Kong and Zhang win ND EPSCoR awards

June 2009
Dr. Jun Kong and Dr. Weiyi Zhang each won a very competitive ND EPSCoR Infrastructure Improvement Program -- Collaborative Seed Pilot Program award. According to the letter(s) of award, thirteen proposals requested $1.1 Million, while three awards totaling $207,400 were funded. Dr. Jun Kong won a two-year award for $77,600 in collaboration with colleagues at UT-Dallas. Dr. Weiyi Zhang won a two-year award for $82,600 in collaboration with colleagues at U of Sci & Tech, China.

2009 academic year update

It has been a year of minor growth and consolidation for the Computer Science department, with potential for future increases from a number of sources. Meanwhile it has been a 'year of assessment' as the department simultaneously underwent annual assessment, program review, and accreditation self-study, the rare trifecta.

To begin the academic year we were joined by two new faculty. Dr. Juan Li from the University of British Columbia, specializes in Distributed systems, Semantic Web technologies, Information retrieval and knowledge discovery. Dr. Wei Jin from the State University of New York – Buffalo specializes in data mining, information retrieval, machine learning and bioinformtics

In September three graduate students were awarded North Dakota Space Grant Consortium research assistantships. Later that month NDSU was visited by former astronaut Colonel Al Worden from the Apollo 15 moon mission, who met with the students and their advisors to shake hands and pose for photos.
Towards the end of the Fall semester Dr. Yan Gu announced she was leaving for a position at Auburn University starting in January.

In November, Dr. Kendall Nygard traveled to China and met with university officials at several institutions with a view towards forming a new twinning agreement. In January, Dr. Dianxiang Xu also visited China as part of a joint NDSU and Campus Development Group delegation to plan for the Fergus Falls development scheduled for 2010.

Most recently, it has been announced that Dr. Anne Denton, along with Plant Science Professor Shahryar Kianian, has been awarded a $3.1M NSF grant for wheat genome research. This is among the largest grants ever won by a Computer Science faculty member.

NDSU students take second and fourth in computer competition

The NDSU computer science department participated in the Digi-Key Corp.’s Collegiate Computing Contest, “DKC3,” on Oct. 17 in Thief River Falls, Minn. Two teams represented NDSU. Dakodas won second place and Pi Rho placed fourth.

The University of Minnesota, Morris, won first place. The Dakodas won a $150 gift certificate for each team member and $1,800 for the computer science department. Bemidji State University placed third and NDSU’s Pi Rho team came in fourth. A total of 24 teams participated.

Dakodas members include Ryan Carlsrud, a junior from Tower City, N.D.; Nathan Ehresmann, a junior from Staples, Minn.; Robert J. Foertsch, a senior from Wyndmere, N.D.; and Jeong Woo Wee, a junior from South Korea. Pi Rho’s members include Christopher Grahn, a junior from Colby, Wis.; Abram Jackson, a junior from Valley City, N.D.; Dustin Kerber, a senior from Cooperstown, N.D.; and Joel Longanecker, a senior from Waseca, Minn.

Richard Rummelt and Adam Helsene coached the teams.

Du and Nygard receive grant to secure wireless sensor networks

Xiaojiang “James” Du, assistant professor, and Kendall E. Nygard, professor, both in the computer science department, have received a three-year $358,748 grant from the Army Research Office to secure military wireless sensor networks.

In the project, “Designing Robust and Secure Heterogeneous Sensor Networks,” Du and Nygard will design effective and efficient secure protocols and algorithms for military sensor networks. A sensor network consists of a large number of tiny, smart sensor nodes that are deployed in a wide geographical area, and can provide unprecedented opportunities to sense, instrument, manage and control large environments.

In this project, Du and Nygard adopt a new and more realistic network model to study security issues in sensor networks. The model is called a Heterogeneous Sensor Network that consists of different types of sensor nodes with varying capacities. Du also received a research infrastructure grant from the Army Research Office in May 2007. This grant will be used to set up a large sensor network testbed that will be used for performance evaluations for the new project.

Wireless sensor networks have many applications in the military, such as battlefield surveillance, target tracking and security monitoring. Sensor networks are expected to have more and more applications in the military, and will become a critical component of the future digital battlefield.

As part of the project, Du and Nygard will train highly skilled undergraduate and graduate students with expertise of interest to the Department of Defense.

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