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Department News
2008–2009

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Prof. Songqing Chen Wins Mason Emerging Researcher Award


Congratulations to Professor Songqing Chen who was named a recipient of the 2009 Mason Emerging Researcher, Scholar, and Creator Award. This very competitive award, will be given to Dr. Chen during Mason's Celebration of Achievements event to take place on November 4. 2009. Dr. Chen is a past recipient of the Volgenau School's Rising Star Award.

Computing News newsletter, Fall 2009

The Computer Science Department is pleased to announce the publication of the Fall 2009 issue of the Computing News newsletter.

NSF Grant for Prof. Jyh-Ming Lien

Prof. Jyh-Ming Lien has received funding from the National Science Foundation for his project titled "Shape Representation of Large Geometries via Convex Approximation". The project duration is three years.

NSF Grant for Prof. Stavrou

Prof. Angelos Stavrou has received funding from the National Science Foundation for his project titled ”Scalable Malware Analysis Using Lightweight Virtualization”. The project start date is 9/1/2009 and the duration is three years.

DoD Grant for Prof. Simon

Prof. Robert Simon has received funding from the Department of Defense for his project titled "Energy Harvesting Techniques for Deeply Embedded Wireless Sensor Systems".

NSF grant for Professor Rangwala

Prof. Huzefa Rangwala has received funding from the National Science Foundation for his project titled ”Computational Methods to Advance Chemical Genetics by Bridging Chemical & Biological Spaces”. The project start date is 9/1/2009 and the duration is four years.

NSF grant for Professor Luke

Prof. Sean Luke has received funding from the National Science Foundation for his project titled ”Coevolutionary Design and Multiagent Systems.” The project start date is 9/1/2009 and the duration is three years.

Addition to Fall Schedule

ISA 656-This course is an in-depth introduction to the theory and practice of network security. It assumes basic knowledge of cryptography and its applications in modern network protocols. The course studies firewalls architectures and virtual private networks and provides deep coverage of widely used network security protocols.

CS 583-Topics include analyzing sequential and parallel algorithmic strategies such as greedy methods, divide and conquer strategies, dynamic programming, search and traversal techniques and approximation algorithms.

Prof. Sean Luke Releases Essentials of Metaheuristics

Essentials of Metaheuristics is a 222 page free open text on metaheuristics: algorithms such as ant colony optimization, simulated annealing, the genetic algorithm, etc. The book is meant for undergraduate students, practitioners, programmers, and other non-experts. Go get your copy!

GMU Team Places Third in Usenix Security Grand Challenge Competition

GMU students Rhandi Martin, Zhaohui Wang and Fox Chambers received the third place prize ($1000) in the USENIX Security Grand Challenge held at the USENIX Security conference (August 12-14, 2009, in Montreal, Canada). The team was advised by Prof. Angelos Stavrou. Congratulations to the team members and Prof. Stavrou!

Changes to the MS-SWE degree requirements

SWE 637, Software Testing, has been inserted into the core in place of SWE 620, Software Requirements. This change affects students who start in Fall 2009 or after. Previously matriculated students still fall under the old rules, but may change to the new rules by filing an updated Plan of Study.

Jan Allbeck Joins the Faculty

Jan Albeck joins the CS Faculty this Fall as an assistant professor. She received her PhD from the Department of Computer and Information Science at the University of Pennsylvania, and was Associate Director of the Center for Human Modeling and Simulation.

Prof. Xinyuan (Frank) Wang Receives NSF CAREER Award

Prof. Xinyuan (Frank) Wang received a $400,000 5-year CAREER award from the National Science Science Foundation for his project, "Malware Immunization and Forensics based on Another Sense of Self."

This research explores a new direction in building artificial malware immunization and malware forensics capabilities.

Prof. Songqing Chen Receives Young Investigator Award

Prof. Songqing Chen has received the highly prestigious Young Investigator (YIP) Award from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR) in January 2009 for "Self-detecting Stealthy Malware on Your Host".

The proposal seeks to develop new techniques based on fundamental malware characteristics in order to efficiently deal with the malware variants and to minimize the impact on the normal applications running on a host simultaneously. Prof. Chen is a member of the Systems Group in the Department and conducts research in the areas of Internet content delivery systems; Internet measurement and modeling; operating systems and system security; and distributed systems and high performance computing.

Prof. Chen is also a recipient of an NSF CAREER award.

GMU At RoboCup!

Overall we think a good initial showing, and lots of fun. Our three ties wound up placing us higher in the rankings than we had expected given our rookie status against strong, multi-year teams.

First three matches: 0-0 (including against Virginia Tech)

Fourth match: 5-0 loss to the ZJDancers of ZheJiang University, Shanghai

Fifth match: 9-0 loss to Chiba Institute of Technology, Japan (Virginia Tech also lost 9-0 to them!)

RoboCup is an autonomous robot soccer competition and multirobotics research conference. GMU is fielding a team for the first time in the small-size humanoid league. Students Keith Sullivan, Brian Hrolenok, and Christopher Vo, and Prof. Sean Luke are attending to a team of three custom-built humanoid robots in Graz Austria.

Pictures will continue to arrive in real time as we are able to upload them from RoboCup2009 in Graz Austria. Click on an image to get a larger version.


Summer Classes

Computer Science
CS 105 Computer Ethics and Society- Summer Session A
CS 211 Object-Oriented Programming- Summer Session B
CS 330 Formal Methods and Models- Summer Session B
CS 571 Operating Systems- Summer Session C
CS 750 Theory/Appl Data Mining- Summer Session A

Information Systems
INFS 612 Princ and Pract of Comm Netwks- Summer Session B
INFS 614 Database Management- Summer Session X
INFS 622 Inform Systems Analysis/Design- Summer Session B
INFS 755 Data Mining- Summer Session A

Please see http://summer.gmu.edu/dates.html for more information on the Summer Session Dates.

Computing News newsletter

The Computer Science Department is pleased to announce the publication of the Spring Issue of the Computing News newsletter.

Computer Science Awards Dinner

Computer Science
Departmental Awards for 2009

Distinguished Academic Achievement GRADUATE

COMPUTER SCIENCE
Daniel Ramey
Matthew Revelle

INFORMATION SECURITY AND ASSURANCE
Timothy Rock

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Lavanya Lingala
Sean North

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
Andrew Festa
Jae Hyuk Kwak

Outstanding Academic Achievement GRADUATE

COMPUTER SCIENCE
Lindley French
Joseph Harrison
Nathan Heminger
Brian Hrolenok
Jacob Kaufman-Osborn
Aparna Nagargadde
Faisal Mansoor
Matthew Schneider
Todd Smith
Michael Sullivan
Israa Taha

INFORMATION SECURITY AND ASSURANCE
Michael Cervone
Mikle Makowka
Jonathan Ruark
Jason Stern

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Sri Manasa Kankipati
Mayank Mehta
Kirk Milligan

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING
Benjamin Arrington
Stephen Cox

Distinguished Academic Achievement UNDERGRADUATE

COMPUTER SCIENCE
Emlyn Pratt

Outstanding Academic Achievement UNDERGRADUATE

COMPUTER SCIENCE
Jonathan Amburn
Matthew Brown
Christopher Earle
Hai Le
Quan Pham
Randy Williams

CS Undergraduate Writing Award: Emlyn Pratt

First ACS BS graduate (Biology concentration): Gregory Rice

Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Assistant: Gaurav Singh

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant Awards:
Sudheendra Bhat
Hanjo Jeong
Huaming Liu
Cody Narber
Chun-Kit Ngan
Upsorn Praphamontripong
Min Xu

Outstanding Teacher Award: Dr. Hakan Aydin

Outstanding Adjunct Professor Award: Professor William Ellis

Outstanding Research Award: Dr. Daniel Menasce

George Mason Emerging Researcher/Scholar Award:Dr. Carlotta Domeniconi

Computer Science Faculty Research Award: Dr. Songqing Chen
Dr. Frank Wang

Outstanding Service Award: Dr. Pearl Wang

Outstanding Staff Award: Michele Pieper

The Computer Science Department has MOVED

On April 17, 2009 the Computer Science Department moved to the new Engineering Building, located between the Aquatic and Fitness Center and Research I on the Fairfax campus. The Computer Science main Office is located on the 4th floor of the Engineering Building, in suite 4300.

Summer 2009 MS CS Extended Online Offerings

NOTE: Registration is now closed for 2009. We plan to do this again next year.

The GMU Department of Computer Science offers courses leading to the
MSCS degree
through an innovative online approach that allows students to attend courses either in the classroom or over the Internet.

These courses are delivered using the Network EducationWare (NEW) software, which provides the instructor's voice, slides, annotation, and (optionally) video image, on Windows or Linux computers.

NEW also records the class so that students can attend over the Internet with a time delay. Usually the time delay is hours or days; however in Summer 2009 we are offering another option. Seven courses will be offered from their recordings. Students who take these courses will be mentored by the same faculty member who originally taught the recorded course, and will be expected to submit the same assignments as posted in the original syllabus. The schedule for completing assignments will be defined at the beginning of the course and will be subject to the same conditions as the classroom course (for example treatment of late submissions).

The courses are listed below. Please note that at most ten students will be registered in each course and registration is subject to the professor's approval. The drop period for these courses is 48 hours.
To register, contact the faculty member by email for approval and then the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at 703-993-2109 for administrative processing.



Faculty Positions in Bioengineering

The Department of Computer Science in the Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering at George Mason University invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning Fall 2009. For more information, see the departmental faculty recruitment page.

Assistant Professor Position in Computer Game Design

The Department invites applications for a tenure-track faculty position at the rank of Assistant Professor beginning Fall 2009 in the area of Computer Game Design. Applicants must have a research focus on computer games technology — for example, in the areas of artificial intelligence, computer graphics, real-time animation, simulation and modeling, distributed systems, computer security, or software engineering as applied to computer games. For more information, see the departmental faculty recruitment page.

Computing NewsThe Computer Science Department publishes its first issue of the Computing News Newsletter.

Click on the image to open the PDF document in your browser.

Professor Carlotta Domeniconi receives the 2008 Mason Emerging Researcher, Scholar, Creator Award.

Professor Carlotta Domeniconi, Associate Professor of Computer Science, is one of the three recipients of the 2008 Mason Emerging Researcher, Scholar, Creator Award. The award comes with a monetary cash prize of $3,000. Dr. Domeniconi's areas of expertise include machine learning, data mining, pattern recognition, classification, clustering, feature relevance estimation, text mining, and bioinformatics. She is also a recipient of an NSF's CAREER award. The CS Department extends its congratulations to Dr. Domeniconi for this prestigious award.

Two New Faculty Join the Department

The Department is pleased to welcome Amarda Shehu and Huzefa Rangwala as new assistant professors in computer science with an emphasis in bioinformatics and computational biology.

Visiting Faculty Member in Security

Michael Locasto, a Fellow of the Institute for Information Infrastructure Protection at Dartmouth College, is a visiting faculty member of the Department. His research explores methods for applying machine intelligence to a variety of security mechanisms, especially ways to make intrusion defense systems automatic, correct, and adaptive. His current work focuses on methods of structured fault injection, threat modeling, and debugging patterns.

Visiting Faculty Member in Game Design

Graham Morgan, a Lecturer in the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University, Great Britain, is a visiting faculty member with our department this year. He specializes in distributed systems, physics modeling, and game design and development.

Prof. Songqing Chen Receives NSF CAREER Award

Prof. Chen received the National Science Foundation's CAREER award for his project entitled “Internet Resource Management to Deliver High Quality Live and On-demand Streaming for Wireless Clients.” The award is for $450K for five years.

Undergraduate Teaching Assistant Jobs Available

The department has open positions for paid Undergraduate Teaching Assistants (UTAs) starting this Fall semester. A UTA assists a professor in teaching a class, provides an unusual opportunity to be involved in various aspects of teaching, and is a great mark on your resume! Hours and amount of time is very flexible. It helps if you're a CS major, but we often have UTAs beyond CS students. For more information, see the UTA jobs page.

Washington Post Coverage of CS Students at GMU

Articles on Stephen Taylor's Plasma Pong; and Michael Gagnon's good experiences applying for job positions after graduating from the department.

Department Merger is Finalized

The merger of the Departments of Computer Science and of Information and Software Engineering is final. The new department name will be the George Mason University Department of Computer Science. The new department will have 38 tenured or tenure-track faculty and four instructors.The official date for the merger is January 2008; but the two departments already operate as one in most aspects.

The new department does research and teaching in a wide range of computer science and information systems areas, including: algorithms and theory of computational; artificial intelligence: computer vision; databases; graphics; image processing; computer languages; software engineering; security; systems; networking; parallel and distributed computing; robotics; data mining; information systems; and computer science education. The department will offer a PhD in Computer Science, a PhD in Information Technology, an MS in Computer Science, an MS in Information Systems, an MS in Software Engineering, an MS in Information Security and Assurance, a BS in Computer Science, and several BS degrees in Applied Computer Science joint with various fields.

Five New Faculty Join the Department

The joint recruitment efforts of the merged CS and ISE departments have resulted in five new faculty joining the department. Fei Li, Angelos Stavrou, and Sam Malek have joined the department as assistant professors. Ricci Heishman and Daniel Fleck have joined the department as instructors.

Fei Li specializes in online and approximation algorithms and theory. Sam Malek specializes in software architecture, design, deployment, and engineering. Angelos Stavrou specializes in security and reliability in large, distributed, and peer-to-peer systems. Ricci Heishman is Assistant Dean in Computer Science and Information Technology at Northern Virginia Community College and specializes in human computer interaction. Daniel Fleck is from SRA International and specializes in software engineering.

GMU Robotics Club Wins National Robot Competition

"Big Foot", a humanoid robot designed and built by PhD student Keith Sullivan, placed first in the Humanoid Division of the Trinity College Firefighting Robotics Competition. The two other GMU robots, "George" (by Joel Chenette) and "Blue Bot" (by Brian Davidson) each qualified in their respective divisions.

The Trinity College Firefighting Robotics Competition is an annual national competition for autonomous robots. Each robot must wander through a "house" of four rooms, discover a candle, put it out, and ideally find its way back to its home base. The GMU Robotics Club has fielded entries for four years. This year GMU entered three robots: "George" is a lego tank-style robot which puts out the candle with a squirt of water; "Blue Bot" is a custom-built two- wheeled robot which puts out the candle with a high-speed fan; and "Big Foot" is a humanoid robot which walks and cartwheels through the maze and snuffs out the candle by hand.

Congratulations to Keith, Joel, and Brian!

BS in Applied Computer Science

The Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Computer Science (BS ACS) has been created for those students who want and need the knowledge and expertise of computer science to work in one of the many disciplines that require advanced computing techniques. These fields do not merely "use" computing but create new and interesting problems for the computer scientist.

Summer 2008 MS CS Extended Online Offerings

The GMU Department of Computer Science offers courses leading to the MSCS degree through an innovative online approach that allows students to attend courses either in the classroom or over the Internet.

These courses are delivered using the Network EducationWare (NEW) software, which provides the instructor's voice, slides, annotation, and (optionally) video image, on Windows or Linux computers.

NEW also records the class so that students can attend over the Internet with a time delay. Usually the time delay is hours or days; however in Summer 2008 we are offering another option. Seven courses will be offered from their recordings. Students who take these courses will be mentored by the same faculty member who originally taught the recorded course, and will be expected to submit the same assignments as posted in the original syllabus. The schedule for completing assignments will be defined at the beginning of the course and will be subject to the same conditions as the classroom course (for example treatment of late submissions).

The courses are listed below. Please note that at most ten students will be registered in each course and registration is subject to the professor's approval. The drop period for these courses is 48 hours.

To register, contact the faculty member by email for approval and then the Office of Continuing and Professional Education at 703-993-2109 for administrative processing.

Professor Xinyuan (Frank) Wang Wins Volgenau School Rising Star Faculty Research Award

Congratulations to Prof. Xinyuan (Frank) Wang who has been selected as the recipient of the 2009 Volgenau School Rising Star Faculty Research Award. The award is given to a scholar who is a rising star in his/her field and well on the way to gaining national prominence for his/her contributions. Prof. Wang will be honored at the School’s Fall Faculty Meeting and will be awarded $1,000. Prof. Wang is a recipient of an NSF CAREER award.