March 5-11, 2012


March 5, 2012

Faculty News


Prof. Tian Lan (ECE) has received a grant from DARPA (subcontract through TT Government Solutions) for "Autonomous Collaborative Control for Resilient Cyber Defense (ACCORD)." In response to physical or cyber attacks that diminish cloud capacity, ACCORD utilizes distributed bargaining algorithms to re-apportion remaining network and computational resources among users in a prioritized fashion, maximizing the net expected utility that the mission obtains from the cloud. This will be a four-year collaborative effort led by TT Government Solutions. The GW portion of the grant is $400,000.


"Interactive Visualization and Analysis of Multimodal Datasets for Surgical Applications," an article co-authored by Prof. James Hahn (CS) and his former doctoral students and postdoc, Can Kirmizibayrak, Yeny Yim, and Mike Wakid, was published online in February in the Journal of Digital Imaging.

"Large Eddy Simulation of Pulsating Flow over a Circular Cylinder at Subcritical Reynolds Number," a 2007 article authored by Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE), and G. Papadakis, has been included on the Elsevier "Most Cited Computers & Fluids Articles" list. The article also topped the list of hottest articles in the journal Computers & Fluids.

Media Mentions:

Prof. Zoe Szajnfarber (EMSE) was quoted in Aviation Week and Space Technology on February 28. The article, "Experts: Commercial Space Day Has Not Come," discusses the state of the market for commercial space transportation.

Other News:

Sam Rothman, professor emeritus, passed away on February 12 at the age of 92. Prof. Rothman joined the Department of Engineering Administration (the precursor to EMSE) in 1974, and six months later was asked to serve as the department chairman. He served as chairman for nine years, helping to grow the department’s on-campus and off-campus engineering administration programs. He moved to part-time status in 1985 and officially retired from GW in 1990. 

Students News

Lauren Wingo (CEE masters student) was interviewed by the Washington Examiner about the Solar Decathlon project and her participation in it. Her "3-Minute Interview" was published in the March 1 issue of the Examiner.

Three SEAS students have been selected as members of GWs 2012 Colonial Cabinet: sophomores Jeff Birenbaum and Alyse Stone, and freshman Shaffer Bond. Congratulations to Jeff, Alyse, and Shaffer.

Other News

SEAS is a sponsor of the 2012 USA Science and Engineering Festival (April 27-29), a collaborative effort of the global STEM community to re-invigorate the interest of our nation's youth in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). As part of the Festival, SEAS will host a FREE, one-of-a-kind panel discussion and book signing with best-selling science author-pioneer, Robin Cook; Wolfram Mathematica co-founder and pictorial periodic table pioneer, Theodore Gray; engineer and practical pyromaniac, William Gurstelle; retired rocket scientist and author of October Sky, Homer Hickam; award-winning history and science storyteller, Joy Hakim; and physician, philanthropist, and writer, Pendred Noyce. Shawn Lawrence Otto will moderate the discussion. The discussion and book signing will take place on April 28, from 7:30 to 10:00 pm. 

Guest Vignette

Individuals, businesses, militaries, and governments all rely on computing systems to accomplish everyday tasks. But those systems fail to be trustworthy in many ways: information and resources that are supposed to remain secret can instead be revealed, data that is supposed to be modified only in approved ways can instead be maliciously changed, and systems that are supposed to remain accessible can instead be taken offline by attackers. Attacks such as these are prevalent and underscore the need to improve cybersecurity.

How can we evaluate improvements in cybersecurity, or make design tradeoffs involving cybersecurity? Scientists and engineers typically evaluate and make tradeoffs by measuring properties of interest. Unfortunately, in cybersecurity, we know little about how to measure security and express it in numbers. So, principled evaluations can be difficult to achieve.

This state of affairs would have been troubling to the scientist Lord Kelvin, for whom the unit of temperature was named. He said, "When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meager and unsatisfactory kind; it may be the beginning of knowledge, but you have scarcely in your thoughts advanced to the state of Science." Were we to accept that reasoning, we would be forced to admit that cybersecurity is scarcely a science” yet.

So, one of the primary goals of my research is to advance the science of security by improving our capability to quantify the three fundamental aspects of information security: confidentiality (keeping data secret), integrity (keeping data trustworthy), and availability (making data obtainable). By creating quantitative metrics for these, we'll be well on our way to a quantitative basis for security. That will help us to build new systems that are inherently more secure, as well as to make informed decisions about the security of existing systems. (Provided courtesy of Prof. Michael Clarkson of the Department of Computer Science)

SEAS Events

CS Seminar: "Factor Graphs, Bayes Trees, and Preconditioning for SLAM and SFM"
Frank Dellaert, Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology
Thursday, March 8
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: "Comparison of hp-Adaptive Finite Element Strategies"
William F. Mitchell, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Thursday, March 22
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

MAE Seminar: "Imaging Tissue Optical Properties Using the Interaction of Light and Sound"
Ronald A. Roy, Boston University, Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
Thursday, April 19
2:00 pm
736 Phillips Hall

Save the Date: SEAS Graduation Celebration
Friday, May 18
7:30 pm
Smith Center (a reception in the Marvin Center Ballrooms precedes the event)

Entrepreneurship Events

Startup DC Student Career Expo
Monday, March 5
1:00 - 4:00 pm
Marvin Center, 3rd Floor

Related GW Events

Visualizing Nuclear Energy
Wednesday, March 7
3:00 - 4:00 pm
602 Elliott School of International Affairs
1957 E Street, NW