RESEARCH

The Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (LDCSEE) conducts a broad program of research in the fields of electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer science and biometric systems.

Approximately $4.5 million of externally sponsored research is conducted each year, and over 100 LDCSEE graduate students are employed as Graduate Research Assistants. Major areas of research emphasis include:

Research Areas

Bioengineering Research Projects

Bioengineering is the multidisciplinary application of engineering to medicine and biology including such areas as biomedical signal and image processing, medical informatics, and biomedical instrumentation within CSEE.

Specific research projects include signal processing for prediction of sudden cardiac death in an animal model of heart failure, development of algorithms for arrhythmia detection in implanted medical devices, telemedicine for rural health care delivery in West Virginia and 3-D craniofacial reconstruction. Sponsors for this work include the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association, the National Institute of Health, and industry. Faculty efforts leverage ongoing collaborations with the University of Memphis, University of Houston, and industry.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Biometrics Research Projects

Biometrics is a specific area of bioengineering in which biological signatures (fingerprint, voice, face, DNA) is used for identification or authentication in criminal justice, e-commerce, and medical applications.

Specific research projects include analysis of temporal fingerprint images for determination of vitality, CMOS fingerprint sensor design and modeling, neural net fingerprint matching. Sponsors for this work include the National Science Foundation, the American Heart Association, the National Institute of Health, and industry. Faculty efforts leverage ongoing collaborations with the University of Memphis, University of Houston, and industry.

Research in the biometrics field is led by the Biometrics & Identification Innovation Center, which consolidates the programs, activities and information-sharing related to biometrics research. BIIC consists of 14 core faculty who are internationally recognized biometric scientists specializing in different aspect of biometrics research. They have expertise in virtually every aspect of biometric research, including using hard and soft biometrics traits, multimodal, cross-modal, mobile biometrics, anti-spoofing, biometric cryptosystem and data and video analytics.
 
WVU also recently signed a memorandum of understanding with the Federal Bureau of Investigation that designates WVU as a lead academic partner in the biometric field.

Communications and Signal Processing Research Projects

Communications and signal processing, though distinct topics, share a strong overlap and form a joint thrust. Communications has evolved rapidly from the basic voice telephone service to a rich set of communications systems carrying voice, data, video, and other information. The integration of computers and communications systems has enabled powerful information systems for a wide range of applications. Advances in signal processing theory, physical technologies, and powerful digital signal processors (DSPs) have combined to dramatically expand the applications of signal processing. Research activities address three primary areas: theory, technology, and applications.

  1. Research in communications theory explores new principles for higher performance or improved analysis of communications systems. Signal processing theory research explores new principles for understanding and manipulation of analog and digital signals. These theoretical foundations drive a wide range of applied research. Recent research in the field of co-operative communications between multiple users as been supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF).
  2. Research on technologies extends from basic devices through full testbed systems. Projects includes photonics and high speed electronics for optical communications, advanced system packaging and interconnections for high performance communications and signal processing systems, parallel arrays of high performance DSPs for image processing, and other DSP-based functions for communications and intelligent sensors.
  3. Applications research includes information systems which integrate computing and communications. Recent work on distributed simulation of communication has been sponsored by the NSF.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Computer Forensics and Security Research Projects

Over the past twenty years there has been a tremendous increase in the use of computers and computer networks to drive the information processing that forms the infrastructure of modern business. Some of the major assets of a company, namely its intellectual property and records of its financial assets, are held in computer systems. The modern criminal has therefore begun to focus more and more on the potential rewards of tapping into the company's assets illegally, using computers as the fundamental means of committing these crimes. Security threats increasingly come through attacks using computer and information systems.

WVU was recently designated as a Center for Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS). This designation not only certifies the educational content of our coursework, but also provides fellowship and internship opportunities for qualified students working in this area.

Criminals are generally ahead of law enforcement personnel and even business, industry, government, and academia's own computer systems staff and management. High quality graduate education in this field should help prevent such criminal activity and indeed help in tracking the perpetrators of such crime.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Computer Systems Research Projects

Computer engineering is a very broad area, covering hardware, firmware, and software engineering of complex digital systems and system components. Software and hardware systems design is the most technically intensive components of the Electrical and Computer Engineering curriculum.

A broad spectrum of research topics of both applied and theoretical nature are undertaken in the department. Some examples are: software verification and validation, software process improvement, software development environments for signal processing applications, parallel processing of fingerprint image comparison systems, fast adaptive routing algorithms for processor arrays, communication switching systems, information systems, computational accelerator using digital signal processing arrays, an automated lumber processing system, neural network medical and industrial applications autonomous robots, computer controlled electric and hybrid vehicle instrumentation, a distributed microprocessor monitoring system, knowledge-based decision support system, and microprocessor-based instrumentation.

The department offers dedicated laboratories equipped with personal computers and workstations to support classroom instruction and research. A number of computer engineering faculty have close cooperation with several interdisciplinary research centers at WVU the Alternate Fuels Research Center, and the Constructed Facilities Research Center.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Electronics and Photonics Research Projects

The field of electronics and photonics initially microelectronics and now pushing well into nanoelectronics is at a crossroads where further developments are forcing researchers to take a closer look at quantum mechanical processes to design and fabricate small dimensional devices.

The research areas cover aspects of materials science, physics, and semiconductor electronics to design, grow, fabricate, and characterize novel electronic and photonic devices and small subsystems. Present areas of research include wide bandgap semiconductor fabrication techniques, device design, and materials and device characterization; integration of photonics in microelectromechanical devices (MEMs) for active control and feedback; near-infrared and mid-infrared photonic materials and devices; nanoelectronic materials growth and device design; and the small scale integration of photonic and electronic devices for sensing applications.

Faculty in the electronics and photonics area are active participants in the WV Nano Initiative, a broad university wide initiative in the interdisciplinary research field of nano technology supported by the National Science Foundation and DOE Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR). The department hosts a new 4000 square foot clean room facility for the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Power and Control Systems Research Projects

Electrical power systems historically have been an area of emphasis in the electrical engineering curriculum, and the graduate program in power systems at WVU is quite mature. More than five faculty members have interest in electric power. Five graduate courses are offered in this area on a regular basis. In addition, there are four senior elective/graduate courses on the subjects of distribution, industrial power systems, power electronics, and advanced power systems analysis.

Control systems is an area which has become an increasingly important part of the research program in electrical engineering. The topic has a broad range of applications ranging from guidance systems to process control and robotics. As a research area, control systems theory may be characterized as an intensely mathematical topic which requires an excellent background in both deterministic and stochastic linear systems analysis.

Recent and current research activities include reliability, grounding, transmission, electric transportation, modeling, stability analysis, optimal design, design of modulation controllers for multiterminal ac/dc power systems, electric drives, electric machines, advanced motion control systems, and power electronics. Externally funded projects include robust design of modulation controllers for flexible ac/dc transmission lines, optimal design of permanent magnet brushless machines, spacecraft power storage controllers, investigation of voltage/current characteristics of MOS-controlled thyristors with static and dynamic loads, and identification and decentralized control of critical modes. These projects provide excellent support for both graduate student and faculty research. Extensive interaction with industry provides ample opportunity for direct contact with practitioners in the field. The department has enjoyed continuous support from local utilities.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Software Engineering and Software Metrics Research Projects

Software engineering covers a well-defined and integrated set of activities to produce correct, consistent software products effectively and efficiently. Faculty perform research in many areas some of which include component based development, validation and verification, software reuse, software portability, user interfaces and graphic visualization. Research associations exist with the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Facility, the Institute for Software Research at the West Virginia High-Tech Consortium and the Concurrent Engineering Research Center.

Evaluating the quality attributes of software architectures has become a major research focus. We recognize that advances in quantitative measurement are crucial to the vitality of the discipline of software engineering. We focus in this project on defining and investigating metrics for software architectures. We wish to define such metrics so as to reflect relevant qualities of software architectures, and to alert the software architect to risks in the early stages of architectural design. We envision that such metrics should be based on a theoretical background, primarily on information theory, and they should be specific to the architectural level especially as it pertains to architecture based software development paradigms. Software reliability is an important part of software quality assurance. We strive to have software that meets both industry and customer standards. Research in this area enables us to develop better software and provide a more robust system.

Fault tolerance is a critical part of software engineering and enables a system to continue its operation when part of the system fails. The term graceful degradation is often used to describe the reduced capabilities of such fault tolerant systems. Research in this area is critical in systems used by NASA, the military and others. In mission critical systems such as flight systems fault tolerance plays an important role in maintaining reliability and availability.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Theory of Computation Research Projects

Research in the theory of computation covers a variety of areas ranging from foundational mathematics to analysis of the performance of algorithms. A core of faculty performs research in areas such as graph theory, topology, and discrete mathematics, partly in connection with the Institute of Combinatorial Computing and Discrete Mathematics. Another key area of interest is the development and analysis of algorithms, especially those suited for parallel and distributed systems.

The WVU Institute for Combinatorial Computing and Discrete Mathematics is a collaborative research effort of the departments of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering and the Mathematics Department. Faculty work together on theoretical and applied research problems in areas such as: graph theory, algorithm design and analysis, combinatorics, linear algebra, and related areas. The faculty have several hundred combined publications and numerous research grants and awards. Numerous Masters and Doctoral students have worked under the supervision of the faculty. A weekly seminar is held to discuss problems of interest to the group.

Some of the current research areas are as follows; if you are interested in these areas please feel free to contact the listed faculty members.

Labs

Bio-Nanokinematics Group

The Bio-Nanokinematics Group explores research in bio-molecular motor protein to transport nano-particles, proteins and cells from a specific location to another specific location.

Students interested in this area must have a strong background in basic engineering and sciences, specifically in fundamental physics, chemistry and biological sciences.

The aim of this program is to establish transportation system at the nano-level for a single protein cargo.

Biometric Systems Group

The Biometric Systems Group's interests span the automated analysis of human physiological and behavioral signatures (fingerprint, face, iris, DNA, voice, gait, etc.) used for identification or authentication in surveillance, criminal justice, e-commerce, and medical applications.

Group's research portfolio is comprehensive, covering the foundational algorithms, system integration, and societal acceptance of biometric systems and credibility assessment technologies.

ElectroMechanical Systems (EMS) Lab

Electric Machines and Power Electronics

The ElectroMechanical Systems (EMS) Laboratory in the Lane Department focuses on design, modeling, analysis, simulation and development of electric machines and associated power electronics for industrial and renewable energy applications.

The research focus is on linear machines (linear alternator-engine combination) for auxiliary power units for portable electric power generation applications such as hybrid electric vehicles.

The Lab also works on design and development of power electronics converters for fuel cell and two-way power flow for Smart Grid applications.

i-PRoBe (Integrated Pattern Recognition and Biometrics)

The iPRoBe Lab conducts fundamental research in information fusion, biometrics and pattern recognition.

Its activities are funded through multiple agencies including NSF, DHS, CITeR, WV-EPSCoR, DoD, ONR and FBI.

The research portfolio of the lab consists of topics in visual cryptography, ocular biometrics, pattern indexing, action recognition, multispectral biometrics, ear classification, information fusion, and sentiment analysis.

Microelectronics Systems Research Center

Leveraging extensive corporate experience, sustained levels of external research funding, and globally recognized research and professional activities, the Microelectronic Systems Research Center nurtures the ongoing development and enrichment of undergraduate and graduate studies in microelectronic and photonic systems at West Virginia University.

The Microelectronics Systems Research Center (MSRC) was established within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at West Virginia University in 1992. The activities of the Center focus on five interrelated objectives:

Microfluidic Integrative Cellular Research On Chip Laboratory (MICRO-Chip Lab)

This multidisciplinary research group explores microtechnology and biology at the interface of engineering, physics, chemistry and biology. Currently, we are devoted to:

  1. develop cellular sensors and tissue bioreactors to benefit biological research and medical diagnosis and treatment
  2. explore novel insights into the molecular mechanisms of cancer cells and tumor angiogenesis by our state of the arts approaches
  3. fabricate novel microfluidic modular for Lab-on-a-Chip integration
  4. generate high performance biofuel cells for clean and green energy

Modeling Intelligence Lab

The Modeling Intelligence Lab explores applications of agents, artificial intelligence, and data mining to real world problems.

The goal of this work is to bridge the gap between the next generation of intelligent systems and the current industrial practices.

Current projects include decision support tools for project managers, methods to ensure the fair interpretation of forensic data, the design of carbon dioxide eating molecules, and knowledge acquisition tools for humans exploring large software programs.

Nanophotonics Group

The Nanophotonics Group explores the integration of nanophotonic devices into multi-domain systems. The goal of this work is to develop novel device structures for defense, health, and biometric sensor applications.

Activities in this area include modeling, fabrication/growth, and characterization of structures with engineered photonic bandgaps; specifically photonic crystals (PhCs).

Current research directions include:

  1. nano-opto-fluidic PhC defect structures to enhance the sensitivity of laser induced fluorescence detection systems
  2. device fabrication methods and architectures for simple, co-integration with common materials used in microfluidic and lab-on-a-chip systems
  3. active tuning in nanoscale lattice structures for adaptive structures and color change coatings

Networked Embedded Systems

The focus of our research is on designing scalable, robust and energy-efficient networked embedded systems. Our interests include wireless sensor / actuator networks, embedded smart camera networks, low power computing architectures and mobile, pervasive computing.

We are currently working in the following areas:

  1. Smart camera networks for biometrics and surveillance: In this project, we use embedded smart camera networks that combine local processing, in-network collaboration and centralized processing in order to identify subjects and events of interest. The goal is to provide real time analysis while improving robustness and increasing system coverage.
    We are investigating
    1. techniques for efficient compression, aggregation and processing of data within the network,
    2. distributed feature extraction for face recognition and soft biometrics,
    3. and camera calibration.
  2. Network protocols and hardware platforms for Cyber-physical systems and Sensor-network based control applications: Here our focus is on the design of long lasting, robust wireless sensor actuator networks for several monitoring and control applications as well as cyber-physical systems. Examples of such applications are monitoring and control of vibrating structures, distributed object tracking systems, and sensing & control for the smart power grid. 
    We are investigating
    1. energy efficient middleware services for supporting such CPS applications and
    2. use of cooperative analog and digital signal processing to perform increased computations at lower energy

Optoelectronic Device Group

The Optoelectronic Device Group explores the optoelectronic applications of novel materials and nanostructures, focusing on high-efficiency inorganic, organic and hybrid light-emitting devices for energy and sensing applications.

Areas include:

  1. Study material and processing factors affecting the efficiency and reliability of AlInGaN light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and fabricate high-brightness green, blue, and UV LEDs as lighting and excitation sources
  2. Synthesize organic nanostructures and develop efficient and stable organic LEDs suitable for next-generation displays and lighting
  3. engineer nanostructures including quantum dots, nanorods and photonic crystals (PhCs) for spontaneous emission modification and light extraction in optoelectronic devices.

Software Engineering Group and High Assurance Systems Lab

The Software Engineering Group and High Assurance Systems Lab investigate the set of activities to produce correct, consistent software products effectively and efficiently.

Faculty research interests include model based development, software validation and verification, architectural analysis and software services, and product line software development practices. In many of these areas, researchers apply modern machine learning and data mining techniques to uncover development patterns which contribute the most to software security, reliability and overall quality. Application areas of past and current projects range from long duration space systems and adaptive flight controls to modern open source and service based systems.

Statistical Signal Processing

The statistical signal processing group is formed with the goal to link current efforts of the two existing laboratories, wireless communication and signal/image processing labs.

In many modern applications such as wireless sensor/camera networks, a tight link enabling cooperation between Signal/Image processing and Wireless Communications has to be established. Statistical Signal Processing (SSP) provides tools and solutions to close the gap between these two subjects. SSP relies on sound principles of statistical signal processing, which allows building optimal and also adaptive in nature decision making systems, detectors and other inference systems. The current application areas extend to imaging and optimization in camera sensor networks for recognition of human activities in urban environments and image processing in support of NASA satellite repair/refueling program.

The Biometrics and Biomolecular Sensing Group

The Biometrics and Biomolecular Sensing Group advances the areas of molecular and physiological biometrics through its research.

Device research explores photonic architectures for molecular sensing including integrated optical waveguide evanescent, photonic crystal, and whispering gallery mode based devices. Device efforts emphasize co-integration of novel materials and architectures. Sensor systems work advances physiological biometrics research of the NSF Center for Identification Technology Research  (CiTER).

Research focuses on the multispectral acquisition of iris, face, and soft biometrics in the visible, near-infrared (N-IR) and short-wave infrared (SWIR) spectral bands to provide complementary information for robust recognition and reduced system vulnerability.

Video and Image Processing (VIP) Lab

The Video and Image Processing (VIP) lab is engaged with research on mathematical modeling of image and video signals.

On the one hand, understanding fundamental properties of image and video signals could facilitate their acquisition, storage, transmission, manipulation and analysis in various engineering applications.

On the other hand, image/video models could also shed new insights to the mystery of human vision systems, which connects to the research in vision and neuroscience.

Our current focus is to develop similarity-based regularization techniques for the class of natural images and develop novel nonlocal image processing algorithms.

VIP faculty teach courses on Advanced Image Processing (EE565),Wavelets and Filter Banks (EE591), Digital Video Processing (EE569) and Multimedia Systems (CS558).

Wireless Communications Research Lab

The Wireless Communications Research Lab (WCRL) is concerned with the design and analysis of modern wireless networks.

A cross-layer approach to research is taken. At the physical-layer, work is conducted on advanced error-control coding and multiantenna transmission systems. Advances at the physical layer are used to provide better link and network layer performance through the use of cooperative communications and network coding strategies strategies.

Our computatationally-intensive methodology to design places heavy emphasis on simulation, FPGA-based hardware prototyping, and genetic algorithms.

WCRL faculty teach elective courses on Communication Theory (EE 561), Wireless Communication Systems (EE 562), Coding Theory (EE 567), Detection and Estimation (EE 613), and Information Theory (EE 568).

Research Centers

The NSF Center for Identification Technology Research

CITeR is a National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC). Its mission to advance identification technology is strongly focused in the areas of biometric systems and credibility assessment. Our portfolio of activities achieve this mission through cross-cutting research of emerging enabling technologies, interdisciplinary training of scientists and engineers, and facilitation of technology transfer to the private and government sectors through its affiliates.

Institute for Information Assurance Studies

Other resources

WVU Research