17,474 Works

Rewriting Schemes for Flash Memory

Eyal En Gad
Flash memory is a leading storage media with excellent features such as random access and high storage density. However, it also faces significant reliability and endurance challenges. In flash memory, the charge level in the cells can be easily increased, but removing charge requires an expensive erasure operation. In this thesis we study rewriting schemes that enable the data stored in a set of cells to be rewritten by only increasing the charge level in...

Mitigating Scarring and Inflammation during Corneal Wound Healing using Nanofiber-Hydrogel Scaffolds

Amy Hau Yu Fu
Due to the universal lack of donor tissue, there has been emerging interest in engineering materials to stimulate living cells to restore the features and functions of injured organs. We are particularly interested in developing materials for corneal use, where the necessity to maintain the tissue’s transparency presents an additional challenge. Every year, there are 1.5 – 2 million new cases of monocular blindness due to irregular healing of corneal injuries, dwarfing the approximately 150,000...

Field and Laboratory Studies of Atmospheric Organic Aerosol

Matthew Mitchell Coggon
This thesis is the culmination of field and laboratory studies aimed at assessing processes that affect the composition and distribution of atmospheric organic aerosol. An emphasis is placed on measurements conducted using compact and high-resolution Aerodyne Aerosol Mass Spectrometers (AMS). The first three chapters summarize results from aircraft campaigns designed to evaluate anthropogenic and biogenic impacts on marine aerosol and clouds off the coast of California. Subsequent chapters describe laboratory studies intended to evaluate gas...

Fluid-structure Interactions of Inverted Leaves and Flags

Boyu Fan
Interactions between fluid flows and elastic bodies are ubiquitous in nature. One such phenomena that is encountered on a daily basis is the flapping and fluttering of leaves in the wind. The fluid-structure interaction that governs the physics of a leaf in the wind is poorly understood at best and has potential applications in biomechanics, vehicle design, and energy conversion. We build upon previous work on the flapping dynamics of inverted flags, which are cantilevered...

Distributed Load Control in Multiphase Radial Networks

Lingwen Gan
The current power grid is on the cusp of modernization due to the emergence of distributed generation and controllable loads, as well as renewable energy. On one hand, distributed and renewable generation is volatile and difficult to dispatch. On the other hand, controllable loads provide significant potential for compensating for the uncertainties. In a future grid where there are thousands or millions of controllable loads and a large portion of the generation comes from volatile...

Self-healing Techniques for RF and mm-Wave Transmitters and Receivers

Kaushik Dasgupta
With continuing advances in CMOS technology, feature sizes of modern Silicon chip-sets have gone down drastically over the past decade. In addition to desktops and laptop processors, a vast majority of these chips are also being deployed in mobile communication devices like smart-phones and tablets, where multiple radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) must be integrated into one device to cater to a wide variety of applications such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, wireless charging, etc. While a...

Numerical Studies of Topological Phases

Scott D. Geraedts
The topological phases of matter have been a major part of condensed matter physics research since the discovery of the quantum Hall effect in the 1980s. Recently, much of this research has focused on the study of systems of free fermions, such as the integer quantum Hall effect, quantum spin Hall effect, and topological insulator. Though these free fermion systems can play host to a variety of interesting phenomena, the physics of interacting topological phases...

Investigating the Role of the GET3-GET4/GET5 Interaction During Tail-Anchor Protein Targeting

Harry Benjamin Gristick
The proper targeting of membrane proteins is essential to the viability of all cells. Tail-anchored (TA) proteins, defined as having a single transmembrane helix at their C-terminus, are post-translationally targeted to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane by the GET pathway (Guided Entry of TA proteins). In the yeast pathway, the handover of TA substrates is mediated by the heterotetrameric Get4/Get5 (Get4/5) complex, which tethers the co-chaperone Sgt2 to the central targeting factor, the Get3 ATPase....

New Insights from Aperiodic Variability of Young Stars

Krzysztof Findeisen
Nearly all young stars are variable, with the variability traditionally divided into two classes: periodic variables and aperiodic or "irregular" variables. Periodic variables have been studied extensively, typically using periodograms, while aperiodic variables have received much less attention due to a lack of standard statistical tools. However, aperiodic variability can serve as a powerful probe of young star accretion physics and inner circumstellar disk structure. For my dissertation, I analyzed data from a large-scale, long-term...

On the Construction of Higher étale Regulators

Sin Tsun Edward Fan
We present three approaches to define the higher étale regulator maps Φr,net : Hret(X,Z(n)) → HrD(X,Z(n)) for regular arithmetic schemes. The first two approaches construct the maps on the cohomology level, while the third construction provides a morphism of complexes of sheaves on the étale site, along with a technical twist that one needs to replace the Deligne-Beilinson cohomology by the analytic Deligne cohomology inspired by the work of Kerr, Lewis, and Müller-Stach. A vanishing...

Battery-Powered RF Pre-Ionization System for the Caltech Magnetohydrodynamically-Driven Jet Experiment: RF Discharge Properties and MHD-Driven Jet Dynamics

Vernon Hampden Chaplin
This thesis describes investigations of two classes of laboratory plasmas with rather different properties: partially ionized low pressure radiofrequency (RF) discharges, and fully ionized high density magnetohydrodynamically (MHD)-driven jets. An RF pre-ionization system was developed to enable neutral gas breakdown at lower pressures and create hotter, faster jets in the Caltech MHD-Driven Jet Experiment. The RF plasma source used a custom pulsed 3 kW 13.56 MHz RF power amplifier that was powered by AA batteries,...

Wastewater Electrolysis Cell for Environmental Pollutants Degradation and Molecular Hydrogen Generation

Kangwoo Cho
This study proposes a wastewater electrolysis cell (WEC) for on-site treatment of human waste coupled with decentralized molecular H2 production. The core of the WEC includes mixed metal oxides anodes functionalized with bismuth doped TiO2 (BiOx/TiO2). The BiOx/TiO2 anode shows reliable electro-catalytic activity to oxidize Cl- to reactive chlorine species (RCS), which degrades environmental pollutants including chemical oxygen demand (COD), protein, NH4+, urea, and total coliforms. The WEC experiments for treatment of various kinds of...

Engineering and Characterization of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes for Nitrogen-Atom Transfer Reactions

Christopher C. Farwell
The creation of novel enzyme activity is a great challenge to protein engineers, but nature has done so repeatedly throughout the process of natural selection. I begin by outlining the multitude of distinct reactions catalyzed by a single enzyme class, cytochrome P450 monooxygenases. I discuss the ability of cytochrome P450 to generate reactive intermediates capable of diverse reactivity, suggesting this enzyme can also be used to generate novel reactive intermediates in the form of metal-carbenoid...

Special Frobenius Traces in Galois Representations

Liubomir Chiriac
This thesis studies Frobenius traces in Galois representations from two different directions. In the first problem we explore how often they vanish in Artin-type representations. We give an upper bound for the density of the set of vanishing Frobenius traces in terms of the multiplicities of the irreducible components of the adjoint representation. Towards that, we construct an infinite family of representations of finite groups with an irreducible adjoint action. In the second problem we...

Structure Prediction of G-Protein Coupled Receptors

Vaclav Cvicek
G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) form a large family of proteins and are very important drug targets. They are membrane proteins, which makes computational prediction of their structure challenging. Homology modeling is further complicated by low sequence similarly of the GPCR superfamily. In this dissertation, we analyze the conserved inter-helical contacts of recently solved crystal structures, and we develop a unified sequence-structural alignment of the GPCR superfamily. We use this method to align 817 human GPCRs,...

Development of Microfluidic Devices with the Use of Nanotechnology to Aid in the Analysis of Biological Systems Including Membrane Protein Separation, Single Cell Analysis, and Genetic Markers

Mark David Goldberg
Computation technology has dramatically changed the world around us; you can hardly find an area where cell phones have not saturated the market, yet there is a significant lack of breakthroughs in the development to integrate the computer with biological environments. This is largely the result of the incompatibility of the materials used in both environments; biological environments and experiments tend to need aqueous environments. To help aid in these development chemists, engineers, physicists and...

Strong Atom-light Interactions Along Nanostructures: Transition from Free-space to Nanophotonic Interfaces

Akihisa Goban
An exciting frontier in quantum information science is the integration of otherwise "simple" quantum elements into complex quantum networks. The laboratory realization of even small quantum networks enables the exploration of physical systems that have not heretofore existed in the natural world. Within this context, there is active research to achieve nanoscale quantum optical circuits, for which atoms are trapped near nano-scopic dielectric structures and "wired" together by photons propagating through the circuit elements. Single...

On the Role of Delays in Biological Systems : Analysis and Design

Marcella Mary Gomez
This work quantifies the nature of delays in genetic regulatory networks and their effect on system dynamics. It is known that a time lag can emerge from a sequence of biochemical reactions. Applying this modeling framework to the protein production processes, delay distributions are derived in a stochastic (probability density function) and deterministic setting (impulse function), whilst being shown to be equivalent under different assumptions. The dependence of the distribution properties on rate constants, gene...

Applications of a Concise and General Strategy for the Syntheses of Transtaganolide and Basiliolide Natural Products

Jonny Robert Gordon
Herein are described the total syntheses of all members of the transtaganolide and basiliolide natural product family. Utilitzation of an Ireland–Claisen rearrangement/Diels–Alder cycloaddition cascade (ICR/DA) allowed for rapid assembly of the transtaganolide and basiliolide oxabicyclo[2.2.2]octane core. This methodology is general and was applicable to all members of the natural product family. A brief introduction outlines all the synthetic progress previously disclosed by Lee, Dudley, and Johansson. This also includes the initial syntheses of transtaganolides C...

Optimal Data Distributions in Machine Learning

Carlos Roberto González Palacios
In the first part of the thesis we explore three fundamental questions that arise naturally when we conceive a machine learning scenario where the training and test distributions can differ. Contrary to conventional wisdom, we show that in fact mismatched training and test distribution can yield better out-of-sample performance. This optimal performance can be obtained by training with the dual distribution. This optimal training distribution depends on the test distribution set by the problem, but...

Metallaboratrane Facilitated E‒H Bond Activation and Hydrogenation Catalysis

Henry Fong
The E‒H bond activation chemistry of tris-phosophino-iron and -cobalt metallaboratranes is discussed. The ferraboratrane complex (TPB)Fe(N2) heterolytically activates H‒H and the C‒H bonds of formaldehyde and arylacetylenes across an Fe‒B bond. In particular, H‒H bond cleavage at (TPB)Fe(N2) is reversible and affords the iron-hydride-borohydride complex (TPB)(μ‒H)Fe(L)(H) (L = H2, N2). (TPB)(μ‒H)Fe(L)(H) and (TPB)Fe(N2) are competent olefin and arylacetylene hydrogenation catalysts. Stoichiometric studies indicate that the B‒H unit is capable of acting as a hydride shuttle...

Band Engineering in Thermoelectric Materials Using Optical, Electronic, and Ab-Initio Computed Properties

Zachary Michael Gibbs
Thermoelectric materials have demanded a significant amount of attention for their ability to convert waste heat directly to electricity with no moving parts. A resurgence in thermoelectrics research has led to significant enhancements in the thermoelectric figure of merit, zT, even for materials that were already well studied. This thesis approaches thermoelectric zT optimization by developing a detailed understanding of the electronic structure using a combination of electronic/thermoelectric properties, optical properties, and ab-initio computed electronic...

The Regulation of Sleep and Circadian Rhythms: The Role of Melatonin and Adenosine in Zebrafish

Avni Vasant Gandhi
Sleep is a highly conserved behavioral state whose regulation is still unclear. In this thesis I initially briefly introduce the known sleep circuitry and regulation in vertebrates, and why zebrafish is seen as a good model to study sleep-regulation. I describe the existing two-process model of sleep regulation, which posits that the two processes C (circadian) and S (homeostatic) control timing of sleep-wake behavior. I then study the role melatonin plays in the circadian regulation...

Establishing the C. elegans Uterine Seam Cell (utse) as a Novel Model for Studying Cell Behavior

Srimoyee Ghosh
The molecular inputs necessary for cell behavior are vital to our understanding of development and disease. Proper cell behavior is necessary for processes ranging from creating one’s face (neural crest migration) to spreading cancer from one tissue to another (invasive metastatic cancers). Identifying the genes and tissues involved in cell behavior not only increases our understanding of biology but also has the potential to create targeted therapies in diseases hallmarked by aberrant cell behavior. A...

Testing Inflationary Cosmology with the BICEP1 and BICEP2 Experiments

Randol Wallace Aikin
Recent observations of the temperature anisotropies of the cosmic microwave background (CMB) favor an inflationary paradigm in which the scale factor of the universe inflated by many orders of magnitude at some very early time. Such a scenario would produce the observed large-scale isotropy and homogeneity of the universe, as well as the scale-invariant perturbations responsible for the observed (10 parts per million) anisotropies in the CMB. An inflationary epoch is also theorized to produce...

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