Pace University professor Zhan Zhang awarded $175,000 NSF grant for wearable tech for emergency healthcare workers

In a time where bad news abounds, it’s essential to share the good – and the coronavirus can’t keep Seidenberg faculty down!

Information Technology  professor Zhan Zhang of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems at Pace University was recently awarded a $175,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to pursue research in wearable technologies for emergency healthcare workers.

“This is my long-standing research interest,” said Dr. Zhang, who has been doing research in the healthcare technology field since 2011. “Emergency care work is inherently important to society as it deals with life-threatening injuries and emergency situations. Improving the work efficiency of emergency care will lead to better patient outcomes and decreased medical errors.”

Dr. Zhang’s almost decade of work in the field has brought him to his current project: designing and developing novel technologies to support decision making and collaboration in highly dynamic medical environments where decisions must be made quickly and acted upon immediately, such as when paramedics have to keep someone’s heart beating while transporting them to a hospital.

Dr. Zhang’s prior research on emergency care teams enabled him to “identify an essential gap in real-time capture and integration of relevant patient data in the field by paramedics.”

Throughout the two-year term of the grant support, Dr. Zhang aims to develop wearable devices that can be used by paramedics to 1) collect real-time patient data in a hands-free manner, and 2) communicate with ER and trauma teams at the receiving hospital. For example, paramedics transporting a patient to a hospital can wear a smart glass device that transmits what they are seeing to colleagues awaiting the patient at the hospital, enabling them to act upon observations and instructions delivered by colleagues with relevant expertise. This would allow for more efficient and effective patient care until the paramedics could deliver the patient safely to the hospital.

What Dr. Zhang hopes to accomplish is threefold:

1) To establish an interdisciplinary area of socio-technical research that addresses real-world problems while also advancing the current state of computing technologies for enhancing human abilities to capture, integrate, and analyze critical data in a natural way.

2) To establish an excellent platform for an integrated education and outreach program. This aligns with several Seidenberg’s initiatives such as the upcoming Master’s in Human-Centered Design program (planned for Fall 2021). A diverse group of students, including underrepresented minorities and first-generation immigrants, will be involved in this research work so that they can gain first-hand experience in research, user-centered design, and software development.

3) To distribute research outcomes widely, through premium journals and conference publications to broaden the impact of this research.

“I feel extremely excited to work on this challenging yet understudied research problem that has significant scientific and societal impacts,” Dr. Zhang added.

We feel excited to support Dr. Zhang in his efforts, bringing the Internet of Things (IoT) further to the medical world. Congratulations to Dr. Zhang, and we are grateful to the National Science Foundation for its support in his compelling research.

NSF Billion Oyster Project video features Pace!

The National Science Foundation (NSF) released a cool new video featuring the Billion Oyster Project (BOP) and Pace University! The Billion Oyster Project is a community of students, teachers, scientists, volunteers, businesses, and schools. Its goal? Getting down and dirty to conduct research and restore the New York Harbor back to its oyster-inhabited glory. With a $5 million grant from the NSF, the project leaders hope to inspire students, specifically middle school students, to help drive the restoration.

At Pace University, the Curriculum and Community Enterprise for Restoration Science (CCERS) and BOP Fellowship trains teachers and educators how to engage students in environmental science and restoration ecology. In 2016, our annual STEM Collaboratory camp teamed up with BOP for an exciting two weeks of research, problem solving, and design thinking. We taught campers HTML, CSS, JavaScript and Google Charts to create a helpful solution.

The NSF video features our very own professor Lauren Birney, the director of Pace University’s STEM Collaboratory. “We’re creating this smart and connected community here in New York City, but then allowing that to grow into other communities,” Birney said. She hopes to build the Billion Oyster Project by continuing to target local middle schools in low-income neighborhoods where students are underrepresented in STEM fields.

Participants aren’t just making new friends, they’re also engaging in STEM activities while restoring the ecosystem in their own backyard! Hands on work teaches students how to measure oysters, test water samples, and other cool activities that keep them active and constantly contributing. The Billion Oyster Project’s website keeps track of teachers, students and volunteers’ work with an interactive map.

Learn more about the 2016 STEM Collaboratory NYC experience, or go further back and check out our Summer Scholars program’s awesome experience with the Billion Oyster Project in 2015!

National Science Foundation awards $2.5 million grant to the Seidenberg School

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The Seidenberg School is to receive a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) totaling two and a half million dollars. The grant is in support of the project “A Multiple Pathway Approach to CyberCorps – Renewal,” which is directed by Dr. Li-Chiou Chen, Dr. Joseph Ryan (the Dyson School), Dr. Darren Hayes, and Prof. Andreea Cotoranu.

This project extends the CyberCorps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program at Pace University. The Pace CyberCorps program received about $1 million from the NSF between 2010 and 2015, and the new NSF award will bring an additional $2.5 million to advance Pace’s program over the next five years between 2015 and 2020.

The Seidenberg School has been awarded the grant in order to support 3-4 cybersecurity scholars every year, assist student research in cybersecurity, and direct several outreach programs – including running the GenCyber cybersecurity teachers’ workshop which concluded recently. The grant will support eligible cybersecurity scholars who are current Pace students, transfer students from community colleges, and new graduate students from other universities. All scholars are required to fulfill core curriculum requirements in both cybersecurity and mathematics, as well as interdisciplinary curriculum requirements in either criminal justice, business administration, or another discipline. The scholars will also be expected to complete research projects and professional development activities. The interdisciplinary academic preparation will allow the graduates to conduct cybersecurity tasks in a specialty area such as information assurance compliance and auditing, network security administration, digital forensics, etc.

Cybersecurity is one of our key initiatives, and we want to encourage students to learn about this field as it’s not only crucial for securing our digital information over the Internet, but it’s an ever-growing area where employment opportunities abound. The National Science Foundation grant will allow Seidenberg and Pace University to continue its efforts as a center for cybersecurity research and education.

We’d like to congratulate Dr. Chen, Dr. Ryan, Dr. Hayes, and Prof. Cotoranu on this fantastic achievement!