SEAS Newsletter

July 16-29, 2018


Faculty News
Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE) is a co-principal investigator on the grant “Improving Antibiotic Stewardship: The Role of Communication in Patient Expectations and Attitudes.” This is a one-year, $40,000 GW Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund grant, and it will support an EMSE student to conduct research on how Yelp reviews affect antibiotic prescribing. The principal investigator is Dr. Monique Turner (School of Public Health). Separately, Dr. Broniatowski received a three-month, $15,000 award—the first in what is intended to be a series of funding installments—to work on DARPA's D3M (data-driven discovery of models) program. He is a subcontract on the grant to Parenthetic, LLC.


Dr. Erica Gralla (EMSE) is co-principal investigator with Dr. Carlos Santos-Burgoa (School of Public Health, principal investigator), Dr. Mona Atia (Elliott School of International Affairs), and Dr. Amira Roess (School of Public Health) on the grant “Are the poor most likely to die? Spatial patterns of excess mortality and poverty following natural disasters.” The $40,000, one-year grant is funded by GW’s Cross-Disciplinary Research Fund program.


Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) is the principal investigator on a four-year, $499,991, National Science Foundation grant titled “INFEWS: Quantifying complex adaptive FEW systems with a coupled agent-based modeling framework.” Dr. Shittu will work with his collaborators at University of Houston and Lehigh University to develop a new mathematical modeling framework to decipher the complex, adaptive food-energy-water system of systems (FEWSoS). The proposed modeling framework will center on an agent-based representation of the linkages among food, energy, and water sub-systems and between human and physical systems across multiple temporal and spatial scales. Under this funding mechanism, collaborators from Tsinghua University in China will also receive equivalent funding. The teams will test the utility of the developed FEWSoS modeling framework over two international river basins in the U.S. (Columbia River) and China (Mekong River) to elucidate similarities and differences in these FEWSoS and to generate new understanding that is transferable to other river basins. GW’s share of the grant is $139,500 over two years focusing on the energy sub-system.


Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) also has been awarded a one-year, $30,084 Duke Energy Renewables grant for his project “Evaluating the Ecosystem of Microgrids in the Arctic and Developing Countries.” The project will contribute to “Lighting Africa,” a joint initiative of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, by exploring a variety of adaptive technology choices that are specific to the arctic and developing countries in tandem with the local absorptive institutional capacities. Approximately 1.2 billion people worldwide lack access to electricity; and more than half of the world’s total un-electrified population live in Sub-Saharan Africa. Separately, Dr. Shittu, Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE), and Dr. Amira Roess (School of Public Health) have been awarded a follow-on one-year, $37,571 GW Cross Disciplinary Research Fund grant for their project “Improving Healthcare Intervention with Local Access to Electricity in Least Developed Countries.” Mobile devices can facilitate reporting within the health care system when disease outbreaks occur in the developing world. Unfortunately, inability to power these mobile devices is an enormous challenge faced by healthcare workers. The interdisciplinary team is working to characterize healthcare workers’ use of mobile devices, developing a prototype solution to provide locally-sourced electricity and conducting field testing to iterate on prototype design.


Media Mentions:
GW Today published a July 9 article on research conducted by Dr. Yongsheng Leng (MAE) and his doctoral student Rong-Guang Xu. The article is titled “SEAS Researchers Tackle Fundamental Science in New Paper.”


Dr. Michael Keidar (MAE) has published the following paper: D. Zolotuchin and M. Keidar. “Optimization of discharge triggering in micro-cathode vacuum arc thruster for CubeSats,” Plasma Source Science and Technology, Vol. 27, No. 7, 2018.


Dr. Zoe Szajnfarber (EMSE) and Dr. Erica Gralla (EMSE) have been awarded Best Paper of the Year in the journal Systems Engineering for their paper: Z. Szajnfarber and E. Gralla. “Qualitative methods for engineering systems: why we need them and how to use them,” Systems Engineering, 2017 20:497-511.


Conferences & Presentations:
On July 12, Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) gave the SciPy Conference Diversity Luncheon keynote, which was titled “Bias, Diversity, Backlash, Manifestos, and Rebuttals.” She published her address as a thoroughly referenced article on Medium.


Dr. David Broniatowski (EMSE) served as the local area chair for the 2018 SBP-BRIMS Conference (International Conference on Social Computing, Behavioral-Cultural Modeling & Prediction and Behavior Representation in Modeling and Simulation). The conference was held July 10-13 and hosted in GW’s Lehman Auditorium. The following work was presented by his lab: 1) S. Qi, L. AlKulaib, and D. A. Broniatowski. “Detecting and Characterizing Bot-Like Behavior on Twitter” (short paper); 2) Y. Zhou, M. Dredze, D. A. Broniatowski, and W. Adler. “Gab: The Alt-Right Social Media Platform” (poster); 3) A. Addawood, A. Alqahtani, A. Alshamrani, J. Diesner, and D. A. Broniatowski. “Understanding Controversial Discussions in Twitter: Women’s Driving in Saudi Arabia” (poster); 4) D. Hu and D. A. Broniatowski. “Exploring the Content of Misinformation from Multiple Perspectives” (extended abstract); 5) D. A. Broniatowski, A. Jamison, L. AlKulaib, and S. Qi. “A Tutorial on Bot-Like Behavior on Twitter” (invited tutorial); and 6) M. C. Smith, A. M. Jamison, and D. A. Broniatowski. “Analyzing Perceived Risk of Flu Vaccine on Twitter” (poster). EMSE doctoral students Pedram Hosseini and Michael Smith, both advised by Dr. Broniatowski, presented their work at the SBP-BRIMS doctoral consortium.

Other advisees of Dr. Broniatowski whose work was presented include: Amal Alqahtani, Lulwah AlKulaib, Amira Alshamrani, Dian Hu, and Sihua Qi.


On June 15, Dr. Ken Chong (MAE) delivered a Distinguished Lecture at the American Society of Civil Engineers Hong Kong Section. The venue was the University of Hong Kong and the topic was smart materials and systems. Dr. Chong also visited the new Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge, which spans 34 miles (55 kilometers) and is the longest sea-crossing bridge ever built in the world. In addition, he participated in an independent Focus Group Meeting commissioned to look into the operations of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council, a funding agency similar to the National Science Foundation.


Dr. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE) delivered a keynote address at the 20th IEEE International Conference on High-Performance Computing and Communications, held June 28-30 in Exeter, UK. The title of his talk was “Seeking Transformative Processor Paradigms for the Post-Moore's Law Era." While in the United Kingdom, Dr. El-Ghazawi also visited the University of Exeter and the Imperial College of London in his capacity as a Distinguished Visiting Fellow of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering.


On June 7, Dr. David Nagel (ECE, research professor) gave a WebEx lecture to examiners in the U. S. Patent and Trademark Office. The title of his lecture was “From Cold Fusion to Low Energy Nuclear Reactions and Beyond.”


Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) recently gave a number of presentations. At the Advanced Photonic Congress, held July 2-5 in Zurich, Switzerland, he presented: 1) “110 Attojoule-per-bit Graphene Plasmon Modulator on Silicon;” 2) “Integrated Photonic Residue Number System Arithmetic;” and 3) “Electro-optic Nonlinear Activation Functions for Vector Matrix Multiplications in Optical Neural Networks.” At the META 2018 Conference, held June 24 – July 1 in Marseille, France, he presented: 1) “Attojoule Modulators for Photonic Neuromorphic Computing” (invited); and 2) “Residue Number System Arithmetic Based on Integrated Nanophotonics.” And, at IEEE Summer Topicals, held July 9-12 in Waikoloa, HI, he presented “Electro-optic Activation Function for MAC-per-Attojoule Photonic Neuromorphic Computing” (invited). The presented work contributes to his collaboration with Dr. Tarek El-Ghazawi (ECE), Dr. Paul Prucnal (Princeton), and Dr. Jacob Khurgin (Johns Hopkins University).


Dr. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) recently presented two papers co-authored with collaborators and students: 1) J. Wu, S. Subramaniam, and H. Hasegawa. “Dynamic routing and spectrum assignment for multi-fiber elastic optical networks” (Advanced Photonic Congress, held July 2-5 in Zurich, Switzerland); and 2) M. Xu, S. Alamro, T. Lan, and S. Subramaniam. “Dynamic routing and spectrum assignment for multi-fiber elastic optical networks” (Proceedings of the IEEE International Conference on Distributed Computing Systems, held July 2-5 in Vienna, Austria).


Dr. Rene van Dorp (EMSE) and Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) attended this year’s Technology, Management and Policy Graduate Consortium, held June 17-19 at The Hague Campus of the Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. Two EMSE doctoral students, Janiele Custodio (advised by Dr. Shittu) and Domenico Amodeo (advised by Dr. Royce Francis), presented some aspects of their current research. Janiele’s talk was titled “Market Power in Renewable Energy Certificate Markets,” while Domenico’s presentation was titled “The Role of Protocol Layers and Macro-Cognitive Functions in Engineered System Resilience.” SEAS and EMSE will host the consortium in 2019.


SEAS Events
GW COMPASS & GWPA Event: Networking Success Secrets
Wednesday, July 18
11:30 am – 12:30 pm
SEH, 2000
Join us for a FREE lunch-time event to get advice on effective networking! Open to graduate students and postdocs, this event is co-hosted by GW COMPASS and the GWPA. Participants will learn techniques such as: starting a conversation, engaging in small talk, mastering the handshake, constructing an elevator pitch, and leveraging social medial to expand your network. This event will be led by the director of the Office of Postdoctoral Affairs at the Moffitt Cancer Center.


Entrepreneurship News & Events
GW’s Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (OIE) is looking for Entrepreneurial Fellows to work with its office during the upcoming academic year. The position is open to both FWS and non-FWS students. Interested students may find more information on the OIE website and may apply for the positions via Handshake.