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Winter 2016

Inquiry Magazine Archive

  • Spring 2016

    Spring 2016: Premium Blend

    Found in everything from space shuttles to dental fillings, composite materials have thoroughly infiltrated modern society. But their potential is still greatly untapped, offering researchers ample opportunity for discovery.

  • Fall 2015

    Fall 2015: Collision Course

    Within the particle showers created at the Large Hadron Collider, answers to some of the universe’s mysteries are waiting.

  • Spring 2015

    Spring 2015: Almost Human

    Model systems like pigeons can help illuminate our own evolutionary and genomic history.

  • Fall 2014

    Fall 2014: Small Wonder

    UT Arlington's tiny windmills are bringing renewable energy to a whole new scale.

  • Winter 2014

    Winter 2014: Overdue for an Overhaul

    The stability of our highways, pipelines, and even manholes is reaching a breaking point.

  • 2012

    2012: Mystery solved?

    Scientists believe they have discovered a subatomic particle that is crucial to understanding the universe.

  • 2011

    2011: Boosting brain power

    UT Arlington researchers unlock clues to the human body’s most mysterious and complex organ.

  • 2010

    2010: Powered by genetics

    UT Arlington researchers probe the hidden world of microbes in search of renewable energy sources.

  • 2009

    2009: Winning the battle against pain

    Wounded soldiers are benefiting from Robert Gatchel’s program that combines physical rehabilitation with treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.

  • 2009

    2007: Sensing a solution

    Tiny sensors implanted in the body show promise in combating acid reflux disease, pain and other health problems.

  • 2006

    2006:Semiconductors: The next generation

    Nanotechnology researchers pursue hybrid silicon chips with life-saving potential.

  • 2005

    2005: Imaging is everything

    Biomedical engineers combat diseases with procedures that are painless to patients.


Super Senses

Making ordinary sensors do the work of a supercomputer 

Could a series of off-the-shelf sensors replace a supercomputer? Assistant Professor Ioannis Schizas thinks so and is developing the framework for a network that can do just that.

The electrical engineer received a three-year National Science Foundation grant to create a sensing environment that uses many simple, off-the-shelf devices to process data that currently requires the use of a supercomputer.

"Sensors can give us huge amounts of data, but using and applying the data they collect requires a very powerful computer. I hope to eliminate that need through simplicity of design," Dr. Schizas explains. "When there are many sensors, there is scalability and a robust system with no single point of failure. This is attractive because costs are fixed and there is a built-in backup for every part of the system."

For the project, Schizas will search for a way to ensure that the sensors sort the desired data and ignore the rest. By using optimization techniques to determine the best placement of sensors like thermometers, he hopes to prompt the devices to collaborate with each other.

"When humans are able to collect data from sensors remotely, it reduces expense and potential injuries or casualties. It also increases efficiency because problems can be detected early," says Khosrow Behbehani, professor and former dean of the College of Engineering. "Dr. Schizas' project has great potential to change the way sensors are used."

Illustration by Harry Campbell

More articles from this issue

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