April 27 - May 3, 2015


April 27, 2015

Faculty News








Congratulations to the 2015 winners of the SEAS Faculty Teaching and Research Awards. For those who missed the ceremony, a brief description of the winners' accomplishments is listed below:

2015 SEAS Distinguished Researcher: Prof. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE)
Prof. El-Ghazawi is an internationally recognized leader in high-performance computing and a pioneer in high performance reconfigurable computing and Partitioned Global Address Space (PGAS) programming models. He is the author of the well-known Unified Parallel C (UPC) language, required by the federal government to be available on all supercomputers. His research at GW—totaling nearly $15 million—has been supported by numerous grants from a wide range of federal agencies and industry partners.

2015 SEAS Distinguished Teacher: Prof. Poorvi Vora (CS)
Prof. Vora is a core faculty member in the Department's computer security program, where she has contributed to curriculum development and focuses her own classes on inquiry-based learning. She is an exceptional advisor and mentor who actively engages her students and encourages undergraduates to participate in research. She was a co-winner in 2009 of the ACM Teacher of the Year Award "for having greatly impacted the life of the students of the Class of 2009."

2015 SEAS Outstanding Junior Researcher: Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE)
Prof. Zhang has made extraordinary research contributions in 3D bio-printing, bio-materials, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, neural engineering, nanotechnology, and plasma medicine. Most recently, she won the highly prestigious NIH Director's New Innovator Award and nearly $2.3 million in funding. She has an impressive publication record, leads a large research group, and holds three patents.

2015 SEAS Outstanding Junior Teacher: Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) and Prof. Adam Wickenheiser (MAE) *
Prof. Santos has played an important role in the recent growth and development of his department's undergraduate systems engineering program, primarily through his effectiveness as a teacher but also through his efforts to create new courses and revise existing courses. His students uniformly praise him for his innovative teaching practices and compassionate and encouraging attitude toward them, honoring him in 2013 with the department's Professor of the Year Award.

Prof. Wickenheiser takes a keen interest in his students' learning, which he promotes through interactive teaching methods, frequent and patient mentoring, and a commitment to rigorous standards and expectations. Students in his department have twice rewarded him with the department's Professor of the Year Award. Prof. Wickenheiser also has been active in developing curricula for the department and incorporating new tools and methods into it.

* At the Teaching Awards Committee's recommendation, Profs. Santos and Wickenheiser both were awarded the 2015 SEAS Outstanding Junior Teacher Award.


Prof. Murray Loew (BME), his Ph.D. student Damon Conover, and their collaborator Dr. John Delaney at the National Gallery of Art recently published the article " Automatic registration and mosaicking of technical images of Old Master paintings " in Applied Physics A.

Prof. Julie Ryan's (EMSE) article, "Your 'Secrets' Aren't Secret: How Social Media Undermines Your Security Questions and Answers" was published on April 24 by Skillsoft, an online learning community.

Media Mentions:

The Baltimore Sun quoted Trey Herr (senior research associate, Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute) in the article "New Pentagon cyber strategy to discuss nation's offensive capabilities ."


On April 17, Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) gave the 46th Distinguished Lecture, which he titled "Convergence of Sciences and Technologies," at the newly constructed campus of the University of Macau, where he also visited with President Wei Zhao and other key faculty members. Through more than 30 years of development, UM has become a leading university and also the only public comprehensive university in Macao. After the lecture, Prof. Chong went to Hong Kong to assist the Innovation and Technology Commission of the Hong Kong Government in the review, selection, and site visit of Engineering Research Centers (ERCs). The ERCs collaborate frequently with U.S. researchers.

Prof. Mona Diab (CS) delivered the opening keynote address for the 16th International Conference on Intelligent Text Processing and Computational Linguistics. The title of her address was "Towards Computational Modeling of Linguistic Sociopragmatics." She also delivered a keynote address, titled "AIDA: Automatic Identification of Dialectal Arabic and the Code Switching Phenomenon," for the first conference on Arabic Computational Linguistics. Both events were held April 14–20, in Cairo, Egypt.

Prof. David Nagel (ECE) participated in the 19th International Conference on Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (ICCF-19), held April 13-17 in Padua, Italy. He presented the paper "High Energy and Power Density Events in Lattice-Enabled Nuclear Reaction (LENR) Experiments and Generators," which deals with the science, product safety, and weaponization of LENR. A colleague, Steven Katinsky of Los Angeles, presented their paper "Industry Association for LENR," which summarized the status of LENRIA, a new Industrial Association that they recently founded to serve the nascent LENR industry. A poster paper, "Electromagnetic and Electronic Frequencies Associated with Heat Production During Electrochemical Loading of Deuterium into Palladium" by F. Scholkmann (Zurich, Switzerland), Nagel and Louis DeChiaro (Naval Surface Warfare Center), discussed the intersection of LENR and radio frequencies. Prof. Nagel also served on the International Advisory Committee, which decided to hold the next conference (ICCF-20) in Sendai, Japan, in October 2016.

On April 18, Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE) participated in the College of Southern Maryland's annual "Women & Math: Infinite Possibilities" event. This was the seventh offering of the event—designed for girls aged 13 and above, as well as for local math teachers—which brings together a dynamic group of presenters to expose the local community to the opportunities for STEM-based careers and to show the various faces of women working in STEM. For this event, Prof. Ryan provided an hour long workshop in cryptography basics. Other presentations included electrical engineering, manufacturing science, and architecture.

Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) presented the following paper at the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, held April 24 at the University of Virginia: Joost Santos, Jana Latayan, Sheree Ann Pagsuyoin, and Srija Srija, "A Stakeholder-Based Survey for Assessing the Viability of a Water Biofilter Concept in the Philippines." This research is a collaborative effort between GW and the University of Waterloo and is funded by Grand Challenges Canada.

Student News









The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) GW Student Chapter participated in the ASCE Virginias (VAs) Conference, held April 9-11 in Lexington, VA. Under the supervision of Prof. Samer Hamdar (CEE), the chapter represented the university in five competitions:

  1. Steel Bridge Competition (Team members: Peter Kinnon, Julian Olin, Eric Prokop, Miles Milliken, Jacob Venditto, and Thomas Steckel)
  2. Concrete Canoe Competition (Team members: Elizabeth Manning, Julian Olin, Josephine Mascher, James LaFaso, Thomas Steckel, and Sara Rifai)
  3. Environmental Competition (Team members: Josephine Mascher, Emily Porter, and Elizabeth Manning)
  4. Hardy-Cross Presentation Competition (Team member: Michaela Stanch)
  5. Marr Technical Paper (Team member: Emily Porter)

GW has not participated in this many competitions in the VAs conference for the past decade. Emily Porter received third place in the Marr Technical Paper award. The Concrete Canoe building was successful after 10 years of non-participation in the corresponding event, and the team's work also was presented by Sara Rifai, Julian Olin, Eric Prokop, and Elizabeth Manning at the annual dinner of the National Capital Chapter of the American Concrete Institute (ACI), which was held on April the 21 in the Crown Plaza Hotel, Tysons Corner, VA. The GW ASCE student chapter is excited about hosting the ASCE VAs conference next year in Washington, DC.

MAE doctoral student Shankar Kulumani, who is advised by Prof. Taeyoung Lee (MAE), won the Most Innovative/Creative Project award at the 2015 SSPI (Society of Satellite Professionals International) Mid-Atlantic Regional Chapter Student Engineering Competition, held April 23 at George Mason University. Shankar presented his work on optimal low-thrust orbital transfers in the three-body problem.

EMSE undergraduate students Christian YipPhillip FiorenzoKil Do Jung, and Jaime Tupper and their research advisor, Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) presented the paper " A Requirements Engineering Framework of the Evolving U.S Energy Landscape" at the IEEE Systems and Information Engineering Design Symposium, held April 24 at the University of Virginia. This initiative marks the first time that GW EMSE undergraduate students have participated in a national IEEE conference. Further, Christian Yip has been granted a travel scholarship by the conference organizers.

Other News









On April 10, Prof. Adam Wickenheiser (MAE) and a number of SEAS seniors and graduate students participated in a site visit to MITRE Corporation.  The students visited MITRE's Robotics, Vision, and Autonomous Systems Center Lab and Aviation IDEA Lab.  The visit was hosted by SEAS alumnus and National Advisory Council member Andrew Lacher.  Career Services staff members Sonya Merrill and Steve Scordo also accompanied the group.

Guest Vignette

Recent advances in Program Evaluation and Review Technique (PERT) have addressed a lack of statistical dependence modeling among activity duration uncertainties in project schedule risk analysis (see, e.g., J.R. van Dorp (2004). "Statistical Dependence through Common Risk Factors: With Applications in Uncertainty Analysis." European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 161 (1): pp. 240-255). Monitoring of remaining project uncertainty as a project progresses, however, while taking advantage of activity duration statistical dependence has not been addressed, to the best of our knowledge. Prof. van Dorp and his doctoral student Ifechukwu Nduka have developed a Bayesian Network (BN) model geared towards a coherent monitoring of project completion time uncertainty as activities complete. An expert judgment elicitation procedure has been developed to populate the BN's dependence parameters via the elicitation of conditional medians of activity time durations along the project network's paths. They have demonstrated via an illustrative example the increased pace of learning about remaining project schedule uncertainty by taking advantage of the Bayesian paradigm, while at the same time adhering to the traditional PERT one. More importantly, while a priori the incorporation of statistical dependence leads to larger uncertainty bands, a posteriori smaller uncertainty bands are observed after about a third into the project. The faster learning about remaining completion time uncertainty combined with the precision of the BN approach may provide project managers more time to take corrective action to avoid schedule slippage. Ifechukwu Nduka is scheduled to defend his dissertation during the Spring 2015 semester. Part of the research was funded by a fellowship awarded by the Logistic Management Institute. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Rene van Dorp, Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering)

SEAS Events

BME Distinguished Speaker Seminar: “Functional Repair of Aging and Injured Intervertebral Discs”
Presenter: Dr. James Iatridis, The Mount Sinai Hospital
Tuesday, April 28
5:00 – 6:00 pm
SEH B1270

SEAS Career Center News

Boeing: Systems Engineering Intern
Requisition Number: 1500014339en
Huntington Beach, CA
Boeing Defense, Space & Security (BDS) is looking for system engineers to design, develop, integrate and test new and continuing state of the art products for aircraft/aircraft systems, rotorcraft/rotorcraft systems, ships/shipboard systems, communications/communications systems, missile/missile systems, energy/energy systems, cyber warfare/cyber warfare protection and space/space systems. To qualify, candidates must be enrolled in a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree program, majoring in engineering, technical, or applied sciences fields. For more information and to apply, please visit: http://jobs-boeing.com/huntington-beach/business-support-services/jobid7417557-systems-engineering-intern-jobs .

Boeing: BDS Software Engineering Intern (multiple U.S. locations: CA, MD, NJ, PA, VA)
Requisition Number: 1400002233en
Computer engineering, computer science, and software engineering students: utilize your passion for developing software to develop large-scale simulations, airplane flight control and display software, avionics, mechanical and electrical systems, aircraft systems, networks, mobile ground-based defense platforms, satellites, and space vehicles. To qualify, candidates must be enrolled in a Bachelors degree program (or a consolidated Bachelor’s/Master’s degree program), majoring in engineering, technical, or applied sciences fields. Most positions may require the successful candidate to be able to obtain and maintain a security clearance. For more information and to apply, please visit: http://jobs-boeing.com/huntington-beach/business-support-services/jobid6039452-bds-software-engineering-intern-%28multiple-locations%29-jobs .

Student Career Development Opportunities

GW Alumni Virtual Networking Hour
Wednesday, April 29
6:00 – 7:00 pm
Hosted by Michael Steelman and GW Alumni

Crown Consulting is looking for more SEAS graduate students with a focus on mobile application development. Interested students should contact the Graduate Career Services Team at [email protected].

The Allied Minds Fellows Program seeks to provide young scholars in the STEM disciplines with a unique perspective on the business side of science and early-stage technology commercialization. The program, which will begin accepting applications on May 4, 2015, seeks to attract an elite group of graduate students and post-docs from top-tier research institutions to gain hands-on experience with scouting, diligence, market discovery and investment analysis in support of our corporate and portfolio company activities. 

Dissertation Defenses

GW Alumni Virtual Networking Hour Student’s Name: Mohammad Obiedat
Dissertation Title: “Incrementally Sorted Lattice Data Structures”
Advisor: Prof. Simon Berkovich (CS)
Friday, May 8
1:00 – 3:00 pm
SEH 4605