April 2008 Newsletter

Dear Friends of CITRIS:

The two projects featured in our newsletter demonstrate the tremendous power of
technology for social impact. It is exciting and gratifying to see simple,
innovative modifications to existing technologies opening the doors of modern
medicine to millions of people who have, until now, been locked out. First, we
describe a project out of Daniel Fletcher's UC Berkeley lab that fits an
inexpensive microscope onto an off-the-shelf, camera-equipped cell phone. When
stuck together, these two ordinary devices make an extraordinary tool that can
instantly and inexpensively send microscopic images of blood cells to labs
hundreds or thousands of miles away. Once in use, the CellScope will allow
paraprofessionals working in remote rural areas to get quick and definitive
diagnoses for such blood-related conditions as malaria, cholera, and sickle
cell anemia. It will also allow for easy and affordable epidemiological studies
in those areas most hard hit by these infectious diseases.

Our second story focuses on an effort to transform wireless network technology
into an inexpensive broadband communication alternative connecting small
rural health clinics, manned by high-school-aged volunteers, to urban
hospitals. Eric Brewer's Technology and Infrastructure for Emerging Regions
(TIER) Lab has taken off-the-shelf technologies—in this case 802-11 standard Wi-Fi
cards and routers—and modified them to accomplish an altogether new purpose:
long distance Wi-Fi links bringing essential medical services to the needy.

CITRIS also features these ideas and projects in its exciting Health
Technologies Tele-Seminar Series. Daniel Fletcher, whose CellScope is the
subject of one of our features, gave a great contribution on March 31 (http://www.citris-uc.org/Mar31-telehealth),
and the series continues through early May. It culminates in a conference
co-organized by the UC Davis School of Medicine and science and engineering
faculty at CITRIS. Called SCHEME (Scientific Colloquium for Health Engineering
and Medicine), this day-long event draws expertise from all of the CITRIS
campuses and numerous disciplines. It will take place on Friday, May 16 at the
UC Davis Medical Center and features innovative work aimed at improving the
delivery of healthcare. It promises to be a fascinating conference and is a
follow-up from a similar-themed conference in January: http://www.citris-uc.org/healthcare2008.

All along, the CITRIS mission has been to blend exciting IT with projects of
high social impact. More than ever, those efforts resonate with the use-inspired
CITRIS research themes.

Keep up the good work!

Professor Paul K. Wright
Acting Director, Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of


C-GRACE International
Meeting in Copenhagen

In June 2008, CITRIS is organizing C-GRACE, one of several
mission-critical meetings leading up to the next U.N. Climate Summit.



Speakers: Steve Wright and Jennie Chin Hansen in April

CITRIS will host two distinguished speakers this month:
Steve Wright, Head of Strategic Research at BT, will speak at 11am on April 24,
and Jennie Chin Hansen, the President-Elect of AARP, will speak on the needs of
seniors at 4pm on April 28. Both talks will be in 290 HMMB at UC Berkeley and



Student competition:
$25K in prizes

CITRIS will give away $25K in cash prizes for the best ideas
that demonstrate the ability of IT to address a major societal challenge in the
third annual CITRIS White Paper competition. The judging and awards will take
place on April 25 in 290 HMMB from 3-5pm.



Green Technology Entrepreneurship Academy

The GTEA provides science and
engineering research faculty, post-docs and doctoral students with the necessary
knowledge and skills to move environmentally sustainable and green technology
research out of the laboratory and into practice. Held in Nevada on July 7-11, the applications are due May 2.



Student’s work
featured in MOMA exhibit

Matthew Scullin, a graduate student at UC Berkeley, is part
of a collaborative exhibit currently on display at the Museum of Modern Art in
New York City. The exhibit, “Design and the Elastic Mind,” explores the
reciprocal relationship between science and design in the contemporary world.


Intel and Microsoft
launch Par Lab at UC Berkeley

UC Berkeley is partnering with Intel and Microsoft to
establish the Par Lab, which will accelerate developments in parallel computing
and advance the powerful benefits of multi-core processing to mainstream
consumer and business computers.


Banks, Phone Companies
are Identity-theft Targets

A recent study by CITRIS researchers shows that banks and
telecommunications companies are top targets for identity-theft.


Video from Chris
Somerville's talk is Available

The video from Chris Somerville's popular talk here in
February on "Development of Cellulosic Biofuels" is available online.