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Within the past year, professors and students of the Computer and Software Engineering Department have been hard at work for various research projects. These professors include Dr. Akhan Almagambetov, Dr. Matt Pavlina, Dr. Joel Schipper, Dr. Samuel Siewert, and Dr. Ahmed Sulyman.
For the past few semesters, Dr. Almagambetov has been working with student researcher Holly Ross on optimizing bit-serial multiplier architecture for Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGA). A FPGA is a hardware circuit component that helps lighten the computation load so that the user can attempt more complex computations.
FPGAs process data in a “bit-serial process,” meaning that it processes each individual bit sequentially in order to compute the entire problem. This has potential to cause issue when using multiple FPGAs in tandem, similar to resistors and capacitors in how they respond differently to being in series or in parallel to other devices. With that, the research conducted focused on the logical operators required to optimize the speed of processing needed for the FPGAs. This optimization allows for large scale multiplication without prohibitive time demands which allows for complex matrix computations to be performed. With this research, Dr. Almagambetov is looking forward to expanding upon this subject and submitting a full patent application with his team.
The next faculty researcher is Dr. Schipper, whose work has been focused on a knowledge-based support system that would aid professionals in the medical field in diagnosing possible toxic exposures. This research involves trying to find a technical solution for a practical problem, in which previous artificial intelligence (AI) systems relied on a method that weren’t common in the medical field.
In order to change that, Dr. Schipper worked in conjunction with the Florida Poison Information Center to develop an AI system that would analyze symptoms and create likelihood ratios to narrow down diagnoses. This system would be able to utilize both human inference and a computer’s ability to process large quantities of data. “By using both it aides doctors in making the best diagnosis they can,” commented Dr. Schipper. The system is still under development.
Another large-scale project is done by the ICARUS Research Group. This group, led by Dr. Siewert, is working on a concept that would create an architecture that would integrate passive sensor nodes as a means to identify airborne Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) and aid with traffic management. With the explosion of the private UAS industry, there have been increasing problems with the amount UAS in controlled airspace.
As a means to deal with this problem, the group was experimenting with radar and other types of identification technologies in order to pick out relatively small airborne UAS. They are working with these different sensor types to try to establish reliable contact regardless of the UAS material type or size. The group is still early in the research stage working on this experimental sensor net and solving general issues in order to gain more traction on the research.
Dr. Sulyman’s work involves testing the viability of fifth generation cellular communication, also known as 5G. Every decade, transmission standards are updated to the latest technology level so by 2020, the standard will be 5G. The updated standards reflect progress towards clearer and more consistent communications when compared to that of current standard. With that, Dr. Sulyman and his team of student researchers are looking into the effect of solar radiation on communication signals.
To test that, the team set up outdoor testing arrays and monitored the effect of sending and receiving signals at varying weather conditions. Particularly notable in these observations, were the effects of the temperature at these weather conditions. From that, the team noticed that the increase in temperature in relatively clear weather causes impedances to the transmission of signals. Dr. Sulyman’s group was able to conclude from the experiments and analytical data that the presence of solar radiation negatively effected the transmission of higher frequency signals used in 5G.
For research focused on the classroom, Dr. Pavlina has been looking into ways to improve teaching students. To do this, Dr. Pavlina started off by giving students activities outside of class in order to see how they improve. A large part of these extra activities were to help students who have never coded before and keep pace with the course load. While this research has only been tested on a small number of classes thus far, Dr. Pavlina was able to see some change with the added activities when he compared two classes and used one class as a control. “It appeared as though the students with the added activities were much more prepared for the lectures,” remarked Dr. Pavlina.
Students of his classes were also able to provide constructive feedback, such as suggesting that the outside activities be done before class as opposed to after to be best prepared for the lecture. Currently, Dr. Pavlina is planning to repeat this test in the fall with the provided feedback.
The variety of research done in the CESE department shows the talent of the faculty and students of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. If there are any questions regarding the research highlighted here, please contact Dr. Ed Post or the faculty listed above for more information.