List of Announcements (details below):


VSE in the News

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

At Mason News (

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

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]).


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).

Deadline(s):      06/01/2015
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 Networks.”


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 & NRL

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