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Research Horizons

Georgia Tech's Research Horizons Magazine
Issue 2 2016 Research Horizons Magazine
Turning Numbers into Knowledge

Powerful computers and sophisticated algorithms change the way research is done.

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  • Exhibit A:
    photo - time lapse image of small robots in motion on floor


    An aerial drone safely navigates through a spiraling formation of other drones using a collaborative safety maneuver developed at the Georgia Tech Robotics and Intelligent Systems Lab. Photo by Rob Felt.

  • Exhibit A:

    InVenture Prize - People's Choice Award

    The InVenture Prize is one of Georgia Tech’s most successful programs for fostering innovation and entrepreneurship among undergraduates. The annual contest rewards students with cash prizes for inventions that aim to solve society’s biggest problems. This year’s three winning teams created devices that have the potential to protect firefighters, keep athletes safe, and improve water quality.

    TRUEPANI developed a water disinfection system for Indian households that won the contest’s $5,000 People’s Choice Award. The system includes a cup with a thin antimicrobial coating that disinfects water by releasing copper ions. The ions disrupt the microbes’ cellular functions and kill them. The cup’s design mimics a shape typically found in rural Indian households. Each cup comes with a similarly coated metal lotus flower, which symbolizes purity. This lotus flower is attached to a chain so it can be placed in the water storage containers popular in homes across India. The main inventors are recent graduates — Samantha Becker, civil engineering, and Shannon Evanchec, environmental engineering — who are participating in Georgia Tech’s Startup Summer program for young entrepreneurs. Photo by Rob Felt

  • Exhibit A:

    InVenture Prize - First Place

    FIREHUD, a device that helps firefighters track their vital signs while fighting fires, won first place and $20,000. A heads-up display attaches to a firefighter’s mask and measures heart and respiratory rates, blood oxygen level, body temperature, external temperature, and other vital signs. Firefighters view this information through the helmet display so they will know whether they are overexerting themselves, which puts them at risk for cardiac arrest. The device, which is about the size of a cell phone, also transmits data about a firefighter’s health to the incident commander, who can view it on a computer through an app. Inventors Zack Braun, a computer engineering major, and Tyler Sisk, an electrical engineering major, are working on the invention through Startup Summer, a 12-week internship for Georgia Tech students and recent graduates who want to launch startups. They are meeting with firefighters interested in the device. Photo by Rob Felt

  • Exhibit A:

    InVenture Prize - Second Place

    WOBBLE, an automated balance test to assess athletes following concussions, won $10,000 for finishing in second place. This portable device monitors a player’s balance. When someone steps on top of Wobble’s metal platform, the device moves in random directions, keeping the athlete’s brain guessing. Meanwhile, four sensors in the platform are reading pressure on its surface. As the athlete shifts his balance, Wobble analyzes how well he is reacting to the movement. If his balance differs from that of the baseline test taken before the concussion, he is likely not ready to return to play. The team is preparing for a pilot study this fall with several high schools. The inventors are: Hailey Brown, mechanical engineering; Matthew Devlin, biomedical engineering; Ana Gomez del Campo, biomedical engineering; and Garrett Wallace, biomedical engineering. Photo by Rob Felt

Front Office

Seeing the Data Big Picture

Data science and engineering change the way research is done.

Data Streamlined

FUSE software simplifies the collection and integration of Internet of Things information

Reconfigurable Radar

Unlike traditional mechanical radars, modern phased-array antennas are solid-state devices that aim, transmit, and receive radar beams electronically.

Detecting Nuclear Stowaways

Researchers have demonstrated proof-of-concept for a novel monochromatic particle imaging technique based on low-energy nuclear reactions designed to detect the presence of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports.

Helping Cool Cities

Recommendations that could help cities around the world respond to the growing hazards of extreme heat.

One Atom Makes a Big Difference

Researchers have explained why platinum nanoclusters within a specific size range facilitate the hydrogenation reaction used to produce the chemical ethane from ethylene.

Postdocs for Career Prep

A new study shows that the research faculty path isn’t the only reason students pursue a postdoc.

Mission Software Accomplished

When the U.S. Army updates defensive and offensive software on its UH60M Black Hawk and AH64D Apache Longbow helicopters, the improved systems must be fully tested to make sure they’re working properly.

The Business of Green

Dionne Nickerson, a Ph.D. student in marketing in Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business, researches the way companies and consumers can promote positive social change.

Go for the White and Gold

For Atlanta’s bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics, Georgia Tech helped produce something that had never been part of an Olympic bid proposal before: an interactive 3-D simulation that would allow members of the selection committee to “fly through” the proposed venues.

Computing Inside Cells

Using strands of nucleic acid, scientists have demonstrated basic computing operations inside a living mammalian cell.

PV Cells Get Space Testing

A novel three-dimensional solar cell design developed at the Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI) will soon receive its first space testing aboard the International Space Station (ISS).

A Germ-Eat-Germ World

A study of more than 50 samples of Vibrio cholerae isolated from patients and the environment demonstrates the diversity and resourcefulness of the organism.

The Shape of Things to Come

The LAMP System CPT6060 can be used to build highly complex and demanding ceramic cores and molds.

Current Events

Scientists study flow of glacial meltwater into oceans.

Acid in the Air

When acidic materials are spilled, clean-up involves adding a base chemical to neutralize the acid.

Picture of Health

The glaring difference in food choices between two groups of people in the Northeastern United States.

Graphic Impact

Visualizing gravitational waves offered an opportunity to apply simulation and visualization technology to help a broader audience share in the excitement the scientists were experiencing.

Robots Learn Human Ethics by Reading Stories

The rapid advance of artificial intelligence (AI) is raising concerns about robots acting unethically or choosing to harm humans.

Bugs in the Pipes

Microbial communities found in shower hoses at a major U.S. hospital.

Let's Get Physical

Researchers have fabricated model blood vessel systems with diameters as narrow as the smallest capillaries in the body.

Bursting for Attention

Researchers have for the first time precisely manipulated bursting activity of cells in the thalamus, tying it to the sense of touch.

Polluted Dust Hurts Ocean Life

Researchers have found yet another worrisome trend impacting the health of the Pacific Ocean.

Water Wings

Georgia Tech researchers used high-speed cameras to watch how the sea butterfly (Limacina helicina) moves.

Bubble Trouble

New research suggests how light vapor bubbles migrating and accumulating in parts of shallow volcanic chambers contribute to the effects.

Protecting the Grid by Listening

Device fingerprinting can reveal attacks

Small Failures, Big Impact

A new study shows the extent of the challenge faced by the upstate New York distribution grid during Super Storm Sandy.

More Than Peer Pressure

Microparticles form defect-free colloidal crystals, an unusual property not seen in systems made up of incompressible particles.

Resistance Is Futile

By increasing the level of a specific microRNA (miRNA) molecule, researchers have restored chemotherapy sensitivity in vitro to a line of human pancreatic cancer cells that had developed resistance to a common treatment drug.


John Toon

John Toon

Director of Research News
Phone: 404.894.6986
T.J. Becker

T.J. Becker

Freelance Writer
Rob Felt

Rob Felt

Phone: 404.894.6014
photo - Melanie Goux

Melanie Goux

Digital Designer
Phone: 404.385.1697
Margaret Tate

Margaret Tate


Media Contacts

John Toon

John Toon

Director of Research News
Phone: 404.894.6986

Anne Wainscott-Sargent

Research News
Phone: 404-435-5784

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