Rutgers ECE Student collaborates with Siemens on Biomedical Research Project

Rutgers’ graduate student Sushil Mittal has collaborated with a group of researchers from Siemens Corporate Research and Siemens Healthcare on a biomedical research project. Under the tutelage of Professor Peter Meer, Mr. Mittal spearheaded the project while interning at Siemens Corporate Research in Princeton, NJ. Mr. Mittal is the first author on the first published paper, “Fast Automatic Detection of Calcified Coronary Lesions in 3D Cardiac CT Images*,” to feature research from the project.

The project aimed to address some of the difficulties related to detecting calcified coronary lesions. Despite recent advances in multi-detector computed tomography (MDCT), detection of coronary lesions remains a troubling task. There are multiple reasons why detection is so difficult. For one, the lesions are incredibly small. Secondly, coronary arteries are by nature long and winding, which makes identifying lesions difficult. Finally, the imaging data tends to be of a low resolution, and vulnerable to noise, blooming, and motion artifacts. In response to these issues, Mr. Mittal and the rest of the team have proposed a solution: a novel learning-based, fully automatic algorithm for the detection of calcified lesions in contrast enhanced 3-D CT data.

With guidance from his manager at Siemens and Professor Meer, Mr. Mittal was solely responsible for the implementation and execution of the project experiments. The experiments compared and evaluated the performance of two supervised learning methods—Probabilistic Boosting Tree (PBT) and Random Forest (RF) classifier. Both PBT and RF use rotation invariant features that are extracted along the centerline of the coronaries. On data collected from 165 patients, Mr. Mittal was able to achieve an approximate 90% detection rate for less than one false positive scan. Below are two detection results found on coronary images:


Siemens Corporate Research funded the project and Mr. Mittal is currently waiting on the review decision of the project’s second paper. He works with Professor Meer in the Robust Image Understanding Laboratory at Rutgers.

S. Mittal, Yefeng Zheng, B. Georgescu, F. Vega-Higuera, Shaohua Kevin Zhou, P. Meer, D. Comaniciu. Published in Machine Learning in Medical Imaging, Volume 6357 of Lecture Notes in Computer Science, and available online

The Rise of Autonomic Computing

The goal of autonomic computing, is to build systems and applications which manage themselves by responding to the data. They configure and adapt themselves in real time, analogous to the structure of a self-regulating biological ecosystem.

Today there are many applications of autonomic computing. In a lecture given during the EGEE 5th User Forum, Manish Parashar, the founding director of the Center for Autonomic Computing and The Applied Software Systems Laboratory at Rutgers University, said that this approach can also be applied to complex grid infrastructures which are similarly complex, and becoming so intricate that they are not achieving their full potential.

WINLAB Wireless Privacy and Security Research featured on CNN TV

New wireless technologies in cars may compromise a driver’s privacy and pose a security threat, warns a WINLAB research team together with University of South Carolina collaborators. Modern automobiles are increasingly equipped with wireless sensors and devices, such as systems that monitor air pressure inside tires and trigger dashboard warnings if a tire’spressure drops. The researchers have shown that these wireless signals can be intercepted 120 feet away from the car using a simple receiver despite the shielding provided by the metal car body.
Since signals in tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) include unique codes from each wheel sensor, this raises concerns that drivers’ locations could be tracked more easily than through other means, such as capturing images of license plates.

TPMS wireless transmissions also lack security protections common in basic computer networking, such as input validation, data encryption or authentication. The researchers demonstrated how a transmitter that mimics, or “spoofs,” the sensor signal can easily send false readings and trigger a car’s dashboard warning display. This could prompt a driver into stopping his or her car when there is actually nothing wrong with the tires.

The WINLAB team included Rob MillerSangho Oh as well as Profs. Marco Gruteser and Wade Trappe. Their collaborators at the University of South Carolina were led by Prof. Wenyuan Xu, an ECE and WINLAB alumna. The results of their work were presented at the USENIX Security Symposium, one of the premiere academic computer security conferences and subsequently received a wide press echo in more than 50 media outlets, including a segment on CNN national TV, web stories in the MIT Technology ReviewABC news, Businessweek, and a mention on Slashdot.


Rutgers Students Glide into the Smithsonian

Rutgers students and researchers recently traced the ocean blue path Christopher Columbus made famous over 500-years ago with a noteworthy trip of their own making: the first ocean crossing by an underwater robotic vehicle.
Over the course of many months, Rutgers students and researchers from various departments worked together with the University’s International Coalition of Ocean Observing Laboratories (iCOOL) to design an 8-foot robotic glider named The Scarlet Knight, after the Rutgers mascot. Then, in early 2009, the Scarlet Knight was deployed off the coast of New Jersey, setting sail, sort of speak, for Baiona, Spain, the same city Columbus landed in hundreds of years ago.

Once submerged, the glider went on to spent 221 days at sea, collecting data on ocean circulation and temperatures along the way. With no propeller or engine, the Scarlet Knight rode the Atlantic Ocean currents by way of a clever manipulation of the glider’s buoyancy. Inside the glider, a battery powered pump distributed water to either the glider’s tail or nose, causing the glider to ascend or descend. Equally remarkable is how the glider’s pump was controlled: via piloting instructions sent from team members on the mainland and received by an Iridium telephone installed in the Glider’s tail. Every 8-hours, the Scarlet Knight rose to the surface to transmit its collected data and receive any updated instructions from students and researchers keeping tabs on the glider’s coordinates in relation to weather and water patterns.

Electrical and Computer EngineeringStudents and professors have put in many hours working on various key projects to further develop the technology needed to power and operate gliders much like the famous Scarlet Knight. In 2010, for example, Professor Uli Kremer and his students, from the University’s computer science department, worked with a team of ECE students to assist in the development of the power measurement infrastructure used in the gliders. Designing the infrastructure system from start to finish posed various challenges for the ECE team, said Ilya Chigirev, an ECE graduate student who served as a mentor for the ECE undergraduates involved with the project. However, Ilya and his team were well prepared to solve the problems raised by the project, thanks to their training at Rutgers. “It was a great example of being able to apply some of what we had learned in classes,” said Ilya.
Since it’s deployment, the Scarlet Knight and the technology used in its creation have been making waves around the world. Notably, the underwater wonder is currently the centerpiece of a temporary exhibit at the Smithsonian Museum, in Washington D.C. The Knight has garnered such attention, in part, because it’s a world first, but also because the glider technology is versatile in its real world problem solving applicability. After the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill disaster, off the Gulf Coast, gliders much like the Knight were used to effectively locate oil spill areas. Such disaster recovery assistance is simply one instance proving just how valuable the Scarlet Knight ocean-surveying technology can be.

Searching for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

Former ‘Sputnik kid’ turned Rutgers professor in high-level company at SETI 50th anniversary conference.

Scientists who monitor the skies for hints of intelligent life beyond Earth’s boundaries felt a glimmer of hope last month when word came of a faraway planet potentially capable of sustaining life.

Christopher Rose, an engineering professor at Rutgers, welcomed the announcement of Gliese 581g, a so-called exoplanet which is orbiting a star about 20 light-years away in the constellation Libra.

“It’s a very exciting discovery, one that greatly increases the possibility that there are quite a few habitable planets out there,” said Rose, who has more than a passing interest in the field of science known as SETI – the search for extraterrestrial intelligence.

Like others who are similarly engaged, the professor of electrical and computer engineering in the Wireless Information Network Laboratory at Rutgers (WINLAB) has heard the usual canards, and they make him cringe: hopeless dreamers, wild-eyed star-gazers, cranks. For more in depth story please click HERE

WINLAB Team wins Best Paper Award at International Workshop on Research Advancements in Future Networking Technologies

A  WINLAB team received the Best Paper Award at the 2nd International Workshop on Research Advancements in Future Networking Technologies (RAFNET) at the IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC'2017) now being held in Sydney.  The paper is entitled: Evaluating 5G Multihoming Services in the MobilityFirst Future Internet Architecture, and is authored by Parishad Karimi, Michael Sherman, Ivan Seskar, Francesco BronzinoAbhimanyu Gosain (BBN/Raytheon) and D. Raychaudhuri. Congratulations to  the team!


Janne Lindqvist Interviewed by CBS Radio KMOX St. Louis

KMOX CBS Radio St. Louis interviewed Prof. Janne Lindqvist about his research on secure gestures. Could a doodle soon replace our passwords? Listen to the podcast and find out.

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Announcing the 2017 Recipients of the Paul Panayotatos Endowed Scholarship in Sustainable Energy

The 2017 Paul Panayotatos Endowed Scholarship in Sustainable Energy will be shared by ECE graduate students Guangyuan Li and Navila Alim.

Guangyuan Li, an ECE PhD student working with Professor Yicheng Lu, has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Paul Panayotatos Endowed Scholarship in Sustainable Energy. Guangyuan will receive $3,500 in support of his project entitled “Interface Engineering for MgZnO High Voltage Thin Film Transistors on Glass for Inverters in Photovoltaic Systems”. Guangyuan's research focuses on semiconductor material growth using MOCVD and its corresponding characterizations to improve the performance of Thin Film Transistors (TFTs). He just received his MS degree at Rutgers in May 2017, and obtained his Bachelor's degree from the University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC) in 2015.

Navila Alim, who is pursuing the MS-PhD in the ECE Department with Professor Yicheng Lu, has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Paul Panayotatos Endowed Scholarship in Sustainable Energy. Navila will receive $1,500 in support of her project “Transparent Flexible Thin Film Transistor with High-K Dielectric Layer for Solar Inverters used in Photovoltaic Systems”. Navila's research focuses on the high blocking voltage and low leakage current that can be demonstrated on flexible thin-film-transistors by using a High-K dielectric stacking layer. The flexible high-voltage thin-film-transistor can be integrated with a photovoltaic system as an inverter for solar cells a flexible system. The ductile High-K dielectric layer will allow bending of the low-cost inverter needed for a self-powered energy management component of wearable electronic devices.

Congratulations Guangyuan and Navila!

Special thanks to the scholarship committee of Sigrid McAfeeKristin Dana and Mehdi Javanmard for their work in the selection process.

Professor Mehdi Javanmard's Asthma Diagnostic Device in the News Media

ECE Assistant Professor Mehdi Javanmard's work on a graphene based sensor device for Asthma diagnostics is featured here in Rutgers Today. His work has also received attention in other media outlets. Please see some examples below:

Congratulations Mehdi!

ECE Graduate Student Kazem Cheshmi wins First Place at 2017 ACM Student Research Competition Grand Finals

ECE graduate student Kazem Cheshmi working with Professor Maryam Mehri Dehnavi has won First Place in the ACMStudent Research Competition Grand Finals for 2017. 

The ACM SRC 2017 competitions take place at 25 major ACM conferences, sponsored by SIGACCESS, SIGACT, SIGARCH, SIGCHI, SIGCOMM, SIGCSE, SIGDA, SIGDOC, SIGGRAPH, SIGHPC, SIGMIS, SIGMOBILE, SIGPLAN, SIGMICRO, SIGSAC and SIGSOFT and include more than 300 student participants. The first place winners from each conference compete for the grand final award. Back in February, Kazem's paper "Decoupling Symbolic from Numeric in Sparse Matrix Computations" was nominated as the best work from the SIGMICRO-CGO conference. He has now won first place in the Grand Final Competition.

Grand Finalist and their advisors are invited to the Annual ACM Awards Banquet in June where they are recognized for their accomplishments, along with other prestigious ACM award winners, including the winner of the Turing Award.

This is a tremendous recognition! Congratulations Kazem and Maryam!


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