Spectra Newsletter

College of Engineering and Computer Science

There’s Something for Everyone in AIMS^2 Research Projects

csun aims logo 2013In 2011, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, in collaboration with Glendale Community College and the College of the Canyons, was awarded a $5.5 million U.S. Department of Education HSI-STEM grant. The purpose of the grant was to implement a multifaceted program designed to improve retention and increase graduation rates for Hispanic, underrepresented and low-income students majoring in engineering and computer science. To date, the program, called AIMS2 (Attract, Inspire Mentor and Support Students), has helped meet the academic needs of more than 200 students. Participants receive academic support services, are mentored by faculty and are supported with stipends to motivate and inspire them to succeed. In September, the program was recognized as a “bright spot in Hispanic education” by the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics.[Read More…]

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Anwar Alroomi and Sami Maalouf, Civil Engineering and Construction Management Cost Estimating Model of Construction of Marine Outfalls

IMG_1237.jpgA marine outfall is a pipeline or tunnel that discharges to the ocean such effluents as waste water, storm water, sewer overflows and cooling water, as well as brine from water desalination plants. There are some 330 marine outfalls around the world, and many were built decades before meticulous documentation became a common construction practice. There is considerable demand for marine outfalls today, and although they are very expensive to build, there are few studies estimating their cost because that is difficult to determine, particularly for outfalls built in the 1950s and 1960s. Last summer, six AIMS2 students, working with Anwar Alroomi and Sami Maalouf, collected data about marine outfalls worldwide as the foundation for creating a cost model. [Read More…]

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Gloria Melara, Computer Science - AIMS^2

IMG_1273.jpgCSUN Campus Navigation Mobile Prototype

Noting that visually impaired students found it difficult to navigate between buildings when they were new to CSUN, AIMS2 students proposed to create a mobile app to enable these students to get around more independently. So last summer, a team of AIMS2 students, under the mentorship of Gloria Melara, designed and implemented the CSUN Campus Navigation app. Using GPS, the app directs users by voice to wherever they need to go on campus. After initial tests of the app, the target users were happy to have a tool that would enable them to be more independent. They suggested some additional vital features, however, so another team of AIMS2 students is continuing to work on the app during the academic year. [Read More…]

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Bruno Osorno, Electrical and Computer Engineering - AIMS^2

IMG_1267.jpgDesign and Implementation of Dual-Axis Solar Tracking System

Six students took part in a project to develop a mobile solar charging station with a dual-axis tracking system to follow the sun. For four of them, all AIMS2 students who had transferred to CSUN from community colleges, it was their senior design project. (It was the second year that Bruno Osorno had incorporated the AIMS2 project into students’ senior design capstone experience.) The other two were not AIMS2 students but were interested in the project and served as “shadow” students to gain experience with projects. The solar tracking system has to contend with current, wind, irradiation and voltage sensors interfacing with an LCD touch screen. In addition, a microprocessor (Arduino) was programmed to track the position of the sun at any given time. The project was a success, and Osorno intends to use it again as a senior design project.

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