December News  

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"Posters & Pies" Event Grows & Glows in New Venue
The Senior Design Center's traditional semester ending "Posters & Pies" event, in which project teams offer presentations and hands-on demos of their work, took a quantum leap on December 3rd with its move to NCSU's Stewart Theater and the Talley Center Ballroom. Thanks to the outstanding work of our Senior Design Center staff of Dr. Bob Fornaro, Margaret Heil, Carol Miller, Kelly Potter, Ben Tilley, and John Stone, the 18 project teams provided a superbly orchestrated, informative, and entertaining evening. The change in venue allowed teams to incorporate special light and sound effects into their presentations; cell phones rang in surround sound during the "Silence the Phone!" presentation conducted by the Entrepreneurs team, while the theater was momentarily cloaked in darkness simulating a power outage during the "Welder Qualification Tracking System" presentation conducted by the Progress Energy team. A team sponsored by Foundry Networks even demonstrated how the classic story of "Little Red Riding Hood" could have had a happier ending had the big bad wolf been equipped with a tracking mote and the forest equipped with an ad-hoc mobile wireless network. Posters & Pies' move to this new venue allowed for additional and more comfortable seating for our guests, which included many prospective project sponsors, outstanding high school recruits, and candidates for the Bitzer Creativity Award. This showcase event was made possible through the generous support and sponsorship of Super ePartner John Deere.

NOTE: There are a limited number of project slots open for the Spring semester. If you are interested in sponsoring a project, contact Ken Tate at 919-513-4292 no later than January 9th.

Departmental Research Grants, Gifts, and Support
KeyWord Ranking recently extended its Top 10 program service to the ePartners Program for another year. The program gift, which provides the ePartners web site with search engine and keyword optimization services, is valued at $8,500.

Microsoft has donated a Toshiba Tablet PC to support gaming research being conducted by Dr. Michael Young. The tablet PC gift is valued at over $2,400.

The second phase of Drs. Doug Reeves' and Peng Ning's proposal titled "Tracing Attacks Through Non-Cooperative Networks and Stepping Stones with Timing-Based Watermarking" has been funded for $464,043 by the ARDA (Advanced Research and Development Agency), a funding arm of the intelligence community. As reported earlier, if the ARDA exercises all of its options, the total funding could grow to over $1M.

Congratulations to Peng Ning, Annie Anton, and Julie Starr for having their proposal to Cisco's Critical Infrastructure Assurance Group awarded for $100,000 in equipment. The other winner for the fall of 2003 is Penn State University. CIAG has a biannual competitive equipment donation program for the Centers of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAE/IAE) designated by the NSA. This program is designed to further enhance the research and education of undergraduate and graduate students in the field of IA. The program consists of 4 grants per year. Two award cycles are administered, one in the spring and one in the fall. Two grants will be administered in each of those cycles. Each grant is for Cisco equipment up to the amount of $100,000 to be used in IA student research and education.

Faculty/Staff News
Gary Stelling, Manager of Technical Support, has announced his retirement effective February 1, 2004. Over the years, Gary has responded to faculty's classroom and lab needs at all hours of the day and night. His "can do" and "whatever needs to be done" attitude has earned him awards and the thanks of the department. Next on Gary's "to do" list: traveling, playing more golf, fixing up the house, and spending more time with his family. We wish Gary the very best in his retirement years.

Congratulations to students Kiran Seth and Aravindh Anantaraman, as well as Drs. Frank Mueller (CSC) and Eric Rotenberg (ECE) for having their paper entitled "FAST: Frequency-Aware Static Timing Analysis" chosen as the Best Student Paper at the IEEE Real-Time Systems Symposium, Dec 2003. See for the full paper.

Undergrad Research Awards to CSC Student & Faculty Sponsor
Congratulations to CSC undergraduate, David Burke, who has been awarded an NCSU Undergraduate Research Award of $500. His faculty research sponsor, Dr. Michael Young, also received a $500 award.

Family Ties - The Fornaro Brothers
We, at NC State, are blessed to have a dynamic duo from the same family helping us create new partnerships and opportunities for our students. Brothers Gene Fornaro and Dr. Robert Fornaro work in the Industrial Extension Service and Computer Science departments respectively, but their unique interaction greatly benefits the students in the College of Engineering. You can read the entire story at

Computer Scientist Works to Improve Games’ Stories, Intelligence
As computer game companies release their new selections for the holidays, you’ll probably see role-playing games in which characters must kill a monster in order to get treasure and some clues to the next monster-guarded treasure, or to advance to the game’s next skill level. But what happens if a player doesn’t like to fight, or somehow manages to avoid – but not vanquish – the monster? Researchers in the Liquid Narrative Group, a collection of graduate and undergraduate computer science students at North Carolina State University headed by Dr. R. Michael Young, assistant professor of computer science, are investigating ways of solving this quandary. They are creating software tools that will improve the artificial intelligence (AI) of games and educational software; specifically, they are investigating ways that the software allows users to both interact with the narrative, or storyline, and feel like an active participant in the way the story unfolds. For the entire news release, visit

NCSU Alumnus Leads Saddam Hussein Capture
Major General Raymond T. Odierno, commanding general of the infantry division that captured Saddam Hussein, is an NC State alumnus. Odierno received his master's in nuclear engineering in 1986 (Editor's note: not "Nuclear Effects Engineering" as stated on the website). To read more about General Odierno, visit

Bitzer - Featured Achiever!
Dr. Donald L. Bitzer, Distinguished University Research Professor of Computer Science, is the College of Engineering's "Featured Achiever!" this month. As you may recall, Dr. Bitzer won an Emmy in October 2002 from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for his efforts in advancing television. To read the Achiever! article, visit

Priority 'Naming Rights' for ePartners
The official groundbreaking ceremony for our new 100,000 sq. ft, $41M state-of-the-art teaching and research facility on Centennial Campus is tentatively planned for October 24th. At the same time, we plan to launch the official Naming Rights Campaign. While the details of this campaign are still being finalized, we expect naming opportunities to range from $25,000 to over $1M. Premiere naming spaces include an expansive atrium and a series of terraces designed to host events of all sizes, as well as labs, classrooms, conference rooms, and faculty offices. Our ePartners will have priority naming rights opportunities. More information will be released officially on this campaign in the coming months, but if you have questions or would like more information, please contact Ken Tate at 919-513-4292 or

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