August 17-23, 2015


August 17, 2015

Faculty News


On June 9, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. patent number 9,051,186 B2 to Research Prof. Ashraf Imam (MAE) and his colleagues for “Silicon Carbide Synthesis from Agricultural Waste.” Prof. Imam’s colleagues on the patent are: Syed Qadri, Arne Fliflet, Bhakta Rath, and Edward Gorzkowski.

Media Mentions:

On August 10, featured Prof. Megan Leftwich’s (MAE) research in a video and accompanying article , “When a Trip to the Zoo Resulted in an Engineering Breakthrough.” GW also produced a video explaining Prof. Leftwich’s research, and The Conversation published her article “Scientists at work: cracking sea lions’ high-thrust, low-wake swimming technique.” Both videos and the article are available via the SEAS website.

The Pensacola News Journal quoted Dr. Costis Toregas (associate director, Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute) in the August 1 article “ Local cybersecurity pipeline in the works .” Prof. Toregas also was quoted by National Journal in its August 13 article, “ Feds Expect to Spend at Least $500 Million on the Next Five Years of Data Breaches .”


Prof. Tianshu Li (CEE) and his graduate student Boxiao Cao have published the following paper with his experimental collaborators at The University of Texas at Austin: A. Nayak, Z. Yuan, B. Cao, J. Liu, J. Wu, S. Moran, T. Li, D. Akinwande, C. Jin, and J. Lin. “ Pressure-Modulated Conductivity, Carrier Density, and Mobility of Multilayered Tungsten Disulfide ,” ACS Nano, 2015, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b03295.

Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) has published the following article: K. Liu and V. Sorger. “Electrically-driven carbon nanotube-based plasmonic laser on silicon,” Optical Materials Express 5, 1910-1919 (2015). The work investigates the first carbon-nanotube plasmon laser light source suitable for on-chip integration and optical interconnects.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) gave the keynote “Data-driven Education and the Quantified Student” on July 26 at the PyData Seattle 2015 Conference. The video of the lecture is now available on YouTube. Over the last few years education has seen the rise of learning analytics, and Prof. Barba’s talk covered, at a high level, the complex interacting issues and concerns involving learning analytics. The goal of the talk was to whet the appetite and motivate reflection on how data scientists can work with educators and learning scientists in this growing field.

Prof. Leila Farhadi (CEE) attended IGARSS 2015 Remote Sensing: Understanding the Earth for a Safer World, held July 26-31 in Milan, Italy. At the conference, she chaired the Numerical Weather Prediction Models and Methods I session, and she gave two presentations: 1) L. Farhadi, D. Entekhabi, and G. Salvucci. “Mapping Land Water and Energy Balance Relations through Conditional Sampling of Remotely Sensed Surface Soil Moisture and Temperature States;” and 2) A. Abdolghafoorian and L. Farhadi. “Estimation of Surface Fluxes of Heat and Moisture and Their Uncertainty Using Variational Data Assimilation Methodology.”

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) gave the plenary general talk “Plasma Application in Cancer Therapy” at the XXXII International Conference on Phenomena in Ionized Gases, held July 26-31 in Iasi, Romania.

Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) and his students gave the following presentations at the 13th U.S. National Congress on Computational Mechanics, held July 27-29 in San Diego, CA: 1) C. Liang, K. Fidkowski, P. Persson, P. Vincent, and G. Jacobs. “Special Issue of High-order Methods for Computational Fluid Dynamics in Honor of the 60th Birthday of Professor David A. Kopriva;” 2) B. Zhang and C. Liang. “A 3D Sliding-mesh Spectral Difference Solver for Viscous Flows;” 3) J. Wang, C. Liang, and M. S. Miesch. “A Compressible High-order Unstructured Spectral Difference Solver for Thermal Stratified Convection in the Sun;” 4) J. Yang, B. Zhang, and C. Liang. “High-Order Method with Adaptive Mesh Refinement on Moving/Deforming Mesh; and in collaboration with Prof. Michael Plesniak (MAE), 5) C. Cox, C. Liang, and M. W. Plesniak. “A High-order Solver for Unsteady Incompressible Navier-Stokes Equations Using Flux Reconstruction on Unstructured Grids with Implicit Time Stepping.”

Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) recently has given several presentations. At the Progress in Electromagnetics Research Symposium (PIERS) 2015, held July 6-9 in Prague, Czech Republic, he presented “Strong Absorption in a 2D Materials-based Spiral Nanocavity.” At the same conference, he was also the co-chair of the symposium “Manipulating and Control of Light-matter Interactions with 2D Materials and Meta-Materials.” He presented “Data Center Efficiency: Optical Interconnects and Solutions” at the July 27 ARPA-E workshop, held in Burlingame, CA. The workshop was invitation-only and included representatives from industry and academia. On July 30, he presented “Nanophotonic Scaling Laws for atto-Joule links: Lasers & Modulators” at the Naval Research Laboratory’s Physical Science and Optical Materials Division. And on August 4, he presented “Nanophotonic Scaling Laws and Light-matter Enhanced Optoelectronic Devices” at the NSF-sponsored workshop Foundations of Non-linear Optics (FONLO), held at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA.

On July 27, Prof. Tim Wood (CS) gave an invited talk at IBM Research TJ Watson on his research into software defined network function virtualization.

Prof. Abdou Youssef (CS), in collaboration with his recently graduated Ph.D. student Dr. Qun Zhang, published and presented the paper “Performance Evaluation and Optimization of Math-Similarity Search” at the 8th Conference on Intelligent Computer Mathematics, held July 13-17 in Washington, DC.

Other News:

Prof. Rachael Jonassen (visiting scholar and part-time faculty, EMSE and CPS) has been appointed to serve on a project panel of the Transportation Research Board at the National Academies of Science. This panel will provide overall counsel and technical guidance for up to two years on the topic “Applying and Adapting Climate Models to Hydrologic Design Procedures.”

Prof. Abdou Youssef (CS) co-sponsored and co-organized with NIST the 8th Conference on Intelligent Computer Mathematics, which took place July 13-17 in Washington, DC. This conference is the main venue in the areas of mathematical knowledge management and math digital libraries, and it covers topics on integrating computer algebra systems with systems for mechanized reasoning, such as interactive proof assistants and automated theorem provers. With more than 15 countries represented and participation by the top people in the covered subject matters, the conference featured high-quality papers, world-renown invited speakers, workshops, and a tutorial on proof assistants. Prof. Youssef received a grant from the Sloan Foundation to pay for invited speakers and to partially subsidize the travel costs of 11 Ph.D. students who presented at the conference.

Student News

On August 1, CS Ph.D. student Samuel Zapolsky (advised by Prof. Evan Drumwright) presented his paper “Pacer: Modular, real-time software for legged robot planning and control” at the 11th Conference on Dynamic Walking, held in Columbus, OH. Sam also gave a live demonstration of the Positronics Lab's robot, R. Links (controlled by his software), which garnered the highest attendance of all poster and live demonstrations at the conference.

Other News

The Concrete Foundations Association (CFA) recently announced its 2015 Projects of the Year awards, and the SEH was named the winner of the Overall Grand Project—Commercial/Multi- Family Award. The nomination was submitted by Ballinger AE, and the award was presented during the CFA Convention, held July 23-25, in Williamsburg, VA.


Workshop: “Facing the Minotaur”
Saturday, September 12
9:30 am – 12:30 pm
SEH, B1270
This is the first of a three-part series created by Dr. Annie Green and Cynthia Gayton, J.D., and supported in part by EMSE and GW’s College of Professional Studies to explore new methods and strategies to manage knowledge and innovation. The event is free, but RSVPs are required and space is limited to 50 participants. Light refreshments will be served. 

External Events

Symposium: “Open edX Universities Symposium”
Wednesday, November 11
8:30 am – 6:00 pm
Milken School of Public Health, Room 100
The symposium will be structured around topics of general concern in online learning: web-enhanced learning and pedagogy; learning analytics; and inter-institutional collaboration. Please visit the symposium website to register and see the list of speakers and panelists, many of whom are top figures in the field. Anyone can attend, but space is limited. The registration fee is $75. This event is hosted by the GW Vice-Provost of Online Learning and Academic Innovation.