June 30 - July 13, 2014


June 30, 2014

Faculty News

Awards & Honors:

Profs. Sameh Badie and Majid Manzari (CEE) , jointly with their former doctoral student Dr. Amir Arab, received the 2014 Martin P. Korm Award sponsored by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) for their paper, “ Analytical investigation and monitoring of end zone reinforcement of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Super Girders ,” published in Spring 2014. This award recognizes the paper published in the PCI Journal that is most worthy of special commendation for its merit as a contribution in design and research to the advancement of precast and prestressed concrete.


The Institute for Massively Parallel Applications and Computing Technologies (IMPACT), led by Prof. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE), has been awarded a two-year $90,000 grant from the GW CIFF program for the proposal titled “High-Performance Computing Simulations of the Brain for Neuroscience and Neuro-robotics.” The award will be used to establish cooperation with the European Union’s human brain project and to create a testbed for high-performance, hardware-accelerated human brain simulation using a well-established brain simulator like NEST. Through collaboration with the other SEAS faculty and GW’s Medical School, particularly the Children National Medical Center, the project aspires to provide, in addition to the testbed, some seed activities that can spur more innovations in computational neuroscience, computing, and neuro-robotics. Some of the long range questions to be addressed include: How can we establish a clear connection between computational and experimental results? Can we use such computational techniques to help in mapping brain functions to structure? Can we use biologically accurate brain simulation to control robots for improved autonomy? Can we use what we learn computationally about the brain to create new and improved computing models? Can hardware acceleration enable us to conduct simulations with a sufficiently large number of neurons and connections to help answer some of the other questions?

Prof. Vesna Zderic (BME) has been awarded a two-year, $152,500 NIH R03 grant to study the application of ultrasound for stimulation of pancreatic beta cells as a potential novel treatment for diabetes. Prof. Zderic and her doctoral student Ivan Suarez Castellanos are collaborating on this project with Prof. Aleksandar Jeremic from GW’s Department of Biological Sciences.

Media Mentions:

Allan Friedman (research scientist, Cyber Security Policy was quoted in the June 12 Washington Times article “ Consumer deals come at price of personal data ” and the June 12 Gov Info Security article “ Telecoms Asked to Devise Cybersecurity Plans.”and Research Institute)

Prof. Julie Ryan (EMSE) was interviewed for the June 2014 SC Magazine article “Mixing it up: Business smarts,” which focused on the question of whether graduate school can help propel technical cyber security professionals through the glass ceiling. Among the programs highlighted in the article is the Holistic Executive Cyber Corps program that Prof. Ryan co-developed with her colleague Prof. Diana Burley of GW’s Center for the Study of Learning.


Prof. Erica Gralla (EMSE) has published the following paper: E. Gralla, J. Goentzel, and C. Fine. “ Assessing Trade-offs among Multiple Objectives for Humanitarian Aid Delivery Using Expert Preferences ,” Production and Operations Management, Vol. 23, No. 6, June 2014.

Prof. Zhenyu Li (ECE) and his collaborators in Prof. Samuel Archilefu's group at Washington University St. Louis have published the following article: “ Antibody Quantum Dot Conjugates Developed via Copper-free Click Chemistry for Rapid Analysis of Biological Samples Using a Microfluidic Microsphere Array System ,” Bioconjugate Chemistry, June 2014.

Profs. Guru Venkataramani and Howie Huang (ECE), along with ECE doctoral student Jie Chen, published an article titled “Exploring Dynamic Redundancy to Resuscitate Faulty PCM Blocks” in the May 2014 issue of the ACM Journal for Emerging Technologies in Computer Systems.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Lorena Barba (MAE) gave three invited talks during the month of June. On June 4, she gave a talk titled “ PyGBe: an electrostatics solver for Biophysics using Python and GPUs” at the University of Southampton’s Next Generation Computational Modeling Centre (UK), followed by a June 10 talk titled “Lift and wakes of flying snakes” at Imperial College London’s Department of Aeronautics. On June 19, she was invited by the Propulsion Analysis Group to visit Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX) in Hawthorne, CA, to give a talk titled “Learning aerodynamic tricks from nature with immersed-boundary CFD on GPUs.”

Prof. Rachelle Heller (CS) is a co-author on the paper “What approaches work best for teaching secure coding practices?”, which was presented at the 2014 HUIC Education and STEM Conference, held June 16-18 in Honolulu, HI. The co-authors on the paper include: S. Chung, L. Hansel, Y. Bai, E. Moore, C. Taylor, M. Crosby, R. Heller, V. Popovsky, and B. Endicott-Popovsky.

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) presented a plenary talk titled “Cold atmospheric plasmas for medical application” and chaired a session meeting at the 26th Symposium of Plasma Physics and Technology, held June 16-19 in Prague, Czech Republic. He also gave an invited talk titled “Electric Space Propulsion” at the 41th EPS Conference on Plasma Physics, held June 23-27 in Berlin, Germany.

Prof. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE) gave a talk titled “$ per Watt Costs of Thermoelectric Waste-Heat Recovery for Stationary Applications” at the 2014 TechConnect World Innovation Conference & Expo 2014, held June 16-18 in Washington, DC. The conference “is the world’s largest multi-disciplinary multi-sector conference and marketplace of vetted innovations, innovators and technology business developers and funders. The TechConnect World houses four world-class technical events focused on advancements in Nanotech, Microtech, Biotech, Cleantech and the technology overlap between these converging domains.”

On June 24, Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE) gave a presentation titled “A fully compressible flow solver for interior stratified convection in stars” at the International Conference of Spectral and High-Order Methods (ICOSAHOM 2014) in Salt Lake City, UT. The authors of this research are J. Wang (MAE doctoral student), C. Liang, and M. Miesch (National Center for Atmospheric Research).

Prof. Murray Snyder (MAE) presented the following peer-reviewed paper at the 32nd American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Applied Aerodynamics Conference: M. Snyder, A. Kumar, and P. Ben-Tzvi. “Off Ship Measurement of Ship Air Wakes Using Instrumented Unmanned Aerial Vehicles,” AIAA Paper 2014-3100, Atlanta, GA, June 16-20, 2014.

Dr. Costis Toregas (associate director, Cyber Security Policy and Research Institute) was invited to give a keynote address on eco-entrepreneurship at the American University of Beirut on June 9. In Beirut, he also met with engineering faculty, the dean of the computer science department, and the Nature Conservation Center of the American University of Beirut.

Prof. Guru Venkataramani (ECE) and his doctoral student Jie Chen presented their recently published paper, “An Algorithm for Detecting Contention-Based Covert Timing Channels on Shared Hardware,” at the HASP workshop, held in conjunction with the 41st ACM International Symposium on Computer Architecture. The symposium was held June 14-18 in Minneapolis, MN.

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) was invited by Georgetown University’s Department of Neurology to give a seminar talk on June 19 at the Neurosciences Grand Rounds Lecture series. The title of her talk was “Integrating Nanotechnology and 3D Bioprinting for Neural Tissue Regeneration.”

On June 17-20, SEAS doctoral students Wei Zhang (CS), Pradeep Kumar (ECE), and Ahsen Uppal (ECE), Profs. Howie Huang (ECE) and Timothy Wood (CS), and recent alumni Ron Chiang (ECE) and Jinho Hwang (CS) attended the USENIX Federated Conference Week in Philadelphia, PA, where they presented three papers:

  1. “Load Balancing of Heterogeneous Workloads in Memcached Clusters.” Wei Zhang, Timothy Wood, H. Howie Huang, Jinho Hwang, and K.K. Ramakrishnan. USENIX International Workshop on Feedback Computing, June 2014.
  2. “Matrix: Achieving Predictable Virtual Machine Performance in the Clouds.” Ron C. Chiang, Jinho Hwang, Howie Huang, and Timothy Wood. USENIX International Conference on Autonomic Computing (ICAC), June 2014.
  3. “SmartSwitch: Blurring the Line Between Network Infrastructure & Cloud Applications.” Wei Zhang, Timothy Wood, K.K. Ramakrishnan, and Jinho Hwang. USENIX Workshop on Hot Topics in Cloud Computing (HotCloud), June 2014.

Other News:

Prof. Ken Chong (MAE) was in Hong Kong June 16-22, invited by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council to serve as an engineering panelist and assist in the review and selection of research proposals. About 40% of the proposals will be funded and some of the successful proposals involved collaboration with U.S. co-PIs. While in Hong Kong, Prof. Chong also was invited to participate in a site visit to the Hong Kong Institute of Education, a very unique institute focusing on the integration of research and education among other missions.

Prof. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE) has been reappointed to serve another one-year term on the IEEE Fellows Committee. This is the third year in the row in which he will serve in this capacity, helping select new IEEE Fellows nominated through the IEEE Computer Society. He also has been selected for one more year as an IBM Faculty Research Fellow through the IBM Center for Advanced Studies in Toronto. IBM has repeatedly funded Prof. El-Ghazawi’s research, and his collaboration with IBM will include productivity of graphical processing units (GPUs) and heterogeneous acceleration for data analytics.

Prof. Lance Hoffman (CS) traveled to the CISSE (Colloquium for Information Systems Security Education) conference, held June 16-18 in San Diego, CA, to accept GW's designation as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance/Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R).

Prof. Howie Huang (ECE) and his doctoral student Hang Liu have built a new breath-first graph search system that is ranked No. 1 in the Small Data category of the third Green Graph 500 list, and No. 43 in the Graph 500 list of June 2014. The Graph 500 benchmark measures the performance of the world's most powerful supercomputers on big data applications, and the complementary Green Graph 500 focuses on energy efficiency of big data computing with performance per watt metrics. The new GW system Colonial efficiently utilized NVIDIA donated K40 GPUs (graphics processing units) in a single server and was able to traverse a graph with 1 million nodes and 1 billion edges in 0.009 second. This system won the top place in the recent rankings with 122 billion TEPS (traversed edges per second) and led to 446 million TEPS per watt.

Prof. has been selected to serve as the chair of the Acrivos Dissertation Award Committee of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics for the year 2014.Kausik Sarkar (MAE)

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) has been invited to serve as the U.S. regional editor for the journal Current Biomedical Engineering.

As the executive chair of the Technical Group for Nanophotonics of the Optical Society of America (OSA), Prof. Volker Sorger (ECE) organized an OSA Incubator meeting titled “ Nanophotonic Devices: Beyond Classical Limits ” and held May 14-16 in Washington, DC. These incubator meetings are invitation-only and feature hand-selected experts from the field. The objective of this incubator was to determine the ultimate opto-electronic device limitations while suggesting potential solutions to overcome them. Expertise, vision, and insights from academia, industry, and funding agencies were shared, discussed, and gathered, resulting in an accelerated pathway for future research and shortened communication between all players. A report, technical paper, and summarizing panel will follow the meeting, which was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Thorlabs, and GW. The meeting was part of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) and also discussed the recent RFI for a photonics national network for manufacturing innovation.

Student News

Nathan Castro, Benjamin , and Wei Zhu, doctoral students from Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang’s (MAE) lab, gave the following presentations at the TechConnect World Conference and Expo, held June 15-18 in Washington, DC:Holmes

  1. N. Castro and L. Zhang: “Three-Dimensional Bioprinted Biomimetic Nanocomposite Scaffolds for Osteochondral Regeneration.”
  2. B. Holmes and L. Zhang. “Enhanced Mechanical and Cytocompatibility Properties of Novel 3D Printed Osteochondral Scaffolds.”
  3. W. Zhu and L. Zhang. “Electrospun Nanocomposite Nerve Guidance Conduits for Peripheral Neural Regeneration.”

Barba-group doctoral student Olivier Mesnard attended the International HPC Summer School/Challenges in Computational Science, held June 1-6 in Budapest, Hungary. The program was a fully-funded (competitive) training event organized by XSEDE, PRACE, Riken and Calcul Canada.

ECE doctoral student Fan Yao (advised by Prof. Guru Venkataramani) presented his research paper, “A Comparative Analysis of Data Center Network Architectures,” at the IEEE ICC-NGN '14 conference, held June 10-14 in Sydney, Australia. The paper was co-authored by ECE doctoral student Jingxin Wu, and Profs. Guru Venkataramani and Suresh Subramaniam (ECE).

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