January 2019
Friends and Colleagues, 

Greetings from the Institute for Sensing and Embedded Network Systems Engineering (I-SENSE). We hope you enjoyed a productive and pleasant fall, and a restful holiday season with family and friends. Welcome back!  

We begin the new year by celebrating the accomplishments of our faculty and students, introducing new sponsored research projects, and announcing a call for applications for our Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

As we continue to report, it is an exciting time to be at FAU, and to be working in Sensing and Smart Systems. If you’re working in the field or see opportunities for collaboration, we’d love to hear from you. Reach out by email, drop by for a visit, or help us welcome a distinguished visitor as part of the Pillar Seminar Series.

FAU is building the future of Sensing and Smart Systems. We invite you to build it with us.

Best wishes,

Jason O. Hallstrom,
Director, I-SENSE@FAU
I-SENSE Faculty Fellow Receives Ed and Ethel
Moore Alzheimer's Disease Research Award

Behnaz Ghoraani, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and I-SENSE fellow, received a $94,700 grant from the The Florida Department of Health’s Ed and Ethel Moore Alzheimer’s Disease Research Program. The grant will fund a two-year project titled “Technology-based Systems to Measure Dual-task (motor-cognitive) Performance as a Biomarker for Early Detection of Alzheimer’s Disease.” James Galvin, M.D., professor of integrated medical sciences and associate dean for clinical research at the Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine is a co-principal investigator on this project.

The investigators aim to detect novel biomarkers for simultaneous assessment of motor and cognitive performance (known as dual-task performance) by integrating speech and ambulatory data to identify early stages of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
Faculty Fellow Awarded Collaborative Cryptography Grant

Reza Azarderakhsh, Ph.D., assistant professor in the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and I-SENSE fellow, received a $450,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for a project titled "SaTC: CORE: Medium: Collaborative: Countermeasures Against Side-Channels Attacks Targeting Hardware and Embedded System Implementations of Post-Quantum Cryptographic Algorithms.”

The four-year project is a collaborative effort between investigators from Florida Atlantic University, George Mason University, and the University of South Florida to a develop effective methods of protecting the implementations of emerging post-quantum cryptography schemes against powerful side-channel attacks based on exploiting power consumption of cryptographic devices and/or intentional transient faults affecting their operation.

“Dr. Azarderakhsh has established himself as a leader in post-quantum cryptography at FAU and beyond,” said Jason Hallstrom, I-SENSE.

This project is the seventh project that Azarderkahsh has brought to FAU since 2016. He has more than a decade of experience in the areas of cryptographic engineering, protocol design, and cryptanalysis of various cryptography solutions. He has published over 50 papers in top-tier journals and conferences. He is involved with standardization of post-quantum cryptography for the National Institute of Standards and Technology and serves as an editor for the “IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems,” cryptography track.
I-SENSE Faculty Fellow Receives NOAA
Ocean Exploration Research Award

Jordon Beckler, Ph.D., assistant professor in FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and I-SENSE Faculty Fellow was awarded a $257,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Ocean Exploration Research program. This project is a collaboration with a team from Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium, Sarasota, in which the researchers will assemble an innovative sensor and sampling suite to explore submarine sinkholes and springs (i.e. “blue holes”) on the Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf.

Offshore submerged sinkhole and spring features have received limited scientific study as they frequently exceed normal scuba limits, reaching depths of >130 m, and exhibit openings too small for access with many submersibles. These blue holes host several commercially important fish species and can be considered ecological hotspots with respect to species composition and diversity. Because of groundwater discharge, the organic matter deposition, and circulation regimes, parameters such as temperature, salinity, light, turbidity, circulation, dissolved oxygen, pH, redox, trace metal, carbonate chemistry, and sediment types are heterogeneous and satisfy various biological niches. Fortunately, due to the development of new technology, it is finally possible to overcome the technological limitations and explore the geological, physical, and chemical environments in these karst features, and the resulting resident biological distribution and diversity.
Graduate Student Receives Award for Best Presenter
Moises Levy, FAU Ph.D. candidate in electrical engineering, received the best presenter award for the paper, “Data Center Modeling using a Cyber-Physical Systems Lens,” that he presented at the 9th Annual Computing and Communication Workshop and Conference (IEEE CCWC 2019), held Jan. 7 to 9 at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. There were 169 papers in the conference proceedings, with an acceptance rate of 29.3 percent.

At the conference, Levy met with other researchers and students to discuss and exchange ideas on computing and communication issues, trends, and developments. He was part of the conference’s technical program committee, and received a plaque in recognition of his service as a session chair.
Graduate Research Assistant Earns Academic Excellence Award
Congratulations to Amir Jalali, Ph.D., for being selected to receive the Dr. Christopher Seiffert Memorial Award for the academic year 2017-2018. The award is given to graduating computer science and computer engineering Ph.D. students for academic excellence and achievement. Jalali began working for I-SENSE in January 2017 under the supervision of Reza Azarderakhsh, Ph.D. While working with Azarderakhsh, Jalali published eight papers in top-tier journals and conferences and completed a summer internship at Microsoft Research. Jalali graduated with his Ph.D. in computer engineering in December, and recently accepted a position with LinkedIn as a senior security researcher.
Call for Sensing and Smart Systems REU Program Applications
Applications are now open for I-SENSE’s 2019 Sensing and Smart Systems Research Experience for Undergraduates program. The paid, nine-week program will focus on training, mentoring, research, and an overall experience that prepares undergraduate students for graduate studies or careers in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) disciplines. For more information about the program and how to apply, click here.
Human Research Protections Program Common Rule Changes
Common Rule changes went into effect Jan. 19. Currently, we are not implementing any changes prior to the effective date.
Some of the major areas of change are:
  • Continuing review requirements
  • New categories of studies that do not require IRB review
  • Changes to exempt categories
  • Additional elements of consent
  • Broad consent provisions
  • Single IRB (compliance date Jan. 19, 2020) 
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