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The 'Brilliant 10'

  1. Oct 2, 2006 #1

    Math Is Hard

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    Two are from UCLA. :smile: :approve:

    http://www.usatoday.com/tech/science/2006-09-11-brilliant-ten_x.htm

    • Sara Seager, 35, of Carnegie Mellon University found a way to determine distant atmospheres by studying how our own planet would look from afar.

    • Erich Jarvis, 41; Duke; animal linguistics

    Jarvis' research suggests that humans not only learn to communicate the same way as zebra finches but also that all vertebrate animals may have innate language ability.

    • Luis von Ahn, 27; Carnegie Mellon; computer science

    The most powerful computers cannot mimic the nuance of a human mind, which is why von Ahn works to harness that brainpower. He has the lofty goal of labeling every image on the Internet by turning the process into a competitive online game (espgame.org) so the word associations offered by Internet users can become aids in finding the images in future Internet searches.

    • Nima Arkani-Hamed, 34; Harvard; theoretical physics

    Arkani-Hamed was controversial enough when he theorized that gravity is escaping our universe into two extra dimensions. Now he is speculating that our universe is only one of billions of universes inside a larger "multiverse."

    • Jerry Goldstein, 35; Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio; planetary science

    Goldstein has used satellite images to demonstrate that the Earth's magnetic shield is quite volatile. He showed that during strong solar storms, the plasmasphere surrounding the planet almost disappears, which disrupts satellites, space missions and Global Positioning System receivers.

    • Melody Swartz, 37; Northwestern University/Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne; bioengineering

    The key to growing organs for transplant may lie in currents of intercellular fluid that flow through body tissue. Swartz's research suggests that such currents redistribute proteins to create capillaries and encourage tissue growth.

    • David Thompson, 36; Colorado State; climatology

    Thompson helped discover how northern Arctic Oscillation can determine the everyday weather of the northern third of the planet. Now he is studying how the hole in the ozone has shifted wind patterns enough to cool some parts of Antarctica while other areas continue to melt.

    • Kelly Dorgan, 26; University of Maine; zoology

    Darwin theorized that worms eat the soil in front of them to move underground. Dorgan upended this theory when she observed worms turning their mouths inside out to wedge themselves through the mud. Dorgan is now going to study how burrowing can affect entire coastal ecosystems.

    • Omar Yaghi, 41; UCLA-Los Angeles; materials science

    Compressing gas usually takes very high pressure or very low temperature. Yaghi used molecular building blocks to create tiny, honeycombed scaffolding, which draws gas molecules close together, potentially making hydrogen-fueled cars feasible.

    • Terry Tao, 31; UCLA; mathematics

    Winning the Fields Medal, the mathematics equivalent of the Nobel Prize, is only Tao's latest achievement. His most famous effort uncovered a pattern among prime numbers, which scientists had sought for centuries.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2006
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2006 #2
    What! No string theorists? :surprised
     
  4. Oct 2, 2006 #3
  5. Oct 2, 2006 #4
    Thanks. Didn't see the s-word mentioned explicitly anywhere in the article.
     
  6. Oct 2, 2006 #5
    I saw something about wormholes. Does that count?
     
  7. Oct 2, 2006 #6
    I don't know. Isn't the idea of wormholes (Einstein-Rosen Bridge) older than ST? As Knavish has pointed out, Nima Arkani-Hamed is an applied string theorist.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2006
  8. Oct 2, 2006 #7
    Yeah, but worms are kinda stringy.
     
  9. Oct 2, 2006 #8
    But it's the (worm)holes we're talking about, not about the worms themselves. :P
     
  10. Oct 2, 2006 #9
    Yeah but the reason I've avoided looking into string theory is because it would be like opening a can of worms.
     
  11. Oct 2, 2006 #10

    GCT

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    That Terence Tao guy.......a natural genius.
     
  12. Oct 2, 2006 #11
    Where the hell is my name on that list? You are cut off MIH......

    Cyrus, 21; too smart for school.
    You name it he did it, and at half the cost and time.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2008
  13. Oct 2, 2006 #12

    Math Is Hard

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    aw. :frown: Better luck next year, Cyrus.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 25, 2008
  14. Oct 2, 2006 #13

    Math Is Hard

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  15. Oct 2, 2006 #14

    GCT

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    He started teaching at UCLA when he was 24, and he's seems to be perfectly normal, and thus I conclude that I have a brain of a gorilla. He's not the freaky, delusional type, just breezes through everything.
     
  16. Oct 2, 2006 #15
    That's freakier!
     
  17. Oct 3, 2006 #16

    Math Is Hard

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    There's an article about him in the "UCLA Today" paper that I just got around to reading. He wasn't 21 when he got his PhD. He was 20. That same year he joined UCLA's faculty. At 24, he became a full professor.

    He seems pretty nonchalant about all the accolades he's been getting.

    "The problems I've been working on haven't miraculously gone away or solved themselves," said Tao, "and I still pick up my son from preschool."
     
  18. Oct 3, 2006 #17

    turbo

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    Last edited: Oct 3, 2006
  19. Oct 3, 2006 #18

    Math Is Hard

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  20. Oct 5, 2006 #19

    Curious3141

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