USD Donation and Smart Dust

Last Wednesday, Betty and I participated in a luncheon at the University of San Diego to mark a $7 million donation we made to help fund the construction of a new nursing research and simulation training center on campus. We have been involved with the Hahn School of Nursing and Health Science for a number of years now, and have supported their nursing research programs and student scholarships.

It is expected that the new Betty and Bob Beyster Institute for Nursing Research, Advanced Practice and Simulation will be completed and operational by 2017. The Hahn School is doing good work in advancing nursing and health science, and I am pleased that we can help the school do even more in this important field that touches so many lives.

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When I visited the University of Michigan last month, I enjoyed a variety of presentations made by the engineering students and faculty. One of the presentations I found of particular interest was the work being done in the area of sensor-driven computing and what they call “smart dust.”

Prabal Dutta is a key researcher in this area, and he is collaborating with other researchers on this work, including David Blaauw, Dennis Sylvester, and David Wentzloff. It is my understanding that smart dust is networks of very small (cubic-mm) integrated, autonomous, energy-harvesting nodes that can sense the environment and deliver their data over a wireless mesh network.

If successful, this line of research could have a tremendous impact on the future of computer networking. I have included a couple of slides that detail the work that Prabal Dutta and his colleagues are doing.

— Bob