School of engineering and applied science

How information flows in the brain

Amin Karbasi, associate professor of electrical engineering, and Mehraveh Salehi ’19PhD (electrical engineering) won second place at Nokia’s Bell Labs Prize ceremony for their work on understanding how information flows in the human brain based on different cognitive tasks. The team says their innovation makes a concrete connection between artificial intelligence and natural intelligence. Karbasi and Salehi used data from more than 700 subjects to develop an algorithm that provides robust, personalized brain maps. The results, they say, could predict individuals’ sex, fluid intelligence, and cognitive tasks based on their brain fingerprints.

Creating maps of human cells

Rong Fan, a professor of biomedical engineering and of pathology, will lead the new Yale Tissue Mapping Center (TMC) for Cellular Senescence in Lymphoid Organs. It’s part of a broad National Institutes of Health–funded consortium aiming to comprehensively identify and characterize differences in senescent cells, which play roles in normal biological processes and also in chronic diseases of aging such as cancer and neurodegeneration. The TMC is one of eight supported by NIH’s Cellular Senescence Network (SenNet), a new initiative of the NIH Common Fund program. It will benefit from a $6.5 million grant over five years.

Shedding light on how light works

For her work in studying how matter absorbs light, Diana Qiu, assistant professor of mechanical engineering & materials science, won the Packard Fellowship in Science and Engineering. Qiu, a member of the Energy Science Institute on Yale’s West Campus, will receive $875,000 over five years to pursue her research. Qiu’s research, which focuses on excitons, could advance the fields of solar energy, quantum computing, and optoelectronics. Created by the absorption of light, excitons are a combination of an electron and a hole, which is a positively charged empty state caused by the absence of an electron. This electron-hole combination carries energy. 

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