ASU event explores the science behind how dogs steal our hearts

September 27, 2017

What is it about dogs that make them so cool? Why are they so friendly with humans? How did they develop certain social skills that allow them to endear themselves to us and then engrain themselves into our lives? How did they perfect the art of begging?

These topics will be explored in “Going to the Dogs 2017,” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 5, at the W. P. Carey Foundation Armstrong Great Hall in the Beus Center for Law and Society at Arizona State University's Downtown Phoenix campus. The event is free and open to the public. Dogs are masters at nonverbal communication. Learn how they do this at "Going to the Dogs 2017," at the Beus Center for Law and Society on Oct. 5. Download Full Image

“This is the third in a series of talks that explores the world of dogs and their intricate relationship with us,” said Clive Wynne, an ASU professor of psychology and director of the ASU Canine Science Collaboratory. “This time we want to get to the bottom of what makes dogs so unique, their origins and what differentiates them from wolves. Participants will hear about the latest canine science that will reveal some of the underlying mysteries of dogs.”

Speakers include:

• Elinor Karlsson of the University of Massachusetts who recently launched a citizen-science initiative called Darwin’s Dogs that invites all dog owners to participate in research exploring the genetic basis of dog behaviors that make them so loved.

• Robert Wayne of UCLA, a geneticist who studies dogs and their wild relatives as well as other aspects of how they live. Wayne, who was a leader of the consortium that first sequenced the dog genome, will provide a list of 10 things you didn’t know about dogs. 

• Greger Larson, of the University of Oxford, who combines archeological and genetic analyses to shed new light on the origins of dogs, will be talking about the first dogs in the Americas.

The event will be live streamed at:

“With an exciting line-up of top scholars, this promises to be an event dog lovers will not want to miss,” Wynne said.

The Beus Center for Law and Society is located at 111 E. Taylor St., on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

Director, Media Relations and Strategic Communications


ASU engineer works to develop a portable brain-like computer

September 27, 2017

Many of our portable devices today work with advanced voice or image features, but your personal Siri or Google Photos app can’t process speech or image recognition solely on your smartphone’s hardware.

But what if speech and image recognition and other complex cognitive tasks could all be performed on a single portable device without an internet connection and high-power servers behind the scenes? Jae-sun Seo Jae-sun Seo, assistant professor of electrical engineering in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, caught the attention of the National Science Foundation in the form of a five-year, nearly $473,000 CAREER Award. Download Full Image

Jae-sun Seo is attempting to shatter the computing, energy and size limitations of state-of-the-art learning algorithms to fit on small footprint devices with the help of custom-designed hardware.

This research caught the attention of the National Science Foundation and earned Seo, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, a five-year, nearly $473,000 CAREER Award.

“The overarching goal of this project is to build brain-inspired intelligent computing systems using custom hardware designs that are energy-efficient and programmable for various cognitive tasks, including autonomous driving, speech and biomedical applications,” Seo said.

In order to reduce the resources required by learning algorithms, Seo looks to the human brain to mimic its ability to selectively and adaptively learn and recognize real-world data, dispensing with the redundant computations and exhaustive searches current algorithms employ.

Seo also aims to investigate low-power, real-time on-chip learning methods; novel memory compression schemes for software and hardware design; efficient on-chip power management capable of adapting to abrupt changes in cognitive workloads; and cross-layer optimization of circuits, architectures and algorithms.

“The outcomes of this research will feature new very-large-scale integration systems that can learn and perform cognitive tasks in real-time with superior energy efficiency, opening up possibilities for ubiquitous intelligence in small-form-factor devices,” Seo said.

Seo believes his overall research goal for ultra-energy-efficient intelligent hardware that integrates a synergistic set of tasks spanning algorithms, circuits and architectures piqued the NSF’s interest.

“In addition to covering a wide range of disciplines from bio-inspired models to memory compression to power management, I articulated possible solutions for addressing the design challenges brought by the computation- and memory-intensive nature of state-of-the-art deep neural networks,” Seo said of his proposal.

Collaboration between Fulton Schools faculty and the high-performance computing resources of ASU Research Computing helped make this interdisciplinary research possible, Seo said.

Monique Clement

Lead communications specialist, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering