List of Announcements (details below):


VSE in the News

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

Beyond Mason:

At the Mason News Desk (

At the Volgenau website (

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


Photo of the Week

On Feb. 10, the Army Reserve Cyber Private Public Partnership Program brought together leaders of industry and academia with lawmakers on Capitol Hill to address a critical need for expertise in the cyber domain and to formally sign the Memorandum of Understanding that creates this partnership. (U.S. Army Photo by Staff Sgt. Shejal Pulivarti.)


Computer Science Seminar (Wed Feb 18, 3pm)

Title: Player Perception of Responsiveness and Naturalness for Virtual Characters in    Digital Games
Date: Wednesday, February 18th, 3 pm,
Location: Room 4201
Sophie Joerg, Assistant Professor, Computer Science, Clemson University


Real-time animation controllers are fundamental for animating characters in response to player input. However, the design of such controllers requires making trade-offs between the naturalness of the character's motions and the promptness of the character's response. Furthermore, lag is typically unavoidable, particularly in networked multiplayer games. In this talk, Dr. Joerg will present the results of multiple experiments, in which she investigates the effects of response lag and trade-offs between responsiveness and naturalness on players' enjoyment, control, satisfaction, and opinion of the character in a simple platform game.


Sophie Joerg is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Clemson University. Her research is in computer graphics, centering around character animation, motion perception, and digital games. She holds a Ph.D. from Trinity College Dublin and was a visiting researcher at Carnegie Mellon University and Disney Research, Pittsburgh. Her recent work, which is supported by agencies including the National Science Foundation, focuses on creating new algorithms in data-driven character animation, investigating how we perceive virtual characters, and using digital games in education.


L’Oréal Women in Science (& Engineering) Fellowship Program

[This is an edited version of a message that was forwarded to me.  The title only mentions “science” but the message includes computer science and engineering are relevant fields.]

Dear Colleague:

Applications for the 2015 L’Oréal USA For Women in Science fellowship program are now open.

The L’Oréal For Women in Science program recognizes and rewards the contributions women make in STEM fields and identifies exceptional women researchers committed to serving as role models for younger generations.  More than 2,000 women scientists in over 100 countries have been recognized since the program began in 1998.

The L’Oréal USA For Women In Science fellowship program will award five post-doctoral women scientists in the United States this year with grants of up to $60,000 each. Applicants are welcome from a variety of fields, including the life and physical/material sciences, technology (including computer science), engineering, and mathematics.

I invite you to collaborate with us and spread the word to your community about this special fellowship program for exceptional female postdoctoral researchers who are also committed to supporting women and girls in STEM.

The application and more information on the L’Oréal USA For Women in Science program can be found at Applications are due on Friday, March 20, 2015.

Should you have any questions or require additional information, please email me at [log in to unmask].

Rachel Pacifico


Funding Opportunity (limited submission): NSF Research Traineeship Program

(This is a limited-submission opportunity.  The internal deadline for applications is 3/6/2015.  Max of 3 applications (2 for Trainee track and 1 for IGE (Innovation Grad Ed) track).  For instructions on submitting an internal application to be considered for this program, see

Title:            National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
Sponsor:          Directorate for Education and Human Resources/NSF

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is designed to encourage the development and implementation of bold, new, potentially transformative, and scalable models for STEM graduate education training. The NRT program seeks proposals that ensure that graduate students in research-based master?s and doctoral degree programs develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers. The NRT program includes two tracks: the Traineeship Track and the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Track. The Traineeship Track is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, aligned with changing workforce and research needs, and scalable. For this solicitation the Traineeship Track has one priority interdisciplinary research theme ? Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE); proposals are encouraged also on any non-DESE interdisciplinary research theme that is a national priority. The IGE Track is dedicated solely to piloting, testing, and evaluating novel, innovative, and potentially transformative approaches to graduate education, both disciplinary and interdisciplinary, to generate the knowledge required for their customization, implementation, and broader adoption. Whereas the Traineeship Track promotes building on the current knowledge base to more effectively train STEM graduate students, the IGE Track supports test-bed projects with high potential to enrich, improve, and extend the knowledge base with attention to transferability and innovation. For both tracks, strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, museums, and academic partners are encouraged.

Deadline(s):      05/06/2015
Program URL:

Optional (but recommended) letters of intent are due March 25, 2015.


Funding Opportunity: Robotics Outreach Competition (NASA)

Title:            RFP--Robotics Outreach Competition II
Sponsor:          National Aeronautics & Space Administration

NASA Ames Research Center (ARC) Robotics Alliance Project (RAP) intends to issue a Cooperative Agreement Notice (CAN) soliciting proposals to design and administer two distinct robotics competition programs, referred to collectively as the NASA Ames Robotics Outreach Competition (ROC-II). Eligible organizations may submit proposals that provide evidence of the capability and proven experience necessary to provide both the technical and administrative framework required to implement a national, high caliber outreach program, including a high-quality national level robotics competition experience that leverages hands-on experiences in a technical environment. The ROC II addresses the critical shortage in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields that the Nation is facing by providing hands-on robotics competition events while working with engineers and talented faculty from universities and high schools in the U.S.  It is the strategic intent of this program that students will be inspired and motivated to pursue degrees that meet NASA's robotics competency requirements. The final CAN is expected to be released on or around February 13, 2015, and will be available electronically through Electronically  submitted Notices of Intent to propose are requested by March 18, 2014. The proposal due date is expected to be April 22, 2015. The electronic submission of each proposal in its entirety is required by the due date. Please note that these dates are estimates only and subject to change.

Deadline(s):      04/22/2015
Program URL:


Funding Opportunity:  Science & Engineering Research (Keck Foundation)

The Science and Engineering Research Program seeks to benefit humanity by supporting projects that are distinctive and novel in their approach, question the prevailing paradigm, or have potential to break open new territory in their field. Past grants have been awarded to major universities and independent research institutions to support pioneering science and engineering research and the development of promising new technologies, and to facilitate the purchase of advanced instruments where such instruments would further specific research ventures.

Deadline(s):      05/01/2015
Program URL:


Applicants are strongly urged to contact Foundation staff during the pre-application counseling period, which takes place between January 1 and February 15 leading up to a May 1 submittal, or between July 1 and August 15 leading up to a November 1 submittal. Potential applicants are encouraged to submit their ideas for grants in the form of single-page concept papers during the pre-application counseling period.


The Foundation strives to fund endeavors that are distinctive and novel in their approach. It encourages projects that are high-risk with the potential for transformative impact. "High-risk" comprises a number of factors, including questions that push the edge of the field, present unconventional approaches to intractable problems, or challenge the prevailing paradigm. In all our programs, "transformative" may mean creation of a new field of research, development of new instrumentation enabling observations not previously possible, or discovery of knowledge that challenges prevailing perspectives.


Historically, grants range from $500,000 to $5 million and are typically $2 million or less.


Funding Opportunity: National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NIST)

Title:  National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC) Pilots Cooperative Agreement Program
Sponsor:  National Institute of Standards & Technology/Technology Administration/DOC

NIST invites applications from eligible applicants to pilot online identity solutions that embrace and advance the NSTIC vision: that individuals and organizations utilize secure, efficient, easy-to-use, and interoperable identity credentials to access online services in a manner that promotes confidence, privacy, choice, and innovation. Specifically, the Federal government seeks to initiate and support pilots that address the needs of individuals, private sector organizations, and all levels of government in accordance with the NSTIC Guiding Principles that identity solutions will be (1) privacy-enhancing and voluntary, (2) secure and resilient, (3) interoperable, and (4) cost-effective and easy-to-use. NIST will fund projects that are intended to test or demonstrate new solutions, models, and frameworks that either do not exist or are not widely adopted in the marketplace today.

Deadline(s):      03/17/2015, 04/17/2015, 05/21/2015
Program URL:


Abbreviated Applications must be received electronically through no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Abbreviated Applications received after this deadline will not be reviewed or considered. Review of Abbreviated Applications and selection of finalists is expected to be completed by Friday, April 17, 2015. The selected finalists will then be invited to submit a Full Application including a Technical Proposal shortly following their selection as a finalist. Full Applications must be received electronically through no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time, Tuesday, May 21, 2015.


NIST anticipates that awards will be in the range of approximately $1,250,000 to $2,000,000 per year per project for up to two (2) years, consistent with the multi-year funding policy described in Section II.2 of this FFO. Proposed funding levels must be consistent with project scope. NIST will consider applications with lower funding amounts.


Yotam Gingold Receives CAREER Award from NSF

Yotam Gingold of the Computer Science Department received $550K from the National Science Foundation for his project, “CAREER: Direct Manipulation of Numerical Optimization for Structured Geometry Creation.”


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