January 14 - 20, 2013


January 14, 2013

Faculty News

New Faculty:

Dr. Mona Diab
Mona Diab joined the Department of Computer Science on January 1, as a tenure-track associate professor. She received her Ph.D. degree in computational linguistics in 2003 from University of Maryland, College Park. Prior to joining GW, Dr. Diab was a research scientist and adjunct associate professor at Columbia University, a postdoctoral research scholar at Stanford University, and a research associate at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

A recognized expert in the area of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and one of the foremost scholars in Arabic NLP, Dr. Diab is the author of more than 75 peer-reviewed papers and two upcoming books, and a recipient of many large grants from DARPA, NSA, NSF and Google. As an active member of the NLP research community, she serves on several boards and holds several key positions in professional societies. A partial list includes the Association for Computational Linguistics special interest group (ACL SIG) on lexical semantics (elected board member); the ACL SIG on the lexicon (elected secretary); and the ACL SIG on Semitic languages (president).

Dr. Diab received her M.S. degree in computer science in 1997 from GW

Dr. Amir Etemadi
Amir Etemadi is an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Toronto in 2012. His research interests include integrating distributed energy resources, realizing microgrids, and developing smartgrid technologies. He is particularly interested in the modeling and control of electronically-interfaced renewable resources such as wind and solar power plants. Dr. Etemadi is a member of IEEE Power Engineering Society and an active member of the IEEE Taskforce on Microgrid Control.

Dr. Leila Farhadi
Leila Farhadi is an assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She received her Ph.D. degree in civil and environmental engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2012, and before coming to GW, she held a research scientist position at the Global Modeling and Assimilation Office of NASA Goddard. The main focus of her research is land-atmosphere interaction and boundary layer processes, as well as optimization techniques and parameter estimation in hydrology. Dr. Farhadi is the recipient of Tavakkoli prize from Sharif University of Technology (from which she received her B.S. and M.S. degrees) and the Schoettler Fellowship from MIT.

Honors & Awards:

Prof. Michael Plesniak (MAE) has been selected as a 2013 Fellow of AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics). This year, 27 Fellows (one for every one thousand voting members of the AIAA) were selected in this very competitive process.

Prof. Mona Zaghloul (ECE) achieved the status of IEEE Life Fellow in January 2013 in recognition of many years of loyal membership and support of the IEEE activities. Prof. Zaghloul previously was elected to the grade of IEEE Fellow in 1996 for leadership in education and research in integrated circuits design.


Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) and his doctoral student William Rone have published the following peer-reviewed journal paper: Rone, W., Ben-Tzvi, P., "Mapping, Localization and Motion Planning in Mobile Multi-Robotic Systems," Robotica, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 1-24, January 2013.

The journal Computers & Fluids has included an article co-authored by Profs. James Lee and Chunlei Liang (both of MAE) , and their former Ph.D. student, Dr. James Chen, in its recent list of hottest articles. The article is titled "Numerical simulation for unsteady compressible Micropolar fluid flow."

Prof. Michael Plesniak (MAE) published the article "Fluid Dynamics" in the “2012 Year in Review" issue of the AIAA magazine Aerospace America. The article highlights accomplishments in the fluid dynamics field over the past year.

Conferences and Presentations:

Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) was invited to participate in an NSF international study workshop on converging knowledge and technologies for societal benefit, held at the NSF board room on December 11, 2012. The workshop, chaired by Prof. George Whitesides of Harvard University and others, drew about 30 participants. The theme of the workshop was NBIC (nano-, bio-, information technologies and cognitive science) for societal benefit. The workshop report, to be published in a hard covered book by Springer Verlag, will have a section on nuclear energy as a solution for sustainable development. The section is co-authored by Prof. Chong and Prof. Philippe Bardet (MAE).

Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) presented a paper titled "An Efficient Correction Procedure via Reconstruction for Viscous Flow on Moving and Deforming Domain" at the 51st AIAA Aerospace Science Meeting, held January 10 in Texas. The paper is co-authored with Dr. Koji Miyaji of Yokohama National University, and Mr. Bin Zhang, a Ph.D. student of Prof. Liang. Prof. Liang also co-chaired two technical sessions for fluid dynamics: FD-19 (High-order Unstructured CFD Methods and Applications) and FD-44 (Application of CFD III).

Other News:

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) has been invited to serve as the editor-in-chief of the journal Graphene.

Student News:

CS doctoral student Efsun Sarioglu won first place for the best poster award at the 11th International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications (ICMLA), held December 12-15, 2012, in Boca Raton, FL. Efsun's paper, titled “Clinical Report Classification using Natural Language Processing and Topic Modeling,” is the product of ongoing collaborative work with Dr. Kabir Yadav (GW's Dept of Emergency Medicine) and her advisor, Prof. Hyeong-Ah Choi (CS).

MAE doctoral student Junfeng Wang presented a paper titled "High-order CFD simulation of an oscillating wing wind power generator" at the 51st AIAA Aerospace Science Meeting, held January 10 in Texas. The paper is co-authored with Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) and Dr. Mark Miesch from the National Center of Atmospheric Research.

Other News:

SEAS congratulates Bill Westenhofer (MS '95 and a GW Engineering Hall of Fame member), who was nominated on January 10 for an Academy Award for Achievement in Visual Effects for his recent work on the film "Life of Pi." This is the third time Bill has been nominated for an Academy Award® for his work. He was nominated in 2005 for "The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” and again in 2007 for “The Golden Compass," for which he won the Oscar.

GW's Institute for Biomedical Engineering is pleased to announce the call for this year's GWIBE Biomedical Engineering/Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship. The deadline to apply is February 1, 2013.

Guest Vignette:

The aging and outdated electrical grid in the US is being replaced with a smart(er) grid with the goals of improved reliability/resilience, increased operational efficiency, optimized asset utilization, and reduced energy costs. The main change in modernizing the current electrical grid is to provide built-in two-way flow of information among different components by using a communication infrastructure. Generally speaking, the smart grid consists of three major components: power generation, power transmission, and power distribution. Advanced technologies such as sensing, control, digital communications, and networking are integrated into the power transmission and distribution systems to effectively and intelligently control and monitor the power grid. This new development will facilitate the realization of many novel applications such as renewable-based power generation, demand-response, wide area situation awareness, and smart metering.

Despite the attractive features provided by a smart grid, many challenges confront us, especially in cybersecurity and privacy, as the smart grid subsystems have been reported to have significant security threats. This is exactly the focus of our research in smart grid. We have developed a communication architecture involving hierarchical key generation centers, smart meters, data consumers, and data repositories to secure the data communications among smart meters, utility companies, and third-party service providers by employing ciphertext-policy attribute-based encryption and role-based access control to provide data confidentiality, access authorization, and message authenticity. This architecture is being extended to further consider dynamic attribute addition and deletion, real time security, and user authentication. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Xiuzhen “Susan” Cheng of the Department of Computer Science)

SEAS Events:

MAE Seminar: “Inductive Pulsed Plasma Thruster Research and Development at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center”
Dr. Kurt Polzin, NASA’s George C. Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, AL
Tuesday, January 15
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: “Things, Which I Have Studied in the Past Years”
Satya N. Atluri, University of California, Irvine
Tuesday, January 22
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Guest Lecture: “The Role of Technology Policy in National Security”
Dr. Mark J. Lewis, Director of the Science and Technology Policy Institute
Institute for Defense Analyses
Wednesday, January 23
4:00 - 5:00 pm
307 Marvin Center
Dr. Lewis, Sc.D. (MIT) is a former chief scientist of the US Air Force and past president of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. This lecture is sponsored by the Clark Engineering Scholars Program.

How Do I Become a NASA Astronaut?
Monday, February 11
6:00 - 8:00 pm
Marvin Center, Continental Ballroom
NASA astronaut and SEAS alumna Serena Aunon (BS '97) will discuss her career path from electrical engineering student at GW to NASA flight surgeon. The discussion is open to SEAS students, faculty/staff, and alumni. Registration is required.

SEAS Student R&D Showcase
Wednesday, February 20
3:00 - 6:00 pm
Marvin Center, Grand Ballroom

Related GW Events:

GW Culture Buffs: "1001 Inventions" at the National Geographic Museum
Saturday, January 26
11:30 am: Lunch at Barcode Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, followed by a visit to the exhibit This exhibit, named "Best Touring Exhibition of the Year" at the Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards, explores advances in science and technology from the 7th to 17th centuries that still impact us today. We expect to have a luncheon speaker who will elaborate on the Islamic culture that produced these innovations. After our meal, we'll walk the quarter block to the museum and enjoy the exhibit. Registration is mandatory.
More info and registration...

Entrepreneurship Events:

Entrepreneurial Session 8: Writing a Successful Executive Summary
Thursday, January 17
5:00 - 7:00 pm
Duques Hall, Room TBD

$60,000 GW Business Plan Competition:
$10,000 - Best Undergrad Business Plan
$5,000 - Older Adult-Focused Innovation category, thanks to AARP Foundation
$4,000 - Best Sustainable Technology Award
$1,000 - Audience Choice Award
Application deadline: January 28, 2013.