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  • richardmitnick 10:35 am on June 12, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A surprising quantum effect observed in a “large” object", , EPFL, , , Unexpected electron behavior could open up possibilities in the field of quantum computing.   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “A surprising quantum effect observed in a “large” object” 


    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    6.12.20
    Sarah Perrin

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    While conducting experiments on a layered metal, EPFL researchers witnessed something very surprising. The unexpected electron behavior they discovered could open up possibilities in the field of quantum computing.

    In the world of materials science, sometimes main discoveries can be found in unexpected places. While working on the resistivity of a type of delafossite – PdCoO2 – researchers at EPFL’s Laboratory of Quantum Materials discovered that the electrons in their sample did not behave entirely as expected. When a magnetic field was applied, the electrons retained signatures of their wave-like nature, which could be observed even under relatively high temperature conditions and appeared in relatively large sizes. These surprising results, obtained in collaboration with several research institutions*, could prove useful, for example in the quest for quantum computing. The research will be published today in the prestigious journal Science.

    To grasp the significance of this discovery, we need to imagine ourselves on the tiny scale of atoms. At that scale, we see that metals – even though we normally think of them as quite dense – actually consist of a great many empty spaces around the atoms. When electrons move in these interstitial spaces, they have a twofold nature, behaving both as particles and as waves. Usually their movements in a metal wire are captured well by their particle-like aspects, since their wave-like nature is far too faint and masked by various other interactions. Only under highly specific laboratory conditions, particularly at very low temperatures, experiments by Richard Webb and coworkers had famously uncovered the wave character of electrons in metals.

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    The sample studied was PdCoO2, whose electronic structure is nearly two-dimensional and extremely pure, and which is used as a catalyst in chemistry. The researchers were surprised to observe a new type of oscillations that exhibited significant coherence lengths when the sample was subject to a magnetic field. This coherence is important when trying to preserve quantum states and the conditions under which it occurred should not have been possible under the basic principles of physics. In this case, they were noted at temperatures up to 60 Kelvin and at length scales of up to 12 microns.

    “It is gigantic!”

    “This is truly surprising,” says Philip Moll, who heads EPFL’s Laboratory of Quantum Materials. “It’s the very first time this quantum effect has been observed in such a large piece of metal. 12 micrometers may seem small, but for the dimensions of an atom, it is gigantic. This is the length scale of biological life, such as algae and bacteria.”

    The next step will be to try and better understand how this phenomenon is possible at this scale. But researchers are already imagining a wealth of possibilities, particularly in the field of quantum computing. Stay tuned!

    *In collaboration with:

    • Max Planck Institute for Chemical Physics of Solids, Germany
    • School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, UK
    • Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Germany
    • Weizmann Institute of Science, Department of Condensed Matter Physics, Israel
    • Laboratoire des Solides Irradiés, Institut Polytechnique de Paris, France

    See the full article here .

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    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:41 am on April 20, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , EPFL, ,   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “EPFL joins the giant radio telescope SKA for the Swiss community” 


    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    4.20.20
    Sarah Perrin

    1
    The Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, will be the biggest radio telescope ever built. Thanks to this ambitious tool, some of the universe’s greatest mysteries will be resolved. EPFL became a member of the SKA Organisation (SKAO) beginning of April 2020 and will coordinate the contributions to this project on behalf of the Swiss academic community.

    Swiss Interest and Contribution Document

    Swiss participation in SKA


    EPFL joins the giant radio telescope

    This is one of the biggest and most ambitious scientific tools of the XXIst century. The Square Kilometre Array, or SKA, is an impressive radio telescope project, which will build an array of 130 15m-diameter dish antennas in South Africa and an array of 130’000 TV-like antennas in Western Australia in the coming years. Thanks to it, some of the Universe’s greatest mysteries will be studied with a whole new level of precision. Along with thirteen countries officially involved, Switzerland is considering participating in this huge adventure. As an initial step, EPFL was just granted special member status of the SKA Organisation (SKAO) and will be the lead institution coordinating the contributions to the SKA on behalf of the Swiss academic community*.

    Most telescopes we readily think of use optical light similar to what we see with our eyes. The SKA will capture light of celestial objects at radio waves, similar to the light used by our smartphones to communicate together. At radio waves, the sky is much different that the one we see in optical light.

    “This new high-performance radio telescope will open a new view of the whole Universe”,commented Prof. Jean-Paul Kneib of EPFL leading the consortium of Swiss Scientists interested in the SKA project, “SKA will detect the formation of planetary system around distant stars, the cold Hydrogen gas around galaxies, the nuclei of distant galaxies harbouring an active super-massive blackholes”

    “SKA will also measure the magnetic field in galaxies and at larger scales and map the fluctuation of the Hydrogen distribution in the first billion year of the beginning of the Universe” added Prof. Daniel Schaerer from University of Geneva, “SKA will allow us to address some key questions on our Universe, such as the nature of the Dark Matter and the Dark Energy, or explore the Cosmic Dawn the period of time when the first stars and first galaxies formed”.

    “A huge challenge”

    As outlined in the white paper Swiss Interests and Contribution to the SKA, published end of February 2020, Swiss scientific institutions* and high-tech industry partners are extensively involved in SKA-related science and technology, contributing in research and development in the fields of distributed radio frequency systems, high performance computing, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

    “SKA is faced with a huge challenge, in signal processing” explained Prof. Jean-Philippe Thiran of EPFL, a specialist of image processing techniques, “the data flow that will come out of the many antennas will need to be combined efficiently and likely with new algorithms to extract the complete astrophysical information”.

    World-class research in astronomy

    “I am delighted to welcome EPFL to the SKA Organisation as our newest member,” said Chair of the SKA Board of Directors Dr Catherine Cesarsky. “This renowned research institution and its partners have brought valuable expertise to the SKA, and we look forward to working ever more closely with our Swiss colleagues as we enter this exciting phase of the project, completing the very last steps before construction.”

    Switzerland has held observer status within the Organisation since 2016, with many Swiss research institutions* and industry partners contributing to various aspects of the SKA. The country has a history of world-class research and development in science and astronomy, including leading the recent CHEOPS mission to study exoplanets and developing instrumentation for the future European-Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) in Chile, among other things. And for five years now, the Swiss SKA Days bring together national and international representatives of academia, industry and government, showcasing the breadth of opportunities for Swiss institutions and companies to be involved in the SKA. The location rotates each year to reflect the various contributions of different Swiss institutions. It is due to be held at the University of Zurich later this year.

    “SKA is a very ambitious infrastructure in astrophysics, and Switzerland has a lot to offer and benefit from it”, said Olivier Küttel, Head of International Affairs at EPFL. It is not just about physics, but also about the handling and analysis of large data sets, something Switzerland is good at. It remains the goal of EPFL that Switzerland should become a member of the SKA.”

    First EPFL, then Switzerland!

    EPFL is now a member of the SKAO, which has been responsible for overseeing the telescope design phase, until the process of transitioning into the SKA Observatory is completed. The Observatory is due to come into being in 2020. Switzerland’s Federal Council recently triggered the first political debate in Parliament regarding the possible participation of Switzerland as a member state in the future.

    “As the dream of building SKA is about to become a reality, SERI welcomes and supports the EPFL decision to join the SKA Organisation as a special member”, stated Xavier Reymond, , Head of the International Research Organisations Unit at the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation SERI, and in charge of the relationships between Switzerland and SKAO. “The accession of the EPFL will benefit to the Swiss scientific community as a whole and will open business perspectives to Swiss companies. Switzerland is the proud Seat of CERN and a dedicated Member of the European Southern Observatory and of the European Space Agency. Therefore, we all look forward to assessing the opportunity to complement with the SKA Observatory this portfolio of successful participations in disruptive intergovernmental endeavours dedicated to the fundamental understanding of the Universe.”

    SKA Director-General Prof. Philip Diamond also welcomed EPFL to the SKAO, noting the importance of the country’s involvement so far. “Swiss institutions have been a vital part of the SKA’s design phase and bring with them a well-deserved reputation for excellence in science and astronomy, as well as being involved with some of today’s most exciting projects,” he said. “As we move ever closer to SKA construction, EPFL’s membership serves to highlight the broad range of expertise that the SKA can count upon in this next phase.”

    *The Swiss Academic Community includes:
    Universities of Geneva, Zurich, Bern, ETHZ, CSCS, FHNW, HES-SO, and Verkehrshaus Lucerne and EPFL.

    See the full article here .

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    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:25 am on December 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , EPFL,   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “A Swiss satellite seeking out distant planets” 


    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    18.12.19
    Sarah Perrin

    1
    This artist’s impression shows how CHEOPS will orbit Earth. ESA/ATG medialab

    The CHEOPS satellite was put into orbit on Wednesday, a day later than planned, from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. The telescope, which will hunt for new exoplanets, is the result of six years of collaboration between the University of Bern and the University of Geneva, with the assistance of EPFL’s Space Center.


    Mission accomplished! The CHEOPS satellite, named for “CHaracterizing ExOPlanet Satellite,” successfully blasted off into space on Wednesday after a technical fault with the carrier rocket pushed the launch back by 24 hours. The satellite, which will search for planets orbiting around distant stars, is now flying along its planned path, some 700 km above the Earth’s surface. CHEOPS is the culmination of six years of work, much of which was carried out at the University of Bern and University of Geneva, in collaboration with researchers from EPFL’s Space Center (eSpace) and with support from the European Space Agency (ESA). The launch comes seven days after two astrophysicists from the University of Geneva – Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz – received the Nobel Prize in Physics in Stockholm for their 1995 discovery of the first exoplanet.

    The satellite, which is equipped with a high-precision telescope, will seek out new exoplanets by looking for tiny variations in a star’s brightness as a planet passes between it and Earth – a method known as transit photometry. CHEOPS will also gather more information about known exoplanets, including their size, orbital elements, atmosphere and evolution, as well as their composition and nature: telluric, gas, ice giant, surface water and other features.

    EPFL involved from the outset

    The project was a collaborative effort between three Swiss institutions: EPFL, the University of Geneva and the University of Bern. Engineers at eSpace were involved in the early phases of the mission, and worked on the satellite’s initial design. In 2012 the ESA selected CHEOPS, based on that initial design, as its first small-class (or S-class) mission, a type of smaller-scale program intended to promote innovation and education. From that point on, EPFL’s involvement largely revolved around designing the software that would be used to analyze the raw data sent back by the satellite.

    Since the first exoplanet was discovered in 1995, over 4,000 more have been added to the list – orbiting around some 3,000 stars, and all within 400 light years of the Sun. Thousands of other candidates have been detected, mainly by ground-based telescopes, but are pending confirmation. Extrapolating these numbers suggests that there could be at least 100 billion exoplanets in our galaxy alone.

    CHEOPS separated from its carrier rocket around 2 hours and 30 minutes after launch and is expected to begin sending back data in early 2020.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:29 am on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Antje Boetius, , , EPFL, Erna Hamburger Prize, ,   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: Women in STEM “EPFL honors a climate advocate” Antje Boetius 


    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    06.11.19
    Anne-Muriel Brouet

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    The EPFL-WISH Foundation will award this year’s Erna Hamburger Prize to German marine biologist Antje Boetius.

    The 2019 Erna Hamburger Prize will go to Antje Boetius, a professor at the University of Bremen’s prestigious Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and the head of the Alfred Wegener Institute at the Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.
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    Prof. Boetius has had an exceptional career in marine biology research since completing her studies at the University of Hamburg.

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    A staunch climate advocate, she received Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit in 2019 and was recently appointed as a climate advisor to the German government.

    The Erna Hamburger Prize is awarded every year by the EPFL-WISH Foundation to an influential woman in science. The award is named after Erna Hamburger, who, when she was hired by EPFL in 1967, became the first female professor at a Swiss federal institute of technology.

    One of Prof. Boetius’s breakthroughs was to describe the anaerobic oxidation of methane. She believes that, in the absence of molecular oxygen, the earliest forms of terrestrial life may have survived thanks to methane. She has also posited that such life forms could help slow the pace of climate change in the future. This is because methane is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, and there are vast quantities of deep-ocean microorganisms that can break it down and limit its release into the atmosphere.

    Dubbed by some “Marie Curie of the sea,” Prof. Boetius has also coordinated numerous marine and polar expeditions and has been involved in measuring firsthand the effects of global warming. The granddaughter of a whale hunter, she has helped focus attention on the impact that human activities have on our oceans. This includes the collapse in the cetacean population, which began in the 19th century, and its impact on the marine ecosystem down to the level of microorganisms.

    Prof. Boetius, an environmentalist committed to spreading knowledge, deplores the fact that “science is talking but people aren’t listening.” And she warns: “We cannot survive without the oceans.”

    The award ceremony will take place at 5pm on 6 November at the SwissTech Convention Center. Entry is free of charge, but registration is required: https://www.epflwishfoundation.org/erna-hamburger-2019

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL bloc

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 7:55 am on July 29, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: EPFL, Gonio-photometer, Is it possible to digitally replicate the way light shines off silk?, , The team has developed an algorithm that takes full control of the gonio-photometer to capture a small subset of an inconceivably large four-dimensional space enabling materials to be digitized much m, Wenzel Jakobstudies the way in which light interacts with various materials so that this process can be reproduced in a software simulation.   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “Digitizing and replicating the world of materials” 

    EPFL bloc

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    7.29.19

    Sandy Evangelista EPFL Press Service
    sandy.evangelista@epfl.ch
    +41 79 502 81 06

    Wenzel Jakob Professor of EPFL’s Realistic Graphics Lab
    Wenzel.Jakob@epfl.ch
    +41 21 693 13 29
    +41 21 693 52 15

    1
    A team of EPFL researchers has set itself the lofty goal of building the biggest-ever database that digitizes the visual appearance of all natural and synthetic materials in the world.

    Is it possible to digitally replicate the way light shines off silk, the kaleidoscope of colors on butterfly wings, or the structure of fabrics, plastics, and stones? A team of researchers at EPFL’s Realistic Graphics Lab, headed by Wenzel Jakob, is developing computer models to do just that. Their process begins by meticulously digitizing any material they can lay their hands on, using a sophisticated machine called a gonio-photometer.

    Imagine taking a photo of a car on a sunny day: the picture will only capture its appearance for that specific viewpoint and illumination, but it cannot tell us how the same car would look from another viewpoint later in the evening. In contrast to a camera, a gonio-photometer measures the light reflected by a material at different angles, capturing the essence of what gives the car’s painted surface its particular look: shiny, pearlescent, metallic, faded, etc. The resulting data is much richer than a single photograph and can be used to generate photorealistic computer images of objects made from those same materials within arbitrary virtual scenes.

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    Digitize a butterfly wing © 2019 EPFL Alain Herzog

    The team at EPFL, led by Prof. Wenzel Jakob, studies the way in which light interacts with various materials so that this process can be reproduced in a software simulation. “Our goal is to put together a very comprehensive library of materials—not just to recreate them, but also to understand mathematically what makes them look the way that they do,” says Jakob. The researchers intend to digitize samples ranging from a sheet of paper and a piece of plastic from a pen to a butterfly wing and even a piece of fabric from a Darth Vader costume. “This kind of material data is invaluable in areas like architecture, computer vision, or the entertainment industry. We’ve recently started working with Weta Digital and Industrial Light & Magic, who make movies like Avatar and Star Wars,” he adds.

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    Wenzel Jakob uses a photo-goniometer © 2019 EPFL Alain Herzog

    The gonio-photometer is an impressive machine some five meters long. It is operated in a room, whose walls have been covered with black cloth to absorb the light reflected by the sample being analyzed. The sample is placed in the center of the device, where it is observed from the tip of a robotic arm that spins with a speed of up to 3 meters per second so that measurements can be taken rapidly for many configurations. “A conventional camera only records red, green and blue color information that is visible to the human eye. We instead use a spectrometer that records hundreds of wavelengths throughout the entire visual spectrum, extending even to UV and infrared. That wealth of data provides us with much more information about a material that enables us to simulate its appearance extremely precisely,” says Jakob.

    The team has developed a new algorithm that takes full control of the gonio-photometer to only capture a small subset of an inconceivably large four-dimensional space, enabling materials to be digitized much more rapidly than was previously possible. Jakob’s group also develops the Mitsuba Renderer, a widely used open source software platform that simulates light computationally to create photorealistic images of virtual worlds. With the acquired data, these simulations can now achieve an unprecedented level of accuracy.

    On July 29, Jakob received ACM SIGGRAPH’s Significant New Researcher Award. ACM, the Association For Computing Machinery, announced that Jakob was selected for the prestigious prize in recognition of his theoretical and algorithmic contributions to the field, as well as for his work in developing open source software for research.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:11 am on June 26, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Lunar mission deep in Zermatt's ice", “We needed to be able to transport the materials and assemble the habitat quickly and work in temperatures of -4°C., EPFL, IGLUNA project, The mission: build and demonstrate a prototype lunar habitat in the ice that could one day support human life on the Moon., The students are also testing out the habitat and robots checking whether the plants grow and conducting scientific experiments., We opted for a brick structure that’s relatively easy to assemble. It took just three days to build.   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “Lunar mission deep in Zermatt’s ice” 

    EPFL bloc

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    26.06.19

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    Zermatt

    On 17 June, students from EPFL and 12 other European universities headed to Zermatt as part of the IGLUNA project.

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    Zofingia Bern

    Their mission? To build and demonstrate a prototype lunar habitat in the ice that could one day support human life on the Moon.

    Mankind first set foot on the Moon on 20 July 1969. Five decades on, thoughts have turned to establishing a permanent settlement there. Over 150 students have descended on the mountain village of Zermatt as part of IGLUNA, a project coordinated by EPFL’s Swiss Space Center under the European Space Agency’s ESA_Lab@ initiative. The multidisciplinary teams will all be working toward the same goal: building a “habitat in the ice” that might one day be deployed on the Moon.

    Supporting human life in an extreme environment is no easy task. The students spent the 2018/2019 academic year working on answers to some of the many challenging questions – both human and technological – that such an endeavor raises. How should the habitat be structured? Where will oxygen, food and power come from? How will settlers communicate and carry out research? What about their health and welfare?

    Destination: Zermatt

    The students headed to Zermatt in the Swiss Alps on 17 June for their field work. “The students are very much working as one team, sharing their modules and concepts,” says Tatiana Benavides, who leads the project at the Swiss Space Center. “Put it all together and you can see how people might one day live on the Moon.”

    The students’ work is on display in two separate locations: conceptual and design pieces at the Vernissage Art Gallery (Backstage Hotel), and scientific and technical pieces at the Glacier Palace – Klein Matterhorn. Both exhibitions are open to the public until 30 June. “As well as presenting their work, the students are also testing out the habitat and robots, checking whether the plants grow and conducting scientific experiments,” adds Benavides. “They may not be sleeping under the ice, but they’re operating in real-world conditions all the same.”

    EPFL shoots for the moon

    At EPFL, students from several schools have been busy working on the project since September. The team, led by architect and lecturer Pierre Zurbrügg, built an igloo-like habitat 15 meters below the surface of the Klein Matterhorn glacier, which stands 3,883 meters above sea level. The structure, made from load-bearing and insulating materials, was designed and built by students from the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) as part of the “Living on Mars” teaching unit. “We had to factor in the practical constraints of the IGLUNA field site,” explains Zurbrügg. “For instance, we needed to be able to transport the materials, assemble the habitat quickly, and work in temperatures of -4°C. We opted for a brick structure that’s relatively easy to assemble. It took just three days to build.”

    What would life be like inside the habitat? “Our team thought long and hard about life support,” adds Zurbrügg. “Simply surviving isn’t enough. We needed somewhere people could actually live.” The students’ idea was to harness the metabolic processes of the people and plants inside the habitat to create a life cycle and keep waste to a minimum. They also produced a complete 3D model of their habitat, with computer-generated images and an interactive animation showing what different parts of the environment would look like.

    A team from GrowbotHub – a joint initiative between EPFL, UNIL and urban farming non-profit Légumes Perchés – designed a fully automated food production system for growing and harvesting fruit and vegetables in extreme conditions. “Our job is to assemble the structure and install the robot inside the habitat,” explains Victoria Letertre, a robotics student at EPFL who was involved in programming the robot. “The SWAG team from Zürich is responsible for the aeroponics systems, and for growing and tending to crops in the lunar environment.”

    The EPFL team considered various other aspects of life on the Moon. For instance, they used 3D laser shock peening – a technique developed at the Laboratory of Thermomechanical Metallurgy (LMTM) – to design a saw capable of cutting through the ice. In another collaboration, this time between the Swiss Space Center and EPFL’s Computer Vision Laboratory (CVLAB), cameras were installed to monitor human behavior inside the igloo. Motion-capture algorithms were used to analyze the footage and identify where habitat design and safety improvements could be made.

    An ongoing human and scientific endeavor

    “Our fascination with space comes from our natural curiosity and our desire to push the boundaries of human knowledge,” says Benavides. “Living on the Moon is an immense challenge. Yet the technologies that the students have developed could have applications here on Earth, too – in extreme environments or in the aftermath of natural disasters, for example.”

    As IGLUNA 2019 draws to a close, the Swiss Space Center is preparing to run the project again next year. “It’s been an incredible learning experience on both the human and technology fronts,” adds Benavides. “Some of the teams are planning to continue honing their prototypes next year. We’re also looking forward to receiving new proposals.” The IGLUNA 2020 call for proposals closes on 21 July 2019.

    “For me, IGLUNA is a dream come true. I never imagined I’d be working on a robot that could one day be sent to the Moon,” says Letertre. “And if an opportunity arose for me to go into space, I’d be there in a heartbeat!

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 12:44 pm on March 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity", , EPFL, Induced seismicity as opposed to natural seismicity where earthquakes occur without human intervention, , , Subsurface exploration projects such as geothermal power injection wells and mining all involve injecting pressurized fluids into fractures in the rock- Read: fracking   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “How fluid viscosity affects earthquake intensity” 

    EPFL bloc

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    3.22.19
    Sarah Perrin

    1
    A young researcher at EPFL has demonstrated that the viscosity of fluids present in faults has a direct effect on the force of earthquakes.

    Fault zones play a key role in shaping the deformation of the Earth’s crust. All of these zones contain fluids, which heavily influence how earthquakes propagate. In an article recently published in Nature Communications, Chiara Cornelio, a PhD student at EPFL’s Laboratory of Experimental Rock Mechanics (LEMR), shows how the viscosity of these fluids directly affects an earthquake’s intensity. After running a series of laboratory tests and simulations, Cornelio developed a physical model to accurately calculate variables such as how much energy an earthquake needs to propagate—and, therefore, its strength—according to the viscosity of subsurface fluids.

    The study formed part of wider research into geothermal energy projects which, like other underground activities, can trigger earthquakes – a process known as induced seismicity, as opposed to natural seismicity, where earthquakes occur without human intervention.

    “Subsurface exploration projects such as geothermal power, injection wells and mining all involve injecting pressurized fluids into fractures in the rock,” explains Cornelio. “Studies like this show how a better understanding of the properties and effects of fluids is vital to preventing or attenuating induced earthquakes. Companies should factor these properties into their thinking, rather than focusing solely on volume and pressure considerations.”

    Like soap

    Cornelio ran 36 experiments, simulating earthquakes of varying intensity, and propagating at different speeds, in granite or marble, with fluids of four different viscosities. Her findings demonstrated a clear correlation between fluid viscosity and earthquake intensity.

    “Imagine these fluids working like soap, reducing the friction between your hands when you wash them, or like the oil you spray on mechanical parts to get them moving again,” explains Marie Violay, an assistant professor and the head of the LEMR. “Moreover, naturally occurring earthquakes produce heat when the two plates rub together. That heat melts the rock, creating a lubricating film that causes the fault to slip even further. Our study also gives us a clearer picture of how that natural process works.”

    See the full article here .

    Earthquake Alert

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    Earthquake Alert

    Earthquake Network projectEarthquake Network is a research project which aims at developing and maintaining a crowdsourced smartphone-based earthquake warning system at a global level. Smartphones made available by the population are used to detect the earthquake waves using the on-board accelerometers. When an earthquake is detected, an earthquake warning is issued in order to alert the population not yet reached by the damaging waves of the earthquake.

    The project started on January 1, 2013 with the release of the homonymous Android application Earthquake Network. The author of the research project and developer of the smartphone application is Francesco Finazzi of the University of Bergamo, Italy.

    Get the app in the Google Play store.

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    Smartphone network spatial distribution (green and red dots) on December 4, 2015

    Meet The Quake-Catcher Network

    QCN bloc

    Quake-Catcher Network

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a collaborative initiative for developing the world’s largest, low-cost strong-motion seismic network by utilizing sensors in and attached to internet-connected computers. With your help, the Quake-Catcher Network can provide better understanding of earthquakes, give early warning to schools, emergency response systems, and others. The Quake-Catcher Network also provides educational software designed to help teach about earthquakes and earthquake hazards.

    After almost eight years at Stanford, and a year at CalTech, the QCN project is moving to the University of Southern California Dept. of Earth Sciences. QCN will be sponsored by the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology (IRIS) and the Southern California Earthquake Center (SCEC).

    The Quake-Catcher Network is a distributed computing network that links volunteer hosted computers into a real-time motion sensing network. QCN is one of many scientific computing projects that runs on the world-renowned distributed computing platform Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC).

    The volunteer computers monitor vibrational sensors called MEMS accelerometers, and digitally transmit “triggers” to QCN’s servers whenever strong new motions are observed. QCN’s servers sift through these signals, and determine which ones represent earthquakes, and which ones represent cultural noise (like doors slamming, or trucks driving by).

    There are two categories of sensors used by QCN: 1) internal mobile device sensors, and 2) external USB sensors.

    Mobile Devices: MEMS sensors are often included in laptops, games, cell phones, and other electronic devices for hardware protection, navigation, and game control. When these devices are still and connected to QCN, QCN software monitors the internal accelerometer for strong new shaking. Unfortunately, these devices are rarely secured to the floor, so they may bounce around when a large earthquake occurs. While this is less than ideal for characterizing the regional ground shaking, many such sensors can still provide useful information about earthquake locations and magnitudes.

    USB Sensors: MEMS sensors can be mounted to the floor and connected to a desktop computer via a USB cable. These sensors have several advantages over mobile device sensors. 1) By mounting them to the floor, they measure more reliable shaking than mobile devices. 2) These sensors typically have lower noise and better resolution of 3D motion. 3) Desktops are often left on and do not move. 4) The USB sensor is physically removed from the game, phone, or laptop, so human interaction with the device doesn’t reduce the sensors’ performance. 5) USB sensors can be aligned to North, so we know what direction the horizontal “X” and “Y” axes correspond to.

    If you are a science teacher at a K-12 school, please apply for a free USB sensor and accompanying QCN software. QCN has been able to purchase sensors to donate to schools in need. If you are interested in donating to the program or requesting a sensor, click here.

    BOINC is a leader in the field(s) of Distributed Computing, Grid Computing and Citizen Cyberscience.BOINC is more properly the Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, developed at UC Berkeley.

    Earthquake safety is a responsibility shared by billions worldwide. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) provides software so that individuals can join together to improve earthquake monitoring, earthquake awareness, and the science of earthquakes. The Quake-Catcher Network (QCN) links existing networked laptops and desktops in hopes to form the worlds largest strong-motion seismic network.

    Below, the QCN Quake Catcher Network map
    QCN Quake Catcher Network map

    ShakeAlert: An Earthquake Early Warning System for the West Coast of the United States

    The U. S. Geological Survey (USGS) along with a coalition of State and university partners is developing and testing an earthquake early warning (EEW) system called ShakeAlert for the west coast of the United States. Long term funding must be secured before the system can begin sending general public notifications, however, some limited pilot projects are active and more are being developed. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018.

    Watch a video describing how ShakeAlert works in English or Spanish.

    The primary project partners include:

    United States Geological Survey
    California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CalOES)
    California Geological Survey
    California Institute of Technology
    University of California Berkeley
    University of Washington
    University of Oregon
    Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation

    The Earthquake Threat

    Earthquakes pose a national challenge because more than 143 million Americans live in areas of significant seismic risk across 39 states. Most of our Nation’s earthquake risk is concentrated on the West Coast of the United States. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has estimated the average annualized loss from earthquakes, nationwide, to be $5.3 billion, with 77 percent of that figure ($4.1 billion) coming from California, Washington, and Oregon, and 66 percent ($3.5 billion) from California alone. In the next 30 years, California has a 99.7 percent chance of a magnitude 6.7 or larger earthquake and the Pacific Northwest has a 10 percent chance of a magnitude 8 to 9 megathrust earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone.

    Part of the Solution

    Today, the technology exists to detect earthquakes, so quickly, that an alert can reach some areas before strong shaking arrives. The purpose of the ShakeAlert system is to identify and characterize an earthquake a few seconds after it begins, calculate the likely intensity of ground shaking that will result, and deliver warnings to people and infrastructure in harm’s way. This can be done by detecting the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, which rarely causes damage. Using P-wave information, we first estimate the location and the magnitude of the earthquake. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated and a warning is provided to local populations. The method can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, bringing the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage.

    Studies of earthquake early warning methods in California have shown that the warning time would range from a few seconds to a few tens of seconds. ShakeAlert can give enough time to slow trains and taxiing planes, to prevent cars from entering bridges and tunnels, to move away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments and to take cover under a desk, or to automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems. Taking such actions before shaking starts can reduce damage and casualties during an earthquake. It can also prevent cascading failures in the aftermath of an event. For example, isolating utilities before shaking starts can reduce the number of fire initiations.

    System Goal

    The USGS will issue public warnings of potentially damaging earthquakes and provide warning parameter data to government agencies and private users on a region-by-region basis, as soon as the ShakeAlert system, its products, and its parametric data meet minimum quality and reliability standards in those geographic regions. The USGS has set the goal of beginning limited public notifications in 2018. Product availability will expand geographically via ANSS regional seismic networks, such that ShakeAlert products and warnings become available for all regions with dense seismic instrumentation.

    Current Status

    The West Coast ShakeAlert system is being developed by expanding and upgrading the infrastructure of regional seismic networks that are part of the Advanced National Seismic System (ANSS); the California Integrated Seismic Network (CISN) is made up of the Southern California Seismic Network, SCSN) and the Northern California Seismic System, NCSS and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network (PNSN). This enables the USGS and ANSS to leverage their substantial investment in sensor networks, data telemetry systems, data processing centers, and software for earthquake monitoring activities residing in these network centers. The ShakeAlert system has been sending live alerts to “beta” users in California since January of 2012 and in the Pacific Northwest since February of 2015.

    In February of 2016 the USGS, along with its partners, rolled-out the next-generation ShakeAlert early warning test system in California joined by Oregon and Washington in April 2017. This West Coast-wide “production prototype” has been designed for redundant, reliable operations. The system includes geographically distributed servers, and allows for automatic fail-over if connection is lost.

    This next-generation system will not yet support public warnings but does allow selected early adopters to develop and deploy pilot implementations that take protective actions triggered by the ShakeAlert notifications in areas with sufficient sensor coverage.

    Authorities

    The USGS will develop and operate the ShakeAlert system, and issue public notifications under collaborative authorities with FEMA, as part of the National Earthquake Hazard Reduction Program, as enacted by the Earthquake Hazards Reduction Act of 1977, 42 U.S.C. §§ 7704 SEC. 2.

    For More Information

    Robert de Groot, ShakeAlert National Coordinator for Communication, Education, and Outreach
    rdegroot@usgs.gov
    626-583-7225

    Learn more about EEW Research

    ShakeAlert Fact Sheet

    ShakeAlert Implementation Plan

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:46 pm on October 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , EPFL, , , , Ultra-light gloves let users 'touch' virtual objects   

    From ETH Zürich: “Ultra-light gloves let users ‘touch’ virtual objects” 

    ETH Zurich bloc

    From ETH Zürich

    15.10.2018

    ETH Zürich
    Media relations
    Phone: +41 44 632 41 41
    mediarelations@hk.ethz.ch

    1
    For now the glove is powered by a very thin electrical cable, but thanks to the low voltage and power required, a very small battery could eventually be used instead. (Photograph: ETH Zürich)

    Scientists from ETH Zürich and EPFL have developed an ultra-light glove – weighing less than 8 grams – that enables users to feel and manipulate virtual objects. Their system provides extremely realistic haptic feedback and could run on a battery, allowing for unparalleled freedom of movement.

    Engineers and software developers around the world are seeking to create technology that lets users touch, grasp and manipulate virtual objects, while feeling like they are actually touching something in the real world. Scientists at ETH Zürich and EPFL have just made a major step toward this goal with their new haptic glove, which is not only lightweight – under 8 grams – but also provides feedback that is extremely realistic. The glove is able to generate up to 40 Newtons of holding force on each finger with just 200 Volts and only a few milliwatts of power. It also has the potential to run on a very small battery. That, together with the glove’s low form factor (only 2 mm thick), translates into an unprecedented level of precision and freedom of movement.

    “We wanted to develop a lightweight device that – unlike existing virtual-reality gloves – doesn’t require a bulky exoskeleton, pumps or very thick cables,” says Herbert Shea, head of EPFL’s Soft Transducers Laboratory (LMTS). The scientists’ glove, called DextrES, has been successfully tested on volunteers in Zürich and will be presented at the upcoming ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology (UIST).

    Fabric, metal strips and electricity

    DextrES is made of cotton with thin elastic metal strips running over the fingers. The strips are separated by a thin insulator. When the user’s fingers come into contact with a virtual object, the controller applies a voltage difference between the metal strips causing them to stick together via electrostatic attraction – this produces a braking force that blocks the finger’s or thumb’s movement. Once the voltage is removed, the metal strips glide smoothly and the user can once again move his fingers freely.

    Tricking your brain

    For now the glove is powered by a very thin electrical cable, but thanks to the low voltage and power required, a very small battery could eventually be used instead. “The system’s low power requirement is due to the fact that it doesn’t create a movement, but blocks one”, explains Shea. The researchers also need to conduct tests to see just how closely they have to simulate real conditions to give users a realistic experience. “The human sensory system is highly developed and highly complex. We have many different kinds of receptors at a very high density in the joints of our fingers and embedded in the skin. As a result, rendering realistic feedback when interacting with virtual objects is a very demanding problem and is currently unsolved. Our work goes one step in this direction, focusing particularly on kinesthetic feedback,” says Otmar Hilliges, head of the Advanced Interactive Technologies Lab at ETH Fabric, metal strips and electricity

    DextrES is made of cotton with thin elastic metal strips running over the fingers. The strips are separated by a thin insulator. When the user’s fingers come into contact with a virtual object, the controller applies a voltage difference between the metal strips causing them to stick together via electrostatic attraction – this produces a braking force that blocks the finger’s or thumb’s movement. Once the voltage is removed, the metal strips glide smoothly and the user can once again move his fingers freely.

    In this joint research project, the hardware was developed by EPFL at its Microcity campus in Neuchâtel, and the virtual reality system was created by ETH Zürich, which also carried out the user tests. “Our partnership with the EPFL lab is a very good match. It allows us to tackle some of the longstanding challenges in virtual reality at a pace and depth that would otherwise not be possible,” adds Hilliges.

    The next step will be to scale up the device and apply it to other parts of the body using conductive fabric. “Gamers are currently the biggest market, but there are many other potential applications – especially in healthcare, such as for training surgeons. The technology could also be applied in augmented reality,” says Shea..

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    ETH Zurich campus
    ETH Zürich is one of the leading international universities for technology and the natural sciences. It is well known for its excellent education, ground-breaking fundamental research and for implementing its results directly into practice.

    Founded in 1855, ETH Zürich today has more than 18,500 students from over 110 countries, including 4,000 doctoral students. To researchers, it offers an inspiring working environment, to students, a comprehensive education.

    Twenty-one Nobel Laureates have studied, taught or conducted research at ETH Zürich, underlining the excellent reputation of the university.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:50 am on October 3, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , EPFL, , , Still a ways to go   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “New tool helps scientists better target the search for alien life” 

    EPFL bloc

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    1
    © iStock

    02.10.18
    Sarah Perrin

    An EPFL scientist has developed a novel approach that boosts the chances of finding extraterrestrial intelligence in our galaxy. His method uses probability theory to calculate the possibility of detecting an extraterrestrial signal (if there is one) at a given distance from Earth.

    Could there be another planet out there with a society at the same stage of technological advancement as ours? To help find out, EPFL scientist Claudio Grimaldi, working in association with the University of California, Berkeley, has developed a statistical model that gives researchers a new tool in the search for the kind of signals that an extraterrestrial society might emit. His method – described in an article appearing today in PNAS – could also make the search cheaper and more efficient.

    Astrophysics initially wasn’t Grimaldi’s thing; he was interested more in the physics of condensed matter. Working at EPFL’s Laboratory of Physics of Complex Matter, his research involved calculating the probabilities of carbon nanotubes exchanging electrons. But then he wondered: if the nanotubes were stars and the electrons were signals generated by extraterrestrial societies, could we calculate the probability of detecting those signals more accurately?

    This is not pie-in-the-sky research – scientists have been studying this possibility for nearly 60 years. Several research projects concerning the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) have been launched since the late 1950s, mainly in the United States.




    SETI@home, a BOINC project originated in the Space Science Lab at UC Berkeley


    SETI/Allen Telescope Array situated at the Hat Creek Radio Observatory, 290 miles (470 km) northeast of San Francisco, California, USA, Altitude 986 m (3,235 ft)


    Laser SETI, the future of SETI Institute research

    The idea is that an advanced civilization on another planet could be generating electromagnetic signals, and scientists on Earth might be able to pick up those signals using the latest high-performance radio telescopes.

    Renewed interest

    Despite considerable advances in radio astronomy and the increase in computing power since then, none of those projects has led to anything concrete. Some signals have been recorded, like the Wow! signal in 1977, but scientists could not pinpoint their origin.

    Wow! signal

    And none of them has been repeated or seems credible enough to be attributable to alien life.

    But that doesn’t mean scientists have given up. On the contrary, SETI has seen renewed interest following the discovery of the many exoplanets orbiting the billions of suns in our
    galaxy. Researchers have designed sophisticated new instruments – like the Square Kilometre Array, a giant radio telescope being built in South Africa and Australia with a total collecting area of one square kilometer – that could pave the way to promising breakthroughs.

    And Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner recently announced an ambitious program called Breakthrough Listen, which aims to cover 10 times more sky than previous searches and scan a much wider band of frequencies. Milner intends to fund his initiative with 100 million dollars over 10 years.

    1

    Lick Automated Planet Finder telescope, Mount Hamilton, CA, USA



    GBO radio telescope, Green Bank, West Virginia, USA


    CSIRO/Parkes Observatory, located 20 kilometres north of the town of Parkes, New South Wales, Australia


    SKA Meerkat telescope, 90 km outside the small Northern Cape town of Carnarvon, SA

    “In reality, expanding the search to these magnitudes only increases our chances of finding something by very little. And if we still don’t detect any signals, we can’t necessarily conclude with much more certainty that there is no life out there,” says Grimaldi.

    Still a ways to go

    4
    Schematic view of the Milky Way showing six isotropic extraterrestrial emission processes forming spherical shells filled by radio signals. The outer radii of the spherical shells are proportional to the time at which the signals were first emitted, while the thicknesses are proportional to the duration of the emissions. In this example, the Earth is illuminated by one of these signals. ©Claudio Grimaldi.

    The advantage of Grimaldi’s statistical model is that it lets scientists interpret both the success and failure to detect signals at varying distances from the Earth. His model employs Bayes’ theorem to calculate the remaining probability of detecting a signal within a given radius around our planet. For example, even if no signal is detected within a radius of 1,000 light years, there is still an over 10% chance that the Earth is within range of hundreds of similar signals from elsewhere in the galaxy, but that our radio telescopes are currently not powerful enough to detect them. However, that probability rises to nearly 100% if even just one signal is detected within the 1,000-light-year radius. In that case, we could be almost certain that our galaxy is full of alien life.

    After factoring in other parameters like the size of the galaxy and how closely packed its stars are, Grimaldi estimates that the probability of detecting a signal becomes very slight only at a radius of 40,000 light years. In other words, if no signals are detected at this distance from the Earth, we could reasonably conclude that no other civilization at the same level of technological development as ours is detectable in the galaxy. But so far, scientists have been able to search for signals within a radius of “just” 40 light years.

    So there’s still a ways to go. Especially since these search methods can’t detect alien civilizations that may be in primordial stages or that are highly advanced but haven’t followed the same technological trajectory as ours.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
  • richardmitnick 6:55 am on September 4, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , EPFL   

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne: “Artificial intelligence helps create at the right time” 

    EPFL bloc

    From École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    04.09.18
    Cécilia Carron

    1
    Ana Manasovska is working on improving the semantic recognition and recommendation platform for the inventors. © 2018 Alain Herzog

    Student project (9/9). By using artificial intelligence to comb through the vast array of published research and detect the findings most relevant for invention, engineers can magnify their creative ability and invent faster and more disruptively than has been previously possible. This is the approach that Ana Manasovska helped develop as a Master’s student at EPFL, and the one used by creative Artificial Intelligence firm Iprova, based at EPFL’s Innovation Park, to come up with a wide range of inventions. Manasovska, whose Master’s research involved testing different phrase recognition methods, now works for the firm.

    Inventions like sensors for self-driving cars that can monitor passengers’ health, a geolocation system that can help smooth out passenger traffic on public transportation, and a smartphone feature for virtually painting the light ambience of a room involve pulling together data from several research fields in an inventive way. The ever increasing amount of information in the world, spread across many different industries and markets, makes this an increasingly difficult task. To make it possible for inventors to sense the inventive signal in this ever increasing amount of noise, AI researchers and software developers at Iprova – the innovation creation firm that came up with the aforementioned inventions – have developed an artificial intelligence platform that includes sophisticated semantic analysis algorithms. Ana Manasovska helped create this program as part of her Master’s degree in computer science at EPFL, in association with the school’s Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She now works for the company, which is based at EPFL’s Innovation Park, to further develop the software that makes it easier for engineers to invent faster and more disruptively..

    Millions of publications sifted

    Millions of research, industry news and other articles are published around the world every year. One part of Iprova’s artificial intelligence platform works by performing a semantic analysis of the terms in published articles. Manasovska’s thesis on summarization methods contributed to this by testing various phrase recognition methods, which she did by representing individual phrases as vectors. If two phrases have a close virtual spatial location, then their meanings are probably similar. This technique can be used to generate better summaries by measuring phrases’ semantic similarity.

    What Manasovska found when comparing the different methods is that the more complicated architectures weren’t necessarily better suited to this task. “Even with a simple architecture, we got excellent results in identifying phrases with similar meanings,” she says. “We also learned that the best way to generate the kinds of summaries that Iprova needs is to approach them from an inventor’s perspective. Most conventional summary-generation methods don’t do that, which is why we wanted to develop our own,” she adds.

    Today Manasovska is working on further improving the semantic recognition and recommendation platform. She works closely with inventors, aiming to find out what kind of data they need and how they plan to use it. She has developed programs allowing engineers to create inventions using input data that they wouldn’t have been able to easily get otherwise. An example of this is the linking of information from inventively relevant, but otherwise disparate, research fields that open up entirely new invention opportunities. “What I really like about my work is that it lets me stay on top of the latest developments in machine learning and natural language processing (NLP) – two fields that are advancing rapidly. I have the opportunity to use the latest technology and the power of data to help people spot relevant new findings more efficiently,” she says.

    “Traditional inventors were scientists or engineers with a deep understanding of a specific technical field. This only gave the inventor access to a limited amount of research insight. Even collaborative inventing through teamwork only provides insight into a handful of additional fields, since it’s just a team of specialists. With such approaches to invention, researchers can only dig deeper into specific areas rather than offering genuine innovation by taking the field in a different direction.

    Iprova does this on a massive scale – in real-time – by using data from across the spectrum of human knowledge to make connections between ideas from different fields of study.”says Julian Nolan, CEO of Iprova. The company is combining AI with a team of creative scientific minds – the invention developers – to accelerate the development of tomorrow’s products and services. Its customers include some of the best known technology companies in Silicon Valley, Japan and Europe. Hundreds of patents have been filed based on its inventions, which are cited by companies including Google, Microsoft and Amazon.

    See the full article here .

    five-ways-keep-your-child-safe-school-shootings

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    EPFL campus

    EPFL is Europe’s most cosmopolitan technical university. It receives students, professors and staff from over 120 nationalities. With both a Swiss and international calling, it is therefore guided by a constant wish to open up; its missions of teaching, research and partnership impact various circles: universities and engineering schools, developing and emerging countries, secondary schools and gymnasiums, industry and economy, political circles and the general public.

     
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