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COEN Online News 12/14/16

COEN Online News 12/14/16

Boise State, Partners Selected for $14M in DOT Funding | New Interactive Major Finder | Winter Commencement | Engineering in Action | IT Services News | COEN News | Funding Opportunities

Boise State, Partners Selected for $14M in DOT Funding

By: Kathleen Tuck

Venture College, for Jodie Thiel, BoDo, Colliers, ac

A consortium including Boise State University has been awarded a five-year, $14 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. This year’s funding is $2,570,600; the annual funding will increase by a small amount every year.

PacTrans is one of 10 regional University Transportation Centers (UTCs) in the country and includes University of Washington (the lead institution), Boise State University, University of Idaho, Gonzaga University, Washington State University, Oregon State University and University of Alaska at Fairbanks.

“The UTC program is not new but this is the first time that Boise State University has had the opportunity to participate in it,” said Mandar Khanal, associate professor of civil engineering. “This is a great opportunity for the civil engineering program at Boise State to establish a strong educational and research program in transportation. It is an exciting time.”

View the full “Boise State, Partners Selected for $14M in DOT Funding” article.

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New Interactive ‘Major Finder’ Helps Students Explore Options at Boise State

By: Cienna Madrid

Major Finder Graphic

Choosing a major, or even grasping how many fields of study are offered at Boise State, can be an overwhelming process for undergraduates and prospective students. This fall the university has debuted an exciting new student-recruitment tool that condenses undergraduate majors at Boise State into one interactive website and gives departments a direct avenue to pitch their strengths to the entire student body.

Major Finder is specifically targeted at teenagers who are curious how their ideas and interests translate to the many options available to them here at Boise State. While the application is called “Major Finder,” not every major is translated into a “card.” Instead, majors are grouped by fields of study that students can explore. Students can filter fields of study by broad categorical interests – such as money and finance, design or healthcare – or they can narrow down their options by personal aptitudes like “help others” or “work with my hands.” Searches also can be conducted by key words.

View the full “New Interactive ‘Major Finder’ Helps Students Explore Options at Boise State” article.

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Dec. 17 Winter Commencement Honors Rod Lewis, More Than 2,000 Graduates

By: Sherry Squires

Winter Commencement 2016

Boise State University’s winter Commencement will honor graduates with a traditional ceremony and pay tribute to Rod Lewis, one of Idaho’s longest-serving Idaho State Board of Education leaders.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, in Taco Bell Arena. Arena doors open at 8:30 a.m. and attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Open seating will be on a first-come, first-seated basis.

About 1,600 students are expected to participate in the university’s 99th Commencement ceremony. In total, 2,334 students are eligible to receive 2,561 degrees and certificates. Of those, 594 are eligible for honors: 352 cum laude, 191 magna cum laude and 51 summa cum laude. View a full list of graduates here.

Thirteen doctoral students will be hooded. Boise State has Idaho’s largest graduate school and awards more degrees each year than any other Idaho university.

Vew the full “Winter Commencement” article.

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Engineering in Action

Carol Sevier, Engineering, studio portrait

Five engineering students, under the direction of lecturer Carol Sevier, have spent weeks researching and designing security improvements for Boise’s Interfaith Sanctuary. In January, an office at Interfaith Sanctuary will be converted into a small health clinic by the nonprofit Friendship Clinic and Boise State nursing students will be doing health assessments of shelter clients.

Read the full story here

Image of Elisa Barney Smith

Elisa Barney Smith, ProfessorDepartment of Electrical and Computer Engineering, presented an invited talk at the Automatic Type Design 2 workshop held Nov. 17-18, 2016, in Nancy, France. She presented an overview of document degradation modeling and information on four digital humanities projects involving historical documents she works on at Boise State. This talk was invited to show type designers another perspective on the life cycle of documents.

Kris Campbell, Engineering, studio portraitKris Campbell, Associate Professor Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, continues to make news with her memristor fabrication techniques. An article by Campbell coming out in next month’s Microelectronics Journal describes electrical properties of a type of memristor referred to as a self-directed channel (SDC) memristor. This research into how the SDC device operates led Campbell to develop a new SDC-based memristor for the New Mexico-based startup company Knowm.

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IT Service News

Spring 2017 Semester Lab Changes

This announcement pertains to configuration change requests in COEN computer labs and on consoles (ENGR 212, ENGR 215, ENGR 238, ENGR 239, ENGR 312, ENGR 335, ENGR 336, ENGR 337, ERB 3100, MEC 103, ENGR 213& ENGR 214 MetaGeek CS Lab, ENGR 111 CS Tutoring Center, and the VLAB) for the spring semester.   

Please share this communication with department adjuncts for their inclusion in computer classroom/computer labs configuration.

If additional software is required for fall semester, we need the request (and the software) u>no later than December 20th. 

Once classes are in session (January 9th) it is difficult to perform updates on lab machines, as rooms are heavily scheduled.  Please review this list and respond with any changes to

A comprehensive list of software in Windows labs may be found at

Winter Break Systems Maintenance:

  • COEN Windows Computer Labs Unavailable December 21st through 23rd
  • Tuesday December 27th 10:00am to 5:00pm&
  • Wednesday January 4th 10:00am to 2:00pm

What Is Happening

Various systems will be unavailable through the break for routine maintenance.

December 21st through the 23rd

All Engineering Windows computer labs (ENGR 212, ENGR 215, ENGR 238, ENGR 239, ENGR 312, ENGR 335, ENGR 336, ENGR 337, ERB 3100, MEC 103, and the VLAB) will be unavailable for maintenance.

December 27th Maintenance: 10:00am to 5:00pm

Access to these systems or services will be unavailable:

  • COEN’s shared W-drive (coen-maple) and personal U: drive access (GoogleDocs will be available)
  • Lab equipment web calendar (scheduling) software – HML/Student Shop
  • ENGR research domain shared drive (L:) and ENGR personal drive (U:)
  • ENGR network printing services
  • Software licensing server downtime affecting these software packages (licenses will not be available for checkout): Abaqus, ArcGIS, Ansys, Cadence, Comsol, Matlab, Oncenter, RISA, Silvaco, SolidWorks, Vision Traffic Suite, Xilinx
  • Website services for the COEN, Nano and OPWL websites
  • EVERYONE Folder Purged: The ‘everyone’ folder on the W: drive is for temporary file sharing access only (it is periodically purged to effectively manage server space and to preserve the health of the system)

January 4th Maintenance: 10:00am to 2:00pm

The COEN-ECESIM server will be down, so the use of Cadence from this system will not be available during the period of maintenance.

January 18th Marketing Meeting: 10:00am to 11:00am

Meeting with OIT and Marketing to discuss upcoming web changes. All are welcome to attend.


Contact Maureen Moore at, or COEN IT Services at

University Website Redesign

The University’s Marketing department intends to undergo another website redesign with new templates slated to go live summer 2017.

Marketing is scheduling appointments with areas interested in discussing concerns or providing input about the redesign and move to Amazon Web Services.  Our meeting with OIT and Marketing is  February 6th 10:00am to 11:00am in MEC114. All are welcome to attend.

Please take a few moments to complete this short survey to share feedback regarding these upcoming changes, particularly if you think you may not attend the meeting:

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Upcoming Events

  • December 12-16 – Finals Week
  • December 17Winter Commencement, 10am, Taco Bell Arena
  • December 23 – January 2 – Holiday Break, University is Closed
  • University Events Calendar: Boise State Events

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Funding Opportunities

NSF: Energy-Efficient Computing: from Devices to Architectures (E2CDA)

Program Title:

Energy-Efficient Computing: from Devices to Architectures (E2CDA)
A Joint Initiative between NSF and SRC

Synopsis of Program:

There is a consensus across the many industries touched by our ubiquitous computing infrastructure that future performance improvements across the board are now severely limited by the amount of energy it takes to manipulate, store, and critically, transport data. While the limits and tradeoffs for this performance-energy crisis vary across the full range of application platforms, they have all reached a point at which evolutionary approaches to addressing this challenge are no longer adequate.

Truly disruptive breakthroughs are now required, and not just from any one segment of the technology stack. Rather, due to the complexity of the challenges, revolutionary new approaches are needed at each level in the hierarchy. Furthermore, simultaneous co-optimization across all levels is essential for the creation of new, sustainable computing platforms.

These simultaneous technical and organizational challenges have never been as complex or as critically important as they are now. The urgency of solving the multi-disciplinary technical challenges will require new methods of collaboration and organization among researchers.

Therefore, a comprehensive and collaborative approach must be undertaken to maximize the potential for successfully identifying and implementing revolutionary solutions to break through the bottleneck of energy-constrained computational performance. Programmers, system architects, circuit designers, chip processing engineers, material scientists, and computational chemists must all explore these new paths together to co-design an optimal solution path.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC) recognize this need, and agree to embark on a new collaborative research program to support compelling research that is of paramount importance to industry, academia and society at large. This partnership will specifically support new research to minimize the energy impacts of processing, storing, and moving data within future computing systems, and will be synergistic with other research activities that address other aspects of this overarching energy-constrained computing performance challenge.

Two NSF programs

There are some limitations in these programs regarding the number of submissions per institution, so if you are interested, please let Rex Oxford and Linda Georgiev know.

Program Title:

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SSE, SSI, S2I2)

Synopsis of Program:

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation (SI2) is a bold and long-term investment that maintains a sustained focus on realizing the Cyberinfrastructure Framework for 21st Century Science and Engineering (CIF21,, which envisions a highly reusable and interoperable cyberinfrastructure architecture that integrates large-scale computing, high-speed networks, massive data archives, instruments and major facilities, observatories, experiments, and embedded sensors and actuators, across the nation and the world, to help make great strides towards revolutionizing virtually every science and engineering discipline.


Program Title:

Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure (CICI)

Synopsis of Program:

Advancements in data-driven scientific research depend on trustworthy and reliable cyberinfrastructure. Researchers rely on a variety of networked technologies and software tools to achieve their scientific goals. These may include local or remote instruments, wireless sensors, software programs, operating systems, database servers, high-performance computing, large-scale storage, and other critical infrastructure connected by high-speed networking. This complex, distributed, interconnected global cyberinfrastructure ecosystem presents unique cybersecurity challenges. NSF-funded scientific instruments, sensors and equipment are specialized, highly-visible assets that present attractive targets for both unintentional errors and malicious activity; untrustworthy software or a loss of integrity of the data collected by a scientific instrument may mean corrupt, skewed or incomplete results. Furthermore, often data-driven research, e.g., in the medical field or in the social sciences, requires access to private information, and exposure of such data may cause financial, reputational and/or other damage.

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