Category: BU News

Mark Kramer, Institute Former Junior Fellow, wins NSF CAREER Award

June 25th, 2015 in BU News, Significant Bits

Former Institute Junior Faculty Fellow Mark Kramer, Associate Professor in Mathematical Neuroscience at BU College of Arts and Sciences, has won a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award for his work in better understanding the brain mechanisms that drives seizure in people with epilepsy. He is the third member of the College of Arts & Sciences mathematics and statistics department to win a CAREER award in the past five years. Kramer says he hopes his research will lead to novel approaches in management of epilepsy. 

Click here to read the article on BU Today.

Institute’s MOC Project Students Showcased Novel Open Source “Internet of Things” (IoT) Solutions at Cisco Live! San Diego

June 23rd, 2015 in BU News, Institute News, MOC News, SCOPE News

Boston University (BU) students displayed novel “Smart Cities” apps in the “DevNet Zone for IoT,” hosted by Cisco at its annual Cisco Live! event held in San Diego on June 10-11.  The BU apps provide visualizations of mobile device positions on interactive maps of both indoor facilities and aerial/satellite imagery by combining signals acquired from disparate “things” including Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons, Internet routers, and GPS.

Students who contributed to the apps include: Mark Barrasso, Jose Bautista, Justina Choi, Sean LiuNehal OdedraNiklas KunkelQingqing Li, and Yingchao Zhu.  The students were supervised by Professor Orran Krieger and Dr. Ata Turk of the BU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as part of a new Cloud Computing course using the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC) project platform. Industry mentors included Lionel FloritCisco and Jim Ballingall, the Industry-Academia Partnership (IAP).

Click here to read more.

What the T Can Tell Us about Health Inequalities

June 23rd, 2015 in BU News, Significant Bits

In an article featured on BU Today, Sandro Galea, Dean of Boston University’s School of Public Health and a professor of epidemiology, examines the health of Boston through public transportation. Although statistics might suggest that Boston is a healthy city, a paragon of urban health by having some of the highest life expectancy of any US city (about 81 years), Boston also has some extraordinary disparities, both in health indicators and in the drivers of those indicators within its borders. Galea observes those indicators through a simple device: public transportation, which in Boston, means the T (short for MBTA). 

Click here to read the full article on BU Today.

Institute Fellow Sharon Goldberg’s Video on “Internet Insecurity” Featured on

June 23rd, 2015 in BU News, Significant Bits

In her video “Internet Insecurity”, Sharon Goldberg, Hariri Institute Junior Faculty Fellow, Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Boston University College of Arts and Sciences, breaks down Border Gateway Protocol which she describes as “the glue that holds the internet together”. The video is picked up and featured on 

Watch the video here.

Hariri Junior Fellow Douglas Densmore Launches the Nona Research Foundation

June 23rd, 2015 in BU News, Significant Bits

Douglas DensmoreHariri Institute Junior Faculty Fellow, Associate Professor at Boston University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, launched the Nona Research Foundation about a year ago as a 510(c)3 non-profit. Nona Research Foundation, Inc. (“NRF”) aims to help research using their software and other tools achieve advances and improvement in health and healthcare, energy production and storage, materials manufacture, protection of the environment, and human welfare.  It was created to broaden participation, increase access, and advance innovation in the design, distribution, documentation, maintenance, and use of open-source software and tools in the fields of synthetic biology and bio-design automation. Examples of the specific applications anticipated in synthetic biology and related scientific fields enabled by NRF advances include producing life-saving pharmaceuticals, repairing defective genes, destroying cancer cells, generating biofuels, cleaning up the environment, and assisting climate change through carbon capture.

Click here to find out more about Nona. 

Hariri Jr Fellow Doug Densmore (ENG) with PI Calin Belta (ENG) and team, secure $4.5M NSF CPS Frontier Award

May 14th, 2015 in BU News, Significant Bits

PI Calin Belta (ENG) works with Co-PI Douglas Densmore (ENG), Hariri Institute Junior Faculty Fellow; Vijay Kuma (UPenn); Ron Weiss (MIT), Director of the MIT Synthetic Biology Center; and members of SRI International earn five-year $4.5M NSF Cyber-Physical Systems Program Frontier award for research on engineering living cells. 

“Our ultimate goal is to automate the entire process from engineering individual cells to controlling their global behavior, so that any user could submit requests from the desktop,” states Belta.

Densmore adds, “The complex behaviors we wish to engineer are too difficult to manually specify and analyze. Design software makes this project manageable as well as formally captures the process so that it can be used in the future to enable new discoveries.”

BU Electrical & Computer Engineering article [Read More] article [Read More]

Institute Fellow Dino Christenson Receives 2014 PRQ Award

May 7th, 2015 in BU News, Significant Bits

Dino Christenson, Hariri Institute Junior Faculty Fellow, co-author of “Deus ex Machina: Candidate Web Presence and the Presidential Nomination Campaign” with Smidt and Panagopoulos, won the 2014 PRQ Best Article Award. The article explores the role of the internet in the 2008 Presidential election and documents its role as a new and unique factor that is especially helpful to lower profile candidates and fundraising small-donor contributions. Political Research Quarterly is a leading general journal of political science and the flagship journal of the Western Political Science Association.

Read it here

MOC-based Cloud Computing Course Concludes with Project Demos

May 6th, 2015 in BU News, MOC News

Orran Krieger, Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering and Project Lead for the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC)  and Peter Desnoyers, Professor of Computer Science at Northeastern University, also of the MOC team, co-taught a new Cloud Computing class (EC500/CS591) in Spring 2015. The course achieved several key objectives including workforce training in cloud computing technologies, a model to engage industry partners in projects they mentor, and as a way to prototype key technologies needed for the MOC. Culminating in a Finals Demo Session, students gathered to present projects  ranging from applications running on top of cloud software to those modifying the architecture itself. See the complete list of projects below:

Densmore, Hariri Junior Fellow, Joins Expert Team in New Biological Design Center

May 5th, 2015 in BU News, Significant Bits

Doug Densmore, an ENG electrical and computer engineering associate professor and a Junior Faculty Fellow with the Hariri Institute for Computing  will be one of several core faculty members of the newly launched Biological Design Center (BioDesign Center). The center will tinker in pursuit of cutting-edge questions like these: How do you guide cells to regenerate and build new tissue? How do you reprogram bacteria to fight infection—or reengineer the body’s immune system to attack tumors so they disappear? How do you organize the circuitry inside a cell so it sends all the right signals for optimal health?

[Read more]

Safeguarding the Internet and Defending Civil Rights

April 28th, 2015 in BU News, Institute News

BU Today highlights Sharon Goldberg, Hariri Institute for Computing Junior Fellow and CAS Assistant Professor of Computer Science, who explains how information makes its way around the internet, securely and insecurely. Goldberg partners with Leonid Reyzin, a CAS Professor of Computer Science, and director of RISCS at the Hariri Institute, to address how a flaw in one proposed solution to routing insecurity—the Resource Public Key Infrastructure—would challenge the fundamental openness of the internet. [Read more.]