4th Annual Sprout Grants – Call for applications

Bring your research and entrepreneurial ambitions to life!

The Brandeis University Virtual Incubator invites member of the Brandeis Community (undergrads, grad students, postdoctoral fellows, faculty, staff) to submit an application for a “Sprout Grant”. These grants are intended to stimulate entrepreneurship on campus and help researchers launch their ideas and inventions from Brandeis to the marketplace.

This spring we will be awarding $50,000 to be shared amongst the most promising proposals.

Come get your questions about the Sprout grant answered at one of our upcoming information sessions.

Info sessions:

Tuesday      February 18th    1pm – 2pm

Tuesday      February 25th    10am – 11am

Thursday     February 27th    11am – noon

Tuesday      March 4th          11am – noon

All information sessions will be held in the Shapiro science center 1st floor library, room 1-03 (the glass walled room near the elevators).

Deadlines: Preliminary applications are due on Friday, March 7th

Benefits of participation:

  • Teams that are selected to submit full applications will be given assistance in further developing their ideas into an effective business pitch.
  • Sprout grant winners will be connected with an experienced mentor, and given further assistance in getting their ideas to market by the Office of Technology Licensing.
  • Previous winners have come from many departments: Neuroscience, Biology, Biochemistry, Physics and Computer Science. Some of the funded technologies have resulted in patent applications and are moving towards commercial development. Read more about previous winners from your department here: Sprout winners 2011, Sprout winners 2012, Sprout winners 2013.

For more information go to our website (http://www.brandeis.edu/otl/grants/index.html) or contact Melissa Blackman at melblack@brandeis.edu.

Sprout Grant Winners Announced

Winners of the 2013 Sprout Grant competition held by the Brandeis Office of Technology and Licensing have been announced. Sprout grants support research that is “novel, patentable and [has] commercial potential“, and encourage students to think about new and different ways to apply their basic science for practical good. Each team applying for a grant must be led by a Brandeis student or postdoc (noted in asterisks below), who were responsible for presenting their proposals to the review panel.

Teams that received funding.

  • Marcus Long (*), Ann Lawson, Lior Rozhansky ’15, and Liz Hedstrom: $20,000 to develop novel inhibitors of deubiquitinating enzymes;
  • Michael Heymann (*), Achini Opathalage, Dongshin Kim, and Seth Fraden: $5,500 for its development of CrystalChip;
  • Michael Spellberg (*), Calla Olson, Marissa Donovan, and Mike Marr: $10,000 to develop a tool to purify Calmodulin-tagged recombinant proteins;
  • Julian Eskin (*) and Bruce Goode: $2,000 for work on a rapid and efficient kit to purify actin;
  • Eugene Goncharov ’13 (*), Yuval Galor ’15,  and Alex Bardasu ’15: $2,500 towards development of their iPhone app LineSaver, which collects data on local hotspots and gives users an estimated wait-time for restaurants, clubs and tourist attractions.

You can read more at BrandeisNOW

Harald Helfgott ’98 and the Odd Goldbach Conjecture

The Computer Science Dept blog passed on the report from the New Scientist that Harald Halfgott ’98 (Math/Co Sci), now working at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, has proved the odd (weak) Goldbach conjecture, which states that every odd number above 5 is the sum of three primes. For the paper “Major Arcs for Goldbach’s Problem”, see http://arxiv.org/abs/1305.2897

see also: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/2013/05/15/goldbach-variations/

David Waltz Fellowship

According to BrandeisNOW, Xiru Zhang, PhD ’91, has made a lead gift to help establish the David Waltz Fellowship at Brandeis in hopes of broadening the participation of women and minorities in the field of artificial intelligence. The gift is to honor Waltz, who died in March 2012, as a nurturing mentor, an inspiring colleague, a giving co-worker and a longtime friend. Waltz and Zhang worked together for six years Zhang pursued his doctorate in computer science (the first awarded in computer science from Brandeis, simultaneously interacting as professor-student at Brandeis and as senior scientist-research scientist at Cambridge-based Thinking Machines.

“No one had a greater influence on my academic and science research career than David Waltz,” says Zhang, “He was my mentor,  and he was also my friend.”

Read more at BrandeisNOW.

Papaemmanouil gets NSF CAREER grant

Assistant Professor of Computer Science Olga Papaemmanouil has received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), a highly selective grant that the National Science Foundation awards to junior faculty members who are likely to become academic leaders of the future.

The research project funded by Olga’s CAREER grant (“Towards Extensible Performance Management for Cloud Data Services“) aims to a) develop declarative mechanisms that allow application developers to express custom performance criteria for data processing tasks and b) exploit the properties of these mechanisms to design extensible resource, workload and Service-Level-Agreement (SLA) management services for cloud databases.

The project also includes the design and development of XCloud, an extensible cloud-based platform that will unify these services into a usable cloud utility. The XCloud platform is expected to have a significant research and educational impact as it will act as a test-bed for new performance models and diverse performance management techniques for cloud databases facilitating research and innovation in the emerging domain.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is a Foundation-wide activity that offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations. Such activities should build a firm foundation for a lifetime of leadership in integrating education and research.

Olga received her B.S. in Computer Engineering from the University of Patras, Greece, and completed her Ph.D. in Computer Science at Brown University in 2008. She joined the Computer Science Department at Brandeis in January 2009.

Other Brandeis science faculty receiving CAREER grants since 2010 include Christine Thomas (Chemistry), Aparna Baskaran, Matthew Headrick, and Zvonimir Dogic (all Physics).

COSI High Tech Alumni Leadership Conference on Nov. 2

The Brandeis Alumni Association is hosting the first-ever Computer Science (COSI) High Tech Alumni Leadership Conference. An exciting day has been planned with entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, technical directors, lead engineers, and academics who will discuss the latest advances, trends and innovations. Adam Cheyer ’88, co-founder of Siri Inc. and director of engineering at Apple, will open the program and receive the inaugural Brandeis Computer Science Entrepreneur of the Year award. For a full list of speakers, see http://alumni.brandeis.edu/web/special_programs/cosi_brandeis/cosi_speaker.html

COSI High Tech Alumni Leadership Conference
Friday, November 2, 2012
Sachar International Center, Wasserman Cinematheque
8:30 a.m.- 5:30 p.m.

Waltz Symposium on Sept 23

Artificial Intelligence luminaries from across the nation gathered at Brandeis on Sunday Sept 23 to honor David Waltz, who was a professor at Brandeis from 1984-1993 and who passed away in March from cancer. Organized by Prof. Jordan Pollack with sponsorship from Brandeis, AAAI, and Ab Initio Software, the day long event featured keynotes and panels from 6 different phases of Waltz’s career reflecting on his work and his leadership. A complete schedule follows the break and video, when available, is on the Computer Science website.

Studifi

With the advent of web applications and mobile devices, students in Computer Science are becoming more and more entrepreneurial during their stay at university. A stream or new and intriguing applications built by students has been emerging from Brandeis.

Studifi ® is a collaboration platform for students, developed by Thomas Lextrait, graduate student at Brandeis. It is hosted in the cloud and offers free service. Students can use Studifi to find, manage and collaborate(*) on projects, while instructors can use it to manage student teams within their classes. The platform allows students to find teammates within their classes as well as look for projects at other universities across the globe.

Studifi generates revenue by allowing landlords to post local apartments and companies to post jobs. These are matched with students to create targeted yet relevant advertisement, adding value to the platform.

(*) Brandeis students should consult course instructors before collaborating on projects, and should be cognizant of the rules laid out in section 4 of the Rights and Responsibilities handbook.

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