March 22-28, 2021


March 22, 2021

Faculty News
Research & Grants:

Dr. Shelly Heller

The National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation have awarded Dr. Rachelle Heller (CS) a grant to host a 2021 Gen Cyber Camp this summer. This year’s camp, which will be virtual, is GW’s 7th Middle School Girls Cybersecurity Virtual Camp. This one-week program is available, without charge, to girls in middle school who have interest in learning about science, computers or math, as well as developing cybersecurity skills and learning about careers in the cybersecurity workforce. The program includes virtual field trips to the National Cryptologic Museum and meeting with some of the most prominent members of the cybersecurity field during special guest visits. Campers also receive a pair of micro-bit computers for the program’s daily cybersecurity work.

Dr. Volker Sorger

On February 16, the US Patent and Trademark Office issued US Patent No. 10,919,280, “Two-Dimensional Material Printer and Transfer System and Method for Atomically Layered Materials” to Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) and his colleagues.



Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE) and members of the GW SmartGrid Lab have recently published the following journal articles: 1) M. Alhazmi and P. Dehghanian, “Optimal Integration of Interconnected Water and Electricity Networks,” IET Generation, Transmission, and Distribution, February 2021; and 2) Z. Li, Z. Xuan, K. Li, F. Wang, Z. Mi, P. Dehghanian, W. Li, and M. Fotuhi-Firuzabad, “Monthly Electricity Consumption Forecasting: A Step-Reduction Strategy and Auto-Encoder Neural Network,” IEEE Industry Applications Magazine, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 90-102, March/April 2021.

Dr. David Nagel

Dr. David Nagel (ECE research professor) is the author of “Integration and Interfaces,” the featured article in the Spring 2021 issue of The Bent of Tau Beta Pi, the magazine of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society. The article deals with the teaching of inescapably interdisciplinary engineering.

Dr. Volker Sorger

Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) has published the following paper: J. K. George, C. Soci, M. Miscuglio, and V. J. Sorger, “Symmetry perception with spiking neural networks,” Scientific Reports, Vol. 11, Article number: 5776 (2021). In this paper the authors show that the coincidence detection property of a spiking-based feed-forward neural network enables mirror symmetry. Testing this algorithm exemplary on geospatial satellite image data sets reveals how symmetry density enables automated recognition of man-made structures over vegetation. They further demonstrate that the addition of noise improves feature detectability of an image through coincidence point generation. The ability to obtain mirror symmetry from spiking neural networks can be a powerful tool for applications in image-based rendering, computer graphics, robotics, photo interpretation, image retrieval, video analysis and annotation, and multi-media, and it may help accelerating the brain-machine interconnection. More importantly it enables a technology pathway in bridging the gap between the low-level incoming sensor stimuli and high-level interpretation of these inputs as recognized objects and scenes in the world.


Media Mentions:


Conferences & Presentations:

Dr. Michael Keidar

On March 8, Dr. Michael Keidar (MAE) gave an invited talk, titled “Recent Progress in Plasma-Based Cancer Treatment: Plasma Adaptation and Plasma Action Mechanism,” at ISPlasma2021 (13th International Symposium on Advanced Plasma Science and Its Applications for Nitrides and Nanomaterials) / IC-PLANTS2021 (14th International Conference on Plasma-Nano Technology & Science). The symposium and conference were hosted by Nagoya University (Japan).

Photo of Professor Luyao Lu

On March 17, Dr. Luyao Lu (BME) gave an invited talk, titled “Multimodal Flexible Optoelectronic Devices for Colocalized Electrophysiology and Optophysiology,” at the 2021 Minerals, Metals & Materials Society Annual Meeting.


Other News:

Dr. Paymen Dehghanian

Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE) is among 11 Thought Leaders selected nation-wide by IPC to assist the organization on key industry issues and offer valuable insights to IPC members and key external stakeholders. Separately, the editorial board of the IEEE Open Access Journal of Power and Energy has publicly recognized Dr. Dehghanian as an outstanding reviewer for 2020.


Student News

Mosatafa Nazemi, a PhD student in the GW Smart Grid Lab and an advisee of Dr. Payman Dehghanian (ECE), was awarded the 2021 IEEE Industry Application Society (IAS) Prevention through Design Student Engineering Initiative. He presented his poster, “Powering through Wildfires: An Integrated Solution for Enhanced Safety and Resilience in Power Grids,” during the IAS Electric Safety Workshop, which was held virtually March 8-11. Dr. Dehghanian also attended the event and served as the student program chair of the workshop.


Upcoming SEAS Events
ECE Distinguished Lecture Series: “Towards Biosensor Enabled Smart Dressings for Management of Chronic Wounds: Advances and Perspectives”
Speaker: Dr. Shekhar Bhansali, Florida International University
Tuesday, March 23
10:00 am (ET)
WebEx link
This lecture will count as part of the department’s colloquium requirements.


CSPRI Webinar: “Building Cybersecurity Resilience”
Speaker: Laura Bate, Senior Director, U.S. Cyberspace Solarium Commission
Thursday, March 25
12:00 noon (ET)
In March 2020, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission issued a report with 82 recommendations to improve U.S. cybersecurity, including many provisions designed to better enable resilience in the private sector and partnership across sectors. Over the course of the past year, these recommendations have been built into legislation, reflected in executive action, funded through Congressional appropriations, and explored in greater detail in a series of Commission white papers. This discussion will outline the current status of the Commission's work, expand on where the work is headed, and consider what other steps are required to advance cybersecurity resilience in the US. The intent of this and future Cyber Security and Privacy Research Institute (CSPRI) webinars is to give GW faculty and students glimpses of the vibrant information security and privacy sector in the Washington, DC region and to promote dialog and debate regarding breakthrough initiatives. The potential for support for research or conference papers on related topics will be part of the discussion.


BME Seminar: “High-density EEG, Robotic Lower Limb Exoskeletons, and Bionic Prostheses”
Speaker: Dr. Daniel Ferris, University of Florida
Wednesday, April 7
11:00 am – 12:00 pm (ET)
WebEx link


Entrepreneurship News & Events

GW Innovation Center Events
GWIC Spring 2021—We’re OPEN!

Bring your ideas and questions to the Innovation Center. We are here to help you with a range of expertise, from 3D modeling to equitable venture plans and human-centered design.


M06 Virtual Hours
Mondays 6:00 – 7:00 pm (ET) and Wednesdays 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET)
GWIC student fellows, Phoenix Price, Isabelle Carney, and Jamie Horowitz, will host virtual office hours to assist in making, design, and social impact project development.


Virtual Mentor Hours with Innovation Center Co-directors
Fridays 12:00 – 1:30 pm (ET): GWIC Founder and SEAS Chief Evangelist, Annamaria Konya Tannon
Thursdays, 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET): GWIC Co-director, Erica Cusi Wortham


For details and links, please visit the GWIC Events Page and Instagram @gwinnovationcenter.

GW Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Events:

Save the Date: 2021 GW New Venture Competition Finals
Thursday, April 15
More details will be announced soon.


External Events
ASME Webinar: “A Day in the Life of an Engineer Working at Northrop Grumman”
Thursday, March 25
1:00 pm (ET)
Have you ever wondered what it’s like to work as a mechanical engineer for America’s global aerospace and defense technology company? Come join us for this exclusive webinar with Laura Ahmetaj, a mechanical engineer at Northrop Grumman.


GW Undergraduate Series: “How Did You Get That?”
Friday, March 26
3:00 – 4:00 pm (ET)
Register (Students must register in advance using their GW email address. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.)
In the late 1990s the National Air and Space Museum collected, by acquisition and by loan, some of the most important astronomical instruments of the modern era. On loan are: William Herschel’s original 20-foot telescope with which he “gauged” the universe; the Newtonian Cage from the 100-inch telescope at Mount Wilson that Hubble used to prove that exist external to our Milky Way and they are moving away from one another; an original photodetector from the Kamiokanda neutrino telescope in Japan that was the first to detect neutrinos from a supernova in 1987; and other instruments. David DeVorkin, the senior curator for the history of astronomy at the National Air and Space Museum, will conduct a virtual tour of the gallery showing that “when we acquired new tools of perception, we found that the universe was not what we thought it was.” Dr. Rachel Riedner, associate dean of undergraduate studies, will moderate the discussion. This session is part of the GW Undergraduate Series, “Can't Get to DC Museums, Historical Sites, and Political Institutions? We will bring them to you!”


Wednesday, April 7
4:00 pm (ET)
Zoom link

  • Dr. David Nagel (ECE):The Lure of LENR (Low Energy Nuclear Reactions)
  • Dr. Dwight Kravitz (Psychological and Brain Sciences): “Bridging Neuroscience and Behavior Using Big Data
  • Dr. Diana Pardo Pedraza (Anthropology): “Playful intra-actions: Dog-Human Training in Mine Detection

The WOWTALK (What’s Our Work) Series brings together colleagues and students from disciplines associated with GW's Science and Engineering Hall—and related fields—to present new research and share ideas. These short talks (15 minutes each) are designed to introduce members of the GW community to current and exciting research projects, to initiate discussion, collaborate, share expertise, and promote research performed in the SEH and at GW. Students are welcome to attend. All WOWTALK sessions will be held via Zoom.


GW Undergraduate Series: “Destination Moon: The National Air and Space Museum's New Look at Lunar Exploration”
Friday, April 16
10:30 – 11:30 am (ET)
Register (Students must register in advance using their GW email address. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.)
In mid-2022, as part of the complete renovation of the National Mall Building, NASM will open Destination Moon, its new exhibition on lunar exploration from ancient dreams to the missions happening today. At its center will be the story of the Cold War Moon race and Project Apollo. Among the key artifacts will be the Freedom 7 Mercury capsule in which Alan Shepard became the first American in space and the Apollo 11 Command Module Columbia, which carried Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin to the Moon and back during the first human lunar landing. The latter spacecraft has returned from a national tour that was part of the Destination Moon project. A newly restored, giant mural of a lunar crater painted by famous space artist Chesley Bonestell in 1957 opens the exhibit, and it ends with another giant mural: a panorama of the lunar surface taken by the Apollo 17 astronauts. Hanging overhead are a test vehicle for the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, launched in 2009, and a model of the SLS/Orion vehicle that will launch the Artemis astronauts to the Moon in 2023/24. Michael Neufeld, senior curator of the National Air and Space Museum’s Department of Space History, will present. Dr. Rachel Riedner, associate dean of undergraduate studies, will moderate the discussion. This session is part of the GW Undergraduate Series, “Can't Get to DC Museums, Historical Sites, and Political Institutions? We will bring them to you!”


GW Research Showcase (formerly GW Research Days)
Monday, April 12 – Friday, April 16
Presenting at GW Research Showcase is a résumé-worthy opportunity for students to receive feedback on their projects, hone their presentation skills, and compete for prizes. This year’s event will be held virtually.


GW DIGITAL Health Summit graphic

Save the Date: GW Digital Health Summit
Wednesday, April 14 – Friday, April 16
GW will host its inaugural Digital Health Summit focused on the acceleration of digital technologies in health care and the implications for health care and academic environments alike. Presentations and discussions will focus on the state of the science, innovation and development with digital health technologies, as well as the gaps and opportunities that exist. The multi-day summit will focus each day on a key topic related to digital health: Day 1: Educational Needs; Day 2: Emerging Tech; and Day 3: Use of Tech. The summit will be hosted by GW’s: School of Nursing, SEAS, School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Milken Institute School of Public Health, Office of the Vice President for Research, and Medical Faculty Associates.

GW Career Center Events & Services:

Virtual coaching appointments available: Make your appointment with Dr. Merrill, the STEM industry coach. If you need tips on the virtual job search or virtual Interviewing or would like to work on your career strategy, spruce up your resume, or land an internship, make a virtual coaching appointment with her in Handshake or email her for more information.


Technical interview preparation: If you have a technical interview coming up, sign-up for the new technical interview slots in Handshake! See tips for technical interviews in Handshake Article # 18641, Technical Interview Tips.


Dissertation Defenses
Student Name: Shang Zhao
Title: “Machine Learning in Augmented Reality for Medical Training: An Intelligent Training Framework”
Advisor: Dr. James Hahn (CS); Presiding: Dr. Abdou Youssef (CS)
Monday, March 29 (ET)
10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Webex link