September 7-13, 2021


September 6, 2021


Faculty News



Dr. Ahmed Louri

Dr. Ahmed Louri (ECE) has been awarded a three-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation grant for the project “Holistic Design of High-performance and Energy-efficient Accelerators for Graph Neural Networks.” Graph Neural Networks (GNNs) have recently emerged as one of the most powerful techniques for next generation learning systems, and they are gaining attention in many high-impact domains such as graph mining (graph machine, graph clustering), biology (drug discovery, disease classification), traffic networks (traffic prediction), recommendation systems, autonomous systems, and security, among many others. In this project, Dr. Louri will develop a holistic design framework spanning architecture study, Network-on-Chip (NoC) design, machine learning algorithms development, and algorithm-architecture co-optimization, with the aim of designing energy-efficient and high-performance scalable accelerator architectures for GNNs. Such a framework will have far-reaching implications for future machine learning architectures and applications. The project will also play a major role in education by integrating discovery with teaching and training.



Dr. Adam Aviv

Dr. Adam Aviv (CS) published a number of papers in August. At the 17th Symposium on Usable Security and Privacy, he published: 1) C. Munyendo, M. Grant, P. Markert, T. J. Forman, and A. J. Aviv, “ Using a Blocklist to Improve the Security of User Selection of Android Patterns;” 2) D. G. Balash, D. Kim, D. Shaibekova, R. A. Fainchtein, M. Sherr, and A. J. Aviv, “Examining the Examiners: Students' Privacy and Security Perceptions of Online Proctoring Services;” and 3) D. V. Baily, P. Markert, and A. J. Aviv, “I have no idea what they're trying to accomplish: Enthusiastic and Casual Signal Users' Understanding of Signal PINs.” At the 30th USENIX Security Symposium, he published: 1) F. Wolf, A. J. Aviv, and R. Kuber, “Security Obstacles and Motivations for Small Businesses from a CISO’s Perspective;” 2) F. Farke, D. G. Balash, M. Golla, M. Dürmuth, and A. J. Aviv, “Are Privacy Dashboards Good for End Users? Evaluating User Perceptions and Reactions to Google's My Activity;” 3) N. Warford, C. W. Munyendo, A. Mediratta, A. J. Aviv, and M. L. Mazurek, “Strategies and Perceived Risks of Sending Sensitive Documents;” 4) P. Mayer, Y. Zou, F. Schaub, and A. J. Aviv, “Now I'm a bit angry: Individuals' Awareness, Perception, and Responses to Data Breaches that Affected Them;” and 5) H. Ray, F. Wolf, R. Kuber, and A. J. Aviv, “Why Older Adults (Don't) Use Password Managers.”


Dr. Thomas Mazzuchi
Dr. Shahram Sarkani

Drs. Tom Mazzuchi (EMSE) and Shahram Sarkani (EMSE) and their PhD students have published the following recent papers: 1) V. K. Eluri, T. A. Mazzuchi, and S. Sarkani, “Predicting long-time contributor for GitHub projects using machine learning,” Information and Software Technology, Vol. 138, October 2021, Article 106616; 2) T. J. Mathieson, T. A. Mazzuchi, and S. Sarkani, “The systems engineering DevOps lemniscate and model-based system operations,” IEEE Systems Journal, Vol.15, Issue 3, September 2021, pp 3980-3991; and 3) E. Repetski, S. Sarkani, and T. A. Mazzuchi, “Managing complexity in operational test and evaluation of integrated systems,” The ITEA Journal of Test and Evaluation, Vol. 42, No. 3, September 2021, pp. 157-168. 


Dr. Danmeng Shuai

Dr. Danmeng Shuai (CEE) and his PhD student Mengqiao Li have published the following research article: M. Li, D. Liu, X. Chen … D. P. Durkin, H. Chen, and D. Shuai, “ Radical-Driven Decomposition of Graphitic Carbon Nitride Nanosheets: Light Exposure Matters,” Environmental Science & Technology. (Published online September 1, 2021). Their study found that the photo-reactivity of graphitic carbon nitride nanosheets promotes the nanomaterial’s degradation. It’s a unique phenomenon compared to the other widely studied nanomaterials, and the study provides insights to designing safe and robust engineered nanomaterials. More information about the study is available in the GW News Alert “New Study Shows How Engineered Nanomaterials Degrade, Persist in Environment.”

Dr. Santiago Solares
Dr. Volker Sorger

Drs. Santiago Solares (MAE) and Volker Sorger (ECE) earned the Applied Electronic Materials cover award for their publication, “Strain-Induced Spatially Resolved Charge Transport in 2H-MoTe2,” which was reported in the previous issue of the SEAS newsletter.


Dr. Zoe Szajnfarber
Dr. David Broniatowski
Dr. John Helveston
Dr. William Chernicoff

Drs. Zoe Szajnfarber (EMSE), David Broniatowski (EMSE), John Helveston (EMSE), William Chernicoff (adjunct professor, EMSE), and their students Joshua Groover and Zhenglin Wei have published the following article: Z. Szajnfarber, J. A. Groover, Z. Wei, D. A. Broniatowski, W. Chernicoff, and J. P. Helveston, “Evolvability analysis framework: Adding transition path and stakeholder diversity to infrastructure planning,” Systems Engineering. (Published online August 31, 2021) 


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) gave the keynote address “Photonics for Machine Intelligence: Accelerating DOD AI Warfare with Integrated Photonics” at the 2021 MRFSTN 1st Photonics Signal Processing and Circuits Workshop, held September 2 at Raytheon. Dr. Sorger also gave an invited talk, titled “Strainoptronics: 2D Materials with a twist,” at the 2021 AAAFM-UCLA International Conference on Advances in Functional Materials, held August 18-20 in Los Angeles, CA.


Student News

PBS NewsHour mentioned GW research and spoke to BME doctoral student Rose Yin in the August 31 segment “This dissolvable pacemaker could make heart surgery less invasive.’’ Rose is advised by Dr. Igor Efimov (BME).



Mo6 Hours          Weekly Calendar

The Innovation Center welcomes students back to campus: Beginning this Tuesday, September 7, M06 will be open for students! M06 is reserved for senior capstone teams from 9:00 am – 2:00 pm (M-F). From 2:00 – 6:00 pm, the space is open for GW community use! Come work on projects, use our tools, and explore different materials and ideas. A staff member will be on hand to answer any questions you have about the space and our equipment. On Friday afternoons we host Open Studio, a time for skill sharing and working on specific projects. Stay tuned for more! M06 is located on the mezzanine level of Tompkins Hall, off the H Street parking area on the main campus.


Upcoming SEAS Events

WOW Talk Series

Wednesday, September 8

4:00 pm (ET)

Zoom link


  • Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE): “Electrical and Computer Engineering Distributed Intelligence for Online Situational Awareness and Resilience in Power Grids”
  • Dr. Samer Hamdar (CEE): “AI in Traffic Engineering: From Computer Vision to Incident Detection in a Connected Transportation Environment”
  • Dr. Qing Zeng (Biomedical Informatics Center): “Clinical Research and Leadership Explainable AI and Observational Data in Clinical Research”

These short talks (15 minutes each) are designed to introduce GW faculty and students to current and exciting research projects, to initiate discussion and collaboration, and to share expertise at GW.


GW Compass Happy Hour

September 9

5:30 pm

Tonic at Quigley's (2036 G Street, NW)

Come meet your fellow STEM graduate students at our first fall semester happy hour. Free appetizers! All attendees must sign-in upon arrival for the purposes of potential contract tracing.


Graduate Student Welcome

Wednesday, September 15

9:30 am

Zoom link

The SEAS Center for Women in Engineering (WiE) and the SEAS Office of Graduate Admissions welcome all new SEAS graduate students and those who entered in 2020, as well as SEAS faculty, to join them for a welcome webinar. Students will have the chance to hear from female faculty members representing the six SEAS departments and leadership. More information


EEMI Webinar: “From Vikings to Wind Turbines, Denmark’s Journey Toward Sustainability”

New date: Thursday, September 30

8:00 am (ET)


The SEAS Environmental and Energy Management Institute (EEMI) will co-host a free webinar on Denmark's pioneering actions towards energy sustainability. The event will feature Dan Jørgensen, the Danish Minister of Climate, Energy, and Utilities. He will be interviewed by EEMI Visiting Scholar Ambassador András Simonyi on Denmark’s journey toward sustainability. Topics will include the European Commission’s 2021 "Fit for 55" legal framework to achieve climate goals, Denmark's pioneering role in energy transition, transatlantic climate and energy cooperation, and preparation for COP26.


SEAS Open House

Sunday, October 3

10:30 am – 12:00 pm

SEH, B1 Level

Dean John Lach invites all SEAS alumni, students, and their families to join him for the SEAS Open House during GW’s Centuries Celebration Weekend. Check-in for the open house will take place in the first floor lobby of the SEH.


External Events

RCR and Beyond

Classes begin September 2

Thursdays, 12:00 – 1:30 pm


Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) @ GW and Beyond is a semester-long weekly seminar course designed to develop and strengthen ethical problem-solving skills along with cultivating sensitivity to ethical issues commonly found while conducting research. The course is open to the entire campus community, including undergraduates, graduate students, postdocs, researchers, staff and research administrators. Registration is capped at 20 participants, first come, first served. Classes are held on Thursdays, 12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. throughout the semester, unless otherwise noted.


GW Centuries Celebration Weekend

Friday, October 1 – Sunday, October 3


Join GW for the culmination of our bicentennial. The weekend includes in-person events and activities for alumni, students, faculty, staff, and GW families, as well as Commencement for the Classes of 2020 and 2021, opportunities to honor our Monumental Alumni, and a closing Bicentennial Bash. 


Human Resources News
HR Corner Hero

Find updates on benefits, employee resources, and more at the HR Corner. Please visit the HR Corner to get the latest news and information.