School of engineering and applied science

Shedding light on the mysteries of splitting water

Sunlight-driven water splitting—that is, using solar energy to break water down into oxygen and hydrogen—is a promising way to generate hydrogen for fuel. So far, though, it has proven to be too inefficient or costly for practical use. Researchers led by Shu Hu, assistant professor of chemical and environmental engineering, set out to better understand some of the more confounding processes behind water splitting—and from there, develop more efficient systems. Recently published in Energy & Environmental Science, their results give researchers a clearer picture of the mechanisms at work—a crucial step closer to developing an efficient water-splitting system.

Professor named to association

Nisheeth Vishnoi, professor of computer science, has been named a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society. Vishnoi was selected “for contributions to theoretical computer science and its connections with mathematics, sciences, and social sciences.” At Yale, Vishnoi is cofounder of the Computation and Society Initiative. His research looks at how theoretical computer science can help us understand and address some of the key questions that arise in nature and society. His current focus is on natural algorithms, the emergence of intelligence, and foundational questions in algorithmic fairness.

Engineering a better lacrosse player

In the course Introduction to Engineering, Innovation, and Design (ENAS 118), the student team of Chae Young Lee, David Ewing, Melanie King, and Grayson Wagner (all first-year students) developed the Laxometer, a practice device for lacrosse players. With accelerometers and sensors that measure both linear and rotational velocity, it gives instant feedback to the user: Hit your target speed and you bask in the recorded cheers that automatically sound off. Fall below your target speed, and you’re subjected to a chorus of boos and jeers. For a more precise assessment, the device has a digital display that records exact speed and other data.

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