January 12-18, 2015


January 12, 2015

Faculty News

Media Mentions:

On December 18, KCBS-AM, San Francisco, spoke to Prof. David Broniatowski (EMSE) about the risks of unnecessary antibiotics.

In December, national and international media outlets spoke with Allan Friedman (research scientist, Cyber Security Policy Research Institute) about the Sony hack. Selected coverage includes: NPR's "All Things Considered," Aljazeera America's "Inside Story," and The Atlantic article "Did North Korea Really Attack Sony?The Washington Post paraphrased him in the article "The ominous lesson from the Sony Pictures hack." He and Peter Singer co-authored "5 lessons from the Sony hack," which appeared in CNN online.

On December 21, Prof. Lance Hoffman (CS) was quoted in the CBS-DC online article, "Tips on Protecting Your Business From Hackers."


Prof. Tianshu Li (CEE) and his graduate student Boxiao Cao have published the following paper: B. Cao and T. Li, "Interlayer Electronic Coupling in Arbitrarily Stacked MoS2 Bilayers Controlled by Interlayer S–S Interaction," Journal of Physical Chemistry C, 2014, Article ASAP DOI: 10.1021/jp5101736.

Prof. Joost Santos (EMSE) co-authored this journal article with his Ph.D. student Jalal Ali: J. Ali and J. R. Santos, "Modeling the Ripple Effects of IT-Based Incidents on Interdependent Economic Systems," Systems Engineering (DOI: 10.1002/sys.21293).

Prof. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) published the following paper with his former doctoral student: J. Zhao, S. Subramaniam, and M. Brandt-Pearce, "Efficient and accurate analytical performance models for translucent optical networks," IEEE/OSA Journal of Optical Communications and Networking, Vol. 6, No. 12, pp. 1128-1142, Dec. 2014.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Samer Hamdar (CEE) and his former graduate student, Ms. Lingqiao Qin (now a Ph.D. student at University of Wisconsin, Madison), have published a book chapter titled "Weather and Road Geometry Impact on Acceleration Behavior: Experimental Set-Up and Data Collection Using a Driving Simulator." The book chapter was published in the Traffic and Granular Flow '13 Book by Springer, 2015.

Prof. Rachael Jonassen (visiting scholar and part-time faculty, EMSE) presented a talk at the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco, CA on December 19. She and two colleagues from NOAA (Marina Timofeyeva and Fiona Horsfall) joined two colleagues from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (Elchin Jafarov and Kevin Schaefer) to present "Towards NOAA Forecasts of Permafrost Active Layer Thickness" in the special session on long-range forecasts of seasonal transitions in the climate system and their relevance for management and adaptation. Prof. Jonassen and her NOAA colleagues also presented a talk on January 8 at the American Meteorological Society annual meeting, held in Phoenix, AZ. That talk was titled "Towards a Five-Year Prediction of Climate" and was presented in the Third Symposium on Building a Weather-Ready Nation: Enhancing Our Nation's Readiness, Responsiveness, and Resilience to High Impact Weather Events.

On December 17, Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) gave an invited colloquium titled "Novel Physics and Applications Enabled by Nanophotonics Towards Smart Technology" at the Imperial College in London.

Other News

Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) was invited by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council to select and interview final candidates for the Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) proposals from December 9 to 11. Most CRF proposals included U.S. or U.K. collaborators. U.S. professors are encouraged to collaborate with their counterparts in Hong Kong.

During the recent IEEE/ACM Supercomputing Conference, Prof. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE) and his team held an HPC research exhibit representing the range of research activities in HPC at GW. He also participated in research exhibits related to two national initiatives in which GW has played a major role, the PGAS Programming Models and the NSF CHREC center. Prof. El-Ghazawi also chaired a bird-of-a-feather session on PGAS, which drew well over 100 attendees.

Prof. Julie Ryan's (EMSE) latest book, Detecting and Combating Malicious Email (Syngress Press 2014), recently was reviewed by Zeljka Zorz of net-security.org. The whole review can be found online, but the summary thoughts in the review are: "This is a enjoyable book that does the job it set out to do well: explain the problem of malicious messaging in a way that anyone who uses a computer can understand (if they put in a little effort). Every 'ordinary' Internet user can benefit greatly from reading this book, and it could be used as teaching material in organizations' security training programs."

Student News

Cheng Tang, a doctoral student studying under Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS), is presenting a poster on their paper "Scaling up Lloyd's algorithm: stochastic and parallel block-wise optimization perspectives" at the Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Workshop on Optimization for Machine Learning. NIPS is being held December 8-13 in Montreal, Canada.

Guest Vignette

Harvesting Waste Energy for Water Purification







Society is facing great challenges in water pollution, energy crisis, and resource depletion, and sustainable water purification with a reduced cost and energy footprint is necessary. Our research group, with expertise in innovative materials for water treatment, aims to utilize previously untapped, waste mechanical vibrations for water treatment. It will not only remove persistent contaminants that are not efficiently taken care of by conventional water treatment processes (e.g., recalcitrant organics, pathogens), but will also minimize external energy input.
Piezoelectric catalysts are a type of materials with a non-centrosymmetric structure, and they produce voltage upon pressure induced deformation. The generated voltage activates dissolved oxygen gas in water, and produces a series of reactive oxygen species (ROS) for contaminant degradation. Hydroxyl radicals, one typical ROS, are believed to be the most powerful oxidant in water, and they react with most contaminants at near diffusion-limited rates. Piezoelectric materials have been used in fabrication of nanodevices to power sensors or LEDs, but their application in water treatment was largely overlooked.
Mechanical vibrations are ubiquitous in water treatment processes, including but not limited to, water turbulence, pump oscillation, and membrane physical cleaning. Our research group fabricates one-dimensional piezo electrocatalytic barium titanate nanowires (see Figure) for converting mechanical vibrations into usable ROS for contaminant degradation. Preliminary data indicate that piezo electrocatalytic materials are able to degrade organic pollutants, and that an enhanced degradation rate was observed with increased surface area and charge separation. We will further optimize the performance of piezo electrocatalytic materials, and explore their application for removal of persistent contaminants in real water matrices. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Danmeng Shuai, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)

SEAS Events

MAE Seminar: "Vortex Induced Boundary Layer Bypass Transition and Control"
Speaker: Dr. Jinjun Wang, Beijing University of Aeronautics & Astronautics
Thursday, January 15
2:00 pm
SEH B1270

BME Department Launch: "The Future of Biomedical Engineering: Celebrating George Washington University's Newest Department"
Wednesday, January 28
3:30 – 6:00 pm (Reception begins at 5:00 pm) SEH Lehman Auditorium (Lower Level)

Entrepreneurship News & Events

GW Business Plan Competition
Deadline to Apply: January 20, 2015
Submit your idea!
The GW Business Plan Competition is now awarding more than $200,000 in prizes! With special prizes for social entrepreneurship, low-income senior focused, veterans, international, undergraduates, and even an audience choice award, there's something for everyone! 
The GW Business Plan Competition is rated in the Top 10 Collegiate Business Plan Competitions.