Truong Nguyen, a professor in the Jacobs School of Engineering’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department, will receive more than $200,000 over three years from Skyworks Solutions, Inc. and the University of California’s Industry-University Cooperative Research Program to fund research that could lead to smoother video streaming on wireless handheld devices.

In early experiments, Nguyen has optimized video decoders to generate additional frames to produce a smooth video sequence. At a 65K bit rate, an early prototype achieved 20 frames per second — roughly double the number of frames streamed on the same device without Nguyen’s modifications. This technology will be developed for live video applications, such as video conferencing and surveillance, but the process would also permit smoother streaming of movie or other clips over a wireless connection to a handheld. Target devices include mobile phones with screens, handheld PDAs and Web pads.

Skyworks Solutions will fund the research project with $120,000 over three years. Skyworks is the industry’s leading wireless semiconductor company focused on RF and complete cellular system solutions for mobile communications applications.

Jacobs School creates gene function model

The first computer model that simulates gene function and cellular metabolism in yeast was created by bioengineers at the Jacobs School of Engineering and the Technical University of Denmark. The model integrates knowledge about yeast into a mathematical model capable of simulating 1,175 reactions produced by 708 genes interacting with 723 metabolites.

As the first predictive genome-scale model for a eukaryotic cell, this model brings researchers one step closer to using computer simulations to aid in drug discovery.

Because its internal signaling pathways are similar to those of human cells, yeast is widely used as a testbed for discovering new knowledge about cell biology. Scientists also use yeast to study human disease, particularly cancers and inherited metabolic diseases. In commercial settings, yeast is used to make foods and commodity chemicals.

Project collaborators include Bernhard Palsson, director of the Genetic Circuits Laboratory at the Jacobs School; Jens Nielsen, director of the Center for Process Biotechnology at the Technical University of Denmark; Jochen Forster at the Technical University of Denmark; and UCSD bioengineering Ph.D. candidates Iman Famili and Patrick Fu.

Results of the first study are published in the February 2003 issue of Genome Research.

Ceramics work to be displayed at Grove Gallery

“”Soldner Works,”” a one-man exhibition of six non-objective pieces by acclaimed ceramic sculptor Paul Soldner, will be on view March 11 through April 19 in UCSD’s Grove Gallery. A reception for the artist will be held from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on March 14.

The Soldner exhibition is being presented at UCSD in concert with “”Rebels in Clay: Peter Voulkos and the Otis Group,”” which is on view at the University Art Gallery through April 19. Both exhibitions are being held in conjunction with the National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts conference to be held in San Diego March 11 through March 15.

Soldner’s contributions to ceramics include developing what has become known as “”American raku,”” derived from the traditional Oriental raku technique.

“”Soldner Works”” will be on view for free from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays.

UCSD Cares campaign held week of Feb. 24

The second annual UCSD Cares Community Service Campaign will allow 36 UCSD organizations to sponsor campaign drives for local charities from Feb. 24 to Feb. 28 on Library Walk from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. All donations and proceeds collected by each organization will go directly to the specific charity they have selected to benefit.

The campaign is being presented by the A.S. Council to gather food, clothing, supplies, funds and volunteers for local charities, and is timed in conjunction with UCSD’s annual WinterFest Festival.

Last year’s UCSD Cares campaign tallied more than 3,000 donations, raised more than $1,000 and provided more than 150 volunteers for local charities.

A donation of any kind during the UCSD Cares activities enters the participant into a daily drawing for prizes. For further information on the UCSD Cares Community Service Campaign call (858) 534-5307.