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.

The 15th Annual Michael L. Gargano Student-Faculty Research Day

On May 5, 2017, members of the Pace community gathered for the 15th Michael L. Gargano Faculty-Student research day. This year’s conference was dedicated to the work of Frank Rosenblatt, an American psychologist notable in the field of artificial intelligence for the invention of perceptrons, a class of neural networks.

Rosenblatt is also considered the ‘father of Deep Learning,’ as his development of perceptrons has evolved into deep learning networks.

Dean Jonathan Hill makes his opening remarks at the Michael L Gargano Faculty Student Research DayThe Dean of the Seidenberg School, Dr. Jonathan Hill, kicked off the event. “I am delighted to see so many people here today,” he said. “This research day is a brilliant reflection of the doctoral work going on here, the master level research that is taking place, and the undergraduate research that is a hallmark of this School, and indeed the University.”

Dr. Hill spoke about the history of the day, including the decision to name it after Michael Gargano, who he described as “one of the forces of life.”

“He recruited many people [to our DPS program] and served as advisor to them. I think a lot of us have worked overtime to make up for Michael’s loss and to bring the energy that he had.

“The only way we can do that . . . is to be learned, to read widely, and to speak to each other about our work, and create an environment where people can come together and share their work.”

Dr. Hill then introduced Dr. Charles Tappert, who manages the DPS program and organized the day.

Dr. Tappert gave a presentation about Frank Rosenblatt, who had been his dissertation advisor, and deep learning. “Deep learning is now causing a revolution in artificial intelligence,” he said. He argued for Rosenblatt receiving the title of ‘father of deep learning’ – as there are quite a few people up for the name – and spoke about his significant contributions to the field.

Afterwards, the conference began in earnest! It was an extremely packed day, with many students and faculty presenting their papers on myriad topics. The day was split into four paper sessions: the first was about data analytics and the internet of things, the second was about mobile applications and miscellaneous information technology, the third, machine learning, and the final section focused on biometrics, security, optimizations, and knowledge representation. Each section included between nine and twelve papers, making for a busy day of learning.

Student Steven Porras with his research project PowerShell Forensics
Student Steven Porras with his research project PowerShell Forensics

The list of presentations is too long to include here, but you can check it out on Charles Tappert’s university page. Slideshows and papers are all available on the website, so be sure to check them out!

A hearty congratulations to all who presented this year – we look forward to seeing you again in 2018!

Read about last year’s record-breaking research day.

Student Carlo Clarke presented his research on Vulnerabilities within Wireless Protocols
Student Carlo Clarke presented his research on Vulnerabilities within Wireless Protocols

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!

Record-setting success at Michael L. Gargano Research Day

The Seidenberg School opened its doors to the 14th edition of the Michael L. Gargano Research Day Conference on Friday, May 6th.

IMG_2775This student-faculty conference provides the Seidenberg community with an opportunity to share research.  This year’s event set a participation record: 42 papers published in the conference proceedings, including 60 doctoral, 84 masters, and 10 undergraduate student authors. Of these papers, over 25 were presented at the conference. From biometrics and security to knowledge representation and optimization, big data and the internet-of-things, the presentations covered problems in diverse domains including security, education and healthcare.

This signature Seidenberg School academic event could not be possible without the commitment and enthusiasm of computer science professor, and conference chair, Charles Tappert, PhD.

IMG_2783Dr. Tappert serves as research advisor to many doctoral students, and also runs undergraduate and graduate capstone courses on the Pleasantville campus.

Since this is an annual Seidenberg event, why not take part yourself next year? We will be looking for submissions in Spring ’17, so now is a good time to start!

The Michael L. Gargano Research Day is named after the late Seidenberg computer science professor,  Michael L. Gargano, a passionate researcher and valued research advisor, particularly to students in the doctoral program.

Eiman Ahmed continues Seidenberg’s DS3 legacy at Microsoft

Eiman Ahmed 1. Who are you working with this summer? (…and what do they do?)

I am a student at Microsoft Research’s Data Science Summer School. Otherwise known as DS3, this program’s initiative is to introduce and teach college students how to acquire, clean, and utilize real data for research purposes.

2. Can you tell us a little about what you are doing? (We might not understand the technicalities, but we’d love details!)

My team and I (we call ourselves the “Subway Surfers”) are using the MTA’s subway/turnstile data to compute a network flow of New York City to make better predictions and assist social projects like “Stop-and-Frisk” by providing them with information as to how many people (estimated) are at any given place in New York City at any given time.

3. Is there a particular class, peer, or professor at Seidenberg that has helped you prepare specifically for your current internship? (Clearly, we’re all about shout outs this summer!)

Briana Vecchione, a Seidenberg student (and an amazing friend) introduced me to this program! She was a part of DS3 last year (the first year the program took place) and worked on the “Self-Balancing Bikes” project.

4. Does your new office have a favorite restaurant/hangout they go to after work? (No! we’re not going to show up like proud parents!)

Every Tuesday the researchers here get together to discuss a project that they are working on at around noon – (this is known as “Tea Time”). Though the students and I don’t particularly have a favorite restaurant/hangout, we do like to tune into some of the Tea Talk sessions that occur.

Microsoft Presentation
Eiman and her DS3 team after presenting their work on August 6th.

Eiman Ahmed is going into her sophomore year of undergrad, earning her BS in Computer Science.

Seidenberg Professor Writes Winning Paper

IMG_9630
Dr. Thomas (second from right) receiving her award.

Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) just announced the winners for best paper under the topic of “Leading Transformation to Sustainable Excellence.” Among the winners was Dr. Jennifer D.E. Thomas for a paper entitled “The Effect of Delivery Method on Persistence, Performance and Perceptions,” which she researched and wrote in tandem with two professors, Danielle Morin and Samie Li Shang Ly, from Concordia University, Canada.

The paper took into account the different delivery methods of courses for undergraduate students. With a rise in online classes in today’s culture – especially at Pace, where we rank at 3rd best in the nation for online undergraduate courses – it’s important to study the new methods of learning so that, as challenges and innovations arise, universities can analyze them in order to enhance educational practices. Thomas, Ly, and Morin looked at classes that were completely online as well as classes that were a hybrid between online and traditional practices.

From the extended abstract of the paper, the conclusion of their research is summarized as,

“The results of the studies conducted in this paper support the need for a hybrid model of learning, which augments in-class lectures with a level of online component. This would tend to imply the need to carefully evaluate MOOC’s [Massive Online Open Courses] before widespread adoption of them is made. Monetary expediency should not trump wise pedagogy.”

We extend the heartiest of congratulations to Dr. Thomas and her partners in research for their excellence!