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

·         Conference: Women in Statistics & Data Science (Oct 19-21, 2017)

·         Funding Opportunity:  Quantum Computing Research … (Army)




This Week at the Volgenau School


On Friday, fifteen PhD students from the Volgenau School participated in the preliminary round of the 3-Minute Thesis competition.  I was able to attend almost half of the presentations, and it was exciting to be there.


I’ve written about this competition before.  The students had three minutes (and one Powerpoint slide) to explain their research to a general audience. It’s not easy.  One hesitation can throw off your timing, make you worry about whether you will finish on time, and put your presentation into a tailspin.  It can be especially hard for Volgenau students, since their research is in technical areas that take time to explain.


There were many fine presentations.  (I’m not just talking about our students.)  The students had put a lot of time and thought into preparation and rehearsal.  It was amazing to see how much insight and information could be packed into three minutes.


My office organized a practice session on February 21 so our students could try out their presentations and get feedback.  Eleven of them took part.  It was gratifying to watch the students again on Friday and see the improvements in style and substance.


This morning we saw the list of the 10 finalists.  Four VSE students made it into the finals, more than any other School.  The VSE finalists are:

·         Aiyoub Abbaspour (Advisor: Burak Tanyu, CEIE)

·         William Diehl (Advisor: Kris Gaj, ECE)

·         Rahul Murmuria (Advisor: Angelos Stavrou, CS)

·         Bradley Snyder (Advisor: Jim Jones, ECE)


The finals will be held at 3pm on Saturday, March 25, at Mason’s Arlington Campus.  They are part of the Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference


I hope to see you there to cheer on Team Volgenau.



VSE in the News

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


Beyond Mason

·         Federal News Radio: Former Mason faculty member Anup Ghosh, founder of Va. based cyber security firm Invincea, is profiled. 

·         Fox News: Mason’s Duminda Wijesekera describes how human organ sales in Turkey benefit terror groups.

·         Washington Post: Mason alumna and the first private space traveler Anousheh Ansari accepts the Oscar for ‘The Salesman’ director Ashgar Farhadi who refused to travel to the US in protest of the immigration ban.

·         Capital Gazette: Mason professor emeritus George Donohue op-eds on why taxes are not necessarily bad.

·         Quartz Media: Alumna Anousheh Ansari accepts Oscar for Iranian film director. 

·         GCN:  The Co-Arg project from the Learning Agents Center is featured in an article about “Leveraging the wisdom (and ignorance) of crowds”.


On the Mason News page (

·         Tip sheet: Data indicate Syrian refugee organ sales appear to benefit terror groups: Duminda Wijesekera comments on how sale of human organs indirectly supports terrorist organizations.

·         Mason's Relvao finds his passion in basketball and technology. Red shirt freshman balances demands of athletics and a mechanical engineering major.


On the Volgenau site (

·         Cybersecurity’s next generation of experts prepares for the future at Virginia Cyber Competition. Students from the school’s cybersecurity engineering program competed in the Virginia Cyber Competition.

·         Volgenau PhD students prepare for 3MT. Twenty Volgenau PhD students take on the challenge of explaining their research to a general audience in three minutes. Preliminary round was held March 3.


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


Photo of the Week


Cyber Security Engineering students participate in a competition at Virginia Military Institute for the Virginia Cyber Cup.




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 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.


March 21 – 3:30 p.m.  Graduate Student Coffee hosted by Bioengineering

March 23 – 11:30 a.m. Bioengineering Seminar

March 28 – 7:30 p.m.  ASCE Student Mixer

March 30 – 11:30 a.m.  CEI Annual Meeting and Luncheon

                    11:30 a.m.  Bioengineering Seminar


For information on getting your event posted via 25Live, please visit




Conference: Women in Statistics & Data Science (Oct 19-21, 2017)




Dates:  October 19-21, 2017

Location:  La Jolla, CA

Deadline for abstracts:  April 20, 2017


The 2017 Women in Statistics and Data Science Conference in La Jolla, California, aims to bring together hundreds of statistical practitioners and data scientists to “Share WISDOM (Women In Statistics, Data science, and -OMics).”


WSDS 2017 will highlight the achievements and career interests of women in statistics and data science. Senior, mid-level, and junior stars representing industrial, academic, and government communities will unite to present their life's work and share their perspectives on the role of women in today’s statistics and data science fields.




Funding Opportunity:  Quantum Computing Research … (Army)


Opportunity Title:  Quantum Computing Research in New and Emerging Qubits & Cross-Quantum Systems Science & Technology

Sponsor:  Department of the Army

Sponsor Number:  W911NF-17-S-0001

Deadline Date:  06-Jun-2017

Program URL:


Synopsis:  The U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) in collaboration with the Laboratory for Physical Sciences (LPS) is soliciting proposals for research in two focused topic areas: (A) new and emerging qubit science and technology (NEQST) and (B) cross quantum technology systems (CQTS).NEQST focuses on qubit systems that explore new operating regimes and environments, fundamentally new methods of fabrication, and new methods of design, control, or operation. These explorations should have in mind the development of quantum computation where the novel properties of these systems create significant advantages in coherence, fabrication, and/or qubit operation over current state-of-the-art qubits. While NEQST focuses on developing new qubit and quantum gate technologies, CQTS focuses on combining existing disparate quantum technologies to provide functionality that significantly improves the performance of, or adds capability to, any of the individual qubit types. Topics of particular interest are quantum state transfer (e.g. microwave-to-optical), novel classical control paradigms, and quantum memories. (Note: this BAA is concerned only with the circuit model of quantum computation.)






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