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List of Announcements (details below):


ˇ         This Week at the Volgenau School

ˇ         VSE in the News

ˇ         Photo of the Week

ˇ         Upcoming Events at the Volgenau School

ˇ         HPC Workshop: Big Data (Sep 12-13)

ˇ         Graduate Student Resources at Mason

ˇ         Post-Doc Opportunity:  Berkeley Labs

ˇ         Funding Opportunities: Robotics, Big Data, ... (LMI)

ˇ         Funding Opportunity: Radio Frequency Machine Learning Systems (DARPA)

ˇ         Funding Opportunity:  Exploratory/Developmental Bioengineering Research Grants (NIH)

ˇ         Margret Hjalmarson, Marvin Powell, & Jill Nelson Receive Funding from Spencer Foundation

ˇ         Vasiliki Ikonomidou & Laurence Bray Receive Funding from U. Virginia & U.S. Army

ˇ         Viviana Maggioni, Paul Houser, & Tim Sauer Receive Funding from NASA

ˇ         Song Min Kim Receives Funding from NSF

ˇ         Parth Pathak, Bob Simon, Brian Mark, & Gerry Tian Receive Funding from NSF

ˇ         Xiang Chen Receives Funding from NSF

ˇ         Daniel Lofaro Receives Funding from NSF

ˇ         Foteini Baldimtsi Receives Funding from NSF

ˇ         Paulo Costa Receives Funding from Raytheon & Air Force Research Lab

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This Week at the Volgenau School

It's Orientation week.

Classes don't start until August 28, but beginning today you can feel the semester start.  A big part of the change in atmosphere is orientation.

There was orientation for adjunct faculty on Saturday.  Orientation for full-time faculty is happening today and tomorrow.  Orientation for graduate students is on Thursday.  And there are move-in days for the new undergraduates at the end of the week.  (There are so many undergraduates that their orientation is spread over the summer.)

I started here as a faculty member 30 years ago, and my undergraduate and graduate degrees started long before that, so it takes some effort to try to imagine what it is like for a new student or faculty member as they come to campus for the first time.  They are being bombarded by information, new faces, new responsibilities, and what might seem at first to be a bewilderingly large campus.  The confusion will fade in a few weeks, but this week it is omnipresent for the newcomers.

I participate in some of these activities.  I'm part of a panel on research funding for the new faculty, and I oversee the graduate orientation.  It's an activity I enjoy.  There is excitement and optimism at the opportunities that are starting, as well as some trepidation at the challenges that are ahead.  So I try to put myself in their position as a way of making orientation satisfying and manageable.

This summer I was on vacation in Sicily, visiting places that were all new to me.  Making my stumbling efforts in a different language, losing my way in unfamiliar cities, trying to deduce the customs as they evolved from one part of the island to another - all of this bewilderment is in my head as I try to offer advice and guidance.

I'm sure all of you will encounter some lost and confused individuals in the next couple of weeks.  And I'm sure that you will welcome them to Mason, just as you were welcomed when you first arrived.

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VSE in the News

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

Beyond Mason

ˇ         4 Traders: Mason, John Wiley and Sons Inc. form partnership for online graduate programs<http://www.4-traders.com/JOHN-WILEY-SONS-INC-13207/news/John-Wiley-Sons-George-Mason-University-Partners-with-Wiley-for-Online-Graduate-Programs-24861855/>. John Wiley and Sons, Inc. and George Mason University have entered into a 10-year agreement that will expand the scope of Mason's online graduate programs.

ˇ         Popular Science: Mason's Jill Nelson and Laura Lukes comment on the ways average citizens can help collect data on the total solar eclipse coming on Aug. 21<http://www.popsci.com/four-ways-that-anyone-can-be-scientist-during-solar-eclipse#page-4>.

ˇ         Reuters via U.S. News & World Report: Mason's Eclipse Mob on Aug. 21 will study Earth's ionosphere<https://www.usnews.com/news/news/articles/2017-08-17/citizen-scientists-will-take-to-the-field-for-us-eclipse>

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

ˇ         Micron gift will help provide much-needed lab space for engineering programs<https://www2.gmu.edu/news/440386>. The Volgenau School of Engineering<https://volgenau.gmu.edu/> welcomed a Micron Technology Foundation gift of $125,000 that will provide much-needed lab space for a growing department.

ˇ         Mason receives multimillion-dollar Center of Excellence Award from the Department of Homeland Security<https://www2.gmu.edu/news/440156>. Mason will lead a consortium of universities and law enforcement agencies to investigate patterns of criminal activities and forensics, and develop strategies to predict and disrupt transnational crime.

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

ˇ         Mason Engineering's Bachelor of Science in Statistics Coming Soon<https://volgenau.gmu.edu/news/440951>. Students can begin taking classes now toward the new bachelor of science in statistics<http://catalog.gmu.edu/colleges-schools/engineering/statistics/statistics-bs/>. Mason Engineering will offer the degree for the first time in January 2018.

ˇ         Information technology doctoral student uncovers new ways to enrich learning<https://volgenau.gmu.edu/news/441151>. Stephanie Olson, a PhD student in information technology, is researching ways educators can improve their teaching and personalize instruction.

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Photo of the Week

[cid:[log in to unmask]]

Prof. Liza Durant's civil engineering students tour the Prince William County Landfill. Photo by Bethany Camp / Creative Services / George Mason University.

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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 the school. 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.

Aug; 23, 3:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. Welcome Back Reception for Faculty and Staff, Country Club of Fairfax
Sept. 7, 7:00 p.m. - Cybersecurity Innovation Series, 163 Research Hall
Sept. 13, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Dean's Ice Cream Social, Nguyen Building Atrium

For information about getting your event posted visit this page.<http://scheduling.gmu.edu/>

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HPC Workshop: Big Data (Sep 12-13)

XSEDE HPC Workshop: BIG DATA - September 12-13, 2017- GMU Satellite Site

The Big Data workshop will focus on Hadoop, Spark and Deep Learning with Tensorflow.

The workshop is open to the public and interested participants must register through the following website: https://portal.xsede.org/course-calendar/-/training-user/class/566/session/1335/

Seating is limited. Please bring your own laptop to do the exercises.  Access to the cluster at PSC will be provided.

For more information, contact:
Jayshree Sarma, [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
Interim Director, Research Computing
Office of Research Computing
George Mason University
(703) 993-4397

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Graduate Student Resources at Mason

[This was sent to me by the Provost's Office.  You are encouraged to share this information with your students.]

1. From the Stearns Center for Teaching and Learning. Contact Laura Lukes, [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>:
https://stearnscenter.gmu.edu/for-graduate-students

PROV601 Applications and schedule (DUE 10/10/17)
https://stearnscenter.gmu.edu/for-graduate-students/prov-601

PROV701 Applications and schedule (DUE 3/26/18)
https://stearnscenter.gmu.edu/for-graduate-students/prov-701

2. From University Life/Grad Student Life.  Contact Julie Choe Kim, [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>:
Gradstravaganza 2017!
https://gradlife.gmu.edu/gradstravaganza/

Grad student orientation:
https://gradlife.gmu.edu/graduate-student-orientations/

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Post-Doc Opportunity:  Berkeley Labs

[This message was sent by Kay Ágoston, Director of Graduate Fellowships at Mason.]

Cyclotron Road, a prestigious post-doctoral fellowship opportunity at Berkeley Lab for scientists and engineers in the field of energy technology, will soon begin accepting applications for its fourth cohort of Fellows.  This is a "technology incubator" fellowship that offers a great opportunity for newly emerging innovators in energy technology to turn their ideas into viable products.  For more information about the program and an upcoming webinar for prospective applicants, see below.  If you or your faculty colleagues know of any advanced PhD students or recent postdocs who might be a good fit for this program, please bring it to their attention.  Cyclotron Road offers two years of funding in residence at Berkeley Lab with access to top resources and mentorship.

Kay Ágoston, PhD
Director of Graduate Fellowships
George Mason University

You can register for a webinar on the program here<http://www.cyclotronroad.org/apply?utm_source=Cyclotron+Road+Updates&utm_campaign=0f949c8712-Impulse%2C+vol.+8&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_868b67d3f1-0f949c8712-316358261&mc_cid=0f949c8712&mc_eid=3aaf84b837#webinar>.  The application window will open in early October.

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Funding Opportunities: Robotics, Big Data, ... (LMI)

[This announcement was sent to me by Rebekah Hersch in Mason's Office of Research Development, Integrity, and Assurance.  If you would like to see the full announcement (as a PDF file) let me know. SGN]

The LMI Research Institute FY18 Academic Partnerships Research Solicitation has made a change this year and has decided to allow an unlimited number of responses from each of its academic partners (to include each of the CCALS member universities).  Please note: Mason received the solicitation because we are an academic partner of the LMI Research Institute.  Please do not forward, share, or provide this information to anyone outside Mason without the express written consent of the LMI Research Institute manager.

Here are extracts from the proposal solicitation:

LMI seeks to conduct sponsored research with university partners that supports LMI's mission of providing independent analysis and practical solutions to the challenges facing the federal government. The objective of this FY18 University Proposal Solicitation is to receive research proposals that investigate topics of critical interest to LMI and its federal customers.

FY18 Research Topics:

ˇ         Unmanned Systems and Robotics

ˇ         Agile Logistics and Risk Mitigation

ˇ         Predictive Data Analytics and Human Behavior

ˇ         Domestic Resource Mobilization

ˇ         Opioid Drug Addiction

ˇ         Effect of Quality Management Systems (QMS) on Delivery of Healthcare

Proposals are limited to 3 pages (for the technical approach).  Funding per project is in the range of $30,000 to $50,000.

Proposals are due Friday, September 22, 2017.

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Funding Opportunity: Radio Frequency Machine Learning Systems (DARPA)

Deadline Date:  10-Oct-2017
Program URL: https://www.fbo.gov/index?s=opportunity&mode=form&id=ae1eff49d89896b9e8eb5ea4c0d549d5&tab=core&_cview=0

Synopsis:  The goal of the RF Machine Learning Systems (RFMLS) program is to develop the foundations for applying modern data-driven Machine Learning to the RF Spectrum domain as well as to develop practical applications in emerging spectrum problems which demand vastly improved discrimination performance over today's hand-engineered RF systems.&nbsp; Ultimately these innovations will result in a new generation of RF systems that are goal-driven and can learn from data rather than being hand-engineered by experts.

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Funding Opportunity:  Exploratory/Developmental Bioengineering Research Grants (NIH)

Sponsor: National Cancer Institute/NIH/DHHS
Deadline Dates:  07-Sep-2017, 07-Jan-2019
Program URL: http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/pa-files/PA-16-040.html

Synopsis: NIH and it's participating Institutes and Centers invite applications which establish the feasibility of technologies, techniques or methods that: 1) explore a new multidisciplinary approach to a biomedical challenge; 2) are high-risk but have high impact; and 3) develop data that may lead to significant future research. An EBRG application may propose hypothesis-driven, discovery-driven, developmental, or design-directed research and is appropriate for evaluating unproven approaches for which there is minimal or no preliminary data. This program will use the NIH Exploratory/Developmental (R21) grant mechanism.

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Margret Hjalmarson, Marvin Powell, & Jill Nelson Receive Funding from Spencer Foundation

Margret Hjalmarson & Marvin Powell of the College of Education and Human Development, and Jill Nelson of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department received $50K from Spencer Foundation for their project, "Developing a Measure of Student Three-Dimensional Engagement from the Situational Perspective in Undergraduate Mathematics: A Qualitative Phase."

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Vasiliki Ikonomidou & Laurence Bray Receive Funding from U. Virginia & U.S. Army

Vasiliki Ikonomidou & Laurence Bray of the Bioengineering Department received $20K from the University of Virginia and the U.S. Army for their project, "VMEC Night Vision Proposal."

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Viviana Maggioni, Paul Houser, & Tim Sauer Receive Funding from NASA

Viviana Maggioni of the Sid and Reva Dewberry Department of Civil, Environmental and Infrastructure Engineering, and Paul Houser & Tim Sauer of the College of Science received $882K from NASA for their project, "Integrating remotely sensed phenology observations in a multi-model land data assimilation system."

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Song Min Kim Receives Funding from NSF

Song Min Kim of the Computer Science Department received $250K from the National Science Foundation for his project, "NeTS: Small: Collaborative Research: Transparent Cross-technology Communication in Wireless Networks."

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Parth Pathak, Bob Simon, Brian Mark, & Gerry Tian Receive Funding from NSF

Parth Pathak & Bob Simon of the Computer Science Department, and Brian Mark & Gerry Tian of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department received $844K from the National Science Foundation for their project, "II-NEW: 60 GHz Millimeter-wave Testbed for Multi-gigabit Wireless Networking."

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Xiang Chen Receives Funding from NSF

Xiang Chen of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department received $250K from the National Science Foundation for his project, "CSR: Small: Collaborative Research: EUReCa: Enabling Untethered VR/AR System via Human-centric Graphic Computing and Distributed Data Processing."

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Daniel Lofaro Receives Funding from NSF

Daniel Lofaro of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department received $25K from the National Science Foundation for his project, "Doctoral Consortium at the 2017 IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems (IROS) 2017."

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Foteini Baldimtsi Receives Funding from NSF

Foteini Baldimtsi of the Computer Science Department received $250K from the National Science Foundation for her project, "SaTC:CORE:Small:Collaborative: A Broad Treatment of Privacy in Blockchains."

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Paulo Costa Receives Funding from Raytheon & Air Force Research Lab

Paulo Costa of the C4I & Cyber Center and the Systems Engineering & Operations Research Department received $275K from Raytheon and the Air Force Research Laboratory for his project, "Derived and Integrated Cyber Effects (DICE)."

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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