Big data for little creaturesOctober 10, 2016
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (http://www.ucr.edu) -- While millions of people are fighting Zika with bug spray and long pants, researchers at the University of California, Riverside are using another tool--big data. By collecting and analyzing large datasets, they can track the mosquitoes that spread the disease in real time, intervene quickly, and help governments plan for future outbreaks.
This is just one example of research combining computer science and entomology that will be the focus of UCR's new graduate program in computational entomology. Led by Eamonn Keogh, a professor of computer science and engineering in UCR's Bourns College of Engineering, a multi-disciplinary team of researchers has received $3 million from the National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) program to prepare the next generation of scientists and engineers who will learn how to exploit the power of big data to understand insects. The program, the first of its kind worldwide, will serve as a replicable education and training model for other institutions with an interest in developing computational entomology programs.
There are at least 950,000 living insect species in the world. They spread diseases like Zika virus and malaria; they feast on crops, causing billions of dollars in food damage each year; and they pollinate wild and agricultural plant communities. Despite their enormous diversity and significance, few scientists have tapped into the power of computer science to classify insects and explore their behaviors.
For the past five years, Keogh has been doing just that. The researcher and his graduate students have been developing low-cost, wireless insect sensors that classify species with up to 99.9 percent accuracy and generate masses of data that can be incorporated into classification algorithms. In about three years, and with dozens of sensors running continuously, the team collected tens of millions of data points--more than all previous work in the field combined.
By counting and classifying insects on this scale, scientists can help farmers determine precisely when to apply pesticides, and help public health officials stop the spread of insect-borne diseases. Many other areas of entomology would benefit from such in-depth analyses, Keogh said.
To develop the new program, Keogh will work with UCR faculty members Erin Wilson Rankin and Anupama Dahanukar, both assistant professors of entomology; Daniel Jeske, professor of statistics; and Christian Shelton, professor of computer science and engineering. Called the 'NRT in Integrated Computational Entomology' (NICE), the program will launch next summer and fund at least 80 graduate students enrolled in engineering or the life sciences. It will begin with a month-long introductory boot camp and feature weekly seminars, field trips, and community service projects. There will be a strong emphasis on collaboration across disciplines--with biological sciences students gaining a foundation in computing techniques and engineers an understanding of critical entomological and ecological issues.
Keogh said students will pursue their own research interests. Some might continue his work on sensors, developing real-time tracking devices that send text messages to farmers letting them know when a harmful insect is multiplying. Some may use video analytics to study insect behavior and how to control it. Some will sequence mosquito DNA to pinpoint genes that determine prey preference.
The common thread, Keogh said, is the power of big data to expand our understanding of insects, improve human health, and alleviate food waste.
"Challenges in entomology and ecology generate enormous amounts of data, and fully exploiting it calls for experts whose knowledge spans two disparate fields. This training program will bridge those fields, creating endless research possibilities and a new way to address some of the most critical challenges of our time," Keogh said.
University of California - Riverside
Related Engineering Articles:
E. coli may have potentially harmful effects but scientists in Australia have discovered this bacterium produces a toxin which binds to an unusual sugar that is part of carbohydrate structures present on cells not usually produced by healthy cells.
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the University of Zurich announced today a cross-institutional team effort to generate a functional heart valve replacement with the capacity for repair, regeneration, and growth.
The Mackenzie Dike Swarm and the roughly 120 other known giant dike swarms located across the planet may also provide useful information about efficient extraction of oil and natural gas in today's modern world.
Academically strong, low-income would-be engineers get the boost they need to complete their undergraduate degrees.
Professor Ron Hui, Chair Professor of Power Electronics and Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, has been named a Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, one of the most prestigious national academies.
The often-maligned E. coli bacteria has powerhouse potential: in the lab, it has the ability to crank out fuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products at a rapid rate.
Raresh Pascali, instructional associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at the University of Houston, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Ross Kastor Educator Award.
A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A.
University of Utah engineers have discovered a new kind of 2-D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that also consume a lot less power.
A University of Bristol academic has been elected a Fellow of the world's largest and most prestigious professional association for the advancement of technology.
Related Engineering Reading:
Engineering: An Illustrated History from Ancient Craft to Modern Technology (100 Ponderables)
by Tom Jackson (Editor) (Author), Tom Jackson (Editor)
From ancient aqueducts to soaring skyscrapers, explore engineering milestones over the centuries.
Combining engaging text with captivating images and helpful diagrams, renowned science writer Tom Jackson guides readers through the history of Engineering in the 7th installment of the groundbreaking PonderablesTM series.
Engineering is all around us. From our bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers, to our cars, computers and smartphones, engineering shapes our world and influences just about everything we see and do. And it s been that way for longer than you might think. From the... View Details
101 Things I Learned® in Engineering School
by John Kuprenas (Author), Matthew Frederick (Author)
Providing unique, accessible lessons on engineering, this title in the bestselling 101 Things I Learned® series is a perfect resource for students, recent graduates, general readers, and even seasoned professionals.
An experienced civil engineer presents the physics and fundamentals underlying the many fields of engineering. Far from a dry, nuts-and-bolts exposition, 101 Things I Learned® in Engineering School uses real-world examples to show how the engineer's way of thinking can illuminate questions from the simple to the profound: Why shouldn't soldiers... View Details
Basic Machines and How They Work
by Naval Education And Training Program (Author)
This revised edition of an extremely clear Navy training manual leaves nothing to be desired in its presentation. Thorough in its coverage of basic theory, from the lever and inclined plane to internal combustion engines and power trains, it requires nothing more than an understanding of the most elementary mathematics. A Fully-Updated, No-Nonsense Guide to Electronics Advance your electronics knowledge and gain the skills necessary to develop and construct your own functioning gadgets. Written by a pair of experienced engineers and dedicated hobbyists, Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition, lays out the essentials and provides step-by-step instructions, schematics, and illustrations. Discover how to select the right components, design and build circuits, use microcontrollers and ICs, work with the latest software tools, and test and tweak your creations. This... View Details
Beginning with the simplest of machines — the lever — the text proceeds to discussions of the block and tackle (pulleys and hoists), wheel and axle, the inclined plane and the wedge, the screw, and different types of gears (simple, spur, bevel, herringbone, spiral,... View Details
Engineering: A Very Short Introduction
by David Blockley (Author)
Engineering is part of almost everything we do--from the buildings we live in and the roads and railways we travel on, to the telephones and computers we use to communicate and the X-ray machines that help doctors diagnose diseases. In this Very Short Introduction, David Blockley explores the nature and practice of engineering--its history, its scope, and its relationship with art, craft, science, and technology. He begins with its early roots, ranging from Archimedes to some of the great figures of engineering such as Brunel and Marconi, right up to the modern day, describing the... View Details
by Brett Frischmann (Author), Evan Selinger (Author)
Every day, new warnings emerge about artificial intelligence rebelling against us. All the while, a more immediate dilemma flies under the radar. Have forces been unleashed that are thrusting humanity down an ill-advised path, one that's increasingly making us behave like simple machines? In this wide-reaching, interdisciplinary book, Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger examine what's happening to our lives as society embraces big data, predictive analytics, and smart environments. They explain how the goal of designing programmable worlds goes hand in hand with engineering predictable and... View Details
Civil Engineering Reference Manual for the PE Exam, 15th Ed
by Michael R. Lindeburg PE (Author)
Only available at PPI2PASS.com, updated to the 2018 exam specs the new edition of PE Civil Reference Manual, Sixteenth Edition with free eTextbook.
Upgrade your review with PPI’s Civil PE prep course and a passing guarantee. This prep course provides expert instruction, a structured syllabus, PPI's #1 selling review materials, and convenient online viewing from the comfort of home or on the go. Visit ppi2pass to learn more and enroll.
Get your CERM15 code updates and Civil Engineering Reference Manual index at ppi2pass.com/downloads.
Studying Engineering: A Road Map to a Rewarding Career (Fourth Edition)
by Raymond B. Landis (Author)
About the Book
Since Studying Engineering: A Road Map to a Rewarding Career exploded onto the market in 1995, it has become the best selling Introduction to Engineering textbook of all time. Adopted by over 300 U.S. institutions, and reaching more than 150,000 students, the book has made major inroads into the "sink or swim" paradigm of engineering education. Armed with the book as a powerful tool for "student development," large numbers of engineering programs have implemented Introduction to Engineering courses to improve the academic performance and retention rates of their... View Details
Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition
by Paul Scherz (Author), Simon Monk (Author)
The Beginner's Guide to Engineering: Mechanical Engineering
by Mark Huber (Author)
The Beginner’s Guide to Engineering series is designed to provide a very simple, non-technical introduction to the fields of engineering for people with no experience in the fields. Each book in the series focuses on introducing the reader to the various concepts in the fields of engineering conceptually rather than mathematically. These books are a great resource for high school students that are considering majoring in one of the engineering fields, or for anyone else that is curious about engineering but has no background in the field. Books in the series: 1. The Beginner’s Guide to... View Details
Unwritten Laws of Engineering: Revised and Updated Edition
by W. J. King (Author), James G. Skakoon (Author)
This fully revised and updated edition of the 1944 classic serves as a crucial compilation of 'house rules' or a professional code. This new edition keeps the style of the original and much of its content. Changes reflect shifted societal values, changed employment laws and evolved corporate structures. Packed with contemporary examples, this new volume is a must for those entering the engineering field or for those interested in improving their professional effectiveness. View Details
A Fully-Updated, No-Nonsense Guide to Electronics
Advance your electronics knowledge and gain the skills necessary to develop and construct your own functioning gadgets. Written by a pair of experienced engineers and dedicated hobbyists, Practical Electronics for Inventors, Fourth Edition, lays out the essentials and provides step-by-step instructions, schematics, and illustrations. Discover how to select the right components, design and build circuits, use microcontrollers and ICs, work with the latest software tools, and test and tweak your creations. This... View Details