Faculty & Staff Accolades: September 2015

Accolades celebrate the professional achievements of the faculty and staff in the College of Science. The deadline for submissions to be included in the October column is October 19th to tfede@gmu.edu. Submitted accolades will be sent to the University for inclusion in University-wide accolades recognition.

Charles Bailey, School of Systems Biology, National Center for Biodefense & Infectious Diseases, was awarded $28,072.00 for his research project by the U.S. Department of Justice for FBI/Cohort Training.

Geoffrey Bichard, Biology, co-published Chapter 9 in Egg allometry: Influences of phylogeny and the altricial-precocial continuum. Pp 97-112 in: Nests, Eggs and Incubation.  D.C. Deeming and S.J. Reynolds eds. Oxford University Press.

Joanna Boyette, Mathematical Sciences, coordinated a group of 22 elementary, middle and high school students from So Others Might Eat (SOME) in DC this July to travel to George Mason for an afternoon of science. Kelly Knight, Forensic Science Program, led students through explorations in fingerprints in the Forensic Science lab. COS undergraduate students helped coordinate and offered labs to explore the chemistry of slime, and how to extract their own DNA. Julia Nord, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, had students blowing bubbles into limewater to form limestone. This couldn’t have happened without the support and organization of Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, Mathematical Sciences, and STEM Accelerator.

Benjamin Cash, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded $280,000.00 for his research project by the U.S. Department of the Navy for ONR/Indian Monsoon in the NMME.

Barry Haack, Geography and Geoinformation Science, gave a presentation at The 36th Symposium on Remote Sensing, St.John’s, Newfoundland, entitled “The Role of Remote Sensing in Development.” He also gave a presentation at The 36th Canadian Symposium on Remote Sensing, Newfoundland, entitled “Remote Sensing Research and Education in Developing Delivers and Why.”

Jim Kinter, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was appointed to the Ad Hoc Task Force on Big Data (TFBD) of the Science Committee of the NASA Advisory Council. The NAC is the body operating under the Federal Advisory Committee Act that officially provides external advice to NASA. The Science Committee is one of 5 standing committees of the NAC. The TFBD is a newly-formed group that will help NASA to improve its utilization of large data sets, to advance use of distributed technologies and to enable more effective interdisciplinary usage and availability of large data sets.

Sean Lawton along with Christopher Manon, Mathematical Sciences, from the Mason Experimental Geometry Lab, ran a summer program that included three research projects each with a visiting graduate student, 4 Mason undergraduates, and one local high school student.  These experimental pure mathematics projects were in the area of moduli space theory (study of “spaces of spaces”). In addition to their research teams they also supervised a virtual reality development team, a 3D printing development team, and a community engagement development team. The summer program was ended with a 2-day symposium where the 20 program participants presented their summer’s work.

Rainald Lohner, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $3,108,866.00 for his research project by the U.S. Department of Defense for DTRA/Complex Multiphysics Exascale.

Thomas Lovejoy, Environmental Science and Policy, co- published an article “A Mojave Solar Project in the Bighorns’ Way” in the NY Times.

David Luther, Biology, co-published “Not so sexy in the city: urban birds adjust songs to noise but compromise vocal performance” in Behavioral Ecology. He also attended the Meetings of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore, along with Larry Rockwood, where he helped organize a symposium entitled “Ecological Acoustics: Conceptual and Technological Advances in Ecology through Sound.”

Christopher Manon, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $100,000.00 for his research project by the National Science Foundation for NSF/Enumeration Algebraic Geometry.

Dimitrios Papaconstantopoulos, Computational and Data Sciences, was awarded $74,360.00 for his research project by the U.S. Department of Energy for DOE/Simulations of Complex Material.

Chris Parsons, Environmental Science and Policy, published the article “So you think you want to run an environmental conservation meeting? Advice on the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that accompany academic conference planning” in the Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. He also co-published papers which include: “Whale-watching activity in Bahía Málaga, Colombian Pacific, and its effect on humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) behavior” and “Recent advances in whale-watching research: 2013-2014” in the journal Tourism in Marine Environments.

Emanuel Petricoin, School of Systems Biology, Center for Applied Proteomics & Molecular Medicine, was awarded $21,540.00 for his research project by AATO/O/Italian Fellowship.

Jessica Rosenberg, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $104,114.00 for her research project by the AAAS for AAAS/NSF/Sci&Tech Policy Fellowship.

Philip Rubin, Physics and Astronomy, was awarded $450,000.00 for his research project by the National Science Foundation for NSF/Kaon Decay Exps at CERN.

Evelyn Sander, Mathematical Sciences, gave an interactive 3D Printing Workshop for 100 middle school students, F.O.C.U.S. Summer Camp, STEM Accelerator Program, July 2015. She also had a featured article appear on the cover of The International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos in April, and presented a talk about it at the SIAM Conference on Applications of Dynamical Systems in Snowbird, Utah. She has submitted four research papers since that time. Dr. Sander co-advised an undergraduate student in a research project on the topic of phase separation in diblock copolymers with unequal mass. This project was part of the responsibilities as co-PI in the department’s NSF-funded EXTREEMS Program. Also, she continues to serve as editor-in-chief of the Research Spotlights section for the journal SIAM Review (SIAM = Society for Industrial and Applied Math). SIAM Review is the highest impact factor of all applied mathematical journals in 2014.

Joel Schnur, College of Science, was awarded $4,928,647.00 for his research project by the U.S. Department of the Navy for NRL/Advanced Bio Molecular Science.

Edwin Schneider, new chair of Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, is stepping down as an Executive Editor of the Springer journal Climate Dynamics after serving since 2004. V. Krishnamurthy, Center for Ocean-Land-Atmosphere Studies (COLA), has agreed to serve as Executive Editor, continuing the strong George Mason/COLA association with the journal. Since 2004, Climate Dynamics has consistently been one of the top five ranked journals in the category of Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences, and its impact factor has increased from 3.5 in 2004 to 4.7 in 2014.

Reid Schwebach, College of Science, David Luther, Biology, Anne Verhoeven, Biology, Claudette Davis, Biology, and Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, Math, along with graduate students, co-published “Advancing graduate education and faculty development with discipline based education research and the SIMPLE framework: Design memos in biology for active teaching” in Arhens Journal of Education.

Padmanabhan Seshaiyer, Mathematical Sciences, was awarded $215,067.00 by the National Science Foundation for NSF/IPA: P Seshaiyer.

Anthony Stefanidis, Geography and Geoinformation Science, gave a keynote talk on “Deriving Place Signatures in Urban Spaces from Social Media” at the Inaugural Intelligence Community Academic Research Symposium in Washington, DC, September 2015.  The talk featured research work pursued by Professor Stefanidis, along with departmental colleagues Arie Croitoru and Dieter Pfoser, and Andrew Crooks, Computational and Data Sciences.

Valeriu Soltan, Mathematical Sciences, published a book “Lectures on Convex Sets” World Scientific Publishing. The book grew up out of various graduate courses on geometry and convexity, taught by the author at George Mason for more than a decade. It provides a systematic treatment of algebraic and topological properties of convex sets in the n-dimensional Euclidean space and is accessible to graduate students in mathematics, optimization, and operations research.

Chaowei Yang, Geography and Geoinformation Science, was awarded for his research projects $56,045.00 by the National Admin, Surveying, Mapping for NASG/WebGIS Platform Sept 2015, $90,766.00 by UN/Fellowship Geoinformation, and $114,364.00 by the National Science Foundation for NSF/EarthCube IA: (ECITE). In September, Yang’s Center of Intelligent Spatial Computing for Water/Energy Science also hosted the Second Sino-US Short Term Advance Management Training Program on “Technology and Management of National Geographic Conditions Census and Monitoring.” The National Administration of Surveying, Mapping and GeoInformation of China organized 25 director generals and executive managers from national or provincial bureaus of surveying and mapping, and related agencies to attend. A variety of topics were introduced to include Mason global strategy, Mason Geospatial programs, Health and GIS, Agriculture and GIS, Geospatial Interoperability, and Cloud Computing.

Mark Uhen, Atmospheric, Oceanic and Earth Sciences, was awarded for his research projects $252,843.00 by the National Science Foundation for NSF/EarthCube IA: Bioinformatics, and $115,394.00 by the National Science Foundation for NSF/EarthCube IA:Epandda.