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Congratulations to the ICS Seed Grant 2018 Recipients!

Institute for CyberScience announces 2018 ICS Seed Grant recipients

Posted on April 2, 2018

The Institute for CyberScience (ICS) has announced the recipients of the 2018 ICS Seed Grant awards. This year, 18 researchers will receive funding from ICS. More than $413,000 is being awarded through this program.

ICS Seed Grants fund innovative computational and data-enabled research projects across Penn State. Using the awards, recipients can perform preliminary research needed to apply for larger external grants.

“Our recipients are undertaking a truly impressive range of projects, from predicting flood risks and improving public health to enhancing self-driving cars and searching for extraterrestrial life,” said ICS Director Jenni Evans. “These initiatives are emblematic of the power of computation and big data to advance science and to contribute to societal change.”

The 18 awarded projects were selected from 34 applications. Applicants were able to request a range of amounts based upon team composition, up to $35,000 in seed funding.

The 2018 Seed Grant principal investigators, their research projects, and their award amounts are:

  • Saeed Abdullah, assistant professor of information sciences and technology. “Predicting Relapse Onset in Bipolar Disorder from Online Behavioral Data,” $25,000.
  • Jogesh Babu, Distinguished Professor of Statistics and Astronomy and Astrophysics. “2018 Astroinformatics Summer School,” $4,000.
  • Guangqing Chi, associate professor of rural sociology and demography and public health sciences. “The Generalizability and Replicability of Twitter Data for Population Research,” $35,000.
  • Derek Brindley Fox, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics. “Deep Learning for Astronomical Image Processing,” $25,000.
  • Benjamin Hanrahan, assistant professor of information sciences and technology. “Fair Crowds: User-Centered Algorithms for Equitable Distribution of Work,” $10,000.
  • Jingjing Li, William and Wendy Korb Early Career Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. “Learning and Modeling of Fracture Mechanisms of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites from Spatiotemporal Image Data,” $10,000.
  • Li Li, associate professor of environmental engineering. “Harvesting Data and Models for Water Forecasting,” $34,364.
  • Xiao Liu, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. “Individual-Level Brain Parcellation Using an Integrative Multi-Network Clustering Approach,” $35,000.
  • Guha Manogharan, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. “Combined Experimental and Multi-Scale Simulation Investigation on Binder Jetting,” $35,000.
  • Catherine Mello, assistant professor of applied psychology and rehabilitation and human services at Penn State Berks. “A Computational Approach to Predicting Well-Being through Environmental, Social, and Physical Measurement,” $15,000.
  • Steven Schiff, Brush Chair Professor of Engineering, professor of neurosurgery and engineering science and mechanics. “Predictive Personalized Public Health (P3H): A Novel Paradigm to Treat Infectious Disease,” $35,000.
  • Benjamin Shaby, assistant professor of statistics. “Coupled Statistical and Dynamical Models to Project Changing Risk of Extreme Floods due to Climate Change and Urbanization,” $33,462.
  • Adri van Duin, professor of mechanical engineering. “Theoretical Study of Novel Dielectric Nanocomposites,” $10,000.
  • Kurt Vandegrift, assistant research professor of biology. “Countrywide Rodent Densities in a Snap,” $5,000.
  • Jason Wright, associate professor of astronomy and astrophysics. “SETI@PSU: Partnering with the $100 Million Breakthrough Listen Initiative,” $10,000.
  • Hui Yang, Harold and Inge Marcus Career Associate Professor of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering. “Deep Learning and Parallel Computing to Accelerate Large-scale Simulation Modeling of Spatiotemporal Cardiac Systems,” $25,000.
  • Zihan Zhou, assistant professor of information sciences and technology. “Distributed Visual Perception for Urban Autonomous Driving,” $35,000.
  • Tieyuan Zhu, assistant professor of geosciences. “Theory of Fractional Viscoelastic Wave Propagation and its Efficient Solver for Processing ‘Large-N’ Seismic Data,” $31,473.

The Institute for CyberScience is one of the five interdisciplinary research institutes under the Office of the Vice President for Research, and is dedicated to supporting cyber-enabled research across the disciplines. ICS builds an active community of researchers using computational methods in a wide range of fields through co-hiring of tenure-track faculty, providing seed funding for ambitious computational research projects, and offering access to high-performance computing resources through its Advanced CyberInfrastructure (ICS-ACI). With the support of ICS, Penn State researchers harness the power of big data, big simulation, and big computing to solve the world’s problems. For more information, visit or email


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