UCSD, short for University of California, San Diego, is a public research university situated on 2,141 acres of land near the Pacific coast in La Jolla in San Diego, California. The seventh oldest of the ten universities in the state was first established in 1960, near the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. It was first envisioned by Roger Revelle to be a graduate school of science and engineering akin to Caltech’s quality.
UCSD’s system of six undergraduate residential colleges was patterned after Oxford and Cambridge, with each of them concentrating on their own curricular focus. Moreover, UCSD is one of the powerhouse universities in the country, belonging to the list of top ten public universities, and long considered as one of the Public Ivies. The university is particularly strong in their oceanography science, biological science and Engineering courses.
It is also a beneficiary of the sea and space grant and has a high level of research activity. Four research facilities are being operated by UCSD: the California Institute for Telecommunication and Information, the San Diego Supercomputer Center, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and the UC San Diego Medical Center. UCSD is also affiliated with Salk Institute, the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and Scripps Research Institute, among others.
Aside from its several research facilities, UCSD is home to the University’s Coordinated Robotic Lab, where several mechanical engineering students headed by their professor released the latest generation of their Switchblade family of agile vehicles.
These vehicles can traverse on almost any terrain and have LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging, together with real time video, GPS, sensors and optical remote sensing made these vehicles suitable for border patrolling and search and rescue operations.
Another project made by the university’s engineering department is RUBY, which can be used to stop oil leaks. It was the result of the recent oil spill catastrophe which involved BP Oil.
The university’s robotic laboratory is focused on finding robotic platforms capable of multi-tasking but relatively cheap to build and operate.