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Stanford articles

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Particle physicists team up with AI to solve science problems

Particle physicists team up with AI to solve science problems
Experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest particle accelerator at the European particle physics lab CERN, produce about a million gigabytes of data every second. Even after reduction and compression, the data amassed in just one hour is similar to the data volume Facebook collects in an entire year – too much to store and analyse. Luckily, particle physicists don’t have to deal with all of that data all by themselves.
6th August 2018

The striking beauty of fluid dynamics

The striking beauty of fluid dynamics
Stir a vat of any liquid or gas and you get complex whirls of movement. Fluid dynamics, the study of the movement of liquids and gases, helps airplanes stay in the air, describes the way that blood flows through the human body, and factors into weather forecasting. Anything that flows and stirs into eddies follows the tenets of fluid dynamics. These paired images depict a computer simulation of turbulence within 100 cubic meters of air.
28th November 2017

AI analyses gravitational lenses 10 million times faster

AI analyses gravitational lenses 10 million times faster
  Researchers from the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University have for the first time shown that neural networks – a form of artificial intelligence – can accurately analyse the complex distortions in spacetime known as gravitational lenses 10 million times faster than traditional methods.
1st September 2017


Robot could be used in search and rescue operations

Robot could be used in search and rescue operations
Imagine rescuers searching for people in the rubble of a collapsed building. Instead of digging through the debris by hand or having dogs sniff for signs of life, they bring out a small, air-tight cylinder. They place the device at the entrance of the debris and flip a switch. From one end of the cylinder, a tendril extends into the mass of stones and dirt, like a fast-climbing vine. A camera at the tip of the tendril gives rescuers a view of the otherwise unreachable places beneath the rubble.
24th July 2017

Analysing the ethical challenges of self-driving tech

Analysing the ethical challenges of self-driving tech
The self-driving car revolution reached a momentous milestone with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s release in September 2016 of its first handbook of rules on autonomous vehicles. Discussions about how the world will change with driverless cars on the roads and how to make that future as ethical and responsible as possible are intensifying. Some of these conversations are taking place at Stanford.
24th May 2017

DIY robotics kit helps automate biology experiments

DIY robotics kit helps automate biology experiments
Elementary and secondary school students who later want to become scientists and engineers often get hands-on inspiration by using off-the-shelf kits to build and program robots. But so far it’s been difficult to create robotic projects to foster interest in the “wet” sciences – biology, chemistry and medicine – so called because experiments in these field often involve fluids.
22nd March 2017

Personalised VR displays match user’s eyesight

Personalised VR displays match user’s eyesight
  Some technologies can be tuned to our personal characteristics, like the voice recognition on smartphones trained to recognise how we speak. But that isn’t possible with today’s virtual reality headsets. They can’t account for differences in vision, which can make watching VR less enjoyable or even cause headaches or nausea.
14th February 2017

Deep learning algorithm helps identify skin cancer

Deep learning algorithm helps identify skin cancer
Universal access to health care was on the minds of computer scientists at Stanford when they set out to create an artificially intelligent diagnosis algorithm for skin cancer. They made a database of nearly 130,000 skin disease images and trained their algorithm to visually diagnose potential cancer. From the very first test, it performed with inspiring accuracy.
26th January 2017

‘Un-light’ my fire, a working battery is my only desire

‘Un-light’ my fire, a working battery is my only desire
  2016 was an explosive year for Samsung as it was forced to recall its Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones following repeated cases of models catching on fire. While the energy densities of batteries continues to increase, the question of safety remains a big issue.
17th January 2017

Worms help test biological force sensor technology

Worms help test biological force sensor technology
Millimetre-long worms digesting a nanoparticle-laced meal of their favorite bacteria could eventually lead to a new way to see cellular forces at play within our own bodies, including processes like wound healing and cancer growth. The key is that these particular nanoparticles glow when struck by a near-infrared laser and change colour depending on the pressure around them. So, they can give off real-time information about the forces they’re undergoing while they’re still inside the worm.
3rd January 2017

Can AI help create safer lithium-ion batteries?

Can AI help create safer lithium-ion batteries?
Scientists have spent decades searching for a safe alternative to the flammable liquid electrolytes used in lithium-ion batteries. Now Stanford University researchers have identified nearly two-dozen solid electrolytes that could someday replace the volatile liquids used in smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices. The results, based on techniques adapted from AI and machine learning, are published in the journal Energy & Environmental Science.
19th December 2016

Memory may be more energy efficient than previously thought

Memory may be more energy efficient than previously thought
Scientists often discover interesting things without completely understanding how they work. That has been the case with an experimental memory technology in which temperature and voltage work together to create the conditions for data storage. But precisely how was unknown. But when a Stanford team found a way to untangle the chip’s energy and heat requirements, their tentative findings revealed a pleasant surprise: The process may be more energy efficient than was previously supposed.
6th December 2016

Prototype chip is just three atoms thick

Prototype chip is just three atoms thick
A team led by Stanford electrical engineering Associate Professor Eric Pop has demonstrated how it might be possible to mass-produce atomically thin materials and electronics. Why would this be useful? Because such thin materials would be transparent and flexible as well, in ways that would enable electronic devices that wouldn’t be possible to make with silicon.
29th November 2016

Researchers send messages using household chemicals

Researchers send messages using household chemicals
Nearing the completion of his master’s degree in computer engineering and computer science at York University in Ontario, Canada, Nariman Farsad was considering pursuing further study elsewhere. But his supervisor, Andrew Eckford, convinced him to stay by suggesting an odd line of research. Stanford researchers led by postdoc Nariman Farsad have built a machine that sends text messages using common chemicals.
17th November 2016

Revealing the inner workings of the sun

Revealing the inner workings of the sun
In 2009, applied physicist Peter Sturrock was visiting the National Solar Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, when the deputy director of the observatory told him he should read a controversial article about radioactive decay. Although the subject was outside Sturrock’s field, it inspired a thought so intriguing that the next day he phoned the author of the study, Purdue University physicist Ephraim Fischbach, to suggest a collaboration.
15th November 2016

VR simulation transports users to ocean of the future

VR simulation transports users to ocean of the future
Try to imagine what the world will look like if human-caused carbon-dioxide emissions aren’t curbed. If your imagination and scientific knowledge can’t take you there, virtual reality can. The Stanford Ocean Acidification Experience, a free science education tool (download here), can take you to the bottom of the sea, then fast-forward to the end of the century, when many coral reefs are predicted to corrode in waters made acidic by the absorption of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
19th October 2016

Brain-sensing technology allows typing at 12 wpm

It does not take an infinite number of monkeys to type a passage of Shakespeare. Instead, it takes a single monkey equipped with brain-sensing technology – and a cheat sheet. A team led by electrical engineer Krishna Shenoy developed technology that detects brain signals to move a cursor. Animals trained to copy text using the technology were able to type at a rate of up to 12 words per minute.
14th September 2016

Stopping soap bubbles from swirling

The spinning rainbow surface of a soap bubble is more than mesmerising – it’s a lesson in fluid mechanics. Better understanding of these hypnotic flows could bring improvements in many areas, from longer lasting beer foam to life-saving lung treatments. The whirling on the surface of bubbles is caused in part by the Marangoni effect. This phenomenon occurs when molecules called surfactants move from areas of low surface tension to areas of higher surface tension along the boundary between two different substances.
14th September 2016

How AI might affect urban life in 2030

How AI might affect urban life in 2030
  A panel of academic and industrial thinkers has looked ahead to 2030 to forecast how advances in AI might affect life in a typical North American city – in areas as diverse as transportation, health care and education ­– and to spur discussion about how to ensure the safe, fair and beneficial development of these rapidly emerging technologies.
1st September 2016

Satellite data and machine learning to map poverty

Satellite data and machine learning to map poverty
One of the biggest challenges in providing relief to people living in poverty is locating them. The availability of accurate and reliable information on the location of impoverished zones is surprisingly lacking for much of the world, particularly on the African continent. Aid groups and other international organisations often fill in the gaps with door-to-door surveys, but these can be expensive and time-consuming to conduct.
19th August 2016


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