IRP Focus: Imaging, Sensing & Networked Systems: Research Projects

Engineering Faster MR Imaging

Todd Constable, Dept. of Biomedical Eng., Yale School of Medicine

Magnetic resonance imaging has been used in medical imaging for 30 years. Engineers working to improve the technology today address two main issues: imaging speed and quality. Faster imaging would reduce costs by enabling higher use of MRI machines, and improvements in image resolution would enhance a physician’s ability to make a proper diagnosis.

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Computational Tools to Aid Conspiracy Surveillance

Andreas Savvides, Dept. of Electrical Eng., Dept. of Comp. Sci.

If you’ve ever seen the HBO crime drama “The Wire,” you know the lengths to which criminals will go to confound police surveillance. Footage from cameras hidden over a busy public plaza do little to aid detectives in differentiating illegal activity from innocent routine interactions.

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Designing the Computational Fabric of Green Buildings

Andreas Savvides, Dept. of Electrical Eng., Dept. of Comp. Sci.; Michelle Addington, Yale School of Architecture, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies; Juliana Wang, Yale Climate & Energy Institute

In the parlance of today’s construction industry, a “green building” is one that maintains a small carbon footprint by engaging alternative energy sources such as solar, wind, and fuel cells sustainably and with economic precision. No building can be a lean user of energy in isolation: resources must be coordinated with adjacent buildings and the power grid. To enable a building to efficiently manage its energy load, adapt to its occupants’ behaviors, and be an intelligent inhabitant of the “smart grid,” engineers must possess a detailed understanding of a building’s spatio-temporal properties. That requires ongoing observation of the state of the building.

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Developing In Vivo Microscopy for Fundamental Neuroscience

Michael Levene, Dept. of Biomedical Eng.

Major areas of experimental neuroscience, from micro-circuitry to gene function to basic anatomy, are best studied optically. Yet conventional microscopy approaches can only reach about 5 percent of the intact mouse brain. One goal of the Levene Lab is to image the remaining 95 percent using optical microscopy.

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Enabling Wireless Communications without Infrastructure

Sekhar Tatikonda, Dept. of Electrical Eng., Dept. of Statistics, Dept. of Comp. Sci.

In the modern world of wireless communications, a dynamic network is one where parameters change due to the mobility and traffic variations among users, and an ad hoc network is one in which devices organize themselves to create a wireless communication network. Dynamic ad hoc networks are highly useful in situations such as emergency rescue settings, military communications, sensor networks, and personal networking where only a lightweight infrastructure is possible, control of the network is not centralized, and there is a need for rapid deployment.

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Applying Fluctuation Spectroscopy to Clinical Use

Michael Levene, Department of Biomedical Engineering

A technique known as fluctuation spectroscopy has been around since 1970. Widely used in the biophysics community, it is useful for measuring absolute concentrations of particles in fluids.

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Interpreting and Quantifying Images with Computers

Hemant Tagare, Yale School of Medicine, Dept. of Biomedical Eng., Dept. of Electrical Eng.; Frederick Sigworth, Yale School of Medicine, Dept. of Biomedical Eng.; Hongwei Wang, Dept. of MB&B

Teaching a computer to understand and interpret an image is a difficult problem that engineers have long been trying to solve with sophisticated mathematics and computational power. The problem becomes especially challenging when the image is noisy, out of focus, or contains confusing extraneous information.

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Application of Systems Engineering To Human Motor Control

Kumpati Narendra, Dept. of Electrical Eng.

Controlling the human body is a formidable task. It takes the newborn baby countless experiments with its limbs to acquire motor control skills needed to ambulate. Most people take for granted the ability to control movement, unless of course they are afflicted with a movement disorder.

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Investigating Atomic Precision at the Oxide Interface

Eric I. Altman, Dept. of ChE & EnvE; Sohrab Ismail-Beigi, Dept. of Applied Physics, Dept. of Physics

For many materials scientists, what goes on at the interface between two different materials is where the excitement is. Long gone are the days when electronics developers glued materials together by hand. Today’s materials are sandwiched together with atomic-scale precision – an advancement that has led to the control of exotic solid-state phenomena, such as magnetism and superconductivity at the nanoscale and a promise of applications that will have broad-sweeping impact on the technologies of our time.

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Wireless Sensing Systems for Monitoring Behavior

Andreas Savvides, Dept. of Electrical Eng,, Dept. of Comp. Sci.

Sensing and surveillance technologies capable of not only monitoring but also interpreting human behavior could have a variety of uses in defense, public safety, and anti-terrorism. There are also potential uses in the home.

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Extending the Impact of Multiphoton Microscopy

Michael Levene, Dept. of Biomedical Eng.

From the first microscopes to Zernike's phase contrast and modern laser scanning fluorescence microscopes, each advance in microscopy technology has opened up new windows onto the mechanisms of life. A team of engineers led by Professor Michael Levene is working to extend the impact and reach, in particular, of multiphoton microscopy and optical spectroscopy through elegant technological innovations, many of which are ready for rapid adoption by biologists who are otherwise naive in optical physics.

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