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People trying to talk to Siri may soon no longer have to look like they’re about to eat their iPhones, thanks to a new technology demonstration that solves the “Cocktail Party” conundrum. In a crowded room with voices coming from every direction, the human auditory system is incredibly good at homing in on a single voice while filtering out the background jabber. Computers are not.
I grew up in the suburbs of Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota. During my master’s studies I met Dr. Guillermo Sapiro, who introduced me to image processing and its uses in real-world applications and research. I was drawn to Duke for my PhD not only because of Dr. Sapiro, but also because of Duke’s strong emphasis on interdisciplinary research.
Researchers have developed an ultrafast light-emitting device that can flip on and off 90 billion times a second and could form the basis of optical computing. At its most basic level, your smart phone’s battery is powering billions of transistors using electrons to flip on and off billions of times per second. But if microchips could use photons instead of electrons to process and transmit data, computers could operate even faster.  
There’s an old adage in the aviation industry that pilots make the best airplane design engineers. Having a spatial sense of a cockpit and knowing how controls feel and how the airplane responds is invaluable when building the next Dreamliner. The same is true in the biomedical device industry. A design that works in a CAD drawing or on a lab bench may not be successful in a physician’s hands. That’s why Duke University is putting biomedical engineers into the clinic.
Scientists at Duke Medicine—including a recent Duke biomedical engineering PhD graduate—have produced a 3-D map of the human brain stem at an unprecedented level of detail using MRI technology. In a study to be published June 3 in Human Brain Mapping, the researchers unveil an ultra high-resolution brain stem model that could better guide brain surgeons treating conditions such as tremors and Parkinson’s disease with deep brain stimulation (DBS).
If you’ve ever dreamed of exploring the Serengeti by drone or building a real-life medical C-3PO, Duke has you covered. Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering has made several new faculty hires in the past few years to create a group that will position the school to be a competitive leader in one of the most important and interesting fields of the 21st century—robotics.
There aren’t any giants or midgets when it comes to the cells in your body, and now Duke University scientists think they know why. A new study appearing June 3 in Nature shows that a cell’s initial size determines how much it will grow before it splits into two.
A startup company based on technology invented at Duke University is working to make blood glucose measurement as easy as exhalation—and end the need to draw blood.
Duke University awarded degrees to 441 undergraduate and graduate engineering students on Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, in ceremonies that began with diploma ceremonies for professional masters degree students, continued with a university-wide commencement exercises at Durham Bulls Athletic Park and included Pratt School of Engineering celebrations at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Graduate student Victoria Nneji has been trained in the universal nature of the scientific method; but, during a recent visit to Washington, D.C., the first-year Masters of Engineering Management candidate learned another universal truth: all politics is local.