Faculty, students engage in collaborative project in Mideast

February 10, 2014

Associate professors Cheng Liu and Wan Bae are the primary investigators for a new National Science Foundation grant UW-Stout recently received.

They will establish a collaborative research project with UW-Stout engineering faculty and their students from the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain and the University of Sharjah, also in the United Arab Emirates. Liu teaches engineering technology; Bae teaches math.

The $35,000 grant is for one year.

Wan BaeSpecifically, the project is to develop a research framework for modeling and analysis of individual exposure to various environmental conditions.

The first part of the grant supported a two-week visit in January to the United Arab Emirates for Bae, Liu and undergraduate students Jason Gass, of Manitowoc, and Eric Bonsness, of Turtle Lake.

The three main objectives of the visit and project include:

  • To develop a long-term international collaborative research partnership between the U.S. and UAE in the rapidly growing field of spatio-temporal data mining.
  • To involve undergraduate students from the U.S. and UAE in research and educational activities.
  • To develop a software framework and build a hardware prototype for an acquisition system, sensor network and Android application. The system will gather time and location data using GPS through mobile devices.

The system would measure air quality, nitrogen dioxide and ozone gas concentrations, dust particles and pollutants through Bluetooth-enabled sensors. The data will be integrated into a health monitoring system. Individuals would be warned about exposure to environmental factors that could trigger asthma attacks.

As a result of data gathered, the research team will submit a subsequent grant proposal to the NSF Smart and Connected Health program.

"The research will focus on developing data models and computing algorithms for effectively mapping individuals' environmental exposure to their health conditions and implementing map/reduce methods for efficiently processing iterative computations of the proposed models and algorithms," Bae said.