Biomimicry, Renewable Energy and Evolutionary Computation

Undergraduate Research Grant Links – GAs and GPUs

I work with GPUs and  Genetic Algorithms to evolve wavelets to improve image compression for NASA Mars rover images and other images.

The best introduction to GAs is this web app,  boxcard2d that evolves cars to ride over terrain.

GPU acceleration leverages Graphical Processing Units to accelerate scientific computation. It works very well for Genetic Algorithms where you are calculating the fitness function over and over.  I use Jacket which accelerates Matlab code using CUDA.

I took a class at UAA on Genetic Algorithms, and also on GPUs inthe  CS Computer Architecture course. I also received a lot of support from UAA in grants and mentoring.

Coolest AI project I have recently found

Recently published papers: CT97-CEC (2) MER26-CEC (4)

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I think that there will be several advances in metamaterials that will have a positive impact on renewable energy. Metamaterials are close to being able to make things invisible to the naked eye after being successful for microwaves and t-waves. Studying how butterflies have such colorful wings has led to new ways to create video displays by using the structure to create color. When I was taking physics in high school, we were taught that light couldn’t have a negative refractive index, but now that is possible with metamaterials. The impacts of these changes haven’t fully been realized and I think will lead to cool new technologies.

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Charging a battery by playing soccer

Energy harvesting has grown in popularity and was just added as a subconference at the SPIE conferences. It is the ability to harness energy from radio waves or from people walking to power small devices.  In the near future we should have cell phones and iPods that partially recharge just from us carrying the devices around on our bodies.

I think this is an interesting idea to leverage the popularity of soccer as a way to displace kerosene lamps by having a soccer ball charge an internal battery while it is being kicked. There is the problem of which kid gets to use the soccer ball to power their LED lamp at night, but I think it is a great start for inspiring other ideas.

Could you do something similar with a hockey puck? Or with a frisbee that charges from spinning and being thrown and can use that power to light up at night.

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