News & Events


Watson Lecture on May 24: Yaser Abu-Mostafa Will Discuss the Promise and Perils of AI


On Wednesday, May 24, at 7:30 p.m. PDT in Beckman Auditorium on the Caltech campus, Yaser Abu-Mostafa (PhD '83), professor of electrical engineering and computer science, will cap the 100th anniversary season of the Earnest C. Watson Lecture Series with "Artificial Intelligence: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly."

ChatGPT has rocked the general public’s perception and expectations of artificial intelligence (AI). In this lecture, Abu-Mostafa will explain the science of AI in plain language and explore how these details illustrate the risks and benefits of AI. Between the extremes of "AI will kill us all" and "AI will solve all our problems," the science can help us identify what is realistic and what is speculative, and guide us in our planning, legislation, and investment in AI. [Caltech story]

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Ask a Caltech Expert: Machine Learning for Conservation


As part of Conversations on Artificial Intelligence, a webinar series hosted by the Caltech Science Exchange, two artificial intelligence (AI) researchers—Pietro Perona and Suzanne Stathatos—discussed AI’s potential as a powerful tool for wildlife conservation and biodiversity research.

Perona is the Allen E. Puckett Professor of Electrical Engineering at Caltech, and Stathatos is a graduate student who was a software engineer at Amazon and JPL, which Caltech manages for NASA, before coming to Caltech.

In conversation with Caltech science writer Robert Perkins, the engineers describe AI applications for identifying and tracking wildlife that offer fresh insights to biologists and other individuals interested in the environment. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights CMS Pietro Perona Caltech Science Exchange Suzanne Stathatos

Condensed Matter Physics Inspires a New Model of Cellular Behavior


Inspired by the mechanics of a phase of matter called liquid crystals, researchers have developed the first three-dimensional model of a layer of cells and the extrusion behavior that emerges from their physical interactions. From this new model, the team discovered that the more a cell is squeezed by its neighbors in a particular symmetric way, the more likely it is to get extruded from the group. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights GALCIT MCE Jose Andrade Guruswami Ravichandran

AI Offers Tool to Improve Surgeon Performance


When surgeons are trained, they usually need the supervision of more experienced doctors who can mentor them on their technique. That may be changing due to a new artificial intelligence system developed by Caltech researchers and Keck Medicine of USC urologists that aims to provide valuable feedback to surgeons on the quality of their work. [Caltech story]

Tags: research highlights CMS Animashree Anandkumar

Laboratory Solar Flares Reveal Clues to Mechanism Behind Bursts of High-Energy Particles


Simulating solar flares on a scale the size of a banana, researchers at Caltech have parsed out the process by which these massive explosions blast potentially harmful energetic particles and X-rays into the cosmos. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights Paul Bellan Yang Zhang

Conversations on Artificial Intelligence: The Future of Personalized Medicine


As part of Conversations on Artificial Intelligence, a webinar series hosted by the Caltech Science Exchange, Andrew and Peggy Cherng Professor of Electrical Engineering and Medical Engineering Azita Emami discusses how her lab incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) into medical devices to improve health and enhance quality of life. Watch the conversation. [Caltech story]

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Knots Smaller Than Human Hair Make Materials Unusually Tough


In the latest advance in nano- and micro-architected materials, engineers at Caltech have developed a new material made from numerous interconnected microscale knots. The knots make the material far tougher than identically structured but unknotted materials: they absorb more energy and are able to deform more while still being able to return to their original shape undamaged. [Caltech story]

Tags: APhMS research highlights MedE Julia Greer Sammy Shaker Weiting Deng Widianto Moestopo

How a Small Class at Caltech Helped Launch a Computer Revolution


One of the foundational early advances in computer science that makes our increasingly digital world possible began with a small course at Caltech in the early 1970s taught by Carver Mead (BS '56, MS '57, PhD '60), the Gordon and Betty Moore Professor of Engineering and Applied Science, Emeritus. Mead received the 2022 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology in honor of his "leading contributions to the establishment of the guiding principles for VLSI systems design." VLSI, which stands for "very large-scale integration," is the process of combining millions of transistors onto a single chip that forms an integrated circuit and it is the cornerstone of the computers the world relies on today. [Caltech story

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Wavefront Shaping: From Telescopes to Biological Tissue


Researchers, led by Lihong Wang, Bren Professor of Medical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, have made a major step forward in medical imaging by taking inspiration from the field of astronomy. In astronomy, the light that reaches telescopes is distorted by the earth's atmosphere, resulting in blurry images of planets, satellites, and other cosmic objects. The earth's atmosphere is what's known as a scattering medium; it scatters light, making images appear unfocused and cloudy. Wavefront shaping is a method of generating focused light by reversing the optical distortion caused by the atmosphere. In this method, a reflective device, like a mirror, "shapes" light waves to counterbalance distortion. It's similar to a person wearing active noise-cancelling headphones to combat ambient noise. [Caltech story]

Tags: EE research highlights MedE Lihong Wang