By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
"When you feel the big ones, it's exciting. When there's an earthquake, what do you do, you know? You just wait 'til it's over . . . hopefully, you're not washing the windows."
Nostrildamus TIMOTHY BURCH, Ph.D., director of research and development at Pasadena's Cyrano Sciences, maker of the Cyranose 320, the Electronic Nose
"We refer to what Cyranose does as smelling. That analogy works well whether it's the chemical environment above a liquid or whether it's actually a food product or something hazardous. Primarily, the Cyranose 320, which was designed to be used by non-scientists, has been utilized in quality-control applications. A user might say, I want to know if the flour that I'm using smells rotten, or the milk that I'm using has a taint to it. Or maybe the containers that I put my final product in -- the plastic or the cardboard -- might have an off odor. When I say 'off odor,' that really means some change in the chemistry. It may not be something that we can smell easily.
"You could train this device to do something very similar to what odor panelists do. And the advantage here is that it doesn't need to take a bathroom break, doesn't get tired after an eight-hour shift and doesn't become exhausted [or lose its] ability to make fine detail discriminations -- you know, this Bordeaux versus that Bordeaux. We've gotten profound interest, but translating that into lots and lots of sales has been harder because there's a very strong desire to maintain the human element in that type of sensing.
"One of the areas where we've found a lot of interest and have been able to demonstrate a high degree of sensitivity is chemical weapons. In particular, things like nerve gas and mustard gas. We've done a lot of laboratory testing -- there are only a couple of places in the world where you can do these kinds of tests safely. But we'd never pursued military government work until the events of September 11. Suddenly people started calling us and sending e-mails to the Web site. There's a huge need for another type of vapor sensor, but we're not going to allow it until we've done additional testing."
Gas Man DR. GEORGE V. CHILINGAR, professor of petroleum and environmental engineering at USC, chief of the Petroleum and Chemical Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Airforce Base in Ohio from 1954 to 1956, and the senior petroleum engineering adviser to the United Nations from 1967 to 1969
"I have 51 books and 500 publications in the field of petroleum engineering, petroleum geology. And I am an honorary Consul of Honduras in Los Angeles. In Iran there's an oil field named after me. They used my calcium-magnesium ratio technique for carbonate rocks.
"I'm also doing a lot of work on global warming, and it's really a myth. The cause and effect are somehow interchanged. We are at the peak of the sun cycle, and that's why we get a lot of heat at the earth's surface. That's the reason for the increase in temperature, not the CO2.
"I travel a lot. I do consulting for different governments. But there's no place like Los Angeles. I think the public should be aware that while Los Angeles is the center of the entertainment industry, it's also the center of scientific brainpower. Los Angeles is the storehouse of brainpower. I have people to talk to, to exchange ideas with. It's the best place in the world to live. I think the climate attracts all these people. It's the great natural laboratory for studying the earthquakes and for predicting the earthquakes.
"There are also a huge number of Russian scientists who live here now, and I work with many of them jointly on different projects. I'm very, very proud to work with the Russian scientists in Los Angeles. As a matter of fact, I am the president of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences branch of the United States. By the way, they also don't believe in global warming.
"I have been teaching at USC since 1954. I'm not planning to retire. I'm still very strong, going very strong. I attribute this great success of mine to the fact that I brought several disciplines together. My time never ends, you know. Even at night I sit and I write. I write at night and I don't get much sleep. And of course, in the daytime I teach. I love to work with the students. My father said, 'never retire.' Because if you retire you go down."
Cellular One DR. SOLOMON W. GOLOMB, professor of mathematics at USC with an emphasis in signal design for communications and radar, and the first person to successfully bounce a radar signal off another planet
"I was involved in the very early days of space communication. I was trying to devise methods of communication for the Army that no unintended listener could figure out. It was a technique that I'd started working on that became known as spread spectrum communication. The military use of it was called direct sequence spread spectrum communication. That's what that diagram relates to. One of the people who worked in my group at JPL was Andrew Viterbi, who became a cofounder of Qualcomm in San Diego in 1985. He was the chief developer of this digital technique for cell phones called CDMA -- which stands for Code Division Multiple Access -- but it is direct sequence spread spectrum technique applied to cell phone communication. I find it almost unimaginable how broad the applications have been. When I started on this I was applying areas of mathematics that all the authorities had said could never be applied to anything.