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2015-2016 Sloan Scholars

  • Tor Anderson

    Tor Anderson

    I grew up in Minneapolis, MN and studied Electrical Engineering at the University of Minnesota. My research aims to develop and improve on real-time optimization algorithms for solving control problems related to modern power grid management. Increasing the penetration of renewable energy, such as solar and wind power, introduces a variety of engineering challenges which are related to the distributed and non-dispatchable nature of clean-energy generators. We study the dynamics of multi-agent and stochastic systems and apply control strategies from this area to develop solutions for a more robust and greener power grid.

  • Sean Bearden

    I grew up in Buffalo, NY, and received a BS in Physics and Applied Mathematics from SUNY at Buffalo (UB). I am researching an alternative computer architecture known as memcomputing. The benefit of memcomputing over modern computers (von Neumann architecture) is that computation and memory storage occur in the same physical location, thus avoiding the von Neumann bottleneck. Currently, I am investigating the application of memcomputing to the prime factorization problem.

  • Jeremy Blackstone

    Jeremy Blackstone

    I grew up in Annapolis MD, and went to Howard University for undergrad, where I studied computer science. I participated in the STARS program before coming to UCSD. My research project aims to reduce the risk of hardware fault attacks. Fault attacks are scenarios in which an attacker purposely causes a disruption in the normal execution of a device in order to produce unexpected results which can be analyzed to extract secret information. The goal of my project is to measure how susceptible different devices are to fault attacks so hardware designers can more accurately assess the security of their devices.
  • Augustine Obirieze

    Augustine Obirieze

    I grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. For undergrad I went to medical school (in Nigeria we go to medical school directly from high school) at Abia State University, Nigeria. I got a Masters in Public Health (with concentration in Epidemiology and Biostatistics) and a Certificate in Public Health Economics from Johns Hopkins University. I was a postdoctoral fellow in biomedical informatics for one year here in UCSD prior to starting my PhD. I just recently joined a new lab, so, I’m still developing a new project. My project in my previous lab was on the use of dielectrophoresis for exosome isolation. Exosomes are tiny (30-150nm) vesicles secreted by virtually all cells that can be used as biomarkers for diagnostics. Current methods for exosome isolation are cumbersome and expensive. We utilize an alternating current (AC) dielectrophoretic microelectrode array device to rapidly isolate cancer exosomes from a very small amount (25 uL) of blood. The captured exosomes are labeled with immunostaining (dye-conjugated antibody targeting exosome membrane protein) and imaging done under a fluorescence microscope, all done on chip.

  • Robyn Ridley

    Robyn Ridley

    I grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and went to Columbia University for my undergraduate degree in Materials Science. My current research project investigates the effects of ethanol on the self-assembly of the ionic surfactant AOT in n-heptane.  We are investigating this system for applications in nanoparticle synthesis.
  • Antonella Wilby

    I'm a computer science PhD student from Glendale, California. I did my undergrad here at UCSD and earned a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science in 2015. My research is on underwater robotics, specifically 3D mapping and localization for underwater multi-robot systems, and has varied applications in field-based science and exploration.

  • Juan Ybarra

    I grew up in San Antonio, Texas as the youngest of five children. I spent my last two years of high school away from my family, at a publicly funded boarding school in Denton, TX called the Texas Academy of Math and Science (TAMS). After TAMS's rigorous math and science curriculum, I was accepted into and completed MIT in 2012 with a bachelor's of science in materials science and engineering. After college, I had an opportunity to explore my interest in the growing biotech industry, having spent three years working at GnuBIO, a biotech company in Cambridge, MA. My research focuses on the manufacturing of MEMS device biosensors that could be used to identify the primary biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease. My research is in developing a novel biosensor that can quantify multiply suspected biomarkers for Alzheimer's Disease simultaneously. Using a combination of highly specific fluorescence detection and a highly sensitive MEMS detection method, known as frequency shift detection, this biosensor will be able to rapidly quantify antigens (consisting of several proteins in peptides, included amyloid beta and tau protein) associated with Alzheimer's Disease so that we can develop large data sets from which we can draw a conclusion about the true cause of Alzheimer's Disease.   

Sloan Scholars Program