Thursday, March 30, 2006


Modeling the stuff of the material world

Here's an "old" but good article written by Prof. Rob Phillips of Caltech: Modeling the Stuff of the Material World: Do We Need All of the Atoms? Prof. Phillips was a mechanician at Brown and now is a mechanician and applied physicist at Caltech, with research interests shifted from solid mechanics to mechanics and physics of biological systems. On his group homepage, you may have much fun.


Flexible Electronics

AMR: Review articles on Flexible Electronics


Understanding Nanotubes : properties, applications, production, markets and utility

What exactly the nanotube is and why a great many people are diving into the game of playing the "tubes"? The following link leads to a practical guide to understanding their properties, applications, production, markets and utility.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


Produce high-resolution figures for publications

Yesterday I spent more than 2 hours trying to generate high-resolution figure files for a paper accepted by Journal of Materials Research. While many other journals are less strict on resolution, I had a similar experience with Thin Solid Films and IEEE Transactions. Also, from authors' point of view, we should always provide figures with best quality in our publications. As a research group, we should try to develop a consistent approach to producing high-quality figures of scholarly style. To do this, we should share successful stories so as to save the effort collectively. I will start here with my story.

Group members and other friends: please follow up by adding comments to this post. Once we have a good collection, we will make a standard, at least for our group.

In this particular paper, I have seven figures, including some generated by Matlab, some by my co-authors using Sigmaplot (I don't have the software, and the co-author is not available to help), and some sketches generated in MS Word. The journal specifically requires a resolution of 1200 dpi and 3 inch width. Only tif or eps files are acceptable. I can make tif files using Adobe Photoshop, but the resolution is only 72 pixels per inch. Changing it to 1200 pixels per inch makes each figure file more that 30 Mb, too big to be sent out by email. Even this, the print-out of the figure does not look much better. On the other hand, the figures in the pdf file generated from the word file look very good. At this point, I realized that the pdf file is generated by printing to a file with Adobe Acrobat Distiller, where the resolution is controlled by the "printer" rather than the word file or the figures embedded in it. Suddenly, I remembered that, from my earlier experience in Princeton where I used LaTex and embedded figures in ps/eps format, many printers work as postscript (ps) output device. One can simply print the original file to a target ps file by choosing a PS printer and selecting desired resolution there. Fortunately, I do have a PS printer connected to my computer, and it worked out very nicely: high-resolution figures in small-size ps files (< 1Mb). Now let me summarize what I did:

(1) Start from the word file with all figures (it does not matter how the figures were generated).

(2) For each figure, copy to a new word file (say, Fig1.doc).

(3) Print Fig1.doc: choose a PS printer, select the desired resolution in "Properties", and check the box for "Print to file".

(4) Name the target print file as "" or "Fig1.eps". An error would occur if the selected printer is not PS type.

(5) After printing, open the ps/eps file with GSview (free download from ghostscript).

Thursday, March 23, 2006


Nano or Bio

AMN: Whither nano or bio (by Rob Ritchie).

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Im wins CNM award

Congratulations to Se Hyuk Im, who wins the Seminar Attendance Award from the Center for Nano- & Molecular (CNM) Science and Technology and the Doctoral Portfolio Program in Nanotechnology of the University of Texas at Austin. Se Hyuk is recognized for having attended all CNM seminars for the last one and a half years. A certificate and a check of $50 were presented to Se Hyuk on March 22 at the lunch party of the Portfolio Program.

Good job!

Thursday, March 16, 2006


News Release: Huang Receives NSF CAREER award

A news release from College of Engineering, University of Texas at Austin.

Thanks to all group members for works that led to this award.

Sunday, March 05, 2006


How to Write a Paper

AMR: Professor Mike Ashby's booklet on "How to Write a Paper"

Friday, March 03, 2006


SBES: Simulation-Based Engineering Science

Applied Mechanics Research and Researchers: SBES: Simulation-Based Engineering Science

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