Master's Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering
Welcome to the March 29, 2023, edition of ACM TechNews, providing timely information for IT professionals three times a week.

ACM TechNews mobile apps are available for Android phones and tablets (click here) and for iPhones (click here) and iPads (click here).

To view "Headlines At A Glance," hit the link labeled "Click here to view this online" found at the top of the page in the html version. The online version now has a button at the top labeled "Show Headlines."

Students attend a robotics class at Mineola High School in Mineola, NY. School District Offers Blueprint for Increasing CS Student Numbers
Education Week
Alyson Klein
March 27, 2023

New York's Mineola school district has boosted the numbers of students taking computer science (CS) by infusing the subject into curricula as early as pre-kindergarten. The district also requires all ninth graders to take the Advanced Placement (AP) Computer Science Principles course; a College Board spokeswoman said no other U.S. district has such a requirement to the organization's knowledge. Nonprofit estimates at least 30% of middle schools offer CS courses, yet just a small percentage of students—particularly girls—take them. Mineola school district superintendent Michael Nagler and colleagues have incorporated design-thinking and coding into all courses and arranged with vendors to help teachers and students access CS specialists.

Full Article
*May Require Paid Registration
In Vitro 3D-Engineered Heart Tissue Monitors Drug-Induced Cardiotoxicity
Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea)
March 24, 2023

Researchers at South Korea's Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) and the Georgia Institute of Technology three-dimensionally (3D)-printed a heart engineered to monitor drug-induced cardiotoxicity in vitro. The researchers utilized biohybrid 3D printing to produce the heart, using a platform that integrates engineered heart tissue (EHT) with a bipillar-grafted strain gauge sensor for monitoring heart contractions in real time. A multichannel wireless device continuously monitors EHT contractions while testing for drug-induced acute and chronic cardiotoxicity. POSTECH's Jinah Jang said this approach "has the potential in advancing drug development, representing a critical step towards the manufacturing of next-generation tissue-sensor platform."

Full Article

A smartphone displaying the NVIDIA logo is held over a computer motherboard. Nvidia Shows Research on Using AI to Improve Chip Designs
Stephen Nellis
March 27, 2023

Nvidia released research that detailed the potential for improving chip design through artificial intelligence (AI). The approach involves combining AI methods to find better placement sites for large groups of transistors. The Nvidia researchers augmented a reinforcement learning project developed by University of Texas researchers with a second AI layer. Nvidia's Bill Dally called the work critical because chip manufacturing enhancements are decelerating as per-transistor costs in new-generation chipmaking technology exceed those of previous generations. Explained Dally, "You're no longer actually getting an economy from that scaling. To continue to move forward and to deliver more value to customers, we can't get it from cheaper transistors. We have to get it by being more clever on the design."

Full Article

A stretchable sticking plaster detects whether an injury is healing well and uses stimulating electrodes and microinjections of drugs to speed up the process. Electronic Wound Dressing Releases Drugs to Help Injuries Heal
New Scientist
Chris Stokel-Walker
March 24, 2023

Researchers at the California Institute of Technology and the University of Southern California, Los Angeles have developed a stretchable electronic bandage that can accelerate healing. The researchers created the wound dressing from a flexible printed circuit board, equipping it with electrochemical sensors that analyze biomarkers. Once the bandage is in place, users can access information on whether a wound is clean and healing via a smartphone application, then transmit a signal to the dressing to discharge an electroactive hydrogel containing an anti-inflammatory and cleaning agent. Tests on rats showed animals wearing the patch had better healed wounds after 14 days compared to those that had no treatment, only electric stimulation, or the healing drug.

Full Article
Detecting Exhaustion with Smart Sportswear
ETH Zurich (Switzerland)
Christoph Elhardt
March 24, 2023

An electronic yarn developed by researchers at Switzerland's ETH Zurich can be integrated directly into clothing, where it can measure the wearer's exhaustion level during physical activity. The yarn can be integrated into the fibers of stretchy, close-fitting garments. The yarn's inner fiber is comprised of a conductive elastic rubber, with a rigid wire covered in a thin layer of plastic wrapped around it. The fibers serve as electrodes and produce an electric field, forming a capacitor able to hold an electric charge. The yarn becomes thicker when stretched, which allows it to measure subtle changes in the wearer's running form that indicate exhaustion. In addition, ETH Zurich's Carlo Menon said, "Since the sensor is located so close to the body, we can capture body movements very precisely without the wearer even noticing."

Full Article
Israeli Computer Pioneer Passes Away Weeks After Famed Research Partner
Yedioth Ahronoth (Israel)
Yuval Mann
March 26, 2023

Israeli computer scientist Jacob Ziv passed away March 26 at age 91. Ziv, former president of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, developed the Lempel-Ziv (LZ) data compression algorithm with Abraham Lempel, who passed away in February at age 86. The algorithm set the stage for the TIFF, PNG, ZIP, and GIF compression technologies and played a major role in developing the PDF and MP3 formats. A statement from ACM read in part, "The impact of Professors Lempel and Ziv's work is so immense that current research in the field is still vibrant as it was decades ago, and every year we see more theoretical and practical researchers working on the expansion and development of the elegant idea that the two presented.”

Full Article
Using VR to Investigate Autism's Neural Network Dynamics
Kobe University (Japan)
March 29, 2023

A virtual reality (VR) imaging system designed by an international research team can analyze cortical activity in mice to clarify abnormal neural network dynamics unique to autism. The setup involved mice with their heads fixed in position and displayed images of a virtual space on a treadmill. The researchers conducted transcranial calcium imaging to measure functional area activity in the cerebral cortex in real time, visualizing the functional network through graph theory. Autistic model mice analyzed by the VR imaging system displayed reduced locomotion and distance traveled in virtual space, while their functional cortical network was dense during locomotion and exhibited reduced modularity.

Full Article

To study complex aerodynamic behaviors, this robot makes and throws paper airplanes. Paper Plane-Throwing Robot Provides Insights into Aerodynamics
Interesting Engineering
Sejal Sharma
March 21, 2023

Engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne (EPFL) built a robotic arm that constructs, throws, and analyzes the trajectories of paper airplanes. The researchers had the arm design and fly 500 paper planes and recorded their two-dimensional flightpaths with a camera. They grouped the trajectories into nosedives, glides, or recovery glides. The team found the planes’ trajectories in flight were complex, and mapping between behavior and geometry to be "unintuitive, probabilistic in nature, and cannot be solved analytically." The researchers explained, "We demonstrate how developing these models can be used to accelerate real-world robotic optimization of a design—to identify wing shapes that fly a given distance."

Full Article

Hackers at Pwn2Own gained access to the Tesla Gateway and a Model 3's infotainment system. Pwn2Own Hackers Breach a Tesla Twice
PC Magazine
Marco Marcelline
March 25, 2023

Participants of the Pwn2Own software exploitation conference hacked technology from automaker Tesla twice at the Zero Day Initiative's Pwn2Own software exploitation conference, earning $350,000 and a Model 3 infotainment system. The team from French security company Synacktiv executed a time-of-check-to-time-of-use (TOCTOU) exploit against a Tesla Gateway, then employed a heap overflow and an out-of-band write vulnerability to gain access to and compromise the Model 3. Pwn2Own describes a TOCTOU exploit as a "file-based race condition that occurs when a resource is checked for a particular value, and that value changes before the resource is used, invalidating the results of the check." SecurityWeek said Tesla is expected to release patches to correct the flaws exposed by the Synacktiv hacks.

Full Article
Team Devises Crystal-Clear Solution to Quantum Computing Puzzle
University of Texas at Dallas
Kim Horner
March 22, 2023

Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) solved the challenge of creating and positioning a defect in the solid material of solid-state qubits to control the electrons' spin states by moving away from qubits made of synthetic diamonds. Instead, the researchers use two-dimensional (2D) sheets of crystals known as transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) to control defect positions. UT Dallas' Kyeongjae Cho said TMD-based qubits should help produce reliable quantum information processing and communication during entanglement. Unlike diamond qubits, TMD-based qubits do not need to be converted to the correct infrared wavelength, which is seen as an advantage because long-distance communications between computers over optical fiber networks require signals to be in the form of infrared light.

Full Article
Cloud Tomography Algorithm Transforms Climate Studies
March 28, 2023

Ido Czerninski and Yoav Y. Schechner at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have developed an efficient inverse rendering algorithm for three-dimensional (3D) cloud distribution recovery. The researchers employed a path recycling and sorting algorithm for 3D cloud analysis. The algorithm recycles paths from previous models during inverse rendering, calculating a loss gradient at the current iteration to reduce iteration run time. The framework is applicable for scattering-based computed tomography (CT), as well as for reflectometry and X-ray scattering CT scans. The researchers used simulated and real-world data to demonstrate the accuracy of 3D cloud analysis facilitated by the framework.

Full Article

Researchers connected a Venus flytrap to a metallic structure and wirelessly commanded it to grab things. Venus Flytrap Cyborg Snaps Shut with Smartphone Commands
New Scientist
Karmela Padavic-Callaghan
March 25, 2023

Wenlong Li and colleagues at Singapore's Nanyang Technological University have transformed Venus flytraps into biological robots. The researchers attached to the plant special electrodes made from a new type of hydrogel combined with a silver mesh conductor. A wireless chip added to the electrodes allows the researchers to command the flytrap to shut its leaves via smartphone. The team also detached and connected the plant's "jaws" to a robotic arm, enabling them to pick up thin platinum wire through wireless control. The researchers say commanding flytraps to open after closing is more challenging, as the process takes up to an hour and cannot be sped up by electrical impulses.

Full Article
Learning to Grow Machine-Learning Models
MIT News
Adam Zewe
March 22, 2023

A team that included researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed a method to grow bigger machine learning models using knowledge gained from smaller models. The learned Linear Growth Operator (LiGO) method involves the use of linear mapping, transforming a set of input values for the smaller model to a set of output values for the larger model. The linear map is broken into smaller pieces so the data can be handled by a machine learning algorithm. Additionally, LiGO simultaneously expands the width and depth of the larger model, with the exact width and depth set by the user when the smaller model and its parameters are input. The method cuts training costs by about half when compared to training a new model from scratch, and the resulting models performed as well as or better than those trained using similar techniques.

Full Article
100% Online Master's Degree Programs for Information Professionals
ACM Special Interest Groups

Association for Computing Machinery

1601 Broadway, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10019-7434

ACM Media Sales

If you are interested in advertising in ACM TechNews or other ACM publications, please contact ACM Media Sales or (212) 626-0686, or visit ACM Media for more information.

To submit feedback about ACM TechNews, contact: [email protected]