Major Research Awards

Here is a small sample of the many notable awards from federal agencies, corporations, and entities that have supported research at WPI in recent months.

Intelligent Autonomous Agents

Candice Sidner and Charles Rich (Computer Science), with Timothy Bickmore of Northeastern University, received a collaborative four-year, $1.8 million award from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to establish the theory and engineering for intelligent, autonomous agents that are capable of developing and maintaining long-term social relationships with humans. WPI’s share of this award is expected to be $1.08 million.

 

Predicting Arterial Plaque Rupture

Dalin Tang and Joseph Petruccelli (Mathematical Sciences) and Kristen Billiar (Biomedical Engineering) received a four-year, $1.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health for a study that will combine computer modeling and diagnostic technologies to chart the development of arterial plaque, with the aim of developing tools to help Dalin Tang and Joseph Petruccelli (Mathematical Sciences) and Kristen Billiar (Biomedical Engineering) received a four-year, $1.4 million award from the National Institutes of Health for a study that will combine computer modeling and diagnostic technologies to chart the development of arterial plaque, with the aim of developing tools to help

Quantifying Body Area Networks

Kaveh Pahlavan, Allen Levesque, Sergey Makarov, and Nin Yang (Electrical and Computer Engineering) received a three-year, $1.2 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) award from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to conduct a groundbreaking study of the propagation of radio waves around and through the human body to aid the development of body area networks.

 

Educational Software and Learning

Janice Gobert and Ryan Baker (Social Science and Policy Studies) received a three-year, $986,000 award from the NSF to study how the behavior of middle school students while using educational software influences science learning. The investigators will measure how student attributes such as poor goal orientation, low self-efficacy, and low perseverance are associated with learning outcomes.

 

Real-time Troop Status Monitoring

Grant McGimpsey and Christopher Lambert (Bioengineering Institute), with James Duckworth (Electrical and Computer Engineering) and Yitzhak Mendelson (Biomedical Engineering), received a one-year, $876,000 award from the U.S. Army to develop a system to monitor the physiological status of troops in real time using a common wireless network.

 

Finding Patterns in Streaming Data

Elke Rundensteiner (Computer Science) received a three-year, $500,000 award from the NSF to design, implement, and evaluate a novel method for processing complex streams of data. The ability to infer relevant patterns from these streams in real time and at various levels of abstraction can help make near instantaneous decisions about mission-critical applications, including crisis management and security.

 

A Platform for Network Studies

Craig Wills, Mark Claypool, Matthew Ward (Computer Science), and James Doyle (Social Science and Policy Studies)received a three-year, $392,000 award from the NSF to develop a distributed measurement platform for scientific research on networks and networked applications that will yield valuable data supporting a wide range of experiments. The project will also promote broader participation in science and engineering by underrepresented groups through integration with WPI’s Interactive Media and Game Development program.

The Adverse Effects of Nanoparticles

Terri Camesano (Chemical Engineering) received a three-year $307,000 NSF award to identify the potential adverse effects on human health and the environment from exposure to nanoparticles (which are being used increasingly for a variety of applications) by addressing the challenge of building a common understanding of how nanoparticles affect biological cells.

 

Studying the Properties of Alloys

The U.S. Army recently awarded WPI $300,000 to establish the Center for Thermo-mechanical Processing of Materials. Led by Richard Sisson, George F. Fuller Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Metal Processing Institute, and mechanical engineering faculty members Satya Shivkumar, Makhlouf Makhlouf, and Diana Lados, the center will develop databases and software models that can be used to predict the microstructures and mechanical properties of engineering alloys.