ASEF Podcast

ASEF Podcast

The American Slovenian Education Foundation (ASEF) is the leading foundation fostering talented individuals and higher education of deserving Slovenians worldwide through its exchange Fellowship programs and promotion of Slovenian culture and language. In the ASEF Podcast, we interview professors about their research, best practices in their field, and their vision for the development of the field in Slovenia as well as collaboration amongst Slovenians worldwide. Visit us at https://www.asef.net/. You can reach us at podcast@asef.net. The podcast's introductory theme is the C Minor Jazz Blues Backing Track by Quist.

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Episode #11: Robotics and Human-Machine interaction
Jun 20 2022
Episode #11: Robotics and Human-Machine interaction
Is the Metaverse a potential stepping stone for robotics and human-machine interaction? Does gamification enhance rehabilitation outcomes? Will we be able to build a comprehensive human-person digital twin for health purposes? How will Digital Twins and robotics change the manufacturing industry? What are the opportunities for Slovenia in this field? What is needed to build an ecosystem among industry and universities similar to the existing ones in the US? Can Slovenia become a test environment for self-driving cars?In Episode 11, we talk with ASEF professors Miloš Žefran, Vesna Novak, and Mitja Trkov. Listen as they discuss robotics and human-machine interaction.Miloš Žefran is an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he also received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and 1996, respectively. From 1997 to 1999, he was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology. He was on the faculty at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and held a visiting position at the University of Pisa, Italy. Dr. Žefran received an NSF Career Award in 2001 and has been continuously supported by the NSF since then. His main research areas involve Human-Robot Interaction, assistive robots, cyber-physical systems, autonomous vehicles, runtime monitoring, and switched systems.Vesna Novak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Cincinnati. She received her diploma and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Ljubljana in 2008 and 2011, respectively. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Sensory-Motor Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, from 2012 to 2014, and then an Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming from 2014 to 2021. Her research interests include rehabilitation robotics, wearable robotics, virtual reality, serious games, affective computing, and human activity recognition.Mitja Trkov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering at Rowan University.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, in 2016. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2007. Before his graduate studies, he worked as an R&D engineer in the naval industry. Before joining Rowan University, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. His main research areas involve wearable and assistive devices, human-machine interactions, soft robotics, mechatronics, rehabilitation, and biomedical engineering, ergonomics, and biomechanics.The ASEF Podcast host is Tanja Janko, a Master's Student of Chemistry at the University of Zurich. She was an ASEF Fellow in 2019 with Dr. Dimitri Krainc at Northwestern University.
Episode #11: Robotics and Human-Machine interaction
Jun 20 2022
Episode #11: Robotics and Human-Machine interaction
Is the Metaverse a potential stepping stone for robotics and human-machine interaction? Does gamification enhance rehabilitation outcomes? Will we be able to build a comprehensive human-person digital twin for health purposes? How will Digital Twins and robotics change the manufacturing industry? What are the opportunities for Slovenia in this field? What is needed to build an ecosystem among industry and universities similar to the existing ones in the US? Can Slovenia become a test environment for self-driving cars?In Episode 11, we talk with ASEF professors Miloš Žefran, Vesna Novak, and Mitja Trkov. Listen as they discuss robotics and human-machine interaction.Miloš Žefran is an Electrical and Computer Engineering professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.S. in Mathematics from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he also received an M.S. in Electrical Engineering. He received an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1995 and 1996, respectively. From 1997 to 1999, he was a National Science Foundation (NSF) Postdoctoral Scholar at the California Institute of Technology. He was on the faculty at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and held a visiting position at the University of Pisa, Italy. Dr. Žefran received an NSF Career Award in 2001 and has been continuously supported by the NSF since then. His main research areas involve Human-Robot Interaction, assistive robots, cyber-physical systems, autonomous vehicles, runtime monitoring, and switched systems.Vesna Novak is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Cincinnati. She received her diploma and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Ljubljana in 2008 and 2011, respectively. She was a postdoctoral fellow in the Sensory-Motor Systems Lab at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, from 2012 to 2014, and then an Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of Wyoming from 2014 to 2021. Her research interests include rehabilitation robotics, wearable robotics, virtual reality, serious games, affective computing, and human activity recognition.Mitja Trkov is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering at Rowan University.  He obtained his Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, in 2016. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2007. Before his graduate studies, he worked as an R&D engineer in the naval industry. Before joining Rowan University, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT. His main research areas involve wearable and assistive devices, human-machine interactions, soft robotics, mechatronics, rehabilitation, and biomedical engineering, ergonomics, and biomechanics.The ASEF Podcast host is Tanja Janko, a Master's Student of Chemistry at the University of Zurich. She was an ASEF Fellow in 2019 with Dr. Dimitri Krainc at Northwestern University.
Episode #8: RNA research and its applications: a look towards the future
Mar 20 2022
Episode #8: RNA research and its applications: a look towards the future
Which one existed first: DNA or RNA? mRNA vaccines: how do they work? Can such vaccines be used to fight cancer? RNA research in USA and Australia. How can research be improved in Slovenia?In Episode 8, we talk with ASEF professors Jernej Murn and Boštjan Kobe. Listen as they discuss RNA research.Boštjan Kobe is a Professor of Structural Biology at the University of Queensland. Prior to joining the University of Queensland, he was a postdoctoral researcher at St. Vincent’s Institute in Melbourne, Australia, where he also started his laboratory at the end of 1997. Prof. Kobe completed his Ph.D. degree at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, USA. He has been awarded the Minister’s Prize for Achievement in Life Sciences (2001), an ARC Federation Fellowship (2005), the ASBMB (Australian Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) Roche Medal (2009), the ASBMB Beckman Coulter Discovery Award (2018) and became a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science in 2018. He was the President of the Society of Crystallographers in Australia and New Zealand (2012-2014). He is the Editor of Acta Crystallographica Section D Structural Biology and PLoS One. His laboratory focuses on applying structural biology approaches to understanding infection and immunity.Jernej Murn is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of California, Riverside. Before joining UC Riverside as faculty in 2017, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children’s Hospital. He trained with Yang Shi in epigenetics and RNA biology. Prof. Murn completed his Ph.D. in molecular biology that he shared between the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, and the CEA Laboratory for Functional Genomics in France.The ASEF Podcast host is Tanja Janko, a Master's Student of Chemistry at the University of Zurich. She was an ASEF Fellow in 2019 with Dr. Dimitri Krainc at Northwestern University.
Episode #5: Cancer Research and The Future of Healthcare
Dec 20 2021
Episode #5: Cancer Research and The Future of Healthcare
How do cancer policies differ across the EU and Slovenia? Prevention and early detection. What are the major differences regarding infrastructure for clinical research and trials between US and Slovenia? How will changes in diagnostics and therapeutics likely change policies across countries? How do concerns over privacy affect medical research, and how do approaches on this matter differ between US and EU?In Episode 5, we talk with ASEF professors Tit Albreht, Robert Jeraj, and Mateja Jamnik. Listen as they discuss research and policymaking in the field of healthcare, with an emphasis on cancer research and prevention.Tit Albreht, is an Associate Professor of Public Health at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Ljubljana, and a member of the Scientific Committee of the European Public Health Association. Since 2006, he has been actively involved in the development of cancer policies at the European level – during the Slovenian Presidency of the European Council and later as coordinator of Joint Actions on cancer policy at the European Union level, including the European Partnership for Action Against Cancer (EPAAC), Cancer Control (CanCon) and most recently, the Innovative Partnership for Action Against Cancer (iPAAC).Robert Jeraj, is a Professor of Medical Physics, Human Oncology, Radiology, and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where he leads the Imaging and Radiation Sciences Program at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center. He is also a professor at the University of Ljubljana, where he leads a team related to medical physics, and oncology.Mateja Jamnik, is a Professor of Artificial Intelligence in the Department of Computer Science and Technology (Computer Laboratory) at the University of Cambridge, UK. She is an associate fellow at the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence and recently served as Specialist Adviser to the House of Lords Select Committee on Artificial Intelligence. She is also a SMUL (World Network of the University of Ljubljana) council member. Among other topics, her research focuses on applying AI technology to medical data to advance personalized cancer medicine.The ASEF Podcast host is Tanja Janko, a Master's Student of Chemistry at the University of Zurich. She was an ASEF Fellow in 2019 with Dr. Dimitri Krainc at Northwestern University.