Indy Autonomous Challenge (Photo courtesy of IAC)

After they drop the flag to start the race at the Indy Autonomous Challenge in October, the grand prize won’t go to the best driver but to the best-performing sensors, slickest algorithms, and fastest-thinking artificial intelligence (AI). Data science will determine the winner on the 2.5-mile oval at the famed Indianapolis Motor Speedway, when the race teams, all using the same Dallara-built AV-21 chassis, send out their driverless vehicles in search of victory.

In the first-of-its-kind race Oct. 21-23, Purdue is fielding one of those teams — Black & Gold Autonomous Racing — in collaboration with faculty and students from…


How do we best understand the spread of COVID-19 in order to institute the proper controls to mitigate the virus? Mathematical modeling provides a systematic way, based on fundamental principles and more than a century of research, to try to capture the behavior of the viral reach. Accurate models of COVID-19 can help decision makers predict the epidemic’s course, while provable algorithms can offer guidance on how to alleviate the spread.

In a very basic sense, an algorithm is a systemic set of decisions, based on the current situation, that adjusts iteratively as the algorithm progresses through its analytic data…


This photo showcases images collected from a dietary study at Curtin University, using the Purdue-developed mFR app. (Photo credit: Curtin University)

Good nutrition is not only essential for healthy development and basic survival, but also integral to well-being and disease prevention. Health conditions linked to poor diet constitute the most frequent and preventable causes of death in the U.S. and are major drivers of healthcare costs, estimated in the hundreds of billions of dollars annually. While diet needs to be understood in order to be improved, dietary intake remains difficult to measure.

Our research group has designed and developed one of the first mobile, image-based dietary assessment systems that records and analyzes images of eating occasions to accurately measure daily food…


Digital transformation leaves no stone unturned as it remakes the world for the better. Agriculture is no exception, and is witnessing a digital revolution that aims to bring the most advanced practices and analytics to the field (pun intended). The transformation is coming just in time — the world’s expected population increase to 9 billion by 2050 will only amplify the challenge to agriculture to feed and nourish everyone in the face of dwindling arable land and water sources.

The digital reshaping of agriculture will bring heightened visibility and control. Using Internet-of-Things (IoT) technologies can control an agricultural ecosystem at…


Machine learning (ML) is all the rage nowadays, with people captivated by its ability to make sense of voluminous amounts of data on its own. But the outputs of ML, and the degree to which it makes sense of data, depend to a large extent on how well we can manage the variety and changing nature of the data itself.

Often, for example, someone will have access to two related but distinct datasets. A farmer may have agricultural sensor datasets from farms in two different locations. A biologist may have datasets for the same experiment performed at different lab locations…


Workers are a vital element in construction processes, and their safety is paramount. Yet more than 60,000 fatal injuries occur every year in construction projects globally. In the U.S., there are at least 1,000 fatalities and 200,000 non-fatal injuries annually, with days away from work costing nearly $6 billion in lost production and income.

In a world where technology is embedded throughout all communities, and where the boundaries between humans and technology are shrinking considerably, the question in construction becomes this: How can the construction community harness technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to ensure that its essential employees can work…


A Q&A with Purdue’s Natalia Rodriguez

Human-centered design (HCD) is a comprehensive approach to problem solving that focuses on the specific needs and wants of people from the beginning to the end of the design process. In biomedical engineering and health technology, HCD is a way to meaningfully engage end users to generate innovative solutions to a particular challenge. It involves working together to create a product that will meet real-world needs, and that people will be willing and able to use.

Technological innovation, especially in health, is growing at an unprecedented pace. But the uptake and adoption of these…


The idea behind a brain-machine interface is simple. Normally, movements are planned in parts of the brain called the premotor cortex and the motor cortex, sending signals to the spinal cord that activate the muscles needed to make precise, controlled movements. People with spinal cord injury, stroke, or neurodegenerative diseases may experience paralysis because that signal stream is interrupted at some stage. Yet these people often have most of their brain areas, including the premotor and motor cortices, intact.

A brain-machine interface (BMI) involves recording the neural signals associated with movement intention directly from those parts of the brain. You…


The coronavirus pandemic has demonstrated how crucially important it is to bring new and innovative medical products to market as quickly as possible, while still ensuring they are safe and effective and perform as intended. If new discoveries and products linger in the lab or in research, they provide no benefit to patients. Taking too long to reach market also can starve a startup of funding or make an established company cancel a project, with the promise of the research never realized.

Take as an example medical devices. These range from tongue depressors and exam gloves to implanted defibrillators and…


Blood flow dynamics in a growing brain aneurysm: a) MR angiography images of a brain aneurysm acquired at the University of California San Francisco; b) blood flow streamlines in the aneurysm obtained with patient-specific computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations; c) shear stress on the aneurysmal wall computed from CFD; and d) aneurysm growth over time observed in follow up MRI studies.

One of the many pluses of the virtual world is the ability to model before taking an irreversible action. Combining that modeling with medical imaging is a powerful combination of both worlds: the predictive powers of a virtual tool with the real-world images of the subject.

Take, for example, brain aneurysms — the local dilations of arteries in the brain that are estimated to affect 2 to 5 percent of the U.S. adult population. …

Purdue College of Engineering

Known as the “Cradle of Astronauts,” with a long list of pioneers includes Neil Armstrong and Amelia Earhart. Ranked Top 10 nationwide by USNWR.

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