Articles



Introducing Resonance

Co-authored by co-instructors Jason K. Moore and Kenneth Lyons. Course Description Introduction to Mechanical Vibrations is a 30+ year old upper level elective in the mechanical engineering curriculum at the University of California, Davis. It is a classic mechanical engineering course that stems from the courses and books of Timoshenko …

Teaching Modeling and Simulation with Python

Many instructors that teach modeling and simulation topics in a variety of domains are turning to computational thinking and active learning in their classrooms. In particular, the Jupyter Notebook platform is being rapidly adopted by instructors worldwide to deliver interactive instructional content to students. The Jupyter Notebook arose from the …

In Defense of the NSF

In 2009, Mont Hubbard, Ronald A. Hess, Dale L. Peterson, and I were awarded $300K for a two year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to study how people are able to balance on bicycles. We completed the work in September 2012 after an additional one year no-cost extension …

Freeport Boulevard Road Diet

Photo from the Sacramento Bee article. The Sacramento Bee published an article today showing off the city's work in making Freeport Boulevard safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. This makeover for the road was spurred by a locally viral video created by a McClatchy high school student years ago showing how …

NeverEnding Tandem

Yumi and I have two great friends, Aubrey and Kent, and they got hitched in mid May. Kent is a bike minister and when he saw the tandem I'd recently acquired he asked if Aubrey and he could ride it as part of their wedding. I was happy to oblige …

Introducing the UCD MAE Solar Regatta Team

Two of our mechanical engineering students laying up the "poor man's fiberglass" on one of their catamaran hulls. A team of our mechanical engineering students are going to be racing their custom designed boat in the Northern California Solar Regatta on May 14th at the Rancho Seco Recreational Area. They …

Teaching Git to 100 CS Undergrads

Last week I taught an introduction to version control with Git to the UCD computer science capstone design course. There were about 100 students and I took them through the Software Carpentry Git lesson in just over 1.5 hours. From the feedback, I think it went really well. But …

Which topic should launch the UCD Hacker Within?

I've been yearning for some kind of scientific computing meetup group at UC Davis and the spent last quarter searching for some like minded folks that would like to help me organize such a group. It finally came together after meeting Richard Feltstykket, Genome Center Sys Admin and Physics Student …

Doing Math with Python Review

I had the pleasure of reviewing Amit Saha's book "Doing Math with Python" over the Christmas break and this post contains the email I sent to Amit. Amit, I had a chance to go through the book today. I really enjoyed it and think you've done a great job with …

Teaching Mechanical Design

My first quarter as a lecturer at UCD ended this past Friday with my final exam for my mechanical design course. I think the quarter went really well and that my students developed some solid design skills. Mike Hill, a veteran Prof. in our department, hit the nail on the …

Where to go in the Netherlands

I lived in the Netherlands from August 2008 to August 2009 and many of my friends that have visited or moved there since then have asked for my recommendations on what to do and see. This post gives a rundown of what I thought was the most interesting things there …

Building energy efficiency journal club

Jonathan Woolley and Vinad Narayanan are hosting a building energy efficieny journal club next quarter. Hi folks, Vinod Narayanan and I are hosting a small graduate level journal review course for Winter quarter - it should be an interesting forum for discussion on a range of current issues surrounding energy efficiency …

Summary of FYEE 2015

I recently attended the First-Year Engineering Education Conference in Roanoke, VA (FYEE). I decided to go so I could immerse myself in the engineering education community for both inspiration and preparation for my new lecturer position at UC Davis. The conference was also very close to my hometown so I …

My first data paper

I have been working on a gait control identification project since I started as a post doc at Cleveland State University in July 2013. Last night the first publication from this effort was published in PeerJ. The paper is unconventional in that it is solely about the data we collected …

Vectorized Matrix Evaluation

I'm working on using direct collocation and nonlinear programming for system/parameter identification. This requires evaluating a vector of constraint equations and it's sparse Jacobian. When there are thousands of collocation nodes and a fair number of model states the equations need to be evaluated on the order of a …

NCSRR Visiting Scholar Wrap Up

This is my last day here at Stanford's Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab for the NCSRR visiting scholar program. This blog post summarizes what I've done while being here over the last five weeks. I reviewed the proposal I wrote almost 7 months ago for this visiting position. My main goals were …

PyCon 2014 Notes

PyCon 2014 in Montreal was a fabulous conference. I'm blown away by the Python community everytime I go to the various flavors of Python conferences. They are just plain fun. The talks are superb. I learns tons. The people are inspiring. I love the fact that the last half of …

Negotiating the Academic Job Offer Session Notes

Some raw notes on the "Negotiating the Academic Job Offer" panel discussion. Panelists Kathy Kash (Prof/Chair, Physics) Bob Savinell (Prof, Chemical Engineering) Jim Kazura (Prof, International Health, Medicine & Pathology) Dave Schiraldi (Prof/Chair, Macromolecular Science & Engineering) Kathy Case to Case in 1994 as an associate prof. Came from industry …

PyDy ODE Code Generation

I've been working on implementing a walking simulation model that is based on and compatible with a model developed by my PI, Ton van den Bogert, in http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiomech.2009.12.012. Ton provided me with source code that that derives the equations of …

Academic Job Search Session Notes

I went to a well attended and well put together panel discussion at Case today entitled "Behind the Scenes with the Search Committee: The Academic Application Process". It was actually intimidating and made me realize that my game needs to be improved if I want to have a shot at …

PyCon 2014 Walking Proposal

I wrote up a last minute PyCon 2014 proposal last night at 11:30 and pressed save at 24:00...which was too late. Here are the details so I can save it for another time. I did manage to submit a tutorial on PyDy, but I think that has …

Campus District Assessment

I participated in a Cleveland Campus District bicycle and pedestrian assessment last Tuesday. Here is a copy of the thoughts I sent to the organizing groups: It was nice to meet you all on the assessment last week. I've been meaning to send in my responses before now, but I …

Copyright at Engineering Conferences

Three of my papers got accepted to BMD 2013 (two oral presentations and one poster). I'm very elated about this as I only got a poster presentation at the first BMD conference in 2010 and I will finally get to talk about my dissertation work in front of my peers …

Being New

I started my new job as a Research Associate/Fellow at Cleveland State University Monday. I had to fill out some standard paperwork the first morning over in HR. Turns out Ohio state employees don't pay into Social Security because of the pension system in place, so I had to …


Fixin' photo timestamps

Yumi and I just got back from a month long bicycle tour of Japan. We took two cameras with us. My Panasonic Lumix stopped autofocusing the first day of the trip, so we used her Canon Powershot for all the photographing. We dropped the Canon twice on the trip and …

Hindawi

I just received an email from Hindawi Publishers inviting me to submit an open access journal article for a topic I no nothing about. The email was from fluids@journals.hindawi.com. I've heard that Hindawi is legit but these kind of practices make them seem like scammers. Here is …

Ohio City Bicycle Co-op

I was at a job interview in Cleveland this week for a professor position at Cleveland State University. The first thing Yumi and I did was to get a rental bicycle for her as I had my new folding bicycle with me. Cleveland has a 12 year old bicycle co-op …

Dynamics with Python

/** * HTML5 ✰ Boilerplate * * style.css contains a reset, font normalization and some base styles. * * Credit is left where credit is due. * Much inspiration was taken from these projects: * - yui.yahooapis.com/2.8.1/build/base/base.css * - camendesign.com/design/ * - praegnanz.de/weblog/htmlcssjs-kickstart */ /** * html5doctor.com Reset Stylesheet (Eric Meyer's …

Drive5

My good friend, Tai Stillwater, studied driver feedback for his PhD work and now as a post doc at the UCD Institute for Transportation Studies. He's got some good ideas and data to back up that people will change their energy use behavior in their vehicle if provided the right …

PST2Gmail

I must have started my emailing career sometime in high school. I remember having the address jive@gamewood.net from our local internet provider around Danville, VA. I must have erased all of that email during one of the many Windows 95 reformats I did to clean out all the …

A new website is born

I've been meaning to catch up on many long lost years of the developments in web technologies. This paired with the fact that I need a space to flush my digital life to was the impetus and my looming job search spurred me to make a new website. I finally …