By Richard Hughey, Computer Engineering, UCSC

UCSC bioengineering researchers made a splash at UC Merced during this year’s systemwide symposium on bioengineering.

Professor of Computer Engineering Roberto Manduchi received the first-place poster award for Ariadne’s Thread: A Wayfinding Tool for the Visually Impaired Based on Camera Cell Phones. The poster describes a system of using special color markers easily detectable by a regular cell phone, which can be used to help a blind person find their way in unfamiliar environments. The poster also gave an overview of the activity on Assistive and Rehabilitation Technology within the Computer Engineering Department, showcasing research by Sri Kurniawan and Jacob Rosen.

Computer Engineering graduate student Daniel Garalde, CBSE Research Mentoring Institute fellow and SURF-IT alum, tied for top honors among the oral presentations in the biophysics track for his presentation on Mapping the Position of DNA Polymerase-Bound DNA Templates in a Nanopore at 5 Angstrom Resolution. The work, a part of the successful nanopore project lead by biomolecular engineering professors Mark Akeson and David Deamer and collaborating computer engineering professor William Dunbar, was recently published in ACS Nano (Gyarfas, B., et al.,  2009 Jun 23;3(6):1457-66).

The Department of Computer Engineering of UCSC’s Jack Baskin School of Engineering emphasizes research and teaching in interdisciplinary system design. The department is focused on four interconnected areas of system design: Networks; Robotics and Control; Computer System Design; and Sensing and Interaction. The department, founded in 1984, jointly offers a new B.S. in Bioengineering degree with Biomolecular EngineeringElectrical Engineering, and MCD Biology.