MIT model explains how the brain can learn novel tasks while still remembering what it has already learned.
The MIT Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation has awarded six Ignition grants and seven Innovation Program grants totaling $1.3 million to support emerging technologies including medical technology, tiny technology, communications, information technology and environmental innovations.
The grant awardees were chosen from 45 proposals by researchers and faculty members in the School of Engineering. The Deshpande Center aims to serve as a catalyst for innovation and entrepreneurship by supporting MIT research and facilitating collaboration among faculty, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and businesses.
The grant recipients and their proposals are:
Chiping Chen, principal research scientist and group leader in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center--for a power amplifier for wireless base stations that could improve the performance of third-generation wireless networks.
Yet-Ming Chiang, professor of materials science and engineering--for work on manufacturing ionic colloidal crystals, a new family of materials that could lead to applications in ultra filtration, drug delivery, photonic fingerprinting and other areas.
Woodie Flowers, the Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering--for powered limb braces to help the mobility-impaired.
William Green, associate professor of chemical engineering--for a new take on the fuel-efficient, low-emission HCCI engine that could be an alternative to the polluting diesel engine.
John Guttag, professor and head of electrical engineering and computer science (EECS)--for a computerized cardiac screening system that is as noninvasive, inexpensive and as fast as a stethoscope but much more accurate.
Douglas Hart, associate professor of mechanical engineering--for a 3-D image processing system that could enhance endoscopy and enable robotic-assisted, minimally invasive surgery.
Klavs Jensen, the Lammot DuPont Professor of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering--for the Personal Chemistry System, which could revolutionize chemical laboratories and research.
Thomas Knight, senior research scientist in EECS--for a new approach to speech recognition.
David Perreault, assistant professor of EECS--for 3-D printed circuit boards that would provide better performance than current 2-D technology.
Caroline Ross, associate professor of materials science and engineering--for magnetic logic devices that could replace silicon-based semiconductors in many microprocessors.
Donald Sadoway, professor of materials science and engineering--for electrolytic steelmaking, a carbon-free method of producing steel.
Peter So, associate professor of mechanical and bioengineering--for a new type of endoscope using two-photon imaging that could diagnose disease without tissue removal.
Gregory Wornell, the ITT Career Development Professor in EECS--for antenna algorithms that could increase the capacity of wireless networks.
In addition to awarding grants, the Deshpande Center has sponsored events including four Faculty Entrepreneurship Workshops, two Ignition forums and the Deshpande IdeaStream Symposium. This fall, the center is piloting the "Catalyst Program" in which volunteers ("catalysts") from the business community make a one-year commitment as liaisons between MIT faculty, the Deshpande Center and industry.
For more information, go to http://web.mit.edu/deshpandecenter.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 29, 2003.