Visiting Professor Receives Fulbright Award

Professor Nail Akar’s research could eventually increase Internet speed.  Someday, Internet browser error messages, such as “408 Request Timeout” and “502 Service Temporarily Overloaded” may no longer plague people.

With that ultimate goal in mind, Nail Akar – a visiting professor in the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) – began a seven-month Fulbright Scholar grant research project, Markov Renewal Queues, Markov Fluid Queues and Their Applications to Modeling and Engineering of Computer Networks in January. Akar also is an associate professor in the Electrical and Electronics Engineering Department at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey. 

Akar is developing techniques and tools to study traditional and fluid computer network queuing systems. A computer network queuing system involves “customers” (i.e., packets, frames, jobs, etc.) that arrive at a processor (i.e., server, multiplexer, switch, router, etc.) at different times. Once they arrive at a processor, customers are buffered for service in a queue while the processor serves the previous customer.

“The research I’ve conducted at UMKC has always played an important role in my professional career,” said Akar, who conducted research at UMKC from 1994 to 1996 and paid short research visits to UMKC between 2002 and 2006. “I have great working relationships with the faculty members of SCE, and another benefit is that there are a number of faculty members who work in the same discipline that I do.”

The Fulbright Program, America’s international educational exchange program, is sponsored by the United States Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. Since its establishment in 1946 under legislation introduced by the late Senator J. William Fulbright of Arkansas, the Fulbright Program has provided more than 294,000 people from more than 155 countries the opportunity to observe each others’ political, economic, educational and cultural institutions, exchange ideas and embark on joint ventures of importance to the general welfare of the world’s inhabitants.

Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields. Among the thousands of prominent Fulbright alumni are: Karen Vorst, Dean of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences; Muhammad Yunus, Managing Director and Founder, Grameen Bank, and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006; Javier Solana, Foreign Policy Chief, European Union; Ruth Simmons, President, Brown University; and Craig Barrett, Chairman of the Board, Intel Corporation.

For the 2010 year, about 1,250 U.S. faculty and professionals received Fulbright Scholar or Fulbright Specialist grants to teach and conduct research abroad; another 850 foreign scholars received awards to visit U.S. campuses for a year or more.

For more information about the Fulbright Program or the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, please visit http://fulbright.state.gov.

Above UMKC press release was issued on March 3, 2010.  The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a four-part mission: life and health sciences; visual and performing arts; urban issues and education; and a vibrant learning and campus life experience.

Dr. Ganesh Thiagaran to speak at MSPE Western Chapter Meeting, Mar. 16

Dr. GaneshMSPE Western Chapter Meeting
PDH Session, 4 pm
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
UMKC Flarsheim Hall, Room 557
5110 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO  64110

Ganesh Thiagarajan, Ph.D., P.E., is an Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Programs for Civil Engineering at UMKC. He teaches structural engineering and mechanics courses such as Seismic Design, Advanced Steel, Advanced Concrete and has collaborated with industry professionals to develop a new course in Design of Structures for Blast and Fire. His research interests include various areas of structural engineering some of which will be presented in the seminar. He has also been active in the area of biomechanics in which he studies the behavior of bones and in particular the human knee using finite element method, to understand the stress and strain behavior of the knee under different motions.

Dr. Thiagarajan will discuss the focus areas of research now underway at UMKC Civil Engineering Department, including the seismic modeling of 4 story steel moment frame, a project that stood first in a worldwide blind prediction contest. He will also discuss two other structural projects of interest. The first one was an optimization study to reduce the structural costs of Table Top foundations for steam turbines performed for Black and Veatch and another study being undertaken for MoDOT to reduce the costs of bridge approach slabs. These examples illustrate how UMKC is collaborating with local state and corporate entities to help reduce their operating costs.

Information on the MSPE Western Chapter Dinner Meeting can be found at the following website:  http://www.kcengineers.org/.

Students are presenting with faculty at the Missouri Life Sciences Summit

SCE students will participate in the summit’s poster sessions as student researchers on various faculty research projects.  SCE faculty participating in the conference include Reza Derakhshani, Deendayal Dinakarpandian, Trent Guess, Greg King, Vijay Kumar, Yugi Lee, Praveen Rao, Ganesh Thiagarajan and Kevin Truman.  Details about the conference, it’s schedule and the list of speakers are available.  Students are encouraged to attend and are provided a reduced registration of $20.00 for the full conference.

Several SCE Faculty to Participate in Missouri Life Sciences Summit

UMKC will host the March 8-9, 2010 Missouri Regional Life Sciences Summit.  Several SCE faculty will participate in the summit’s poster sessions and as speakers including Reza Derakhshani, Deendayal Dinakarpandian, Trent Guess, Greg King, Vijay Kumar, Yugi Lee, Praveen Rao, Ganesh Thiagarajan and Kevin Truman.  Details about the conference, it’s schedule and the list of speakers are available.  Students are encouraged to attend and are provided a reduced registration of $20.00 for the full conference.