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Research and Sponsored Programs


September 2014
Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe
MRI: Acquisition of Peta-scale Data Storage System for Big Data Exploration in STEM Fields

NSFDr. Kenji Yoshigoe, associate professor and chair in the Department of Computer Science, has received a $291,908 grant from the National Science Foundation. This is a prestigious and competitive three-year grant is for deployment of a high performance peta-scale storage system, which will be a first at this scale for higher education and research in Arkansas.

This acquisition will expand the ability of the high-performance computing (HPC) systems already available at the UALR Computational Research Center (CRC) for conducting cutting-edge big data research and promote STEM education in Arkansas.

Dr. Yoshigoe and his collaborators are particularly interested in exploring large-scale medical image analysis, complex social network analyses, large-scale entity resolution, and protein structure prediction. However, the requested instrument can impact on research, training, and teaching beyond the proposed research projects. The acquiring system will facilitate a wide range of big data research projects throughout Arkansas including the computational chemistry group and the UALR-UAMS joint bioinformatics program, and open to all UALR researchers and their collaborators. It can also be integrated to the visualization equipment array for the new Emerging Analytic Center. Read more on this grant.

February 2014
Dr. Mengjun Xie and Dr. Kenji Yoshigoe
REU Site: CyberSAFE@UALR: Cyber Security and Forensics Research at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock


This prestigious and competitive three-year grant from the National Science Foundation establishes a new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at the University of Arkansas Little Rock, which is also the first REU Site hosted by UALR. Undergraduate students recruited from all over the country will participate in summer research focused on the integration of fundamental security and forensics research with the latest technical advances in mobile computing, cloud computing, and social networks. The research is led by an experienced faculty team that plans to offer a balance of theory, applications, and practical skills as well as mentoring and professional development opportunities for the students.

The intellectual merit of this project lies in strong research basis and the expertise of the faculty. The projects are in research areas that are current and address national priorities. The site will leverage its National Security Agency designated Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education and NSF funded Cloud Computing Research Instrument and Computational Research Center to enhance and enrich participants’ competitive research experiences. The undergraduate student participants will gain a broad and unified picture of the significance of security and forensics through interactions with university professors, professionals, and researchers in forensics labs, practitioners in the IT industry, and security officers in military service. The research has the potential to contribute to the research core of the emerging field of cyber security.

September 2013
Dr. Cang Ye
NRI: Small: A Co-Robotic Navigation Aid for the Visually Impaired


The objective of the proposed research is to develop enabling technology for a co-robotic navigation aid called a Co-Robotic Cane (CRC). The CRC is able to collaborate with its user via intuitive human-device interaction mechanisms in achieving effective navigation in 3D environments. The CRC’s navigational functions include position estimation of the device, wayfinding, obstacle detection, and objet recognition. The use of the CRC will help to improve the independent mobility of the visually impaired and, therefore, improve their quality of life. The project team will develop new computer vision methods that support accurate blind navigation in 3D environments and intuitive human-device interaction interfaces for effective use of device. These methods include: (1) a new robotic pose estimation method that provides accurate device pose estimate by integrating egomotion estimation and visual feature tracking; (2) a pattern recognition method that may recognize indoor structures and objects for wayfinding and obstacle manipulation/avoidance; (3) an innovative mechanism for intuitive conveying of the desired travel direction; and (4) a Human Intent Detection interface for automatic device mode switching. The proposed blind navigation solution can be encapsulated in a miniaturized system and installed on a conventional white cane and enhance its functionality. The resulted CRC will provide advanced navigational functions that are currently unavailable in the existing blind navigation aids.

Dr. Shucheng Yu
MRI: Acquisition of a Cloud Computing Infrastructure for Research and Education

This is a prestigious and competitive 3-year grant from the National Science Foundation for deployment of the first cloud computing instrument in the state of Arkansas for research and education. The awarded instrument, after its installation, will have more than 1000GB RAM and over 100TB storage. Theoretically, the cloud can run over 400 simultaneous virtual machine instances (each with 4GB memory) and is ideal for large-scale parallel tasks in the era of big data.With the awarded cloud instrument, PI Dr. Shucheng Yu and the Co-PIs, all from the Computer Science Department at UALR, will carry out various cutting-edge research projects, spanning areas of social networks, cloud computing security, cryptography, biomedical computing, and data stream analysis. The cloud will be made accessible to the community of UALR and researchers from other universities in the state of Arkansas. This grant also aims to provide unique experiences with cloud techniques to students at UALR.

Dr. Hirak Patangia
SBIR: Hands-free Silent Tactile Obstacle Avoidance System for Blind Travelers.

Congratulations to Dr. Hirak Patangia of the UALR Engineering Technology department. He received a subaward from Fauxsee Innovations through the National Science Foundation for the proposal entitled SBIR: Hands-free Silent Tactile Obstacle Avoidance System for Blind Travelers. With this funding, Dr. Patangia will be able to hire two undergraduate students and one graduate student for the Fall semester.Fauxsee Innovation“proposes to design, develop, evaluate, and specify an ultrasonic blind mobility assistance device[called] ‘Roboglasses™’ that will provide a more effective, affordable, lightweight and intelligent navigation assistant for vision-impaired people.”  Dr. Patangia and his team of students will contribute to this project by providing design assistance, design testing and evaluation, instrumentation, and system simulation.

*This page does not provide a comprehensive list of all awards and only provides a list of awards approved for publication. Please contact us if you would like to announce your award on this page.

Campus Award News

UALR The City Market and Arcade

In June 1914, thousands of people came to celebrate the grand opening of the Arcade building in downtown Little Rock. The state-of-the-art structure transformed Little Rock from just a little river town to a real city. The story of the Arcade is a study of the cycle of creation, destruction, and revitalization and how that process is vital to making a community thrive. This project is supported by the Arkansas Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
UALR-UAMS partnership results in FDA-approved obstetric medical device

A partnership between researchers at UALR and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences has resulted in an inexpensive, disposable external medical device that monitors contractions in pregnant women.

Student-professor research accepted by digital forensics journal

Samer Al-khateeb presented original research at the International Conference on Digital Forensics and Cyber Crime at Yale University. The work is supported by the grants from U.S. Office of Naval Research and U.S. National Science Foundation.

Jones’ cancer research receives national attention

The Arkansas Science & Technology Authority recently announced a $50,000 grant for Dr. Darin Jones to aid his research centered on dehydroleucodine, a molecule found in Ecuadorian plants.

Life Interrupted

In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an Executive Order in 1942 to relocate 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent to internment camps across the nation, including two in Arkansas. One of those people who were evacuated was George Takei, better known as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu from the original Star Trek series. His interview on this YouTube site was part of Life Interrupted, a historical project spearheaded by UALR about the camps. Takei recounts his experiences at the camp in Rowher, Arkansas.” This project is supported in part by The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, The Arkansas Humanities Council, The Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, the National Park Service, and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles.

Updated 11.21.2014