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Backers and Hackers Winners

The winning team for this year's Backers and Hackers is Mingxiang Zhu, Tieming Geng, and Hongrui Zhang for their app connect2icu, a secure mobile app to assist families while their child is in a neonatal or pediatric intensive care unit. Backers and Hackers is a completely student-run initiative organized by the Entrepreneurship Club and the College of Engineering and Computing at USC. The program brings together Columbia’s entrepreneurial community and USC’s mobile app development students to transform app ideas into reality.

Xian Wu receives Two Thumbs Up Award

We are happy to report that Xian Wu, a PhD student in CSE working in the ART Lab, has received the Two Thumbs Up award. Two Thumbs Up awards were created to recognize faculty and staff members across campus who have made a significant difference in a student’s experience at the University of South Carolina. The recipients of these awards are nominated by students with registered with the Office of Student Disability Services.

Magellan Award Winners

We congratulate the following undergraduate students who have received a USC Magellan award in the last year, they are Emma Drobina, Judson James, Abraham Khan, Liudas Panavas, Harrison Engoren, Noemi Glaeser, Caleb Kisby, Briana Luckey, Jonathan Senn, Charles Daniels, De'Aira Bryant, Bethany Janos, Molly Carlson. Their respective research topics are shown below. You can also view the full list of winners and instructions for applying.

De’Aira Bryant Awarded NSF Graduate Fellowship

We are proud to announce that De’Aira Bryant, a Senior undergraduate student working in Dr. Jenay Beer’s Assistive Robotics and Technology Lab (ARTLab), has been awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Fellowship. The fellowship provides financial support of $34,000/year for any 3 year period over the next 5 years. De’Aira’s selection as an NSF Graduate Fellowship awardee is a tremendous accomplishment. Congratulations De’Aira!!

It is Possible to Hack a Phone With Sound Waves

This NY Times article describes research by Dr Wenyuan Xu and colleages at the University of Michigan into how to maliciously control a phone's accelerometer using sound waves.

In their paper, the researchers describe how they added fake steps to a Fitbit fitness monitor and played a "malicious" music file from the speaker of a smartphone to control the phone’s accelerometer. That allowed them to interfere with software that relies on the smartphone, like an app used to pilot a radio-controlled toy car.

The video below explains their research.

Dr. Wang Receives NSF Award for Design Reconstruction Algorithm

Dr. Song Wang has received a research grant award from the National Science Foundation for his project entitled "Algorithm Development for Reconstruction of Design Elements". This is an interdisciplinary study between archaeology and computer science to develop and disseminate a program that can identify the full artistic design from fragmented cultural heritage objects. Specifically, it will develop the algorithm to identify the designs of the carved wooden paddles of the Southeastern Woodlands from unearthed pottery sherds.

Dr. Valtorta Receives Grant Award for Probabilistic Reasoning

Dr. Marco Valtorta has received an award from the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) to work on the Co-Arg: Cogent Argumentation System with Crowd Elicitation project, lead by George Mason University. This project aims to improve the quality of intelligence analysis reports. Dr. Valtorta's work will develop a probabilistic reasoning component to complement the Wigmorean argument structures used as the main representation in the Co-Arg project. Argument structures will be translated into Bayesian networks, thus uncovering subtleties and complexities, such as evidence-induced dependencies, synergistic effects, and antagonistic effects, which will be resolved by analysts or via crowdsourcing.

Dr. Terejanu Receives Grant Award from the NIDA/USDA

Dr. Gabriel Terejanu has received a research award from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA)/USDA for his project, "TOXIMAP: Computational Framework for Prediction of Geographical and Temporal Incidence of Mycotoxins in US Crop Fields". This project will develop a general predictive modeling framework for calculating aflatoxin occurrence in US crop fields before harvest, and package this knowledge in a user-friendly predictive web/mobile interface for generating nation-wide and real-time aflatoxin hazard maps. This project has the potential to change certain behaviors in crop management to improve food safety.

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