By Cheryl R Stewart

College Announces New Masters Degree Specializations

June 25th, 2015 in Uncategorized

Students Can Amplify Expertise in a High-Value Career Path
By Janet A Smith

Motivated by emerging economic sectors, the College of Engineering has created new Master’s degree specializations in the high-impact, interdisciplinary fields of Data Analytics, Cybersecurity and Robotics. The specializations are designed to meet the demand for highly skilled professionals in these rapidly expanding fields.

“The corporate sector has voiced frustration with the shortage of trained engineers in key sectors of the innovation economy,” said Dean Kenneth Lutchen. “By combining a Master’s degree in a foundational engineering discipline with a Specialization in a fast-growing, interdisciplinary field, students will be well positioned to meet this need and impact society. This unique combination should greatly enhance the power of their degrees in the marketplace.”

shutterstock_128057873Data_Analytics_CMSEnormous quantities of data are driving rapid growth in the field of data analytics. The College’s approach to data science emphasizes decisions, algorithms, and analytics grounded in engineering application areas. This specialization is intended to yield graduates who will fulfill a variety of innovation needs for applications in finance, healthcare, urban systems, commerce, pharmaceutical and other engineering fields.

“Big Data engineers are critical pioneers and sorely needed in every industry,” said George Anton Papp, vice president for Corporate Development at Teradata, Inc. “The massive amounts of data being collected create enormous opportunities to innovate data architecture and analysis to solve pressing real-world problems.”

shutterstock_138612407_cybersecurity_CMSThe Cybersecurity field is expanding exponentially, with career paths growing twice as fast as other information technology jobs. This Specialization will foster security-oriented software skills and enable an understanding of cybersecurity applications in software engineering, embedded systems, and networking. It will also provide a context for cybersecurity threats and mitigation strategies ranging from protecting corporate and government systems to home and building automation accessories and medical devices.

“Demand for cybersecurity professionals continues to outstrip supply and is a major concern to organizations in every sector,” noted Proteus Digital Health Co-Founder and Chief Medical Officer George Savage. “In our industry, it’s critical to protect the highly personal health data of consumers, providers, and insurers as we enter the digital and personalized health era powered by the smart phone in each of our pockets.”

Quadrocopter_shutterstock_261695444_CMS300The Robotics industry is predicted to grow to $67 billion by 2025 with applications in everything from prosthetics and telemedicine to autonomous vehicles, feedback control systems, brain-machine interfaces, and the Internet of Things. Robotics is inherently interdisciplinary, combining elements of electrical, computer, biomedical, systems, and mechanical engineering. The Specialization will prepare Master’s students for careers in research and development, deployment and operation of advanced individual or multi-coordinated robotic systems.

“There is enormous need for engineers skilled in robotics and the cross-disciplinary applications of robotics,” said Michael Campbell, executive vice president,
CAD Segment at PTC. “While the field today is very much concerned with applications in manufacturing, autonomous vehicles, healthcare, and military uses, we anticipate the field expanding into everything from education to home entertainment.”

Available to all Master’s Degree candidates, the Specialization options have been designed so that students can access from every Master’s degree program. Students who opt to add a Specialization – which is noted on their degree title and transcript – choose at least four of their eight courses from a list specific to each Specialization.

Announcing the Winners of the SE Division Student Photo Contest!

May 7th, 2015 in News

Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 SE Division Student Photo Contest!

First Place: Alyssa Pierson (Advisor: Mac Schwager)


This photograph shows an experiment in progress. Armin Ataei and Alyssa Pierson are working on multi-robot pursuit and monitoring. Here, Alyssa is driving the m3pi ground robot using a joystick behind the netting, and the three KMEL nano quads are tracking the robot autonomously. The grey shapes projected on the floor represent obstacles the quadrotors must navigate around when pursuing the ground robot. (Photographer: Alyssa Pierson)


Second Place: Sepideh Pourazarm (Advisor: Christos Cassandras)


This photo shows Yue Zhang working with VISSIM, a traffic simulator. You can see the BU campus area in the background of the simulator. (Photographer: Sepideh Pourazarm)


Third Place: Yasaman Khazaeni (Advisor: Christos Cassandras)


In this photo, Armin Ataei and Alyssa Pierson are preparing the quad-rotors in Boston University’s Multi-Robot Systems Lab for a test run. (Photographer: Yasaman Khazaeni)

SE Students Win CISE Awards at the 2015 BU Graduate Research Symposium

April 7th, 2015 in News

(left to right) Sepideh Pourazarm, Feng Nan, Professor Yannis Paschalidis, Weicong Ding

(left to right) Sepideh Pourazarm, Feng Nan, Professor Yannis Paschalidis, Weicong Ding

Congratulations to the CISE Awards winners for their posters at the 2015 BU Graduate Research Symposium.

CISE First Place Award-Julia Lima Fleck

  • Adviser: Christos Cassandras
  • “Infinitesimal Perturbation Analysis for Personalized Cancer Therapy Design”

CISE Second Place Award- Feng Nan 

  • Adviser: Venkatesh Saligrama
  • “Feature-Budgeted Random Forest”

CISE Honorable Mention Awards

  • Weicong Ding
  • Adviser: Prakash Ishwar/Venkatesh Saligrama
  • “A Geometric Approach to Learning Mixed Membership Latent Variable Models”
    • Emir Kavurmacioglu 
    • Adviser: David Starobinski
    • “On the Impact of Reserving Federal Spectrum for Smaller Providers”
    • Sepideh Pourazarm
    • Adviser: Christos Cassandras
    • “Energy-based Lifetime Maximization and Security of Wireless Sensor Networks with General Non-ideal Battery Models”

    Big Data and Improving Health Care

    March 27th, 2015 in News

    Data scientist and physician team up to reduce preventable hospitalizations

    By Suzanne Jacobs, BU Research


    Big Data Meets Healthcare: Bill Adams, a physician and medical informatician, and Yannis Paschalidis, a data scientist and engineer, are working together to use data from electronic health records to reduce preventable hospitalizations and cut health care costs. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

    Big Data Meets Healthcare: Bill Adams, a physician and medical informatician, and Yannis Paschalidis, a data scientist and engineer, are working together to use data from electronic health records to reduce preventable hospitalizations and cut health care costs. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

    Big Data Meets Healthcare: Bill Adams, a physician and medical informatician, and Yannis Paschalidis, a data scientist and engineer, are working together to use data from electronic health records to reduce preventable hospitalizations and cut health care costs. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

    Professor Yannis Paschalidis (ECE, SE, BME), a data scientist, has built a career on making things run smoothly and efficiently—transportation systems, communication networks, supply chains, sensor networks—and now he’s taking on perhaps his most ambitious challenge yet: the US health care system.

    It all started about three years ago. Paschalidis, a Distinguished Faculty Fellow at Boston University’s College of Engineering (ENG), read in a study by the US Department of Health and Human Service’s Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) that in 2006, the US spent about $30.8 billion on hospitalizations that could have been prevented through better patient care, healthier patient behavior, or improved ambulatory services.

    “I was reading a lot of things about the sorry state of the health care system in the US and how inefficient it is, and I thought it’s an opportunity to do something,” says Paschalidis, who also directs BU’s Center for Information & Systems Engineering. “I thought people like me that have a quantitative, more optimization-oriented background could contribute something.”

    And so, having never worked in medicine before, Paschalidis teamed up with William G. Adams, a Boston Medical Center (BMC) physician and BU School of Medicine professor of pediatrics. With a team of graduate students and nearly $2 million from the National Science Foundation, the two set out to build a piece of software that could automatically flag patients at increased risk for medical emergencies by using data from their electronic health records (EHRs). They decided to start with heart diseases, which alone cost the US more than $9.5 billion in preventable hospitalizations in 2006, according to the AHRQ study.

    To understand how Paschalidis works, think of how an autopilot controls an airplane. As a plane flies, autopilot software takes in data about its position and uses that data to adjust the plane’s trajectory as necessary. It’s a constant flow of data intake, analysis, and feedback. Similarly, when Paschalidis sets out to improve, say, a network of sensors, he and his research team write computer software that takes in data about how the system is working and then finds ways to correct or improve it.

    In this project, hospital patients are the systems.

    Fortunately, EHRs offer plenty of data—test results, diagnoses, prescriptions, emergency room (ER) visits, previous hospitalizations, demographic information. It’s far too much for doctors and nurses to comb through manually, but enough to feed an algorithm that automatically processes the information and flags at-risk patients. The software works by sifting through records of patients who were previously hospitalized and learning which risk factor—a certain number of chest complaints or an unusual level of a particular enzyme in the heart, for example—might have been red flags. The algorithm then uses those red flags to warn of future hospitalizations.

    The challenge for Paschalidis was understanding how to properly use medical data and how to incorporate this kind of software in an actual hospital. That’s where Adams comes in.

    A pediatrician and medical informatician (someone who uses information technology to improve health care), Adams has spent the past 20 years thinking about how to use data from EHRs to improve patients’ health outcomes, especially among families in Boston’s urban communities. He’s also one of the lead scientists at BU’s Clinical & Translational Science Institute (CTSI), one of 60 such sites across the country that aim to accelerate medical advances by encouraging researchers in disparate fields to collaborate on medical research.

    “This is a perfect example of translational research collaboration,” Adams says. “Yannis and his lab have exceptional skills in data mining that we don’t have, but we have extraordinary data and clinical expertise.”

    To use that data, Paschalidis and his team first needed a crash course in medical terminology to make sure they understood what they were working with. Much of EHR data is contained in a kind of “clinical language” that only doctors understand, Adams says. Sometimes, he says, even the same term can have different meanings, depending on the context in which the doctor records it. For example, a diagnosis of hypertension (high blood pressure) can be recorded as either a diagnosis made during a visit or a problem on the patient’s problem list. Both could be recorded with the same code (ICD-9 401.9), but users would need to know to look further to decide which of the two meanings the data represents. Cleaning up “messy” data—figuring out what it means, what to use, and how to represent it in the software—is time-consuming but important, Paschalidis says. “If you fit garbage to an algorithm,” he says, “you’ll get garbage as output.”

    The researchers remove any identifying information from the EHRs using open-source software from a National Institutes of Health-funded center at Harvard University called i2b2 (Informatics for Integrating Biology & the Bedside).

    Once the data is cleaned up and anonymized, Paschalidis and his graduate students can enter it into their software. The algorithm they built classifies patients as either at risk or not at risk for heart-related hospitalizations within one year. An elderly patient or someone who visited the ER in the previous year, for example, might be at risk, while a younger person who hasn’t been to the hospital in a few years might not be at risk. How the algorithm will ultimately present this information to doctors is still under development.

    To test the software, Paschalidis and his students collected the EHRs of just over 45,500 patients from BMC. They used about 60 percent of the records to train their so-called machine learning software, teaching it which factors had put patients at risk for hospitalizations in the past. Then, they used the remaining data to test the software’s ability to make predictions. They found that it could correctly predict up to 82 percent of heart-related hospitalizations, while falsely predicting hospitalizations in about 30 percent of patients who weren’t actually at risk. Paschalidis says that it’s possible to reduce the number of false predictions, but doing so would correspondingly lower the number of accurate predictions. A false prediction rate of 10 percent, for example, would correspond to an accurate prediction rate of 65 percent.

    “In medicine, we’re constantly trying to balance between something that’s concerning and something that might be a false positive,” Adams says. In many cases, however, the recommendations that would come of a false positive—healthy eating, exercise, an extra check-in with the doctor, extra visits from a nurse—could still benefit the patient. And, Paschalidis says, preventing hospital visits that each cost thousands of dollars is worth the occasional unnecessary checkup that only costs a couple hundred dollars.

    Adams and Paschalidis published their findings about the machine learning software’s success in predicting heart-related hospitalizations in March 2015 in the International Journal of Medical Informatics. Their co-authors included Professor Venkatesh Saligrama (ECE, SE); Wuyang Dai and Theodora Brisimi, ENG PhD students working with Paschalidis; and Theofanie Mela, a cardiologist at Massachusetts General Hospital.

    “If coupled with preventive interventions, our methods have the potential to prevent a significant number of hospitalizations by identifying patients at greatest risk and enhancing their patient care before they are hospitalized,” the researchers write in the study. “This can lead to better patient care, but also to substantial health care cost savings. In particular, if even a small fraction of the $30.8 billion spent annually on preventable hospitalizations can be realized in savings, this would offer significant results.”

    Ultimately, Adams says, having this kind of ongoing, automated analysis within electronic medical records could not only help doctors, nurses, and case managers monitor their patients more effectively, it could also elucidate disease risk factors previously undetected by doctors.

    “All of us know that a serious problem like diabetes is always going to increase your likelihood of being admitted to the hospital,” Adams says, “but the trick is to determine whether it’s about the thing that’s happening to your diabetes or something else unrelated to your diabetes that has substantially increased the likelihood of being hospitalized. The machine learning software has the potential to learn new associations.” These could be associations between some clinical features that make it more likely for the patient to develop serious complications from diabetes.

    In the coming year, Paschalidis and Adams will be interviewing doctors, trying to figure out how best to put this kind of predictive software to work in an actual hospital.

    “I’m confident that it will work,” Paschalidis says. “The issue is, what is the best way of incorporating something like that in the practice? Will the doctors use it or ignore it?”

    Eventually, Paschalidis says, he’d like to expand the software to predict other, non-heart-related hospitalizations. He’s also currently working with BMC’s surgery department on software designed to flag patients at risk for readmission within 90 days, so hospitals could perhaps monitor those patients more closely. The 90-day window is of particular interest to hospitals because Medicare doesn’t reimburse for readmissions within that timeframe.

    Down the road, Paschalidis says, it might also be possible to use data from wearable technologies in addition to EHR data. The data is there, he says; it’s just a matter of getting access to it.

    “We carry these smartphones and now these smart watches and all of these fitness trackers and other devices that know much more than the hospital knows about our state of health,” he says. “You now have a much richer record about the patient, and the richer the record is, the better prediction you can make.”

    Throughout his career, Paschalidis has put his data analysis skills to use in a lot of different areas. For the past three years, he’s been applying those skills to developing sensor networks for “smart cities.” He says he thinks he’ll be working in health care for a while.

    “I feel that health care is an important area,” he says, “and the contributions that you make are somehow more tangible in terms of the potential outcome.”

    Christos Cassandras Quoted in U.S. News and World Report

    March 20th, 2015 in News

    Cassandras2011U.S. News and World Report published an article presenting Christos Cassandras (SE, ECE) as a leader in academia, who is at the forefront of a trend in graduate programs to bring student innovations to the marketplace.

    Read the full article:

    Engineering Programs Work to Get Research from Lab to Customers

    Charles River Campus Has 21 New Full Professors: Nine ENG Faculty Among Those Promoted

    March 6th, 2015 in News

    By Rich Barlow, BU Today

    Faculty from five BU schools on the Charles River Campus have been promoted to full professor. Photo by Robert Dolan

    Faculty from five BU schools on the Charles River Campus have been promoted to full professor. Photo by Robert Dolan

    Beholding creation, Christopher Schneider longs to understand the forces—evolution, environment, history—that have woven the astounding tapestry of living things. He researches how animal ecology acts with those forces in a given region, especially the tropics, to create new species and maintain biodiversity. His teaching, he says, aims to give students “direct experience with organisms in nature.”

    Which is why they must tread carefully around alligators.

    Schneider’s research and his instructional prowess, including a field trip to Florida for a herpetology class last spring, helped to make him one of 21 Charles River Campus faculty members elevated to full professor recently—in Schneider’s case, in the College of Arts & Sciences biology department.

    Director of BU’s Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, Schneider has contributed to our understanding of biodiversity (he led the discovery several years ago of more than 100 species of tree frogs. He also trumpets the peril that biodiversity faces from climate change and the conversion of wild habitats to farming and other uses. “We are living in an age during which our actions threaten the world with the sixth great mass extinction in the history of life,” he says, adding that such disaster could be avoided if humans can only adopt more sustainable lifestyles. “Time,” however, “is not on our side,” he says.

    While Schneider studies the vast interconnectedness of nature, Kamil Ekinci views the infinitesimally minute world of nanotechnology. Ekinci—now Professor Ekinci (ME, MSE) at the College of Engineering—earned his promotion in part by developing techniques to build nanoscale devices and to measure extremely small signals coming from these devices. His work, which promises many practical uses, including biomedicine, won him a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and a visiting fellowship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology.

    Several new professors are known for pushing the boundaries of traditional academic responsibility. Michael Reynolds, elevated at the College of Fine Arts—doesn’t confine himself to his BU charges. Trying to reverse a decline in string instrument instruction in the late ’90s, Reynolds, an accomplished cellist and member of the Muir String Quartet, founded the Classics for Kids Foundation, which gives matching grants for instruments to schools and art groups nationally, especially for underserved kids. “Strong music programs have a very positive ripple effect on a school’s academics and student behavior,” he says.

    At BU, Reynolds teaches his students ensemble management and entrepreneurship in music: “I spend a lot of time talking with them about finding best fits down the road for them, whether it be performing, teaching, arts administration, the growing world of musical entrepreneurship, or all of the above.” Winner of a Grammy and other awards, he knows what he’s talking about, having performed almost 2,000 concerts around the world (and a PBS broadcast from the White House during the Reagan administration).

    As well as Christopher Schneider, Kamil Ekinci, and Michael Reynolds, the other promoted professors are:

    Thomas Berger, CAS professor of international relations

    Berger studies German and Japanese politics, focusing on nationalism, identity, and security. His War, Guilt and World Politics after World War II was named one of 2013’s best books by Foreign Affairs magazine. He is now writing a comparative study of alliance politics. His articles and essays have appeared in such publications as International SecurityReview of International StudiesGerman Politics, and World Affairs Quarterly.

    Sean Elliott, CAS professor of chemistry

    Elliott helped pioneer the study of electron transfer in metal-requiring proteins, using electrochemistry and spectroscopy. His dozens of journal articles, papers, and international talks are widely cited. He has won an NSF CAREER Award, two Research Corporation for Science Advancement Collaborative Innovation awards, BU’s Gitner Award, and the CAS Templeton Award for innovation and excellence in teaching.

    Robert Pollack, CAS professor of mathematics and statistics

    Pollack is an internationally known numbers theorist whose research is NSF-funded and whose papers have been published worldwide in the Annals of Mathematicslnventiones Mathematicae, and Duke Mathematical Journal. He won BU’s Gitner Award for Innovation in Teaching with Technology.

    Leonid Reyzin, CAS professor of computer science

    Reyzin is an internationally known cryptography researcher studying the minimal assumptions needed for provably secure communication (such as user authentication and network security). He has helped to develop cryptography standards and consulted for industry. He won an NSF CAREER Award and the CAS Neu Family Award for Excellence in Teaching.

    Daniel Segré, CAS biology and ENG bioinformatics and biomedical engineering

    Segré uses theoretical and computational modeling and experimental tests to unravel cellular metabolism in microbes, yielding biomedical advances. With almost $8 million from the NIH, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense, he has written dozens of articles in leading publications and was a DuPont Horizons in Biotechnology distinguished speaker.

    Irene Zaderenko, CAS professor of romance studies

    Zadarenko specializes in the prose and medieval epic poetry of Spain, especially the Poema de mio Cid. She wrote two books on the poem and many journal articles on Spain’s Middle Ages. She is a regular on the lecture-and-panel circuit at conferences in the United States, Spain, Argentina, Italy, Mexico, and Canada.

    Christopher Daly, College of Communication professor of journalism

    Daly teaches reporting techniques and ethics to budding journalists. He writes a blog for learners of diverse backgrounds. He has written many scholarly essays, thousands of magazine and newspaper articles, and several books, including the centuries-spanning history Covering America: A Narrative History of a Nation’s Journalism (2012).

    Calin Belta, ENG professor of mechanical engineering and systems engineering

    Belta helps answer important questions in engineering and systems biology with work in robotics and control, for which he develops computational tools, including network systems. A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Belta is an associate editor of the SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization and has received an Air Force Office of Scientific Research Young Investigator Award and an NSF CAREER Award.

    Edward Damiano, ENG professor of biomedical engineering

    Damiano, famous for his development of a “bionic pancreas” for Type 1 diabetes sufferers, specializes in endocrinology and biomechanics. Last November’s University Lecturer, Damiano has raised more than $14 million for his research from such donors as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He has written dozens of journal articles and organized numerous seminars.

    Martin Herbordt, ENG professor of electrical & computer engineering

    Herbordt, a scholar of computer architectures and high-performance computing, researches accelerating algorithms that can be used in areas such as bioinformatics and computational biology. He created a commercially successful software package, has written widely cited articles and presentations, and received NSF, NIH, and industry grants, as well as IBM’s Faculty Award.

    Catherine Klapperich, ENG professor of biomedical engineering and materials science & engineering

    Klapperich integrates systems science and engineering to design diagnostic, cancer screening, and treatment-monitoring tools for underserved groups. A Kern Innovation Faculty Fellow, she directs the NIH-funded Center for Future Technologies in Cancer Care and the Laboratory for Diagnostics and Global Healthcare Technologies. She is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.

    Elise Morgan, ENG professor of mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and materials science & engineering

    Morgan studies how mechanical signals contribute to the development, adaptation, degeneration, and regeneration of bone and cartilage. She has written dozens of widely cited journal articles and presentations. Her research and teaching awards include a Young Investigator Award from the International Osteoporosis Foundation and last year’s ENG Faculty Service Award.

    Roberto Paiella, ENG professor of electrical & computer engineering and materials science & engineering

    Paiella studies photonics and materials science and develops semiconductor structures and efficient devices, such as lasers, green light LEDs, and infrared detectors, that emit stronger light. He has won grants from the NSF, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Department of Energy. A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, he sits on the editorial board for Scientific Reports.

    Muhammad Zaman, ENG professor of biomedical engineering and materials science & engineering

    Zaman specializes in the interface of cell biology, mechanics, systems biology, and medicine, using computational and experimental tools to understand and ultimately prevent cancer metastasis. He is equally devoted to the delivery of modern medical technology to the developing world. The recipient of numerous NIH grants and a recent Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professorship, he has authored two books, seven book chapters, and dozens of widely cited articles on the properties of cell clusters and improved global health.

    Martin Amlin, CFA professor of music

    Amlin composes and plays classical music on the piano, chairs the school’s composition and theory department, and directs BU’s Tanglewood Institute Young Artists Composition Program. Internationally known for his work with the Tanglewood Festival Chorus, the Boston Pops, and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Amlin has recorded works for major labels and received many grants.

    Joshua Fineberg, CFA professor of music

    Fineberg, a preeminent scholar and composer of electronic music, combines acoustical research with psychological aspects of music perception to create aural landscapes, a sense of place created by music that’s similar to people’s visual sense of place. Winner of international prizes and fellowships, Fineberg founded and directs BU’s Center for New Music. He has authored a book on contemporary music as well as music performed and recorded by leading American and European new music artists.

    Edward Riedl, School of Management professor of accounting

    Riedl studies the effect of international accounting and fair value accounting on accuracy in financial reporting. He has written for leading journals, and he sits on the editorial board for The Accounting Review. He is associate editor for the Journal of International Accounting Research. Last year, Riedl cochaired the American Accounting Association’s annual conference, the world’s largest gathering of accounting researchers.

    Marshall Van Alstyne, SMG professor of information systems

    Van Alstyne studies information economics, communications markets, intellectual property, and the effects of technology and information on society and productivity. He has two patents involving encryption technology and cocreated the concept of “two-sided networks” (in which products and services link two groups, as, for instance, a credit card links buyers and sellers.) The winner of an NSF CAREER Award, he has written for ScienceNatureHarvard Business Review, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal.

    “We are incredibly proud of this talented group of faculty and the work they’ve been able to accomplish during their time here at BU,” says Jean Morrison, University provost. “Whether publishing seminal writings that challenge and expand our understanding of the world around us, discovering brighter, more efficient ways to deliver light, or engineering sophisticated, low-cost tools to diagnose and treat illness in underserved populations, all are helping to redefine their fields of inquiry and impacting countless lives through their research and teaching. They go to the very heart of our mission as a research university, and we are glad to see them continuing their careers here.”


    ECE/SE Student Team Win IEEE/IBM Smarter Planet Competition

    December 1st, 2014 in News

    Smarter-citiesStreet Bumps and Big Data Analytics: Crowdsourcing Our Way to Better Roads  won the  IEEE/IBM Smarter Planet Competition. This student team was advised by Professors Christos Cassandras (ECE, SE) and Yannis Paschalidis (ECE, BME, SE).

    Congratulations to Theodora Brisimi, BU ECE ’16 (PhD); Yue Zhang, BU SE ’18 (PhD); Wuyang Dai, BU ECE ’14 (PhD); Setareh Ariafar, BU SE ’18 (PhD); and Nicholas Baladis, MIT Sloan ’15 (MBA)!

    This project was in collaboration with the City of Boston Mayor’s office of New Urban Mechanics including co-chairs Chris Osgood and Nigel Jacob.

    Faculty Search – Professor or Associate Professor, Division of Systems Engineering

    December 1st, 2014 in News

    The Division of Systems Engineering (SE) at Boston University (BU) is seeking candidates for a tenured faculty position at the rank of Professor or Associate Professor in the area of Network Systems.  The Division of Systems Engineering is seeking a proven accomplished researcher to provide leadership in the area of network systems and to develop a research program that enhances and complements a number of existing activities that span the ECE and ME Departments. The Division, in conjunction with the Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE), has established widely recognized research excellence in areas such as Sensor Networks, Multi-Agent Systems, and Mobile Robotics. These and other areas where Division faculty are active represent instances of a broader emerging class of network systems. Beyond traditional computer and communication networks, this new class is characterized by network structures whose nodes are complex dynamic systems in themselves (wireless physical devices, robots, power supply centers in a smart grid, vehicles in smart cities, factories/warehouse in supply chains, etc). Candidates with research interests that transcend the traditional boundaries of SE are strongly encouraged to apply.  The successful candidate will be given a primary appointment in our Mechanical Engineering or Electrical and Computer Engineering departments as applicable. Additional appointments with other BU departments and the Division of Materials Science and Engineering are available for candidates with appropriate experience and interests.

    To apply and for further details, please visit and follow application instructions online at

    Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Preferred deadline for full consideration is December 31, 2014. Therefore, applicants are encouraged to apply early.

    We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.


    Urban Seminar Series: The Resilient City – A Panel Discussion Featuring Professors Hutyra, Baillieul and Heiger-Bernays

    November 3rd, 2014 in News

    Starts: 12:00 pm on Thursday, November 6, 2014

    Ends: 1:30 pm on Thursday, November 6, 2014

    Location: The Initiative on Cities, 75 Bay State Road


    The Initiative on Cities’ Urban Seminar Series brings together faculty and other experts from diverse fields to speak on a common urban topic or issue. The Resilient City will examine how cities can prepare for threats from catastrophic weather events to critical infrastructure loss to urban health crises. A panel discussion featuring Lucy Hutyra (Earth & Environment, BU), John Baillieul (Mechanical Engineering, Systems Engineering, BU), and Wendy Heiger-Bernays (Environmental Health, BU) will be followed by audience Q&A and complimentary lunch. Please register at the link above.

    Faculty Search – Assistant Professor, Dept. Mechanical Engineering & Div. of Systems Engineering

    September 23rd, 2014 in News

    The Department of Mechanical Engineering, in conjunction with the Division of Systems Engineering, invites applications for a tenure track position at the Assistant Professor level beginning Fall 2015 in the area of Robotics and Cyber-Physical Systems.  The ME department is multi-disciplinary with strong expertise in systems and control, nanotechnology, materials characterization, fluid dynamics, modeling, and acoustics.  In addition to robotics, application areas of interest include health, energy and sustainability, and manufacturing.  The department and the division are further strengthened by their affiliations with the Center for Information and Systems Engineering (CISE) and the Division of Materials Science and Engineering. Both the Department and the College of Engineering are implementing ambitious ten-year plans, in line with Boston University’s commitment as a top tier research university engaged in substantial growth in the coming years.

    With this search, we would like to increase the research portfolio in Robotics and Cyber-Physical Systems; however, outstanding candidates with interest in our other research areas are encouraged to apply.  Interested candidates should have a PhD. degree in a relevant field of engineering or applied science, and should be able to show strong potential for attracting external research funding.   The applicant should be able to contribute to the graduate and undergraduate programs in Mechanical Engineering and the graduate programs in Systems Engineering.  Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience.

    The ME department has 46 primary faculty members (35 tenured or on tenure track), many of whom hold secondary appointments in other Departments and Divisions within the College. Undergraduate and graduate enrollments are approximately 500 and 150 respectively.  Our BS degree in ME allows for optional departmental concentrations in aerospace engineering and manufacturing engineering and college-wide concentrations in energy technologies, nanotechnology, and technology innovation.  At the graduate level, the ME Department offers research and professional Masters degrees in both mechanical and manufacturing engineering and a PhD in mechanical engineering.

    Online Application

    Application deadline is December 31, 2014; however, review of applications will begin immediately so applicants are encouraged to apply early.

    We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. We are a VEVRAA Federal Contractor.