September 4-9, 2018


September 4, 2018

Faculty News
Dr. Shelly Heller (CS) is the principal investigator on a five-year, $4.8 million National Science Foundation grant for “PISCES 2023 - Partnership in Securing Cyberspace through Education and Service (Renewal).” Funding through the PISCES program provides full scholarships for students to study cybersecurity at GW for up to three years. After completing their coursework, students help protect the nation's information infrastructure by working as security experts in a government agency for at least the amount of time they were supported by the program.


Dr. Russell Hemley (CEE) is the principal investigator on a three-year, $590,338 National Science Foundation grant for the project “Simple Molecular Systems at Ultrahigh Pressures.”


Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) recently received a $50,000 National Science Foundation team grant for the project “Developing a National Market for Renewable Energy Certificates.” The grant gave his team access to summer 2018’s NSF I-Corps cohort in Austin, TX, that ends later this week. Dr. Shittu is the principal investigator on the grant, and his team includes his graduate student Janiele Custodio, who is serving as the entrepreneurial lead, and renewable energy consultant Miguel Campo, who is serving as the industrial mentor. This is the second time that Dr. Shittu has led a team to the national program. The entrepreneurial lead to summer 2017’s cohort, Connor Roberts, now runs a start-up company named CMR Innovations, which is based on his participation in the program last year.


Dr. Ekundayo Shittu (EMSE) and co-principal investigators, Ms. Annamaria Konya Tannon (SEAS chief evangelist for innovation) and Dr. Saniya LeBlanc (MAE), have received a $45,000 National Science Foundation grant for their project “Strategies for Engaged-Student Learning Innovation and Curriculum Enhancement in Undergraduate Engineering Education.” Social innovation (strategies for meeting societal needs), when combined with entrepreneurship (launching of new businesses), can potentially energize and strengthen civil society. This project aims to create a comprehensive roadmap to increase engagement of engineering students through an innovative combination of social innovation and entrepreneurship. A one-day workshop will use a discovery process to identify the current and potential practices in this area. Dr. Erica Wortham (SEAS Innovation Group) is the senior personnel on the project.


Dr. Suresh Subramaniam (ECE) and his collaborator at San Jose State University have received a three-year, $496,000 National Science Foundation grant titled “Design and Provisioning for Inter-Datacenter Multi-granular Flexible Optical Networks.” GW's share of the award is $300,000. Large-scale data centers are constantly evolving to meet the ever-increasing demand for cloud computing services. As the scale of the data continues to increase and latencies become more and more important, providers are turning to geo-distributed datacenters to serve customers at the most proximal datacenter location. These new requirements pose a serious challenge to network operators, who have to come up with a flexible and reliable solution while considering the operational benefits that can potentially result. Recent advances in agile and flexible optical networking have made Flexible Optical Networks (FONs) a promising candidate for meeting the dynamic and heterogeneous connection demands between datacenters. Nevertheless, as networks scale in capacity, fine-grained switching of slots becomes prohibitively expensive; a flexible wavebanding optical cross-connect (OXC) has been recently proposed to offset the large increase in cost. The goal of this project is to develop design and provisioning strategies for multi-granular inter-datacenter FONs. The results of the project will inform the design of agile and flexible optical networks for inter-datacenter networking.


Media Mentions:
Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) was quoted in Nature’s August 20 Technology Feature, “A toolkit for data transparency takes shape.” The feature highlighted her group’s reproducibility practices.


Dr. David Broniatowski’s (EMSE) recent research on the impact that social media bots and Russian trolls have had on vaccine discussions on Twitter continued to receive significant media attention last week. As of August 31, the research had been mentioned in 178 news outlets. A sampling of last week’s media coverage includes: the August 24 Agence France-Presse article, “Russian trolls spread misinformation in vaccine debate;” the August 25 Forbes article, “That Anti-Vaccination Message May Be From A Russian Bot Or Troll;’’ the August 27 article, “In another attack on Western society, Russian trolls sow doubt about vaccines,’’ published in The Los Angeles Times; the August 29 article, “Russian Twitter trolls are ‘weaponising’ the online vaccine debate,” published in The Telegraph (UK); and the August 30 article, “Russian trolls fan flames in U.S. vaccine debate,’’ published by Reuters. In addition, The Washington Post Editorial Board published the August 28 article, “As if bots weren’t bad enough already, now they’re anti-vaccine.’’


Dr. Maddury Somayazulu (associate research professor, CEE), Dr. Muhtar Ahart (associate research professor, CEE), Dr. Russell Hemley (CEE), and their colleagues have published the following paper: A. K. Mishra, T. Muramatsu, H. Liu, Z. M. Geballe, M. Somayazulu, M. Ahart, M. Baldini, Y. Meng, E. Zurek, and R. J. Hemley. “New Calcium Hydrides with Mixed Atomic and Molecular Hydrogen,” Journal of Physical Chemistry C, Vol. 122, pp. 19370-19378, 2018. The paper reports a new high-pressure study of energy-relevant materials conducted by the Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree) and the Capital/Department of Energy Alliance Center (CDAC) materials science centers, headquartered at SEAS. EFree and CDAC are supported by the U.S. Department of Energy.


Dr. Russell Hemley’s (CEE) research group also has published the following paper: M. Somayazulu, M. Ahart, A. K. Mishra, Z. M. Geballe, M. Baldini, Y. Meng, V. V. Struzhkin, and R. J. Hemley. “Evidence for superconductivity above 260 K in lanthanum superhydride at megabar pressures,” arXiv, 1808.07695. The paper was also mentioned in the August 23 Physics Today article, “Pressurized superconductors approach room-temperature realm.” This important experimental effort has been led by Dr. Maddury Somayazulu (associate research professor, CEE). Additional confirmatory experiments are underway by the team in the Capital/Department of Energy Alliance Center (CDAC) and Energy Frontier Research in Extreme Environments (EFree), using the various resources across the two centers, including Argonne and Brookhaven. The realization of superconductivity at room temperature has been a dream of physics since 1911, when superconductivity was discovered in mercury at 4 K.


Dr. David Nagel (ECE) has published the following article: D. J. Nagel. “Expectations of LENR Theories,” Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science, Vol. 26, pp. 15–31 (2018).


Dr. Kausik Sarkar (MAE) has published a collaborative journal article with his doctoral student Mitra Aliabouzar and Dr. Lijie Grace Zhang (MAE): M. Aliabouzar, L. G. Zhang, and K. Sarkar. “Acoustic and mechanical characterization of 3D-printed scaffolds for tissue engineering applications,” Biomedical Materials, 13,055013. Dr. Sarkar published a separate journal article with his doctoral student Lang Xia and other collaborators: P. Kulkarni, M. K. Haldar, F. Karandish, M. Confeld, R. Hossain, P. Borowicz, K. N. Gange, L. Xia, K. Sarkar, and S. Mallik. “Tissue-penetrating, hypoxia-responsive echogenic polymersomes for drug delivery to solid tumors,” Chemistry A European Journal, 24, 12490-12494.


Conferences & Presentations:
Dr. Lorena Barba (MAE) gave the talk “Flipped learning with Jupyter: Experiences, best practices, and supporting research” on August 23 at JupyterCon 2018 in New York City. (See the presentation slides on Figshare.) Dr. Barba also served as co-chair of the Education Track at the conference.


Dr. Volker Sorger (ECE) gave four talks at the SPIE Optics and Photonics conference, held August 19-23 in San Diego, CA: 1) “Electro-optic Activation Function for MAC-per-Attojoule Photonic Neuromorphic Computing” (invited); 2) “Heterogeneous Integrated Electro-optic Modulators (and Detectors) on Silicon;” 3) “Residue Number System Arithmetic Based on Integrated Nanophotonics;” and 4) “Electrical-driven Plasmon Source on Silicon Based on Quantum Tunneling.”


Other News:
Dr. Howie Huang (ECE) and his doctoral students Yang Hu, Hang Liu (now assistant professor at University of Massachusetts Lowell), and Ahsen Uppal won a Champion Award and a Student Innovation Award at the IEEE High-Performance Extreme Computing 2018 Graph Challenge. The challenge seeks novel graph theoretic solutions to understand the events and relationships in big data from various domains, such as social networks, scientific experiments, and IoT (Internet of Things). Dr. Huang’s team has been invited to present their research at the upcoming IEEE High-Performance Extreme Computing 2018 conference.


SEAS Events
CEE Seminar: “Stress and Pore Pressure in Mudrocks Bounding Salt Systems”
Speaker: Dr. Maria Nikolinakou, University of Texas Austin
Monday, September 17
3:00 – 4:00 pm
SEH, B1220


Special SEAS Event: “Live from the International Space Station: Q&A with NASA Astronaut & SEAS Alumna Serena Auñón-Chancellor”
Tuesday, September 18
11:00 am – 2:00 pm (exact time to be announced)
New location: Jack Morton Auditorium (GW Media and Public Affairs Building)
Registration required
Are you curious about the experience of living in space, or what experiments NASA astronauts are working on—or something else related to the International Space Station (ISS) or being an astronaut? If so, this is your opportunity to listen to a NASA astronaut currently aboard the ISS, as she answers our questions. SEAS will host a 20-minute NASA downlink from the ISS, during which we get to pose questions of astronaut Serena Auñón-Chancellor (SEAS ’97). If you want to submit a question for Dr. Auñón-Chancellor, please visit the registration page to do so.


Immediately after the downlink, former NASA astronaut Charles Camarda (SEAS ‘80) will be present in the Jack Morton Auditorium for a discussion on the challenges of deep space exploration and a question-and-answer session. A reception will follow. Note: NASA has slated a three-hour window (11:00 am – 2:00 pm) for the downlink; on September 7, they will update SEAS with the actual 20-minute timeslot for the downlink. This event is open to the entire GW community. Space in the auditorium is limited, so register early.


CVP Speaker’s Series Event: “Navigating Your Career”
Tuesday, September 25
4:00 – 6:00 pm
SEH, B1270
Register (Register on Handshake)
SEAS Career Services has joined forces with CVP, a business and technology consulting company, to host this timely panel. Anirudh Kulkarni, the CEO and founder of CVP and a double alumnus of GW, will moderate the panel. Joining him will be four guests from different “walks of life” who will present diverse points of view and career insights. Come listen, learn, and ask questions. This event is open to all GW students.


CEE Seminar: “The Long and Winding Road: Predicting Molecular and Material Properties Through Computation”
Speaker: Dr. Giulia Galli, University of Chicago
Wednesday, September 26
11:00 am – 12:00 pm
SEH, 2000B


MAE Seminar: "Bubble Deformation and Breakup in Strong Turbulence”
Speaker: Dr. Rui Ni, The Johns Hopkins University
Thursday, September 27
2:00 - 3:00pm
SEH, B1220


MAE Seminar: “Laboratory-Scaled Experiments on Impulsively Loaded Structures in a Fluid Environment”
Speaker: Dr. Christine Gilbert, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Thursday, October 18
2:00 - 3:00pm
SEH, B1220


CEE Seminar: “Computational Nanoscience: Predicting the Shapes of Nanocrystals Grown in Solution”
Speaker: Dr. Kristen Fichthorn, Pennsylvania State University
Monday, October 22
2:30 – 3:30 pm
SEH, B1220


MAE Seminar: “Material Characterization of Nanostructured Ferretic Alloy through Atomistic Modeling”
Speaker: Dr. Huijuan (Jane) Zhao, Clemson University
Thursday, October 25
2:00 - 3:00pm
SEH, B1220


MAE Seminar: “Unified Mechanics Theory: F=m a ((1-ϕ(s ̇ ))”
Speaker: Dr. Cemal Basaran, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York
Thursday, November 1
2:00 - 3:00pm
SEH, B1220


External Events
GW COMPASS Event: Lunch and Learn with Chenega
Wednesday, September 5
12:00 – 1:00 pm
Milken Institute of Public Health, Room #2
Join GW COMPASS for its first networking event of the 2018-2019 academic year, a lunch event with Chenega. Chenega is looking to fill STEM positions for contracts at the FDA, CDC, and other government agencies. This event is open to MS and Ph.D. students. Lunch will be provided.


GW Nanofabrication and Imaging Center Workshop: Correlative Light and Electron Microscopy Workshop
Monday, September 24 – Friday, September 28
9:00 am – 5:00 pm each day
SEH, Nanofabrication and Imaging Center
The main theme of this workshop is correlating large-area images of the same sample created with both light and high-resolution electron microscopy. The workshop will be geared toward microscopists who are interested in learning new techniques for special projects or who are in the market for new instruments, particularly neuroscientists or anatomists who are interested in utilizing large area imaging in their research. Numerous vendors will demonstrate their instruments.


Entrepreneurship News & Events
Human Centered Design Workshop: Designing Innovative Solutions for Social Challenges
Wednesday, September 12
5:45 – 7:45 pm
GW Gelman Library, Room 219
This experiential and interactive workshop exposes students to the tools, tactics, and frameworks used by innovators, entrepreneurs, and designers to empathize with populations they seek to serve, define problem sets, and come up with innovative solutions.


Immigration Legal Clinic for GW Student Entrepreneurs
Friday, September 14
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
GW Marvin Center, Room 307
International students who wish to start a business here in the U.S. are welcome to join us for a lecture on all the processes to move your business forward. Students will also be able to schedule a one-on-one with a lawyer onsite during this event to discuss options catered to your situation.


Global Entrepreneurship and the US-China Cooperation
Monday, September 17
4:30 – 6:30 pm
Duques Hall, Room 652
Join us for an exciting presentation and panel discussion with guests from the world-class business organization, Fosun Foundation. Fosun manages one of the largest global startup accelerator programs and competitions. Do you want to see how you can compete on an international stage and take your startup to the next level? Come to this talk!


Thursday, September 20
6:00 – 8:00 pm
SEH, B1220
Do you have an idea, or a problem that needs solving? Follow your innovative itch to the GW PITCH-A-PALOOZA! Join us and your peers to hear and vote for your favorite ideas. Did we mention that we're giving out $100 gift cards to the top pitches? Did we also mention that we have pizza? There's that too.


Jumpstart 2-Day Bootcamp
Saturday, September 29, – Sunday, September 30
10:00 am – 5:00 pm (both days)
GW Gelman Library, Room 219
Jumpstart your ideas and passions with this experiential and interactive two-day bootcamp that exposes you to the tools, tactics, and frameworks used by innovators and entrepreneurs to create new startups, businesses, and social enterprises.