List of Announcements (details below):

  * VSE in the News
  * Photo of the Week
  * Seminar (Wed May 6, 11am)
  * New Faculty Web Pages
  * Funding Opportunity:Cybermanufacturing Systems (NSF)
  * Karla Hoffman Receives Funding from ONR
  * Edward Huang, Chun-Hung Chen, & Jie Xu Receive Funding from NSF
  * Jessica Lin & Huzefa Rangwala Receive Funding from Strategic
    Analysis & NRL
  * Sushil Jajodia Receives Funding from NIST
  * Burak Tanyu Receives Funding from Virginia Dept. of Transportation


*VSE in the News*

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

At Mason News (

  * Volgenau, Mason Engineering School Namesake, Has Heart-to-Heart with
    Engineering school namesake: leadership is a ‘continual quest’

At the Volgenau website (

  * Department of Statistics Supports Local High Schools
    Students and teachers from local area high schools gave up their
    Saturday morning to take an exam hosted by the Department of Statistics.
  * Volgenau, Mason Engineering School Namesake, Has Heart-to-Heart with
    Ernst Volgenau discussed entrepreneurial lessons learned with
    students, faculty, and guests in a forum presented by the School of
    Engineering together with the School of Business.
  * Graduating Senior, Jade Garrett, Receives Inaugural Sullivan Award
    Jade Garrett, a graduating senior in Applied Information Technology
    received the Mary Mildred Sullivan Award at Mason this year.

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*

As part of a university-wide project to improve signage, the Nguyen 
Engineering Building received a big “name badge.” The large adhesive 
letters placed on the outside windows clearly identify the building as 
the home of engineering at Mason.


*Seminar (Wed May 6, 11am)*

/Date:/Wed., May 6
/Time and Location:/11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Engr Room 2901
/Title:/Mining Unstructured Social Data for Behavioral Computing and 
User Modeling
/Speaker:/Hemant Purohit, PhD Candidate, Wright State University, 
Dayton, Ohio

/Speaker Bio:/
Hemant Purohit is an interdisciplinary, computational social science 
researcher at the Ohio Center of Excellence in Knowledge-enabled 
Computing (Kno.e.sis), and a PhD candidate working with Prof. Amit Sheth 
at Wright State University, USA. He was one of the ITU Young Innovator 
2014 for UN’s ICT agency, for winning a global challenge on Open Source 
Technologies for Disaster Management, as well as one of the eight 
international fellows of USAID, Google and ICT4Peace foundation at an 
influential humanitarian technology event CrisisMappers ICCM-2013, UN 
Nairobi. He has jointly presented tutorials on crisis computing at 
prestigious conferences, AAAI ICWSM-2013 and SIAM SDM-2014, and also 
served as reviewer for conferences and journals including HICSS, ICWSM, 
WWW, JCSCW, ACM TOIT, ACM TIST, etc. More about Hemant:

Social Media or Web 2.0, one source of Big Data, has completely 
revolutionized information consumption, management, and processing. The 
opportunity to understand and exploit such data has given rise to the 
interdisciplinary field of computational social science, which studies 
an unprecedented level of human interaction data—accessible due to an 
increasing shift from face-to-face to online communication. The big data 
challenges of large-scale volume, velocity of content generation, 
sparsity of data behaviors, variety in language complexity and community 
demographics in this online interaction data present an exciting venue 
for computational science. For instance, mining social media data may 
help disaster response organizations better coordinate with citizens, 
and assist to reduce mounting cost of response, estimated to be 271 
billion dollars annually by 2025.

Hemant Purohit presents a novel Web information-processing framework, 
Identify-Match-Engage (IME), to interpret, manage, and integrate 
unstructured social media data generated by users (citizen sensors) for 
addressing cooperation between the citizens and formal organizations, 
with a disaster response use-case. His new behavioral computing methods 
model latent and subjective attributes (intent, influence, engagement) 
of users and communities in online social networks. They fuse knowledge 
from the Web resources (e.g., Wikipedia, Linked Open Data) and theories 
of behavior (e.g., social identity) into statistical methods of text 
mining and machine learning. Unlike traditional behavioral computing 
restricted to one of the three fundamental dimensions of social 
networks—user, content, and network, these techniques combine all three 
dimensions to improve the representation of subjective context, and 
compensate for sparsity of features to model latent behaviors (e.g., 
engagement). In the future, this interdisciplinary research can help 
incorporate human behavioral aspects for designing intelligent 
cooperative systems, and also contribute to physical-cyber-social 
computing. This work will impact problems of social good and large-scale 
online user/group modeling ranging from personalization (individual 
behavior) to abstraction (group behavior).


*New Faculty Web Pages*

The Volgenau website now includes web pages for faculty.There are 
several ways to get to them, but here is a direct link:
On every page on the Volgenau website, there are drop-down menus in a 
green bar across the top of the page.You can get to the web pages from 
the “About” menu, the “Faculty and Staff” menu, and the “Research” 
menu.For the first two, click on “Faculty List”; for the third, click on 
“Research Interests”.

Faculty members who wish to be included under a particular research 
interest can do this via their ePAR accounts.If you have questions about 
how to do this, please contact Mandy Richburg ([log in to unmask] 
<mailto:[log in to unmask]>).


*Funding Opportunity:Cybermanufacturing Systems (NSF)*

Title:Dear Colleague Letter: Cybermanufacturing Systems
Sponsor:National Science Foundation

With this Dear Colleague letter (DCL), the National Science Foundation 
(NSF) is announcing its intention to accept EArly-Concept Grants for 
Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals in FY 2015 to support researchers 
who are pursuing novel, early-stage, multi-disciplinary, and 
high-risk/high-reward research on cybermanufacturing systems.

This DCL strongly encourages collaborative proposals between 
manufacturing and computer and information science and engineering 
researchers, and joint review of proposals among complementary NSF 
programs will be pursued when appropriate. It is anticipated that these 
collaborations will foster new research directions at the intersection 
of manufacturing and computer and information science and engineering, 
paving the way for larger-scale efforts in the future.Proposers are also 
especially encouraged to implement, test, and improve the usability of 
system architectures in teaching environments in which students both use 
and contribute application software (apps).

Program URL: 


*Karla Hoffman Receives Funding from ONR*

Karla Hoffman of the Systems Engineering & Operations Research 
Department received $267K from the Office of Naval Research for her 
project, “Optimal Spectrum Allocation to Support Tactical Mobile Ad-hoc 


*Edward Huang, Chun-Hung Chen, & Jie Xu Receive Funding from NSF*

Edward Huang, Chun-Hung Chen, and Jie Xu of the Systems Engineering & 
Operations Research Department received $459K from the National Science 
Foundation for their project, “Improving Search Efficiency in 
Engineering Design by Integrating Multiple Models at Different Fidelities.”


*Jessica Lin & Huzefa Rangwala Receive Funding from Strategic Analysis & 

Jessica Lin and Huzefa Rangwala of the Computer Science Department 
received $92K from Strategic Analysis, Inc., and the Naval Research 
Laboratory for their project, “Trajectory Pattern Mining for Proactive 
Decision Support.”


*Sushil Jajodia Receives Funding from NIST*

Sushil Jajodia of the Center for Secure Information Systems received 
$50K> from National Institute of Standards and Technology for his 
project, “Securing Cloud Infrastructure through Improving Network 
Diversity and Moving Target Defense.”


*Burak Tanyu Receives Funding from Virginia Dept. of Transportation*

Burak Tanyu of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, 
Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering received $23K from the 
Virginia Department of Transportation for his project, “Equipment Grant 
to Instrument Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Structure Integrated into 
VDOT Bridge Abutment in Staunton, VA.”


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