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JPL Explore - Seminar #6

Monday, November 16, 2015
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Location: Noyes 153 (J. Holmes Sturdivant Lecture Hall)

This lunch-time program is designed to help undergrads learn more about the research happening at the Jet Propulstion Lab and connect them with possible SURF mentor for next summer

Focus: geochemistry, computer science, chemistry, electrical engineering

A boxed lunch will be provided.

Please RSVP at

Michael Tuite hasn't always been an isotope and organic geochemist and manager of the JPL's Astrobiogeochemistry Lab.  Capping a childhood of moderate achievements, Michael graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in International Politics and a worrisome sense of his own ignorance. After a stint aboard the battleship USS Missouri and with few marketable skills, Michael turned his attention to the emerging interactive media field. He served as founder and director of the University of Virginia's Digital Media Lab where he managed the development of online collections in the arts, sciences, and humanities. At UVA he fell into the orbit of an isotope and organic geochemist who was willing to indulge his passion for unraveling life's history as recorded in rocks. With the completion of a PhD in Environmental Sciences, Michael fancied himself the luckiest person in the universe as he joined the newly-founded abcLab at JPL as its first post-doc and, later, as the manager of the laboratory.

Chris Mattmann is a member of the Instrument Software and Science Data Systems section at JPL where he is responsible for influencing science data system designs and facilitating the infusion of new technologies to meet our future challenges. Dr. Mattmann has conceived, realized and delivered the architecture for the next generation of reusable science data processing systems for a number of NASA science missions at JPL. Mattmann spends his time contributing to open source software as a Director at the Apache Software Foundation (, and is the progenitor of the Apache Tika ( framework, the digital "babel fish" and de-facto content analysis and detection framework that exists.  In addition, Dr. Mattmann is an Adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Southern California (USC). He received his B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Southern California.

 Aaron Noell: I am a technologist work in the planetary surface instruments group at JPL and am currently involved primarily in research and development tasks. Currently, I am working to develop microfluidic instruments focusing on both organic and inorganic molecule detection. In addition, I am developing tunable diode laser spectroscopy techniques for isotope measurements of sulfur dioxide. Previously, I was an NPP Postdoc at JPL in Adrian Ponce's lab working on an instrument to detect bacterial spores for both biodefense and spacecraft clean room purposes.  In 2010 I received my Ph.D. in Chemistry from Caltech, and worked in the labs of Professor Mitchio Okumura/Dr. Stan Sander of Caltech/JPL. During my Ph.D. I studied the chemical composition of the atmosphere by measuring the kinetics and thermodynamics of peroxy radical reactions.

Yutao He is Sr. Technologist in the Advanced Computer Systems & Technologies group at JPL, leading research in developing advanced avionics technology for future spacecraft and space missions. He is adjunct faculty at UCLA and CSULA. He received his B.E. in Electrical Engineering from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China and his Ph.D. in Computer Science from UCLA.

Robert Sanchez (SURF 2014, 2015) (Caltech, Geological/Geophysical Engineering option)

For more information, please phone 626-395-2885 or email

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