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Transforming Dreams Into Reality

College of Engineering, Computer Science & Technology


Second class of

IMPACT - LA Fellows

Starring as teaching fellows in

the second season of IM-

PACT LA are nine Cal State

L.A. graduate students work-

ing at area schools. Drawing

upon their research areas for

material, they are introducing

concepts, developing hands-on

activities, enriching curriculum

and inspiring students to see

science as fun and exciting.

Jessica Alvarenga

Electrical Engineering

Major school: Roosevelt High Schl

Research focus: Control algorithms for

a large segmented space telescope


Sean Caonguyen


Major school: Roosevelt High Schl

Research focus: Lipid-transfer proteins

in the development and aging of the

flowering plant Arabidopsis thaliana;

bioinformatics and plant evolution

Saray Felix


Major school: Hollenbeck Middle

School Research focus: Sendai virus

Tiffany Kwong


Major school: Stevenson Middle Schl

Research focus: Photoluminescence of

quantum dots related to biophysics

...continued on page 5

scientific phenomena.

Bioengineering major Mo Zhang

The children demonstrated their

said, During the summer camp,

creativity and design skills in two

I repeated my activities five times

engineering team challenges—

and by the end my gestures

Mars Rover Egg Drop Contest and became more natural, the activity

the Cardboard Boat Race.

became more fun and interesting,

and I started asking students

more questions.”

Biology major Danielle Trathen

said, I enjoyed watching the kids

learn and engage excitedly in

Cal State L.A. received a five-

the camps activities. I really liked

year $3 million grant from NSF to

working with kids from different

support the University’s IMPACT

age ranges. It was good practice

LA program. Each fellow has been

for learning how to modify the way awarded a $30,000 stipend, along

I teach for children of differing

with $10,500 for fees, books and

grade levels.

travel, to conduct research and

develop classroom activities.

Photo by: Bernard Kane. (l-r): Danielle Trathen, Johnson Wang, Tiffany Kwong, Ricardo

Sanchez, Mo Zhang, Saray Felix, Victor Mejia, Sean Caonguyen, and Jessica Alvarenga.

Find out more about IMPACT LA at the following links:

IMPACT LA at Cal State L.A.:

IMPACT LA Graduate Teaching Fellows at CSULA:

IMPACT LA Faculty Mentors at CSULA:

IMPACT LA Partner-Teachers:

First trio of IMPACT-LA Fellows:

NSF Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education Program:

graphicsgraphicsgraphics impact logolego picture

More information is available

on the Horizon Fuel Cell

Technologies website.

Blekhman said, It’s perhaps the

very first application of fuel cells to

power LEGO® MindStorms—and

successful to boot.”

The CSULA workshop also in-

cluded an introduction to robotics,

lessons on how various sensors

work, principles of programming,

program structure and modern

methods of programming.

Blekhman has been invited by

Horizons to demonstrate the fuel-

cell-powered robot at the Interna-

tional Consumer Electronics Show

in Las Vegas this coming January.

Transforming Dreams Into Reality

College of Engineering, Computer Science & Technology


5151 State University Drive • Los Angeles • CA 90032

Fuel cells power up LEGO® robot

Alt-energy leader invited to unveil retro-Mindstorms

at Las Vegas International show

Photo courtesy CSULA Spotlight: LEGO® -Mindstorm


Second class of

IMPACT - LA Fellows

Victor Mejia

Computer Science

Major school: Roosevelt High Schl

Research focus: Development of an

object-tracking algorithm for real-time

automated video analysis

Ricardo Sanchez


Major School: Stevenson Middle Schl

Research focus: Creation of software

that uses protein structural data to

predict oxidation susceptibility

Danielle Trathen


Major school: Stern Math &

Science Schl

Research focus: Gene flow and larval

connectivity patterns of sea slug

populations in the Caribbean

Johnson Wang

Electrical / Computer Engineering

Major school: Roosevelt High Schl

Research focus: Implementation of

motion-estimation calculation for the

H.264 video compression standard

on field programmable gated array


Mo Zhang

Electrical Engineering

Major school: Hollenbeck Middle Schl

Research focus: Design of a tremor

assessment task, including a disease-

analyzing algorithm and a Tablet PC,

to accurately assess Parkinson’s


By: CSULA ‘Spotlight

A different kind of MindStorms is

about to hit Las Vegas. A robotics

project at Cal State L.A. repre-

sents what is thought to be the

first fuel-cell-powered LEGO®

MindStorms Nxt robot.

It rolled out of an undergradu-

ate alternative energy workshop

taught by CSULA Technology

Associate Professor David

Blekhman last summer. Blekhman

introduced his students to the

principles of fuel cells and hydro-

gen production, with a particular

focus on automotive applications.

A video of the robot, which

runs on a Horizon H-20 fuel-

cell system, is here: http://www.

ECST logo graphicsgraphicsgraphics picture dkwon picture picture gajik picture conf picture

Strategic Alliance

Initiative & Senior Design

Cal State L.A. - ECST students work on

their capstone projects with industry

Photo courtesy CSULA ECST: Dr. Trinh Pham at the first Senior Design meeting

which included clients, faculty and students


Cal State L.A. has begun it’s second year of the

Strategic Alliance Initiative to further establish the

College of Engineering, Computer Science and

Technology (ECST) as a recognized world class

provider of professional practice experiences for its

engineering and computer science students, while

enhancing the recruitment and retention of highest

potential students.

Outcomes achieved during the first year included

a sponsored Professional Practices Program, a

sponsored Corporate Scholars Program and nine

founding Strategic Corporate Partners committed to

the programs.

The Professional Practice Program initially focuses

on corporate sponsored Senior Design projects

while continuing the development of interdisciplinary

team based learning throughout the College. The

purpose of the program is to provide students with a

capstone experience, in which they apply their theo-

retical knowledge to real applications. The current

CS welcomes new

faculty members!

New hires continue Cal State L.A.’s

reputation of quality faculty com-

mited to students and their success

California State University, Los Angeles and

the College of Engineering, Computer Science

and Technology are pleased to welcome our

four new faculty members. With these talented

scholars joining our team, we hope to continue

our tradition of transforming their dreams into


Dr. Gustavo Menezes

Dr. Deborah Won

Dept. of

Dept. of Electrical

Civil Engineering


Dr.Tammy Chan

Dept. of Mechanical


Dr. Verica


Dept. of Mechanical


Transforming Dreams Into Reality

College of Engineering, Computer Science & Technology