Category: BU News

BU’s Own Crowdfunding Platform: Getting Started Workshop, April 13, 2016

April 7th, 2016 in BU News

4:00 PM on Wednesday, April 13, 2016
Free and open to the BU community
Questrom School of Business
595 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 426/428

BU Crowdfunding Platform: Harnessing the power of the community to put BU’s most innovative ideas into gear.

BU has a new community fundraising platform that allows BU groups to raise money for innovative projects, service trips, events, research, and other BU-specific ventures. Join the upcoming info session for more information! 

  • 5 of 7 pilot projects were completely funded 
  • Researchers and students can finance projects

Learn more at:

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Call for Applications – Digital Humanities Seminar, Fall 2016

March 31st, 2016 in BU News, Institute News

The Digital Humanities seminar is part of a new Digital Humanities Initiative (DHI) jointly sponsored by the CAS Dean’s office, BU Center for the Humanities, Hariri Institute for Computing and Computational Research, and Office of the Associate Provost for Research.

We invite applications for an experimental seminar, meeting weekly during the Fall 2016 semester, devoted to learning about and developing Digital Humanities (DH) project proposals. The seminar will comprise up to 14 participants, including faculty, BU-affiliated post-docs, and graduate students. Meetings will consist of guided discussion with experienced DH practitioners and software engineers; topics will include audience, types of data, interactivity, submission, and sustainability. This is an opportunity to learn about developing a DH project from the ground up, to explore ideas with other seminar participants, and to work towards developing a DH proposal. The two final meetings of the seminar will be devoted to presenting project pitches.

Faculty projects that are sufficiently conceptualized by the end of the seminar will be awarded preliminary development grants for the spring 2016 semester.

The seminar will run weekly from mid-September through early December (precise day and time TBD). Participants must commit to attend all weekly meetings. Faculty and post-doctoral seminar participants will each receive a $1500 supplement. Graduate students will receive up to $1000, specific funding situation permitting.

Applications are available on the Deadlines and Applications page of the BUCH website.

To apply, please send a completed application form and a current curriculum vitae, compiled as a single PDF email attachment, to – subject line DH Seminar.

Proposals are due by Friday, April 15th. Participants will be notified in early May.

Hariri Fellow to Participate in Cybersecurity Panel

March 30th, 2016 in BU News, Significant Bits

On Wednesday, April 6, 2016, Sharon Goldberg, associate professor of computer science and Hariri Institute fellow, will participate in the Lessons in Cybersecurity Panel alongside professors Ivan Arreguin Toft and John D. Woodward, Jr., both of the BU Pardee School. The panel will focus on the ongoing encryption dispute between Apple and the FBI and will take place from 12:30 – 1:30 pm at 121 Bay State Road (lunch at 12 pm).

Cybersecurity is a key focus of the Hariri Institute, which hosts the Center for Reliable Information Systems and Cyber Security (RISCS) and facilitates the Modular Approach to Cloud Security (MACS) project. Through RISCS, BU is recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and Research. MACS, which is funded by a $10 million, five-year National Science Foundation grant, is a multi-institution project that addresses grand challenges in cybersecurity science and engineering with the potential for broad economic and scientific impact.


Professor Chrysanthos Dellarocas Appointed Associate Provost for Digital Learning and Innovation

March 14th, 2016 in BU News, Institute News, Significant Bits

Chrysanthos (Chris) Dellarocas, Hariri Institute Steering Committee Member and Fellow, and Richard C. Shipley Professor of Management in the Department of Information Systems at the Questrom School of Business, has been appointed to the newly-created role of Associate Provost for Digital Learning and Innovation.

University Provost Jean Morrison notes, “Chris will serve as the senior officer responsible for advancing activities and strategies that will enhance education at Boston University through the use of digital technologies.” Chris’s appointment to this new leadership position signals BU’s growing emphasis on advancing the field of digital learning.

Since its inception in 2013, Chris has served as the Director of the Digital Learning Initiative (DLI), which is located at the Hariri Institute for Computing. As Director of the DLI, Chris has led BU’s involvement as part of the edX consortium, developing BU’s first Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), and has facilitated campus-wide experiments in digital learning through the Council on Educational Technology and Learning Innovation(CETLI)/DLI grants program.

The role of Associate Provost for Digital Learning and Innovation will provide strengthened leadership for a number of existing efforts, such as the Digital Learning Initiative, the Center for Teaching & Learning, and the Educational Technology team in Information Services and Technology (IS&T), all of which are crucial to Boston University’s capacity to develop and enrich the quality of technology-enhanced learning.

[Read More]

Hariri Fellow Sharon Goldberg Weighs in on Apple Cybersecurity Case

March 4th, 2016 in BU News, Institute News, Significant Bits

Sharon Goldberg, a Hariri Institute Faculty Fellow and associate professor of computer science, has serious concerns about the FBI’s request to unlock Apple’s iPhone. Goldberg, a network security expert, sat down with BU Research to discuss the ongoing standoff between Apple and the FBI, as well as its potential to introduce substantial security risks for Apple and its users.

Goldberg explains that the FBI’s demand for Apple to write software that introduces a vulnerability into the iPhone would open the door to bugs and hardware attacks, not just for the iPhone in question, but for all Apple users. Goldberg adds, “our efforts to secure the internet are nowhere near where they need to be, and this would be a step backward at a time when we need to improve cybersecurity, not weaken it.” As Goldberg sees it, creating a method to circumvent the iPhone’s passcode security would likely drive “bad actors” to other devices, “[weakening] everyone’s security in hopes of making it easier to trap a few.”

[Read more]

Institute Announces Spring Call for Research Award Proposals and Nominations for Junior Faculty Fellows and Graduate Fellows

March 1st, 2016 in BU News, Data Science News, Institute News, Significant Bits

The Hariri Institute for Computing is pleased to bring to the attention of BU faculty the Spring 2016 Call for the following three programs:

  • Hariri Institute Research Awards Program
  • Hariri Junior Faculty Fellows Program
  • Hariri Graduate Fellows Program for Continuing PhD Students

Deadline for proposals and nominations for all programs: Monday, April 4, 2016, 5pm.

The Hariri Institute is committed to catalyzing interdisciplinary research that utilizes computing, computational and data-driven approaches by engaging a community of researchers across schools and colleges at BU.

Hariri Institute Research Awards Program

To propel new directions and new collaborations in research applying computational and data-driven approaches, with special attention given to proposals focused on data science.

Eligibility and Funding:
Any Hariri Faculty Affiliate is eligible to submit proposals for up to $50K of research project support.

Proposal Process:
A brief (2-page) proposal must be submitted online. PIs are encouraged to involve the Institute early in the proposal development process, well before the April 4 deadline. Please refer to the Research Award Program guidelines for important details regarding type of support, selection criteria, and proposal development and evaluation process.

Hariri Junior Faculty Fellows Program

To recognize outstanding junior faculty members from diverse disciplines at BU who pursue computing, computational, and/or data-driven research.

Eligibility & Award:
Tenure-track faculty members, holding a full-time appointment in any one of BU’s departments for less than three years by September 1, 2016 are eligible. Along with the honor of being named a Hariri Institute Junior Faculty Fellow, this recognition also comes with a $5K award and provides each Fellow the opportunity to introduce research to a broad community in the Institute’s “Meet Our Fellows” series.

Nomination Process:
A Junior Fellow Nomination form must be completed and submitted online by any BU faculty member. Please refer to the Junior Faculty Fellows Program guidelines for important information about eligibility and the nomination process.

Hariri Graduate Fellows Program for Continuing PhD Students

To recognize outstanding PhD students who have made significant contributions and are committed to further engagement in computational and/or data-driven research at Boston University.

Eligibility & Award:
Continuing PhD students who are at least one year away from graduation are eligible to be nominated. Along with the honor of being named a Hariri Graduate Fellow, this recognition comes with one semester of stipend support and access to the Hariri Institute resources and community.

Nomination Process:
A Graduate Fellow Nomination form must be completed and submitted online by a Hariri Faculty Affiliate. Please refer to the Hariri Graduate Fellows Program guidelines for important details regarding selection criteria and the nomination process.

For more information, please contact Linda Grosser, Director of Program & Project Management at the Hariri Institute at

Hariri Institute Director, Azer Bestavros, and Faculty Fellow, Sharon Goldberg, on President Obama’s Cybersecurity Budget Proposals

March 1st, 2016 in BU News, Institute News, Significant Bits

Budget proposals for the next fiscal year are expected to invest more heavily in research, including studies in the area of cybersecurity, fields in which BU and the Hariri Institute are leading research institutions.

Hariri Founding Director, Azer Bestavros, and Hariri Faculty Fellow Sharon Goldberg both expressed their excitement over the proposed increase for cybersecurity research. The National Science Foundation (NSF), the primary funder of cybersecurity research, may receive up to $150 million for its secure-computing program, a 16% jump from last year and one of the largest increases for a specific program at NSF. Hariri itself has three projects currently funded by NSF, one of which is the Modular Approach to Cloud Security (MACS). This joint project between BU, MIT, Northeastern, and UConn currently receives $10 million in funding.

Sharon Goldberg, a CAS associate professor of computer science, is a MACS researcher and is also engaged in other work that might benefit from any new funding. She says the Obama administration’s strategic plan for cybersecurity research emphasizes cryptography, and “most of my research is concerned with understanding how cryptographic mechanisms can be used to secure core internet protocols.”

Bestavros also voiced his concern that the new technology made possible by funding would go unused in the marketplace. Because bulletproof systems and networks created by researchers such as Bestavros and Goldberg are more expensive than current industry products, the new designs and innovations are seldom adopted into the market. Bestavros states the need for government to create regulations that “make building secure software an expectation.”

The politics and economics are complicated, he concedes. Industry fears that regulation stifles innovation were more valid when the information technology was in its infancy. “I think we have reached a point where we should expect the software development industry to have matured, but that opinion is not shared.”

Read the full BU Today article

Hariri Institute to host Azure for Research at BU, 1-Day Class for Researchers and Data Scientists

February 17th, 2016 in BU News, Data Science News

Friday, March 25, 2016
8:30 am – 5:00 pm
Boston University
808 Commonwealth Ave, Room FLR 134
Boston, Massachusetts 02215

Boston University and the Hariri Institute for Computing are pleased to host an Azure for Researchers hands on training, Friday, March 25th 2016 in partnership with Microsoft & Wintellect. This free, 1-day class will be offered through two consecutive sessions and is open to neighboring colleges and universities. Seating is limited and on a first-come, first-serve basis so please reserve your seat ASAP.

Registration is now closed. If you are interested in this hands-on training please email Cheryl Endicott to be added to the waiting list. If a seat should become available, you will be notified via email. 

The training is designed to familiarize researchers and data scientists with the services Azure offers to aid them in their research, especially with regard to high-performance computing, big-data analysis, and analyzing data streaming from Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices.

Instruction is hands-on, with participants spending most of the day working proctored labs and as a result, participants are strongly encouraged to attend both sessions. Each participant receives an Azure Pass with a $500 Azure credit that can be used well after class is over.

Audience: Faculty, grad students, or anyone interested in big data and cloud-based computing.
Requirements: Bring a laptop that runs Linux, OS X, or Windows with your favorite browser installed.
Prerequisites: An open mind and a desire to learn; no experience with Azure or cloud computing required.

Past Junior Fellow, Douglas Densmore, Aims to Advance Synthetic Biology

February 15th, 2016 in BU News, Institute News

Douglas Densmore, former Junior Faculty Fellow and current associate professor at Boston University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was granted $10 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to fund his own “Expeditions in Computing” project. Densmore will lead the Living Computing Project along with the Lincoln Laboratory, a comprehensive effort to quantify synthetic biology using a computing engineering approach and to create a toolbox of carefully measured and catalogued biological parts that can be used to engineer organisms with predictable results. The award marks the first-ever funding for research that explicitly explores computing principles in multiple living organisms and openly archives the results. 

Densmore believes he can use computing to move synthetic biology from a narrow field into a core engineering discipline, founded in quantifiable research and information.  Additionally, he aims to help the computer science field better understand how computer principles can be applied to synthetic biology. Densmore also hopes to uncover more ways computer principles can be applied to natural systems, but recognizes the significant challenges of this work.  His main focus and excitement is about synthetic biology and the amazing tools he wants to create, for example, developing a cell that can detect a cancerous transformation and then change its own state.

[Read More]

Barbara Shine-Cunningham, Hariri Institute Steering Committee Member, Elected to AIMBE College of Fellows

February 12th, 2016 in BU News, Significant Bits

Barbara Shine-Cunningham, Hariri Institute Steering Committee Member and professor of biomedical engineering, has been elected to the prestigous American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows, which is comprised of the top two percent of medical and biological engineers in the country. She was elected for her outstanding contributions to auditory neuroscience, especially information processing in auditory attention and spatial hearing. She is known best for her work on attention and the cocktail party problem, sound localization, and the effects of room acoustics and reverberation on hearing. She will be formally inducted into the College of Fellows during AIMBE’s 25th Annual Meeting at the National Academy of Sciences Great Hall in Washington, DC in April.

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