October 6-12, 2014


October 6, 2014

Faculty News


Profs. Xiuzhen Cheng (CS), Hyeong-Ah Choi (CS), and Nan Zhang (CS) have received a three-year $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for their collaborative project "MIMO-Aware Cooperative Dynamic Spectrum Access." The objective of the project is to develop McDysa, a framework that can enable multiple primary users and multiple secondary users to cooperate in dynamic spectrum sharing such that the underlying cognitive radio and MIMO techniques can be exploited to achieve significant spectrum efficiency gains and physical layer security enhancement.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has awarded Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) a three-year, $250,000 grant for his project "High-Performance sub-lambda Silicon Plasmon Modulator." The project investigates light-matter-interaction strategies to design ultra-compact, on-chip electro-optic switching devices that could enable next-generation photonic network-on-chips.


Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) and his students have published a review article on cold plasma therapy for cancer: E. A. Ratovitski, X. Cheng, D. Yan, J. H. Sherman, J. Canady, B. Trink, and M. Keidar. " Anti-Cancer Therapies of 21st Century: Novel Approach to Treat Human Cancers Using Cold Atmospheric Plasma," Plasma Processes and Polymers," September 30, 2014.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Roger Lang (ECE) presented the following two papers at the URSI (International Union of Radio Science) General Assembly held in Beijing, China. One paper, "Use of Periodic Stalks to Model L Band Returns from Corn," was presented by Prof. Lang, with co-authors S. Seker, Y. Yuan, M. Kurum, M. Ogut P., O'Neill and M. Cosh. The other paper, "2-D Radiative Transport Theory: Propagation Loss Predictions in a Trunk Dominated Forest," also was presented by Prof. Lang, with co-authors S. Torrico and C. Utku. Many of the co-authors are present and former students of Prof. Lang.

Prof. Guru Venkataramani (ECE) will present a paper at the prestigious 47th Annual IEEE/ACM International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO) that he and his doctoral student, Jie Chen, co-authored. The paper is titled "CC-Hunter: Uncovering Covert Timing Channels on Shared Processor Hardware." The symposium will be held December 13-17 in Cambridge, UK. MICRO is the premier forum for bringing together researchers in fields related to microarchitecture, compilers, chips, and systems for technical exchange on traditional microarchitecture topics and emerging research areas. MICRO-47 accepted 53 of the 273 submissions (a 19% acceptance rate). Several microarchitecture techniques that eventually integrated into real-world processors from the leading chip manufacturers have debuted in MICRO.

Other News:

Prof. Roger Lang (ECE) has served as chair of URSI's (International Union of Radio Science) Commission F for the past three years. Commission F is one of URSI's ten commissions specializing in wave propagation and remote sensing. In that capacity he has helped organize two meetings: the 13th Triennial Open Symposium on Radiowave Propagation and Remote Sensing, held in Ottawa, Canada in May, 2013; and the Specialist Symposium on Microwave Remote Sensing of the Earth, Oceans, and Atmosphere, held in Helsinki, Finland in October 2013. Dr. Lang also organized the Commission F program at the URSI General Assembly, held in Beijing, China in August, 2014.

Student News

2015 SEAS Student R & D Showcase: Application deadline —The November 1, 2014deadline to apply for the R&D Showcase is fast approaching. This year's Showcase will be a two-day event, with the traditional poster competition held on Wednesday, February 18 and the keynote address and awards presentation on Thursday, February 19.

The Showcase is open to all SEAS undergraduate and graduate students, and this year it includes a new selection of prize categories:

•         Theoretical Research

•         Experimental Research

•         Undergraduate Research

•         Entrepreneurship

To be eligible to compete in the Showcase, students must submit their two-page abstracts by 5:00 pm on November 1.  More information for student participants is available on the SEAS website's  R&D Showcase Student Participants page.

Other News

The DC chapter of the American Institute of Architects recently recognized the Harvest Home with a 2014 Presidential Citation in Sustainable Design.  Harvest Home is the solar home built by Team Capitol DC (a consortium of students from GW and SEAS, Catholic University, and American University) for the 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon. The team also recently won a 2014 American Society of Landscape Architecture Award of Excellence in the Student Collaboration Category.

Office of Graduate Admissions: During the week of September 29, the Office of Graduate Admissions held a special recruiting event on campus for the combined BS/MS programs, inviting current sophomores, juniors and seniors with a 3.4 GPA or higher.  It also recruited at Spelman College's Research Fair in Atlanta, GA.  This week, the office will hold an online information session and will recruit at the Grace Hopper Celebration in Phoenix, AZ.  Visit www.graduate.seas.gwu.edu for a complete list of recruiting activities.

The GW SEAS Graduate Career Services Team will host a Career Etiquette Workshop online Wednesday, October 8 from 4:00 to 5:00 pm.  For more information on upcoming workshops or to schedule an appointment, please email [email protected]

Guest Vignette

Fight or flight with light: optogenetic light-activated release of norepinephrine from sympathetic neurons in the heart

The fight or flight response occurs as a reaction to stress that is perceived to be a threat to survival. It is brought about by the sudden release of catecholamines, norepinephrine and epinephrine, by the neurons of the sympathetic nervous system.  In the heart, sympathetic nerve terminals release noepinephrine to increase heart rate, contraction force, and blood pressure.  The result is a dramatic increase of blood supply to skeletal muscle, making oxygen and nutrients available for a "fight" or "flight".

Professor Matthew Kay (Department of Biomedical Engineering) and Professor David Mendelowitz (Department of Pharmacology and Physiology) are studying the release of norepinephrine from neurons in the heart.  They are using an approach that combines genetics and light (optogenetics). Anastasia Wengrowski, a doctoral student in the BME department, is leading the project.  The Mendelowitz laboratory has genetically altered mice to express the light activated optogenetic protein channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2).  Protein expression was localized to catecholaminergic sympathetic neurons (Figure, top left).  Anastasia then studies the hearts of these animals using force assessment and optical mapping approaches developed by the Kay laboratory.

In her studies, Anastasia photo-activates cardiac sympathetic neurons by illuminating the surface of the hearts with blue light. She then measures changes in contractile force, heart rate, and cardiac electrical activity (Figure, top right).  Results demonstrate facilitation of both contractility and heart rate after photo-stimulated release of norepinephrine, with increases in contractile force and rate of 34.5±5.5% and 25.0±9.3%, respectively.  Photo-stimulation of sympathetic fibers also made hearts more susceptible to arrhythmia, with greater incidence and severity.  Anastasia's work has identified a powerful and clinically relevant new model for studies of cardiac arrhythmias generated by a severe fight or flight response. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Matthew Kay, Department of Biomedical Engineering)

SEAS Events

MAE Seminar: "Predictive Modeling Of Failure In Ductile Materials"
Speaker: Dr. Krishnaswamy Ravi-Chandar, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics,University of Texas at Austin
Friday, October 10
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall
MAE Seminar: "Spectral Methods in Motion"
Speaker: Dr. David Kopriva, Professor of Mathematics, Florida State University
Thursday, October 16
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall
MAE Seminar: "Sharks and Butterflies: Micro-Sized Scales Have Macro Effects"
Speaker: Dr. Amy Lang, Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics, University of Alabama
Thursday, October 23
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall
SEAS Society of Women Engineers Conference Reception in Los Angeles, CA
Friday, October 24
4:30 – 6:30 pm
G.W. Marriott LA Live
All students, staff, faculty, and alumni attending the SWE conference (or who are in the area then) are welcome to attend the SEAS reception.  Alumnae will also be in attendance, so come network, discuss the conference, and meet new GW friends.  Find more information and register for the reception at:  http://go.gwu.edu/swereception .
MAE Seminar: "Molecular Engineering of Microbubble Shells"
Speaker: Dr. Mark Borden, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering and Bioengineering, University of Colorado, Boulder
Thursday, October 30
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall
MAE Seminar: "Bio-inspired Flow Sensing, Control, and Actuation for Autonomous Underwater Vehicles"
Speaker: Dr. Derek A. Paley, Department of Aerospace Engineering & Institute for Systems Research, University of Maryland
Wednesday, November 5
3:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

External Events

National Cyber Security Awareness Month
SEAS is hosting the following National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) events in Tompkins Hall during the month of October.  To learn more about other NCSAM events at GW, please visit http://it.gwu.edu/ncsam.
Hack or Crack? – How strong do you think your password is?
Monday, October 6
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tompkins Hall Lobby
Sign-up for SANS 'Securing the Human' training
Live demo and information booth in Tompkins lobby
Spot a Phish!
Monday, October 13
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tompkins Hall Lobby
Sign-up for SANS 'Securing the Human' training
Live demo and information booth in Tompkins lobby
Symantec Endpoint Protection – Install, Scan and Stay Safe Online
Monday, October 20
11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Tompkins Hall Lobby
On-the-spot spot quiz – Answer4Security
Information booth in Tompkins lobby
Nuclear Policy Talks: "Additive Manufacturing and High-Performance Computing: A Disruptive Latent Technology"
Speaker: Dr. Bruce Goodwin, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Thursday, October 9
12:30 pm
1957 E Street, NW (602 Lindner Family Commons)
This event is part of the Nuclear Policy Talks series, sponsored by the Elliott School of International Affairs.
Hackathon (Sponsored by Modevwear)
Sunday, October 19
The hackathon will include Intel, Sony, Pebble, Mashery, SparkFun and more.  Prizes will be awarded for the best hacks.  Students and faculty who wish to attend the full conference on October 20 and 21 may use the code "STUDENT" to receive the faculty/student conference discount.

The online Rubiks Cube solver program will help you find the solution for your unsolved puzzle.