April 16 - 22, 2012


April 16, 2012

Faculty News

Honors and Awards:

Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) has been elevated to the grade of senior member of IEEE.

Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) has been awarded the Oak Ridge Association of Universities Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award, 2012-2013, with a grant of $5,000. GW will provide a matching grant of $5,000.


Profs. Joseph Barbera and Gregory Shaw (both of EMSE) have been awarded a $218,400 sub-grant from the District of Columbia Department of Health and the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments for applied research to develop and conduct a public health risk assessment for the CDC-defined Washington DC Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). The research, to be performed through the EMSE Institute for Crisis, Disaster and Risk Management (ICDRM), will identify the major medical and public health hazards that threaten the region and then perform a disciplined vulnerability analysis of the hazard consequences across the jurisdictions. This complex MSA includes Washington DC, counties in northern and northwestern Virginia, many counties in Maryland and extending west to include Jefferson County, West Virginia. The goal of this public health risk assessment and vulnerability analysis is to establish an information basis for risk-informed decision-making by public health authorities for hazard mitigation, emergency preparedness, major incident response and effective recovery planning. The CDC program that is funding this effort is interested in the methodological approach to this type of risk assessment in addition to the specific findings from the project. ICDRM was solicited for a proposal based upon its reputation for multidisciplinary research and its extensive history of risk research.

U.S. Patent # 8,143,681, B2 was issued on March 27 to Prof. Mona Zaghloul (ECE chair) and her co-inventors for "Saw Devices, Processes for Making Them, and Methods of Use."

Books and Papers:

Prof. Matthew Kay (ECE) and his team, along with their collaborators at the GW Medical Center, have published the following article in the American Journal of Physiology Heart and Circulatory Physiology: Mercader M., Swift L.M., Sood S., Asfour H., Kay M.W., Sarvazyan N. "Use of endogenous NADH fluorescence for real-time in situ visualization of epicardial radiofrequency ablation lesions and gaps."

Media Mentions:

Responding to a recent paper on plasma medicine, Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) was quoted in Science Magazine's April 4 article "Plasma Flashlight Zaps Bacteria."

Conferences and Presentations:

The First Congress of Innovation in Materials and Equipment for Health (CIMES) was held in the city of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on April 10 and 11, and was attended by representatives from government, industry, universities, science and technology institutions, and regulatory agencies that have direct relation to the health industry in Brazil. The main theme of the conference was the support of strategic collaboration among the major players in the rapidly growing health industry in Brazil. Prof. James Hahn (CS) participated as one of the two keynote speakers in the international plenary session. He gave a talk on the collaboration between the medical and engineering disciplines in biomedical research with successful examples at GW.

Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS) gave an invited talk at George Mason University on April 13. The talk, "Clustering Algorithms for Streaming and Online Settings," was part of the GRAND Seminar talk at GMU's CS department. "GRAND" is the acronym for "Geometry, Graphics, Robotics, AI, Algorithms, and Data mining."

Other News

Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) sponsored and mentored the School Without Walls High School FIRST Robotics team this year, with the dedicated assistance of his graduate students William Rone, Zhou Ma, and Paul Moubarak. This year, the school placed first among DC Public Schools teams and 14th overall out of 63 teams at the Washington, DC FIRST Regional, which took place on March 29-31. Prof. Ben-Tzvi and his students assisted the team with this year's challenge, which involved the design, integrations, and programming of a robot capable of picking up basketballs, shooting them into baskets of varying heights, and balancing on an unstable bridge. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition is an international robotics competition in which high school students team up to build robots to complete a task that changes each year.

The USA Science and Engineering Festival has a program called "Nifty Fifty (times 2)." The Nifty Fifty (times 2) are a group of one hundred noted science and engineering professionals who will fan out across the Washington, DC area in the 2011-2012 school year to speak about their work and careers at various middle and high schools. The Mathematical Association of America nominated Brent Morris (EMSE adjunct faculty member) as being nifty, and he spoke to a group of exceptional high school students on April 11. Prof. Morris writes, "I don't know which was the most fun - meeting with kids really excited about math and science or being called 'nifty!'" 

Prof. Adam Wickenheiser (MAE) has been awarded a 2012 Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship. He will spend eight weeks at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida conducting research on "Synthesis and Analysis of De-centralized Control Laws for Wing Sections Using Biomimetic 'Feathers' for Gust Alleviation and Maneuverability."

Other News

SEAS is a sponsor of the 2012 USA Science and Engineering Festival(April 27-29), a collaborative effort of the global STEM community to re-invigorate the interest of our nation's youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As part of the Festival, SEAS will host a FREE, one-of-a-kind panel discussion and book signing with best-selling science author-pioneer, Robin Cook; Wolfram Mathematica co-founder and pictorial periodic table pioneer, Theodore Gray; engineer and practical pyromaniac, William Gurstelle; retired rocket scientist and author of October Sky, Homer Hickam; award-winning history and science storyteller, Joy Hakim; and physician, philanthropist, and writer, Pendred Noyce. Shawn Lawrence Otto will moderate the discussion. The discussion and book signing will take place on April 28, from 7:30 to 10:00 pm. To learn more details about the event and to register, please visit: http://bookfairevening.eventbrite.com/.

Guest Vignette

An important goal in mobile robotics is the development of perception algorithms that allow for persistent, long-term autonomous operation in unknown situations (over weeks or more). In our effort to achieve long-term autonomy, we have had to solve problems of both spatial and semantic estimation. That is, our robots need to know where they are, and what they are dealing with.

If mobile robots are to become ubiquitous, we must first solve fundamental problems in perception. Before a mobile robot system can act intelligently, it must be given-or more interestingly, it must autonomously acquire-a representation of the environment that is useful for planning and control. Perception comes before action, and in the field of robotics the perception problem is one of the most difficult we face.

Prof. Gabe Sibley directs the GW Autonomous Robotics & Perception Group, which explores probabilistic perception algorithms and estimation theory that enable long-term autonomous operation of mobile robotic systems, particularly in unknown environments. The group develops real-time localization and mapping systems, and is concerned with the fundamental understanding of sufficient statistics that can be used to represent the state of the world. The Autonomous Robotics and Perception Group uses embodied robot systems equipped with a variety of sensors-including lasers, cameras, inertial sensors, etc.-to advance and validate algorithms and knowledge representations that are useful for robot navigation, planning, and control. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Gabriel Sibley of the Department of Computer Science)

SEAS Events

ECE Colloquium: "Acoustic Waveform Representations for Robust Speech Recognition"
Prof. Zoran Cvetkovic, Centre for Telecommunications Research, King's College, London
Monday, April 16
3:30 - 4:30 pm
640 Phillips Hall

CSPRI Discussion: "Presenters: Prof. J. Howard Beales III, (GWSB), Prof. Orin Kerr (GW Law School), Prof. Nan Zhang "
Wednesday, April 18
12:00 pm (buffet lunch at 1:00 pm)
308 Marvin Center

MAE Seminar: "Imaging Tissue Optical Properties Using the Interaction of Light and Sound"
Ronald A. Roy, Boston University, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Thursday, April 19
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

ECE Colloquium: "George, Georges, and Google: A Glimpse Into Old History and New Research at SAIC"
Dr. Eric Dunn, Research Scientist, Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC)
Monday, April 23
2:00 - 3:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

GWIN Seminar: "Deduction of Mechanical Properties of Carbon Nanotubes and Graphene Sheet from
Molecular Statics/Dynamics Simulations"
R. C. Batra, Department of Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Polytechnic
Friday, April 27
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall

Save the Date: SEAS Graduation Celebration
Friday, May 18
7:30 pm
Smith Center (a reception in the Marvin Center Ballrooms precedes the event)

Entrepreneurship Events

Networking Event: for Students and Companies in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics and Business Fields (Presented by NSBE's GW Chapter)
Friday, April 20
7:00 - 9:00 pm
308-310 Marvin Center

Related GW Events

GW Moving the Planet Forward: An Innovation Summit
Tuesday, April 17
1:00 - 6:00 pm
Jack Morton Auditorium
Presented by the GW Office of the Provost, Office of Sustainability and Planet Forward.
Free and open to the public

Nuclear Policy Talk Series: The Importance of the National Laboratories
Dr. Stephen Rottler, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Science and Technology, Sandia
National Laboratories
Thursday, April 19
9:00 am
1957 E Street Building, Commons Room (602)

Town Hall with US Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood: "On the Go--Ensuring a Quality Transportation System"
Hosted by GW's Graduate School of Political Management
Thursday, April 19
7:00 - 8:00 pm
MPA Building, Jack Morton Auditorium

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Johnny D. Morgan
Title of Dissertation: "Applying the Science of Networks to Enterprise Information Systems That Implement a Services Oriented Architecture"
Advisor: Professor Howard Eisner
Tuesday, April 24
11:00 am
1776 G Street, Conference Room 120

Name of Student Defending: Ritu Bajpai
Title of Dissertation: "UV-assisted Alcohol Sensors Using GaN Nanowires Functionalized with ZnO and SnO2 Nanoparticles"
Advisor: Prof. Mona Zaghloul
Friday, May 4
12:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall