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  • richardmitnick 4:27 pm on April 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers identify five double star systems potentially suitable for life", , , , , New York University Abu Dhabi[نيويورك أبوظبي‎], , University of Washington   

    From New York University Abu Dhabi[نيويورك أبوظبي‎] and From University of Washington via phys.org : “Researchers identify five double star systems potentially suitable for life” 

    From New York University Abu Dhabi[نيويورك أبوظبي‎]

    NYU BLOC

    and

    From University of Washington

    via

    phys.org

    April 15, 2021

    1
    Credit: CC0 Public Domain.

    Almost half a century ago the creators of Star Wars imagined a life-sustaining planet, Tatooine, orbiting a pair of stars. Now, 44 years later, scientists have found new evidence that that five known systems with multiple stars, Kepler-34, -35, -38, -64 and -413, are possible candidates for supporting life. A newly developed mathematical framework allowed researchers at New York University Abu Dhabi[نيويورك أبوظبي‎] and the University of Washington to show that those systems—between 2764 and 5933 light years from Earth, in the constellations Lyra and Cygnus—support a permanent “Habitable Zone”, a region around stars in which liquid water could persist on the surface of any as yet undiscovered Earth-like planets. Of these systems, Kepler-64 is known to have at least four stars orbiting one another at its center, while the others have two stars. All are known to have at least one giant planet the size of Neptune or greater. This study, published in Frontiers in Astronomy and Space Sciences, is proof-of-principle that the presence of giant planets in binary systems does not preclude the existence of potentially life-supporting worlds.

    “Life is far most likely to evolve on planets located within their system’s Habitable Zone, just like Earth. Here we investigate whether a Habitable Zone exists within nine known systems with two or more stars orbited by giant planets. We show for the first time that Kepler-34, -35, -64, -413 and especially Kepler-38 are suitable for hosting Earth-like worlds with oceans,” says corresponding author Dr. Nikolaos Georgakarakos, a research associate from the Division of Science at New York University Abu Dhabi.

    The scientific consensus is that the majority of stars host planets. Ever since 1992, exoplanets have been discovered at an accelerating pace: 4375 have been confirmed so far, of which 2662 were first detected by NASA’s Kepler space telescope during its 2009-2018 mission to survey the Milky Way. Further exoplanets have been found by NASA’s TESS telescope and missions from other agencies, while the European Space Agency is due to launch its PLATO space craft to search for exoplanets by 2026.

    Twelve of the exoplanets discovered by Kepler are “circumbinary”, that is, orbiting a close pair of stars. Binary systems are common, estimated to represent between half and three quarters of all star systems. So far, only giant exoplanets have been discovered in binary systems, but it is likely that smaller Earth-like planets and moons have simply escaped detection. Gravitational interactions within multi-star systems, especially if they contain other large bodies such as giant planets, are expected to make conditions more hostile to the origin and survival of life: for example, planets might crash into the stars or escape from orbit, while those Earth-like exoplanets that survive will develop elliptical orbits, experiencing strong cyclical changes in the intensity and spectrum of radiation.

    “We’ve known for a while that binary star systems without giant planets have the potential to harbor habitable worlds. What we have shown here is that in a large fraction of those systems Earth-like planets can remain habitable even in the presence of giant planets,” says coauthor Prof Ian Dobbs-Dixon, likewise at New York University Abu Dhabi.

    Georgakarakos et al. here build on previous research to predict the existence, location, and extent of the permanent Habitable Zone in binary systems with giant planets. They first derive equations that take into account the class, mass, luminosity, and spectral energy distribution of the stars; the added gravitational effect of the giant planet; the eccentricity (i.e. degree of ellipticity of the orbit), semi-major axis, and period of the hypothetical Earth-like planet’s orbit; the dynamics of the intensity and spectrum of the stellar radiation that falls upon its atmosphere; and its “climate inertia”, that is, the speed at which the atmosphere responds to changes in irradiation. They then look at nine known binary star systems with giant planets, all discovered by the Kepler telescope, to determine whether Habitable Zones exist in them and are “quiet enough” to harbor potentially life-sustaining worlds.

    The authors show for the first time that permanent Habitable Zones exist in Kepler-34, -35, -38, -64, and -413. Those zones are between 0.4-1.5 Astronomical Units (au) wide beginning at distances between 0.6-2 au from the center of mass of the binary stars.

    “In contrast the extent of the Habitable Zones in two further binary systems, Kepler-453 and -1661, is roughly half the expected size, because the giant planets in those systems would destabilize the orbits of additional habitable worlds. For the same reason Kepler-16 and -1647 cannot host additional habitable planets at all. Of course, there is the possibility that life exists outside the habitable zone or on moons orbiting the giant planets themselves, but that may be less desirable real-estate for us,” says coauthor Dr. Siegfried Eggl at the University of Washington.

    “Our best candidate for hosting a world that is potentially habitable is the binary system Kepler-38, approximately 3970 light years from Earth, and known to contain a Neptune-sized planet,” says Georgakarakos.

    “Our study confirms that even binary star systems with giant planets are hot targets in the search for Earth 2.0. Watch out Tatooine, we are coming!”

    See the full article here .

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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus

    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington(US) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers,

    New York University Abu Dhabi[نيويورك أبوظبي‎] is a degree granting, portal campus of New York University serving as a private liberal arts college, located in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

    Together with New York University in New York City and New York University Shanghai, the portal campus is part of NYU’s Global Network University. It opened in 2008 at a temporary site for conferences and cultural events. The academic program opened in September 2010 at the university’s provisional downtown site and was later moved in 2014 to the permanent campus built on Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi.

    In 2019, the university announced that it had produced “14 Rhodes Scholars in just seven years, more Rhodes Scholars per student than any university in the world.”

    NYU Campus

    More than 175 years ago, Albert Gallatin, the distinguished statesman who served as secretary of the treasury under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, declared his intention to establish “in this immense and fast-growing city … a system of rational and practical education fitting for all and graciously opened to all.” Founded in 1831, New York University is now one of the largest private universities in the United States. Of the more than 3,000 colleges and universities in America, New York University is one of only 60 member institutions of the distinguished Association of American Universities (US).

     
  • richardmitnick 9:32 am on February 18, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Q&A- ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system arriving in Pacific Northwest", , , , , , , , , University of Washington   

    From University of Washington: “Q&A- ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system arriving in Pacific Northwest” 

    From University of Washington

    ShakeAlert earthquake early warning system arriving in Pacific Northwest.

    After years in development, an earthquake early warning system known as ShakeAlert is on the cusp of being released in Oregon and Washington. The system that spans the West Coast was launched in California in late 2019. It launches to the public in Oregon on March 11, the 10th anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and in Washington in May.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
    February 17, 2021
    Hannah Hickey

    More Information
    Harold Tobin
    htobin@uw.edu

    Bill Steele,
    communications director at
    Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, at
    wsteele@uw.edu
    206-685-5880.

    After years in development, an earthquake early warning system known as ShakeAlert is on the cusp of being released in Oregon and Washington. The system that spans the West Coast was launched in California in late 2019. It launches to the public in Oregon on March 11, the 10th anniversary of the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and in Washington in May.

    The system was developed through a partnership between the University of Washington and other West Coast universities and the USGS working with state emergency management districts. The system uses ground sensors across the region to detect the first signals from a rupturing earthquake and then sends that information to computers and phones, providing seconds to tens of seconds of warning of an imminent earthquake.

    UW News sat down with Harold Tobin, professor of Earth and space sciences and director of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, to learn more.

    1
    Karl Hagel and Pat McChesney, field engineers with the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network team at the University of Washington, install earthquake monitoring equipment on the slopes of Mount St. Helens, with Mount Hood in the distance. Credit: Marc Biundo/University of Washington.

    How can people in the Puget Sound sign up for the test taking place in late February? And how can Washingtonians sign up for the actual earthquake early warning system when it goes live in May?

    Washington EMD and USGS have developed a simulated earthquake warning test message they will broadcast Feb. 25 on the Wireless Emergency Alert system, the nation’s universal alerting system. The test will evaluate how the WEA system performs for earthquake early warning in the Puget Sound area. For technical reasons, WEA does not distribute alerts as fast as we’d like for earthquake warnings. A delay of 30 seconds might not matter for an Amber Alert, but for earthquake warning systems that would mean many alerts would arrive after the strong shaking has begun.

    You have to opt in for the test, which is for users in Pierce, King and Thurston counties. Once ShakeAlert goes live in May, earthquake alerts will go to anyone in Washington who hasn’t opted out of the Wireless Emergency Alert system.

    There will be two other ways to get earthquake alerts. If you have an Android phone device, Google has embedded it in the mobile operating system in late 2020. So those devices in California are getting alerts now, and we expect Android alerts will go live in Washington in May. We hope other phone operating systems will follow suit. Another option will be to install on your device an app, like QuakeAlertUSA, built by one of the licensed ShakeAlert partners. We hope several of these apps will be available by the end of the year.

    Washington ShakeAlert is a collaboration between the USGS, Washington Emergency Management and the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network[PNSN]. Can you explain how the three groups collaborate?

    ShakeAlert is operated by the USGS in partnership with the PNSN and California seismic networks. The data that is generated to detect the earthquakes in Washington and Oregon comes from the PNSN, the seismic network operated out of the UW and the University of Oregon. We are direct partners in the research and development of this system. At the UW, we operate one of three computer systems that ingest the data and issue the alert messages; the others are at UC Berkeley and Caltech. There’s a strong partnership between the PNSN and the USGS on earthquake detection and the continuing development of the system that issues the warnings. Washington Emergency Management is responsible for public safety, and so they are determining the types of public alerts that will be released, the messaging, public education and appropriate responses.

    This is a great example of a partnership among all those entities. We are all working toward this same goal, of increasing earthquake awareness and public safety.

    The PNSN began testing the system back in 2015 with early adopters. What have you learned from that experience?

    A system like this is complicated, and will reach everyone, so we have to test it really extensively. We’re decreasing the number of false or missed alerts in our beta system. Just seeing more and more events has allowed us to improve the algorithms, to distinguish between a false alarm and a real signal, and to better pinpoint the magnitude and location of the earthquake. A typical time frame is now 2 seconds for our computers to decide on the location and magnitude of the earthquake and to generate the alert — the pace that that happens is unbelievable.

    Now that the system is about to go public, how will other businesses, schools, organizations or agencies be able to incorporate these alerts into their emergency plans?

    The USGS licenses partners to develop products that take the ShakeAlert message and can connect to other systems.

    ShakeAlert® License to Operate Partners

    Below is a list of License to Operate partners. They are currently the only partners with a License to Operate (e.g. have commercially or non-commercially available products or services that are powered by ShakeAlert®.

    Early Warning Labs: Josh Bashioum – info@earlywarninglabs.com

    Google: The Android Earthquake Alerts team – android-usgs-external@google.com

    MyShake™: Richard Allen – rallen@berkeley.edu

    RH2 Engineering: Rick Ballard – rballard@rh2.com

    San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART): Chung-Soo Doo – cdoo@bart.gov

    SkyAlert: Alejandro Cantu – alejandro@skyalertusa.com

    Valcom: Roger Steinberg – rsteinberg@valcom.com

    Varius: Dan Ervin – dan.ervin@variusinc.com

    Note: The USGS does not directly or indirectly endorse any product or service provided, or to be provided, by these Licensees.

    A number of those licensed partners offer systems that can be adopted, such as a box that can be hooked up to a school PA system and automatically issue a prerecorded message that alerts students to drop, cover and hold on. Any business that has staff in a facility can think about how they can incorporate earthquake early warnings into their own facility. ShakeAlert messages can also trigger automated actions to pause manufacturing processes, move elevators to the next floor and open the doors, close valves on reservoirs, and initiate other loss-reduction actions.

    What should someone do when they get their first “real” alert?

    When someone gets an alert, the appropriate action to take is to drop, cover and hold on. It’s important to get under a protective cover. Most injuries from earthquakes in the U.S. are not from the catastrophic collapse of a building but from falling objects – lights, ceiling tiles, etc.

    If you’re driving in a car, the appropriate action would be to pull over and stop the car, if possible. If you’re in a building, stay in a building. The message is really to brace yourself — drop, cover and hold on. That message, to pause and protect yourself, is key. (Washington Emergency Management has more tips here.)

    What about British Columbia? Will the earthquake early warning system extend across the border?

    Natural Resources Canada is working in parallel to develop an earthquake early warning system. We already use data from seismometers in Canada, and we incorporate that information in our alerts — earthquake waves don’t stop at the border.

    Can we expect any improvements or changes coming down the line?

    Yes, we’re improving the system all the time. We are going live with this system because we know that it works, but we’re also continuously improving the system. We have hundreds of seismic stations in place but we’re adding dozens more, so that we can optimize the network to detect earthquakes wherever they occur within the region.

    We’re also continuously improving the computer algorithms that detect the raw data and decide where and how big the earthquake is. Once it goes live, there will be no pause in improving the system. We would also love to add more offshore detection systems, since offshore quakes are a challenge to detect accurately.

    For me, this is an exciting example of science to action, of things that are driven by fundamental science and research in seismology that show the way to something that can do some tangible good for society — to increase public safety. It’s exciting to see that happening with the ShakeAlert system.

    ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Earthquake Alert

    1

    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.

    3
    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

    QuakeAlertUSA mobile app

    1

    About Early Warning Labs, LLC

    Early Warning Labs, LLC (EWL) is an Earthquake Early Warning technology developer and integrator located in Santa Monica, CA. EWL is partnered with industry leading GIS provider ESRI, Inc. and is collaborating with the US Government and university partners.

    EWL is investing millions of dollars over the next 36 months to complete the final integration and delivery of Earthquake Early Warning to individual consumers, government entities, and commercial users.

    EWL’s mission is to improve, expand, and lower the costs of the existing earthquake early warning systems.

    EWL is developing a robust cloud server environment to handle low-cost mass distribution of these warnings. In addition, Early Warning Labs is researching and developing automated response standards and systems that allow public and private users to take pre-defined automated actions to protect lives and assets.

    EWL has an existing beta R&D test system installed at one of the largest studios in Southern California. The goal of this system is to stress test EWL’s hardware, software, and alert signals while improving latency and reliability.

    Earthquake Early Warning Introduction

    The United States Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with state agencies, university partners, and private industry, is developing an earthquake early warning system (EEW) for the West Coast of the United States called ShakeAlert. The USGS Earthquake Hazards Program aims to mitigate earthquake losses in the United States. Citizens, first responders, and engineers rely on the USGS for accurate and timely information about where earthquakes occur, the ground shaking intensity in different locations, and the likelihood is of future significant ground shaking.

    The ShakeAlert Earthquake Early Warning System recently entered its first phase of operations. The USGS working in partnership with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES) is now allowing for the testing of public alerting via apps, Wireless Emergency Alerts, and by other means throughout California.

    ShakeAlert partners in Oregon and Washington are working with the USGS to test public alerting in those states sometime in 2020.

    ShakeAlert has demonstrated the feasibility of earthquake early warning, from event detection to producing USGS issued ShakeAlerts ® and will continue to undergo testing and will improve over time. In particular, robust and reliable alert delivery pathways for automated actions are currently being developed and implemented by private industry partners for use in California, Oregon, and Washington.

    Earthquake Early Warning Background

    The objective of an earthquake early warning system is to rapidly detect the initiation of an earthquake, estimate the level of ground shaking intensity to be expected, and issue a warning before significant ground shaking starts. A network of seismic sensors detects the first energy to radiate from an earthquake, the P-wave energy, and the location and the magnitude of the earthquake is rapidly determined. Then, the anticipated ground shaking across the region to be affected is estimated. The system can provide warning before the S-wave arrives, which brings the strong shaking that usually causes most of the damage. Warnings will be distributed to local and state public emergency response officials, critical infrastructure, private businesses, and the public. EEW systems have been successfully implemented in Japan, Taiwan, Mexico, and other nations with varying degrees of sophistication and coverage.

    Earthquake early warning can provide enough time to:

    Instruct students and employees to take a protective action such as Drop, Cover, and Hold On
    Initiate mass notification procedures
    Open fire-house doors and notify local first responders
    Slow and stop trains and taxiing planes
    Install measures to prevent/limit additional cars from going on bridges, entering tunnels, and being on freeway overpasses before the shaking starts
    Move people away from dangerous machines or chemicals in work environments
    Shut down gas lines, water treatment plants, or nuclear reactors
    Automatically shut down and isolate industrial systems

    However, earthquake warning notifications must be transmitted without requiring human review and response action must be automated, as the total warning times are short depending on geographic distance and varying soil densities from the epicenter.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:33 am on January 25, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering", A biologically compatible 3D scaffold in which cells can grow, , , Biomaterials, , Decorate the biologically compatible 3D scaffold with biochemical messages in the correct configuration to trigger the formation of the desired organ or tissue., , Laboratory-grown organs and tissues, , Light-based methods to modify synthetic scaffolds with protein signals, mCherry proteins, , , Protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior, The signals that the team added to the hydrogels are proteins., The tethered proteins were fully functional delivering desired signals to cells., Two types of biological polymers: collagen and fibrin, University of Washington   

    From University of Washington: “Researchers use lasers and molecular tethers to create perfectly patterned platforms for tissue engineering” 

    From University of Washington

    January 18, 2021
    James Urton

    1
    Top view of a collagen hydrogel that researchers decorated with immobilized mCherry proteins, which glow red under fluorescent light. The team shined UV light on the hydrogel through a mask cut out in the shape of a former University of Washington logo. Black regions were masked from the light, and so the mCherry protein did not adhere to those portions of the hydrogel. Scale bar is 50 micrometers.Batalov et al., PNAS, 2021.

    2
    Top view of two collagen hydrogels that researchers decorated with immobilized mCherry proteins, which glow red under fluorescent light. The team scanned near-infrared lasers in the shapes of a monster (left) and the Space Needle (right) to create these patterns. Black regions were not scanned with the laser, and so the mCherry protein did not adhere to those portions of the hydrogel. Scale bar is 50 micrometers.Batalov et al., PNAS, 2021.

    3
    The team used near-infrared lasers to create this intricate pattern in the shape of a human heart of immobilized mCherry proteins, which glow red under fluorescent light, within a collagen hydrogel. On the left is a composite image of 3D slices from the gel. On the right are cross-sectional views of the mCherry patterns. Scale bar is 50 micrometers.Batalov et al., PNAS, 2021.

    4
    This is a top view of a cylindrical fibrin hydrogel. By design, the right side of the hydrogel contains immobilized Delta-1 proteins, which activate Notch signaling pathways within cells. The left side does not contain immobilized Delta-1 (see insert). The team introduced human bone cancer cells, which were engineered to glow when their Notch signaling pathways are activated, into the hydrogel. The right side of the hydrogel glows brightly, indicating that cells in that region have activated their Notch signaling pathways. Cells on the left side of the hydrogel have not. Scale bar is 1 millimeter.Batalov et al., PNAS, 2021.

    Imagine going to a surgeon to have a diseased or injured organ switched out for a fully functional, laboratory-grown replacement. This remains science fiction and not reality because researchers today struggle to organize cells into the complex 3D arrangements that our bodies can master on their own.

    There are two major hurdles to overcome on the road to laboratory-grown organs and tissues. The first is to use a biologically compatible 3D scaffold in which cells can grow. The second is to decorate that scaffold with biochemical messages in the correct configuration to trigger the formation of the desired organ or tissue.

    In a major step toward transforming this hope into reality, researchers at the University of Washington have developed a technique to modify naturally occurring biological polymers with protein-based biochemical messages that affect cell behavior. Their approach, published the week of Jan. 18 in the PNAS, uses a near-infrared laser to trigger chemical adhesion of protein messages to a scaffold made from biological polymers such as collagen, a connective tissue found throughout our bodies.

    Mammalian cells responded as expected to the adhered protein signals within the 3D scaffold, according to senior author Cole DeForest, a UW associate professor of chemical engineering and of bioengineering. The proteins on these biological scaffolds triggered changes to messaging pathways within the cells that affect cell growth, signaling and other behaviors.

    These methods could form the basis of biologically based scaffolds that might one day make functional laboratory-grown tissues a reality, said DeForest, who is also a faculty member with the UW Molecular Engineering and Sciences Institute and the UW Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine.

    “This approach provides us with the opportunities we’ve been waiting for to exert greater control over cell function and fate in naturally derived biomaterials — not just in three-dimensional space but also over time,” said DeForest. “Moreover, it makes use of exceptionally precise photochemistries that can be controlled in 4D while uniquely preserving protein function and bioactivity.”

    DeForest’s colleagues on this project are lead author Ivan Batalov, a former UW postdoctoral researcher in chemical engineering and bioengineering, and co-author Kelly Stevens, a UW assistant professor of bioengineering and of laboratory medicine and pathology.

    Their method is a first for the field, spatially controlling cell function inside naturally occurring biological materials as opposed to those that are synthetically derived. Several research groups, including DeForest’s, have developed light-based methods to modify synthetic scaffolds with protein signals. But natural biological polymers can be a more attractive scaffold for tissue engineering because they innately possess biochemical characteristics that cells rely on for structure, communication and other purposes.

    “A natural biomaterial like collagen inherently includes many of the same signaling cues as those found in native tissue,” said DeForest. “In many cases, these types of materials keep cells ‘happier’ by providing them with similar signals to those they would encounter in the body.”

    They worked with two types of biological polymers: collagen and fibrin, a protein involved in blood clotting. They assembled each into fluid-filled scaffolds known as hydrogels.

    The signals that the team added to the hydrogels are proteins, one of the main messengers for cells. Proteins come in many forms, all with their own unique chemical properties. As a result, the researchers designed their system to employ a universal mechanism to attach proteins to a hydrogel — the binding between two chemical groups, an alkoxyamine and an aldehyde. Prior to hydrogel assembly, they decorated the collagen or fibrin precursors with alkoxyamine groups, all physically blocked with a “cage” to prevent the alkoxyamines from reacting prematurely. The cage can be removed with ultraviolet light or a near-infrared laser.

    Using methods previously developed in DeForest’s laboratory, the researchers also installed aldehyde groups to one end of the proteins they wanted to attach to the hydrogels. They then combined the aldehyde-bearing proteins with the alkoxyamine-coated hydrogels, and used a brief pulse of light to remove the cage covering the alkoxyamine. The exposed alkoxyamine readily reacted with the aldehyde group on the proteins, tethering them within the hydrogel. The team used masks with patterns cut into them, as well as changes to the laser scan geometries, to create intricate patterns of protein arrangements in the hydrogel — including an old UW logo, Seattle’s Space Needle, a monster and the 3D layout of the human heart.

    The tethered proteins were fully functional, delivering desired signals to cells. Rat liver cells — when loaded onto collagen hydrogels bearing a protein called EGF, which promotes cell growth — showed signs of DNA replication and cell division. In a separate experiment, the researchers decorated a fibrin hydrogel with patterns of a protein called Delta-1, which activates a specific pathway in cells called Notch signaling. When they introduced human bone cancer cells into the hydrogel, cells in the Delta-1-patterned regions activated Notch signaling, while cells in areas without Delta-1 did not.

    These experiments with multiple biological scaffolds and protein signals indicate that their approach could work for almost any type of protein signal and biomaterial system, DeForest said.

    “Now we can start to create hydrogel scaffolds with many different signals, utilizing our understanding of cell signaling in response to specific protein combinations to modulate critical biological function in time and space,” he added.

    With more-complex signals loaded on to hydrogels, scientists could then try to control stem cell differentiation, a key step in turning science fiction into science fact.

    The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and Gree Real Estate.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 3:39 pm on January 15, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Astronomers document the rise and fall of a rarely observed stellar dance", , , , , University of Washington   

    From University of Washington: “Astronomers document the rise and fall of a rarely observed stellar dance” 

    From University of Washington

    January 14, 2021

    James Urton

    The sun is the only star in our system. But many of the points of light in our night sky are not as lonely. By some estimates, more than three-quarters of all stars exist as binaries-ATNF — with one companion — or in even more complex relationships. Stars in close quarters can have dramatic impacts on their neighbors. They can strip material from one another, merge or twist each other’s movements through the cosmos.

    And sometimes those changes unfold over the course of a few generations.

    That is what a team of astronomers from the University of Washington, Western Washington University and the University of California, Irvine discovered when they analyzed more than 125 years of astronomical observations of a nearby stellar binary called HS Hydrae. This system is what’s known as an eclipsing binary: From Earth, the two stars appear to pass over one another — or eclipse one another — as they orbit a shared center of gravity. The eclipses cause the amount of light emitted by the binary to dim periodically.

    1
    An image from the Digitized Sky Survey showing HS Hydrae in the center. Credit: STScI.

    On Jan. 11 at the 237th meeting of the American Astronomical Society, the team reported more than a century’s worth of changes to the eclipses by the stars in HS Hydrae. The two stars began to eclipse in small amounts starting around a century ago, increasing to almost full eclipses by the 1960s. The degree of eclipsing then plummeted over the course of just a half century, and will cease around February 2021.

    “There is a historical record of observations of HS Hydrae that essentially spans modern astronomy — starting with photographic plates in the late 19th century up through satellite images taken in 2019. By diving into those records, we documented the complete rise and fall of this rare type of eclipsing binary,” said team leader James Davenport, a research assistant professor of astronomy at the UW and associate director of the UW’s DIRAC Institute.

    The eclipses of the two stars that make up HS Hydrae are changing because another body — most likely a third, unobserved companion star — is turning the orientation of the binary with respect to Earth. Systems like this, which are called evolving eclipsing binaries, are rare, with only about a dozen known to date, according to Davenport. Identifying this type of binary requires multiple observations to look for long-term changes in the degree of dimming, which would indicate that the orientation of the binary is changing over time.

    HS Hydrae has such an observational record because, at 342 light- years away, it is a relatively close and bright system and the two stars orbit each other every 1.5 days. Scientists first reported that HS Hydrae was an eclipsing binary in 1965. In a 2012 paper, astronomers based in Switzerland and the Czech Republic reported that the amount of dimming from HS Hydrae decreased from 1975 through 2008, indicating that the two stars were eclipsing smaller and smaller portions of one another over time. That team also predicted that the eclipses would end around 2022.

    Davenport and his team checked in on HS Hydrae using observations of the system in 2019 by the NASA’s Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS.

    NASA/MIT TESS replaced Kepler in search for exoplanets.

    They saw only a 0.0075-magnitude drop in light from HS Hydrae, a sign that the two stars were barely covering one another during eclipses. For comparison, eclipses in 1975 saw a more than 0.5-magnitude drop.

    “Fifty years ago, these two stars were almost completely eclipsing each other. By the early 21st century, the degree of eclipse was around 10%, and in the most recent observations from 2019, they barely overlapped,” said Davenport.

    With these new data, the team now predicts that HS Hydrae eclipses will cease around February 2021.

    2
    Image of a photographic plate from 1945, which was digitized for the Digital Access to a Sky Century at Harvard, or DASCH, catalog. Credit: DASCH/Harvard University.

    The observations from the 1960s through 2019 catalogue the decline of HS Hydrae as an evolving eclipsing binary. But Davenport and his team also uncovered evidence for its rise. The Digital Access to a Sky Century at Harvard, or DASCH, is a digital catalog of photometric data taken from more than a century’s worth of astro-photographic plates at Harvard University. The team mined this record and found observations of HS Hydrae from 1893 through 1955 that they could analyze to search for signs of dimming.

    The researchers broke down DASCH observations of HS Hydrae by decade. From the late 19th century through the roaring ’20s, HS Hydrae showed no measurable dimming. But things began to change in the 1930s, where they measured a modest 0.1-magnitude drop in brightness. The degree of dimming rose through the 1940s and peaked in the 1950s with a 0.5-magnitude drop in brightness.

    Based off this 126-year history of HS Hydrae observations, the team predicts that the system will start eclipsing again around the year 2195. But, that assumes that the third companion — which other teams have predicted is a small, dim M-dwarf star — continues to behave as it has to date.

    “We won’t know for sure unless we keep looking,” said Davenport. “The best we can say right now is that HS Hydrae has been changing constantly over the course of modern astronomy.”

    Missions like TESS will likely identify more evolving eclipsing binaries in the coming years. This should open new opportunities for astronomers to understand how star systems are built, as well as how they change over time — whether they are busy, dynamic systems like HS Hydrae, or more quiet systems, like ours.

    Co-authors on the paper are UW graduate students Diana Windemuth and Jessica Birky; UW researcher Karen Warmbein; Erin Howard at Western Washington University; and Courtney Klein at UC Irvine. The research was funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the Heising-Simons Foundation, the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, the DIRAC Institute, the UW Department of Astronomy, the Charles and Lisa Simonyi Fund for Arts and Sciences and the Washington Research Foundation.

    Related:
    HS Hya about to turn off its eclipses
    Astronomy & Astrophysics

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:24 am on January 13, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "More management measures lead to healthier fish populations", , , Food sustainability, University of Washington   

    From University of Washington: “More management measures lead to healthier fish populations” 

    From University of Washington

    January 11, 2021
    Michelle Ma

    1
    Fishing boats in a harbor in Kodiak, Alaska. Credit: Chris Anderson/UWashington.

    Fish populations tend to do better in places where rigorous fisheries management practices are used, and the more measures employed, the better for fish populations and food production, according to a new paper published Jan. 11 in Nature Sustainability.

    The study [Nature Sustainability], led by Michael Melnychuk of the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, draws upon the expertise of more than two dozen researchers from 17 regions around the world. The research team analyzed the management practices of nearly 300 fish populations to tease out patterns that lead to healthier fisheries across different locations. Their findings confirmed, through extensive data analysis, what many researchers have argued for several years.

    “In general, we found that more management attention devoted to fisheries is leading to better outcomes for fish and shellfish populations,” Melnychuk said. “While this won’t be surprising to some, the novelty of this work was in assembling the data required and then using statistical tools to reveal this pattern across hundreds of marine populations.”

    2
    Recently caught herring fish.

    The research team used an international database that is the go-to scientific resource on the status of more than 600 individual fish populations. They chose to analyze 288 populations that generally are of value economically and represent a diversity of species and regions. They then looked over time at each fish population’s management practices and were able to draw these conclusions:

    In regions of the world where fish and shellfish populations are well studied, overall fisheries management intensity has steadily increased over the past half century
    As fisheries management measures are implemented, fishing pressure is usually reduced toward sustainable levels, and population abundance usually increases toward healthy targets
    If fish populations become depleted as a result of overfishing, a rebuilding plan may be implemented. These plans tend to immediately decrease fishing pressure and allow populations to recover
    If strong fisheries management systems are put in place early enough, then overfishing can be avoided and large, sustainable catches can be harvested annually, rendering emergency measures like rebuilding plans unnecessary

    The study builds on previous work [PNAS] that found, by using the same database, that nearly half of the fish caught worldwide are from populations that are scientifically monitored and, on average, are increasing in abundance. The new paper takes a closer look at specific management actions and how they have impacted fishing pressure and the abundance of each population examined, Melnychuk explained.

    “All fish populations have their own unique contexts that might dictate what management tools would be most helpful and promising to use,” he said. “Despite the great diversity in their management objectives and various strategies to meet those, we focused on key management tools in common to many fisheries around the world.”

    The international research team chose to look at a spectrum of fish populations, such as hakes in South Africa and Europe, orange roughy in New Zealand, tuna species on the high seas, anchovies in South America and scallops off the Atlantic coast of North America. Most of the populations they examined had a history of being depleted at some point, usually due to historical overfishing.

    4
    Trap gear used for fishing. Credit: Michael Melnychuk/UWashington.

    For example, with U.S. mid-Atlantic population of black sea bass, a rebuilding plan instituted in 1996 brought fishing rates down from three times the sustainable level to below this mark, which led to a steady rebuilding of the fishery and full recovery by 2009.

    “Fishers targeting black sea bass in the northeastern U.S. are finally reaping the rewards of harvest caps that allowed the population to rebuild,” said co-author Olaf Jensen of the University of Wisconsin—Madison. “The 2020 catch limit of more than 6,000 tons is the highest since catch limits were first imposed more than 20 years ago.”

    This analysis omits fisheries that lack scientific estimates of population status, even though these account for a large amount of the world’s catch. These include most of the fish populations in South Asia and Southeast Asia — fisheries in India, Indonesia and China alone represent 30% to 40% of the world’s catch, most of which is essentially unassessed. Although fisheries in these regions could not be included in the analyses, the paper’s authors conclude that lessons learned can equally apply to data-limited fisheries: Greater investment in fisheries management systems is expected to lead to better outcomes for the fish populations upon which our fisheries are based.

    Other UW co-authors include Ray Hilborn, Trevor Branch, Chris Anderson, Maite Pons, Daniel Hively, Charmane Ashbrook, Nicole Baker and Ricardo Amoroso. A full list of paper co-authors is available in the paper.

    This research was funded by The Nature Conservancy, The Wildlife Conservation Society, the Walton Family Foundation and a consortium of Seattle fishing companies.

    For more information, contact Melnychuk at mmel@uw.edu.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 9:56 am on December 23, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "A.I. model shows promise to generate faster and more accurate weather forecasts", , , University of Washington   

    From University of Washington: “A.I. model shows promise to generate faster and more accurate weather forecasts” 

    From University of Washington

    December 15, 2020 [Just now in social media.]
    Hannah Hickey

    Today’s weather forecasts come from some of the most powerful computers on Earth. The huge machines churn through millions of calculations to solve equations to predict temperature, wind, rainfall and other weather events. A forecast’s combined need for speed and accuracy taxes even the most modern computers.

    The future could take a radically different approach. A collaboration between the University of Washington and Microsoft Research shows how artificial intelligence can analyze past weather patterns to predict future events, much more efficiently and potentially someday more accurately than today’s technology.

    The newly developed global weather model bases its predictions on the past 40 years of weather data, rather than on detailed physics calculations. The simple, data-based A.I. model can simulate a year’s weather around the globe much more quickly and almost as well as traditional weather models, by taking similar repeated steps from one forecast to the next, according to a paper published this summer in the Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems.

    “Machine learning is essentially doing a glorified version of pattern recognition,” said lead author Jonathan Weyn, who did the research as part of his UW doctorate in atmospheric sciences. “It sees a typical pattern, recognizes how it usually evolves and decides what to do based on the examples it has seen in the past 40 years of data.”

    1
    On the left is the new paper’s “Deep Learning Weather Prediction” forecast. The middle is the actual weather for the 2017-18 year, and at right is the average weather for that day. Weyn et al./ Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems.

    Although the new model is, unsurprisingly, less accurate than today’s top traditional forecasting models, the current A.I. design uses about 7,000 times less computing power to create forecasts for the same number of points on the globe. Less computational work means faster results.

    That speedup would allow the forecasting centers to quickly run many models with slightly different starting conditions, a technique called “ensemble forecasting” that lets weather predictions cover the range of possible expected outcomes for a weather event – for instance, where a hurricane might strike.

    “There’s so much more efficiency in this approach; that’s what’s so important about it,” said author Dale Durran, a UW professor of atmospheric sciences. “The promise is that it could allow us to deal with predictability issues by having a model that’s fast enough to run very large ensembles.”

    Co-author Rich Caruana at Microsoft Research had initially approached the UW group to propose a project using artificial intelligence to make weather predictions based on historical data without relying on physical laws. Weyn was taking a UW computer science course in machine learning and decided to tackle the project.

    “After training on past weather data, the A.I. algorithm is capable of coming up with relationships between different variables that physics equations just can’t do,” Weyn said. “We can afford to use a lot fewer variables and therefore make a model that’s much faster.”

    To merge successful A.I. techniques with weather forecasting, the team mapped six faces of a cube onto planet Earth, then flattened out the cube’s six faces, like in an architectural paper model. The authors treated the polar faces differently because of their unique role in the weather as one way to improve the forecast’s accuracy.

    1
    First the authors divide the planet’s surface into a grid with a six-sided cube (top left) and then flatten out the six sides into a 2-D shape, like in a paper model (bottom left). This new technique let the authors use standard machine learning techniques, developed for 2-D images, for weather forecasting.Weyn et al./ Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems.

    The authors then tested their model by predicting the global height of the 500 hectopascal pressure, a standard variable in weather forecasting, every 12 hours for a full year. A recent paper [Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems], which included Weyn as a co-author, introduced WeatherBench as a benchmark test for data-driven weather forecasts. On that forecasting test, developed for three-day forecasts, this new model is one of the top performers.

    The data-driven model would need more detail before it could begin to compete with existing operational forecasts, the authors say, but the idea shows promise as an alternative approach to generating weather forecasts, especially with a growing amount of previous forecasts and weather observations.

    Weyn is now a data scientist with Microsoft’s weather and finance division. This research was funded by the U.S. Office of Naval Research and a Department of Defense graduate fellowship.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 8:53 am on December 21, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "NSF-funded deep ice core to be drilled at Hercules Dome at Antarctica", , , , , University of Washington   

    From University of Washington: “NSF-funded deep ice core to be drilled at Hercules Dome, Antarctica” 

    From University of Washington

    December 8, 2020 [Just now in social media]
    Hannah Hickey
    Kiyomi Taguchi


    Scientists drill deep in Antarctic ice for clues to climate change.

    Antarctica’s next deep ice core, drilling down to ice from 130,000 years ago, will be carried out by a multi-institutional U.S. team at Hercules Dome, a location hundreds of miles from today’s coastline and a promising site to provide key evidence about the possible last collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet.

    The National Science Foundation has funded the roughly five-year, $3 million project involving the University of Washington, the University of New Hampshire, the University of California, Irvine and the University of Minnesota. Work has been delayed by the novel coronavirus, but drilling the 1.5-mile ice core likely will begin in 2024.

    1
    This is part of the more than 1-mile-deep ice core drilled at the South Pole in 2016. Each section of ice is about 3 feet long, and deeper layers contain older ice. Layers in the ice are analyzed for clues to past climates. The new project aims to drill 1.5 miles deep. Credit: T.J. Fudge/University of Washington.

    “The ice at this site goes back to a time when sea level was about 6 meters (20 feet) higher than it is now,” said project leader Eric Steig, a UW professor of Earth and space sciences. “One of the most likely reasons that sea level was higher is that a large area of Antarctic, known as the West Antarctic Ice Sheet, was gone.”

    Scientists hope to understand the most recent collapse of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet in order to better gauge its potential risk in today’s warming climate. Deeper ice layers at this site reach back to Eemian times — the most recent period that, like now, was between ice ages. The Eemian was even warmer than today’s climate and oceans were higher.

    “This location, which is now hundreds of miles from the ocean, may have been waterfront property 125,000 years ago,” Steig said. “We should be able to determine this from the chemistry of the ice — for example, the salt concentration may be higher if there was open water nearby, instead of more than a thousand miles away. Understanding that event will help guide our understanding of how quickly sea level may rise in the future due to ongoing anthropogenic climate change.”

    2
    An aerial view of the 2019-2020 field camp shows the researcher’s tents (black dots) on a flat expanse of snow-covered ice. Hercules Dome is a gradual rise on a flat part of the ice sheet, out of view of the nearby Transantarctic Mountains. The UW team is believed to be only the second research group to visit this remote site. Credit: Gemma O’Connor/University of Washington.

    The Hercules Dome site, remote even by Antarctic standards, lies near a mountain range that divides East and West Antarctica. UW researchers visited the site in early 2020 to survey potential locations for drilling. They used ice-penetrating radar to find places where the layers of ice are uninterrupted back more than 125,000 years, when oceans rose dramatically.

    Ice and air bubbles trapped in the ice layers can provide researchers with various information about past conditions The most recent deep ice core in Antarctica was completed in 2016 at the South Pole by many of the same team members.

    3
    The new ice core will be drilled at Hercules Dome at 86 degrees South, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) from the South Pole and 1,000 km (650 miles) from today’s coastline. This map shows the sites of previously drilled Antarctic ice cores. Credit: University of Washington.

    “The Hercules Dome ice core will be the first U.S. ice core with the potential to yield a detailed climate record during the last interglacial period,” said principal investigator Murat Aydin at the University of California, Irvine.

    The project will begin with online workshops over the next year to seek new collaborators and work to broaden participation in polar science. The initial investment by the National Science Foundation covers the costs of the drilling project, but over the next few years, many more scientists can seek additional funding to analyze the core. The delays caused by the pandemic offer more time to try to bring new people into the discipline.

    “Earth sciences is known for being particularly white and male, and polar Earth sciences is even more that way,” Steig said. “It’s well established that having a more diverse community leads to better outcomes — that is, we’ll do better science with more kinds of people involved. But also it’s the right thing to do. Anyone who is interested in being involved in this science should have the opportunity to do it.”

    4
    The field camp for the 2019-2020 site visit to Hercules Dome. Researchers camped in tents for three weeks, using the black panel on the left for satellite communication and a generator for power. The surrounding snow provides water and refrigeration. Credit: Gemma O’Connor/University of Washington.

    The University of New Hampshire will provide logistics and science support planning for the field project. Researchers will live in tents on the ice sheet hundreds of miles from any inhabited areas for the months-long field seasons.

    “Our planning will detail, for example, how we will get ourselves and all of the required science cargo and camp materials to Hercules Dome, likely through a combination of overland traverse and aircraft support; specifics on the field camp, such as camp population, camp structures and layout, power and fuel requirements, camp equipment; and the fieldwork schedule,” said Joe Souney, research project manager at the University of New Hampshire.

    5
    In this photo from early 2020, the Hercules Dome field team poses next to a Hercules LC-130 aircraft, for which the site is named. From left, team members are Ben Hills, Nick Holschuh, field project leader Knut Christianson, John Christian, Andrew Hoffman, Gemma O’Connor and Annika Horlings. Credit: University of Washington.

    The project has plans to coordinate with artists, computer scientists, media outlets, educational organizations and museums to share the effort and the science of climate change.

    Heidi Roop, a climate scientist at the University of Minnesota, will lead the engagement programming and will work to connect the science through this project to different audiences including those who are actively planning and preparing for the impacts sea level rise — from coastal planners and water utility engineers to homeowners and elected officials.

    “This is the first U.S. deep ice core drilling project with a lead researcher dedicated to the integration of community engagement and communication across the full lifespan of the project,” Roop said. “With this investment by NSF, we are confident we can more effectively connect this science to action.”

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:09 am on December 7, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Microbes help unlock phosphorus for plant growth", , , , University of Washington   

    From University of Washington: “Microbes help unlock phosphorus for plant growth” 

    From University of Washington

    November 24, 2020
    Michelle Ma

    1
    Poplar trees such as these along the Snoqualmie River able to thrive on rocky riverbanks, despite low availability of nutrients like phosphorus in their natural habitat. Microbes help these trees capture and use the nutrients they need for growth. Credit: Sharon Doty/University of Washington.

    Phosphorus is a necessary nutrient for plants to grow. But when it’s applied to plants as part of a chemical fertilizer, phosphorus can react strongly with minerals in the soil, forming complexes with iron, aluminum and calcium. This locks up the phosphorus, preventing plants from being able to access this crucial nutrient.

    To overcome this, farmers often apply an excess of chemical fertilizers to agricultural crops, leading to phosphorus buildup in soils. The application of these fertilizers, which contain chemicals other than just phosphorus, also leads to harmful agricultural runoff that can pollute nearby aquatic ecosystems.

    Now a research team led by the University of Washington and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has shown that microbes taken from trees growing beside pristine mountain-fed streams in Western Washington could make phosphorus trapped in soils more accessible to agricultural crops. The findings were published in October in the journal Frontiers in Plant Science.

    Endophytes, which are bacteria or fungi that live inside a plant for at least some of their lifecycle, can be thought of as “probiotics” for plants, said senior author Sharon Doty, a professor in the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Doty’s lab has shown in previous studies that microbes can help plants survive and even thrive in nutrient-poor environments — and help clean up pollutants.

    In this new study, Doty and collaborators found that endophytic microbes isolated from wild-growing plants helped unlock valuable phosphorus from the environment, breaking apart the chemical complexes that had rendered the phosphorus unavailable to plants.

    “We’re harnessing a natural plant-microbe partnership,” Doty said. “This can be a tool to advance agriculture because it’s providing this essential nutrient without damaging the environment.”

    Doty’s research scientist, Andrew Sher, and UW undergraduate researcher Jackson Hall demonstrated in lab experiments that the microbes could dissolve the phosphate complexes. Poplar plants inoculated with the bacteria in Doty’s lab were sent to collaborator Tamas Varga, a materials scientist at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Washington. There researchers used advanced imaging technologies at their lab and at other U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories to provide clear evidence that the phosphorus made available by the microbes did make it up into the plant’s roots.

    The imaging also revealed that the phosphorus gets bound up in mineral complexes within the plant. Endophytes, living inside plants, are uniquely positioned to re-dissolve those complexes, potentially maintaining the supply of this essential nutrient.

    While previous work in Doty’s lab demonstrated that endophytes can supply nitrogen, obtained from the air, to plants, such direct evidence of plants using phosphorus dissolved by endophytes was previously unavailable.

    The bacteria used in these experiments came from wild poplar trees growing along the Snoqualmie River in Western Washington. In this natural environment, poplars are able to thrive on rocky riverbanks, despite low availability of nutrients like phosphorus in their natural habitat. Microbes help these trees capture and use the nutrients they need for growth.

    These findings can be applied to agriculture crops, which often sit, unused, on an abundance of “legacy” phosphorus that has accumulated in the soil, unused, from years of fertilizer applications. Microbes could be applied in the soil among young crop plants, or as a coating on seeds, helping to unlock phosphorus held captive and making it available for use by plants to grow. Reducing the use of fertilizers and employing endophytes — such as those studied by Doty and Varga — opens the door for more sustainable food production.

    “This is something that can easily be scaled up and used in agriculture,” Doty said.

    UW has already licensed the endophyte strains used in this study to Intrinsyx Bio, a California-based company working to commercialize a collection of endophyte microbes. The direct evidence provided by Doty and Varga’s research of endophyte-promoted phosphorus uptake is “game-changing for our research on crops,” said John Freeman, chief science officer of Intrinsyx Bio.

    Co-authors are Kim Hixson, Amir Ahkami, Rosalie Chu, Anil Battu, Loren Reno, Carrie Nicora and Tanya Winkler of Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Morgan Barnes of the University of California, Merced; Sirine Fakra and Dilworth Parkinson of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Olga Antipova of Argonne National Laboratory.

    This research was funded by the Byron and Alice Lockwood Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science.

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:29 am on December 3, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A study reveals that 65 plant species have gone extinct in the continental U.S. and Canada since European settlement- more extinctions than any previous scientific study has ever documented., , , North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Of the 65 documented extinctions in the report 64% were known only from a single location., Plants serve as the foundation for most terrestrial ecosystems., Preventing extinction is the lowest bar for conservation success we can set., The team found that most plant extinctions occurred in the western United States., This work also highlights the need for collaborative science in addressing large-scale conservation issues., University of Washington   

    From University of Washington and North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources: “Study shows plant extinction is more common than previously realized” 

    From University of Washington

    and

    1

    North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

    November 24, 2020
    Andrea Godinez

    A new study reveals that 65 plant species have gone extinct in the continental United States and Canada since European settlement, more extinctions than any previous scientific study has ever documented.

    Led by Wesley Knapp of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, a group of 16 experts from across the United States — including Richard Olmstead, a University of Washington professor of biology and curator of the UW’s Burke Museum Herbarium — collaborated on this first-of-its-kind project to document the extinct plants of the continental United States and Canada. Their findings were published Aug. 28 in Conservation Biology.

    2
    Astragalus kentrophyta var. douglasii, or thistle milk-vetch, is one of two Washington-specific extinct species identified in this study. Credit: New York Botanical Garden.

    The team found that most plant extinctions occurred in the western United States, where the vegetation was minimally documented before widespread European settlement. Since many extinctions likely occurred before scientists analyzed an area, it is likely the 65 documented extinctions underestimate the actual number of plant species that have been lost. Previous studies documented far fewer plant extinctions on the North American continent.

    In Washington state, the team found two confirmed extinctions: the thistle milk-vetch, or Astragalus kentrophyta var. douglasii, and the pale bugseed, or Corispermum pallidum. While neither of these Eastern Washington species were ever abundant, their disappearance is likely due to the human impact of changing land use. This has also dramatically reduced the populations of countless other species, many of which are likely to follow these into extinction, unless efforts to protect what remains of native habitat are stepped up.

    3
    Corispermum pallidum, or pale bugseed, is one of two Washington-specific extinct species identified in this study.Credit: Burke Museum.

    “Preventing extinction is the lowest bar for conservation success we can set, yet we are not always successful,” said Knapp. “This study started as an academic question but later developed into an opportunity to learn from what we have lost. By studying the trends and patterns of plants that have already gone extinct, hopefully we can learn how to prevent plant extinction going forward.”

    Of the 65 documented extinctions in the report, 64% were known only from a single location. While conservation often focuses on protecting entire landscapes, this finding points to the importance of small-scale site protection to prevent extinctions. Extinct species are still being described from old herbarium specimens, underscoring the importance of continued documentation of the flora and supporting museum collections like the Burke Herbarium. Corispermum pallidum, one of the species extinct in Washington, was first collected in 1893. Yet the species wasn’t formally “discovered” until much later when it was first described as a new species posthumously in 1995. Only a handful of herbarium specimens exist today. The Burke has three, including one of the two collections from 1893 and the last known collection from 1931.

    “There is no living memory of either of these species today,” Olmstead said. “Herbarium collections record our flora as it was historically and provide documentation of change, and loss, over time, whether through direct human impact, or indirectly through climate change and the impact it will have on plants. Documenting extinction is difficult, but herbarium records can say where and when a species was last observed and guide the search for surviving members.”

    This work also highlights the need for collaborative science in addressing large-scale conservation issues. The team of 16 botanists from across the United States includes experts with state and federal government agencies, numerous botanical gardens, museums, nonprofit organizations, regional conservation groups and academic institutions. To answer the overarching question of what exists and where, the team of experts cross-checked thousands of records to ensure accuracy, discovering that botanical gardens occasionally harbored the last of an extremely rare species and may not have been aware of it.

    Plants serve as the foundation for most terrestrial ecosystems. The predicted rise of extinction rates over the next century adds even greater urgency to the need to document plant extinctions. Anne Frances, lead botanist at NatureServe, said, “In most cases, we can stop plants from going extinct, we just need the resources and commitment to do so.”

    From North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

    Study Led by N.C. Botanist Shows Plant Extinction is More Common Than Previously Realized
    Aug 31, 2020

    Michele Walker
    michele.walker@ncdcr.gov
    919-814-6660

    4
    Raleigh

    A new study reveals that 65 plant species have gone extinct in the continental United States and Canada since European settlement, more extinctions than any previous scientific study has ever documented.

    Led by Wesley Knapp of the North Carolina Natural Heritage Program, a group of 16 experts from across the United States collaborated to document the extinct plants of the continental United States and Canada for the first time in history. Their groundbreaking report has been published by the international journal “Conservation Biology” (https://conbio.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/cobi.13621).

    The team found that most plant extinctions occurred in the western United States, where the vegetation was minimally explored before widespread European settlement. Because many extinctions likely occurred before scientists explored an area, it is extremely likely the 65 documented extinctions vastly underestimate the actual number of plant species that have been lost. Previous studies documented far fewer plant extinctions on the North American continent.

    “Preventing extinction is the lowest bar for conservation success we can set, yet we are not always successful,” Knapp said. “This study started as an academic question but later developed into an opportunity to learn from what we have lost. By studying the trends and patterns of plants that have already gone extinct, hopefully we can learn how to prevent plant extinction going forward.”

    Of the 65 documented extinctions in the report, 64% were known only from a single location. While conservation often focuses on protecting entire landscapes, this finding points to the importance of small-scale site protection in order to prevent extinctions.

    This work also highlights the need for collaborative science in addressing large-scale conservation issues. The team of 16 botanists from across the United States includes experts with state and federal government agencies, numerous botanical gardens, not-for-profit organizations, regional conservation groups, and academic institutions. To answer the overarching question of what exists and where, the team of experts cross-checked thousands of records to ensure accuracy, discovering that botanical gardens occasionally harbored the last of an extremely rare species and may not have been aware they were doing so.

    Because plants serve as the foundation for most terrestrial ecosystems, the urgency for documenting plant extinctions is especially great if extinction rates rise as predicted over the next century. Anne Frances, lead botanist at NatureServe, states, “In most cases, we can stop plants from going extinct, we just need the resources and commitment to do so.”

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
  • richardmitnick 10:23 am on November 9, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "‘Eigensteve’ Brunton: YouTubing math for engineers", , University of Washington   

    From University of Washington College of Engineering: “‘Eigensteve’ Brunton: YouTubing math for engineers” 

    From University of Washington College of Engineering

    College of Engineering

    October 27, 2020
    Andy Freeberg

    With over four million views and 90,000 subscribers, Professor Steve Brunton’s YouTube channel simplifies the mathematical fundamentals behind data-driven engineering concepts.

    1
    Credit: Dennis Wise / University of Washington.

    In his small video studio tucked away in the Mechanical Engineering Building, ME professor Steve Brunton cleans his lightboard and prepares to record a lesson.

    “People tend to trash everything on the internet, so I’ve been surprised by how overwhelmingly positive the reception has been,” remarks Brunton, known by his online followers as “Eigensteve” (a reference to the linear algebra terms eigenvalue and eigenvector).

    Brunton’s comments are an understatement. With over four million views and 90,000 subscribers, the Eigensteve YouTube channel has very few haters. Most of the videos have a consistent style: Brunton draws figures and equations on a colorful lightboard set against a black backdrop. His tone is casual and accessible, but also measured and expedient.

    The videos fill an important niche, simplifying the fundamentals of applied math for engineers around the world who are grappling with data-driven concepts like machine learning and dynamical systems. They’ve been so successful that Brunton gets 20 to 50 comments every day and now finds himself recognized by graduate students at conferences who treat him as a minor celebrity.


    Control Theory and COVID-19
    Brunton’s videos cover a large number of math topics with an emphasis on real-world applications. In this, the first of a series, he ties the COVID-19 pandemic to a control theory perspective. Video by the Brunton Lab / University of Washington.

    Flipping the classroom

    Brunton began recording lessons after joining the UW as an acting assistant professor in applied mathematics. He and Nathan Kutz, professor of applied math, were responsible for teaching AMATH301: Beginning Scientific Computing, one of engineering’s core classes taken by over a thousand students a year.

    Because the class was taught repeatedly without much change to the curriculum, they decided to flip the class. The strategy of a flipped classroom is to reverse the typical lecture-then-homework model. Instead, students watch lecture material online ahead of class, and class time is spent engaged in problem solving activities.

    In a two-day period they filmed every lecture for the entire course. “I even brought a bag of different shirts so I could swap them to make it look like it was a different day of the week,” remembers Brunton.

    The class was a success and continues in the flipped format today. To Brunton, it showed that recorded lessons were better at reaching more students. He also noticed how much students benefited from being able to watch the lectures at times that worked for them and being able to re-watch certain portions, spending as much or as little time as needed on a lesson.

    A few years later, with seed funding from MathWorks, Kutz and Brunton set up a shoestring video studio in Lewis Hall. “It was tiny, cramped, had no windows and in the middle of summer would get to 120 degrees,” says Brunton. “But that was our beta version of the lightboard studio and we had a ton of fun.”

    2
    Brunton focuses his lectures on math concepts that are the most relevant to engineering. Credit: Dennis Wise / University of Washington.

    Engineering in a data-driven world
    ________________________________________
    Data driven
    December 10, 2018
    ________________________________________

    Today’s lesson will be filmed in the new MEB studio Brunton’s team designed and built in 2019 with support from The Boeing Company. With upgraded equipment and hundreds of videos now under his belt, the production value of the series has increased dramatically since the early days.

    Back in the classroom, Brunton has also been key to bringing modern, data-driven concepts into the ME curriculum. Last year, ME added the option for students to take a data science degree track through the UW eScience Institute, where Brunton is a fellow.

    Yet Brunton also takes a very pragmatic approach to the kinds of math that are useful to a career in engineering. “Ninety-nine percent of the people learning math are going to use the math in practice as engineers, not as pure math professors. So that’s the perspective we take,” he says.

    The approach is working. The videos that first helped his YouTube channel take off were a “boot camp” series on controls. Brunton has heard from students who use the videos to brush up and prepare for tests and from professionals who watch them to help extend their knowledge. Other topics Eigensteve has covered include Fourier Analysis, Machine Learning, and Data-Driven Science and Engineering (with lessons in both MATLAB and Python programming languages).

    For those interested in where to start among the channel’s hundreds of videos, Brunton recommends picking a playlist on a topic that interests them and watching the first video, which typically starts with a high-level overview.

    Simplifying the math

    4
    Because the camera is behind the glass lightboard, the videos have to be mirrored to make Brunton’s writing appear correct to viewers. Brunton is actually left-handed. Credit: Dennis Wise / University of Washington.

    “I think one of the reasons the YouTube videos have gone so well is because I’m very simple myself,” he says. “I have a hard time understanding complicated concepts, so by the time I grasp it enough to explain it to someone else, it has to be simplified.”

    It’s a humble statement coming from the James B. Morrison Endowed Professor of Mechanical Engineering and a 2019 winner of a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, but Brunton insists the YouTube videos are largely a selfish pursuit.

    “Part of what I enjoy about it is the immediate gratification,” says Brunton. “On one hand, most of what we do in research has a very long timeframe. You work for years on a paper and get all of these negative comments, by the time you finally publish it’s only after a long valley of delayed gratification. With the online medium you get immediate feedback and you know you’re making an impact. People appreciate it and they ask fantastic questions.”

    Brunton says one of his favorite parts of the YouTube channel is looking at the audience demographics and seeing how far it reaches globally. “There are kids in rural India learning control theory, and that’s awesome,” he says. “My entire life and career have been defined by the great teachers who have invested their time to help me. I wouldn’t want to do anything in my life that doesn’t involve teaching and sharing knowledge, for me that’s just very satisfying.”

    See the full article here .


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

    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About the U Washington College of Engineering

    Mission, Facts, and Stats

    Our mission is to develop outstanding engineers and ideas that change the world.

    Faculty:
    275 faculty (25.2% women)
    Achievements:

    128 NSF Young Investigator/Early Career Awards since 1984
    32 Sloan Foundation Research Awards
    2 MacArthur Foundation Fellows (2007 and 2011)

    A national leader in educating engineers, each year the College turns out new discoveries, inventions and top-flight graduates, all contributing to the strength of our economy and the vitality of our community.

    Engineering innovation

    Engineers drive the innovation economy and are vital to solving society’s most challenging problems. The College of Engineering is a key part of a world-class research university in a thriving hub of aerospace, biotechnology, global health and information technology innovation. Over 50% of UW startups in FY18 came from the College of Engineering.
    Commitment to diversity and access

    The College of Engineering is committed to developing and supporting a diverse student body and faculty that reflect and elevate the populations we serve. We are a national leader in women in engineering; 25.5% of our faculty are women compared to 17.4% nationally. We offer a robust set of diversity programs for students and faculty.
    Research and commercialization

    The University of Washington is an engine of economic growth, today ranked third in the nation for the number of startups launched each year, with 65 companies having been started in the last five years alone by UW students and faculty, or with technology developed here. The College of Engineering is a key contributor to these innovations, and engineering faculty, students or technology are behind half of all UW startups. In FY19, UW received $1.58 billion in total research awards from federal and nonfederal sources.

    u-washington-campus
    The University of Washington is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.
    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

     
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