Spring 2020 - Archived Newsletter

Spring 2020

This online publication is produced each semester to recognize faculty and students and their ongoing work. More information can be accessed by clicking on the topics below.

Faculty Receiving External Awards: October 1, 2019 through March 31, 2020

Asher Golden, Noah Spencer Foundation Teacher Education Supporting Marginalized Students (re)positioning: Investigating the role of instruction in adolescent learners identity work
Bagwell, Jenny Academy of Orthopaedic Physical Therapy  Physical Therapy Hip, Trunk, and Pelvic Floor muscles function during and after pregnancy: Implications for low back and pelvic girdle pain and urinary incontinence
Baker Prindle, Paul Pasadena Art Alliance Kleefeld Contemporary Neha Choksi: Faith in Friction 2020 PAA
Baker Prindle, Paul The Getty Foundation Kleefeld Contemporary Getty Marrow Undergraduate Summer Internship Grant
Barjasteh, Ehsan Boeing Corp Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  Thermo-oxidative aging of High Temperature Composites
Bird, Mara UnidosUS Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training Comprando Sano y Rico
Brazier, Chris Allergan Foundation Chemistry & Biochemistry Department of Chemistry/Biochemistry Research Forums
Byrnes, Anthony Arts Council for Long Beach Theater Arts Theatre Communications Group Conference
Chandra, Shailesh Caltrans Civil Engineering & Contruction Engineering Management The Transformation of Transportation: The Potential of Distributed Ledger Technologies in Transportation Applications
Chandra, Shailesh San Jose State University Research Foundation Civil Engineering & Construction Engineering Management Evaluating financing mechanisms and economic benefits to fund grade separation projects
D'Anna, Laura Vietnamese American Cancer Foundation Center for Health Equity Research B-Free OC: A Multi-Level Community Collaboration for HBV Care
D'Anna, Laura Community Partners via the California Endowment Center for Health Equity Research Building Healthy Communities, Long Bech Evaluation
Enriquez, Loretta US Department of Education Student Support Administration Educational Talent Search STEM CAMP
Enriquez, Loretta US Department of Education Student Support Administration Educational Talent Search - South Bay STEM CAMP
Eriksen, Shelley Cal OES via Federeal Trus Human Development Campus Sexual Assault Program
Fata, Frank Institute of International Education Comparative Literature & Classics Language Training Center
Fleming, Kirsty CSU Dominguez Hills via NSF Faculty Affairs Leveraging a Faculty Community of Practice Model of Professional Learning to Enhance Diversity, Equity, and inclusion in STEM Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
Fraser, Deborah National Institutes of Health Biological Sciences Complement Protein C1q in Atherosclerosis
Garcia-Vega, Melawhy US Department of Agriculture Health Science ANDALE Latino Research Training Program
Garcia-Vega, Melawhy City of LongBeach Health Science Tobacco Use Prevention and Education among Latinos in Long Beach
Ghafoori, Bita Long Beach Unified School District Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling Trauma focused services: A School based approach
Golshani, Forouzan Boeing Corp COE Administration Automation Boeing Lab
Golshani, Forouzan Boeing Corp COE Administration Boeing Research & Technology Projects 2020
Hagedorn, Klaus The University Corporation via NSF Geological Sciences RUI: Collaborative Research: Defining the biogeochemical context and ecological impacts of submarine groundwater discharge on coral reefs
Hagedorn, Klaus National Science Foundation Geological Sciences RUI: Groundwater occurrence and discharge at coral atoll and barrier reef systems
Hamilton, John/Scibetta, Dominica California Student Aid Commission University Outreach & School Relations Long Beach Cal SOAP
Hanley, Gerry The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation Psychology Historically Black Colleges and Universities Affordable Learning Solutions Summit
House-Peters, Lily Univesity of Calgary  Geography Incorportating Local & Traditional Knowledge Systems: New Insights for Ecosystem Services & Transdisciplinary Collaborations
Hytrek, Gary Sociological Initiatives Foundation Geography Research and Policy: Improving Housing Conditions Among HUD and Low-income Tenants in Long Beach,CA
Johnson, Darren National Science Foundation Biological Sciences RUI: Evaluating selection via ocean acidification and evolutionary responses of two coastal fishes
Kim, Mimi Community Partners  Social Work Strengthening Social Network Responses to
 Domestic Violence
Kim, Mimi Contra Costa Family Justice Alliance Social Work Community Restorative Project
Kline Crockett, Megan California Arts Council Carpenter Performing Arts Center Arts Education Exposure
Krishnan, Sudha The University Corporation Northridge via State of California Accountancy The CSU 5+ Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Initiative
Lanza, Isabella USC via National Institutes of Health Human Development Tobacco Regulatory Science Investigating the Intersections of Products with Diverse Populations
Lo, Roger Wayne State University Chemical Engineering New Frontiers of Mechatronics Education for Mobility, Energy, and Product Engineering
Malm, Aili U.S. Department of Justice Criminal Justice Using Social Network and Spatial Analysis to Understand and Address Fentanyl Distribution Networks in America’s Largest Port City
Malm, Aili Arizona Board of Regents Criminal Justice Tempe First Responder Opiod Recovery Project
Maples, Tracy The Regents of the University of California, Office of the President College of Engineering Administration MESA Engineering Programs
Maples, Tracy Antellope Valley College via U.S. Dept. of Education College of Engineering Administration Antelope Valley College - Title V grant
Marcus, Richard University of California, Office of the President International Studies Program California Global Education Project 
Mark, Ron Commission on POST Center for Criminal Justice Research & Training Principled Policing Course Update
Mezyk, Stephen The Regents of the University of California - Irvine via DOEnergy Chemistry & Biochemistry Effects of Alpha and Gamma Radiation on Complex and Metal Loaded Solvents for Advanced Extraction Processes
Moon, Ju Cheol Kun Chang via Ministry of Science (Republic of Korea) Computer Engineering & Computer Science A Security Framework for Information Control System
OBrien, Thomas USC via Caltrans Center for International Trade and Transportation International Urban Freight Conference/Smart Freight Week
O'Brien, Thomas ICF via National Academy of Sciences Center for International Trade and Transportation National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Workforce 2030
O'Brien, Thomas USC via Caltrans Center for International Trade and Transportation Task Oder 22: Caltrans Freight Academy
O'Brien, Thomas USC via U.S. Dept of Transportation Center for International Trade and Transportation METRANS University Transportation Center
O'Brien, Thomas University of Southern California Center for International Trade and Transportation Metrofreight: The Local/Global Challenge of Urban Freight
O'Donnell, Julie YMCA Social Work YMCA of greater Long Beach Community School Evaluation Program
Pace, Douglas National Institutes of Health - NIGMS Biological Sciences Defining the role of calcium-binding proteins in the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii
Pace, Douglas National Institutes of Health - NIGMS Biological Sciences Defining the role of calcium-binding proteins in the human parasite Toxoplasma gondii
Powers, Kristin US Department of Education Advanced Studies in Education & Counseling An Interdisciplinary Project to promote Culturally-responsive Transition policies, planning, and Practices
Powers, Kristin US Department of Education Advanced Studies in Education & Counseling Preparing School Psychologists to Implement MTSS
Rahai, Hamid SJSU Research Foundation via State of California College of Engineering Administration California State University Transportation Consortium (CSUTC)
Rahai, Hamid Edgewind Center for Energy and Environmental Research and Services CFD Investigation of a NASA High Lift Common Research Model with and with CVG's
Rahai, Hamid Boeing Corp College of Engineering Administration Boeing Research & Technology Projects 2020
Rahai, Hamid Air Force Research Labs College of Engineering Administration Center of Excellence on EPA
Rahai, Hamid Air Force Research Labs College of Engineering Administration Center for Excellence Director
Richards Tutor, Cara U.S. Department of Education Advanced Studies in Education and Counseling Interdisciplinary Training for Effective Culturally Responsive Tiered Behavior Intervention and Supports for CLD Youth with Disabilities
Robertson, Curglin California Department of Education Student Support Administration Summer Food Services Program
Roeder, Jane County of Los Angeles Ukleja Center for Ethical Leadership Ethics at The Beach Student Seminar
Saadeh, Shadi State of CA Department of Transportation  College of Engineering Administration Joint Training and Certificate Program - Phase III
Schnoor, Neal Census 2020 Systemwide Award via Gov Ops Presidents Office California Complete Count - Census 2020
Shon, Young-Seok National Science Foundation Chemistry and Biochemistry RUI: Liposome Bilayer-Embedded Hydrophobic Palladium Nanoparticles for Selective Catalytic Reactions in Water
Star, Lisa National Science Foundation Civil Engineering & Contruction Engineering Management GOALI/Collaborative Research: Future Underground Landscape – Learning from Large Excavations in a Complex Urban Environment
Stevens, Lora University Enterprises, Inc. via National Science Foundation Geological Sciences CSU LSAMP 2018-2023 (Fed Portion)
Suh, Ga-Young Stanford University Biomedical Engineering Biomedical Analysis of the Ascending Aorta after Dissection of TEVAR Treatment Thora
Syeed, Esa Sociological Initiatives Foundation Sociology UndocuTeacher Project: Pathways and Practices
Terzic, Vesna The Regents of the University California Berkeley Civil Engineering & Contruction Engineering Management Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure: Computational Modeling and Simulation Center
Topete, Rafael US Department of Education Student Support Administration TRIO-Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program
Topete, Rafael Los Angles County Office of Education Education Equity Services/CAMP & HEP LACOE Intern Program
Treesukosol, Yada The International Honor Society in Psychology Psychology The Role of Taste Variability in Alcholol intake in Male and Female Rats
Weil, Abraham Duke University Press Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies Transgender Studies Quarterly
Whitcraft, Christine UCLA via Department of Defense, Navy Biological Sciences Environmental and Biological Data Collection to Support Construction of Ammunition Pier and Turning Basin in Anaheim Bay, Seal Beach, CA
Yavari, Parviz NextGen Aeronautics Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering  CALPAR
Yohannes-Reda, Saba San Diego State University Research Foundation Outreach & Recruitment Type II: California State University I-Corps Site
Yohannes-Reda, Saba Paramount Unified School District Engineering Student Success Center Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement Schools Program

Faculty Receiving Mini Grants (Fall 2020 to Spring 2021) and Summer 2020 Stipends 

Awardee (PI) Project Title Department Award Type
Argandona, Monica Range Riders and Wolves: Mitigation Strategies in the West Environmental Science Mini-Grant
Asvapathanagul, Pitiporn Enhancing Bihydrogen Gas (H2) Production in Anaerobic Digesters Civil Engineering & Construction Engineering Management (CECEM) Summer Stipend
Atkinson, Matthew Can Documentaries Combat the Negative Effects of Conspiracy Thinking? Political Sci Summer Stipend
Bhandari, Deepali Investigation of the molecular mechanism for the chemopreventive role of Aspirin Chem & Biochem Summer Stipend
Bolkan, San Instruction and Example Order: Reducing Cognitive Load by Providing Structure for Elaborated Examples Communication Studies Summer Stipend
Bryant, Rebecca Feldenkrais Training to Enhance Dance Curriculum Dance Summer Stipend
Daugherty, Emma Ways of Doing: Career Paths and Coping with Life’s Responsibilities Journalism Summer Stipend
Dunagan, Colleen Bodies of Spectacle: from Ballet to Beyoncé Dance Summer Stipend
Eldon, Elizabeth Using a Fluorescently Tagged 18-Wheeler Protein to Study Its Function Biological Science Mini-Grant
Esfandiari, Ramin Vibration Suppression of a Pre-stressed, Orthotropic, Thin Rectangular Plate on a Flexible Foundation Mechanical &Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Summer Stipend
Fouratt, Caitlin Recognizing Refugees in Central America Int'l Studies Summer Stipend
Goodmanlowe, Gwen Identification of Imported Shark Jaws – Implications for conservation Biological Science Summer Stipend
Goswitz, Maria Nelly The Who and How of Women's Biographies: The Bio-Digital ELADD Project/ ¿Biografiadas: Cómo y por quién? El proyecto bio – digital de la Colección Eladd RGRLL Summer Stipend
Grossman-Thompson, Barbara Narratives of Gender and Violence in Nepal: Teen and Adolescent Girls` Perceptions of Everyday Harassment and Harm Int'l Studies Summer Stipend
Haesly, Richard Continuity and Change in Contemporary Scottish and Welsh National identities Political Sci Summer Stipend
He, Min An Universal Sensor Application Programming Interface Computer Science & Computer Engineering Summer Stipend
House Peters, Lily Overcoming the Conservation Implementation Gap: New Governance Mechanisms for Integrating Diverse Knowledge Systems for Biodiversity Conservation in Conflict Zones Geography Summer Stipend
Jacques, David All the Truths We Cannot See Theater Arts Summer Stipend
Kuo, Margaret “The Case of the Twenty-Two ‘Lewd’ Women: Gender, Race, and Migration in Chinese American History” History Summer Stipend
Laris, Paul Measuring greenhouse gas emissions from wildland fires using small drones Geography Summer Stipend
Lawler, Jeffrey Engaging Play: Teaching and Learning through Creating Games in the History Classroom History Summer Stipend
Leij, Feike

Neural Networks to Predict Field Soil Water Content

Civil Engineering & Construction Engineering Management (CECEM) Summer Stipend
Li, Guotong The Connections That Trade Initiated:  Chinese Muslims and Sino-Malay Relations in the Malay Annals History Summer Stipend
Mileva, Mariya Money illusion and attitudes toward trade Economics Summer Stipend
Moore, Adam Veterans Affairs Writing Workshop: Screenwriting as Therapy for Processing Trauma Film & Electronic Arts Summer Stipend
Pandya, Mihir Future Tense: The Politics of Automation in the San Pedro Bay Ports Anthropology Summer Stipend
Paskin, Danny Public relations education across borders: An international analysis of how different countries teach public relations Journalism Summer Stipend
Sakai, Sachiko Archaeological Excavation in Mt. Trumbull Area, Arizona, Phase III Anthropology Summer Stipend
Schwans, Jason Combining Fmoc-amino acids and coumarins to develop a new class of cholinesterase inhibitors for the potential treatment of Alzheimer’s disease Chem & Biochem Summer Stipend
Smith, Sean Engaging Play, Playing to Engage: Video Games and Historical Literacy in the College Classroom. History Summer Stipend
Valenzuela, Kevin Biomechanical differences of the traditional barbell compared to the hexagonal barbell Kinesiology Summer Stipend
Wax, Amy A Meta-Analysis of the Impact of Workplace Gossip on Employees’ Antisocial and Prosocial Behavioral Outcomes Psychology Summer Stipend
Weng, Suzie Increasing Access and Utilization of Social Services for Cambodian Americans Social Work Summer Stipend
Whisler, Daniel Novel force measurement technique for composite repair Mechanical &Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Mini-Grant

Faculty Receiving ORPS Internal Multidisciplinary Research Grants
July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021

Awardee Department Co-Awardee Department Project Title
Farmer, Gail Health Science Emel Demircan Biomedical Engineering Students with Disabilities in Engineering Labs – The Nexus for Hardware, Software and Universal Design for Learning
Kim, Soyeon School of Art Susan Bloom  Film & Electronic Arts Across the DMZ: The Land We Lost and Found
Klotz, Alex Physics & Astronomy Ryan Blair Mathematics & Statistics Percolation Analysis of Kinetoplast DNA Networks
Li, Linna Geography Shuhua An (1); Jyottsna Pattnaik (2); Hyowon Ban (3)  Teacher Education (1,2), Geography (3) Improving STEM Education by Integrating Geospatial Technologies into K-8 Mathematics Curriculum
Shaffer, Gwen Journalism and Public Relations Jessica Pandya Teacher Education Teachers’ use of apps and platforms: Examining practices, concepts, and data privacy awareness
Shankar, Praveen  Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Thomas Z. Strybel (1);
Panadda Marayong (2)
 Psychology (1); Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (2) Efficacy of CAVE Virtual Reality System for Urban Air Mobility Concepts
Suh, Ga-Young Biomedical Engineering Sara Moghtadernejad Chemical Engineering Vascular Stent Design Using 3D printing and Composite Materials
Whisler, Daniel Mechanical Engineering Maryam Haddad Chemical Engineering Self-sustainable recovery of carbon filament for water desalination and liquid waste treatment

We would like to recognize the winners of the CSULB 2020 Student Research Competition held February 21, 2020. Students were asked to describe their research and/or creative activities related to their discipline and career goals in presentations before a panel of judges. The winners are eligible to participate at the Statewide Student Research Competition. Congratulations to our winners!


Olivia Brush - Behavioral and Social Sciences

Kevin Travis - Biological and Agricultural Sciences

Nicholas Roy - Business, Economics, and Public Administration

Briana Stanley - Creative Arts and Design

Alexander Ordonez - Education

Jeremy Satterfield - Engineering and Computer Science

Josh Murillo - Health, Nutrition, and Clinical Sciences

Anastasia Nesbitt - Humanities and Letters

Ricky Lee - Physical and Mathematical Sciences

Ari Martinez with Royal Flycatcher
By Assistant Professor Ari Martinez
Biological Sciences Department
College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Dr. Martinez handling a Royal Flycatcher

Why do different bird species flock together? 

Lowland Amazonian Rain forest
Lowland Amazonian rainforest, bisected by the River Manu, in Manu National Park, Peru.

One reason is predators!

Now many of you may say, “makes sense, better to decrease the odds that you get picked off by a hawk swooping through by hanging out with a bunch of other birds” -what some behavioral ecologists call ‘the dilution effect.’ And in many cases, that is definitely true. In the Amazon, however, the answer is a little more complicated. It turns out that birds of different species actually ‘eavesdrop’ on one another.

The Dusky-throated Antshrike bird
The Dusky-throated Antshrike, an alarm-calling flocking bird to which other species eavesdrop.

There are certain species of birds, called antshrikes, that sit up-right and look around for predators. When a forest falcon or hawk comes flying close, they give an alarm call that other species of birds in the flock recognize…….. when they hear that alarm call, it means “dive or freeze” or the grim reaper is about to pay you a visit in the form of talons from a Barred Forest-Falcon.

Collared Puffbird
The Collared Puffbird, a species found in the understory of Amazonian forest.


And yet there are so many different bird species that have different shapes and sizes and that behave in different ways, so why do birds give alarm calls and others do not?

And why do certain bird species pay attention to alarm calls why others do not? 

These are the questions my research aims to address. In fact, things are now just getting more interesting - it’s not just birds in flocks that respond to these alarm calls but also other birds in the forest, and my colleagues and I now have evidence that small primates called saddle-backed tamarins also pay attention to these alarm calls of flocking forest birds.

It looks like certain bird species may be  “key information providers” about social information that everyone else relies upon. In fact the next question is “How extensive are these eavesdropping communication networks in the forest?”

The more different animals have in common with regards to either food or predators, the more likely they are to eavesdrop on each other.  The next facet of my research program will try to understand how extensive these communication networks are throughout the forest and animal communities in general. By understanding these communication networks in diverse bird communities I aim to understand some of the behavioral mechanisms that may explain how different species interact and once we undertand how these species interact, we may then start to make predictions of how changes how forest degradation through logging may ultimately affect bird communities.

Students at Salton Sea
CSULB students from Ornithology on field trip to the Salton Sea-future avian ecologists?


Students identifying birds

CSULB students identifying bird species during a field lab.

I am very excited to start recruiting CSULB students to join my lab, and in teaching ornithology. I aim to recruit the next generation of researchers to continue to address these questions with conservation implications. Stay tuned as a new generation of CSULB researchers will provide some answers to these questions over the next several years.

Ari Martinez in the field

Avian ecologist, building up his neck muscles,
while taking down notes of birds in the rainforest canopy.

Images courtesy of Ari Martinez

Edward Garcia
By Assistant Professor Edward Garcia, AuD
Speech Language Pathology Department
College of Health and Human Services

The Effect of Mild to Moderate Untreated Hearing Loss on the Quality of Life of Seniors

Hearing effectively is not like having good vision.  Hearing is more like your ability to read a good book.  It requires stimulation like vision does, but it also requires complicated processing using specific rules of language, memorization, and decent attention skills.  It's probably more cognitive than sensory and losing your hearing can have catastrophic results.

Dementia, anxiety, and even depression are now strongly linked to hearing loss. 

Hearing Loss Chart

Several recent studies have shown that the more severe the hearing loss, the higher the risk for developing dementia. 

As the only Audiologist on the faculty of CSULB, I am always looking for ways to serve the campus and community with regards to hearing.  In a recently funded research project, I recruited students from the Gerontology Department to assist with screening for hearing loss and to interview participants during the investigation.  I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Iveris Martinez, the Archstone Foundation Endowed Chair in Gerontology and Director of the Center for Successful Aging.

This project was funded through a CHHS Systematic Innovations in Servicing the Needs of Older Adults grant from CHHS and the Center for Successful Aging. This ongoing study is being done at the American Gold Star Manor (AGSM) in Long Beach.  AGSM is a unique independent living facility for older adults in that the residents are connected directly to the military either as veterans or indirectly through their children who were killed in combat.  

Hearing impairment has many negative consequences in older adults, including increased isolation from their community and cognitive decline. The primary purpose of this project was to examine the impact of untreated hearing loss in individuals 60 years of age and older.  I wanted specifically to see how they would benefit from using low-cost personal sound amplifying products (PSAPs).  These devices cost a fraction of what most individuals pay for custom hearing aids.  I also wanted to investigate what effect these over-the-counter devices would have on the quality of life of these individuals. 

How hearing loss contributes to diminished social interaction and cognitive decline is not well understood; however, a strong correlation between untreated hearing loss and the quality of life emphasizes the importance of early identification and management. 

Residents from AGSM were supplied with low-cost PSAP devices.  We are investigating the benefits of their use in these community-dwelling older adults.  We wanted to see what impact these discreet inexpensive devices would have on the quality of life of these individuals. 

Hearing device demonstrated
The residents that used the devices were pleased with how discreetly the device tucked behind the ear and connected to the ear canal using a slim tube that was barely visible.

I am also trying to raise awareness on the importance of treating even mild age-related hearing loss (ARHL) and how better hearing can influence the quality of life and decrease social isolation in this population.  I hope to demonstrate the importance of having access to these devices that can decrease the effects of hearing loss. Preliminary data has been collected and is currently under review.

Images courtesy of Edward Garcia

Sam Anvari
By Assistant Professor Sam S. Anvari
School of Art
College of the Arts

Gabriella Hancock
By Assistant Professor Gabriella M. Hancock
Department of Psychology
College of Liberal Arts

Art & Psychology Research to Improve Technology for Vets with Spinal Cord Injuries and Disorders

We began collaborating on this research project to help veterans with spinal cord injuries and disorders at our local VA Hospital in Long Beach. Given their selfless service and sacrifice, we, like our partners at the VA, believe our veterans deserve the very best in healthcare treatment and resources.

Consequently, we have combined our expertise in human factors psychology, graphic design, and user experience to improve the usability of Environmental Control Units (ECU) at the VA Long Beach Spinal Cord Injury and Disorders (SCI/D) Center. Our multidisciplinary team consists of two professors, eight graduate students in the Human Factors Master’s program in the Psychology Department, and undergraduates from the Department of Biological Sciences and the College of Health and Human Services.

Dream Team

CSULB and VA Hospital Research Dream Team. (L-R):  Matthew Nare, Janice Ancheta Kim, Natalia Morales, Dr. Gabriella Hancock, Sam Anvari, Kelsey McCoy, Xiaolu Bai, and Aram Ayvazyan.

Our efforts are centered on a vital piece of technology that significantly affects SCI/D veterans’ daily lives: an ECU. This device, similar to a digital tablet, is designed with specific functionality for patients who are fully or partially paralyzed. The device facilitates the user’s completion of common and important tasks, such as: calling the nurse, making phone calls, controlling elements of the care room, adjusting bed position, watching TV, and accessing the internet. This device is used by our veterans for both in-patient and out-patient care. Past evaluations of these ECU technologies have revealed significant usability concerns. The goals of our research are therefore to analyze the current usability of ECUs, identify usability issues through heuristic evaluations and user interviews, and provide concrete, data-driven guidelines to improve their design. Through these efforts, we expect to improve both the usability and user experience of these technologies and thereby foster the independence of our veterans.

Interacting with the ECU touch-based interface

Human Factors Psychology graduate student Kelsey McCoy interacts with the ECU touch-based interface.

We are currently performing heuristic evaluations on the different modes of use for the ECU device with our team of students. These analyses help us to understand how we can improve the design of the device. Our next step is to coordinate with the VA Hospital to conduct interviews with actual end-users (veterans and their caregivers) to gain further insight into how well the system currently helps them to meet their needs as well as how they feel the system could be improved. Finally, based on our results and veterans’ input, we will re-design the ECU digital interface to be more effective and user-friendly. Our ultimate goal is to leverage our knowledge of art and psychological science to improve the quality of life for our veterans.

Sam Anvari performs heuristic evaluation

Assistant Professor of Art Sam Anvari performs a heuristic evaluation on the ECU touch system.


Department of Psychology 

Dr. Gabriella M. Hancock,

Nicole B. Mok, Aram Ayvazyan, Xiaolu Bai,

Kelsey M. McCoy, Matthew T. Nare, Gregory P. Mather,

Carmen L. Machado, Rebecca M.E. Chompff

School of Art 

Sam S. Anvari

College of Health and Human Services 

Amanda S. McBride

Department of Biological Sciences 

Natalia Morales

Images courtesy of Sam Anvari

Lu Zhu
By Assistant Professor Lu Zhu
Department of Finance
College of Business

No More Hidden Trading, Please!

A decade ago, during the 2007-08 financial crisis, former Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke was angry. He had to bail out AIG (American International Group) with more than $180 billion, because it was too big to fail. Among other things, AIG was not able to make payment for the CDS (Credit Default Swap) contracts that they wrote at the time for the amount over $400 billion.

The CDS contract is a financial instrument in which the buyer of a CDS makes periodic payments until maturity date, and the seller collects the payments and will compensate the buyer in the event that the underlying company defaults. The buyers are mostly the corporate bond holders and thus need CDS to protect their portfolios.  The sellers are typically large financial institutions, such as banks and insurance companies. 

The CDS is traded OTC (over-the-counter), meaning that there is hardly any regulation oversight and no one really understands how much risk is out there. No transaction-level data goes to regulators or participants. AIG seemed to have a preference for only one side of the trade - the seller. The company considered it a no brainer to collect premiums to boost profit margins, until it was not.  When companies started to default one after another during the 2008 financial crisis, we know the rest of the story.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, several changes were introduced in the CDS market. In 2009, the G20 leaders called for global improvements in transparency and regulatory oversight of OTC derivatives via a move towards central clearing and trade reporting to repositories.

It is no surprise to see several policy changes, including the Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) passed in 2010. Title VII of DFA addresses the gap in U.S. financial regulation of OTC swaps by providing a comprehensive framework for the regulation of the OTC swaps markets. Today, people are asking, what is the impact on the mechanism of derivatives market? 

With my expertise in credit derivatives and risk management, I completed a paper titled,“The Impact of Central-Clearing on Information Asymmetries and Price Discovery in CDS Markets”. In this paper, I find that the CDS market has become less of a “hidden” trading venue for informed investors since central clearing and trade reporting started. It has been circulated in many national and global conferences, including in the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (equivalent to U.S. SEC), Research Seminar International Risk Management Conference (IRMC), Midwest Finance Association, and Financial Management Association Annual Meeting. The paper is now published at Journal of Financial Stability.

We need regulation that is necessary to stabilize the financial market, especially in the downturn.

Lu Zhu

Images courtesy of Lu Zhu

Shabnam Sodagari
By Assistant Professor Shabnam Sodagari
Electrical Engineering Department
College of Engineering



Improving Mobile Communications Used in a Multitude of Ways

My research is about making communication systems more reliable, faster, and more secure. Communication systems are widespread in our daily lives, including 5G mobile communications, WiFi, satellite communication, etc. The outcomes of my research find many applications, e.g., in remote healthcare, vehicular communications (which is especially important for autonomous cars), smart cities, etc.

Device Communication Chart

One of the many applications of my research is in connected healthcare.

Wireless communications are resource constrained. For example, the transmission power on your cell phone cannot exceed a certain limit. In my research, I have addressed power efficiency of wireless communications.

Another scarce and precious resource for wireless communication is spectrum. Electromagnetic spectrum is a limited resource that is needed by many applications. So far in cellular networks, from 1G to LTE-Advanced, users have been assigned exclusive resources, either in time, frequency, or code domains to keep interference and receiver complexity under control. However, such techniques suffer from low spectral efficiency and they can only support a limited number of users.

In my research, I have tackled the spectrum scarcity by spectrum sharing methods. I have used game theory to model interactions among communication nodes (similar to interactions among players) to increase the security of communication systems. I have also worked on device scheduling. All these need to be done with the goals of maximum throughput, reduced delay, decreased bandwidth consumption and other constraints.

Delay is a barrier against faster communications. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can help reduce the delay in mobile cellular systems. The premise for these techniques is integrating intelligence and learning to make more informed predictions and decision.

Most of you have noticed that the amount of data you download from the network (e.g., movies) are different from what you upload from time to time. I work on adapting the communication links to these traffic variations. The benefits of adapting resources to the variations of users’ data traffic include faster, more reliable, and more resource-efficient connectivity.

For future generations of mobile communication (e.g., beyond 5G) it is anticipated to accommodate several users within a resource block as opposed to the orthogonal multiple access in current systems. My research identifies fundamental approaches to efficient and stable non-orthogonal resource allocation. Specifically, I am modeling the underlying structures of this scheme. If we have a model for it, our solutions are not going to be based on heuristics only. I investigated the guarantees to converge to stable solutions for user-channel allocations.

To provide security of data communication, I have worked on preventing a warden from detecting that any communication is taking place between two legitimate parties. With this goal realized, the warden does not even attempt to decode the private message.

Communication Warden

Once the warden is left oblivious about any communication taking place, it does not attempt to decode the messages.

Images courtesy of Shabnam Sodagari


Research is Coming to the Beach

Save the dates: April 1 through April 3, 2021.

Cal State Long Beach will serve as host for the 2021 National Conference on Undergraduate Research (NCUR) that promotes undergraduate student research, scholarship and creative activity in all fields of study.

Through this annual conference, students experience a unique environment that celebrates and promotes undergraduate achievement, exemplary research and scholarships, and offers research networking on a national scale. 

Cal State Long Beach will partner with Cal State Fullerton, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State Los Angeles, Cal State Northridge, and Cal Poly Pomona for the annual student research event that attracts more than 4,000 students from across the United States.