December 2-8, 2013

Newsletter

December 02, 2013

Faculty News

Research:

The American Heart Association has awarded an extremely competitive Innovative Research grant to pediatric cardiologists at Boston Children's Hospital (Joshua Salvin, MD and John Kheir, MD) and Prof. Matthew Kay (ECE). The goal of the project is to extend metabolic imaging technology developed in Prof. Kay's laboratory to the assessment of myocardial function in critically ill newborns who are recovering from extensive surgical correction of congenital heart defects. Prof. Kay will guide development of the technology at GW, while Dr. Salvin will lead the effort for animal and human testing at Boston Children's Hospital in Boston, MA. The project has been funded for two years at $150,000.

Publishing:

Prof. Pinhas Ben-Tzvi (MAE) and his former doctoral student Paul Moubarak have published a peer-reviewed journal paper. The paper citation is: P. Moubarak and P. Ben-Tzvi, “A Globally Converging Algorithm for Adaptive Manipulation and Trajectory Following for Mobile Robots with Serial Redundant Arms,” Robotica Journal, Vol. 31, Issue 8, pp. 1299-1312, December 2013.

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) has published the following paper: A. Childs, U. Devi Hemraz, N. Castro, F. Hicham and L.G. Zhang, “Rosette Nanotube-coated PLLA Scaffolds Enhance hMSC Chondrogenic Differentiation, ” Biomedical Materials, 8(6):065003 (2013).

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Charles Garris (MAE) presented the paper “Pressure Exchange Heat Pump: Natural Gas Residential Air Conditioning” at the International Mechanical Engineering Conference and Exhibition, held November 15-21 in San Diego, CA. The paper was authored by Profs. Garris and Chunlei Liang (MAE) and will appear in the conference proceedings. 

On November 18, Prof. Matthew Kay (ECE) gave the featured talk at a research seminar focus group during the 2013 Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association in Dallas, TX. The title of his talk was “Perfused heart systems and optical imaging for studying cardiac physiology.”

Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS) will give an invited talk, titled “Machine Learning Techniques for Combining Multi-Model Climate Projections,” on December 10 at the  American Geophysical Union (AGU) fall meeting in San Francisco, CA. Prof. Monteleoni's doctoral student Scott McQuade will give a contributed talk at the same session: S. McQuade and C. Monteleoni, “MRF-Based Spatial Expert Tracking of the Multi-Model Ensemble. ” This meeting is the AGU's main meeting.

Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS) is an invited participant at the Simons Institute for the Theory of Computing Workshop on Big Data and Differential Privacy, which will be held December 11-14 in Berkeley, CA.

The Neural Information Processing Systems (NIPS) Conference is one of the top two international conferences in the field of machine learning. It will be held December 5-10 at Lake Tahoe, NV. Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS) and several SEAS students will attend. At the NIPS 2013 Workshop on Machine Learning for Sustainability, Mahsa Ghafrianzadeh, a doctoral student in Prof. Gabe Sibley's (CS) group, will present a poster on the paper: M. Ghafrianzadeh and C. Monteleoni, “Climate Prediction via Matrix Completion.” At the Workshop for Women in Machine Learning, a workshop collocated with NIPS 2013, SEAS students Cheng Tang and Mahsa Ghafrianzadeh will present posters on their papers with Prof. Monteleoni: 1) C. Tang and C. Monteleoni, “Convergence analysis of Stochastic Gradient Descent for strongly convex functions,” and 2) M. Ghafrianzadeh and C. Monteleoni, “Climate Prediction via Matrix Completion. ”

Geetha Jagannathan, a GW visiting scholar working with Prof. Claire Monteleoni (CS) will give a talk on their paper at the 4th IEEE International Workshop on Privacy Aspects of Data Mining, held December 7 in Dallas, TX. The title of their paper is: Geetha Jagannathan, Claire Monteleoni, and Krishnan Pillaipakkamnatt, “A Semi-Supervised Learning Approach To Differential Privacy.” The workshop is conducted at the IEEE International Conference on Data Mining, one of the top three international data mining conferences.

Prof. Michael Plesniak (MAE) attended the 66th annual meeting of the American Physical Society (APS) Division of Fluid Dynamics, held November 24-26 in Pittsburgh, PA. He chaired the  A17 Biofluids: Locomotion I - Swimming and Flapping session and co-authored eight presentations with his students and collaborators, including Speech & Hearing Sciences Prof. Adrienne Hancock; MAE Research Prof. Kartik Bulusu; post doctoral scholars Adam Apostoli and Kelley Stewart Weiland;  doctoral student Ian Carr; undergraduate students and alumni Shannon Callahan, Elizabeth Hubler, Shadman Hussain, Michael Leggiero, Brandon Fix and Christopher Popma; and summer intern Roshan Sajjad of Thomas Jefferson High School; as well as with colleagues from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Sweden.  The presentations were as follows:

Prof. Plesniak is a member of the nominating committee and also serves on the Division of Fluid Dynamics Executive Committee, which held its annual business meeting during the conference.

Other News:

This spring SEAS will offer a new technical elective,  SEAS 6100: Innovation & Technology. This three-credit course is about using creativity, engineering, and business skills to invent the next big thing. The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in one of the engineering or business disciplines. The course will be offered Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:00 pm during the spring 2014 semester. More details are available @innovationGW or contact Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE).

The Faculty Regalia Sale will be held at the GW Bookstore on Thursday, December 5, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Friday, December 6, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For questions about the sale or regalia, please contact Herff Jones at hjcollege@hjusa.net  or 703-368-9550.

Student News

MAE senior Todd Dillon presented a paper titled “Towards An Automatic Mesh Deforming Tool for Computational Fluid Dynamics using Unstructured Quadrilateral Elements” at the AIAA Region I Young Professional, Student, and Education Conference 2013. The conference was held November 15 at Johns Hopkins University. Todd, who is advised by Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE), won the 2nd place award in the undergraduate category.

Wei Zhu, a doctoral student from Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang’s (MAE) lab gave a presentation titled “Highly Aligned Nanocomposite Scaffolds by Electrospinning and Electrospraying for Neural Tissue Engineering”at the 6th international IEEE EMBS Neural Engineering Conference, held November 5-8 in San Diego, CA.

Other News

This spring SEAS will offer a new technical elective,  SEAS 6100: Innovation & Technology. This three-credit course is about using creativity, engineering, and business skills to invent the next big thing. The course is open to both undergraduate and graduate students who are majoring in one of the engineering or business disciplines. The course will be offered Thursdays from 3:30 to 6:00 pm during the spring 2014 semester. More details are available @innovationGW or contact Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE).

The Faculty Regalia Sale will be held at the GW Bookstore on Thursday, December 5, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm and Friday, December 6, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. For questions about the sale or regalia, please contact Herff Jones at hjcollege@hjusa.net  or 703-368-9550.

Guest Vignette

Two-dimensional (2D) material in many ways resembles a piece of paper:  it can be rolled into a tube, and it buckles when compressed in plane. But it certainly differs from a piece of paper, too. For one thing, it is much thinner – typically of a few atoms thick. 2D materials form a new class of nano-materials that offer novel opto-electronic, thermo, magnetic, and mechanical properties.

Since 2006, Prof. Tianshu Li has been working on few-layer transition-metal dichalcogenides, a family of 2D materials composed of only three atomic layers in a sandwich-like structure. Prof. Li’s prediction of the variation of electronic energy band gap with number of layers and interlayer distance motivated the world’s first photoluminescence experiment of monolayer MoS2. By using the quantum simulation method based on density functional theory, Prof. Li is working on understanding the nature of the defects in monolayer MoS2, and their possible influence on the electronic, chemical, and mechanical properties of the material. The goal is to design heterostructured 2D material systems that will open new pathways towards the realization of new functionalities, particularly for energy harvesting and ultrafast optoelectronics.  (Provided courtesy of Prof. Tianshu Li of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)

SEAS Events

MAE Seminar: “Arterial Flows – The Magic of Numerics”
Speaker: Dr. L. Prahl Wittberg, Linné FLOW Center, KTH Mechanics, Stockholm, Sweden
Monday, December 2
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

SEAS Presents: "iOS7 for Developers: Learn about iOS Programming from an Apple Engineer"
Monday, December 2
6:00 - 8:00 pm
The Jack Morton Auditorium, MPA Building
We will discuss and demonstrate Apple's latest software development tools for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch, and show how individuals and institutions are building innovative mobile applications for their organizations and the wider world. We will highlight what's new for developers with iOS 7, deconstruct some popular applications, and show you how to get started building your own with Apple's free tools. We'll talk about native application development with Xcode, and review the integration and deployment options and Apple's developer program including the University Developer Program. And if the presenter messes up, we may accidentally wind up demonstrating the debugger as well.

CEE Seminar: “Persistent Shear Band in Unsaturated Porous Materials”
Speaker: Dr. Ronaldo I. Borja, Stanford University
Tuesday, December 3
1:00 – 2:00 pm
SEAS Dean's Conference Room (107 Tompkins Hall)
Refreshments will be served

MAE Seminar: "Lariats, Skirts, and the Dynamics of Flexible Bodies"
Speaker: Dr. James Hanna, Department of Engineering Science & Mechanics,  Virginia Tech
Friday, December 6
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: "Design and Manufacturing of Biologically Inspired Robots"
Speaker: Dr. Satyandra K. Gupta, Maryland Robotics Center, University of Maryland, College Park and NSF's Division of Information & Intelligent Systems
Monday, December 9
11:00 am
736 Phillips Hall

SAVE the DATE: 8th Annual SEAS Student Research & Development Showcase
Wednesday, February 19, 2014
12:00 – 3:00 pm (Poster set-up, Judging)
3:00 – 6:00 pm (Opens to the public)
Marvin Center Grand Ballroom
The R&D Showcase is a great opportunity for students to gain exposure for their projects and to network for jobs before graduation! The deadline to apply is December 20, 2013.
First Place = $5,000
Second Place = $4,000
Third Place = $3,000
Best Undergraduate Poster = $2,000
Entrepreneurship Prize = $2,000
Winning mentors will receive $1,000 per poster to be used towards research.

Other Events

Information Session:  GW CyberCorps cybersecurity scholarship program
Tuesday, December 3
5:30 – 6:30 pm
736 Phillips Hall
The scholarship program is for U.S. citizens who are or will be full-time students.  Applications are due January 31, 2014, and this is an excellent opportunity to get questions answered well before submitting an application. 

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Mohammadreza Ghahremani
Title of Dissertation: "Magnetocaloric Materials and Magnetic Refrigeration Systems"
Advisors: Profs. Edward Della Torre and Lawrence Bennett (ECE)
Tuesday, November 26
1:00 pm
Virginia Science and Technology Campus, 20101 Academic Way, Room 204

Name of Student Defending: Nadezhda Radeva
Title of Dissertation: “Generalized Temporal Focus+ Context Framework for Improved Medical Data Exploration”
Advisor: Prof. James Hahn (CS)
Tuesday, December 3
12:00 – 2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Name of Student Defending: Efsun Sarioglu
Title of Dissertation: “Effective Classification of Clinical Reports: Natural Language Processing-Based and Topic Modeling-Based Approaches”
Advisor: Prof. Hyeong-Ah Choi (CS)
Friday, December 6
1:00 - 3:00 pm
771 Phillips Hall

Name of Student Defending: Marjan Nabili
Title of Dissertation: "Ultrasound-enhanced Delivery of Antibiotics and Anti-inflammatory Drugs into the Eye"
Advisor: Prof. Vesna Zderic (ECE)
Tuesday, December 10
1:00 - 3:30 pm
640 Phillips Hall