April 18 - 25, 2011


April 18, 2011

Faculty News

Awards & Recognition:

Prof. Michael Plesniak (MAE chair) received $1,000 as a 2nd place winner of the 2011 NASA District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium Outstanding STEM Faculty Award.

Prof. Shelly Heller (CS) also received a 2011 NASA District of Columbia Space Grant Consortium Outstanding STEM Faculty Award, placing as one of the top five in the District. 

Media Mentions:

Prof. Lance Hoffman (CS) was recently interviewed by Federal Times and featured in a video report on cybersecurity. 


Prof. Murray Loew (ECE) and his co-author, Dr. Steven Horii, have published "Image Processing and the Performance Gap," a chapter of the book Biomedical Image Processing, Berlin: Springer, 2011, pp. 545-566. (ISBN: 978-3-642-15815-5).

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) published two invited papers. The first was written with students Alexey Shashurin, Jian Li, Olga Volotskova, Madhusudhan Kundrapu and Tai Sen Zhuang and is titled "Arc Plasma Synthesis of Carbon Nanostructures: Where is the Frontier?" The second is titled "Plasmas meet nanoparticles - where synergies can advance the frontier of medicine," and co-authored by M. G. Kong, M. Keidar and K. Ostrikov.

Profs. Robert Ernsting (adjunct), Thomas Mazzuchi, and Shahram Sarkani (EMSE), along with H. R. N. van Erp (TU Delft) published the paper "Relative Material Loss: A Variance Reduction Methodology and Framework for Probabilistic Corrosion Modelling" in Structure and Infrastructure Engineering: Maintenance, Management, Life-Cycle Design and Performance.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) participated in the 6th International Workshop on Microplasmas in Paris, France, April 4-8. There he gave a talk on cold plasma physics and applications.

Prof. Roger Lang (ECE), together with Saul Torrico, presented a paper titled "Specific Attenuation through a Tree Canopy: 3-D Vector Radiative Transport Approach" at the 12th URSI Commission-F Triennial Open Symposium in Garmisch-Partenkirch, Germany on March 10.

Prof. Tianshu Li (CEE) was invited to visit the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Virginia on April 11. While there, he gave a departmental seminar titled "Exploring Materials Behaviors from Atomistic Modeling: The Cases of Metallic Alloys and Silicon."

Prof. Matthew Kay (ECE), along with his students and collaborators, attended the 55th Annual Meeting of the Biophysical Society in Baltimore, MD, from March 5-9. There they presented the results of the following three studies:

  1. Asfour H, Swift LM, Sarvazyan NA, Doroslovacki M, Kay MW. "Decomposition of fluoresced transmembrane potentials using multiresolution wavelet analysis."
  2. Magome N, Swift LM, Asfour H, Kay MW, Sarvazyan NA, Agladze K. "Light mediated control of cardiac excitability."
  3. Mercader M, Swift LM, Asfour H, Kay MW, Sarvazyan NA. "NADH as an endogenous marker of cardiac tissue injury at the site of radiofrequency ablation."

Prof. Shelly Heller (CS) gave a keynote address entitled "Pay It FORWARD" to the Advancing Female Faculty in STEM in the Northern Pacific Workshop held in Guam. While in Guam, she also gave a public address entitled "Portrait of a Scientist as a Young Woman."

Other News:

On April 8, Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) hosted a robotics workshop for 32 Loudon County high school students as part of GW's Science, Technology and Engineering Day at the Virginia Science and Technology Campus.  The session focused on how the design of robotic systems is dependent on the integration of its mechanical, electrical, control, and computer subsystems.  The students were given the chance to work on creating their own robots, and several  teams later tested their robots, successfully following lines and avoiding obstacles within a maze.  Prof. Ben-Tzvi was assisted in running the session by four of his doctoral students: William Rone, Zhou Ma, Omar Gilani, and Paul Moubarak.  Media coverage of the session and the event included PBS News Hour Extra, the Loudon Times Mirror, and Leesburg Today.  Photos taken at the event are also available here.

Student News

Elham Sahraei (Ph.D. candidate - CEE) received the Mayers Outstanding Student Paper from SEA International at the 2011 SAE World Congress. The honor is awarded annually to one student for an outstanding presentation made at the previous year's congress.

Luther Swift (MS candidate - ECE), a student working Prof. Matthew Kay's lab, was awarded an honorable mention for his research poster presentation at the GWUMC Health Sciences Research Day on March 23. His research topic was: Blebbistatin precipitation in Langendorff perfused heart preparations, Swift L, Asfour H, Sarvazyan N, Kay MW.

Huda Asfour (MS candidate - ECE) wrote a research article that has been accepted for publication in the IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering: Asfour H, Swift LM, Sarvazyan NA, Doroslovacki M, Kay MW. "Signal decomposition of transmembrane voltage-sensitive dye fluorescence using a multiresolution wavelet analysis."

Guest Vignette

Together with his graduate students, Prof. Andrew Cutler is experimentally studying the mixing and combustion of gaseous fuels with air at supersonic speeds. These environments are difficult to probe with material probes so he is building and developing optical systems to make the measurements.

One technique - Coherent Anti-Stokes Raman Spectroscopy (CARS) - generates a signal laser beam from a small volume of the gas by crossing three pulsed laser beams of differing colors. The signal is then analyzed in a spectrometer to obtain its temperature and gas composition.  These data are then used by theoretical modelers to develop codes for predicting these flows.

Prof. Cutler's work is sponsored by NASA and the USAF, which use these models in the design of supersonic combustion ramjets.  Currently he does much of his work in labs at NASA Langley; however, in April he will take his instrument to the University of Virginia for tests at their "Aerospace Lab".  (Provided courtesy of Prof. Andrew Cutler of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering)

Upcoming Events

Thursday, April 21
3:00 - 5:00 p.m.
308 Marvin Center

Prof. Azim Eskandarian (CEE), Distinguished Researcher Award
Prof. Rumana Riffat (CEE), Distinguished Teacher Award
Prof. Matthew Kay (ECE), Outstanding Young Researcher Award

SEAS Events

Pelton Senior Design Competition & SEAS Senior-Alumni BBQ
Wednesday, May 11
5:00 - 8:00 pm
Grand Ballroom, Marvin Center

Entrepreneurship Events

Follow GW Office of Entrepreneurship activities on:  Facebook: GW Office of Entrepreneurship, Twitter: GWInnovate, and www.gwu.edu/entrepreneurship.

Entrepreneur Office Hours in Old Main
Friday, April 22
1:00 - 2:00 pm
102 Old Main

SEAS Seminar on Entrepreneurship: "Building Your Early Stage Startup Team"
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
6:00 - 8:30 pm
108 Funger Hall [Please note the room change for this seminar]

Academic Success Events

Ethical Research Standards: Doing Research the Right Way 
Wednesday, April 27
3:30-5:30 pm
Marvin Center 402

Dissertation Defenses

Christina Smyre (CS) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, titled "Applying Standard Network Centrality Measures to Analyze Error Propagation and Measure the Security of a Software System," on April 7. This research uses network analysis measures of weighted directed graphs representing dependencies among software components. This research also introduces a novel technique for calculating flaw propagation scores that indicate a package's likelihood of propagating a flaw to another package. Software developers and testers can use the metrics identified in this study to quantitatively analyze the security of a software system. The research was conducted under the direction of Prof. C. Dianne Martin (CS).

Youngser Park (CS) successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, titled "Anomaly Detection in Time-Series of Graphs and Hypergraphs using Graph Features," on March 23. He presented a new graph statistic for detecting certain anomalies in times-series of graphs and hypergraphs and also introduced new fusion methods that combine multiple graph features adaptively. The results of his study will help to detect anomalous behavior of social interactions (e.g., "excessive chatters" in emails, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) at a certain time period without knowledge of the content of actual communications. The research was conducted under the direction of Prof. Abdou Youssef (CS).

Gloria Washington (CS) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, titled "Understanding the Impact of User Frustration Intensities on Task Performance Using a Novel Adaptation of the OCC Theory of Emotions," on March 24.  She presented a study that included the use of a novel adaptation of the OCC theory of emotions to separate emotions into varying degrees or amounts.  She also incorporated the use of human-body based measures such as heart rate, posture, skin temperature, and respiration to determine frustration, along with task performances to measure the individual impact that each frustration intensity has on user productivity. The results of this study showed that individual intensities of frustration exist so that task performance is not degraded.  Results from this study can be used by human factors engineers and usability testers to determine how much frustration is needed before task performance measures start to decrease.  The research was conducted under the direction of Prof. Rhys Price Jones (CS).

Kerry McKay (CS) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, titled "Analysis of ARX Round Functions in Secure Hash Functions," on March 25. She presented a new cryptanalytic technique that extends linear cryptanalysis to increase the adversary's advantage in Addition-Rotation-XOR (ARX) functions. She demonstrated the application of her ideas to entries in the SHA-3 competition organized by NIST for the next secure hash function standard. Her results on competition finalist Skein and semifinalist CubeHash were presented at the Second SHA-3 Conference. Her dissertation also explores links to truncated differential attacks and presents diffusion metrics. The results of her work will help cryptologists analyze and design ARX round functions in hash functions, block ciphers, and stream ciphers. This research was performed under the direction of Prof. Poorvi Vora (CS) and was sponsored by NSF grants DUE-0621334 and CCF-0830576.

Lewis Berman (CS) successfully defended his doctoral dissertation, titled "Similarity of Medical Measures in Social Health Networks," on March 25.   The research was conducted under the direction of Prof. Shmuel Rotenstreich (CS).

Mira Yun (CS) successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, titled "Performance Enhancement in Heterogeneous Wireless Networks," on March 28. The research was conducted under the direction of Prof. Hyeong-Ah Choi (CS).