images allow detailed insight into grasses<img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/nph16060-toc-0001-m.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>​In a collaboration with scientists at the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center, Tao Ju and Dan Zeng, both in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, have developed an algorithm that analyzes the shape of a sorghum panicle from X-ray computed tomography.</p><p>Their work, which was published in and on the cover of <em>New Phytologist</em> in May, demonstrates how to measure a wide array of sorghum panicle traits, some of which had never been quantified before.<br/></p><p>Scientists want to study the characteristics of the panicle to learn more about the plant's yield, nutritional quality and disease resistance. Until now, they had to study the panicle manually using rulers, scales and 2D images, which limited accuracy. The 3D images provide precise quantitative data of the panicle that will allow scientists to determine differences between each of the sorghum varieties.<br/></p><p>Zeng, a doctoral student in Ju's lab, designed the algorithm to process dozens of 3D images taken by Danforth Center scientists of the sorghum panicle, a foot-long, flowering structure containing the plant's tightly-packed seeds. Two-dimensional X-ray scans are taken from various angles with the panicle on a turntable, to get the architectural traits from the image using computerized tomography (CT).<br/></p><p><img src="/news/PublishingImages/nph16533-fig-0001-m.jpg?RenditionID=2" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin: 10px;"/></p><p>Prior to Zeng's tool, to measure some traits of the panicle, such as the number of seeds and branches, one would need to physically take apart the panicle one seed or branch at a time. This manual approach is not only labor-intensive, but it also destroys the structure of the panicle and makes further evaluation difficult.<br/></p><p>Zeng's algorithm analyzes the branches of the panicle from the CT image.<br/></p><p>"The algorithm extracts branches from the image as 3D curves, and then traces along the curves to count the branches and measure their geometric properties, such as length and curvature," Zeng said. "This gets the traits directly from the image of the plant, is less time-consuming, and doesn't alter the geometry of the panicle."<br/></p><p>"With these measurements, we get a more refined characterization of the panicle, which allows us to build a better correlation between plant shape and genetics," said Ju, also vice dean for research. "Perhaps more importantly, the imaging pipeline and computational tools developed from this study get us one step closer towards high-throughput, high-resolution characterization of complex plant forms, which would enable biologists and agricultural researchers to answer more questions that were difficult to answer previously without 3D imaging."<br/></p><p>Read the full release from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center <a href="">here</a>.<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p>Li M, Shao M‐R, Zeng D, Ju T, Kellogg EA and Topp CN. Comprehensive 3D phenotyping reveals continuous morphological variation across genetically diverse sorghum inflorescences. New Phytol, 226: 1873-1885. doi:<a href="" style="background-color: #ffffff;">10.1111/nph.16533</a><br/></p><p><br/></p><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Tao Ju<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"> <strong> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Tao-Ju.aspx"></a> <img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Ju_Tao_2017.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/>​ </strong></div><div style="text-align: center;"> <br/> </div><ul><li>Professor, Computer Science & Engineering</li><li><span style="color: #343434; caret-color: #343434;">Expertise: </span><span style="caret-color: #343434;">Computer graphics and biomedical image analysis.</span><br/></li></ul><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Tao-Ju.aspx">>> View Bio</a><br/></p></div><div class="cstm-section"><h3>Dan Zeng<br/></h3><div style="text-align: center;"><strong><img src="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/3D-images-allow-detailed-insight-into-grasses/Zeng,%20Dan%20copy.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="Zeng, Dan copy.jpg" style="margin: 5px;"/><br/></strong></div><ul><li>Doctoral student, Computer Science & Engineering<br/></li></ul></div> <br/> Beth Miller 2020-07-21T05:00:00ZTao Ju and Dan Zeng, a graduate student in Ju's lab, demonstrates how to measure a wide array of sorghum panicle traits, some of which had never been quantified before.<p>​Ju lab collaborates with Donald Danforth Plant Science Center on sorghum study<br/></p> wins Dean James E. McLeod First-Year Writing Prize <img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/10745494864_IMG_2907.JPG?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​Zoe Levin, a rising sophomore in the McKelvey School of Engineering, has been awarded the <a href="">Dean James E. McLeod First-Year Writing Prize</a> from the College of Arts & Sciences and the College Writing Program.</p><p> </p><p>The program, which had more than 100 entries this year, awards a prize to one Arts & Sciences student and one student from outside of Arts & Sciences for an original research paper that explores some aspect of race, gender and/or identity. The other winner was Jewel Evans, an Arts & Sciences student, for her essay, "Commodifying Diversity: The Danger of Racial Capitalism on Student Growth in Higher Education."</p><p> </p><p>Levin, who is majoring in computer science with a minor in music, won for her essay, "Cool Kids, Camp, and Keeping Calm: Taylor Swift's Attempt to Address Homophobia." Her essay is published on <a href="">Open Scholarship </a>and, in August, will be published in the inaugural issue of <a href="">Remake</a>.</p><p> </p><p>There were two honorable mentions and nine semi-finalists. Prizes will be awarded in a fall ceremony.</p><p> </p><p><br/></p>LevinBeth Miller 2020-07-16T05:00:00ZRising sophomore Zoe Levin has won a Dean James E. McLeod First-Year Writing Prize from the College of Arts & Sciences and the College Writing Program. Engineering launches seminar series on race, STEM education<p>​In light of national conversations surrounding systemic racism, the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis will host a virtual seminar series on topics related to race and science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Education_Engineering_Race.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>The series, titled "Education, Engineering & Race," is organized by Princess Imoukhuede, associate professor of biomedical engineering; Joseph O'Sullivan, the Samuel C. Sachs Professor of Electrical Engineering; Lori Setton, the Lucy & Stanley Lopata Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering; and Jessica Wagenseil, associate professor of mechanical engineering & materials science.</p><p>"We have an opportunity to come together as a community to better understand practices and policies in STEM education and engineering that support systemic racism," Setton said. "These are very clear obstacles to achieving our greatest objectives to provide educational opportunity and advance research to improve the human condition."</p><p>The seminar series will kick off July 30, when Odis Johnson will present "#ShutDownSTEM: Connecting Race and Policing to STEM Inequities."</p><p>Johnson is a professor of sociology and education; director of the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational, and Mixed Methodologies (ICQCM); and associate director of the Center for the Study of Race, Ethnicity, and Equity in the College of Arts & Sciences at WashU.</p><p>Future speakers include:</p><ul><li>Ebony McGee, who will present "Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation" on Aug. 13; and</li><li>Brian Jefferson, who will present "Digitize and Punish: Racial Criminalization in the Digital Age" on Aug. 27.</li></ul><p>McGee is an associate professor of Diversity and STEM Education and principal investigator for the Institute in Critical Quantitative, Computational and Mixed Methodologies at Vanderbilt University, and Jefferson is an associate professor of geography and geographic information science and the O'Connell Scholar at the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.</p><p>All seminar events will be followed by 30-minute moderated breakout discussions.</p><p>Registration for this event is required and can be <a href="" target="_blank">completed online</a>.<br/></p><div><div class="cstm-section"><h2 style="text-align: left;">​Event Dates<br/></h2><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/news/PublishingImages/Odis%20Johnson%20seminar%20speaker.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/> </p><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Events/Pages/education-engineering-race-seminar-series-20200730.aspx">July 30</a><br/>Odis Johnson, PhD<br/>"#ShutDownSTEM: Connecting Race and Policing to STEM Inequities"</p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/Events/PublishingImages/Pages/education-engineering-race-seminar-series-20200812/mcgee-ebony.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> <br/> </p><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Events/Pages/education-engineering-race-seminar-series-20200813.aspx">Aug. 13</a><br/>Ebony McGee, PhD<br/>"Black, Brown, Bruised: How Racialized STEM Education Stifles Innovation"</p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/news/PublishingImages/Pages/mckelvey-engineering-launches-seminar-series-on-race-stem-education/jefferson-brian.jpg?RenditionID=3" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/> </p><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Events/Pages/education-engineering--race-seminar-series-20200827.aspx">Aug. 27</a><br/>Brian Jefferson, PhD<br/>"Digitize and Punish: Racial Criminalization in the Digital Age"<br/></p></div></div>Danielle Lacey2020-07-14T05:00:00ZThe series will kick off July 30, with a discussion on the connection between race, policing and STEM inequities. to study human-AI joint decision making with ONR grant<img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/CJ_Ho_1180.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​</p><p>Artificial intelligence (AI) makes decisions for us every day, such as choosing which ads we see on the Internet. In high-stakes situations, such as navigating unmanned aerial vehicles for military purposes, these decisions may not be fully trusted, and humans are often brought into the loop to make the final decisions.</p><p> </p><p>With a three-year, $453,000 grant from the Office of Naval Research, Chien-Ju Ho, assistant professor of computer science & engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, and his co-investigator, Yang Liu, assistant professor of computer science & engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will study AI-augmented human decision-making, with a focus on addressing how human decision biases affect the adopted policy. In addition, they will look at whether they can detect or exploit these biases of the opponent decision maker and how to design decision-making policies that are robust to opponents' attempts for exploitation.</p><p> </p><p>The research is applicable to a range of applications, including scenarios in which Naval commanders who face uncertain and adversarial environments and need to adapt to situations by making a sequence of decisions. Ho said the outcomes of the research would allow them to better explain the decisions observed from the fields and open the possibility to provide interventions to Naval commanders to smooth out any potential negative effects of human behavioral biases as well as the opponent commanders so that they will deviate from a better action.</p><p> </p><p> </p><p><br/></p>2020-07-01T05:00:00ZCJ Ho and his collaborator will study AI-augmented human decision-making with a grant from the Office of Naval Research. seeks to boost speed on cloud platform apps with CAREER Award<img alt="" src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Angelina%20Lee_3_20_04.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/36_.000">a</a></div><p>​Most personal computers, laptops and mobile phones are equipped with multicore processors. Technology has reached the physical limit on how fast one can clock the processing speed, but the computational demand of modern technology continues to grow. Hardware developers have added more processing cores into a processing chip to provide more computational power, however, writing correct and efficient software that fully uses multicore hardware is extremely challenging.<br/></p><p>I-Ting Angelina Lee, assistant professor of computer science & engineering in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, plans to develop software infrastructure that can improve programmer productivity and increase the speed of interactive applications running on cloud platforms with a five-year, $500,000 CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. CAREER awards support junior faculty who model the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellence in education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organization. One-third of current McKelvey Engineering faculty have received the award.<br/></p><p>Lee studies task parallelism, a parallel programming paradigm designed to program shared-memory multicore machines.<br/></p><p>"Task parallelism can improve programmer productivity because it provides high-level language abstractions to allow the programmer to express the logical parallelism of the computation and let an underlying runtime system to perform load balancing and synchronization automatically," Lee said. "Existing task-parallel platforms have been demonstrated to work efficiently for high-performance scientific applications in practice."<br/></p><p>Lee said task parallelism falls short in supporting modern interactive parallel applications commonly run on cloud platforms, however, because it is mainly designed to target high-performance scientific applications that use specific parallel patterns and has throughput as the main performance criterion.<br/></p><p>"Interactive applications, on the other hand, such as web services that support online gaming platforms and Google search, utilize very different parallel patterns and focus on different performance criteria," she said. "For such applications, a desirable performance criterion is responsiveness — web services tend to be long-running with both front-end computation necessary to respond to the client requests and backend computations necessary to perform the upkeep of the web servers. As the requests keep coming in, a web server needs to respond with low latency while doing enough maintenance work to allow the server to run smoothly. Because the server workload consists of different types of computations, the server must discern and prioritize front-end related computations over other background maintenance-related computations to ensure good user experience."<br/></p><p>Writing code for such interactive applications using traditional parallel programming paradigm is extremely challenging, Lee said, and she aims to develop software infrastructure so that nonexpert programmers can develop such applications that run efficiently on multicore machines.<br/></p><p>"We need new language abstraction to express nontraditional parallel patterns and novel runtime scheduling policies to enforce server responsiveness," she said. "Because both the language abstraction and the scheduling policies must change, we also need a new set of tools to help debug and performance engineer code written using the new paradigm.<br/></p><p>"What I'm trying to do is to bring properties and guarantees provided by traditional task parallelism to support high-performance computing scientific applications, which we understood well, and extend them to better support interactive parallel applications," she said.  <br/></p><p>Lee integrates parallel computing into the undergraduate and graduate courses she teaches. In addition, she is developing a simple open-source platform with colleagues called Open Cilk to support the traditional type of parallel computing for both teaching and research. The Open Cilk team is planning its first release this year.<br/></p><p>In addition, Lee is interested in improving gender diversity in the field of computer science. She does outreach events with female students from local high schools to encourage more women to go into the field. She also regularly participates in events organized by Women in Computer Science (WiCS), an organization for women in computer science at WashU.</p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><br/>2020-05-18T05:00:00ZI-Ting Angelina Lee plans to develop software infrastructure that can improve programmer productivity and increase the speed of interactive applications running on cloud platforms with a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation.