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Principal Investigators

Michael Georgiopoulos

Dean of College of Engineering and Computer Science (CECS)

Michael Georgiopoulos is a Professor at the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and the PI of the UCF-EXCEL program. Dr. Georgiopoulos' research interests lie in the areas of machine learning, neural networks, pattern recognition and applications in signal/image processing, communications, medical field, manufacturing, transportation engineering, amongst others. Please contact Dr. Georgiopoulos by e-mailing him at michaelg@ucf.edu.

Faculty

Lori Dunlop

Lecturer in the Math Department

Lori Dunlop-Pyle is an Instructor of Mathematics. She started at UCF as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in 1996 and became an Instructor after graduating. Her research interest is mathematics education.

Cherie Yestrebsky

Associate Professor - Department of Chemistry

Cherie Yestrebsky is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair in the Department of Chemistry and represents the College of Sciences as an EXCEL coordinator. Dr. Yestrebsky's research interests are environmental science as it relates to chemical interactions and remediation of contaminated water, soils, and sediments. Her research in these areas is currently funded by NASA, DoD and the SEPA. Please contact Dr. Yestrebsky by email at cgeiger@ucf.edu

Alain Kassab

Professor - Department of Mechanical, Materials and Aerospace Engineering (MMAE)

Alain Kassab is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science with a joint appointment in the Department of Mathematics, and he is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Dr. Kassab's research focuses on computational methods in fluid flow and heat transfer with application in energy systems, inverse problems and bioengineering. He has worked in boundary element methods (BEM), finite volume and meshless methods and developed algorithms to solve a variety of inverse problems ranging from boundary condition identification, function reconstruction, to the inverse geometric problem. Current projects include novel meshless methods for viscous convective flows, applications of meshless methods in hemodynamics and optimization of arterial bypass grafts, boundary element methods for thermo-elasticity, coupled FVM-BEM for conjugate heat transfer in turbomachinery, genetic algorithms and multi-objective optimization of toolpath generation for radiation therapy compensators, and meshless methods modeling of airflow in lung passages. He co-directs the computational mechanics lab that houses a 106 node 32/64 bit Xeon Dell PowerEdge computational cluster. For more information contact him at kassab@ucf.edu.

Joseph J. LaViola, Jr.

Assistant Professor - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Joe LaViola is an Assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests include pen-based computing, 3D user interfaces for games, human motion estimation, virtual reality, and interactive computer graphics. He is also an adjunct assistant professor (Research) in the Brown University Computer Science Department.

William Self

Associate Professor, Dept. of Molecular Biology and Microbiology

William Self is an Associate Professor in the Burnett School of Biomedical Science. Dr. Self's research interests lie in understanding the effects of metals and metalloids on selenium metabolism in both mammalian and bacterial cells. The use of selenium as a biological catalyst is a fundamental area of the lab's research. This includes more recent work on the role of selenium in labile selenoenzymes in a bacterial model, Enterococcus faecalis.

In collaboration with a material scientist, Dr. Sudipta Seal, the Self group is studying the biochemical characteristics of rare earth oxide nano-materials that have potent antioxidant properties. Within the scope of this project the lab is also studying the metabolism and fate of nanomaterials in mammalian culture models.

Please contact Dr. Self by emailing him at wself@ucf.edu.

Past Faculty

Kevin D. Belfield

Professor - Department of Chemistry, Chair of the Department of Chemistry

Kevin D. Belfield is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and College of Optics and Photonics: CREOL and Chair of the Department of Chemistry, and a participating faculty member of the UCF-EXCEL program. Dr. Belfield's research interests are in the area of multifunctional absorbing materials, two-photon photochemistry, magnetic polymeric and sol-gel nanocomposites, site-specific fluorophore labeling, fluorescent-based sensors, new photodynamic therapy agents, nanostructured functional organic and polymeric materials, and two-photon based 3-D micro- and nanofabrication methods. His research is funded by NSF, US Civilian Research & Development Foundation, Research Corporation, Petroleum Research Fund of the ACS, US Army, and industry.

Manoj Chopra

Associate Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
College of Engineering and Computer Science

Manoj Chopra is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research interests include soil mechanics, soil erosion and sediment control, numerical modeling of soils, pervious pavements and geo-environmental engineering. He has received numerous awards for both teaching and research including the NASA Gold Coin award for innovative research and the UCF Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching and Faculty Advising. He was the Central Florida Engineer of the Year in 2000. Please contact Dr. Chopra by e-mail at Manoj.Chopra@ucf.edu.

Scott Hagen

Associate Professor - Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Scott Hagen is an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering and represents the College of Engineering and Computer Science as a UCF-EXCEL coordinator. Dr. Hagen's research includes collaborative efforts to advance coastal hydroscience for small (bays and estuaries) to large-scale (Western North Atlantic, including the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea) systems and he serves as the Director of the CHAMPS Lab. Please contact Dr. Hagen by e-mailing him at shagen@ucf.edu.

Samuel Richie

Associate Professor - School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Samuel Richie is an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Assistant Dean and Director of Distance Learning in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Richie's research interests lie in the areas of Surface acoustic wave (SAW) device modeling, SAW device computer aided design, transversal filter design theory, voice recognition systems. Dr. Richie is heading a team of faculty and graduate students in the College of Engineering and Computer Science for the educational outreach of the Infiniti project to high schools.

Christian Clausen

Professor - Department of Chemistry

Christian Clausen is a Professor in the Department of Chemistry and a lecturer in the UCF-EXCEL program. Dr. Clausen's research interests lie in the areas of environmental chemistry with special focus being in the development of new methodologies for remediating contaminated soils and sediments and the development of new combustion catalysts that are capable of reducing air pollution along with increasing the efficiency of energy production from fossil fuels. Dr. Clausen also conducts research in the development of new aerosol materials that are capable of obscuring the sensor signals of smart weapon systems. Please contact Dr. Clausen by e-mailing him at clausen@ucf.edu.

Costas Efthimiou

Assistant Professor - College of Sciences

Costas Efthimiou obtained his BSc from the University of Athens and his PhD from Cornell University. After this, he spent an additional year at Cornell as a Lecturer teaching physics courses. He then accepted a research associate position at Tel Aviv University where he stayed for two years. He returned to US as a Visiting Scientist at the Math Department of Harvard University. He continued with a Visiting Scientist appointment at Cornell and Columbia Universities. In August 2000, he joined the Physics Department of UCF. Costas Efthimiou's background is mathematical physics and theoretical high energy physics. Recently, he has been involved in physics education and the promotion of science literacy and quantitative fluency. Costas Efthimiou can be contacted at costas@physics.ucf.edu

David Hagan

Professor - School of Optics

David Hagan is a Professor of Optics and Physics at UCF and is also the Associate Dean for Academic Programs of the College of Optics and Photonics. His current research interests include techniques for nonlinear optical characterization, optical power limiting, nonlinear optical spectroscopy and optical switching.

Michael Haralambous

Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
College of Engineering and Computer Science

News Coordinator for the EXCEL program. Present research interests are in the modeling, performance analysis, and adaptive control of feedback controlled rotary left ventricle assist devices. Please contact Dr. Haralambous by e-mail at michaelh@ucf.edu.

Alvaro Islas

Lecturer - Department of Mathematics

Alvaro Islas is a Lecturer at the Department of Mathematics and one of the editors of the UCF-EXCEL book, Applications of Calculus I, and is serving as an EXCEL Coordinator from the College of Sciences. Dr. Islas' research interest lie in the areas of computational applied mathematics, nonlinear partial differential equations and applications in water waves. Please visit Dr. Islas' webpage at math.ucf.edu/~alislas or contact him by e-mail at aislas@ucf.edu.

Niels Lobo

Associate Professor - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Niels Da Vitoria Lobo is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. His research interests lie in the areas of computational vision, active vision and mobile robotics, and visual modeling for graphics.

Mansooreh Mollaghasemi

Associate Professor - Department of Industrial Engineering and management Systems

Mansooreh Mollaghasemi is an Associate Professor at the Department of Industrial Engineering and Management Systems. Dr. Mollaghasemi's research interests lie in the areas of modeling and simulation of complex systems, and multi-criteria decision making, statistics, and operations research.

Brian E. Moore

Associate Professor - Department of Mathematics

After completing an M.S. degree in mathematical and computer sciences at Colorado School of Mines, Brian Moore earned his Ph.D. in applied mathematics at the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom in 2003.

He held a postdoctoral research position at McGill University in Quebec, followed by a visiting assistant professorship at the University of Iowa. He is currently an Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Central Florida. His research interests are in numerical analysis and differential equations with emphasis on structure-preserving algorithms and lattice equations. His work has contributed to several scientific applications in neuroscience, material science, wave mechanics, and computer vision.

Chris Parkinson

Associate Professor - Department of Biology

Christopher L. Parkinson is an Associate Professor in Biology in the College of Sciences, and the EXCEL program's URE (Undergraduate Research Experiences) Coordinator. Dr. Parkinson's research focuses on two themes:

  • Investigating the evolutionary forces which are responsible for creating the biodiversity in the world.
  • Utilize genetics to investigate the patterns and processes of evolution in threatened and endangered organisms for conservation.

Currently, projects include the evolution, systematics and taxonomy of coralsnakes, pitvipers and vipers; population connectivity of marine turtles and conservation genetics of endangered beach mice. For more information see his web page.

Marianna Pensky

Professor - Department of Mathematics

Marianna Pensky is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mathematics. Dr. Pensky's research interests lie in the areas of theoretical and applied statistics. Her research on analysis of functional and high dimensional data with applications is currently supported by the National Science Foundation.

David Rollins

Professor - Department of Mathematics

David Rollins is an Associate Professor of Mathematics in the College of Arts and Sciences. He has a degree in Applied Mathematics from Caltech and his research interests are in methods of applied mathematics, fluid mechanics and mathematical biology.

Constance Schober

Department of Mathematics Undergraduate Coordinator

Constance Schober is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics and has served as the EXCEL coordinator in the first year of the EXCEL project (06-07). Dr. Schober's research interests lie in the areas of nonlinear waves and computational mathematics. Her research on extreme waves and the development of dynamical systems methods and structure preserving algorithms for nonlinear wave equations is currently supported by the National Science Foundation. Please contact Dr. Schober by e-mailing her at cschober@ucf.edu.

Damla Turgut

Associate Professor - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Damla Turgut is an Associate Professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Turgut's research interests are routing, MAC, and clustering protocols in ad hoc and sensor networks; urban sensing; time-parallel simulation of wireless networks; sensor networks with mobile sinks; modeling and enhancing the stealth level in sensor networks; security and routing protocols in vehicular ad hoc networks; wireless communication and coordination in embodied agents. Additional information about Dr. Turgut can be found at http://www.cs.ucf.edu/~turgut.

Andrew Winningham

Assistant Professor - Department of Physics

Andrew Winningham, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physics, served as an EXCEL Coordinator in the first two years of the EXCEL operation (06 and part of 07). Dr. Winningham's research interests are in developing massively parallel nanofabrication techniques, particularly those that can be used with "soft" biological or polymeric materials. Dr. Winningham has been with the EXCEL program from January 2006 until August 2007. Please contact him by emailing him at andy@physics.ucf.edu.

Cynthia Young

Vice Provost for Faculty Excellence and UCF Global

Cynthia Young is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics in the College of Sciences and the Co-PI for the UCF EXCEL program. Dr. Young's research interests are in the mathematical modeling of atmospheric effects on laser beams and on improving student learning in undergraduate mathematics courses. She currently has projects with the Naval Research Laboratory investigating atmospheric propagation in the marine environment and the National Science Foundation on improving retention in STEM majors. Please contact Dr. Young by emailing her at cyyoung@ucf.edu.

Yvonne Ou

Assistant Professor - Department of Mathematics

Miaojung Yvonne Ou, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics, helped the EXCEL program in its inaugural year (2006-2007). Her research interests are in inverse acoustic problems for composites with microstructure, homogenization theory and applied real/complex/functional analysis.

Taskin Kocak

Assistant Professor - Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

Taskin Kocak is an assistant professor at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. Dr. Kocak's research interests include analog/mixed-signal VLSI design, computer networking hardware, computer architecture, neural networks, image processing. Dr Kocak has been with the EXCEL program from January 2006 until May 2007. He is now a Professor and chair of the Computer Science Department at Bahcesehir University.

Eduardo Divo

Assistant Professor - Department of Engineering Technology
Joint Appointment with the Department of Mechanical, Materials, and Aerospace Engineering

Dr. Divo's research field primarily concentrates in the development of meshless and boundary element computational methods for modeling fluid dynamics, hemodynamcis, heat transfer, biomechanics, and fluid-thermal-structure interaction problems. His area of expertise also includes inverse problems, evolutionary optimization, and high-performance computing. His current funded research projects include the development of an automated system for generating optimized machining tool-path for manufacturing cancer treatment radiation compensators, the development of analysis algorithms for predicting pulmonary track deformation due to air flow, the optimization and thermal modeling of antenna arrays, and others.