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Focus 2003

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Flexing Molecular Muscle
► Conducting Polymers
► Molecular Actuators
► Super Capacitors
John Madden works at the intersection of materials/electrical
engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, chemistry, and
biology to design and fabricate novel materials at the molecular level.
Imagine flying robots.
Submarines with fins for
propellers. Artificial muscle
that generates 100 times
more force and three times
the power to mass as human
muscle. Imagine being able
to construct entire devices
with one class of material and a
single fabrication process. This
might sound like something out
of a sci-fi novel or Steven Spielberg
movie, but researchers are closer
to turning fantasy into fact than
we think.
New ICICS member John
Maddens lab is working to design
and hone the properties of
conducting polymers, a unique
class of synthesized molecules that
mimic muscle by changing shape
in response to changes in oxidation
state. The material alternately
swells and contracts at the
molecular level—somewhat like
an accordion—as you add or
remove electric charge. The result
is powerful molecular actuators
that should lead to breakthroughs
in robotics, artificial organs, and
nanosystem fabrication. "There
is still room for improvement,"
notes Madden. Challenges
include increasing the cycle life
and the power output.
Continued on page 2
Fall 2003 Vol. 14, No.
Adopting Adaptive Interfaces 3
Energy Systems Come Clean 4
New Researchers 5
Bob Woodham's Computer Science Vision 7
Optimizing Wireless Communications 9
Passing Notes 10 ►   Madden: Continued from page 1
In this issue of Focus, we introduce you
to eight new ICICS members, whose
research spans disciplines in the Faculties
of Science, Applied Science and Arts.
Robert Hall (Mining Engineering) is
working to improve the performance and
reliability of mining equipment. Alan
Kingstone (Psychology) is studying how
the brain integrates sensory input and how
this affects attention and memory. His collaboration with other members is helping
to develop human-centered technologies.
Frank Lam (Forestry) engineers
stronger and safer wood products for the
global market. John Madden (ECE)
designs and synthesizes conducting
polymers to fabricate new materials at
the molecular level. Walter Merida (ME)
works at the forefront of fuel cell and
hydrogen technology to develop
sustainable energy systems. In the field
of human-computer interaction, Joanna
McGrenere (CS) works to develop more
adaptable and efficient interfaces that
accommodate individual differences.
In order to keep up with traffic on
wireless networks, Robert Schober (ECE)
designs algorithms and systems that can
handle the demand for higher data rates
and increased reliability. Ruben Zamar
(Statistics) incorporates robust data
processing methods into software to
help the non-statistician model mixed-
quality data.
Finally, Computer Science Head,
Robert Woodham shares his insights
on progress, change and the future of
computer science after eight years as head
and 25 years in the discipline. The
department has seen much growth and
progress under his leadership. This year
he will be taking a well-deserved
sabbatical—and I will miss him.
Rabab Ward, ICICS Director
Machines that Flap and Fly
Traditional acruaror technologies are
combustion engines or electric motors,
which are mosr powerful when operating
ar high rotation rates. "This is nor very
convenienr if you are trying to make an
artificial limb, a robot or nanoscale
device," says Madden. Or if you are
trying to fabricate a fish. He is working
with the US Office of Naval Research to
review novel actuator technology and
develop biomimetic propulsion mechanisms where "either the propellers flap
like a bird's wing or the whole structure
flaps like a fish."
With funding from IRIS and
NSERC, Madden and new ICICS
member Joseph Yan (ECE) are developing
artificial flying insects. "We are trying to
insert our muscle technology into Josephs
micro-robots to create a dragonfly."
Although, like much basic research, the
work may seem rather esoteric, it has
potentially important applications in
surveillance and the detection of toxic
or hazardous materials.
Fuel Cells and Super Capacitors
The material also has applications
in micro-pumps, detectors and batteries.
Certain battery technologies require air
vents that open and close at low cost and
low voltage. "One advantage of conducting polymers are that they are driven by
low voltages," notes Madden. Another is
that unlike our own muscles, but like
the muscles in a clam, they have a catch
mechanism that enables them to
lock shut, maintaining force without
expending energy.
Another promising application is
fuel cell technology, since conducting
polymers have five orders of magnitude
higher capacitance than traditional capacitors. (A device the size of a business card
exhibits a capacitance of more than one
Farad.) This is important for fuel-cell and
battery-driven electric cars, where the
energy is regenerated during braking.
These "super capacitors" would provide
a more efficient and less cumbersome
alternative to current battery technology.
Along with ICICS member Dave
Pulfrey (ECE), Madden is working on
novel nanotube transistors, which have
many interesting properties. "Unlike a
conventional wire, a charge carrier appears
to propagate down a carbon nanotube
without loss of energy," says Madden.
His work seems to be bringing alchemist's
dreams and sci-fi fantasies closer to reality.
John Madden can be contacted at
604.827.5306 or jmadden@ece.ubc.ca
FOCUS Adopting Adaptive Interfaces
Discovering what humans really need from technology is a goal
of ICICS—and new member Joanna McGrenere's work in human-
computer interaction (HCI).
► Participatory Design
► Deep Customizability
► Adaptive / Adaptable
The marketing of software products
has resulted in a frustrating phenomenon.
Software "bloat"—where products are so
feature-laden that their benefits are
outweighed by their complexity and
demands on computing resources—was
the initial focus of McGrenere's research.
She discovered that, given the option of
jettisoning unused features, a significant
number of people still want to be able to
explore all features, even if they seldom
use them.
Understanding the User
Two main approaches are used to
accommodate individual differences
among users. In adaptive interfaces, the
system modifies the design based on what
it knows about the user. In adaptable
designs, the user makes the modifications.
"Different kinds of users are more willing
to have adaptive interfaces than others,"
says McGrenere. She is studying how
people experience software in order to
design systems where users have more
control over adaptability.  McGrenere has
been working with ICICS member Kellogg
Booth (CS), and Gale Moore and Ron
Baecker, both from U of Toronto, to
research Microsoft Word and Office
products. To accommodate the need for
both simplicity and functionality, they have
designed a multiple interface where users
can toggle between a simple, personalized
version, and the full-featured interface.
The group has received funding from
IBM's Centre for Advanced Studies and
in-kind support from Microsoft.
Designing Assistive Technology
In the Aphasia Project,
McGrenere is collaborating with
Peter Graf (Psychology), Barbara
Purves (School of Audiology and Speech
Sciences) at UBC, and Maria Klawe
(Engineering and Applied Science,
Princeton). The group is exploring a
number of HCI issues relating to cognitive
disabilities in language and speech. "The
overall goal is to improve the quality of life
and independence for people suffering from
aphasia," says McGrenere. The work
intensifies the task of designing technology
to accommodate individual difference.
Over 100,000 people in Canada and
1 million in the United States suffer from
aphasia, usually
as a result of
stroke, brain
tumour, or brain
injury. Although most
aphasic individuals retain their
ability to recognize image-based
representations, there is a huge discrepancy
in the level of speech and language
impairment. For example, some people
cannot read at all, others cannot write, and
others have lost the ability to speak. Some
can speak quite clearly but have lost certain
nouns and verbs. "As a result of this huge
variability, the challenge is to achieve deep
customizability in the technology we
design," says McGrenere.
Continued on page 9
"Our goal is to make
adaptable interfaces
in order to simplify use
while retaining more
complex functionality.'
Fall 2003 Energy Systems Come Clean
Walter Merida works at the forefront of developing sustainable energy systems,
fuel cell technology and alternative fuels.
► Clean Energy
► Electrochemical Energy
► Hydrogen Technology
When we think of clean or alternative
energy, we often think of wind, solar, or
tidal power. "All these sources produce
electricity, but the problem is that right
now we cannot store this energy
efficiently," says new ICICS member
Walter Merida. In other words, if you
convert energy from these sources, you
have to use it right away.
Electrochemical energy conversion can
provide a crucial link between all available
energy sources and the services that society
demands—without combustion, and with
very low emissions. Merida notes that in
order to make a dent in climate change, we
need to have clean energy for transportation
systems. Hydrogen and fuel cell systems
will be able to penetrate this energy sector,
traditionally the domain of fossil fuels.
Hydrogen Systems—Elegant Symmetry
Electrochemical energy conversion is
a cyclic process where hydrogen combines
with an oxidant to produce electricity that
is channelled through an external circuit.
The only by-product is heat and water.
Conversely, water electrolysis can convert
water and electricity to hydrogen.
Although initial fuel cell technology
for cars will rely on external sources of
hydrogen, Merida has already
designed an integrated system
for the production of ultra-
pure water and electrolytic
hydrogen to produce electrical
power in stationary and
mobile applications. He
marvels at the symmetry
and beauty of the process.
"In current combustion
"Fuel cell technology is
not just important for
environmental reasons.
The demands in new
portable,and mobile
hnologies are
quickly exceeding what
batteries can supply."
models we do things by brute force; we set
explosions and harness work from them.
This is a much more controlled and elegant
way of doing things."
Another advantage of fuel cells is that
they can be easily miniaturized. "We
see a lot of potential applications
in medical and portable technologies, and many things
that we just can't predict
yet." From 1996 to 2002,
before joining UBC,
Merida collaborated with
key partners in industry,
including Ballard Power
Systems, General Hydrogen,
and Greenlight Power Technologies, now
a division of Hydrogenics Corporation.
Merida is a member of the newly
created Clean Energy Research Centre
(CERC) at UBC (a $9 million investment
including funds from CFI and BCKDF).
The Centre received an additional $540,000
infrastructure funding from Western
Economic Diversification Canada to
conduct leading-edge research into fuel cell
systems and hydrogen technologies. Along
with ICICS members Kendal Bushe (ME)
and Ian Frigaard (ME), Merida is also a
collaborator in the NRC's Institute for
Fuel Cell Innovation.
Continued on page 9
FOCUS Getting Our Attention
► Cross-modal Research
► Significance-based Attention
► Attention and Cognitive Neuroscience
How does the human brain integrate
touch, sight and sound? How does it experience shape perception? And what role
does attention play in memory? These are
some of the questions that Alan Kingstone,
ICICS member and director of the Brain
and Attention Research Lab, is attempting
to answer.
"We are working to understand
perceptual experience and how people use
the information in the world around
them," says Kingstone. He and his
20-member lab are pioneering a paradigm
shift in the way cognitive systems are
studied and understood. Take the standard
hearing test as an example. A person is in
a sound-proof environment, without any
background noise, distraction or other
external stimuli to process.   Since all of her
attention is focused on listening, deficits
that occur in the real world might well be
missed in such an artificial setting "If you
are not verifying what people are doing in a
real world experience, then you end up
studying things that only tell you how we
perform in an impoverished environment,"
says Kingstone.
Traditional research in attention and
perception suggests that fundamental, or
primitive, features such as light, sound,
colour, and shape, have no meaning in
Associate Prof
Cognitive Syst
the Department of
Psychology, Alan
Kingstone's research
I supports ICICS's mission
. to develop human-
centered technology.
themselves. It is only through the brain's
bricolage that meaning is made. In contrast,
Kingstone and postdoctoral research fellow
Daniel Smilek believe that even the most
primitive stimulus-feature has meaning,
and that the function of human attention
is to serve in the selection of meaningful
information from the environment that is
important to both the individual and the
task at hand.
Continued on page 9
Corralling Data "Outlaws"
In today's exploding data terrain, quality
is everything. An errant data cluster—or
even a stray data point—can play havoc
with classical methods of analysis.
Pinpointing stray data that appears to be
"alone in the range" is one of the ICICS
member Ruben Zamar's specialities. His
work in robust inference differs from
traditional statistics in that it uses the
majority of the data, rather than all of it,
to construct a robust model. This procedure also helps identify data "outlaws"
or outliers, which can distort the model.
Zamar has been working with CS
► Robust Inference
► Data Mining
► High-Dimensional Data
► Outliers
colleagues Raymond Ng and Edward Knorr
on identifying outliers in high-dimensional
data, where numerous measurements are
performed on each subject in a dataset.
One proposed application of their work is
scouting for star NHL players, by analyzing
speed, goals scored, assists, ice time, penalties, and physical strength. "We would also
want to identify players who are unusual in
some way," says Zamar. This work also has
potential applications in the stock market,
education, the insurance industry, and
video surveillance.
A growing focus of Zamar's work is
interactive data mining. He and fellow
ICICS members Raymond Ng, Laks
Lakshmanan and Alan Wagner received
funding for their work from the
Mathematics of Information Technology
and Complex Systems (MITACS). "Our
goal is to make data mining a cooperative
"If these outliers are errors, we don't
want to be influenced by them.
And if they are important nuggets of
information we would like to flag them
for further study."
process between human and computer,"
says Zamar. The group is also part of the
iCAPTURE Centre, a partnership between
St. Paul's Hospital, the Vancouver Hospital
and Health Sciences Centre and UBC to
study heart, lung and blood vessel diseases.
The Centre received $17 million from CFI
and the BC Knowledge Development
Fund, and IBM is supplying the IT
infrastructure. Initial funding for Zamar's
group came from McDonald Research
Laboratory and Insightful Corporation.
iCAPTURE will be able to link genomic
information and environmental influences
with patient data. "Making this
information available to researchers and
improving data mining techniques is
important for improving health outcomes."
Ruben Zamar can be contacted at
604.822.3167 or ruben@stat.ubc.ca
FOCUS Advances in Mining Engineering
► Crushing Optimization
► Integration of Information Systems
Remote Mining Applications
In recent years, the mining industry has
adopted new technology in order to remain
competitive. The trend toward larger,
more complex equipment has resulted in
significant challenges in the areas
of maintenance and reliability. Production
monitoring systems and machine embedded
monitoring and control technologies have
produced a plethora of underutilized
data. "The integration of information
technology has not been used to address
the fundamental design of these machines,"
says mechanical engineer Robert Hall.
Development and integration of mine
equipment information systems is one
aspect of his work.
Teleremote mining operations is another.
As head of the Mine Automation and
Environmental Simulation Lab, part of
UBC's CERM3 group of labs that will be
shared with ICICS, Hall is working with
ICICS colleague Peter Lawrence (ECE)
on teleremote testing and software
development. The goal of the lab is to
examine remote mining applications and
to integrate individual processes to
reduce mining and processing cycle times.
Hall and ICICS member Farrokh
Sassani (ME) are working with EJC
Tamrock Loaders in Burlington on
load-haul-dump (LHD) machines, the
primary production equipment in
ICICS member Robert
Hall works on the
performance, reliability
and design of mining
equipment to improve
productivity and efficiency in an extremely
competitive business.
underground mining. Traditional LHD
designs have used diesel to power the
hydraulic system.
Continued on page 9
Innovations in Composite Lumber
Structural Wood Composites
Wood Fibre Geometry
► Seismic Loading
Upon entering the Forest Sciences Centre
at UBC, the first thing you notice is the
high, vaulted ceiling supported by what
appears to be massive sawn beams of solid
timber. They are actually some of the
Centre's finest technology at work. The
beams are structural composite lumber
made from oriented strands of wood
—each up to 2.4 meters long. Several
elements are involved in monitoring
and modelling the orientation and other
Recent ICICS member and Associate
Professor in Wood
Sciences, Frank Lam
engineers wood
products that are
stronger, safer and
more competitive in
the global market.
characteristics of strands, as well
as the resin and heat used in the
manufacturing process. ICICS
member Frank Lam, Dave
Barrett (Wood Science) and
ICICS colleague Peter Lawrence
(ECE) use random field theory
to try to understand and define how the
arbitrariness of these characteristics relates
to the properties of wood in order to
improve their structure and performance.
Developing engineered
systems that resist seismic loading is another aspect of Lam's research. He, Ricardo
Foschi and Helmut Prion from Civil
Engineering demonstrated that using engineered wood panels in shear walls dramatically increases strength, ductility, and
stiffness. As part of a collaboration between
UBC and UC San Diego, they are working
to develop analytical tools and design
procedures for earthquake-resistant timber
"Engineering composite
wood products requires
knowledge of how
different production
parameters influence
properties such as
strength and stiffness."
frame construction.
Lam's research is also
spearheading changes in
design codes to support
market development for
Canadian wood products
overseas, with the current
focus on the emerging Chinese market.
Since the Cultural Revolution, most
housing in China has been built out of
concrete. In an effort led by the Council
of Forest Industries and Forintek, Lam is
helping to reintroduce timber engineering
to Chinese universities and improve the
Chinese building code. "People there
prefer Western wood frame construction,
so the potential market is enormous. We
are helping to bridge the knowledge gap."
Frank Lam can be contacted at
604.822.6526 or
Fall 2003 Bob Wood ham's Computer Science Vision
Poised to step down after eight years as Head of Computer Science at UBC, Bob Woodham
reflects on progress, change and the future of the discipline.
► Culture of Collaboration
► Computational Intelligence
► Cross-disciplinary Research
The field of computer science has evolved
exponentially in the 25 years since Bob
Woodham joined UBC's Computer Science
Department. Since assuming the position
of head in 1995, he attributes the
department's success to its ability to attract
talented new researchers, to its core group
of exceptional faculty, and to a culture of
collaboration. "We are an outstanding
department because of our ability to put
together teams, and to cross traditional
barriers both within the discipline and
across to other disciplines in a way that
gives us a distinct competitive advantage."
Woodham credits the Faculty of
Science and the University for recognizing
the value of this collaborative vision within
the reward structure of appointment,
promotion, tenure, and discretionary salary
increases. He credits ICICS in providing
the vision, infrastructure, and leverage
that allows researchers to attract competitive research funding. Woodham notes
that ICICS, the Networks of Centres of
Excellence (NCE) Program, and the
Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI)
have also facilitated the development of the
experimental aspect of computer science,
an area where Canada lags behind other
nations. "People tend to see computer
science as being either theoretical
or applied and miss the
experimental side, which
requires significant infrastructure and equipment
and cannot rely on
corporate funding."
Maintaining a Broad Vision
One of the challenges
that Woodham has faced
has been to ensure that the
curriculum keeps up with advances in
the field. Another has been to help instil a
broad view of the discipline as it is increasingly linked with other fields. He
notes that when he joined the
department, many graduate
students were admitted to
CS with undergrad degrees
in other disciplines. Today,
the CS graduate student
who does not have a CS
undergrad degree is
an exception.
"Many of our
incoming graduate
students have a much
narrower view of what
computer science is than what is characteristic of our department." Woodham
wants to dispel the notion of the solitary
code cruncher. The department has new
undergraduate degree programs that he
hopes will encourage students to combine
CS with other disciplines. "Employers
increasingly tell us that our graduates
will need to be able to work in cross-
disciplinary teams," he says.
From Vision to Motion
Woodham's research in AI and
computer vision has established him as
a pioneer in physics-based vision systems.
Continued on backpage
Fall 2003 Optimizing Wireless Communications
As traffic on wireless networks increases, Robert Schober is developing new algorithms and
systems to keep up with the demand for higher data rates and increased reliability.
► Multi-user Detection
► Interference Suppression
► Space-time Processing
By 2004, an estimated one billion people
worldwide will be using some form of
wireless device. From cell phones, mobile
radios and hand held devices, to global
positioning systems and satellite-based
security systems—the demand is taxing the
available bandwidths of the radio spectrum.
With new applications emerging all the
time, the challenge is to design systems
with high data rates, high quality of
service, and high spectral efficiency.
New ICICS member Robert Schober
is Canada Research Chair in Wireless
Communications and he recently received
the prestigious Heinz Maier-Leibnitz Award
from the German Science Foundation.
Schobers focus is the mathematics of
wireless systems software, and he is keen
to collaborate with local industry in order
to encourage technology transfer and
commercialization. He is designing
systems that make optimal use of the
frequency bandwidth, ward off interference
from other systems, and have low power
Space-Time Processing and Coding
One aspect of Schober s work,
space-time processing, involves designing
algorithms for multiple transmitter
antennas in order to get the best performance possible with affordable system
complexity. "The design strategy depends
on the transmission channel,
so we must design
schemes with
different channels
in mind," he says.
Multiple transmitter antennas currently
require a process called
channel estimation before
information can be transmitted. Schober
is developing algorithms that eliminate
the need for channel estimation. "Since
everything comes at a price, the
disadvantage is that this method is
less power efficient," he says. "This is
where my work really starts."
Improving CDMA Receivers
for 3-G Wireless
Code Division Multiple Access
(CDMA) is employed in third generation
wireless networks. It enables several users
to be on the same channel simultaneously
within a cellular system—efficiently and
inexpensively. Another goal of Schober s
work is to decrease the complexity of
receivers while maintaining performance.
For example, linear multi-user receivers
detect desired users while curbing
interference from other users. "I am trying
to come up with the best receiver structures
for CDMA systems for any given
complexity," Schober says.
Given the delicate balance of high
data rates, power efficiency, optimal
performance, increased use, and finite
frequency bandwidth, he has his task
cut out for him.
Robert Schober can be reached at
604.822.3515 or rschober@ece.ubc.ca
FOCUS ►   McGrenere: Continued from page 3
With funding from ICICS, UBC
Faculty of Science, NSERC, and with
pocket PCs provided by Hewlett Packard,
the group is developing assistive technology
for people with aphasia. A fundamental—
and challenging—aspect of the group's
approach has been the participation of
the aphasic users in the design process.
MSc student Karyn Moffatt, one of the
collaborators, has already developed a
prototype electronic daily calendar that
incorporates images and sound as well as
text in an interface that runs on top of
the Microsoft Outlook engine.
"The HCI community has an important
role to play in developing technology for
users with cognitive disabilities."
Joanna McGrenere can be contacted at
604.827.5201 or joanna@cs.ubc.ca
►   Merida: Continued from page 4
Improving Design and Reducing Failure
His recent work has focused on the
architecture and testing of Proton Exchange
Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. His non-
planar prototype used three-dimensional
designs to achieve up to three times the
power density of previous two-dimensional
(planar) designs. The new architecture
can be fabricated in a continuous,
automated process compatible with mass
production schemes
Water management is a major
challenge of PEM fuel cells. The polymer
membranes require humidity, but water
in the microstructure can hinder the
transport of reactants. Previous voltage
tests could not distinguish whether a
failure was due to membrane dehydration
or microstructural flooding. Merida
has developed a diagnostic technique that
distinguishes between the two problems.
"The fuel cell industry has become
very competitive, but in the area of testing
and failure diagnosis Canada still has a
clear lead."
Walter Merida can be reached at
604.822.2914 or wmerida@mech.ubc.ca
►   Kingstone: Continued from page S
"If there is meaning even in a simple
sound or flash of light—and we believe
there is—then traditional research has
only been gaining a glimpse of what the
attention system is designed to do and
what it is capable of doing."
Kingstone and Smilek are working
with ICICS colleagues Karon MacLean
(CS) and Kees van den Doel (CS) on
multi-modal influences on attention
and performance. Kingstone's funding
partners include the Michael Smith
Foundation for Health Research, NSERC
and Nissan Motor Co. He has also
received a prestigious Human Frontiers
Research Grant and funding from the
Human Early Learning Partnership,
a network of researchers from BC's four
major universities, directed by Dr. Clyde
Hertzman. "We are actually suggesting
a whole new conceptualization of human
attention," says Kingstone "What we are
saying is that meaning matters—always,
in all situations."
Alan Kingstone can be contacted at
604.822.9230 or alan.kingstone@ubc.ca
►   Hall: Con tinued from page 6
With regulations on air quality and engine
emissions becoming increasingly stringent,
the team is studying how fuel consumption,
power cycle requirements, hydraulic
systems, and digging practices
(aggressive/moderate) of different operators
influence power draw. This research will
lead to better monitoring and control
strategies to produce more efficient
diesel/electic systems, new tools for design,
and training tools so operators can use
machines more effectively.
Hall is also working with Highland
Valley Copper on wear analysis and realtime monitoring of crushers to investigate
the relationship between particle size, liner
wear, throughput, and reliability. "In all of
these projects we are working to improve
data management and analysis in order to
get useful information for day-to-day operations and to design better equipment."
Robert Hall can be reached at
604.822.0066 or rah@mining.ubc.ca
"Within both the underground
and open pit environment, the
application of autonomous
and semiautonomous
technologies is
not fully understood." Passing Notes:
ICICS Welcomes New ECE Head
Klawe and Pippenger move to Princeton
Vijay Bhargava, newly appointed head of Electrical
and Computer Engineering, assumed his position on
July 1, 2003. Vijay came to UBC from the University
of Victoria, where he was professor of ECE from
1984 to 2003 and served as founding graduate
advisor of the department. His research interests include digital
communications, error-correcting codes, and future systems and
technologies. He has received numerous awards for his work,
including the IEEE Centennial Medal, the A.F. Bulgin Premium
of IEE, U.K., and the John B. Stirling Award of the EIC. He
has also provided consulting services to industry and government.
Welcome Dr. Bhargava.
Mabo Ito retires from ECE
Acting head of Electrical and Computer Engineering from
July 2002 to June 2003, and member of the department since
1973, Mabo Ito is retiring from the department. A pioneer in the
areas of real-time systems, computer communications, and image
and signal processing, the applications of Mabo's work were diverse,
from improved performance of real-time multimedia delivery
over IP networks, to the detection of landmines in battlefield
conditions. We wish him a peaceful and happy retirement.
□ Computer Science professor and dean of the Faculty of
Science from fall 1998 to fall 2003, Maria Klawe will
be leaving the department to take up her new position
as dean of the School of Engineering and Applied
Science at Princeton. Maria was head of Computer
Science from February 1988 to February 1995. She also served as
vice-president, Student and Academic Services and held the NSERC
Chair for Women in Science and Engineering. Her work on
E-GEMS: Electronic Games for Education in Math and Science, has
been developed into a successful commercial product.
^Ak       Nick Pippenger, CS professor and expert in complexity
JB     theory and computational topology, will be moving to
, Princeton with his wife Maria, where he will be profes-
(a sor in the Department of Computer Science. At UBC,
I he held a Canada Research Chair in Computer Science.
Both Maria and Nick will be greatly missed and we wish
them all the best at Princeton.
New Building on Track
The new ICICS/CS building is on schedule for completion
for the fall 2004 term. The site is ready and concrete is being
poured. Stay tuned for more updates.
►   Woodham: Continued from page 7
His work is critical to understanding
the nature of intelligence in order to make
intelligent machines. "The ability to
perceive and interact directly with the
world is key to intelligence," he says.
His current research focus is motion, the
area he plans to continue in when he
steps down as head in December.
What has been the most startling
development over his past 25 years in
computer science? "Technological advances
have made problems that one could have
only speculated about, now something we
can address," says Woodham. "Now we can
deal with 30 frames per second video in
real time, and that makes significant work
in motion—and many other areas—
technically feasible."
Bob Woodham can be contacted at
604.822.4368 or head@cs.ubc.ca
•l*OI*OS* Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems www.icics.ubc.ca
UBC's Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems (ICICS) is an umbrella organization
that promotes collaboration between researchers from the faculties of Applied Science, Arts,
Commerce, Dentistry, Education, Forestry, Medicine, Pharmacy, and Science. ICICS supports the
collaborative computer-oriented research of more than 125 faculty members and over 500 graduate
students in these faculties. ICICS researchers attract approximately $15 million in annual grants
and contracts. Their work will have a positive impact on us all in the future.
Return Address:
ICICS, University of British Columbia
289-2366 Main Ma 11, Vancouver, BC, V6T 1Z4
Writers:    Mari-Louise Rowley,
Pro-Textual Communications
Design:    Jarret Kusick, Hitman Creative Media Inc.
Photos:    Janis Franklin, UBC Media Group
Greg Morton, UBC Media Group
Editor:    Gale Ross, Administrative Assistant
Office:    University of British Columbia
289-2366 Main Mall
Vancouver, BC, Canada, V6T 1Z4
Tel:    604.822.6894
Fax:    604.822.9013
E-mail:    info@icics.ubc.ca


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