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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

*         Funding Opportunity: Crowdsourcing Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation (IARPA)

*         Funding Opportunity:  Computational Simulation of Online Social Behavior (DARPA)

*         Funding Opportunity: Radios, Wireless, Cybersecurity, Systems Engineering (Army) [two broad-agency announcements]

*         Qiliang Li Receives Funding from N5 Sensors & NASA

*         Alex Brodsky Receives Funding from NSF

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This Week at the Volgenau School

Every semester I "teach" a dissertation proposal course for doctoral students.  Actually "coach" might be a better word since not much traditional teaching occurs.  We had a class session on Friday.

There are students in the class from four of our PhD programs, with many disciplines represented.  Civil engineers mix with statisticians and computer scientists, leading to a rich swirl of ideas.

The course aims to help students put together a dissertation proposal, and more generally to give them a better understanding of what it means to conduct research.  The classes are structured around short presentations by individual students.  This gives us a chance to talk about how to put together a literature review, or how to structure a research hypothesis, all the in context of specific examples.  The presentations often lead to extended discussions about each student's research.

The presentations also help develop the students' ability to talk about their research to a broad audience.  This is a skill that should serve them well in their proposal defense, but also at conferences, in job interviews, and when making a pitch to a funding agency.

I consider our doctoral students to be important ambassadors of our School.  If they can make a compelling argument for their research, it will not only help them but it will also enhance our School's reputation.  This is one selfish reason I have for teaching this course.

Another is that it is a great way for me to learn about the research going on in the School.  This research is conducted quietly in our labs and offices.  Occasionally there will be news of a grant or a patent, but those announcements are just glimpses at a broader activity.

When I can listen to the students working on their proposals, I get a richer, multifaceted view of a research project.  I can ask questions about the context and applications of the work, and help the students make connections that might enrich their dissertations.

For all these reasons I look forward every semester to a new edition of this course, and the chance to coach a new set of doctoral students.

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VSE in the News

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

Beyond Mason

*         Capital Gazette: Mason engineering professor emeritus George Donohue op-eds on President Trump.<http://www.capitalgazette.com/opinion/columns/ph-ac-ce-column-donohue-0206-20170206-story.html>

*         TECHi.e.: Computer Science professor, Foteini Baldimtsi's work is mentioned in  article "Researchers from 3 Universities in the US have developed a system called TumbleBit, which is a computer protocol that runs on top of Bitcoin."<http://indianexpress.com/article/technology/science/tumblebit-makes-it-significantly-harder-to-track-bitcoin-transactions-4517314/>

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

*         Mason researchers helping intelligence analysts make smart decisions.<https://volgenau.gmu.edu/news/320681> The federal government's Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity<https://www.iarpa.gov/> (IARPA) awarded researchers at the Volgenau School of Engineering<https://volgenau.gmu.edu/> a $7.4 million contract to research, develop and evaluate an intelligent analytical tool called Co-Arg, short for cogent argumentation system with crowd elicitation.

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

*         Mason researchers helping intelligence analysts make smart decisions.<https://volgenau.gmu.edu/news/320681> (see above)

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

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Photo of the Week

[cid:[log in to unmask]]

The George Mason University SciTech Robotics Team qualified for the "Worlds" competition in Louisville, Ky, this April. Team captain Afnan Ali, a freshman majoring in Mechanical Engineering, models the team uniform.

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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.

Feb. 10 - 2:00 p.m. ECE Distinguished Speaker
Feb. 10 - 11:00 a.m. SEOR Seminar
Feb. 19 - 8:00 a.m. Engineering Youth Conference
Feb. 20  - 24 - National Engineers Week (various locations)
Feb. 23 - 1:00 p.m. Digital Forensics Symposium
March 1 - 5:30 p.m.    Celebrate Technology

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

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Funding Opportunity: Crowdsourcing Evidence, Argumentation, Thinking and Evaluation (IARPA)

URL: https://www.iarpa.gov/index.php/research-programs/create

Due date: May 9, 2016

The CREATE program seeks proposals to develop, and experimentally test, systems that use crowdsourcing and structured analytic techniques (STs) to improve analytic reasoning. These systems will help people better understand the evidence and assumptions that support-or conflict with-conclusions. Secondarily, they will also help users better communicate their reasoning and conclusions.

Interested offerors are required to submit full proposals in order to receive consideration for funding. Proposals must be received by May 9, 2016 in order to be assured of consideration during the initial round of selections.

The CREATE program is envisioned as a 4.5-year effort that is intended to begin in September 2016. Phase 1 of the program will last 20 months, Phase 2 will last 17 months and Phase 3 will last 17 months. Multiple Phase 1 awards are anticipated.

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Funding Opportunity:  Computational Simulation of Online Social Behavior (DARPA)

Sponsor:  Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Sponsor Number:  HR001117S0018
Deadline Date:  29-Mar-2017
Program URL: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=630267b90caaa3d346fbe01c6680b99e&tab=core&_cview=0

Synopsis:  DARPA is soliciting innovative research proposals in the area of computational simulation of the spread and evolution of information in the online environment. The goal of SocialSim is to develop innovative technologies for high-fidelity computational simulation of online social behavior.

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Funding Opportunity: Radios, Wireless, Cybersecurity, Systems Engineering (Army) [two broad-agency announcements]

There are two Broad-Agency Announcements (BAAs) here.  Both are from the Army, and I summarize some of the specific research areas below.  If you have research interests similar to these, I recommend you look at the full announcements.

Sponsor: Department of the Army

Sponsor Number:  W56KGU17RA424
Deadline Date:  31-Aug-2018
Sponsor Website :
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=b3b51564c1a27c840d50ea93140dc442

Topics (selected):

Antennas and Antenna Technologies for Tactical Communications
Spectrum Management for Tactical and Strategic Military Communications

Advanced Technologies in Network Operations on the Battlefield

Tactical Defensive Cyber Operations (DCO)

Systems Engineering, Architecture, Modeling & Simulation (SEAMS)

Ubiquitous Wireless Mobile Communications Concepts and Technologies

Reduced Size, Weight and Power (SWaP) Software Defined Radios (SDRs)

Advanced Algorithms and Techniques for Ad Hoc Network Design

Advanced Radio Frequency Identification Systems (ARFIDS)

Integrated Decision Enhancing Capabilities in Dynamic Environments (I-DECIDE)


Sponsor Number:  W56KGU13RA424
Deadline Date:  31-Jan-2018
Sponsor Website :
https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&tab=core&id=8e458b498d6041b7db89fecd1eea3caf

Topics (selected):


Antennas and Antenna Technologies for Tactical Communications and Electronic Warfare

Spectrum Management for Tactical and Strategic Military Communications

Software Defined Radio

Advanced Technologies in Network Operations on the Battlefield

Tactical Information Assurance

Systems Engineering, Architecture and Modeling and Simulation (SEAMS)

Ubiquitous Wireless Mobile Communications Concepts and Technologies

Advanced Algorithms and Techniques for Ad Hoc Network Design|

Integrated Decision Enhancing Capabilities in Dynamic Environments (I-DECIDE)

Secure Mobile Communications (SMC)

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Qiliang Li Receives Funding from N5 Sensors & NASA

Qiliang Li of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department received $255K from N5 Sensors, Inc. and NASA for his project, "Nanoengineered Hybrid Gas Sensors for Spacesuit Monitoring".

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Alex Brodsky Receives Funding from NSF

Alex Brodsky of the Computer Science Department received $30K from the National Science Foundation for his project, "Student Support: NIST-ASTM-NSF-ASME Workshop & Competition on Formalizing Manufacturing Processes for Structured Sustainability Assessments; Los Angeles, California; June 4-8, 2017."



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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
https://volgenau.gmu.edu/profile/view/10248