December 1-7, 2014


December 1, 2014

Faculty News

Honors & Awards:

Profs. Xiuzhen "Susan" Cheng (CS) and Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) each have been elevated to the rank of IEEE Fellow effective January 1, 2015. The IEEE Board of Directors selected Prof. Cheng for her "contributions to localization and detection in sensor networks," and Prof. Subramaniam for "contributions to optical network architectures, algorithms, and performance modeling." The IEEE Grade of Fellow is conferred by the Board of Directors upon a person with an outstanding record of accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest. The total number selected in any one year cannot exceed one-tenth of one percent of the total voting membership. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.

Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) delivered the ASME Thurston Lecture on November 17 at the ASME Congress in Montreal, Canada. Some of the previous lecturers have included Theodore Von Karman, founder of JPL at Caltech; Y-C Bert Fung, father of bio mechanics; and John Hutchinson.

Media Mentions:

Prof. David Broniatowski (EMSE) and his colleagues Eili Klein (Johns Hopkins University) and Valerie Reyna (Cornell University) co-authored the article "Have a cold? Don't ask your doctor for antibiotics," which was published November 25 in The Conversation. The Washington Post picked up the article and published it on November 29.


Prof. Joseph Barbera (EMSE) and his Ph.D. graduate Jeff Miller have published the following article: J. Miller and J.A. Barbera. "Understanding military decisions and actions in humanitarian assistance operations,"Journal of International Emergency Management, 2014; 10(2): 135-152. Prof. Barbera also published a separate article with his Ph.D. graduate Ron Meris: R.G. Meris and J.A. Barbera. "Application of a plume model for decision makers' situation awareness during an outdoor airborne HAZMAT release," Journal of Emergency Management, 2014; 12(5):407-420.

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) and his students have published the following papers in the IEEE Transaction on Plasma Science, Vol. 42, No. 10, pp. 2402-2403, 2014: 1) A. Shashurin, D. Scott, M. Shneyder and M. Keidar. "Deflection of streamer path in DC electric potential" (pp. 2402-2403), 2) D. Scott, A. Shashurin, J. Canady and M. Keidar. "Temporal evolution of the discharge in US Medical Innovations electrosurgical system SS-200E/Argon-2" (pp. 2742-2743), and 3) A. Shashurin, T. Zhuang, M. Kundrapu, J. Loverich, I. I. Beilis, and M. Keidar. "Modeling of a Plasma Layer in Vicinity of a Hypersonic Vehicle Using Cathodic Arc" (pp. 2660-2661).

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Joseph Barbera (EMSE) was an invited participant in the workshop Research Priorities to Inform Public Health and Medical Practice for Ebola Virus Disease. This invitation-only event was conducted November 3 by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council of the National Academies of Sciences, at the request of the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The small-group discussions focused on key areas of uncertainty in managing an Ebola outbreak and treating Ebola patients while protecting workers and the community. Issues of importance included transmissibility and biopersistance of the virus, environmental and personnel monitoring, protective equipment, and training of healthcare and nontraditional workers. The workshop will produce advice for expedited research sponsored by the U.S. government.

Prof. David Broniatowski (EMSE) participated as an invited panelist in the GW mHealth Collaborative's mHealth Big Data Mining Symposium held on November 19.

On November 13, Prof. Joseph Cascio (visiting scholar, EMSE) delivered his 15th yearly lecture, titled Environmental Management Systems (Military Sustainability), at the Eisenhower School for National Security & Resource Strategy, National Defense University. This lecture introduces senior military and civilian officials of the U.S. and select allied governments to voluntary, consensus international standards for environmental management systems and sustainability. The lecture addresses a brief history of management system standards, the international process for their development under the auspices of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and their continuing evolution under various ISO initiatives. The lecture exemplifies principles of management systems by highlighting attributes of the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) standard and its implementation by industrial and governmental organizations, including its application to public policy programs by the Environmental Protection Agency. Finally, the lecture highlights the advantages of EMS for implementing military sustainability programs related to the preservation and enhancement of natural infrastructure necessary for mission sustainment.

On November 21, Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) gave an invited talk for the Symposium of Mathematics, Computing & Design—Where Analysis and Creativity Combine in honor of Prof. Antony Jameson's 80th birthday at Stanford University. His presentation was titled "Spectral Difference Method for Sliding-Mesh Simulations, and Thermal Convection of the Sun." This is joint work with doctoral students Bin Zhang and Daniel Junfeng Wang of GW and Dr. Mark Miesch of the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR).

Prof. Chandru Mirchandani (adjunct faculty, EMSE) recently presented his paper "Cloud Computing as a Debug Tool" at the 2014 Complex Adaptive Systems Conference, held November 3-5 in Philadelphia, PA.

Prof. Rumana Riffat (CEE) and her doctoral student Arifur Rahman published and presented the following papers at the International Water Association Specialist Conference on Global Challenges: Sustainable Wastewater Treatment and Resource Recovery, held October 26-30 in Kathmundu, Nepal: 1) "Evaluation of Anoxic Heterotrophic Yield Using Various Analytical Methods," and 2) "Characterizing and Quantifying Flocculated and Adsorbed Chemical Oxygen Demand Fractions in High-Rate Processes."

Prof. Murray Snyder (MAE) presented the peer-reviewed conference paper "Investigation of Dynamic Interface Using a Ship-Mounted Whirl Stand" at the American Society of Naval Engineers Launch and Recovery Symposium 2014, held November 19-20 in Linthicum, MD. The paper was co-authored by Eric R. More and M. R. Snyder.

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) gave the following presentation at the IEEE EMBS BRAIN: Grand Challenge Conference held November 13-14 in Washington, DC: L. Zhang, C. O'Brien and W. Zhu. "Integrating Nanotechnology and Advanced 3D Biofabrication Techniques for Neural Tissue Regeneration." At a separate conference—the ASME IMECE conference, held November 14-20 in Montreal, Canada—Prof. Zhang served as organizer of two sessions, the 3-9-2 Clinic Application of Bioengineering: Biomechanics and the 3-9-3 Clinic Application of Bioengineering: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Methods. She also served as topic co-organizer of conference's doctoral student paper competition.

Other News:

Prof. Rachael Jonassen (visiting scholar and part-time faculty, EMSE) has served as a member of the Technical Working Group for the greenhouse gas Mitigation Goals Standard led by the World Resources Institute. In that capacity she served as chapter lead for the Goals Reporting chapter and made substantial contributions to the entire standard. The standard will help governments set emission-reduction targets, meet international emissions reporting obligations, and ensure that efforts to reduce emissions are achieving their intended results.

Student News

Emily Porter, a student advised by Prof. Samer Hamdar (CEE) and supported by the Traffic and Networks Research Laboratory, has received the Women's Transportation Seminar (WTS) DC Chapter Undergraduate Scholarship. WTS is an international organization of transportation professionals committed to career and industry excellence. While WTS has both male and female members, one of its primary goals is to promote professional development opportunities for women in transportation careers. This year, the WTS DC Chapter has awarded two undergraduate scholarships for students in the Washington DC Metropolitan Area. Ms. Porter already has received the SEAS SUPER Summer 2014 Fellowship and is currently funded through the University Facilitating Funds (UFF) Program.

Other News

Dr. Matthew Lumb is a research scientist in the program on photovoltaic research and development, funded under a cooperative agreement between GW and the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL). He and three colleagues from the NRL and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory recently published a paper titled "Incorporating Photon Recycling into the Analytical Drift-Diffusion Model of High Efficiency Solar Cells." The paper appeared in the Journal of Applied Physics.

Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE) submitted this video link as an example of a creative teaching effort. The video was submitted by students in Prof. Joost Santos' (EMSE) Quantitative Models in Systems Engineering class and includes the use of the GW mascot and a cameo appearance by Prof. Tom Mazzuchi (EMSE) at the 11:52mark.

Graduate Recruiting & Admissions: 
Brittany Wright rounded out her India recruiting trip with QS World Grad Fairs in Coimbatore and Chennai during the week of November 17. Anthony Spatola hosted an online information session on November 24. The Graduate Admissions office still is accepting spring applications for domestic students who already have completed the GRE. The fall 2015 deadline for Ph.D. applicants has been moved from December 15 to January 15. Please refer all prospective students to [email protected].

Graduate Career Services:
Student Opportunities: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is accepting applications for a 10-week summer internship program for undergraduate and graduate students majoring in HS-STEM disciplines. Graduate students receive a $7,000 stipend plus travel expenses. The deadline for applications is December 22. Detailed information about the internships can be found at: 

Upcoming Engagement Opportunities: Do you have corporate or employer connections who would like to engage with GW? Check out these upcoming events:

  • GW's Spring 2015 Career & Internship Fair — February 11, 2015: Registration is now open in GWork!
  • SEAS Student R&D Showcase — February 18-19, 2015:

Featured Graduate Career Services Informational Resource: TEDx Talk, "Career Services Must Die" by Andy Chan

Guest Vignette

New Accomplishments in the Traffic and Networks Research Laboratory

The researchers at the GW Traffic and Networks Research Laboratory are breaking new ground on the various aspects of traffic flow modeling for safety applications. A highlight of the current research is the recent construction of an instrumented vehicle followed by a real-world driving experiment featuring 26 participants. The instrumented vehicle is able to capture Lidar and DGPS measurements accurate to 0.1 centimeters at a time resolution of 0.1 seconds. This work, led by CEE doctoral candidate Justin Schorr and aided by master's student Claire Silverstein, was presented at the Symposium Celebrating 50 years of Traffic Flow Theory, held last August. The research work has been submitted for publication in the Journal of Intelligent Transportation Systems.

Another research project was performed by Claire Silverstein, who examined collision prediction using microscopic traffic modeling for safety applications. Claire looked into vehicular crash rates on highways based on crash type and attempted to reproduce such rates with a microscopic traffic model in order to identify collision rate trends over time. Preliminary results show that at one year, both the real and simulated collision rates for the subject highway section in California are approximately the same for vehicles traveling between 60 and 70 mph. The next step in her research is to see if the crash rates are still consistent for varying amounts of time (month to month and year to year) and for vehicles traveling at different speeds.

The Traffic and Network Laboratory also has hosted Emily Porter, a CEE undergraduate student who, in collaboration with Justin Schorr, worked on two separate projects focused on pedestrian safety. The first project examined pedestrian safety at intersections making use of structural equation modeling. The end result of this work was the identification of specific parameters shown to be influential in terms of pedestrian safety, particularly with regard to pedestrian-vehicle collisions. A paper submitted on this research project has been accepted for presentation at the 94th annual Transportation Research Board Conference, which will be held in January. The second project, which is still in progress, focuses on modeling real-time pedestrian behavior at transit stations using cameras that have the ability to detect and track pedestrian movement in these highly congested scenarios. (Provided courtesy of Justin Schorr, Claire Silverstein, and Emily Porter, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)

SEAS Events

CS Colloquium: "Finite Field Arithmetic Circuits versus Boolean Circuits"
Speaker: Dr. Carl Sturtivant, University of Minnesota Friday, December 5
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Entrepreneurship Events

Startup Grind DC Hosts Peter Barris (NEA)
Wednesday, December 3
6:00 – 9:00 pm
1133 15th Street NW, 12th Floor
Washington, DC

Academic Service-Learning Symposium
Thursday, December 4
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Marvin Center, 3rd Floor

Entrepreneur Office Hours with Jim Chung
Friday, December 5
3:00 – 5:00 pm
2033 K Street, NW, Suite 750

Dissertation Defenses

Student's Name: Zhou Ma
Dissertation Title: “Sensing and Force-Feedback Exoskeleton (SAFE) Robotic Glove Mechanism and Its Applications”
Advisor: Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE)
Monday, December 15
1:00 – 3:00 pm
771 Rome Hall