October 31 - November 6, 2011


October 31, 2011

Faculty News

Awards & Honors:

Prof. Abdou Youssef (CS chair), along with the NIST team that developed the IT components of the Digital Library of Mathematical Function (DLMF) project, received one of the 10 awards given by Government Computer News (GCN). Selected out of 200 nominations for the award, the winning teams were given the awards at the 24th Annual GCN Awards ceremony on October 19. The DLMF was deployed online in 2010 and required a whole suite of technologies for putting math on the Web.  At the request of NIST, Prof. Youssef did the research, design, and much of the development of the DLMF math search system, a first of its kind.  The GCN interview of Prof. Youssef and three others on the NIST team can be found online, as can the NIST award press release.

Prof. Timothy Wood (CS), who joined SEAS this fall, reports that his doctoral dissertation has been selected for an Outstanding Dissertation Award from the CS department at University of Massachusetts Amherst.  His former department will nominate his work for the ACM's Doctoral Dissertation award.

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) has been invited to join the editorial board of the International Journal of Biological Engineering.

Books & Papers:

Prof. Michael Keidar (MAE) published the following paper in the British Journal of Cancer (published by Nature): M. Keidar, R. Walk, A. Shashurin, P. Srinivasan, A. Sandler, S. Dasgupta, R. Ravi, R. Guerrero-Preston and B. Trink, "Cold plasma selectivity and the possibility of a paradigm shift in cancer therapy," British Journal of Cancer , 2011, Vol. 105, pp. 1295-1301.

Prof. Tian Lan (ECE) published the following paper with his collaborators at Purdue University and Princeton University: Tian Lan, Xiaojun Lin, and Mung Chiang, "Stability and Benefits of Suboptimal Utility Maximization," IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, Vol. 19, No. 4, pp. 1194-1207, August 2011. 

Prof. Adam Wickenheiser (MAE) has published the following Engineering Note: A. M. Wickenheiser and E. Garcia. "Extended Nonlinear Lifting-Line Method for Aerodynamic Modeling of Reconfigurable Wings," Journal of Aircraft, Vol. 48, No. 5, 2011, pp. 1812-1817.

Conferences & Presentations:

Prof. Sameh Badie (CEE) attended the National Bridge Conference sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute in Salt Lake City, UT, October 21-25.  At the Committee on Bridges, he delivered a presentation on full-depth precast deck panels for bridges.  His second presentation addressed the experimental outcomes of the NCHRP 18-14 project that was sponsored by the National Academies of Science.

Prof. Rumana Riffat (CEE) presented a paper at the 84th annual conference of the Water Environment Federation, held in Los Angeles, CA, October 15-19. The paper was co-authored by her (graduated) doctoral student Sebnem Aynur. The title of the paper is: "Comparison of Different Culturing Methods for Enumeration of E. Coli in Thermophilically Digested Biosolids."  At the same conference, her former student, Muriel Dumit (CEE, MS 2011), presented "The Impact of Post Anoxic Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations on Nitrous Oxide Emissions in Nitrification Processes," a paper she co-authored with Prof. Riffat.

Prof. Greg Shaw (EMSE) delivered a presentation titled "Motivation for and Barriers to Public/Private Partnerships for Emergency Preparedness" at the 20th annual Northeast Disaster Recovery Information X-Change (NEDRIX) Conference in Newport, RI on October 23.

Other News:

On October 15, Prof. Can Korman, associate dean for research and graduate studies, gave a presentation at the Tradeline Conference on the SEH.  The presentation was co-authored by Prof. Christopher Cahill of GW’s Chemistry Department and Prof. Randall Packer, associate dean, CCAS. Their presentation was one of the small number of presentations allocated to the conference's general assembly rather than to one of the smaller breakout sessions. Part of the reason why the talk was assigned to the large general assembly and the reason it went well is that the SEH project was by far the biggest, most complex, and highest quality project among all those presented this year. This is quite noteworthy given that there were many presenters from East Coast powerhouses such as Princeton, UVA, Harvard, Cornell, and MIT.  Prof. Korman reports that attendees from higher ranked schools, such as Washington University and MIT, approached him with questions on how we are doing things at GW. 

Claire Monteleoni's (CS) paper with Anna Choromanska, her co-supervised doctoral student from Columbia University, received the 3rd place student paper award for "Online Clustering with Experts," at the Machine Learning Symposium of the New York Academy of Sciences on October 21. The competition included 48 poster presentations from top machine learning departments and research labs. 

Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang’s (MAE) summer intern Owen Im, an undergraduate student from Duke University, gave a poster presentation titled "Magnetically Prepared SWCNT and Nano-hydroxyapatite Composite Hydrogels for Bone Tissue Engineering" at the undergraduate research session of the 2011 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT. The presentation was based on her summer research in Prof. Zhang’s lab.

Other News

Biomedical Engineering/Science Undergraduate Research Fellowship: The GW Institute for Biomedical Engineering is looking for undergraduate students who are interested in participating in biomedical research projects over Spring and Summer.  The deadline for application is December 1 at 5:00 pm.

On October 27, CSPRI (GW’s Cyber Security and Policy Research Institute) was the academic sponsor for a Washington Post Live breakfast panel discussion on cyber security featuring Janet Napolitano, secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and General Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA, who discussed the high-stakes public policy issues around cyber security that are important to us all.   Other speakers included Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX); Gregory P. Schaffer, acting deputy secretary for cyber security, National Protection and Programs Directorate, Department of Homeland Security; and Tim McKnight, vice president and CISO, Northrop Grumman Corporation.

GW’s Institute for Biomedical Engineering is pleased to announce the winners of the 2011-2012 Interdisciplinary Research Awards:

Decision Support System for Integrating Epidemic Surveillance, Regional Interdependencies, and Strategic Preparedness
Profs. Joost Santos (EMSE) and Larissa May (SMHS)

Develop a novel finite-element method solver of bi-harmonic equations to automate mesh deformation of the human vocal folds
Prof. Chunlei Liang (MAE)

Optimal Control of Anti-Tachycardia Pacing Therapy
Profs. Taeyoung Lee (MAE) and Matthew W. Kay (ECE)

Towards Multiscale Mechanical Design of Hierarchical Bone Materials
Profs. Xianqiao Wang (MAE) and Lijie Zhang (MAE)

Student News

Nathan Castro (MAE-doctoral student) gave an oral presentation titled "Biologically Inspired Nanobiomaterials for Orthopedic Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine" at the 2011 Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting in Hartford, CT.  In addition, he also served as the symposium co-chair of "Host Response to Biomaterials" on behalf of Prof. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE) during this BMES meeting.

Viviana Torres (CEE-graduate student) presented a paper at the 84th annual conference of Water Environment Federation, held in Los Angeles, CA, October 15-19. The paper was based on her master’s thesis and co-authored by her advisor, Prof. Rumana Riffat. The title of the paper is: "Determination of the Range of Anoxic Half Saturation Coefficients for Methanol."

Guest Vignette

Many of us have experienced an echo when using a telephone network or have been annoyed by strong acoustic echoes in a room.  It also often happens that our mobile phones lose signal and we try to find the best position to make our call.  These phenomena are related to reflections of electromagnetic or acoustic waves that are used to carry information. Typically, the reflections are well located in time and there are only a few strong ones, but the range of delays they can produce can be very large.

The mathematical models describing this can be sparse, i.e., having only several variables representing delays.  A problem of practical interest is how to use this sparsity to develop efficient algorithms that will work in real-time within electronic devices and try to cancel echo and muti-path adversary effects.  The algorithms should be adaptive, since they have to learn from the received signal the number of reflections, delays they are producing, and their strength.  Moreover, the reflections can change along time, and the algorithms should be able to track the changes without introducing a big lag.  This is an adaptive filtering problem whose goals are to provide good echo estimates, small residual echo after cancellation, small bit-error rate, fast convergence, good tracking, low computational complexity, robustness, and coverage of a large delay interval.  The adaptive filters in these applications can have thousands of coefficients, out of which-because of the sparsity-only a few should be active, but which one is not known in advance.

Dr. Milos Doroslovački and his students have been studying and developing the adaptive filtering algorithms that incorporate knowledge of signal sparseness. In particular, they have proposed several so-called proportionate-type adaptive algorithms. In these algorithms, the adaptation step size is different for different adaptive filtering coefficients and made proportional to the current estimate of the coefficients. They have developed several theoretically based methods for allocation of values to the adaptation step sizes in a way that provides fast echo cancellation.  They have also extended the principle of "water-filling" optimization to speed-up of the proportionate-type adaptive filtering algorithms. Their algorithms provide performances that are among the best in the field and often taken as benchmarks for comparison of newly developed algorithms.  (Provided courtesy of Prof. Milos Doroslovački of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering)

SEAS Events

NEW DATE: SEAS Resume Critique & Networking Reception
Tuesday, November 1
6:30 - 8:00 pm
Alumni House: 1918 F Street, NW

EMSE Seminar: "Emergency Care G.P.S.-a discussion on the state of emergency care in the U.S. and around the world" (This is a joint seminar among the GW Department of Emergency Medicine, the SPHHS Department of Health Policy, and EMSE.)
Wednesday, November 2
9:00 - 11:00 am
Jack Morton Auditorium
More info . . .

CEE Seminar: "Using Supercomputers to Model and Design Novel Materials and Molecules"
Dr. Steven Richardson, Howard University
Friday, November 4
2:00 - 3:00 pm
640 Phillips Hall
More info . . .

GW Culture Buffs at the National Air and Space Museum: Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
"The Future of Manned Space Flight... What's Next?"
Saturday, November 5
11:30 am - 1:30 pm: Lunch, Speaker & Panel Discussion, and Tours
14390 Air & Space Museum Pkwy, Chantilly, Virginia
Note: The participants include: Dr. Charles Camarda (SEAS '80), NASA astronaut and engineer; Dr. Scott Pace, director of the GW Space Policy Institute; renowned sculptor John Safer (Columbian College '47, honorary doctorate '09), creator of two sculptures featured prominently at the Udvar-Hazy Center; Randy Graves (SEAS ’78); and Dean David Dolling.

CEE Colloquium: "Introduction to Concrete Segmental Bridges"
William R. Cox, American Segmental Bridge Institute
Thursday, November 10
6:00 - 8:00 pm
405 Marvin Center
More info . . .

Entrepreneurship Events

Open Entrepreneurship House
Monday, October 31
3:00 - 5:00 pm
Kogan Plaza
No RSVP is needed

Pitch George Deadline
Tuesday, November 1
11:59 pm
Submit entries to www.pitchgeorge.com

Entrepreneurial Session 4: Market Research
Thursday, November 3
4:30 - 6:00 pm
453 Duques Hall

Entrepreneur Office Hours
Friday, November 4
1:00 - 2:00 pm
2033 K Street NW, Suite 750

External Events

NSF Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Colloquium: "Reducing the Impact of Earthquakes and Tsunamis on Society"
Professor Julio Ramirez, Purdue University, NEEScomm Center Director
Wednesday, November 2
4:30 pm
UDC Van Ness Campus, Building 41, Room A-03
For more information, contact asewer-gunthrope@udc.edu

GW Tech Alumni Group Discussion: "High-Performance Computing/Analytics and Its Applications to Industry (with a focus on IBM’s Watson)"
Tuesday, November 8
5:30 - 8:30 pm
Duques Hall, 6th floor

Dissertation Defenses

Name of Student Defending: Shutao Wang
Title of Dissertation: "Focused Ultrasound for Enhancement of Drug Delivery into Malignant Tissues"
Advisor: Prof. Vesna Zderic
Thursday, November 3
2:30 pm
736 Phillips Hall