USC Viterbi open house showcases student projects

first_imgNearly 2,200 students, teachers and parents from across 28 schools attended the USC Viterbi Robotics Open House, an annual event sponsored by the Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems. Robotics researchers from the Viterbi School of Engineering made a comprehensive exhibition of all the research activities that are in progress at Viterbi.The principle organizers of the event were Maja Mataric, vice dean of research, and Katie Mills, outreach administrator for Viterbi.The event is part of the ongoing outreach efforts of Viterbi Adopt-a-School, Adopt-a-Teacher program, which aims to motivate the next generation of engineers with the creativity and possibilities of science, technology, engineering, math and machines.“USC has a relationship with a number of schools that are part of what is called as the ‘USC Family of Schools,’” said Michelle Flowers Taylor, director of the Institute of Engineering Community and Cultural Competence. “We have this ongoing relationship with schools in the area, and we engage the students and their teachers in various on-campus activities in our schools to help really provide an exposure to the students to engineering and computer science.”Graduate and postdoctoral students talked about what robotics is and how they first became interested in engineering, in addition to showing them application specific robots that they have developed. One example is Scribbler, a bot designed and programmed by Colin Quinsey, a biomedical engineer, that autonomously finds its way through a maze drawn in black ink on paper. Quinsey, talked about assembling sensors and actuators in a sized chassis which act as the eyes, ears and limbs of the robot.“A lot of our projects are open ended,” Quinsey said. “We don’t have instruction based projects, rather this is a task that you have to do and you have to solve it in whatever manner you can”.The USC VexU Robotics team, a multidisciplinary mechatronics design team and a finalist in the 2016 Vex World Competition for the design, fabrication and programming of its custom built robots, also put up a display.Students were also shown the possibilities of controlling robots through brainwaves. Ali Marjaninejad, a doctoral candidate in biomedical engineering and Chris Lynn, a postdoctoral  student in brain body dynamics, talked about their “Modellers” research which has been ongoing in collaboration with the Caltech David Andersen Lab. The research goes a long way to help patients with disabilities mimic the abilities of a normal person with mechanical prosthetic. Marjaninejad and Lynn explained how electrodes arranged on the brain surface of a subject carried signals to the robot controller which acted to the accord of the user.“I’m studying the physiology of movement and muscle control, particularly manual dexterity,” Lynn said. “We are doing this to learn not only how dexterity is possible, but also using small hand manipulation tasks in order to quantify and characterize disease states.”Zhi Su, a biomedical engineer, put up a display of robotic arm which could drive a screw into a machine.“The way my project works is actually very intuitive,” Su said. “Robots have a memory of their previous experience with one form of objects and then use the experience to do other forms of different objects.”last_img read more

Dominic Smith doesn’t want to be traded: ‘I only want to play for the Mets’

first_img“I don’t pay too much attention to stuff I can’t control,” Smith told reporters. “I know baseball is a business at the end of the day. It’s just how the game is. I love New York. I only want to play for the Mets. This is all I know. This is home for me and my family. I love it here and I’m just trying to establish myself and just get better every day.”Dominic Smith on trade rumors:”I don’t really pay attention to too much stuff I can’t control…I love New York, I only want to play for the Mets…this is home for me” pic.twitter.com/r5pHfpAezy— SNY (@SNYtv) July 18, 2019Smith is having a breakout season for New York as he’s slashing .294/.376/.536 with nine home runs and 18 RBIs in 81 games. The team has even started to play him in left field in order to get him more at-bats. Related News If you’re in a pinch, call @TheRealSmith22.#MustC https://t.co/HZI3CBTBqa pic.twitter.com/8kqNnYdTUR— New York Mets (@Mets) July 18, 2019The Mets are expected to be sellers before the July 31 trade deadline and they’re reportedly exploring moving Zack Wheeler, Jason Vargas and Todd Frazier, amongst others.New York, however, enters play Thursday on a four-game winning streak and is just five games out of the second wild-card spot with a 44-51 record. MLB trade rumors: What could Yankees, Astros, Padres offer for Noah Syndergaard? Noah Syndergaard addresses trade rumors, says he loves being with Mets Dominic Smith does not want to leave New York.The 24-year-old’s name has begun to surface in trade rumors because he’s behind star Pete Alonso at first base on the Mets’ depth chart. But, Smith said he hopes he isn’t moved. Mets manager Mickey Callaway praised Smith when he spoke with reporters after a 14-4 win over the Twins.“Offensively, we knew he was capable of this,” Callaway said, via Newsday. “You could see the sweet swing, the plate discipline, his ability to go the other way, his ability to pull the ball. I think his ability to move around and play multiple positions and do it pretty well is the surprising part and the thing that we’re kind of proud of right now.” GM Brodie Van Wagenen: Mets will take ‘underdog role’ as trade deadline approach changeslast_img read more

MLB free-agent predictions: Rankings, rumors for the top 10 players on the market

first_img10. Yasmani Grandal, 31, CThoughts: Grandal’s struggles in the 2018 postseason (he hit .138 for the Dodgers) had to be the primary reason he wasn’t able to land the type of deal he wanted on the free-agent market, settling for a one-year deal with a mutual option with the Brewers in mid-January. But Grandal was great for Milwaukee, hitting 28 homers to go with a .380 on-base percentage and 119 OPS. He should fare much better on the free-agent market this time, especially because he can’t be given a qualifying offer and won’t have draft-pick compensation attached.Possible destinations: Twins, Reds, White Sox, Brewers, BravesSN’s prediction: RedsUPDATE: Grandal signed a four-year, $73 million deal with the White Sox. We’ve already ranked the top 87 free agents in this year’s class, but today we’re going to take a deeper dive in to the top 10 players on that list. Well, the top 11. There’s already been an adjustment, hopefully a sign of things to come; Aroldis Chapman was No. 10, but he agreed to a new deal with the Yankees instead of opting out of the two years and $30 million left on his contract. Yasmani Grandal, who was No. 11, slides up one spot.  For each of the 10, we’ll take a quick look at why they’ll be attractive as a free agent, a couple of places they might wind up and then a prediction.  MORE: Every MLB team’s most pressing free-agent need1. Anthony Rendon, 29, 3BThoughts: Rendon’s days as an overlooked star disappeared with his incredible postseason performance — .328 average, 1.003 OPS, three homers and 15 RBIs in 17 games — as the Nationals won the World Series. And that, on top of his incredible second-half performance — .336 average, 1.023 OPS, 14 homers, 64 RBIs in 71 games — has vaulted him to the top of SN’s list of top free agents. The difference between Rendon and the guys in the 2-3-4 spots on this list? They’re all elite stars, but as a position player, Rendon has the opportunity to make an impact on 162 regular-season games, not just 33, and 20-something games in October, not just five or six. Possible destinations: Mets, Yankees, Nationals, Angels, White Sox, Rangers, PhilliesSN’s prediction: Nationals2. Gerrit Cole, 29, SPThoughts: The big right-hander is everything a contender could want from a top-of-the-rotation ace. He’s only 29 years old and should win the AL Cy Young award when it’s announced Nov. 13, which would be more than enough for a massive contract. His 326 strikeouts this season were the most in MLB since Randy Johnson’s 334 in 2002 and the most in the AL since Nolan Ryan’s 341 way back in 1977. But then you add in October, when he allowed zero or one run in four of his five starts and went at least seven innings every time? Back up the Brinks truck, folks. Possible destinations: Yankees, Angels, Astros, Dodgers, Padres, PhilliesSN’s prediction: Angels 3. Stephen Strasburg, 31, SPThoughts: After his incredible postseason performance — 1.98 ERA, 47 strikeouts in 36 1/3 innings — helped lift the Nationals to the World Series championship, Strasburg opted out of the four years and $100 million remaining on his current deal. Even if he wants to stay with the Nationals, which isn’t even remotely a stretch, opting out was kind of a no-brainer. He was pretty impressive in the regular season, too, leading the NL with 209 innings, while striking out 251 and posting a 3.32 ERA/3.25 FIP. Possible destinations: Yankees, Nationals, Angels, Padres, Phillies, White SoxSN’s prediction: Nationals4. Madison Bumgarner, 30, SPThoughts: Admittedly, it feels wrong to think of MadBum wearing any other uniform, but the way the Nationals and Astros rode strong starting pitching into the World Series probably helps his case a bit. His numbers weren’t quite as good in 2019, the first time since 2016 he’s stayed healthy and pitched a full season. But he’s still striking out nearly a batter an inning (8.8 K/9) and still striking out a lot more guys than he walks (4.72 K/BB ratio). And maybe this doesn’t really matter, but with as much as Bumgarner clearly loves to bat, it stands to reason he might prefer an NL team. Possible destinations: Giants, Braves, Phillies, Cardinals, Astros, Yankees, MetsSN’s prediction: Yankees5. J.D. Martinez, 32, DHThoughts: His numbers dropped a little bit in 2019, but that’s mostly because he was incredible in 2017-18. Martinez still popped 36 homers, to go with a .304 average, .939 OPS and 3.3 bWAR as Boston’s DH. He has an opt-out (with a $2.5 million buyout) and three years, $62.5 million remaining on his current deal. At this point, of course, with his mediocre glove and back issues — Boston limited his time in the field as much as possible in 2019 — he’s mostly an AL-only option at DH, unless an NL team is just that desperate for a lineup upgrade in outfield. Possible destinations: Mariners, White SoxSN’s prediction: White SoxUPDATE: Martinez decided against opting out of his deal, so he’s back with Boston for 2020. 6. Josh Donaldson, 34, 3BThoughts: After injury issues in 2017 and 2018, Donaldson proved in 2019 — on a one-year deal with the Braves — that he’s still an elite middle-of-the-order bat (37 homers, .900 OPS) who plays above-average defense at third base, and more than one contender could use that combination (he had a 6.1 bWAR). At 34 years old, he’s not going to land a long deal, but a two or three year deal with a high AAV seems mutually beneficial for the right team. He’s a cheaper, but still very much a win-now, option for teams that don’t land (or bid on) Rendon.Possible destinations: Phillies, Mets, Cardinals, Braves, Nationals, BrewersSN’s prediction: Braves 7. Hyun-Jin Ryu, 33, SPThoughts: Ryu made 44 starts over the past two seasons, and he’s produced a 2.21 ERA, which is pretty darn impressive. Plus, because he accepted the Dodgers’ qualifying offer last year, he will be free of draft-pick compensation, which will be a big plus for the lefty, in this era when teams are hesitant to give up those picks. Possible destinations: Dodgers, Twins, Angels, RangersSN’s prediction: Dodgers8. Zack Wheeler, 30, SPThoughts: Wheeler’s ERA this year (3.96) was above his career average, but his FIP (3.48) was below his career average. He often looks like a Cy Young candidate out there, and you can bet that’s how his agents will frame his resume. He won’t get as much as the elite starters on the market, but he might produce relatively similar numbers. Possible destinations: Mets, Yankees, Angels, Phillies, Dodgers, CubsSN’s prediction: Phillies9. Nicholas Castellanos, 28, OFThoughts: Castellanos seemed clearly revived when he was traded from the Tigers to the Cubs and joined a pennant race. In 51 games with Chicago, the corner outfielder hit 16 homers, batted .321 and posted a 151 OPS+. Also, he doesn’t turn 28 until March 4, making him a couple of years younger than most free agents this offseason. Possible destinations: Cubs, White Sox, Rays, Indians, Red SoxSN’s prediction: Red Soxlast_img read more

Hurricanes succumb to Lions

first_imgUp 22-3 just before the halftime break, but the Lions found their rhythm in the second half to set up a showdown with the Crusaders in Johannesburg next weekend.It ended an eight match losing streak for the Lions against the Hurricanes, including last season’s Super Rugby final when they were beaten 20-3 in Wellington.It also extends the stay of Gloucester-bound Lions coach Johan Ackermann for one more game, when he will have the chance to end his four-year stay by helping them become just the second South African team, after the Bulls, to lift the Super Rugby trophy.A Lions win looked unlikely as the Hurricanes scored three unanswered tries to halfback TJ Perenara, wing Wes Goosen and loose-forward Ardie Savea as they piled on the pressure and fed off mistakes made by the jittery Lions.But when prop Jacques van Rooyen bulldozed over for a try just before half-time, there was a massive shift in momentum.Suddenly the Lions were rampant and dominating the collisions, with the Hurricanes battling to contain the physical onslaught.Hlafback Ross Cronje, hooker Malcolm Marx, centre Harold Vorster, flank Kwagga Smith and flyhalf Elton Jantjies all scored tries.A joint Super Rugby record 15th try of the season for centre Ngani Laumape stemmed the tide, as the Hurricanes ran out of puff in the altitude of Johannesburg. Photo: PhotoSport There’ll be no repeat of 2016 for the Hurricanes.last_img read more

$25M set aside for night court arrangements

first_imgApproximately million has been allocated to facilitate night court sessions, which are expected to commence in a matter of weeks.Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan told media operatives on Monday that while certain terms were yet to be determined, Government has set aside a huge sum of money to cover the expenses of this undertaking.“The Minister of Finance (Winston Jordan) has allocated a sum in the vicinity of million for this kind of arrangement…I don’t know if that will be sufficient, depending on how many Magistrates we appoint,” he explained.Initial reports had suggested that there would be five temporary Magistrates appointed to man the night court.Ramjattan noted that the Judicial Services Commission would have to convene a meeting to appoint the Magistrates.Government took a decision to introduce the night court system in an effort to dispose of the huge back-log of cases that have kept inmates on remand for years.This initiative is part of a package of prison reforms taken by the Administration following the deadly prison riot at the Camp Street penitentiary which claimed the lives of 17 inmates.Presently, Magistrates open their courts from 09:00h and close at 14:00h, Monday to Friday.According to reports, the night courts will be opened from 16:00h to 20:00h, Monday to Friday.Acting Chancellor of the Judiciary, Justice Carl Singh had suggested that this initiative last for a period of six months.last_img read more

BOOK-KEEPER WHO STOLE ALMOST €40,000 FROM PHARMACY GETS SUSPENDED JAIL SENTENCE

first_imgA book-keeper who stole almost €40,000 from a Co Donegal pharmacy has received a suspended jail sentence.Letterkenny court.Christine Griffin admitted to 31 charges of defrauding her employers over a two year period. Ms Griffin, from Carrickmagrath, Ballybofey, stole a total of €39,770 from Flatley’s Pharmacy of Pound Street, Stranorlar.Detective Garda Brendan Regan told the court that more than €20,000 of the stolen cash had now been paid back.Another cash lodgement of €500 was produced in court today.The court was told that 47 year old Ms Griffin had shown considerable remorse at her actions.She was now working in her local community and was held in very high regard by her new employer.Judge Paul Kelly said he appreciated there was considerable remorse but that she had undertaken an elaborate scheme to defraud a considerable amount of money from her former employer.He jailed her for nine months on a sample charge but suspended the sentence for a period of two years and ordered her to be of good behaviour.He also issued a compensation order against Mr Griffin of €17,660 and ordered that monthly instalments of €500 be paid to the injured party.The court also heard that Ms Griffin had sought a meeting with her former employer.A representative on behalf of Flatley’s Pharmacy was in court.Solicitor for Ms Griffin, Mr Patsy Gallagher, thanked the company for how they had acted in the course of the investigation and subsequent court case.BOOK-KEEPER WHO STOLE ALMOST €40,000 FROM PHARMACY GETS SUSPENDED JAIL SENTENCE was last modified: April 15th, 2015 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more