-standing social and economic issues that are yet to be addressed here, and in the country as a whole. Though the unrest was triggered by the death of Freddie Gray, it is clear that its roots exist in a history of…

Community Effort Covers

Community Effort The Saturday after unrest erupted in Baltimore, biomedical engineering student Samy Ramadane ’17 and others from the Johns Hopkins men’s soccer team were out as a unified squad. As part of the third annual Johns Hopkins In Action, they joined roughly 400 other volunteers in activities ranging from river cleanups to packing lunches…