Researcher Profile

How the Materials Project connects computational and experimental materials science

The Materials Explorer app interface in the online Materials Project database. (Credit: Materials Project)

To invent the first commercially viable electric light bulb, Thomas Edison and his assistants tested thousands of materials to use for the filament until they found one that lasted long enough. This traditional “Edisonian” trial-and-error process of materials discovery is still fundamentally how we design materials almost 150 years later. However, through a method called “materials by design,” researchers can now avoid many of the expensive dead ends that slowed Edison down.

Steve Masover's picture

Enabling cars to see at Berkeley DeepDrive

Lazar Supic

How computers see is the through-line running from Lazar Supic’s Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering at the University of Belgrade, to his UC Berkeley PhD in Nuclear Engineering, to his current work as a Postdoc in UC Berkeley’s DeepDrive Industry Consortium (BDD). His work has taken a path that began with computer vision in robots, moved to gamma-ray tracking in atomic reactions, and now focuses on machine learning for automotive perception.

Steve Masover's picture

Legal scholars mining millions of bankruptcy case pages

Professors Ken Ayotte (Berkeley Law) and Jared Ellias (UC Hastings School of Law)

Large corporate bankruptcy cases don’t easily lend themselves to empirical research, according to UC Berkeley Law Professor Ken Ayotte, because “sample sizes are small, and the financial data that’s available on the company leading up to bankruptcy is usually sparse and unreliable. We know when the company files, we have some basic background information about it, and we see whether the company reorganizes or liquidates at the end of the case, but we know very little about what happens during the case to drive those outcomes.”

Erica Chen's picture

Climate Impact Lab: measuring the social cost of climate change

Floodplain for Miami, FL (map); Hsiang, Kopp, Jina, Rising, et al. (2017)

How might one measure the social cost of carbon? This is the question that brought more than 20 climate scientists, economists, data analysts, engineers, and researchers together at the Climate Impact Lab (CIL). With members from UC Berkeley, the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago, the Rhodium Group, and Rutgers University, the Lab formed out of an assessment that it is critically necessary to understand how climate change affects the United States in social and economic terms.

Erica Chen's picture

Botanist finds a bioinformatic home in Savio

Ingrid Jordon-Thaden gathering specimens

Before her research led to an appointment as a Research Botanist at The University and Jepson Herbaria at UC Berkeley, Ingrid Jordon-Thaden graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and the University of Heidelberg, Germany. When she left Heidelberg, she took with her not only a PhD, but also the beginnings of her research on the genetic history of the genus Draba, in the mustard family.

Erica Chen's picture

Gallant Lab neuroscientists map the human brain using OpenStack and Amazon S3

The Gallant Lab's "Brain Viewer " (screenshot)

How might matter give rise to subjective experience? This question helps drive the Gallant Lab at UC Berkeley to find explanations to the mysteries of neuroscience. The Gallant Lab focuses much of its research on functional cartography of the brain, mapping areas of the brain that are involved in cognitive or motor functions.

Erica Chen's picture

Seismologist processes earthquake waveforms recorded by smartphones on multiple platforms

MyShake users across the globe

Growing up in Anyang, in a central region of China greatly impacted by earthquakes, Qingkai Kong was inspired to do research in seismology precisely because earthquakes are serious natural hazards that affect communities worldwide. Berkeley’s proximity to the Hayward Fault influenced his decision to complete his graduate studies under Richard Allen at the UC Berkeley Seismology Lab.

Steve Masover's picture

Prof. Rachel Slaybaugh optimizes next-generation nuclear reactor design on BRC’s Savio cluster

Rachel Slaybaugh

It was her inner environmentalist that lured Asst. Professor Rachel Slaybaugh to Nuclear Engineering. “I have always been an environmentalist,” she explained. “When I was a freshman at Penn State I heard about this existing, large-scale, base load electricity source that didn’t emit air pollution, and I thought -- well, that sounds like a great way to get rid of coal plants -- I’m going to do that.” What Slaybaugh had heard about was nuclear power, which led to her B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from Penn State, then a Master’s and Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

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