Colloquia Week

Every week, senior researchers in each department at ASDRP give public seminars presenting the current state of the field and disseminating how their research at ASDRP fits into the broader context of the frontiers of modern science and engineering. Colloquia are public events, and anyone can join. Click on the "Join the Colloquia" link to add the event to your calendar.

Research Shorts

Department of Biological, Human and Life Sciences

Tuesdays @ 8:00-9:00 PM PST

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Biology and Life Science Colloquium will resume next week.

We'll be back next week!

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Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physics

Fridays @ 8:00-9:00 PM PST

Friday, May 14, 2021


Reactivity-informed design, structure-activity relationship and semisynthesis of Andrographolide analogs and related bioactive labdane diterpenoids.

Andrographolide, a labdane diterpenoid isolated from the plant Andrographis paniculata, has displayed a wide array of therapeutic properties including anticancer, antifungal, and antioxidant capabilities. The compound acts as an irreversible covalent inhibitor of the transcription factor Nf-kB via michael addition of a binding pocket cysteine residue to the C-ring α-β unsaturated lactone on andrographolide. However, such natural products may not be optimized for human use, and in fact, semisynthetic or synthetic natural product derivatives outnumber natural products in clinical use fivefold. As such, we aim to develop rationally designed analogs of andrographolide, with an emphasis on improving the electrophilicity of the α-β unsaturated lactone pharmacophore, and increasing the hydrophobicity of the compound to improve bioavailability. In this project, we have developed a variety of andrographolide derivatives, including C ring diversified analogs with modified electronics at the pharmacophore, and bottom piece cyclized compounds that increase the hydrophobicity of andrographolide. In this study, we also explore the biological implications of these modifications via methods such as the Michael Addition assay, and RT-qPCR.

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Researcher: Warren C., Mission San Jose High School

Advisor: Njoo, Organic & Medicinal Chemistry

Keywords: Andrographolide | Natural Product | Semisynthesis | Diterpenoid | Organic Synthesis

Department of Computer Science and Engineering

Wednesdays @ 8:00-9:00 PM PST

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Detecting Micro-Distractions in Studying Students using image and video classification technologies through OpenCV and TensorFlow

With the COVID-19 pandemic persisting for over a year as of May 2021, millions of students across the country are actively participating in newly-developed remote learning systems. A major challenge in remote learning faced by educators and students alike is the issue of distractions, as home environments tend to contain hundreds of visual and auditory micro distractions that decrease productivity and can slow progress down. While there are guidelines in place to help students detect and remove distractions from their workplace, most are either vague or ineffective at identifying exactly what qualifies as a distraction. A mechanism to effectively identify distractions for students to remove could boost the productivity in hundreds of thousands of schools across the country and has endless implications in remote learning. Using image and video classification technologies in OpenCV and TensorFlow, as well as a simple webcam, this study aims to examine the major and minor distractions that students face throughout hour-long intervals of studying. Furthermore, the study will develop a novel machine learning model to identify where these distractions occur relative to the workspace, as well as how often they occur.

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Researcher: Aniket D. & Vajraang P., Dougherty Valley High School

Advisor: Subramaniam, Data Science

Keywords: Machine Learning | Data Science | OpenCV