February 9-15, 2015


February 9, 2015

Faculty News

Research & Grants:

Prof. Howie Huang (ECE) has been awarded an $83,000 NSF grant to organize the CAREER Workshop 2015 for the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).  This workshop will bring together about 200 junior faculty in CISE-related disciplines from universities across the nation, introduce them to the NSF CAREER program, and help them prepare their CAREER proposals to CISE programs.


Prof. Larry Bennett (ECE) reports that the article “Cooling factor for magnetic refrigeration systems,” authored by Mohammadreza GhahremaniLawrence BennettEdward Della Torre, et al. of GW’s Institute for Magnetics Research is the most read and featured article in the on-line journal Cogent Physics.  He adds, “In the advancement of alternative energy sources, magnetocaloric effect shows a promising technology for development of compact and energy efficient magnetic refrigerators. In the past 20 years, there has been a surge in research on the magnetocaloric response of materials, due mainly to the possibility of applying this effect for magnetic refrigeration close to room temperature. However, the magnetic materials available and studied by the scientific community do not yet have the necessary characteristics to be used in large scale, due to technological and/or economic restrictions. This article proposes a new parameter, Cooling Factor (CF), which provides a more representative measure of the cooling performance of magnetic refrigeration systems.” 

Other News

Graduate Recruiting & Admissions: The Graduate Admissions office will host an online information session on February 17 at 8:00 am. Winnie Carr will recruit at the Society of Women Engineers’ (SWE) regional conference in Philadelphia, PA on February 21. More information about this and other graduate recruitment events can be found at www.graduate.seas.gwu.edu. The fall application deadline has passed. Students who are still interested in applying for the fall should email [email protected]. As a reminder, all requests for graduate coordinators should be sent to [email protected].

SEAS Graduate Career Services: The Stroz Friedberg's Tech Talk featuring SEAS Alumnus Jess Smith hosted by the Graduate Career Services Team was a success and the company looks forward to interviewing our CS students.  The Graduate Career Services Team hosted the “What Employers Want You to Know” workshop on February 5 to help SEAS graduate students understand the recruiting cycle.  The office will host the following upcoming events: a resume workshop (Wednesday, February 11 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in SEH 2000B); and an international coffee hour (Thursday, February 26 from 4:00 – 5:00 pm in SEH 2000B).  Weekly Featured Graduate Career Services Informational Resource: 10 Companies Hiring Like Crazy in January.

Guest Vignette

Antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health. Resistance makes it harder for physicians to treat infections and can increase the chance patients will die from an infection. This also greatly increases the costs of healthcare because current treatments are less effective. Nevertheless, current approaches that aim to reduce the misuse of antibiotics have been ineffective. These approaches largely focus on educating patients about the differences between viruses and bacteria. For example, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) run a program called “Get Smart,” which advises patients about the symptoms that are typically associated with viral illnesses, and thus do not require antibiotics.

Prior research has found that patient expectations can drive inappropriate prescribing and that doctors often write prescriptions based on their beliefs about what patients expect. In order to understand what underlies patient expectations, we surveyed 113 patients in an inner-city emergency department. We found that less than half (48%) of patients surveyed believe that antibiotics will cure a viral illness. On the other hand, three-quarters of patients surveyed agreed that they would take antibiotics “just in case” or because “it can’t hurt.” This means that efforts to educate patients about the difference between bacteria and viruses do not address the misconceptions that cause many patients to expect antibiotics. According to Fuzzy Trace Theory (FTT), a theory of medical decision-making, patients interpret the decision of whether or not to take antibiotics based on how they perceive risk. These perceptions, called “gists,” can be quite independent of the actual risk they face. For example, patients will tend to compare risks with the status quo. They reason that if they do not feel well, they can take an antibiotic and possibly get better, or they can do nothing and definitely stay sick.  These misconceptions can be two-sided. Patients might believe that antibiotics have some chance of making them better. At the same time they might believe that there is basically no chance of harmful side effects from antibiotics.

It is false that antibiotics “can’t hurt.” Many common antibiotics can have harmful side effects. These can include allergic reactions, and secondary infections, like Clostridium difficile. Secondary infections have been estimated to result in approximately 140,000 emergency department visits annually, or approximately one out of every 2,000 antibiotic prescriptions. Serious side effects have also been documented for some antibiotics. One common antibiotic carries an increased risk of retinal detachment and another carries a risk of serious arrhythmia. Antibiotics can also have uncomfortable and costly side effects, such as diarrhea, colitis, reflux, nausea or headache. Repeated antibiotic use can pose personal resistance-related risks, including hard-to-treat infections, increased time in the hospital and larger medical bills. Antibiotic resistance is also a significant threat to the population.

Our results suggest that physicians and public health officials need to understand how patients understand risk when it comes to using antibiotics. It is important to educate patients about the differences between viruses and bacteria. But, this is not enough. Talking about antibiotic resistance is also not likely to influence individual behavior. Patients must know that antibiotics can hurt, and that when taken in the wrong circumstances, they just won’t do any good.  (Provided courtesy of Prof. David Broniatowski, Department of Engineering Management and Systems Engineering)

SEAS Events

MAE Seminar: “Application of Microwave Energy to Consolidate Metallic Powder of Titanium”
Speaker: Dr. M. Ashraf Imam (SEAS, MAE)
Thursday, February 12
2:00 pm
SEH B1270

CEE Colloquium: “Electronic Structure of Molecular Magnets: Successes within GGA and Challenges for SIC”
Speaker: Dr. Mark Pederson, Department of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University; Office of Science, Department of Energy
Friday, February 13
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
SEH 2000B

Engineers' Ball 2015
Saturday, February 21
6:00 – 11:00 pm
Old Ebbitt Grill (675 15th Street, NW)
Tickets to the Engineers' Ball can be picked up on the second floor of the SEH at the SEAS Student Services Front Desk (SEH Suite 2500), Monday - Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.  The ticket sales deadline is February 13, and the pricing is: SEAS Undergraduate Student - $35; SEAS Graduate Student - $50; SEAS Faculty, Staff, & Alumni - $50; Guests - $50.  Only one SEAS ticket and one guest ticket per person is allowed.  Cash only.  Contact the E-Council with any questions at [email protected].

ECE Seminar:  “Generation of Pure Spin Currents Using Magnetic Insulators”
Presenter: Mingzhong Wu
Wednesday, February 25
4:30 – 5:30 pm
SEH 2000B

MAE Seminar: “Enforcing realizability in explicit multi-component species transport”
Presenter: Randall McDermott, Fire Research Division, Engineering Laboratory, NIST
Thursday, February 26
2:00 pm
SEH B1270

External Events

Success Strategies for International Students Attending the Career Fair
Monday, February 9
4:00 – 5:30 pm
307 Marvin Center
Hosted by the Center for Career Service

2015 Spring Career & Internship Fair
Wednesday, February 11
1:00 – 5:00 pm
Charles E. Smith Center
Registration is now open in GWork!  

Association of Energy Engineers National Capitol Chapter Luncheon Program: Women in Energy and Environmental Leadership
Friday, February 20
11:30 am – 2:00 pm
SEH, Lehman Auditorium
The program will be followed by a GW Showcase on Energy and Sustainability Research and Leaders in Energy professional networking event.

SEAS Career Center News

NASA Academy Internship: The deadline to apply for the NASA Academy Internship is Sunday, February 15. The Academy is the premier internship offered by NASA and has a main goal of training future leaders of the space industry. The summer research program attracts undergraduate and graduate students of various backgrounds, mostly in STEM fields. Background information on the program is available on Youtube.

Entrepreneurship News & Events

Office of Entrepreneurship Spring Workshop: "Creating Financial Projections for a Startup"
Wednesday, February 11
5:30 - 7:00 pm
255 Duques Hall

Save the date for these other Office of Entrepreneurship upcoming workshops/events:

February 18: Writing a Successful Business Plan
February 25: Special Topics: Foreign Startup Founders
March 11: Keeping Your Legal House in Order
March 18: Your Startup's Pitch and Visual Deck
April 14: GW Business Plan Competition Finals, Jack Morton Auditorium

Doctoral Dissertations

Student's Name: Kimberly S. Stambler
Dissertation Title: "Intermediate and Long-Range Incident Action Planning For Complex and Extended Incidents"
Advisor: Prof. Joseph Barbera (EMSE)
Monday, February 9
1:00 pm
2600 SEH

Student's Name: Amine El Haimar
Dissertation Title: "Stochastic Risk Analysis of Influenza Pandemic on Interdependent Workforce Sectors Using Input-Output Modeling"
Advisor: Prof. Joost Reyes Santos (EMSE)
Wednesday, February 25
1:00 – 3:00 pm
2600 SEH