Current Funded Projects

Search 2018 - 2020
e.g. Topological OR data; environments AND data

Analysis of the impacts of information-based routing on city congestion and optimal remediations

The goal of this project is to co-develop joint methods in the field of control/optimization and systems verification in the context of large-scale networks. The project will apply the results to a specific problem in transportation engineering: the impact of traffic information on large scale mobility patterns in urban environments. Specifically, it will analyze the recent impacts of routing apps such as Waze, Google maps, Apple traffic etc. on residential street congestion.

Cylindric Partitions

This research project is at the interface between enumerative combinatorics and mathematical physics. It is centered on cylindric partitions, which are combinatorial objects that are connected with different fields: hypergeometric identities, string theory, probability theory and nonequilibrium statistical physics.

Evolution of Gustatory Preferences in Herbivorous Insects

Plant-feeding insects are extraordinarily diverse as a result of their co-diversification with their host plants over 400 million years. One of the major adaptations necessary for herbivorous feeding is the ability to preferentially feed on the appropriate host plants, but how taste evolves in herbivorous insects is not well understood at molecular genetic and neurophysiological levels.

Langlands duality and spectra of quantum integrable systems

The category of finite-dimensional representations of a quantum affine algebra is one of the most studied objects in quantum groups theory with remarkable applications in various branches of Mathematics and Physics. However many important and fundamental questions remain unsolved in this field. The aim of this research project is to make advances in the understanding of the category as well as of its applications to  quantum integrable systems and in the context of the Langlands program.

m3 Marvelous Micro-Motes

Micro-motes are a breakthrough technology which offers communication and computation capabilities in a single-chip design the size of a grain of rice. Our long-term vision is to use micromotes at the heart of micro-robots to form swarms of coordinated ant-sized micro-robots. These swarms can carry out missions in small and hard-to-reach places. One example is exploring and mapping the internal structure of a collapsed building after an earthquake. A micro-mote has no stable crystal oscillator, only an unstable internal oscillating circuit.

Mechanism of Homology Search during Genetic Recombination

Despite its importance for genome maintenance, the basic mechanism by which this homologous molecule is identified amidst the genome remains elusive. We tackle this fundamental gap in our understanding of homologous recombination, as well as the poorly characterized role in this process of conserved protein of clinical significance. To this end, we combine in vitro protein biochemistry (Heyer lab) and novel physical assays to monitor intermediates and steps of the repair reaction in cells (Piazza lab).

Photo-Generated Molecule-Based Magnets

This project aims to develop molecule-based permanent magnets through a combination of chemical synthesis and photomagnetism. This work will leverage and combine the expertise in the synthesis of molecule-based magnets of co-PI Dr. D. Harris, a project scientist at the University of California, Berkeley (UCB), with the expertise in photomagnetism of co-PI Dr. R. Clérac, a CNRS researcher at the Centre de Recherche Paul Pascal (CRPP) in Bordeaux, France.

The effect of culture on individual perceptual mechanisms

The goal of our project is to examine how culture, as represented by language, can affect low-level perceptual function--in our case hearing. Although studies of low-level perception have assumed that it is largely universal, there have been reports that lower-level perceptual function varies between cultures. Here we put forward and test the hypothesis that the effect of language milieu on perception is via a process called ensemble perception.

The Emergence of Public Controversies in Science, Technology & Medicine: A New Methodological Paradigm

Our project offers an empirical study of public controversies regarding science, technology and medicine. We focus on emblematic case studies in environmental ethics (pesticides), bioethics (vaccines), data ethics (facial recognition) and innovation ethics (smart meters). Our study aims to develop an integrated methodological paradigm for analyzing public controversies regarding science, technology and medicine and theorizing the role of the the media, scientific community and government policy in determining the course and outcome of such controversies.

The Evolution of Specificity in Parallel Pathways of Signaling in Animal Cells

Small GTPases are small protein switches that cycle between "on" states and "off" states and are key stop or go deciders in many important cellular tasks, such as growth or death. There are many distinct versions of these proteins in cells, each with a specific task or pathway. This project will investigate why proteins that interact with a GTPase in one pathway are specifically paired to their distinct GTPase and do not cross talk with GTPases in other pathways. This is a key unanswered question of major biomedical importance.

The function and historical evolution of augments in the Bantu languages

This project aims at gaining insight into the augment, a mysterious grammatical element found in the Bantu languages of Africa. The role of the augment has been compared to that of a definite article in English or French, but this comparison is at best an approximation. We will approach the topic from the different theoretical and methodological perspectives of synchronic generative grammar and historical linguistics. 

Translation of Poetry: Interdisciplinary Perspectives

In recent years scholars of the humanities and social sciences have become increasingly interested in the process of translation. Long thought a “step child” of humanistic study—something humanists did in the margins of their other work—it has now become clear that both the practice and the theory of translation are central to the role of the humanities as we move into an increasingly multi-cultural global culture, and as new technologies reshape how we use language.

Unconventional steroid signaling in the choroid plexus: implication in traumatic brain injury

Choroid plexus (CP) epithelia main function consists in producing and regulating cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Such regulation is achieved through transepithelial solute transport via plasma membrane ion channels and transporters. Interestingly, steroids and specially progesterone has been shown to exert potent neuroprotective action. Since fluid secretion in CP is under control of ion channels and transporters, we aim to explore whether progesterone can modulate Transient Receptor Potential channel activity directly in an unconventional manner meaning a rapid non-genomic way.