Four Khoury faculty awarded Global Resilience Institute interdisciplinary research grants

July 23, 2018

By Erica Yee

Four College of Computer and Information Science (CCIS) faculty members were among the recent awardees of eight new interdisciplinary research projects funded by Northeastern University’s Global Resilience Institute (GRI). Now in its second year, the GRI’s Seed Grant Program funds projects with collaborations by faculty members from at least two Northeastern colleges that contribute to the safety, security, sustainability, health and well-being of individuals, communities, systems, and societies.

Raymond Fu, an Associate Professor with joint appointments in the College of Engineering and CCIS, is part of a team proposing to develop a flood hazard assessment system that integrates computer models with field observations in order to predict and mitigate coastal flooding.

“Developing social and civil infrastructure that is resilient to flooding, storm surge, and accelerating sea-level rise remains a monumental challenge that requires us to leverage large datasets and state-of-the-art computer simulations, but we currently lack an integrated framework for the prediction and assessment of coastal flood hazard that takes advantage of modern computational resources,” said Fu.

He is joined by Qin Jim Chen and Samuel Muñoz, both interdisciplinary with the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Marine and Environmental Sciences. The team will apply data mining and deep learning technology to both field and simulation data for Boston and New York, two urban mega-regions. By expanding current understanding of coastal flood hazard and test adaption strategies, their innovative and interdisciplinary research approach aims to ultimately improve societal preparedness and resilience to flooding.

Alan Mislove, an Associate Professor and the Associate Dean and Director of Undergraduate Programs at CCIS, also received a GRI seed grant.

“We’re looking at whether it’s possible to infer social dynamics and processes of neighborhoods from social media data,” he said. “The computer science is managing large-scale data and distinguishing social links from noise at scale.”

Mislove will work with Dan O’Brien from the School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs and Ryan Qi Wang from Civil and Environmental Engineering to measure the social resilience of communities using a social media-based methodology.

Finally, Misha Pavel and Holly Jimison, both Professors of the Practices at CCIS and interdisciplinary with Bouvé College of Health Sciences, will use the NU Home Laboratory to measure how experiencing a stroke impacts the day-to-day lives of younger individuals under the age of 55. The NU Home Laboratory is designed for behavioral monitoring in a realistic home environment. Along with Eugene Tunik, also of Bouvé, the team’s capabilities in movement and cognitive analysis, remote sensing and predictive modeling will help maximize resilience for people and communities affected by young onset stroke.