Six faculty members in the Stevens Institute of Technology computer science department have been awarded grants totaling roughly $3.9 million by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Office of Naval Research and private sources.
The grants from these prestigious funding agencies support research into big data, inspection techniques for infrastructure, cybersecurity and other important areas of scholarship.
Assistant Professor Samantha Kleinberg received an NIH grant totaling approximately $1.5 million over four years for her project titled “BIGDATA: Causal Inference in Large-Scale Time Series.” Her project aims to develop methods for causal inference with uncertain and changing data, allowing robust inferences even when events are observed out of order and the rules governing a system change as it’s being observed. Working with clinicians in the neurological intensive care unit at Columbia University Medical Center, the methods will be applied to detect the onset of seizures in real-time and predict when stroke patients will regain consciousness.
Dr. Kleinberg has also received a James S. McDonnell Foundation Scholar Award of $450,000 over five years for the study of multiscale causality across time and space.
Associate Professor Philippos Mordohai received a $432,000 award from NSF for research titled "Learning to Eliminate Heuristics in Stereo Vision." This project develops technologies aimed at improving stereo and multi-view stereo algorithms by removing heuristics and hand-tuning using machine learning techniques. Stereo vision plays an important role in many applications, such as 3D modeling, augmented reality, driver assistance, autonomous navigation and human computer interaction.
Dr. Mordohai also received another NSF grant, under the National Robotics Initiative, for "Autonomous Quadrotors for 3D Modeling and Inspection of Outdoor Infrastructure.” The three-year project in collaboration with the University of Minnesota aims to develop technology for inspecting hard-to-reach infrastructure, such as bridges, using low-cost quadrotors. The grant totals nearly $300,000.
Dr. David Naumann received an NSF EAGER grant for his project "Hyperproperty Abstraction for Information Flow Control.” This grant covers a year and brings in more than $100,000. The EAGER program supports innovative or potentially transformative research that would not fall under the auspices of NSF’s regular grant program. Dr. Naumann’s work uses methods of mathematical semantics and formal logic to develop theory and algorithms for information flow analysis. The main impact of this project will be to enable researchers and commercial tool developers to implement more sophisticated, comprehensive and effective analyses for information flow in software. This will lead to improved software quality and protection against attacks and will contribute to growing science of cybersecurity.
Assistant Professor Georgios Portokalidis also received support for work on security. He earned a grant of roughly $500,000 from the Office of Naval Research for "Adapting Static and Dynamic Program Analysis to Effectively Harden Debloated Software.” Dr. Portokalidis will develop techniques for protecting software against security compromises that can be applied to programs without accessing their source code.
Associate Professor Susanne Wetzel received two NSF grants. One, expected to total $500,000 over three years, covers her project "Maritime Cybersecurity – Building Capacity in Critical Infrastructure Protection.” Dr. Wetzel also received $125,669 for her project “EAGER: Exploring the Use of Secure Multi-Party Computation in the Context of Organ Donation.”
In addition, Dr. Brian Borowski received the 2016 Harvey N. Davis Distinguished Teaching Assistant Professor award at the university’s convocation ceremony on September 7.