December 3-9, 2018


December 3, 2018

Faculty News

Dr. Pless

The US Department of Justice has awarded Dr. Robert Pless (CS) a three-year, $1 million grant for the project “An Object-Centric Approach for Image Analysis to Combat Human Trafficking.” Images are often part of a criminal investigation, but for questions such as “Where was this image taken?” investigators are often limited to using generic tools designed for different purposes, like Google reverse image search. a prototype search tool with a focus on fighting human trafficking.


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Chong

On November 20, Dr. Ken Chong (MAE) gave a seminar at Stanford University titled “An Outlook of Basic and Translational Research.” The seminar was well attended, and afterward Dr. Chong interacted with engineering students and faculty at a working luncheon.

Dr. Gralla

Dr. Erica Gralla (EMSE) gave three presentations on students’ work at the INFORMS 2018 Annual Meeting, held November 4-7 in Phoenix, AZ. The presentations included two senior design projects and one research project: 1) K. Ajrawat, A. Fintzy, J. Miles, C. Shaffer, J. Barbera, and E. Gralla. “Decision Support Model and Analysis for the Strategic National Stockpile;” 2) K. Friesecke, S. Grumer, J. D'Arrigo, H. Abeledo, J. Barbera, and E. Gralla. “Scheduling Staff for the FEMA National Response Coordination Center;” and 3) J. Miles and E. Gralla. “Using System Dynamics to Understand Financial Inclusion in Ugandan Agriculture.” All of the authors are from the EMSE department; they include Dr. Joseph Barbera (EMSE) and Dr. Hernan Abeledo (EMSE), and EMSE undergraduates who graduated last year.

Dr. Huang

Dr. Howie Huang (ECE) and his Ph.D. students Yuede Ji and Yang Hu presented two papers—“iSpan: Parallel Identification of Strongly Connected Components with Spanning Trees” and “TriCore: Parallel Triangle Counting on GPUs”—at the IEEE/ACM International Conference for High Performance Computing Networking, Storage, and Analysis (Supercomputing/SC'18). SC is the top conference in the area of high performance computing. This year it accepted only 70 papers out of 288 submissions. The conference was held November 11-16 in Dallas, TX, and it attracted more than 12,000 attendees. At the conference, Dr. Huang was also an invited speaker on the panel for the workshop “Irregular Applications: Architectures and Algorithms.” During the panel, four invited speakers discussed the current state and future trends of high-performance computing architectures for data analytics workloads.

Dr. Sarkar

Dr. Kausik Sarkar (MAE) attended the 71st Annual Meeting of the Division of Fluid Dynamics of the American Physical Society, held November 18-20 in Atlanta, GA. At the meeting, he chaired the session "M09: Bubbles: Cavitation and Biomedical Acoustics" and presented the following talks with his Ph.D. students Nima Mobadersany and Abhilash Reddy Malipeddy: “M09.00006 : Acoustic microstreaming due to a pulsating free or coated bubble near a wall: velocity, vorticity shear stress and closed streamlines,” and “L36.00002 : Combined quadrupolar–swapping trajectory model for microstructural evolution of drops in a strongly confined shear flow.”

Dr. Subramaiam

Dr. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) served as an area TPC chair for IEEE INFOCOM 2019, a premier conference in computer networking, and attended the TPC meeting in Tempe, AZ, on November 17. This is the ninth year Dr. Subramaniam has served in this capacity. He served as conference TPC chair in 2013.

Dr. van Dorp

On November 19, Dr. Johan Rene van Dorp (EMSE) gave a seminar titled “What Do Coin Tosses, Decision Making under Uncertainty, The Vessel Traffic Risk Assessment 2010, and Average Return Time Uncertainty Have in Common?” to the Statistics Department at the University of Rome “La Sapienza.” On November 20, he taught a four-hour short course, “Beyond Beta, on some other distributions with bounded support and applications,” to the department’s Ph.D. students.

Dr. Venkataramani

The Computational Structures Group in CSAILab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology invited Dr. Guru Venkataramani (ECE) to give a research talk at MIT’s CSAIL seminar series on the topic of hardware security. Dr. Venkataramani presented his lecture, “Unmasking and Defending against Cache Timing Channels,” on November 19. It was attended by leading MIT experts on computer security, as well as technology leaders from companies in the Greater Boston area. The talk was planned as part of an MIT lecture series on how to architect future generations of computing platforms that are secure from side and covert channels that were behind the now infamous Meltdown and Spectre attacks widely reported in the news earlier this year.


Dr. Kausik Sarkar (MAE) has published a collaborative journal article with his doctoral students Jenna Osborn and Mitra Aliabouzar and with Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) and Dr. Raj Rao (SMHS): J. Osborn, A. Aliabouzar, X. Zhou, R. Rao, L. G. Zhang, and K. Sarkar. “Ultrasound and microbubbles enhance osteogenic differentiation of human mesenchymal stem cells on 3D printed scaffolds,” Advanced Biosystems, 2, 1800257.


Student News

BME George Hacks Team

Left to right: Sydney Bailes, Shirali Nigam, Caitlyn Pratt, and

Konstantin Mitic (Missing team member: Trish Mikolajczyk)

The team of Caitlyn Pratt, Sydney Bailes, Shirali Nigam, and Trish Mikolajczyk—all from the BME Department—took Third Place and a $750 cash prize in the Undergraduate track at this year’s Pitch George Competition, held November 17 in Duques Hall. The all-female team pitched their novel pill dispenser product, which targets the population over the age of 65 who may be dealing with problems like arthritis or juggling more than five medications a day. The team is also one of the founding teams of the George Hacks Innovators in Action Program. They were mentored by BME alumnus Konstantin Mitic, who co-founded the George Hacks organization and worked with the team as their adviser between rounds of pitches at the competition.


SEAS Events Re-cap

KU dinner group picture

SEAS held the 6th Annual George Washington University/Korea University Exchange Reunion Dinner on November 13, bringing together students currently in the GW/KU Exchange Program, alumni of the program, and faculty involved in it. In attendance were Simon Lee and his wife, Anna, and 60 students, alumni, and faculty. Simon Lee is an alumnus of both KU and SEAS (MS ’05), and he and Anna endowed the exchange program in 2010, providing financial assistance to SEAS students to study abroad at KU. A highlight of the annual reunion dinner is the “pass the mic” session during which alumni share stories of their time in Korea and how their study abroad experience has made an impact on their lives. This year, Simon initiated the session with the question “How have you changed in the last year?"

Upcoming SEAS Events
BME Seminar: “Perfusion Imaging without Contrast Agent”
Speaker: Dr. Li Zhao, Children’s National Medical Center, GW
Wednesday, December 5
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Marvin Center, 301


ECE Seminar: “Cavity Spintronics”
Speaker: Dr. Can-Ming Hu (IEEE Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturer), University of Manitoba
Monday, December 10
2:00 pm
SEH, B1220
This is a joint ECE - IEEE DC/NVA Magnetics Society Seminar.


SEAS Computing Facility
Introduction to Colonial One – GW’s High Performance Computing Cluster:
SEAS Computing Facility, in collaboration with the Colonial One HPC support team, is hosting two workshops this semester on High Performance Computing access at GW. The remaining workshop will be held December 7 in Tompkins 405 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. It will cover: SLURM job commands, virtual Python environments, R modules, and simple BASH scripting. Register


Workshop pre-requisites: You must have a Colonial One account, familiarity with programing languages, and Linux fundamentals knowledge. If you are unfamiliar with Linux, please review the recorded Introduction to Linux workshops on the SEAS CF website. Please email [email protected] with any questions or comments.


MATLAB and SolidWorks Tutoring

  • Tuesdays: 6:00 – 10:00 pm
  • Thursdays: 8:00 – 10:00 pm


MATLAB and SolidWorks tutoring will be offered throughout the fall semester in Tompkins 401. To schedule a tutoring appointment, please email [email protected]. The workshops and tutoring will be hosted by SEAS Senior Keily Gleason.


Engineering Software installation on personal computers: Most engineering programs installed in the SEAS Computing Labs—including MATLAB, SolidWorks, and others—are available for install on students' personal computers. For a complete list of applications, please visit the SEAS Computing Facility website.


External Events
Association of Energy Engineers: National Capital Chapter Annual Awards & Holiday Party
Wednesday, December 12
5:00 – 10:00 pm
SEH, Lehman Auditorium and common space near Green Wall
The party is open to both AEE members and non-members. The cost to AEE student chapter members is $10; the cost for non-members is $40. Non-member students may register for a $15 student membership, if they wish.


ECE Seminar: “Cavity Spintronics”
Speaker: Dr. Can-Ming Hu (IEEE Magnetics Society Distinguished Lecturer), University of Manitoba
Monday, December 10
2:00 pm
SEH, B1220
This is a joint ECE - IEEE DC/NVA Magnetics Society Seminar.


Entrepreneurship News & Events
New SEAS Course: Social Impact Design Thinking
SEAS 4800.80 (CRN: 48682)/SEAS 6800.80 (CRN: 48683)
Spring 2019: Tuesdays 6:10 – 8:40 pm
SEH, 1450
Innovation starts with humans. Join an interdisciplinary social impact innovation class that puts human experience at the forefront of problem-solving and triple bottom line venture creation. Design thinking and human centered design are proven and repeatable problem solving methodologies that any discipline, profession, business, or social venture can employ to create social impact and value and achieve results. Interdisciplinary student teams apply design thinking to local challenges they research ethnographically, while facilitating partnerships with public and private Washington DC-based organizations. This class is a first of it its kind at GW in combining social innovation, design thinking, gear up, and business model creation.


GW is now offering a new interdisciplinary minor in creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship. The minor will give full-time, undergraduate students an opportunity to explore and integrate programs/courses from SEAS, CCAS, and ESIA. The choice of two field electives allows students to tailor the minor to match their interests in creativity, fine arts, design, media, environment, social impact, health care, and/or technology. Students may add this minor to their degree by bringing the minor form to their home school advising office.


Health Hackathon: This is a half-day hackathon to be held on March 29, 2019. It is sponsored by the Clinical and Translational Science Institute at Children’s National (CTSICN), a partnership between Children’s National Medical Center and GW. The purpose of the hackathon is to develop the requirements and prototype user interface for medical or public health software applications. There is no restriction on submission, but the entry should be an idea that could lead to a useful medical or public health software application. It can be extremely generic or highly specialized. Potential areas of interest include (but are not limited to): self-care, medical wellness, exercise physiology, clinical applications, public health, etc. The idea submission deadline is January 4, 2019. Submit your app idea via this simple form. Contact Sara Alyamani with any questions.


Dissertation Defenses
Student Name: Joshua Lurz
Dissertation Title: “Using simplified models and limited-horizon planning to react to time-critical problems”
Advisor: Dr. Rahul Simha (CS)
Friday, December 7
1:00 – 3:00 pm
SEH, 4990