November 23-29, 2020


November 23, 2020

Faculty News

Dr. David Broniatowski

Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE), Pedram Hosseini, and their colleague Poorya Hosseini have published this article: P. Hosseini, P. Hosseini, and D. Broniatowski, “Content analysis of Persian/Farsi Tweets during COVID-19 pandemic in Iran using NLP,” ACL Anthology, 2020.nlpcovid19-2.26. The article has been accepted to the 1st Workshop on NLP for COVID-19 (Part 2) at EMNLP 2020. In this paper, the authors gauged Iranians' reaction to COVID-19 during the pandemic by analyzing more than half a million Farsi/Persian tweets on Twitter. Their research leveraged the Social Feed Manager (SFM) that was developed here at GW by the Gelman library. Pedram is a PhD candidate in the CS department and is working with Dr. Broniatowski and Dr. Mona Diab (CS).

Dr. Xitong Liu

Dr. Xitong Liu (CEE) and his collaborators have published the following article: X. Liu, S. Shanbhag, S. Natesakhawat, J. F. Whitacre, and M. S. Mauter, “Performance Loss of Activated Carbon Electrodes in Capacitive Deionization: Mechanisms and Material Property Predictors,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2020. This paper identifies the material properties of carbon electrodes that contribute to the performance decay of capacitive deionization, an emerging desalination technology. Dr. Liu’s PhD student, Lingchen Kong, contributed to part of the work.

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) has published two recent articles. The paper “Hexagonal transverse-coupled-cavity VCSEL redefining the high-speed lasers” reports that his research team has developed a new design of vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) that demonstrates record-fast temporal bandwidth. This GW news release provides more details. The paper citation is: E. Heidari, H. Dalir, M. Ahmed, V. J. Sorger, and R. T. Chen, “Hexagonal transverse-coupled-cavity VCSEL redefining the high-speed lasers, Nanophotonics, Vol. 9, Issue 16. The second paper focuses on digital-to-analog converters (DAC), which are indispensable functional units in signal processing instrumentation and wide-band telecommunication links for both civil and military applications. The paper introduces a novel coherent parallel photonic DAC concept along with a four-bit experimental prototype capable of performing this digital-to-analog conversion without optic-electric-optic domain crossing. The citation is: J. Meng, M. Miscuglio, J. George, A. Babakhani, and V. J. Sorger, “Electronic Bottleneck Suppression in Next-Generation Networks with Integrated Photonic Digital-to-Analog Converters,” Advanced Photonics Research, 2020.


Media Mentions:

Dr. Michael Keidar

GW Today featured the cold plasma research of Dr. Michael Keidar (MAE) in the November 18 article, “GW Reaches $3.2M Agreement to Support Development of Cold Plasma Technology.” The article describes the ongoing corporate research partnership between Dr. Keidar and the biotech company US Patent Innovations, LLC, which employs engineering and translational molecular sciences to develop new medical devices.


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Lorena Barba

Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) was an invited speaker at SC20: The International Conference for High Performance Computing, Networking, Storage, and Analysis. SC is the premiere (and largest) conference focused on high performance computing, with more than 13,000 attendees and a broad and compelling program that uniquely blends research and innovation with the state of practice and workforce education. It is jointly organized by the IEEE Computer Society and the Association for Computing Machinery, ACM. Dr. Barba was one of 11 invited speakers at SC20, representing the breadth, depth, and future outlook of technology and its societal and scientific impact.

Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE), the GW Smart Grid Lab director, was appointed chair of the INFORMS Committee's Choice Topic Cluster on “Resilience against Wildfires,” at the INFORMS Annual Meeting 2020, held virtually on November 8-11. At the meeting, he also chaired the session “Resilience against Wildfires: Challenges, Opportunities, Analytics, and Decision Making” and acted as an INFORMS 2020 Annual Meeting local arrangement co-chair. On November 9, Dr. Dehghanian delivered an invited talk, titled “A Resilient Electricity Grid of the Future,” at the 5th international USERN Congress and Prize Awarding Festival. Universal Scientific Education and Research Network (USERN) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization and network whose main purpose is the universal, peaceful, and humanitarian promotion of education and research. More than 350 top scientists, including fifteen Nobel/Abel Laureates, are among the advisory board members of USERN.

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) served as the moderator for two recent virtual workshops. The first was an Army Science Planning and Strategy Meeting on the topic of hardware for machine intelligence, and the second was the “NSF Workshop on Machine Learning Hardware Breakthroughs Towards Green AI and Ubiquitous On-device Intelligence,” held November 10, 11 and 17.

Dr. Suresh Subramaniam

Dr. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) was an invited participant in the NSF-sponsored US-Japan Workshop on Programmable Networking, held virtually on November 16-18. The workshop brought together approximately 60 invited researchers from the US and Japan.


Other News
The Natural Language Processing (NLP) Group at SEAS welcomes GW faculty and students who are interested in NLP to join them at: The NLP Group hopes to connect researchers and create new opportunities for collaboration around the trending and important subfield of artificial intelligence. For more information, please contact Pedram Hosseini of the CS department.


GW’s Institute for Data, Democracy and Politics (IDDP) has announced a call for fellowship proposals in support of research projects aligned with IDDP’s mission to help the public, journalists, and policymakers understand digital media’s influence on public dialogue and opinion, and to develop sound solutions to disinformation and other ills that arise in these spaces. Applications should be submitted as a single PDF document via email to the IDDP associate director, Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE), by December 15.


The intersection of disaster risk reduction and blockchain is creating new and fertile opportunities for collaboration between scientists and policy makers who heretofore have not been communicating well. Dr. Neil Wasserman (adjunct faculty, CS) and Dr. Costis Toregas (director, Cyber Security & Privacy Research Institute) are co-editing with a colleague from the University of Lyon a special issue of Frontiers Blockchain for Good that will focus on blockchain capabilities for disaster risk reduction management. Information on the open call for papers can be found on the Frontiers site. Please consider participating as an author or reviewer and share with those who may have interest.


New course: Global & Experiential Education (G&EE) within the GW School of Business (GWSB) has partnered with Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE) and Dr. Anna Helm (GWSB) to offer a new 3-credit course for the Spring 2021 term. The Global Business Project: International Business of Sustainable Energy course will bring together students from multiple disciplines to learn about energy technologies, international business, and global energy perspectives. Students will compare and contrast the energy perspectives of two countries, the United States and Sweden. After learning core energy and business topics, interdisciplinary teams of students will partner with real clients in Sweden to complete energy sector consulting projects. Students will work in teams to research new market opportunities for the firm's technology and propose their recommendations upon conclusion of the course. The course is open to undergraduate and graduate students within SEAS and GWSB. Students with a minor in sustainability are also encouraged to apply.


SEAS Events Re-cap
On November 12, SEAS hosted the Frank Howard Distinguished Lecture, which featured the address “Navigating the New Normal,” by alumnus Christopher Wiernicki, MS ’83. In his lecture, Mr. Wiernicki discussed the technology, talent, and leadership skills required to address our current environment and shape our post-pandemic future. He covered topics such as how new technology is redefining talent needs and the speed with which the Fourth Industrial Revolution is reshaping our world. A recording of the lecture is available for those who were not able to attend. Mr. Wiernicki, who serves as chairman, president, and CEO of American Bureau of Shipping and as chairman of ABS Group of Companies, is a member of the SEAS National Advisory Council and a past inductee to the GW Engineering Hall of Fame.


Upcoming SEAS Events
BME Seminar: “Flexible, Hybrid Opto-Electro-Chemo Implants for Neural Interfaces”
Speaker: Dr. Wen Li, Michigan State University
Wednesday, December 2
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Join via WebEx


Entrepreneurship News & Events


GW Innovation Center


GWIC Cookie Contest: Winning Cookie Baked Live
Friday, December 4
Watch live as Chief Evangelist and GWIC founder Annamaria Konya Tannon bakes the winning cookie recipe. Keep an eye out for the cookie recipe contenders and make sure to cast your vote for your favorite recipe on Instagram (@gwinnovationcenter) on 11/30 and 12/1.


External Events
GW Coders
Weekly, on Fridays
11:00 am
Complete this short form to learn more
GW Coders is a new community that brings together students and faculty to apply computational and data analytics skills in research. We will share coding experiences, learn some new skills, and build our professional networks. GW Coders is for everyone, from those just getting interested in coding to those who have years of experience; for undergraduate and graduate students; for faculty in any discipline; for others in the DC community who want to join us.


Office of Research Integrity Seminar: “Responsible Conduct of Research”
Weekly, on Thursday
12:00 – 1:30 pm
This fall 2020 seminar course is designed to develop and strengthen ethical problem-solving skills and foster sensitivity to ethical issues in the conduct of research. Registration is open to the entire campus community but will be capped at twenty participants. Please register early to secure your space. If you have questions about the seminar, please email the Office of Research Integrity.


Dissertation Defenses
Student’s Name: Vikram Rao (EMSE)
Dissertation Title: “Investigation of Decision Processes in Chemical Substitution Decision Making”
Advisor: Dr. Royce Francis (EMSE); Presiding: Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE)
Monday, November 23
11:00 am – 1:00 pm ET
WebEx Link


Student Name: Reid McCargar
Dissertation Title: “Out-of-Plane Enhancement in a Discrete Random Halfspace”
Advisor: Dr. Roger Lang (ECE); Presiding: Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE)
Monday, November 23
12:30 – 2:00 pm
WebEx Link


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

This week's HR Corner includes information related to the temporary suspension of employer base and matching contributions to retirement plans, changes to campus access, updates to GW's FY21 holiday schedule, and more. Please visit the HR Corner to read these updates.