School of Engineering & Applied Science

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 6, 2015

Penn, Johns Hopkins and UCSB Research: Differences in Neural Activity Change Learning Rate

blurb: 
A new study suggests that recruiting unnecessary parts of the brain for a given task, akin to over-thinking the problem, plays a critical role in the difference between people who pick up a new skill faster or slower.

Why do some people learn a new skill right away, while others only gradually improve? Whatever else may be different about their lives, something must be happening in their brains that captures this variation.

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604April 3, 2015

Penn Researchers Use ‘Soft’ Nanoparticles to Model Behavior at Interfaces

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By engineering nanoparticles that stick to an oil-water interface but not each other, Penn researchers have created a system that acts like a two-dimensional liquid.

Where water and oil meet, a two-dimensional world exists. This interface presents a potentially useful set of properties for chemists and engineers, but getting anything more complex than a soap molecule to stay there and behave predictably remains a challenge.   

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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 26, 2015

Swimming Algae Offer Penn Researchers Insights Into Living Fluid Dynamics

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Very little is known about the dynamics of so-called “living fluids,” those containing cells, microorganisms or other biological structures. Penn researchers have shown how a model organism's swimming strokes change along with a fluid's elasticity.

 By Madeleine Stone  @themadstone

None of us would be alive if sperm cells didn’t know how to swim, or if the cilia in our lungs couldn’t prevent fluid buildup. But we know very little about the dynamics of so-called “living fluids,” those containing cells, microorganisms or other biological structures.

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Media Contact:Ron Ozio | ozio@upenn.edu | 215-898-8658March 25, 2015

President Gutmann Announces 2015 President’s Engagement Prize Winners at Penn

President Amy Gutmann today announced the selection of five undergraduates at the University of Pennsylvania as the inaugural President’s Engagement Prize recipients. Awarded annually to Penn students to design and undertake fully-funded local, national or global engagement projects during the first year after they graduate, the President’s Engagement Prizes underscore the high priority that Penn places on educating students to put their knowledge to work for the betterment of humankind. 

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Media Contact:Katherine Unger Baillie | kbaillie@upenn.edu | 215-898-9194March 16, 2015
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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 12, 2015

Penn and ExxonMobil Researchers Address Long-standing Mysteries Behind Anti-wear Motor Oil Additive

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Motor oil contains chemical additives that extend how long engines can run without failure, but, despite decades of ubiquity, how such additives actually work to prevent this damage have remained a mystery.

The pistons in your car engine rub up against their cylinder walls thousands of times a minute; without lubrication in the form of motor oil, they and other parts of the engine would quickly wear away, causing engine failure.

New Take on Game Theory Offers Clues on Why We Cooperate

March 11, 2015

Postdoctoral fellow Alexander Stewart of the School of Arts & Sciences writes about a new approach to game theory he studied with Jos

Article Source: “The Conversation”
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Media Contact:Evan Lerner | elerner@upenn.edu | 215-573-6604March 11, 2015

Penn Researchers Develop Way of Making Light-bending ‘Raspberry-like Metamolecules’

blurb: 
Penn researchers have now devised a way of mass-producing metamaterials that exhibit magnetic resonance in optical frequencies.

The field of metamaterials is all about making structures that have physical properties that aren’t found in nature. Predicting what kinds of structures would have those traits is one challenge; physically fabricating them is quite another, as they often require precise arrangement of constituent materials on the smallest scales.

Coming Soon: X-ray Specs

March 1, 2015

Nader Engheta of the School of Engineering and Applied Science is quoted about metamaterials.

Article Source: Hemispheres Magazine

The Morning Download: CIOs Integrate Wearables Into Core Software Platforms

March 4, 2015

Nadia Heninger of the School of Engineering and Applied Science is quoted about the “FREAK flaw.”

Article Source: Wall Street Journal