Posts tagged ‘IGERT interdisciplinary’

June 1, 2012

Drumroll, Please…

63,085 page views.

13,761 unique visitors from 103 countries.

13,237 video views.

3,955 public choice votes cast.

542 unique discussion posts.

The analytics have been studied.

The votes have been tallied.

And as of today, the  RESULTS ARE IN for the IGERT 2012 Online Video and Poster Competition!!!!!!!

In case you went off-grid on May 22nd-25th and missed the excitement—okay, we’re still really excited—check out all 113 videos and posters from this year’s talented batch of interdisciplinary science and engineering grad students in IGERT programs nationwide.

THEN filter and sort your way to the 25 awardees’ videos and posters. To whet your appetite, here is ‘Energy Textiles’—the triple-threat video and poster from Kristy Jost and Carlos Perez that netted the Judges’ Choice vote, the Community Choice vote, AND the Public Choice vote. Assuredly, Kristy’s and Carlos’ research significantly ups the possible applications of that tee-shirt you’re wearing…

Speaking of energy, the other awardee in the Public Choice category, Jesse Kohl, is researching how nano-engineering of photons (conventional light) into compressed volumes can result in greater energy efficiency for LEDs, solar cells, and lasers. Eureka!

While energizing fabric or harvesting light might sound like science of the future, these kinds of cross-disciplinary research applications are being investigated now in labs and classrooms across the country—and on the hub. So don’t be left in the dark and cold without an energy-storing tee—get a glimpse of these innovations of today before they’re the inventions of tomorrow!

May 9, 2012


Innovation. It’s the post-millennium buzzword—the hot marketing catchall with the same notoriety and futuristic bent as Apple’s ‘Think Different” campaign of the late 90s. It’s 2012, and we have an Innovation Charter Academy, The Tech Museum of Innovation, the notion of an ‘Innovation Economy’, and even locally—the Cambridge Innovation Center. But where does innovation start? How does it happen? And where are all these innovators hanging out and getting their coffee?

I think you might find some of these innovators with their cup of coffee in one hand and a smartphone in the other—logging on to to check in with their research mentors 1000 miles away.

Q:What is IGERT? A: It is the National Science Foundation’s Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship, which has funded 280 interdisciplinary innovative graduate programs.

Every day, IGERT trainees are engaging in the science of innovation and engineering solutions—if you can imagine it or merely ask a question about it, IGERT students are likely working on it. Think Matrix-style, movement-triggered security systems are cool? There’s an IGERT team researching unique-to-user, motion-activated security systems. Wonder if our ecosystem can support sustainable agriculture in the future? There is an IGERT team studying the molecular machinery involved in botanical stress responses—and how plants can be engineered to be environmentally stress-resistant. Need a viable justification for getting a full night’s sleep? There’s even an IGERT team researching how uninterrupted circadian rhythms stave off neuro-degenerative diseases.

On May 22nd-25th, we will all get a glimpse into the world of innovation (and perhaps a prescient look at tomorrow’s discoveries) with the 2012 IGERT Online Video and Poster Competition. In keeping with’s pioneering developments in online collaboration, the IGERT community will open up to invite members of the public (that’s us!) to check out 114 cool video with poster submissions, interact with the students themselves, and cast votes for the new Public Choice Award.

So where does innovation start? How does it happen? It starts with a graduate student with a desire to apply science for the common good. And it’s happening now—across the country—and across the web—on

On May 22nd, head to:

For last year’s Archive, check out: