April 2014


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Stephen Nash <[log in to unmask]>
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Stephen Nash <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 7 Apr 2014 11:16:54 -0400
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List of Announcements (details below):

  * Huzefa Rangwala to Receive 2014 Mason Teaching Excellence Award
  * Seminar:CS Dept.:Apr. 9, 1pm
  * Seminar:CS Distinguished Lecture: Apr. 11, 11am
  * Seminar:C4I Center:Apr. 11, 1:30pm
  * Sushil Jajodia Receives Funding from U.S. Dept. of Commerce (NIST)
  * Changes to Policy for NSF Award Abstracts


*Huzefa Rangwala to Receive 2014 Mason Teaching Excellence Award*

Huzefa Rangwala, Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer 
Science, has been selected as a recipient of a 2014 George Mason 
University Teaching Excellence Award.

The award will be presented to him at the upcoming Celebration of 
Teaching Excellence.
Monday, April 21st, from 3:30pm-5:00pm
Center for the Arts, Main Lobby


*Seminar:CS Dept.:Apr. 9, 1pm*

/Title:/Computational Learning Sciences
/Speaker:/Dr. Aditya Johri, Associate Professor, Applied Information 
Technology, George Mason University

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
1 PM
ENGR 4201


The field of Learning Sciences conducts research on how people learn 
across a range of domains with and through the use of artifacts. This 
understanding is then used to design more productive learning 
environments. How people learn, our understanding of how people learn, 
as well as our ability to design learning environments is undergoing a 
tremendous transformation with increasing digitization of artifacts and 
our practices. Increased digitization, in addition to other affordances, 
implies computational capabilities embedded in artifacts. How does this 
impact learning? This question gives rise to a new area of research I 
call Computational Learning Sciences (CLS). In this talk I start an 
exploration of this area and work towards a problem definition for it by 
presenting findings from a study of newcomer participation in a Java 
programming community. I emphasize the inherently socio-technical nature 
of learning and outline three relevant and useful avenues for CLS 
research: 1. Content Curation -- through aggregation, recommendation, 
and crowdsourcing; 2. Collaboration Configuration -- through analytics 
and modeling of learner and teacher activity; and, 3. Competency 
Certification -- through formative, dynamic and summative assessment.


Aditya Johri studies the use of information technologies for learning 
and knowledge sharing, with a focus on cognition in informal 
environments. His research is funded through several NSF grants 
including an Early Career Award. He is a co-editor of the Cambridge 
Handbook of Engineering Education Research (CHEER), Cambridge University 
Press (2014). He received his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology 
Design from Stanford University. He can be reached at [log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>. More information at: 
http://mason.gmu.edu/~ajohri3 <http://mason.gmu.edu/%7Eajohri3>.


*Seminar:CS Distinguished Lecture: Apr. 11, 11am*

/Title:/or and Censorship: Lessons Learned
/Speaker:/Roger Dingledine

Friday, April 11, 2014
11 AM
Research Hall, Room 163


Tor is a free-software anonymizing network that helps people around the 
world use the Internet in safety. Tor's 5500 volunteer relays carry 
traffic for around a million daily users, including ordinary citizens 
who want protection from identity theft and prying corporations, 
corporations who want to look at a competitor's website in private, 
people around the world whose Internet connections are censored, and 
even governments and law enforcement.

The last year has included major cryptographic upgrades in the Tor 
software, dozens of research papers on attacking and improving the Tor 
design, mainstream press about government attempts to attack the Tor 
network, discussions about funding, FBI/NSA exploitation of Tor Browser 
users, botnet related load on the Tor network, and other important topics.

In this talk I'll aim to strike a balance between explaining Tor's 
"intellectual merit" side (all the neat research problems that Tor 
raises, and how we've positioned ourselves to get so much attention from 
academics) and Tor's "broader impact" side (the many ways that Tor has 
changed lives around the world).


Roger Dingledine is project leader for The Tor Project, a US non-profit 
working on anonymity research and development. While at MIT he developed 
Free Haven, one of the early peer-to-peer systems that emphasized 
resource management while maintaining anonymity for its users. He works 
with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the US Navy, Voice of America, 
the National Science Foundation, and other organizations to design and 
develop systems for anonymity and traffic analysis resistance. He 
organizes academic conferences on anonymity, speaks at such events as 
Blackhat, Defcon, Toorcon, and the CCC congresses, and also does 
tutorials on anonymity for national and foreign law enforcement. Roger 
was honored in 2006 as one of the top 35 innovators under the age of 35 
by Technology Review magazine.


*Seminar:C4I Center:Apr. 11, 1:30pm*

/Title:/Advancing Command and Control interoperability with Simulations 
in a University/Industry Project
/Speaker:/Dr. J. Mark Pullen

Friday, April 11, 2014
1:30 PM
ENGR 4705


Since 2003, a community focused on achieving interoperability among 
command and control (C2) systems and simulation systems has developed a 
new area of technology known as Battle Management Language (BML). Their 
vision is that a common basis for interoperation will lead to a future 
where military organizations can link their C2 and simulation systems 
without special preparation, in support of coalition operations. This 
seminar will describe a project to incorporate a Coalition BML 
capability into an operational military C2 system by integrating 
capabilities of an open source BML server (SBMLserver) from the George 
Mason University C4I Center into the Widely Integrated Systems 
Environment (WISE) for C2, developed by Saab Corporation. Use of this 
system combined Saab's 9LandBMS C2 system with WISE, SBMLserver, and the 
US Army OneSAF simulation system. The 9LandBMS system is capable of 
operating in degraded communication environments, introducing the 
challenge of successful interoperabilty with data-intensive simulation 
systems in such an environment. The seminar will address the issues and 
current state of technology and standards for C2-simulation 
interoperability and explain the design and implementation principles 
employed for its incorporation into WISE. The resulting new capability 
offers coalitions the ability to achieve the long-sought goal of 
C2-simulation interoperation, using off-the-shelf products.


Dr. Mark Pullen is Professor of Computer Science and Director of the 
Center of Excellence in Command, Control, Communications, Computing, and 
Intelligence (C4I). Previously he was an Associate Professor of 
Electrical Engineering at the US Military West Point, NY. Dr. Pullen's 
research interests include net-worked multimedia applications, 
emphasizing command and control, networked education and training, 
distributed virtual simulation, and interoperation of command and 
control simulations. Dr. Pullen is Fellow of the IEEE, Fellow of the 
ACM, and licensed Professional Engineer. He is a recipient of the IEEE 
Harry Diamond Memorial Award "for designing and developing a worldwide 
network supporting distributed simulation and command control technology 
for the Department of Defense." He received the Defense Superior Service 
Award on retirement from the U.S. Army. He is the author of over 150 
publications, including the book, "Understanding Internet Protocols 
(Wiley, 2000) and developer of two open source software packages, the 
Network Workbench and Network EducationWare.


*Sushil Jajodia Receives Funding from U.S. Dept. of Commerce (NIST)*

Sushil Jajodia of the Center for Secure Information Systems received 
$50K from the U.S. Department of Commerce (NIST) for his project, 
"Network Diversity and Network Attack Surface Metrics and Their 
Applications to Cloud Computing and Moving Target Defense."


*Changes to Policy for NSF Award Abstracts*

[The announcement below affects titles and abstracts for /funded/ 
proposals. I reproduce it here from an email message I received. SGN]

Since the issuance of the December 11 2013 Important Notice to the 
Community (IN-135) that announced our focus on transparency and 
accountability, we have developed and are now implementing an approach 
for addressing the two primary areas of the initiative.

The first is improving public understanding of our funding decisions 
through our award Abstracts and Titles.

The second is ensuring that the broad areas of supported research (or 
portfolios) are aligned to the national interest, as defined by NSF's 
mission, "...to promote the progress of science; to advance the national 
health, prosperity and welfare; to secure the national defense..."

In this notice, I want to clarify the NSF policy on award Abstracts and 
Titles.We are acting to ensure that our award Abstracts and Titles 
clearly convey to the public justification for our actions.

First, NSF abstracts are the public face of NSF investments and 
decision-making and they can be used to immediately address a specific 
area of interest from those outside of the NSF regarding what projects 
are supported and why.By providing clearer articulation of our actions 
we will benefit the scientific enterprise and better communicate the 
value and excitement of what we do.

An NSF award abstract, with its title, is an NSF document that describes 
the project and justifies the expenditure of Federal funds.

There are two major components of the NSF Abstract:

A nontechnical description of the project that states the problem to be 
studied, and explains the project's broader significance and importance, 
that serves as a public justification for NSF funding. This component 
should be understandable to an educated lay reader.It may include such 
information as the theoretical or analytical foundation of the proposed 
research, the fundamental issues that may be resolved by the research, 
the project's relation to NSF's mission, the project's place in the 
context of ongoing research in the field, the project's potential impact 
on other fields, and the prospect that it will lead to significant 
advances or the integration of related lines of inquiry.

A technical description of the project that states the goals and scope 
of the research, and the methods and approaches to be used. In many 
cases, the technical description may be a modified version of the 
project summary submitted with the proposal.

Thus, an NSF award abstract which is intended for a broad audience may 
differ from the Project Summary that is submitted as part of a 
technically reviewed proposal.

Furthermore, the title of an NSF supported project must describe the 
purpose of the research in nontechnical terms to the fullest possible 


Stephen G. Nash
Senior Associate Dean
Volgenau School of Engineering
George Mason University
Nguyen Engineering Building, Room 2500
Mailstop 5C8
Fairfax, VA 22030

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Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633