School of Engineering & Applied Science

Engineers solve the paradox of why tissue gets stiffer when compressed

Tissue gets stiffer when it’s compressed. That stiffening response is a long-standing biomedical paradox, as common sense dictates that when you push the ends of a string together, it loosens tension, rather than increasing it. New research explains the mechanical interplay between that fiber network and the cells it contains.

Penn Today Staff

New chip poised to enable handheld microwave imaging

Penn researchers show that the new microwave imager chip could form images of simple objects. Unlike light, microwaves can travel through certain opaque objects, making microwave imagers potentially useful in a wide variety of applications.

Penn Today Staff

The brain in the machine

Insights into how computers learn, the current challenges of artificial intelligence research, and what the future holds for how machines might shape society in the future.

Erica K. Brockmeier

The programming ethos

In a podcast conversation, Penn professors Michael Kearns, Aaron Roth, and Lisa Miracchi discuss the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Brandon Baker



In the News


WESA Radio (Pittsburgh)

Wheels, drones and Rescue Randy: DARPA robotics competition puts mine rescue to the test

A four-legged robot from the School of Engineering and Applied Science was among robots performing underwater search and rescue in a competition. “They're doing everything completely autonomously, so every step they take is kind of a minor victory for us,” said C. J. Taylor. “We always feel that we could do better. We learn so much from each of these events and that gives us new ideas about things that we want to try.”

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Philadelphia Inquirer

‘Why not fly over it?’ Uber picks New Jersey firms in ambitious bid to beat traffic congestion

Rahul Mangharam of the School of Engineering and Applied Science commented on Uber’s new air taxi venture. “It’s going to be a very congested sky,” he said. “You want to make sure that each flight plan is safe by design, and that even if they do mess up for some reason, they have a fallback option.”

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Gizmodo

This freaky robotic fish is powered by ‘blood’

James Pikul of the School of Engineering and Applied Science co-authored a study in which researchers developed a soft, robotic lionfish powered by a blood-like compound. “This robot blood is our first demonstration of storing energy in a fluid that is normally only used for actuation,” he said.

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Scientific American

How the mind emerges from the brain’s complex networks

Danielle Bassett of the School of Engineering and Applied Science co-authored an article about network neuroscience, which allows us to see the origins of mental activity in the brain. One day, they write, “a neuroscientist who knew all the principles of brain function and everything about someone’s brain could predict that person’s mental conditions—the future, as well as the past, would be present inside the person’s mind.”

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The Guardian

Reversible superglue proves strong enough to hold average man

Shu Yang and colleagues from the School of Engineering and Applied Science have developed a new glue from hydrogel, inspired by snail slime. “The mucus [snails] produce is a viscous liquid, but when it dries they become firmly stuck,” said Yang.

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