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Research, economic development on the move at MSU

The students on campus for orientation sessions have been impressive this summer, and like you, I look forward to seeing them back in August when a new academic year begins. As you know, providing research opportunities for all of our undergraduates is a priority at Mississippi State, and that is one very important aspect of the overall student experience that sets us apart from our peers. There are a number of new initiatives in the works to enhance research opportunities for our students, and I am excited about them coming to fruition in the coming months. Please let me share a few other items of interest with you.


David Shaw is vice president for research and economic development at Mississippi State University.

International opportunities growing
As I mentioned in my last letter, I traveled to Italy in early June with Jim West, dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. We had very productive discussions there with colleagues at the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the University of Arkansas Rome Center, and I expect that we will have a number of new partnership opportunities for students, faculty and staff in Rome in the near future. It is an exciting time for global outreach at MSU, and you can find more details about our visit at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6699

Sidewalk expansion underway in Research Park
I hope you saw the news about the sidewalk expansion project that is underway in the Cochran Research Park. This additional amenity will further enhance the quality of work-life for folks in the park, as well as local residents who walk, run and ride their bikes there. Adding a sidewalk around the Research Blvd. loop has been a top request for many, and we are pleased to see its construction underway. Read more about it at http://www.msstate.edu/web/media/detail.php?id=6705

Traveling this summer? 'Game of Pawns' video a must-see
The Office of Research Security’s ongoing outreach and education efforts include “Game of Pawns: The Glenn Duffie Shriver Story.” Produced by the FBI, the movie presents a chilling depiction of how easily a foreign intelligence service can recruit people — especially college students. It is a must-see for anyone traveling overseas. For additional information or to schedule a screening and discussion session for your unit, please contact Neil Lewis at 662-325-8682 or Debra Hicks at 662-325-0400. The video is also available for viewing on the FBI website at http://1.usa.gov/1miGVng

Kudos and congratulations
Every month, I look forward to sharing success stories about our faculty and staff with you. Here are a few that have come to my attention:

* Congratulations to Mimmo Parisi and the nSPARC team, who learned recently that a joint project with the Mississippi Department of Employment Security has been awarded a $1-million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor after a very competitive review process. They are developing innovative ways to create methods for data use in workforce and economic development.

* Kudos to the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Jenny Du and her co-authors — Nam Ly, Jim Fowler and Nick Younan — for receiving the 2014 Best Paper Award at the Workshop on Hyperspectral Image and Signal Processing: Evolution in Remote Sensing, which took place in Switzerland late last month. The paper, “Dimensionality Reduction of Hyperspectral Imagery with Sparse and Collaborative Graphs,” was one of three honored out of approximately 200 submissions.

* Congratulations to principal investigator Tommy Morris and co-PI Yong Fu, also in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who are leading research in a strategic partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric as part of a U.S. Department of Energy program to improve the efficiency of the nation’s electrical grids. Mississippi State’s grant for the work to provide intrusion detection software and training is for $464,000 over two years.

* Best wishes to Josh Jeanson, who is leaving the Office of Entrepreneurship and Technology Transfer for a position at the University of Virginia. Marc McGee will serve as OETT interim director for the next few months as we begin the search process.

Final words
In two weeks, our office will be moving from Allen Hall into the newly-renovated Lee Hall. We expect minimal interruptions to normal operations July 16-17, but please note our new physical location on campus: 3001 Lee Hall. The street address is 262 Lee Hall, Mississippi State, MS 39762. Our telephone numbers will not change.

If you have any questions, suggestions or concerns about Mississippi State’s research and economic development activities, please feel free to contact me at dshaw@research.msstate.edu.

Go Dawgs!

— David


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