Wednesday, April 25

UCLA professors continue to research with aid of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act


A year has passed since Obama passed the proposal that has given large grants to university

UCLA's Center for Domain-Specific Computing received $10 million in funding for its customizable computing project.

UCLA's Center for Domain-Specific Computing received $10 million in funding for its customizable computing project. Courtesy of Jason Cong


Monday marked the six-month anniversary of the research projects
started by UCLA professors and funded by the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Act.

These grants were established as part of the stimulus package President Barack Obama passed in February 2009 in hopes of aiding the country’s economic slump.

“It has really been a net increase of funding for UCLA in research (with) about a 10 percent increase of our research base,” said Roberto Peccei, vice chancellor of research.

According to David Wong, director of the Dental Research Institute at UCLA, the dental school secured eight stimulus grants, totaling more than $7 million of federal funding.

The construction grant, which exceeds $5 million, has been funding the construction of a new research center and oral cancer research center at the dental school, Wong said.

UCLA also received research aid in other areas.

The UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science was one of three schools in the nation awarded a total of $10 million for research in the UCLA Center for Domain-Specific Computing.

The Center for Domain-Specific Computing aims to create customizable computers that can adapt to different applications to improve energy efficiency.

Because UCLA is very strong in medical science, health care is one of the application domains the research encompasses, said Jason Cong, director of the Center for Domain-Specific Computing.

“It is a large-scale effort (as we) bring in a team of experts for collaborative multidisciplinary research,” Cong said.

Now after the honeymoon period, UCLA researchers still express gratitude for the opportunities for research and innovation the grants have brought.

“The UCLA School of Dentistry is very fortunate to receive this funding; we are a research-intensive school,” Wong said.

However, Wong remains concerned about the continuance of the funding.

According to him, the research may not be sustainable after the two-year period guaranteed by the act.

Cong related the current effort for research to the support of research in the past.

“Our funding level to science and technology (has been) way too low in the past decade. We’re seriously underinvested in those areas,” Cong said.

But he added, “The current administration … (is taking) steps toward progress.”

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