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News 2003

12.15.2003 Dr. J. Michael Kabo Appointed Associate Dean

The Provost and The President have approved the appointment of Dr. J. Michael Kabo as the next Associate Dean, effective January 5, 2004. Dr. Kabo holds a B.A. degree in Economics and a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, both from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. He received his M.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1975, and Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics in 1980, both from University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Kabo's academic experience includes serving as an Adjunct Assistant and Associate Professor of Surgery/Orthopaedics/Biomechanics from 1980 to 1993 at the UCLA School of Medicine, Adjunct Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine from 1993 to 1996 and Professor in Residence, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, UCLA School of Medicine from 1996 to present. He is the co-chair of Biomechanics, Biomaterials, Tissue Engineering Field of Study, Biomedical Engineering Interdisciplinary Program at the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at UCLA from 1998 to present. Dr. Kabo has taught over the years courses in mechanical engineering, biomechanics, computer graphics, and bioengineering.

Dr. Kabo has received numerous awards, including National awards from the Hip Society, affiliated with the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, in 1991 and 2000. He has been involved with outreach activities such as the California State Science Fair in the capacity of Judge, Director of Judging and Chair of the Fair.

12.15.2003 Professor Geng Receives Award

Congratulations to Professor Xiaojun (Ashley) Geng of ECE. She has been awarded three units of release time for Spring 2004 from the Probationary Faculty Development Program.

12.05.2003 Director John Guarrera Honored

More than one hundred family and friends and colleagues of John Guarrera honored John's long and distinguished service to CSUN at a celebration party in the new Sierra Center. Distinguished guests paid tribute to John and Joe Guarrera and expressed their gratitude to the Guarreras' friendship and guidance throughout the years.

12.05.2003 Professor Tarek Schraibati Honored by SME

Congratulations to Professor Tarek Schraibati of MSEM. He is the recipient of the Education Achievement Award 2003 of the Region 12 of Society of Manufacturing Engineering (SME). The award is "in recognition of a substantial contribution to the Society, industry, and education by acting as a catalyst for the integration of advanced technologies into the educational environment."

Tarek's award not only brings honor and recognition to himself but also to the College and CSUN. It is a much deserved honor.

11.20.2003 Dr. Robert Lingard Wins MOSAIC Grant

Congratulations to Dr. Robert Lingard, Associate Professor of Computer Science. He has been selected as a winner partnering with the gang prevention grant, "Mentoring to Overcome Struggle and Inspire Courage" (MOSAIC). His service learning course students will deliver a weekly one hour lecture on computer skills at four community centers in the Valley in spring 2004 to at risk youth.

Professor Lingard's effort is part of CSUN's three-year $375,000 grant for a new anti-gang program, in partnership with the Jeopardy Foundation and the Los Angeles Police Department. The money was awarded by the Corporation for National and Community Service. CSUN's grant is part of the program's effort to support 2,300 local projects promoting community service efforts by university students that also enhance their academic and civic skills.

"Gang activity and all its heartbreak - in terms of lost lives, lost hope and lost youth - is one of the most serious concerns facing our community today," said Maureen Rubin, director of Northridge's Center for Community-Service Learning, which is overseeing the university's portion of the grant along with CSUN's Department of Sociology. "This grant will give our students the opportunity to help the community's early intervention efforts by tutoring, mentoring and inspiring young people to seek positive alternatives to gang life."

In addition to working with Jeopardy, the CSUN students will also attend weekly classes co-taught by sociology professors Patricia O'Donnel-Brummet, Herman DeBose and mentoring specialist Bridget Sampson.

Rubin said the new program hopes to increase the school attendance and grade point averages of at-risk youth while at the same time decreasing negative contact with law enforcement and gang members. In addition to the educational support they will receive from the CSUN students, the young people will have opportunities to engage in community projects and cultural and artistic endeavors.

11.10.2003 Dr. Shan Barkataki appointed Academic Director of Honors Co-Op

Professor Shan Barkataki of Computer Science will be the Academic Director. His term will cover the two full years beginning the spring semester of 2004 and ending at the end of the fall semester of 2005.

Shan has been a faculty advisor for the Honors Co-Op program for many years. He understands the importance and value of faculty participation and will work closely with all faculty advisers. The term of the current Director of Honors Co-Op, Dr. Shoeleh Dijulio ends this semester. During her tenure, the Honors Program has grown significantly and many of the practices have been established, including the establishment of an Honors Co-Op Alumni Advisory Committee, which provides valuable suggestions and leads in new industrial sponsors.

10.30.2003 Direct John Guarrera retires from Center for Research and Services

Mr. John Guarrera, the founding director of CRS will step down as Director by November 1. During John's long tenure at the helm of CRS, he pioneered the Design Clinic, which has over the years benefited countless number of students and energized many faculties. The workshops and short courses he directed have put the College on the map and served the industry well. More recently, his staff has also been supporting the logistics of the Honors Co-Op program.

John's vast knowledge and network of key industrial leaders in this area have been the foundation upon which the College built its initial Professional Advisory Council, which is now renamed Industrial Advisory Board. John has rejoined the IAB recently. He will continue to serve CSUN as a volunteer with the title of Director Emeritus. Dean Mau will act as Director.

10.16.2003 Professor Stephen Gadomski Honored by ASCE

Professor Stephen Gadomski, chair of CEAM, received on October 4, 2003 the following two awards:

1. Faculty Advisor of the year for 2003 from the Metropolitan Los Angeles Branch of ASCE; and
2. Faculty Advisor of the year for 2003 from the Los Angeles Section of ASCE. Except for San Diego, the Los Angeles Section includes all of Southern California from San Luis Obispo south. Congratulations to Steve.

08.22.2003 Energy Research Center Established

A new Energy Research Center is established in the college. The mission of the Center is to "promote, coordinate, and implement research and development in new or alternative energy sources and bridge the gap between the state-of-the-art and the state-of-the-practice in energy utilization. Professor Larry Caretto of Mechanical Engineering serves as its first director.

07.21.2003 Dr. Sid Schwartz Reappointed Chair of Mechanical Engineering

The Provost and The President have approved the reappointment of Dr. Sid Schwartz for another three-year term as Chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department. During Sid's first term, the ME Department went through a successful ABET review. The faculty of ME launched a new curriculum to modernize the content of what is to be offered to students. The ME program is seeing increased enrollment and the number of degrees awarded is also going upward. Sid has also begun to make contacts with potential sources for sponsoring design clinic and research and development grants.

05.16.2003 Professors Epstein and Gilbert Honored

Professors Mel Epstein (ME) and Phil Gilbert (CS) were honored in a celebration held at University Club for their lifelong dedication and contribution to Education. Professors Epstein and Gilbert completed their early retirement plan this semester. Professor John Motil (CS) was honored for his 40th Anniversary at CSUN.

05.08.2003 Ari Soto Receives the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award

Each year the University honors only four graduating seniors with the Outstanding Graduating Senior Award. Four exceptional students are selected for this award based on academic excellence, campus and community service, and exceptional achievements or personal life circumstances that have been overcome.

Mr. Ari Soto, who will receive his Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering this Spring, has been selected as one of the four students. He will receive this honor as well as $1000 awards during the Honors Convocation ceremony at the University Club on Tuesday, May 27, 2003, at 6:00 p.m. Congratulations to Ari and the MSEM faculty for this special honor to Ari and to our programs.

05.01.2003 CSUN 2003 Distinguished Teaching Awards Goes to Dr. Nagi El Naga

Professor Nagi El Naga of Electrical and Computer Engineering has been selected to receive the CSUN 2003 Distinguished Teaching Awards. This award is the highest teaching honor a CSUN faculty can receive. Past award recipients from CECS include Behzad Bavarian (1994),Stan Gillespie (1988), Jagdish Prabhakar (1987), Robert Wong (1982), Bonita Campbell (1980) and Edward Hriber(1974).

05.01.2003 Civil Engineering Students Go To National Competition

In early April, the student chapter of ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) at CSUN placed 2nd overall in the steel bridge competition, cosponsored by the American Institute of Steel Construction (AISC), at the regional competition held at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ. This qualifies the students to attend the National Steel Bridge Competition to be held May 23-24, 2003 at San Diego State University. The bridges were judged on six categories, these included: construction speed, aesthetics, construction economy, lightness, stiffness, and structural efficiency, with overall performance based on cumulative scores in all six categories. More details are in the attachment.

05.01.2003 Mechanical Engineering Students are Number One in Regional Conference

Mechanical Engineering students a CSUN captured first place in the Student Design Contest held at the ASME Regional Student Conference this past weekend at UC Davis. The student team earned a trophy, $300, and the chance to go to the National Competition to be held at the ASME Congress in November at Washington DC. The Design Contest was called "Movin' On Up". Essentially the challenge was to use the potential energy of two liters of water dropping through a specified distance to move a mass of material (rice in this case) up a ramp and deposit the material into a catch basin. Points were awarded based on the total mass moved in two "runs". More details are in the attachment.

04.23.2003 Four Faculty Receive Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Award

Congratulations to Professors Xue-wen Chen (ECE), Jaime Kim (CS), Richard Lorentz (CS), and Sembiam Rengarajan (ECE) for being selected for funding of their proposals:

"Expressed Gene Selection from Microarray Data for Cancer Classification"-Chen

"A Scalable QoS Framework for the Internet"-Kim

"A Study in Artificial Intelligence: Writing the World's Strongest Amazons Playing Program"-Lorentz

"Investigation of Dual-Frequency Microstrip Reflectarrays"-Rengarajan

CSUN has selected 54 out of 102 proposals for recommendation for the 2003-2004 Research, Scholarship, and Creativity Award.

04.21.2003 Dr. Nagi El Naga Appointed Chair of ECE

The Provost and The President have approved the appointment of Dr. Nagi El Naga as the next Chair of ECE, effective August 20, 2003. Dr. El Naga has been serving on the CSUN faculty since 1979. His area of expertise is in computer engineering in general and in digital system design, computer architecture, microprocessor applications, and error detection/correction for storage systems in particular.

Dr. El Naga has been responsible for the development of computer engineering courses of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He personally developed four graduate courses and has been the architect of the graduate program in computer engineering. He is presently working to develop a M.S. in Computer Engineering at CSUN. He was also the Faculty Coordinator for the common lower division Electrical Engineering core under the auspices of the Presidential Summit. He is also active in scholarly publications with six papers since 2000.

Dr. El Naga has an excellent teaching record. His consistent and sustained teaching excellence has earned him several award and honors: He was the recipient of the 1994 College of Engineering and Computer Science Outstanding Faculty award. He was elected by the CSUN Chapter of the Honors Society Tau Beta Pi as Professor of the Year in 2000. He was honored by the Engineering Council, a non-profit engineering organization in this region with members from the engineering companies, as a recipient of its Engineering Merit Award in 2002.

Congratulations and gratitude are due to Dr. Nagwa Bekir for six years of outstanding leadership and service to CSUN as Chair of ECE. Under her leadership, ECE has gone through a successful review by ABET and is seeing the growth of enrollment and degrees awarded.

04.10.2003 Successful Open house for Admitted FTF

The Open House event last Saturday was an unqualified success.The participants were of good size and were impressed with our faculty, staff and student presenters and facilitators. The Recruiting Committee, chaired by Professor Debbie van Alphen organized the event. The following faculty and staff participated and made a positive impact on the image of the college and CSUN:

CEAM: Roger DiJulio*, Rochard Erhgott, Betsy Jones.

CS: Mike Barnes, John Motil*, Lucy Parker, Son Pham, Steven Stepanek, Brenda Timmerman, Ginter Trybus, Jeffery Wiegley.

ECE: Ahmand Bekir, Nagwa Bakir, Nagi El Naga, Sharlene Katz, Ben Mallard, Jamie Milteer, Debbie van Alphen*.

ME: Tim Fox, Diane MacLachlan, Robert Ryan, Sid Schwartz*.

MSEM: Behzad Bavarian, Kang Chang, Ileana Costea.

Dean's Office: Diana Field, Emil Henry, Tanya Seno, Jerry Siano.
*Recruiting Committee member.

The Student Chapter of IEEE provided the barbecue and several MSEM students made an eye-catching robotics demo.

04.02.2003 Dr. Sharlene Katz Passes the P.E. Exam

Congratulations to Dr. Sharlene Katz, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, for passing the P.E. Examination of the State of California. Soon she will join the selected few in the College as Professional Engineer. Dr. Katz was determined to take this exam so that she would know how difficult it was and be able to advise her students on how to prepare for it.

04.02.2004 Dr. Jeffrey Wiegley Receives Judge Julian Beck Award

Congratulations to Dr. Jeffrey Wiegley, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, for receiving the Judge Julian Beck Award for his proposal entitled "Computer Science Embedded Systems." The proposal was selected for full amount funding by an eight-member CELT Advisory Board Beck Selection Committee. This award will allow Jefferey time to develop a new course on embedded systems.

03.10.2003 DOD Award to Dr. Xue-wen Chen

Dr. Xue-wen Chen, Assistant Professor in electrical and computer engineering recently received a $383,845 grant from the Department of Defense for a 3-year research project entitled "Hyperspectral & Polarmetric Target Detection Using Supervised Learning Systems." The proposed research addresses the object target recognition problems in general. Specifically, new algorithms are proposed for the detection of targets with small numbers of pixels in images with substantial background clutter and the possible detection of an obscured object in an image of a scene. This work will advance hyperspectral target detection and enhance the detection of targets from background with substantial clutter.

02.26.2003 Nirmal Mishra Scholarship Established

A new scholarship endowment has been initiated by Dr. Nirmal Mishra, Professor Emeritus, California State University Northridge. The Nirmal Mishra Scholarship in Engineering and Computer Science is intended to support undergraduate and graduate students from South Asia, studying at CSUN through its international student programs. Scholarships will be awarded based upon both need and merit, with priority given to students entering CSUN for the first time for their first year of study. Professor Mishra attributed his academic achievements to the initial financial support he received when he first came to the United States, for advanced studies from India, and wished to help future students with similar needs. With his commitment of $21,000, he anticipates further donation by his family members, friends, and students to expand the endowment.