VIP Program at Howard University

Howard University

Washington, DC 20059

Coordinator: Dr. Charles Kim (CKIM@HOWARD.EDU)

This program is sponsored by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust as part of VIP Consortium Project (lead institution - Georgia Tech) to drive systemic reform of STEM education.


* How to Join?:  If you want to  join one of the teams below, contact (email) the Contact Person of the team. 

Then fill out the Team Contract From (see Requirement below) and get approval from the advisor.


 Any question can be directed to the VIP coordinator at  Anyone, yeah anyone, can join.


Requirements for VIP Participants

Requirements Resources
1. Approval from Team Advisor (use Team Contract From -- See the right column)
2. Weekly Team Meeting Participation & Meeting Records
3. Participation in Semester-End Team Presentation (last week of the semester)
4. Submission of Survey (last week of each semester)
5. Submission of 1-minute video (or audio) clip of Elevator Pitch (Last week of the semester)
* VIP Team Contract Form (pdf fillable), and a  Sample Contract
* VIP Weekly Meeting Recording Form
* VIP Survey (See below) at the end of the semester
* Elevator Pitch & How to Prepare for it?
* VIP Presentation Tips

(Survey is conducted at the end of each semester)


HOWARD VIP Teams (2017-2018 Academic Year)  Link to 2015-2016,2016-2017 Year

Project Team Advisor/Contact Project Description Team Info
 SLatE8 Advisor:  Dr. Mohamed Chouikha (EE)

Contact: Vanessa Galani (Graduate Assistant)
Sign Language to English

Intruder Advisor: Dr. Hassan Salmani (CpE)

Contact: Dr. Hassan Salmani (CpE)
Hardware Trojan Detection & Prevention for Health-Care Computer Systems

Wireless Sensor Network Advisor: Dr. Hassan Salmani (CpE)

Contact: Dr. Hassan Salmani (CpE)
Wireless sensor network development for temperature sensing  
HU Radio Telescope - Measuring the Galactic Rotation Curve Advisor: Dr. Marcus Alfred (PHYS)

Contact: Dr. Marcus Alfred (PHYS)
This project will build a Radio Telescope following the MIT Haystack Radio Telescope which was later extensively modified, and presently working, University of Michigan version.  EE, CpE, CS students for electronics, and ME and CV students for machining, and other students from PHYS can experience a great deal about this observational astronomy.

Terminator Arm Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim (EE)

Contact:  Chidi Ekeocha(Graduate Assistant)
Project Description:

Team Terminator’s new project focuses on developing a Chess playing robot that relies on camera inputs to identify a chess board and a mechanical arm to move the chess pieces and on machine learning principles for ideal victory paths for the robot. This project aims to cover various engineering fields and expose participants to long term research in addition to applied and collaborative engineering environments. While a robot that can play a game of chess on its own is the end goal, for this academic year, we will a robot which plays the game of Tic Tac Toe.  In subsequent years, we will gradually incorporate new features to achieve the end goal of building a robot which plays chess. The project will have mechanical, electrical, and programming aspects.  The project team is under the supervision of Dr. Charles J. Kim (Team Advisor) and the oversight of Chidi M. Ekeocha (Graduate assistant).

Previous Project (presently closed):This project aims to create and build inexpensive prosthetics by 3-D printing which can be controlled by actions signals from the brain.

DOPES - "Diagnosis of Power Electronic Systems" Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim (EE)

Contact: Ayotunde Odejayi(Graduate Assistant) and Ikem Uba (Graduate Student)
This project aims to build an Reliability Diagnosis System, using IR temperature and GMR current sensors, for Power Electronics Systems which are popularly used in mobile platforms such as aircraft, electric vehicles, and off-road high power vehicles.

Seismolator  - "Building a magnetic levitation platform as an ideal seismic isolator"

Spin-off Project: Energy Dissipation Interface
(Description and Presentation)
Advisor: Dr. Claudia Marin (CV)

Technical Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim (EE)

Contact: Sola Famakin (Graduate Assistant) and Mehdi Rezaee
 Commonly used seismic isolators at the base of buildings try to disconnect the buildings from the ground to limit the transmission of damaging effects of earthquakes to the building like hanging the structure on the air.  The link (LINK) compares the responses of a seismically isolated and a non-isolated building. 
An ideal seismic isolator will keep the isolated object floating on the air to avoid contact with the shaking ground, then the isolated body won't experience the dynamic effects of the earthquake. The mission of this project is to build a prototype magnetic levitation system to float an object of 1 lb weight to isolate it from a shake.

Thru-Wall - "Seeing Through-Wall using Software Defined Devices"  Advisor: Dr. Danda Rawat (CS)

Contact: Dr. Danda Rawat (CS)
This project aims to develop methods to detect reflected signals for seeing through-wall.  This project, if successful, could help to find/detect/see somebody in the closed room without seeing the person physically (e.g., trapped person detection inside a collapsed building, active shooter inside a closed room/building, cancer tumor detection, elderly monitoring, etc).  Interested student should contact the contact person listed.  
Autonomous Car - "Resilient Autonomous/self-Driving Cars: A prototype"  Advisor: Dr. Danda Rawat (CS)

Contact: Dr. Danda Rawat (CS)
This project aims to develop light weight cybersecurity schemes, privacy aware communications, adaptive speed control, automatic braking, rerouting, information sharing using wireless access technologies and display vehicle's status information.  
CARS - "Cars Assuring Resilient Security" Advisor: Dr. Gedare Bloom (CS)

Contact: Habeeb Olufowobi (Graduate Assistant)
This project investigates security protocols and mechanisms that maintain safe operations for network-connected and autonomous automotive vehicles.   In particular, we propose a fail operational intrusion detection system (FO-IDS) for vehicle networks. The main objective of this research project is to address the security issues arising out of the growing use of access points to vehicular distributed systems, that a potential hacker can exploit. The proposed FO-IDS, on detecting an intrusion forces the system to undergo a mode switch to a predefined fail operational state. This is significant since we are addressing a safety critical systems (automotive electronics), that cannot be entirely shut down in many cases.  Our aim is to develop a "fail-operational intrusion detection system"
for vehicle networks that will consist of 2 main parts.

1) an intrusion detection system, which can detect if an attack is performed over the CAN network

2) a mechanism that transitions the system into a fail-safe state in which critical function remain operational.

This research project will establish theoretical foundations of FO-IDS, explore its design space within the context of defending against remote attacks on automotive in-vehicle networks, and evaluate the performance of the FO-IDS using actual vehicular test beds and data. 
DESPITE - "Despite Exploits, Security via Provenance for IoT Endpoints" Advisor: Dr. Gedare Bloom (CS)

Contact: Ebelechukwu Nwafor (Graduate Assistant
This project investigates security for Internet of Things (IoT) applications by analyzing and mitigating exploitable vulnerabilities in the embedded systems used to monitor and control the Things.  
Hybrid Electric and Recumbent Trike Advisor: Timothy Brown (EE)

Contact: Timothy Brown(

Restoration of a human-electric powered recumbent single seat tricycle - Design and build a battery pack and management system (BMS).
The EV 2.0 Advisor: Dr. Emmanuel Glakpe (ME)

Contact: David Quashie, Jr (ME) - UG Assistant

The goal of this project is to turn a hybrid General Motors EV 1 into an self-driving electric car.  

Presentation on the project

Bioinformatics- Analysis of Rare Mutations Associated with Mental Disorders Advisor: Dr. Shaolei Teng (BIOL)

Contact: Kristodea Boadum (BIOL) - (Graduate Assistant)
This project aims to analyze the protein mutations in hundreds of schizophrenia risk genes to better understand the pathogenesis of the disease. We will investigate the effects of rare non-synonymous mutations rare missense mutations in DISC1 Interactome genes on protein structures and functions. We will apply the sequence-based machine learning approaches to identify the disease-causing mutations, estimate the effects of mutations on protein stability, and discover the rare mutations involved in post translational modifications. We will utilize protein homology modeling, energy computing and molecular dynamics simulation approaches to analyze the effects of missense mutations on protein structure, protein stability and protein-protein interaction. Our goal is to discover the mutations that increase the risk of schizophrenia in minority populations and improve guideline for the treatment of patients with schizophrenia.

Introductory 1-pager
Bioinformatics- Prediction of Protein Sumoylation Sites using Deep Learning Advisor: Dr. Shaolei Teng (BIOL)

Contact: Adebiyi Sobitan (BIOL) - (Graduate Assistant)
This project aims to apply new machine learning approach for predicting sumoylation sites from protein sequence information. We will apply the sequence-based deep learning approaches to identify the functional important sites involved in this post translational modification. We will develop the web servers and databases and make the online tools accessible to the research community.

Introductory 1-pager
Bioinformatics- Prediction of Internal Ribosome Entry Site using Machine Learning Approaches Advisor: Dr. Shaolei Teng (BIOL)

Contact: Paul Olopade (BIOL) - (Graduate Assistant)
This project aims to predict the Internal Ribosome Entry Sites (IRES) using new machine learning approaches, We will apply deep learning, random forests and support vector machines to construct the models. The accurate classifiers will be used to develop a new web server for IRES prediction.  
Ma'Am - Hardware and Hackers Advisor: Dr. Michaela E. Amoo (CpE).;

Techincal Advisor: Dr. Danda Rawat (CS)

Contact: Madiha Gul - (Graduate Assistant)
This project's primary goal is to develop hardware based cybersecurity solutions: In general, network accessible systems are susceptible to malicious attacks or security breaches. The standard approach is to tackle cybersecurity issues by examination of network traffic and software-based security measures. This research will determine the cybersecurity vulnerability of common system architectures (application-specific, micro, and mu-processor), and build cybersecurity solutions directly into hardware. Team participants will become proficient in hardware design, ethical hacking, and cybersecurity. Students are welcome from EE, CpE, CS, Mathematics, and all other departments. Interested student should contact the contact person listed.   
Deliveroid- A Delivery Robot Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim (EE)

Contact: Derrick Anang (Graduate Assistant)
The long term goal of the project is to build a delivery robot which performs errands between any two locations even in different floors of a building.  A short term objective is to build a 1st-gen robot which delivers to a location in the same floor.  Microcomputer coding, sensing, RFID or Wi-Fi and remote access, and proximity detection would be integrated for the project.


VIP at Howard Main Webpage