March 2-8, 2020


March 6, 2020

Faculty News

Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE) has received a $30,000 grant from Amazon Web Services. He and his team will work on the project “Phase 2: Simulations and Analyses of Synchronous vs. Induction Generators for Mission-Critical Stand-Alone Operations.” They successfully finished the Phase 1 project with Amazon, proposing a new back-up power generation technology. Phase 2 of the project will explore simulations and analyses of the proposed technology to verify the anticipated benefits in a laboratory environment.

Dr. Ahmed Louri

Dr. Ahmed Louri (ECE) has been awarded a four-year, $1.2 million National Science Foundation grant for the project “Neural-Network-based Stochastic Computing Architectures with Applications to Machine Learning.” Modern computing hardware is constrained by stringent requirements like extremely small size, very low power consumption, and high reliability. Consequently, unconventional computing methods such as Stochastic Computing (SC) that directly address these issues are of increasing interest, especially for Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) applications. The main attraction of SC is that it enables very low-cost and low-power architectural implementations. This feature is very relevant to ML, as the latter requires significant hardware resources; therefore, consuming substantial power when applied to big data. In this research, Dr. Louri and his research team seek to exploit the unique advantages of SC to investigate new architectures and hardware implementations for ML applications. The aim is to develop and design plausible and practical solutions to meet performance, energy, and resilience requirements for massive parallelism and fast deployment of hardware to support AI with direct impact on technology and national economic growth.



Dr. Jimmy Jia

Dr. Jimmy Jia (Visiting Scholar, Environmental and Energy Management Institute) recently published an important new energy management book. The book, titled Corporate Energy Strategist’s Handbook: Frameworks to Achieve Environmental Sustainability and Competitive Advantage, evolved out of recognition of the need for executives and boards to have a comprehensive set of tools for environmental and social governance. It includes 120 frameworks―some well-known while others are original―to provide a thorough, practical guide to inform the sustainability strategy of organizations worldwide.


Media Mentions:


Conferences and Presentations:

Dr. David Broniatowski

On February 21, Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE) gave the talk “Can communicating the gist combat systemic online distortions of public opinion on science and health topics?” at the National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. On February 24, he gave an invited panel discussion to United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life Summit 2020. The name of the panel was “Hot Topics in Global Immunization” and the name of the talk was “Do Malicious Actors Online Promote Vaccine Hesitancy? Evidence from Social Media.”

Photo of Professor Luyao Lu

On February 25, Dr. Luyao Lu (BME) gave an invited talk titled “Multifunctional Flexible Optoelectronic Systems for Bio-interfacing” at The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA.


Other News:

Photo of Professor Vora

On February 18, at the request of Maryland citizen advocates, Dr. Poorvi Vora (CS) provided testimony to the Ways and Means Committee of the Maryland House. Her testimony was in support of House Bill 0859, “Election Law – Absentee Ballot Requests, Delivery, and Marking,” sponsored by Committee Vice Chair Del. Alonzo Washington. The bill allows the use of internet ballot delivery only to those voters who need it, as opposed to the current practice of allowing any citizen to choose it. For more details, see Dr. Vora's written testimony and all of her work on Maryland's election procedures.


Student News
Recent MS graduate Bhavesh Shinde and current Ph.D. student Shiyuan Wang participated in the 4th IEEE Texas Power and Energy Conference, held February 6-7 at the Texas A&M University main campus in College Station, TX. There, they orally presented the following accepted research paper: B. Shinde, S. Wang, P. Dehghanian, and M. Babakmehr. “Real-Time Detection of Critical Generators in Power Systems: A Deep Learning HCP Approach.” Bhavesh and Shiyuan are/were affiliated with the GW SmartGrid Lab and advised by Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE).


Students from the GW SmartGrid Lab actively participated in and served as organizing volunteers at the 11th IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) Conference on Innovative Smart Grid Technologies-North America, which was held February 17-20 in Washington, DC.


EWB Students Working in India

The Engineers Without Borders Udaipur Water Management Project team is working in conjunction with the rural community of Bhutiya in Rajasthan, India, to combat climate change-driven water scarcity, over-exploitation of groundwater resources, and poor water management. The GW chapter’s second assessment trip, conducted in January 2020, served to solidify the project scope and select a site for construction. This student-led project aims to collaboratively design and implement a water management project in Bhutiya that is to be owned and maintained by the community. The project focuses on developing an anicut structure (a dam no higher than three meters) coupled with a percolation pond and trenches to promote groundwater recharge, efficiently manage water resources, and provide a water source for irrigation. The next phase of this project involves investigation into, and design of, a three-part integrated solution for planned implementation in January 2021.


SEAS Events Re-cap


Group photo at E-Ball

On February 29, the Engineers’ Council hosted its annual Engineers’ Ball for SEAS students, faculty, and staff. During “E-Ball,” the Engineers’ Council presented its traditional “Professor of the Year” awards to one or two members of each of the SEAS academic departments. This year’s winners are: Dr. Shahrohk Ahmadi (ECE); Dr. Gabriel Parmer and Dr. Robert Pless (CS); Dr. Kim Roddis (CEE); Dr. Joost Santos (EMSE); Dr. Murray Snyder (MAE); and Dr. Jason Zara (BME).


Students and Speakers Group Photo

On February 27, the GW Branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics hosted a very well-attended event, “A Panel Discussion on Climate Change: Engineering and Policy Issues.” Panelists included Lori Garver, CEO of Earthrise Alliance and a GW alumna; Dr. Roger Cooke, a leading author on the chapter addressing risk and uncertainty in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Dr. Paula Bontempi, Acting Deputy Director of NASA's Earth Science Division; Christopher Geiger, a leading author on the chapter addressing risk and uncertainty in the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and Ben Iannotta of Aerospace America and a GW alumnus. The panel, moderated by Ben Iannotta, focused on issues such as uncertainty in climate models, public and government perception of climate science, incentivizing private solutions to climate change, and reducing climate model variability. All of the panelists affirmed their belief that climate change poses an existential threat to the human species. During the event, audience members were asked in an online poll to choose the statement that most closely reflects their view of climate change. An overwhelming majority chose the statement “Climate change is an existential threat to humanity.”


Other News


SEAS logo on image of Texas

The GW Innovation Center team is highlighting SEAS' commitment to Engineering for Impact at the SXSW EDU conference, March 9-12. Follow @gwinnovationcenter on Twitter for updates on the build-out of our booth. SXSW EDU is a major recruiting opportunity for SEAS, so any SEAS faculty, departments, or student organizations wanting GWIC to feature your department, research or projects, should send digital files to Erica Wortham (or send large digital files via Box) by end of day, March 6. Austin, Texas, here we come!


SEAS Computing Facility
MATLAB Workshops: The SEAS Computing Facility (SEASCF) will hold five MATLAB workshops this semester. The remaining workshops will be held in Tompkins 406 from 12:00 to 2:00 pm on the following dates:

  • Sunday, March 8: Image Processing and Toolboxes



MATLAB Office Hours: SEAS CF will also hold MATLAB open office hours throughout the Spring semester in Tompkins 406. Office hours are: Sundays (2:00 – 4:00 pm), Tuesdays (6:00 – 10:00 pm), and Fridays (1:00 – 5:00 pm). Please email us to schedule a tutoring appointment. The workshops and tutoring will be hosted by SEAS senior Emilie Lemieux. MATLAB and many other helpful programs are available to be downloaded onto any personal computer. For a complete list of applications, please visit the SEAS Computing Facility website.


Upcoming SEAS Events
Python and Jupyter Study Hall Sessions
Every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the semester
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Academic Commons (Gelman Library, 2nd floor)
All students are welcome to visit the study hall sessions to get help with Python and Jupyter. These sessions were set up to support courses (MAE 1117 and MAE 2117) in engineering computations, but they are open to all SEAS students who want help with computational assignments or projects.


ECE Seminar: “Highly Efficient Neuromorphic Computing Systems with Emerging Nonvolatile Memories”
Speaker: Mr. Bonan Yan, PhD candidate at Duke University
Monday, March 2
2:00 pm
SEH, B1270


BME Seminar: “Machine Learning-driven Neural Pattern Analysis for Medical Applications”
Speaker: Dr. Yu Zhang, Stanford University
Wednesday, March 4
1:30 – 3:00 pm
SEH, B1270


WOW (“What’s Our Work”) TALK XVII

  • Dr. Adam Aviv (CS): “Human Factors in Mobile Authentication”
  • Dr. Ira Lurie (Forensic Sciences): “Combating the Opioid Crisis Using Forensic Chemistry”

Wednesday, March 4
4:00 pm
SEH, B1220


BME Seminar: “Wearable Brain-Machine Interface Architectures for Neurocognitive Stress”
Speaker: Dr. Rose Faghih, University of Houston
Monday, March 9
3:30 – 5:00 pm
SEH, B1270


BME Seminar: “iPSC-Derived Engineered Micro-Heart Muscle to Study the Relationship between Cardiomyopathy-Genotypes, Mechanical Loading and Arrhythmia”
Speaker: Dr. Nathaniel Huebsch, Washington University in St. Louis
Wednesday, March 11
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Marvin Center, Room 301


Entrepreneurship News & Events
How to Craft an Engaging Startup Pitch and Slide Deck Workshop
Thursday, March 5 | Register
Wednesday, March 25 | Register
5:30 – 7:00 pm
GW I+E Lab (2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 7th Floor)
Pitching your business idea can be tough. Creating the “perfect” pitch deck can be even tougher. Don't fret! Our experts at the GW Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship will help you craft a sound presentation and pitch deck to impress your colleagues and peers.


Pitch’n in the Kitchen
Tuesday, March 10
5:30 – 7:00 pm
GW I+E Lab (2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, 7th Floor)
Do you have an idea? Do you want to talk through your idea or technology with the community of entrepreneurs at GW? Do you need a co-founder or a teammate? Pitch'n in the Kitchen is right for you. A casual, intimate pitch event where you can pitch your idea (no matter the stage) to your fellow peers and professional entrepreneurs from around campus, in an actual open kitchen. Why a kitchen? That's the place where things get made and new ideas are discovered.


2020 GW New Venture Competition Finals
Thursday, April 16
6:00 – 8:00 pm
Jack Morton Auditorium
12 teams will take the stage to vie for over $500,000 in funding and support at the 12th Annual 2020 GW New Venture Competition. Join us for an evening of viewing some of the hottest, up-and-coming startups from GW, and see which teams will take the prize this year! All guests are invited to join us for an after-party at the Marvin Center Great Hall immediately following the competition.


External Events
Spring Break Python Camp
Wednesday, March 18 – Friday, March 20
10:00 am – 4:30 pm each day
Gelman Library
RSVP is required
Learn Python and foundations of programming in this three-day, non-credit, interactive, mini-course. This opportunity is for beginners and does not require any programming experience. The workshop uses as its curriculum “Get Data Off the Ground with Python,” an OpenEdX course by Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE). Instructors and helpers will work with you as we do the lessons together and you practice what you learn.


Save the Date: GW Research Showcase
Tuesday, April 7
Charles E. Smith Center (600 22nd Street, NW)
The abstract submission form is open, and the deadline to apply is Monday, March 2. Find out more about the showcase.


Dissertation Defenses
Student’s Name: Reham Kaifi
Dissertation Title: “The Effect of Image Analysis on Intra- and Interobserver Reliability and Variability of Femoral Artery Pseudoaneurysm Measurements from B-mode Ultrasound Images”
Advisor: Dr. Vesna Zderic (BME)
Thursday, March 5
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
SEH, 5605


Student’s Name: Chong Liu
Dissertation Title: “A Machine Learning Method for Positioning in the 5G Cellular Networks”
Advisor: Dr. Hermann Helgert (ECE)
Thursday, March 5
2:30 – 3:30 pm
SEH, 5845


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

Please visit this week's HR Corner, where HR manager Marion Flythe-Inman shares the most recent GW HR news and updates regarding:


  • A new benefit available beginning July 2020
  • GW Buff and Blue Day
  • SEAS staffing updates
  • New SEAS employment opportunities
  • Benefits reminders