April 2-8, 2018


April 2, 2018

Faculty News
Media Mentions:
The Washington Post quoted Dr. Poorvi Vora (CS) in the April 1 article “Here’s why cybersecurity experts say Maryland’s ballot delivery system is a target for hackers." The article is about cross-filed bills in the Maryland Legislature, House Bill 1658 and Senate Bill 1126, which are based on recommendations computer scientists have been making for several years now, and in support of which Dr. Vora recently testified for both House and Senate Committee hearings.


Dr. Tianshu Li (CEE), his former doctoral student Yuanfei Bi, his current postdoc Dr. Enshi Xu, and his collaborator, Dr. Timothy Strobel from Carnegie Institution of Washington, have published a paper in Communications Chemistry, a new Nature sub-journal. The citation is: Y. Bi, E. Xu, T. A. Strobel, and T. Li, “Formation of inclusion type silicon phases induced by inert gases,” Communications Chemistry 1, 15, (2018). This theoretical work was supported by EFree Center, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by DOE and currently directed by Dr. Russell Hemley (CEE).


Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) has published the following paper online: R. Wang, H. Dalir, F. M. Koushyar, X. Xu, Z. Pan, S. Sun, V. J. Sorger, and R. T. Chen. “Atto-Joule, High-Speed and Compact Plasmonic Modulator based on Adiabatic Coupled Waveguides,” Nanophotonics, (2018).


Conferences & Presentations:
Dr. Howie Huang (ECE) was an invited speaker at the NVIDIA GPU Technology Conference 2018, which was held March 26-29 in San Jose, CA. His talk, titled “Graph-Centric AI for Cybersecurity,” presented several high-performance computing and machine learning techniques developed at GW for a number of cybersecurity applications.


NSF Workshop Picture


Dr. Guru Venkataramani (ECE) and Dr. Patrick Schaumont (University of Vermont) served as chairs of the March 22-23 National Science Foundation (NSF) Workshop on Side and Covert Channels in Computing Systems. The workshop was hosted by GW at the Marvin Center, and it created a unique forum to study the threat of side-channel and covert-channel leakage in computing, with the participation of different communities: computer architects, systems researchers, and hardware designers. Participants identified potential challenges in existing computer design methodologies and discussed the strategies to minimize information leakage. A comprehensive workshop report will be produced shortly, summarizing the findings and discussion on the current state-of-the-art and projections in terms of detecting, mitigating, and defending against side and covert channels. The workshop also featured keynote talks by Dr. Yan Solihin (North Carolina State University) and meltdown/spectre authors, Dr. Dan Genkin (University of Pennsylvania) and Dr. Yuval Yarom (University of Adelaide).


Other News:
Dr. Howie Huang (ECE) has received a National Science Foundation (NSF) award to organize the 2018 NSF Aspiring CSR (Computer Systems Research) PIs (Principal Investigators) Workshop. This event provides opportunities for the PIs from various research communities to better understand the CSR program and prepare competitive submissions in the future. The worshop will be held in May at the NSF.


On March 22, Dr. Poorvi Vora (CS) testified on election cybersecurity bill SB 1126 at a public hearing of the Maryland Senate Committee on Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs. She also submitted more detailed written testimony on the bill, which was cross-filed with House Bill 1658 on which she had previously testified.


Student News
Congratulations to our SEAS undergraduate students who received prizes at the March 24-25 George Hacks medical hackathon. In the first year of the event, GW students and other undergraduate students from Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia competed over 24 hours to develop assistive medical devices. George Hacks was a student-organized event, and was sponsored by: Student Association, SEAS, BME, ECE, MAE, CS, EMSE, the SEAS Career Services Center, the GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, AdvaMed, the National Capital Region Society of Healthcare, and the Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorder Institute. More information on the event is available in the GW Today article “GW Students Innovate at First George Hacks Competition.”


First Place:
Team: Absolute Zero
Pitch Title: “Adapting Assistive Devices for Use in Burundian Refugee Camp in Tanzania”
Team Members: Erin Flynn (MAE), Steven Brunetto (CEE), and Logan Bartholomew (Chemistry)

Team Absolute Zero


Second Place:
Team: Vitality
Pitch Title: “Smart Hospital Technology to Improve Patient Mood and Satisfaction”
Team Members: Alexandra Kaplan (Public Health), Natalie Zukoff (Public Health), Sayna Matinrazm (Creative English), and Ngozi Ihenacho (Public Health)

Team Vitality


Third Place:
Team: BME Squad
Pitch Title: “Reverse View Camera for Wheelchairs”
Shirali Nigam (BME), Bianca Karpinecz (BME), Patrycja Mikolajczyk (BME), and Mercedes Suazo (BME)

Team BME Squad


Fourth Place:
Team: Innovation DDAS
Pitch Title: “Redesigning Stores and Shelving for People in Wheelchairs”
Team Members: Karandeep Singh (BME), Abigail DeMassi (MAE), Sebastian Lora (MAE), and Daniel Buford (BME)

Team Innovation DDAS


The ARCS-Metro Washington Chapter selected MAE doctoral student Jenna Osborne as its Winter Featured Scholar on the chapter's website. Jenna, who is advised by Dr. Kausik Sarkar (MAE), conducts research in tissue engineering and acoustics. Jenna’s research, “Ultrasound and lipid-coated microbubbles for osteogenic differentiation of mesenchymal stem cells in 3D printed tissue scaffolds” was published in the October 2017 issue of the Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. She also presented it last spring at the 2017 GW Research Days.


SEAS Computing Facility
Software Carpentry Workshops
SEAS Computing Facility, in partnership with the GW Libraries and Academic Innovation, is offering the fourth, and final, two-day software carpentry workshop this academic year. The workshop will run April 11-12 from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm in Gelman 201 (STEMworks).

Who is this for?
The workshop is intended for graduate students, postdocs, and faculty who want to become more productive with lab skills for scientific computing. The workshop is free to any GW-affiliated participant.

What is it?
The workshop provides two days of hands-on learning to:

  • automate repetitive tasks (Unix shell)
  • track and share your code and writing (git and GitHub)
  • use programming language that is especially powerful for statistical analysis (Python)

Short tutorials alternate with hands-on practical exercises in the workshops. Participants are encouraged both to help one another and to try applying what they have learned to their own research problems during and between sessions. Participants must bring a laptop with a Mac, Linux, or Windows operating system; they also should have admin privileges on the computer. The computer needs to be a “real” laptop—not a Chromebook, tablet, etc.


Arduinos and Raspberry Pi Workshops
SEAS Computing Facility is holding two interactive workshops this semester on Arduinos and Raspberry Pis, which are inexpensive platforms for electronics and programming projects. Both workshops will cover similar material, but the April 14 workshop will be paced for beginners, with consideration for attendees who have no, or limited, programming experience, while the April 21 workshop will move more quickly and assume that attendees understand programing concepts like loops and “if” statements. Experience with Python, C/C++, or circuits is not required. All equipment will be provided. Both workshops will take place in the SEH Studio Labs (SEH 1300/1400/1450) from 1:00 to 5:00 pm.

The purpose of the workshopss is to help participants:

  • learn the basics of these technologies and how to get started
  • create some introductory projects involving sensors and LED displays
  • gain experience with basic programming in Python and C/C++ as well as simple circuits)

Register (space is limited)


MATLAB and Solidworks tutoring will be offered throughout the spring semester in Tompkins 401 on the following days:

  • Wednesdays: 12:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Thursdays: 12:00 – 3:30 pm
  • Fridays: 5:00 – 6:00 pm

To schedule a tutoring appointment, please email [email protected]. The MATLAB and Solidworks workshops and tutoring will be hosted by SEAS graduate student Makan Payandehazad.


SEAS Events
BME David Wang Distinguished Lecture: “Biologically Inspired Engineering: From Mechanotherapeutics to Human Organs-on-Chips”
Speaker: Dr. Donald Ingber, Founding Director, Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering, Harvard University
Wednesday, April 4
4:00 – 5:00 pm
SEH, Lehman Auditorium​


MAE Seminar: “Cytomechanics: The Bridge between Biology and Engineering”
Speaker: Dr. Randall Duncan, University of Delaware
Thursday, April 5
2:00 - 3:00 pm
SEH, B1220


MAE Seminar: “Plasmonic Nanostructures for SERS Biosensing and Optoelectronic Devices”
Speaker: Dr. Qiuming Yu, University of Washington
Thursday, April 12
2:00 - 3:00 pm
SEH, Lehman Auditorium


Ideas Festival
Saturday, April 21
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Ronald Reagan Building, International Trade Center
Washington, D.C.
The Environmental and Energy Management Institute is collaborating with Booz Allen Hamilton to hold the 11th Ideas Festival, which will bring together humanitarians, luminaries, academics, community partners, government officials, and other experts to challenge conventional thinking and develop new insights for making our communities stronger. The Festival will include more than 25 interactive workshops and several innovation labs that address the theme of community resilience via five focus areas: emergency preparedness and response; infrastructure protection; natural and cultural resource recovery; public health, wellness, and safety; and economic strengthening.


Save the Date: CVP Speaker Series @ GW Kick-off
Speaker: Dr. David Bray, Executive Director, People-Centered Internet Coalition
Wednesday, April 25
6:00 pm (followed by a reception)
SEH, Lehman Auditorium
Register to attend
Dr. David Bray, a champion of positive change agents and the executive director for the People-Centered Internet Coalition, will deliver the keynote at the CVP Speaker Series @ GW Kick-off. Dr. Bray’s keynote, “Needed Now More Than Ever: Positive #ChangeAgents Across Sectors,” will focus on why and how we all can be change agents in our rapidly changing world while highlighting meaningful multi-sector strategies for delivering results differently and better.


Entrepreneurship News & Events
GW Design Thinking Club Workshops: “Designing Your Life Workshop Series”
Thursdays: April 5 and April 12
5:30 – 7:00 pm
GW Innovation Center, Tompkins M06
Learn how design thinking can help you create a more meaningful and fulfilling life in four consecutive workshops. These workshops are open to all GW students who desire a more creative approach to their lives.


Hippo Hacks 2018
Friday, April 13 – Saturday, April 14
Gelman Library
Join GW DATA for a 17-hour data science hackathon right on campus. GW DATA is teaming up with Google for a full night of hacking, free food, drinks, and over $500 in prizes. The first 50 signups will receive a free Hippo Hacks customized bottle. Coders, designers, stat and data nerds are welcome! Check out the event description for a timeline and registration. Students must register on Eventbrite to attend.


GW Technology Commercialization Office 2018 Startup Showcase
Tuesday, April 17
12:30 – 5:15 pm
SEH, Lehman Auditorium
Join the GW Technology Commercialization Office and our startup partners to hear their success stories and learn about their commercialization trajectory. This pitch event will showcase four GW startups developing innovative university technologies. Experienced entrepreneurs, investors, and industry professionals will provide insightful feedback on the four pitches. This event will be a valuable networking opportunity for researchers, investors, and entrepreneurs alike! Seven entrepreneurs or researchers from the audience will have an opportunity to provide two-minute (no slides) presentations on their company or research project in an Elevator Pitch session. Elevator Pitch slots are offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. Contact [email protected] to reserve your slot.


2018 GW New Venture Competition Finals
Thursday, April 19
5:30 - 9:00 pm
MPA Building, Jack Morton Auditorium
The top nine GW student entrepreneurial teams will take the stage at one of the largest competitions in the nation to vie for more than $300,000 in funding and support. What big idea will come from GW next? Attend the 10th anniversary finals on April 19 to see who will take the top prize!


Workshop: “Ownership, Governance and Incorporation: Getting Your Innovation Legal”
Monday, April 23
5:30 - 7:00 pm
GW Innovation Center, Tompkins M06
Are you looking to get your business incorporated but unsure of the process or the legal documentation you need to help protect your interests? Do you know what it means to be a business owner or how to govern your business properly and ethically? We can help you answer all of these questions. Join us for an insightful workshop featuring guest speakers from the legal industry. Don’t miss out!


Mentor Appreciation Event: “The World’s Best Mentors: GW Mentor Appreciation Celebration”
Thursday, April 26
5:30 - 7:00 pm
GW Innovation Center, Tompkins M06
Thank you to all of the GW mentors and judges who have helped the Office of Innovation & Entrepreneurship throughout the 2017-2018 school year! Students, faculty, staff, mentors, and alumni are welcome to join us for this fun, casual happy hour celebration at the GW Innovation Center as a “thank you” for a fun and eventful year. Network and mingle with us before the school year ends and finals begin!


Technology Commercialization course: GW’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in collaboration with the GW School of Business, will offer Seminar in Technology Commercialization (ISTM 6239) during GW’s 2018 Summer I session. The course will run May 21 - June 25, meeting on Monday evenings from 6:10 – 9:00 pm. This is a hands-on experience, applying the Lean Startup Approach to tech commercialization. Students may bring their own technology to the class or work on a technology from the GW Technology Commercialization Office. Students also will be eligible for AccelerateGW NSF I-Corps Grants of up to $3,000 to cover expenses for doing customer discovery interviews!


GW Events
GW Libraries Coffee & Discussion
Monday, April 16
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Gelman Library Lounge, B05
Public digital trace data, such as social media data, provide the opportunity to study the spread of rumors, the use of disinformation, and the role of social bots. GW faculty and researchers are invited to informally share your interest and/or work in this area, as well as discuss opportunities to collaborate with colleagues. This event is primarily for faculty and fellows; however, faculty may invite students, as appropriate. No RSVP is required. Coffee, soda, and cookies will be provided. Feel free to bring a lunch.


Post-Award Management Training Series: “Post-Award Financial Monitoring and Management”
Tuesday, April 17
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Marvin Center, 310
Read more and register online


Pre-Award Integrated Systems Workshop
Friday, April 20
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Hall of Government, 103 (Tech Lab)
Read more and register online
This hands-on, interactive workshop covers PIVOT, InfoReady, and Cayuse 424.


Post-Award Management Training Series: “Keys to a Successful Award Closeout”
Tuesday, May 22
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Marvin Center, 308
Read more and register online