January 2017


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"Stephen G. Nash" <[log in to unmask]>
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Stephen G. Nash
Mon, 9 Jan 2017 15:16:40 -0500
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List of Announcements (details below):

  * This Week at the Volgenau School
  * VSE in the News
  * Photo of the Week
  * Upcoming Events at the Volgenau School
  * NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship
  * Funding Opportunity: BIGDATA (NSF)
  * Funding Opportunity:… Data Intensive Research in Education (NSF)
  * Funding Opportunity:Cybersecurity of Traffic Management Systems (TRB)
  * Funding Opportunity:Cyber-Physical Systems (NSF)
  * Funding Opportunity:STEM + Computing Partnerships (NSF)
  * Funding Opportunity:… Using Robotics … for Individuals with
    Disabilities (DHHS)
  * George Tecuci, Mihai Boicu, Dorin Marcu, Patrick McKnight, Vivian
    Motti, & Thomas Winston Receive Major Funding from IARPA
  * Itamara Lochard Receives Funding from NATO
  * Jessica Lin & Huzefa Rangwala Receive Funding from Strategic
    Analysis Inc. & NRL
  * Mike Hieb Receives Funding from EOIR Technologies Inc. & Dept. of
  * Celso Ferreira Receives Funding from Virginia Inst. of Marine
    Science & Dept. of Commerce
  * Tod Levitt & Kathy Laskey Receive Funding from Opto-Knowledge
    Systems Inc. & Missile Defense Agency


*This Week at the Volgenau School*

[Starting this week, I’m adding two regular features to my weekly 
announcements.This one will be used to talk about activities or issues 
that are important to the School but that may not rise to the level of 
“news”.The other, “Upcoming Events at the Volgenau School” will list 
events in the next few weeks that might be of interest; you can find it 

This might seem a quiet time for the Volgenau School.We just re-opened 
after a two-week break.Classes don’t start until January 23.Few students 
are on campus.It’s easy to find a parking space.It’s not so easy to get 
a latte.

But this is one of the busiest times for the School’s Student Services 
office.The grades from the fall semester can have an impact on our 
students’ academic plans.We are admitting hundreds of new students for 
the Spring semester.We had a December 15 deadline to apply to our PhD 
programs for Fall 2017, and we are working to get decisions and offer 
letters out.Here and there department chairs are scrambling to handle 
various academic crises that must be resolved before the first day of 

As I look outside my window the campus is serene.But inside our offices 
there is a buzz of activity.


*VSE in the News*

Here is a list of news stories about VSE that have been posted:

Beyond Mason

  * Capital Gazette (Annapolis): Mason professor emeritus George Donohue
    op-eds on Maryland’s infrastructure funding.
  * ABC Radio (international): Mason’s Duminda Wijesekera discusses the
    practice of Syrians selling human organs for passage to the West.

On the News at Mason page (https://www2.gmu.edu/news)

  * For Mason senior, a short-term assignment creates a long-term goal.
    <https://www2.gmu.edu/news/314571>After a winter 2015 trip to
    Guatemala, where she helped repair and maintain medical equipment,
    Mahsa Layazali, a bioengineering major, hopes to return to the
    country one day to do that work full time.

On the Volgenau site (https://volgenau.gmu.edu/news/latest-news)

  * Computer Science professor earns spot on influential scholar list.
    <https://content.gmu.edu/node/315271>professor Hassan Gomaa earned a
    top spot on the AMiner Most Influential Scholar Annual List for 2016.

If you have suggestions for other stories, please submit them to Martha 
Bushong, [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>.


*Photo of the Week*


Officers of the Volgenau School’s Society of Women Engineers in front of 
the Nguyen Engineering Building.


*Upcoming Events at the Volgenau School*

Whether you're looking for a specific event or browsing, our calendar 
lets you know what’s happening at Volgenau. Here is a sample of what’s 
coming in the next several weeks. For more information visit our 
calendar <https://volgenau.gmu.edu/events#/?i=1> on the web. From this 
page you can share the event on social media, get updates, forward to 
friends, or save it to your own calendar.

Jan. 24 – 8:00 a.m. Mason NVTC Social Media Conference
Jan. 25 – 5:30 p.m. Celebrate Technology Basketball Game & Alumni 
Networking Event
Feb. 10 – 2:00 p.m. ECE Distinguished Speaker
Feb. 19 – 8:00 a.m. Engineering Youth Conference

For information on getting your event posted via 25Live, please visit 
scheduling.gmu.edu <http://scheduling.gmu.edu/>.


*NIST Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship*

Deadline:February 15, 2017

National Institute of Standards and Technology's (NIST's) Summer 
Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) program for students majoring 
in science, engineering, and mathematics

This program is hosted at NIST’s Boulder, Colorado, campus and NIST's 
Gaithersburg, Maryland, campus.

Applications for participation in the SURF program are accepted only 
from colleges or universities and not from individual students or 
faculty. I recommend that you contact Art Pyster ([log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>) so that he can coordinate applications from 
VSE.Art will work with Mason’s Office of Sponsored Programs to prepare a 
single proposal to the SURF program. (A separate proposal is required 
for SURF Boulder and SURF Gaithersburg.)

For detailed information about the application process, download a copy 
of the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) at the following websites:
SURF Program:http://www.nist.gov/surf

Application due date:Friday, February 15, 2017 (**Only electronic 
application submissions will be accepted via Grants.gov until 11:59 p.m. 
(ET) on the due date)

Eligibility Requirements:

  * Be a U.S. citizen and Permanent U.S. Resident with a valid green card
  * Must be enrolled as a full-time undergraduate (freshman, sophomore,
    junior, or senior) at a U.S. College or University
  * Majoring in biochemistry, biological sciences, chemistry, computer
    science, engineering, materials science, mathematics, physical
    sciences, physics, and/or statistics
  * Have a 3.0 G.P.A. or above
  * Considering pursuing a graduate degree in a STEM discipline

Research Opportunities Matching

Students applying to the SURF Boulder program will be matched to 
opportunities in the Boulder divisions:

  * Applied Chemicals and Materials Division
  * Public Safety Communications Research Division
  * RF Technology Division
  * Applied Physics Division
  * Quantum Electromagnetics Division
  * Time and Frequency Division

Students applying to the SURF Gaithersburg program will be matched to 
opportunities in the Gaithersburg laboratories:

  * Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology (CNST)
  * Communications Technology Laboratory (CTL)
  * Engineering Laboratory (EL)
  * Information Technology Laboratory (ITL)
  * Material Measurement Laboratory (MML)
  * NIST Center for Neutron Research (NCNR)
  * Physical Measurement Laboratory (PML)

For additional information and application materials about the NIST SURF 
Program, please visit:

Note: The SURF Program will host webinars on January 11, 2017 and 
January 24, 2017. Please visit https://goo.gl/0gqmK6for exact times and 
registration information.


*Funding Opportunity: BIGDATA (NSF)*

An updated NSF program solicitation (NSF 17-534) is now available:

    Critical Techniques, Technologies, and Methodologies for Advancing
    Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering

Please see
for details.

Full Proposal Window:March 15, 2017 - March 22, 2017

 From the program synopsis:

The BIGDATA program seeks novel approaches in computer science, 
statistics, computational science, and mathematics, along with 
innovative applications in domain science, including social and 
behavioral sciences, education, biology, the physical sciences, and 
engineering, that lead towards the further development of the 
interdisciplinary field of data science.

The solicitation invites two categories of proposals:

  * Foundations (F): those developing or studying fundamental theories,
    techniques, methodologies, and technologies of broad applicability
    to big data problems, motivated by specific data challenges and
    requirements; and
  * Innovative Applications (IA): those engaged in translational
    activities that employ new big data techniques, methodologies, and
    technologies to address and solve problems in specific application
    domains. Projects in this category must be collaborative, involving
    researchers from domain disciplines and one or more methodological
    disciplines, e.g., computer science, statistics, mathematics,
    simulation and modeling, etc.


*Funding Opportunity:… Data Intensive Research in Education (NSF)*

Opportunity Title:Building Community and Capacity in Data Intensive 
Research in Education (BCC-EHR)
Sponsor:Directorate for Education and Human Resources/NSF
Deadline Date:15-Mar-2017
Program URL: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17532/nsf17532.htm

Synopsis:As part of NSF's Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century 
Science and Engineering (CIF21) activity, the Directorate for Education 
and Human Resources (EHR) seeks to enable research communities to 
develop visions, teams, and capabilities dedicated to creating new, 
large-scale, next-generation data resources and relevant analytic 
techniques to advance fundamental research for areas of research covered 
by EHR programs. Successful proposals will outline activities that will 
have significant impacts across multiple fields by enabling new types of 
data-intensive research. Investigators should think broadly and create a 
vision that extends intellectually across multiple disciplines and that 
includes - but is not necessarily limited to - areas of research funded 
by EHR.


*Funding Opportunity:Cybersecurity of Traffic Management Systems (TRB)*

Opportunity Title:NCHRP Request for Proposal - Cybersecurity of Traffic 
Management Systems
Sponsor:Transportation Research Board
Sponsor Number:NCHRP 03-127 [RFP]
Deadline Date:14-Feb-2017
Program URL: 

Synopsis:With over 400,000 traffic signals deployed throughout the 
United States, traffic signal operations have a profound impact on the 
safety and efficiency of traffic flow for all road users. Recent threats 
in cybersecurity have made our industry more aware of potential damage 
that such threats can cause. Multiple researchers have found that our 
existing traffic signal systems, if not protected properly, can be 
easily hacked. For example, sometimes systems are used without any 
encryption for communication between a central traffic control 
management system and field traffic signal control units, allowing an 
attacker to directly change traffic signal indications. Another example 
involves wireless detectors that could be manipulated to feed traffic 
control systems with fake data and trigger incorrect options in their 
operations. …


*Funding Opportunity:Cyber-Physical Systems (NSF)*

Sponsor:Directorate for Computer and Information Sciences and 
Deadline Date:06-Mar-2017
Program URL: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17529/nsf17529.htm

Synopsis:The goal of the CPS program is to develop the core system 
science needed to engineer complex cyber-physical systems that people 
can use or interact with and depend upon. Some of these may require 
high-confidence or provable behaviors. The program aims to foster a 
research community committed to advancing research and education in CPS 
and to transitioning CPS science and technology into engineering 
practice. By abstracting from the particulars of specific systems and 
application domains, the CPS program seeks to reveal cross-cutting 
fundamental scientific and engineering principles that underpin the 
integration of cyber and physical elements across all application 
sectors. To expedite and accelerate the realization of cyber-physical 
systems in a wide range of applications, the CPS program also supports 
the development of methods, tools, and hardware and software components 
based upon these cross-cutting principles, along with validation of the 
principles via prototypes and testbeds. The sponsor has also seen a 
convergence of CPS technologies and research thrusts that underpin Smart 
& Connected Communities (S&CC) and the Internet of Things (IoT). These 
domains offer new and exciting challenges for foundational research and 
provide opportunities for maturation at multiple time horizons.


*Funding Opportunity:STEM + Computing Partnerships (NSF)*

Opportunity Title:STEM + Computing Partnerships (STEM+C)
Sponsor:Directorate for Education and Human Resources/NSF
Deadline Date:29-Mar-2017
Program URL: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/nsf17535/nsf17535.htm

Synopsis:As computing has become an integral part of the practice of 
modern science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), the STEM 
+ Computing Partnerships program seeks to address the urgent need to 
prepare students from the early grades through high school in the 
essential skills, competencies, and dispositions needed to succeed in a 
computationally-dependent world. Thus, STEM+C advances the integration 
of computational thinking and computing activities in early childhood 
education through high school (pre-K-12) to provide a strong and 
developmental foundation in computing and computational thinking through 
the integration of computing in STEM teaching and learning, and/or the 
applied integration of STEM content in pre-K-12 computer science education.


*Funding Opportunity:… Using Robotics … for Individuals with 
Disabilities (DHHS)*

Opportunity Title:Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) 
Program: Using Robotics and Automation to Improve Accessible 
Transportation Options for Individuals with Disabilities
Sponsor:Administration for Community Living/DHHS
Sponsor Number:HHS-2017-ACL-NIDILRR-DPGE-0205
Deadline Date:09-Feb-2017
Program URL: https://acl.gov/Funding_Opportunities/Announcements/Index.aspx

Synopsis:The Administrator of the Administration for Community Living 
establishes a priority for the funding of a DRRP for Using Robotics and 
Automation to Improve Accessible Transportation Options for Individuals 
with Disabilities to (a) advance the application of robotics and 
automation to enhance accessible transportation for travelers with 
disabilities and (b) improve opportunities for a seamless travel chain 
that meets the needs of the diversity of travelers with disabilities, 
e.g., mobility, vision, hearing and cognitive disabilities. One of the 
outcomes of this work will be the identification of technology solutions 
in robotics and automation that enhance and improve transportation 
alternatives for individuals with disabilities including veterans with 
disabilities and older adults. Products should emphasize principles of 
universal design and inclusive information and communication technology 


*George Tecuci, Mihai Boicu, Dorin Marcu, Patrick McKnight, Vivian 
Motti, & Thomas Winston Receive Major Funding from IARPA*

The Learning Agents Center (LAC) has received a major award from 
IARPA.The researchers:
George Tecuci (LAC and Computer Science Department)
Mihai Boicu (LAC and Information Sciences and Technology Department)
Dorin Marcu (LAC)
Patrick McKnight (Psychology Department)
Vivian Motti (Information Sciences and Technology Department)
Thomas Winston (Information Sciences and Technology Department)
received $7.4M from IARPA for their project, “Co-Arg: Cogent 
Argumentation System with Crowd Elicitation.”

[A news story about this award is in preparation.]


*Itamara Lochard Receives Funding from NATO*

Itamara Lochard of the C4I & Cyber Center received $70K from NATO for 
her project, “Senior Leadership ATC on Military and Defence Aspects of 
Border Security in South East Europe.”


*Jessica Lin & Huzefa Rangwala Receive Funding from Strategic Analysis 
Inc. & NRL*

Jessica Lin and Huzefa Rangwala of the Computer Science Department 
received $44K from Strategic Analysis,Inc. and the Naval Research 
Laboratory for their project, “Trajectory Pattern Mining and User 
Behavior Characterization on Large-Scale Track Data.”


*Mike Hieb Receives Funding from EOIR Technologies Inc. & Dept. of Defense*

Mike Hieb of the C4I & Cyber Center received $54K from EOIR 
Technologies, Inc. and the Department of Defense for his project, 
“Simulation Interoperability to Mission Control (SIMCI).”


*Celso Ferreira Receives Funding from Virginia Inst. of Marine Science & 
Dept. of Commerce*

Celso Ferreira of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, 
Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering received $5K from the 
Virginia Institute of Marine Science and the U.S. Department of Commerce 
for his project, “Assessing Future Storm Surge Flooding with Projected 
Climate Change and Sea Level Rise: Bringing Ecosystem Services into 
Mainstream Decision Making Processes for a Climate Resilient Coastal 


*Tod Levitt & Kathy Laskey Receive Funding from Opto-Knowledge Systems 
Inc. & Missile Defense Agency*

Tod Levitt & Kathy Laskey of the C4I & Cyber Center received $78K from 
Opto-Knowledge Systems, Inc. and the Missile Defense Agency for their 
project, “Post Intercept Assessment (PIA).”


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

[log in to unmask]
Phone: (703) 993-1505
Fax: (703) 993-1633