Downtown Phoenix is ripe for a feast on the street

April 10, 2013

A celebration of food, art and community is coming to downtown Phoenix on April 13. Called “Feast on the Street,” the event is a culmination of numerous local community partnerships that will bring people together for a meal or two on First Street in Phoenix’s Roosevelt Row District.

The idea came from London-based artist Clare Patey’s London Feast on the Bridge during the annual Thames Festival. For Phoenix’s event, Patey partnered with local artist Matthew Moore, ASU’s Art Museum, and the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation. image of long dinner table with people sitting for dinner in London Download Full Image

“Feast on the Street is an urban harvest festival celebrating food and art in the desert, while reclaiming the city street for pedestrians,” says Heather Lineberry, ASU Art Museum’s senior curator, associate director, and an event organizer. “It creates a place to gather with our Phoenix neighbors around art and food. What could be better?”   

Colin Tetreault, senior policy advisor for sustainability to Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and an ASU School of Sustainability alumnus, will act as master of ceremonies. Scheduled events include a community salad toss, dinner-table stories, composting demonstrations, live bands, belly dancers, native plant crafts, a parade, and a sunset toast. Not to mention dinner with your neighbors at a half-mile long table.

“The long community table is the most striking feature of the event,” says Lineberry. “The table stretches the length of the feast and encourages people to gather together. It symbolizes the vital role of sharing food in so many important moments in our lives, and in building healthy communities.”

And there will be zombies.

To assist the event’s zero waste goal, members of the Greater Phoenix Zombie Community will teach participants how to compost and determine compostable food scraps.

“We want to make this event sustainable and educational,” says Lauren Kuby, one of the event organizers and events and community engagement manager for ASU’s Global Institute of Sustainability. “And what better way to educate people about the lifecycle of their eating patterns than zombies?”

Additionally, Feast on the Street will have purified water stations for refillable bottles. The Global Institute of Sustainability will have educational composting demonstrations scheduled throughout the day. ASU Green Team volunteers will be on hand to answer any questions about composting, recycling and zero waste.

“This event is not just a street festival; it’s about food, the desert, and connecting people to their food,” says Kuby. “Hopefully, the event will help people understand the whole cycle of a meal – from growth to production, consumption, and disposal. That way, they eat more mindfully and choose how they dispose of what they eat.”

And your food choices impact Phoenix’s economy and vitality. For example, Feast on the Street is a collection of local restaurants and food providers. By purchasing food at the event, you support local employee livelihoods and business practices. This, in turn, creates a stronger local economy and community.

“For Feast on the Street, we have been very proactive about working with a number of downtown businesses near the event,” says Lineberry. “Local restaurants will have takeout food so that people can buy it and then sit at the long table. And we’re providing compostable materials for the restaurants to package the takeout food. By doing this, we’re informing people and asking them to make some shifts in their lives like composting and considering local food.”

Kuby adds, “And as always the best way to make change, is through humor and entertainment.”

Thanks to volunteers and community partnerships, Feast on the Street is a free event. See a complete listing of sponsors and participating restaurants and food trucks.

This event is supported in part by ArtPlace, the National Endowment for the Arts, Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, and The Steele Foundation. Community partners include ASU College of Public Programs, Valley Permaculture Alliance, Tona Tierra, BioScience High School, Tiger Mountain Foundation, and artists Melinda Bergman, Ann Morton, Matt and Maria Salenger, and Gregory Sale and his ASU School of Art students.

Pursuit of portable 3-D ultrasound technology advances brings award

April 10, 2013

A report on research to develop a more portable, high-quality device to produce ultrasound imaging for medical diagnosis has earned recognition for ASU electrical engineer Chaitali Chakrabarti and her collaborators.

Chakrabarti is a professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering, one of ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. She and her students Ming Yang and Siyuan Wei shared the Best Paper Award for the report at the 2013 International Symposium on High-Performance Computer Architecture in Shenzhen, China, with colleagues Richard Sampson and Thomas Wenisch of the University of Michigan. chakrabarti electrical engineering Download Full Image

Their paper, “Sonic Millip3De: Massively Parallel 3D-Stacked Accelerator for 3D Ultrasound,” focuses on the team’s work on development of a portable ultrasound device that in three to four years will be capable of operating at a five-watt power budget while still producing high-quality images.

It will be the first of its kind to combine the imaging quality of large ultrasound machines with the convenience of a handheld device.

“Today you have many portable ultrasound devices but the imaging quality is not good, primarily because they have to cut corners to make it portable and to meet the power budget,” Chakrabarti explains.

To achieve high-quality imaging with a low-power budget requires codesigning algorithms and hardware. Chakrabarti and two electrical engineering graduate student researchers – doctoral student Ming Yang, and master’s student Siyuan Wei – are working primarily on algorithms that improve the image quality without increasing the computation load.

Chakrabarti’s partners at the University of Michigan – Sampson, a doctoral student, and Wenisch, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science – are focusing on the architecture of the device and how to make it power-efficient.

The architecture makes use of a three-dimensional die-stacking technology that splits the processing across multiple silicon layers to maintain a small footprint. It creates a volumetric image that is easier to interpret diagnostically, as opposed to the two-dimensional “slice” images that require a trained technician to understand and interpret.

The device is designed to make ultrasound accessible outside of clinics and facilities that specialize in medical imaging. By producing a portable, high-quality tool, Chakrabarti says, individual medical practices would have immediate on-site access to high-quality ultrasound imaging.

“We are also thinking that a first responder to a medical emergency could use it to take images, do some initial diagnostic interpretation and send the information to a physician to view,” she says.

After two years on the project, the team is producing its first prototype. Energy usage has been reduced to 12 watts, and the researchers are confident in another three to four they can further reduce it to a five-watt power budget while still producing images that match the quality of existing tethered ultrasound devices.

“It has to perform on par with what’s out there," Chakrabarti says. “Nobody is going to use the system if the imaging quality is bad.”

Chakrabarti’s accomplishments include three previous best paper awards for various research projects:

• the International Conference on Embedded Computer Systems: Architectures, Modeling and Simulation (SAMOS) 2007 award for "The Next Generation Challenge for Software Defined Radio"

• the International Symposium on Microarchitecture 2008 award for "From SODA to Scotch: The Evolution of a Wireless Baseband Processor"

• the Signal Processing Systems 2010 award for "A New Parallel Implementation for Particle Filters and its Application to Adaptive Waveform Design"

Chakrabarti is also being recognized for her career achievements by her college alma mater, the University of Maryland. She will be awarded the Distinguished ECE Alumni Award from the university’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department this spring.

The alumni award recognizes those who have “made extraordinary contributions to advancing electrical and computer engineering research, technology and education.”

Chakrabarti earned her doctoral degree in electrical engineering from University of Maryland in 1990.

Written by Natalie Pierce and Joe Kullman

Joe Kullman

Science writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering