Computer Science doctoral students win second prize in poster contest at National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenges Summit

Publish Date: 03/20/2009


Jing (David) Dai, Arnold Boedihardjo, and Feng Chen, doctoral students in the Computer Science program, were awarded second prize in the Security Category of the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) Grand Challenges Summit poster contest. The judging took place during the two-day summit held March 2-3 at Duke University in North Carolina. The poster, "HOMES: Highway Operation Monitoring and Evaluation System," introduces an advanced transportation information system developed in the Spatial Data Management Lab at the Falls Church Northern Virginia Center (NVC), in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).

Under the direction of the project's principal investigator (PI) and the students' faculty advisor, Chang-Tien Lu, the students designed a system that helps improve the efficiency and safety of the roadway network. "HOMES" enables detection, monitoring, and analysis of trends, patterns, and abnormalities in traffic flow to provide decision support to VDOT. It supports browsing the spatial-temporal dimension hierarchy via integrated roll-up and drill-down operations and ensures quick system response by employing advanced data management techniques.

Dai, who is planning to graduate this year, presented the poster at the summit on behalf of the team. Virginia Tech, one of 20 universities across the United States to participate in the summit, sent 10 graduate students to the event. Dai was the only student from the National Capital Region selected to attend. Matthew Tolentino, Blacksburg PhD student working with Dr. Kirk Cameron, also attended the event.

More than 50 companies were also represented among the more than 1,100 registrants. The Grand Challenges Summit was convened to address the fourteen Engineering Grand Challenges identified by the NAE that, left unsolved, threaten our current standard of living. These problems lie at the intersection of science, engineering, and policy and, for the purpose of the summit, were grouped into four broad categories. In addition to the Security category, they included Energy/Environment, Health, and Learning/Computation.