Posts by Collection



Printing the Polyphorm: Using 3D Printing to Manufacture Biologically Inspired Rhizomatic Structures

Published in eScholarship, 2021

We present a pipeline for converting voxelized data generated by the Monte Carlo Physarum Machine (MCPM) based Polyphorm data visualization software into a mesh that can then be 3D printed. This reconstruction technique is based on the Marching Cubes algorithm paired with a suite of pre and post processing tools. Our process can be used to create both biomimetic structures and computational art, and can be tuned to create various visual effects based on the desired stylistic output.

Author(s): Drew Ehrlich

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Scaffolding Generation using a 3D Physarum Polycephalum Simulation

Published in Proceedings of the 7th Annual ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication, 2022

In this demo, we present a novel technique for defining topologically optimal scaffoldings for 3D printed objects using a Monte Carlo algorithm based on the foraging behavior of the Physarum polycephalum slime mold. As a case study, we have created a biologically inspired bicycle helmet using this technique that is designed to be effective in resisting impacts. We have created a prototype of this helmet and propose further studies that measure the effectiveness and validity of the design.

Author(s): Drew Ehrlich, Milad Hakimshafaei, Oskar Elek

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Cloud-controlled microscopy enables remote project-based biology education in underserved Latinx communities

Published in Heliyon, 2022

Project-based learning (PBL) has long been recognized as an effective way to teach complex biology concepts. However, not all institutions have the resources to facilitate effective project-based coursework for students. We have developed a framework for facilitating PBL using remote-controlled internet-connected microscopes. Through this approach, one lab facility can host an experiment for many students around the world simultaneously. Experiments on this platform can be run on long timescales and with materials that are typically unavailable to high school classrooms. This allows students to perform novel research projects rather than just repeating standard classroom experiments. To investigate the impact of this program, we designed and ran six user studies with students worldwide. All experiments were hosted in Santa Cruz and San Francisco, California, with observations and decisions made remotely by the students using their personal computers and cellphones. In surveys gathered after the experiments, students reported increased excitement for science and a greater desire to pursue a career in STEM. This framework represents a novel, scalable, and effective PBL approach that has the potential to democratize biology and STEM education around the world.

Author(s): Pierre V Baudin, Raina E Sacksteder, Atesh K Worthington, Kateryna Voitiuk, Victoria T Ly, Ryan N Hoffman, Matthew AT Elliott, David F Parks, Rebecca Ward, Sebastian Torres-Montoya, Finn Amend, Natalia Montellano Duran, Paola A Vargas, Guadalupe Martinez, Sandra M Ramirez, Lucia Elena Alvarado-Arnez, Drew Ehrlich, Yohei M Rosen, Arnar Breevoort, Tallulah Schouten, Sri Kurniawan, David Haussler, Mircea Teodorescu, Mohammed A Mostajo-Radji

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Creativity and Consistency in Musical Perception of Tangible Objects

Published in UCSC Technical Reports, 2023

Interacting with tangible objects can enhance our immersion in and the understanding of the experience of music. Associating tactile properties with sounds is an inherently creative process, but we lack a quantitative perceptual basis for these associations. A better understanding of this process of creative association can open new avenues for music appreciation or enhanced tangible musical experiences. When presented with a collection of objects and a collection of music, we found that study participants often associated specific objects with specific songs in consistent ways, while still using various creative ways to make these associations. Their explanations for the matchings identified possible salient perceptual features present in these pairings. Along with the results of our study, we offer a categorization of perceptual relations that can help us design meaningful physical representations of music in the future. With these understandings, we provide a basis for a new aspect of creativity research in music perception of tangible objects.

Author(s): Stefany Arevalo Escobar, Akash Chaudhary, Drew Ehrlich, Adam M. Smith

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Physicalizing Virtual Models Created by Physarum Polycephalum 3D Simulation

Published in eScholarship, 2023

Abstract: This thesis presents a pipeline for creating visually compelling bio-inspired versions of triangle meshes that can be 3D printed using consumer hardware. The process to make these models uses the simulation software PolyPhy, whose behavior is governed by an algorithm that mimics the optimal foraging behavior of the Physarum polycephalum slime mold. The structures created with this technique can both serve as computational art and also lay the foundations creating novel infill structures for filament based 3D printing.

Author(s): Drew Ehrlich

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PolyPhy: Open Source Generator for 3D Printed Bio-inspired Objects

Published in Proceedings of the 8th ACM Symposium on Computational Fabrication, 2023

In this demo, we present an open source methodology for turning triangle meshes into biologically inspired 3D printable objects using an algorithm based on the behavior of the Physarum polycephalum slime mold. Users can import watertight 3D models and have full control of the simulation, allowing for granular control over the density and weight of the resulting network. This is the first open source tool to use this technique that is intended for public consumption and use.

Author(s): Drew Ehrlich, Oskar Elek

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Internet-connected cortical organoids for project-based stem cell and neuroscience education

Published in eNeuro, 2023

Abstract: The introduction of Internet-connected technologies to the classroom has the potential to revolutionize STEM education by allowing students to perform experiments in complex models that are unattainable in traditional teaching laboratories. By connecting laboratory equipment to the cloud, we introduce students to experimentation in pluripotent stem cell (PSC)-derived cortical organoids in two different settings: using microscopy to monitor organoid growth in an introductory tissue culture course and using high-density (HD) multielectrode arrays (MEAs) to perform neuronal stimulation and recording in an advanced neuroscience mathematics course. We demonstrate that this approach develops interest in stem cell and neuroscience in the students of both courses. All together, we propose cloud technologies as an effective and scalable approach for complex project-based university training.

Author(s): Matthew AT Elliott, Hunter E Schweiger, Ash Robbins, Samira Vera-Choqqueccota, Drew Ehrlich, Sebastian Hernandez, Kateryna Voitiuk, Jinghui Geng, Jess L Sevetson, Cordero Core, Yohei M Rosen, Mircea Teodorescu, Nico O Wagner, David Haussler, Mohammed A Mostajo-Radji

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Teaching experience 1

Undergraduate course, University 1, Department, 2014

This is a description of a teaching experience. You can use markdown like any other post.

Teaching experience 2

Workshop, University 1, Department, 2015

This is a description of a teaching experience. You can use markdown like any other post.