Winners announced for Big Ideas contest

Congratulations to all of this year's twelve finalists, who did a fantastic job representing their work at the April 25 poster session. This year, six proposals received a total of $30,000 in prize money. Click here to support your favorite Big Ideas projects.

First prize of $15,000: Minimally Obtrusive Wearable Device for Continuous Interactive Cognitive and Neurological Assessment
Antoni Ivorra, Charlotte Daniels, and Boris Rubinsky, UC Berkeley
This project demonstrates the feasibility of a minimally obtrusive wearable system that can assess cognitive performance continuously throughout normal life activities by excitation of the peripheral nervous system and detection of the central nervous system response.

Second prize of $7,000: Integrated Diabetes Management
Christopher Hannemann and Sarah Beth Eisinger, UC Berkeley
A system integrating glucometers and insulin pumps with wireless data transmitters, wireless mobile devices (such as smartphones), personal computers, and a web-based records database is presented and technical and market feasibility is assessed.

Third prize of $5,000: Coupling Wind Generators with Deferrable Loads
Anthony Papavasiliou, Shmuel Oren, Mauricio Junca, Alex Dimakis, and Thomas Dickhoff, UC Berkeley
This proposal builds upon the fact that a significant proportion of the energy we consume is dedicated to duties which can be postponed. This flexibility creates a great opportunity for wind.

In addition to the top three prizes, there were three honorable mentions, who each received $1000 to support their work:

Honorable mentions, $1,000:

1) Game-Based Disaster Emergency Response Training
Kenneth Hullett, UC Santa Cruz
Our idea is to develop a training game for teaching collapsed structure rescue skills to members of emergency response community. The trainee will specify which skills they want to train, and the game will create a unique scenario that containing the appropriate challenges.

2) Bringing Reliable Power and Mobile Communication to West Africa to Improve Emergency Obstetric Care
Laura Stachel, Christian Casillas, Melissa Ho, Hal Aronson, and Andrew Sproul, UC Berkeley
We propose a “proof of concept” project to demonstrate the impact that reliable power and communications will have on addressing problems of sporadic supply electricity in rural northern Nigeria. We will design and install a photovoltaic energy system retrofit to power lighting, medical equipment and communication equipment in a major municipal hospital.

3) Application of Bayesian Networks to Infrastructure Risk Management
Michelle Bensi, Armen Der Kiureghian, Daniel Straub, UC Berkeley
The project members are undertaking efforts to formulate the theoretical principles required for developing a decision-support system for emergency response, recovery prioritization, and risk-management efforts relating to civil infrastructure systems. Ultimately, the team seeks to develop a prototype decision-support system that integrates advances in information technology, computer science and civil engineering and that will optimize decision-making in near-real time under uncertainty and with limited and evolving information.

Poster Session Photos