2010 Technogenesis Projects - Science

  1. Cryptography and network security on specialized hardware

    Project Objective: The project is to develop new and improved tools to perform fast cryptographic operations on special purpose hardware, such as graphics cards or specialized processing engines designed for fast video rendering.

    Examples of such hardware would be nVidia graphics cards (using CUDA programming or OpenCL), ATI graphics cards (OpenCL) or PowerPC Cell processors.

    Applications are in cryptanalysis, e.g. breaking MD5 by finding collisions.

    Knowledge desired: advanced mathematics, systems programming (gcc/g++), familiarity with Linux. Parallel programming experience a plus.

    Advisor: Sven Dietrich
    spock@cs.stevens.edu
    (201)216-8078

  2. Development of New Generation Forestry Model

    I am currently working on the development of new generation forest growth models in the framework of complex adaptive systems. Students who are interested in computer programming, applied mathematics or statistics can participate in my project. I can propose separate or joint research topics for several students with different background. The research projects could involve computer simulations, statistical analysis of the forest inventory data, or mathematical modeling. I anticipate that successful research projects will lead to publications in peer-reviewed journals. The major paper of interest is “N.S. Strigul, D. Pristinski, D.Purves, J. Dushoff, S.W. Pacala. 2008. Scaling from trees to forests: tractable macroscopic equations for forest dynamics. Ecological monographs, 78 (4): 523-545”.

    Advisor: Dr Nikolay Strigul
    Department of Mathematical Sciences, Stevens Institute of Technology
    nstrigul@stevens.edu
    Phone: 216-8763

  3. Research in Malware Analysis and Tracking

    Faculty in the Department of Computer Science seek to supervise projects that involve analysis of malicious software and their network manifestations. Specifically, there are opportunities to work with malware executables and network traces.

    The goal is to develop better code analysis techniques and tools, as well as to analyze and model the network behavior of malware.

    Advisor: Sven Dietrich
    spock@cs.stevens.edu
    (201)216-8078

  4. Computer Algebra for Cryptography on Graphics Cards

    The goal of this project is to implement a number of different computer algebra algorithms which are used in the context of cryptography on NVIDIA Telsa C1060 cards. Examples include factoring, solving of the discrete logarithm problem, and lattice basis reduction.

    Interested students should have taken classes in computer algebra or cryptography and should have programming experience.

    Advisors: Susanne Wetzel and Werner Backes
    Department : Computer Science
    susanne.wetzel@stevens.edu
    werner.backes@stevens.edu

  5. Privacy-preserving Policy Reconciliation

    In order to enable interaction it is necessary that the respective parties agree on the terms that will govern the interaction. This negotiation process is generally referred to as policy reconciliation. We have developed some new protocols which allow for policy reconciliation to be carried out in a manner which respects a parties preferences and privacy.

    The goal of this summer project is to implement some components of these new protocols in C++. Prerequisites for the project are good programming skills and some basic knowledge in security.

    Advisor: Susanne Wetzel
    Department: Computer Science
    susanne.wetzel@stevens.edu

  6. Research Support for Synthesis of Conformationally Restricted Sulphonamides via Radical Cyclisation

    A recent paper by Ganguly et. al. (see attached) reported the synthesis of novel conformationally restricted sulphonamides moieties, which could serve as important pharmacophores in drug discovery. Summer research will focus on the syntheses of sulphonamides represented by structure 1 wherein the ring size could be either six-, seven-, or eight membered. Furthermore, libraries of compounds will be prepared from each of these molecules with drug-like functionalities (example 2) for biological testing for inhibition of HIV protease. Techniques during this research will include handling air and moisture sensitive reagents with microscale to gramscale multi-step organic synthesis. Reaction mixtures will be separated using various chromatographic techniques such as Flash chromatograph, TLC(Thin Layer Chromatograph), chiral HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) etc.

    Structural analysis of unknown molecules will be done using advanced Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR), Mass Spectrometry (MS) and High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (HRMS) data, as well as Fourier Transform-Infra Red (FT-IR) and Circular Dichroism (CD).

    Download the pdf version of the project.

    Advisors: Prof. A. K. Ganguly and C. H. Wang
    Department: Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering
    a.ganguly@stevens.edu
    cwang@stevens.edu

  7. Novel Non-viral Gene Transfer Vectors

    The ability to introduce genes into the nucleus of target cells has potential applications as a therapy for genetic diseases or as a delivery mechanism for therapeutic proteins. Genetically engineered viruses are highly efficient in terms of delivering DNA to the nucleus of target cells. However, their complement of foreign proteins stimulates an immune system leading to the development of antibodies that prevent future administration of the same virus. Chemical and physical methods to accomplish gene delivery are being developed, but generally fail to exhibit efficient delivery of DNA to the nucleus compared with viruses. This Technogenesis project will focus on the development of a new system gene transfer that will mimic viral infection without using immunogenic proteins. Elements of the project will include genetic engineering to accomplish assembly, targeting, intracellular transport, and disassembly of the complex within the cell.

    Advisor: Philip Leopold
    Department: Chemistry, Chemical Biology, & Biomedical Engineering
    pleopold@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8957

  8. Respiratory Protection for the 21st Century

    History teaches us that inhalation of nano- or micro-fibers has the potential for pulmonary toxicity. This lesson is perhaps most poignant when considering the health effects of asbestos inhalation leading to asbestosis and mesothelioma. Due to the extensive use of asbestos in buildings in the last century, asbestos exposure is still a concern during construction, demolition, and particularly, emergency settings such as fires. Scientists and engineers are currently poised to launch new technologies based on a similarly stable nano-fiber, the carbon nanotube. Early toxicity testing indicates that nanotubes may share some of the pulmonary effects of asbestos fibers. This Technogenesis project will explore novel biologic approaches that could protect individuals at risk for inhalation exposure to stable nano- or micro-fibers.

    Advisor: Philip Leopold
    Department: Chemistry, Chemical Biology, & Biomedical Engineering
    pleopold@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8957

  9. Gene Transfer Properties of Carotenoid Lipids

    Cationic lipids have been used extensively to enhance delivery of genes into cells by virtue of the ability of the positively charged lipid to interact with negatively charged DNA. Working with collaborators in Doha, Qatar, and Trondheim, Norway, our laboratory is characterizing the gene transfer properties of a new family of lipids based on carotenoids, naturally occurring, highly unsaturated lipids that collect light energy in plants. The lipids will be used in formulations with other cationic and zwitterionic lipids in cell culture experiments.

    Advisor: Philip Leopold
    Department: Chemistry, Chemical Biology, & Biomedical Engineering
    pleopold@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8957

  10. Cellular Changes following Traumatic Brain Injury

    During traumatic brain injury, neurons experience linear and angular acceleration that results in distortion of brain tissue, tearing of the fragile axonal extensions of neuron (a condition known as "diffuse neuronal injury"), and, eventually, dying back of axons. The aspects of traumatic brain injury from the point of diffuse brain injury to the point of the axonal dying back response are similar to changes that occur in certain neurodegenerative diseases or viral infections of neurons. In those cases, previous studies show that one contributor to axon dying back is the fact that intracellular molecular motors of the kinesin family are turned off. As a result, newly synthesized biomolecules cannot re-supply the axon. The mechanism of axonal dying back has not been determined in traumatic brain injury; hence, this project will focus on the state of activity of kinesin motor molecules following traumatic brain injury.

    Advisor: Philip Leopold
    Department: Chemistry, Chemical Biology, & Biomedical Engineering
    pleopold@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8957

  11. Verifier for Information Downgrading Policies

    This is for an undergraduate summer research project on program verification for secure information flow in Java programs. The work will support ongoing research of David Naumann and others in our NSF Computing Research Infrastructure project entitled “CRI:CRD: Collaborative Research: A JML Community Infrastructure – Revitalizing Tools and Documentation to Aid Formal Methods Research.” It is possible that the student can be funded by NSF under the REU program.

    The overall goal is to develop tools and other infrastructure to support research and teaching with the Java Modeling Language (JML) [5]. Security is one of the areas where JML has been most successfully applied. My specific activities under the CRI award focus on design of extensibility features and semantic modeling of JML. These activities require advanced knowledge and are not suitable for undergraduates. However, this proposed REU project will serve as a good case study to evaluate and document the extensibility features as well as improvements made to the tool infrastructure under the collaborative awards.

    The specific goal of this summer research project is to integrate one of the JML analysis tools (static verifier) with a lightweight type-based security analyzer, to provide formal specification and verification of information flow policies that include conditional downgrading. Downgrading encompasses declassification of secrets and endorsement of untrusted inputs, but for research purposes we will focus on declassification.

    The type-based security analyzer, SecJ, was developed my my PhD student Qi Sun [4] as part of his dissertation [3]. The prototype system is available online [6]. This work was funded by another NSF award,1 and in that project we also devised a technique called conditional gradual release (CGR) for specifying and verifying downgrading policies [2, 1]. However, it has not yet been implemented.

    This summer undergraduate research project will incorporate CGR policies and enforcement into SecJ. The student will develop Java code, shell scripts, and sample programs with security policies for testing.

    Advisor: Prof. David Naumann
    Department: Computer Science
    david.naumann@stevens.edu
    Ext : 5608

  12. Nanostructure Device Dynamics: The Role of a Magnetic Field

    Nanoscale researchers have recently focused attention on newly conceived electronic device concepts based on charge transport in nanostructured systems, including quantum dots and quantum wires, etc.. In this, it is often assumed that each nano-element involved in the device would support just one single energetically accessible energy subband level in the absence of a magnetic field, and that the role of the magnetic field can be represented merely in terms of a Peierls phase factor. However, this ignores another important effect of the magnetic field in that it induces a “splintering” of the single subband energy level into a proliferation of many Landau-quantized states. The latter states may also be energetically accessible, making the situation much more complicated.

    This proposed research topic involves a careful analysis of the role of the magnetic field in the Landau quantized proliferation of nanostructure subband states, with a specific determination of their spectrum. In the course of this research the Green’s function for the nanostructure will be constructed, facilitating a full understanding of its dynamics which may be applied to device operation.

    Advisor: Prof. Norman J. M. Horing
    Department: Physics & Engineering Physics
    norman.horing@stevens.edu
    Ext : 5651

  13. Molecular mechanism of tissue repair

    Advisor: Jiahua Xu
    Department: Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering
    jiahua.xu@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8354

  14. Cell-nanomaterial interaction

    Advisor: Jiahua Xu
    Department: Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering
    jiahua.xu@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8354

  15. Cancer biology

    Advisor: Jiahua Xu
    Department: Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering
    jiahua.xu@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8354

  16. Tissue engineering

    Advisor: Jiahua Xu
    Department: Chemical Biology and Biomedical Engineering
    jiahua.xu@stevens.edu
    Ext : 8354

For more information, please contact:

Ms. Sandra Furnbach
Coordinator of Academic Entrepreneurship Initiatives