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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University April 28, 2008 | Vol. 37 No. 32
In Brief


APL's STEREO mission stars in Smithsonian IMAX film

STEREO spacecraft animations created by Steve Gribben of the Technical Communications Group at APL sizzle on the big screen in 3D Sun, a digital IMAX film that opened in March at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C. The 20-minute movie features the STEREO — for Solar TErrestrial RElations Observatory — mission to help audiences understand the impact the sun has on Earth.

Moviegoers feel like they're floating alongside the spacecraft while coronal mass ejections blast from the sun, solar particles stream past, and auroras dance across the Arctic Circle's night sky.

Featured in the film is Nicky Fox of APL's Space Department, who explains how these shimmering waves of light are created when charged particles from the solar wind are channeled through Earth's magnetic field into the polar regions. Essentially, she says, when the sun sneezes, the Earth catches a cold.

Additionally, STEREO's first 3-D images of the sun are featured, and the APL-based mission operations center is highlighted with several team members shown operating the twin observatories.

The film, which is being shown internationally and in multiple languages, will run at the Smithsonian's Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater through at least late May.


New classroom technology showcased at MSE Library

Winners of the 2008 Technology Fellows competition will demonstrate their technological innovations from 1 to 3 p.m. on Tuesday, May 6, on Q-Level at Homewood's MSE Library. All nine of the faculty-student teams will be available to explain how they used their $5,000 mini-grants to enhance undergraduate instruction.

Projects cover a wide range of disciplines, from Mapping Museums and Human Anatomy to Illustrating Transport Phenomena and Digital Adventures in the History of Music.

All faculty who attend will receive a free 1GB mini- –flash drive with information about the Technology Fellowship Program. Students who attend will have a chance to receive gift certificates at Cafe Q.

Now in its eighth year, the Technology Fellowship Program was created by the Sheridan Libraries' Center for Educational Resources to assist faculty in the development of digital course resources. Funded by the Office of the President and the Smart Family Foundation, the program awards $5,000 grants to faculty/student teams for projects that integrate technology into instructional programs. CER technology experts and librarians collaborate with the teams on projects that encourage active learning, facilitate access to course materials and enhance pedagogy.

For more information about the program, contact Cheryl Wagner at or 410-516-7181 or go to


Jacqueline Pollauf performs in 'Peabody at Homewood' concert

The Peabody at Homewood concert series concludes the season on Friday, May 2, with a 5:45 p.m. performance by harpist Jacqueline Pollauf, who has been praised as playing with "glittering beauty."

Pollauf has appeared as the featured soloist with the Toledo, Newark and Firelands symphony orchestras, and is the principal harpist with the Philadelphia Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra. She will perform works by Handel, Respighi Rota and Pescetti. Pollauf holds bachelor and master of music degrees from Peabody, where she studied with Ruth K. Inglefield.

Tickets are $15; $12 members. Reservations are required; call 410-516-5589.


Applied Physics Laboratory names its Inventions of the Year

A system to scope out suspicious computer use, an epidemic-identification program and super- thin batteries based on nanotubes are APL's Inventions of the Year. The winners were selected from the 125 inventions reported by 177 staffers in 2007. An independent panel of 25 representatives from industry and patent law selected the top inventions based on their benefit to society, improvement over existing technology and commercial potential.

Kristin Gray, APL technology transfer director, presented plaques and cash awards to the winning inventors and their inventions:

The Passive Forensic Identification of Networked TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol) Communication Endpoints, crafted by Russell Fink, can "fingerprint" a networked computer and allow investigators to monitor changes in its profile for security violations or malicious use, without having to remove the hard drive or tip off users that they're under investigation. The prototype system addresses one of the top challenges in computer security today: that a network is more likely to be compromised by people inside the organization than by outside hackers, worms or viruses.

The Bayesian Information Fusion Network technique, developed by Zaruhi Mnatsakanyan, is designed to reduce false alarms in networked disease-surveillance systems, specifically the APL- developed Electronic Surveillance System for Early Notification of Community-Based Epidemics, deployed throughout the United States. The technique fuses information from multiple sources to determine whether certain statistical anomalies actually indicate an epidemic, automating how an epidemiologist would rule out certain conclusions.

A high-capacity, long-lasting nanotube battery thinner than a human hair is being developed by Paul Biermann, Craig Leese, Jeffrey Maranchi, Gary Peck and Rengaswamy Srinivasan. The batteries could find uses in structures, sensors, sensor networks, remote-controlled toys and vehicles, microprocessors and controllers.


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