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The ALEX Blog

The ALEX Blog

NASA Image of the Day

Monday, August 29, 2016, 7:18am by

An age-defying star designated as IRAS 19312+1950 (arrow) exhibits features characteristic of a very young star and a very old star. The object stands out as extremely bright inside a large, chemically rich cloud of material, as shown in this image from NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope.

from NASA

The Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Science (PIPES) 24th annual Student Symposium.

Monday, August 29, 2016, 12:21am by

Hilo, HI – Friday, August 5. The Pacific Internship Program for Exploring Science (PIPES) held their 24th annual Student Symposium.  Students presented on their internship experiences in a variety of projects ranging from monitoring erosion on Mauna Kea to engaging community in little fire ant (LFA) control. These presentations came as the culmination of a 10-week internship experience with students’ respective conservation agencies and organizations. “It was extremely valuable!,” commented intern Kuʻupua Kiyuna,  “We are all growing together and its nice to have a symposium where we can paepae one another and support each other to be the best leaders we can be.”

For those who were not able to attend in person, the Student Symposium was streamed live online through the PIPES YouTube channel. A recording of both days’ presentations can also be accessed at (part 1) and (part 2).

Photo Aug 05, 2 49 39 PM

The PIPES brings together a diverse pool of students who contribute both enthusiasm and new perspectives to the changing world of conservation both here in the Pacific and across globe. During the internship students are required to work independently, under the guidance of their mentors, to gain hands-on experience within their host agency. Some interns carry out intensive research projects, while others participate in on-the-ground resource management and outreach.

Group Photo

For more information about the PIPES contact program cooridinator Ulu Ching ( or visit their website (, Facebook page ( or Instagram (@PIPESintern).

NASA Image of the Day

Saturday, August 27, 2016, 12:01pm by

Jupiter’s north polar region is coming into view as NASA’s Juno spacecraft approaches the giant planet. This view of Jupiter was taken on August 27, when Juno was 437,000 miles (703,000 kilometers) away. The Juno mission successfully executed its first of 36 orbital flybys of Jupiter.

from NASA

NASA Image of the Day

Friday, August 26, 2016, 8:01am by

NASA research mathematician Katherine Johnson is photographed at her desk at Langley Research Center. Born on Aug. 26, 1918, in White Sulphur Springs, WV, Johnson worked at Langley from 1953 until her retirement in 1986, making critical technical contributions which included calculating the trajectory of Alan Shepard’s historic 1961 flight.

from NASA

CCECS announces fall music classes

Friday, August 26, 2016, 12:20am by

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo offers fall music classes with classical musician and performer Artin Mardirousi. All classes will be held in UH Hilo’s University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 103.

Structure of a Song explores the different elements of a song, songwriting patterns, techniques, and theory. Students will learn how to create a properly structured song with clear intention. Sessions will be held Monday, Wednesday and Friday, September 12, 14 and 16, from 5-7 p.m. Tuition is $50.

Guitar Fundamentals, Level 1: Getting Started is for beginners. Participants will learn the parts of the instrument, holding techniques, each string and how they work individually and with one another, as well as the open position, notes for each fret, and more. Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 – 7 p.m., September 20-October 6.

Guitar Fundamentals, Level 2: Strumming and Picking will teach students new strumming and finger-picking techniques. Chord progressions will be explored through various exercises designed to establish a strong foundation of techniques stretching across styles to add character to the music played. Sessions are on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-7 p.m., October 11-27.

In Guitar Fundamentals, Level 3: Scales and Beyond, students will explore different scales, learn how they create melodies, and touch upon music theory. Participants will also expand their guitar knowledge through the practice of different riffs from different genres. Classes will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5 -7 p.m., November 1-17.

An acoustic guitar is required for all the guitar fundamentals classes, which are $80 each or $210 by signing up for all three. Students may join at any level if they have the knowledge covered in the previous level.

For more information and to register, contact CCECS at 932-7830 or visit

from UH Hilo Press Releases

EPSCOR Student Internship Opportunities DEADLINE SEPTEMBER 16

Saturday, August 20, 2016, 4:38pm by

EPSCOR Student Internship Opportunities

UH Hilo is pleased to offer paid ($300.00 monthly) internships to undergraduates with interests in issues related to water on or in data analytics.

Water issues encompass the Natural and Social Sciences and include history of water usage and policies, water security, and water quality. We also will offer students internship projects whose primary focus is data analytics.

Interns will be expected to work an average of 30 hours per month from October 1, 2016 – April 30, 2017 and to submit a report and give a presentation at an on-campus EPSCoR workshop.

Here is a summary of the available positions:

Faculty Investigator:
Project Title and Description
Cleveland, Erik
Surveys in Animal Science
Colbert, Steven
Marine Science
Characterizing the Seawater Chemistry Variability of a Hawaiian Coral Reef
Cooksey, Kathy
Physics & Astronomy
The Universe in Absorption
Eiben, Jesse
Native and Introduced Aquatic Insect Collection Catalogue and Database
Furumo, Norbert
Creating a Data Base of Antioxidant and Anthocyanin Content of Tropical Fruit
Hart, Patrick
UH Hilo Bioacoustics Lab (LOHE Lab) Internship
Inglis, Kerri History ‘Ike Wai
Muir, Cedric Biology Agro-ecology and the analysis of very large DNA data sets
Perroy, Ryan Geography Miconia Detection Deep Learning
Simmons, Charles Chemistry Analysis of X-ray Data for Modeling the Chemical Bonding between Iron and Oxygen in Hemoproteins
Takabayashi, Misaki Marine Science Molecular Pathology of a Coral Disease

For more information:

Full Descriptions of Internship Opportunities:


Application Form:


EPSCoR logo


Co-Investigator Roberto C . Pelayo
Phone(808) 932-7539
Fax(808) 932-7295
Office locationCollege Hall A (CHA), Room 9C
Roberto C . Pelayo
Mathematics Department
University of Hawaii at Hilo
200 W. Kāwili St.
Hilo, HI 96720-4091

Co-Investigator Matthew Platz
Phone(808) 932-7332
Fax(808) 932-7338
Office locationAdministration Building (ADM), Room 111
Matthew Platz
Academic Affairs
University of Hawaii at Hilo
200 W. Kāwili St.
Hilo, HI 96720-4091

CCECS announces fall art classes

Friday, August 19, 2016, 7:42am by

The College of Continuing Education and Community Service (CCECS) at the University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo offers two art classes this fall.

Mixed Media Module B with Darcy Gray will be held on Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., September 10 through October 29, in UH Hilo’s University Classroom Building (UCB) Room 312. Sessions will focus on the techniques of paper marbling and plexi printing to produce stand-alone pieces that will then be selected and molded into a finished, textured work. Gray recently captured first place in the Two- Dimensional category at the Hawai‘i Island Arts Alliance Abstract Only art show, and received her B.A. in Three-Dimensional Design from Birmingham City University in England.

Exploratory Painting will be held on Thursdays, from 4:30 – 6:30 p.m., September 15 through November 3. The location is to be determined.

Kellie Miyazu, a freelance artist and current Designer-in-Residence at the East Hawai’i Cultural Center, will teach participants how to create a finished acrylic painting using various techniques including color mixing, composition, brushwork and texture. Portions of the course will be taught outdoors to expose students to a range of painting environments.

The fee for each class is $125 and includes most of the required supplies. A discount package is available for both classes for $225.

For more information and to register, call CCECS at 932-7830 or visit

from UH Hilo Press Releases

UH Hilo’s Space Robotics Team at NASA Robotic Mining Competition, Kennedy Space Center, FL

Thursday, May 26, 2016, 2:56pm by

The team was judged on the work of their mining robot “Spock,” which, via remote control, navigated obstacles to scoop up and move simulant Mars material.


UH Hilo Space Robotics Team with their robot Spock, before leaving for competition in FL. (l-r) Carli Hand, Joerg Michael Weber, Ethan Paguirigan, Daryl Albano, Derek Hand, and Stephanie Mapes. Photo by Marc Roberts, click to enlarge.

The University Space Robotics Team from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo was at the Kennedy Space Center, Florida, last week for the team’s inaugural appearance at the NASA Robotic Mining Competition (RMC) event running May 16-20. The competition is done annually for university-level students to design and build a mining robot that can traverse the simulated Martian chaotic terrain. The team of six students officially represented the University of Hawai‘i at this prestigious national event.

The team was being judged on the work of their mining robot (named “Spock” after a famous Vulcan), which, via remote control, navigated obstacles to scoop up Mars regolith simulant, then transported the material to a collection bin at the starting gate within a 10-minute competition heat.

Robotics 5-18 (2)

May 18—Team passes inspection, judged by NASA engineer legend Joe Kosmo (left). The top award at the competition is named in his honor. Kosmo developed the first astronaut spacesuits. Courtesy photo, click to enlarge.

The team is comprised of UH Hilo students Ethan Paguirigan, Carli Hand, Daryl Albano, Derek Hand, Stephane Mapes and Michael Weber with faculty team leader Marc Roberts.

John Hamilton, logistics and education/public outreach manager at the Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems (PISCES) and an instructor with the UH Hilo physics and astronomy department, is the club faculty advisor and an invited judge at the NASA RMC for four years.


May 18—This photo shows the robot dumping the load during competition. At the bottom right of the photo is the Caterpillar teleoperated D-10 dozer that is in Arizona. UH Hilo student team members Carli Hand and Mike Weber successfully completed the skill course from this console in Florida. Caterpillar is the main corporate sponsor of the Robotic Mining Competition and provides the Autonomy Award. Click photo to enlarge. More photos.

A holodeck at UH Hilo? NSF-funded Data Science program will offer undergraduate research opportunities, data visualization room

Saturday, May 21, 2016, 9:25am by

The University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo is among the beneficiaries of a $20 million Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) grant recently awarded to the UH System by the National Science Foundation.

UH Hilo’s share of $2.1 million will be used to launch a new Data Science program. To develop a baccalaureate degree and several certificate programs focusing on data mining, modeling, predictive analytics and pattern recognition, we will hire four new data science faculty members in mathematics, computer science, and the natural and social sciences.

The NSF funds will also pay for a Cyber-CANOE (think Holodeck) that will allow students and faculty to engage in data visualization and 3-dimensional modeling, following its installation this fall.

A Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) will fund dozens of research projects where students work with faculty on data-intensive problems and topics.

“These several, interrelated components of the ‘Ike Wai grant will provide UH Hilo data science students with the skills and experience necessary to solve complex problems,” said Dr. Matthew Platz, vice chancellor for academic affairs/research and co-principal investigator. “Through the certificate program and the soon-to-be-developed B.S. in Data Science, they will gain a better understanding of how to analyze large, complicated data sets that have traditionally been difficult to decipher.”

Dr. Roberto Pelayo, associate professor of mathematics and workforce and education lead for the grant, noted the data science field opens up some attractive employment opportunities for students.

“Employers are always looking for well-trained students with the newest, most sophisticated tools for answering difficult questions,” Pelayo said. “Courses like Data Mining, Data Visualization, Modeling, and Predictive Analytics will prepare our students for exactly these employment opportunities.”

For more information about the UH Hilo Data Science program, contact Robert Pelayo.

Students and alums: Build your career portfolio on College Central

Thursday, May 19, 2016, 9:41am by

Have you signed up for College Central, UH Hilo’s internship and employment placement site?

Your college degree isn’t a golden ticket to a dream job.There are already more college graduates than there are jobs for them. Employers can pick and choose, and the competition is fierce!

41% of recent college graduates earn $25,000 a year or less [PDF] and a quarter of college graduates earn no more than the average high school graduate. Many college graduates are stuck in minimum-wage jobs–not what they expected after completing their degrees.

How can you stand out in this competitive job market? Employers and internship providers are looking for more than a transcript. They want to see what you can do.

And with College Central’s new portfolio service, you can show them. Job seekers can build, add work experiences, and share their career portfolios with employers. As UH Hilo alumni, you can continue to expand and refine your career portfolio throughout your  career. UH Hilo has invested in this service and made it free for you!

Don’t get left behind. Sign up today, or log in and start building your portfolio.

Learn more about UH Hilo here.