March 9-15, 2020


March 9, 2020

Faculty News

Photo of Professor Vora

Dr. Poorvi Vora (CS) was awarded a one-year, $200,000 NSF RAPID grant to develop risk-limiting tabulation audits. The project, “RAPID: Sequential Sampling in Stages for Statistical Election Audits,” develops algorithms and code for real audits that sample ballots in stages of tens or hundreds or thousands at a time. It is hoped that the developed code will replace some of the existing code used in real audits, which has been developed for sampling a single ballot at a time. Preliminary testing reveals an improvement of factors as large as two and above in the number of ballots required to complete the audit if the election outcome is correct. This improvement is significant because states are just beginning to try out this type of audit, and a large workload will be discouraging for other states. Risk-limiting audits are required by law in Colorado, Rhode Island, Virginia, and Nevada; and about twenty states are exploring performing risk-limiting statewide audits in November this year.




Dr. Volker Sorger
Dr. Tarek El-Ghazawi


OE-CAM: A Hybrid Opto-Electronic Content Addressable Memory,” an article by Yousra Alkabani, Mario Miscuglio, Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE), and Dr. Tarek El-Ghawazi (ECE), has just been published on IEEE Xplore. The citation is: Y Alkabani, M. Miscuglio, V. J. Sorger, and T. El-Ghazawi. “OE-CAM: A Hybrid Opto-Electronic Content Addressable Memory,” IEEE Photonics Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 2, pp 1-14.


Media Mentions:


Conferences and Presentations:

emilia entcheva

During the Annual Biophysical Society Meeting, held February 16-19 in San Diego, CA, Dr. Emilia Entcheva (BME) and her PhD students Julie Han and Weizhen Li, undergraduate student Christianne Chua (Claire Boothe Luce Fellow and Barry Goldwater Scholar), and postdoc Wei Liu presented the following research from their lab: 1) J. Han and E. Entcheva. “CRISPRi ion channel gene modulation in human iPSC-cardiomyocytes;” 2) W. Li and E. Entcheva. “A pipeline for high-throughput assessment of electrophysiology and protein quantification in small samples of human iPS-cardiomyocytes;” 3) C. Chua, J. Han, W. Li, and E. Entcheva. “Probing the timeline of integration between three-dimensional "spark-cell" spheroids and human cardiac tissue;” and 4) W. Liu, J. Han, W. Li, and E. Entcheva. “Quantifying hypoxia in human iPS-cardiomyocytes under optogenetic pacing.” Dr. Entcheva was also an invited panelist at the bi-annual Cardiovascular Symposium at University of California – Davis (“Systems approach to understand excitation-contraction coupling and arrhythmias”), held February Feb 19-21. At the conference, she discussed the interface of experiments and computations when using human stem-cell-derived cardiomyocytes for personalized medicine.


Other News:

Dr. Shelly Heller

Dr. Shelly Heller (CS) has received funding from the National Security Agency for the fifth year for the GenCyber Student Camp, a middle school day camp. This year’s funding amounts to $83,247. Dr. Heller will soon be accepting applications for the camp; if you have a child who would like to attend, please let her know.

Photo of Professor Vora

Dr. Poorvi Vora (CS) has been working with a number of other scientists, election experts and citizen advocates to convince the state of Maryland to perform rigorous election tabulation audits that incorporate manual examination of the paper ballots. She first testified on this issue in 2016. The Chair of the House Ways and Means Committee of the Maryland Legislature, Del. Anne Kaiser, has finally sponsored an excellent bill that includes a number of the original recommendations made by Dr. Vora and others over the years. On February 24, Dr. Vora provided written testimony in support of this bill, House Bill 1172, “Election Law – Postelection Tabulation Audits – Risk–Limiting Audits.” The bill requires a risk-limiting tabulation audit (an audit with a maximum Type-I error whatever the true election count is) that is held before certification and may be used to change the election outcome, as opposed to current audits which are fixed percentage audits held after certification which cannot change the outcome. For more details, see Dr. Vora's work on Maryland's election procedures.


SEAS Computing Facility
Cancelled - Software Carpentry - shell/git/Python Workshop
Thursday and Friday, March 26 – 27
9:00 am – 4:30 pm both days
Registration and more information
Join Academic Commons and SEAS Computing for two days of hands-on instruction in automating tasks with the Unix shell, version control with Git, and data analysis and visualization with Python. The course is intended for GW graduate students, faculty, and other researchers. (Advanced undergraduates are also welcome.) Participants don't need to have any previous knowledge of the tools that will be presented at the workshop. The workshop is free to any GW-affiliated participant (including members of the CTSI affiliated with Children’s National). Participants must register in advance and must attend for both days.


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.


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


CSPRI Talk: “DoD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) and The Risk Management Framework (RMF) in Support of Government Agencies”
Speaker: Chakib Jaber, CTO at Spin Systems Inc. (SpinSys)
Thursday, March 26
12:00 noon (An informal lunch will be served)
SEH, 2990
RSVP to Dr. Hurriyet Ok.


Entrepreneurship News & Events
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
Cancelled - 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.


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