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.  Additional financial support, especially for Senior Design class projects, is generously made by Northrop Grumman Corp.


* How to Join?:  If you want to  join one of the teams below, contact Project Advisor (via email) or the VIP Coordinator (Dr. Charles Kim) via eamil


 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 (2018-2019 Academic Year)  Link to 2015-2016,2016-2017, 2017-2018, Year

Project Team Advisor/Contact Project Description Looking for Students in the followin major (but not limited to)
 SLatE8 (since Fall 2014) Advisor:  Dr. Mamadoue Wade (Electrical Engineering) Email:

Sign Language to English. More and further more

Wireless Sensor Network (from Spring 2016) Advisor: Dr. Hassan Salmani (Computer Eng)

Contact: Dr. Hassan Salmani (Computer Eng) at
Wireless sensor network development for temperature sensing.  More and further more
Terminator (since Fall 2015) Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim (Electrical Eng)

Graduate Assistant: Derrick Anang Email:

ECE Sr. Team Leader: Charles Robinson. Email:
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.  More and further more

EE, CpE, CS, ME,

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.

Seismolator  - "Building a magnetic levitation platform as an ideal seismic isolator" (since Fall 2016)

Advisor: Dr. Claudia Marin (Civil Eng)

Technical Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim (Electrical Engineering)

Undergraduate Assistant (CV) : Laxman Dahal (email:
 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.  More

AutoMoe - "Resilient Autonomous/self-Driving Cars: A prototype" (sine Fall 2016)  Advisor: Dr. Danda Rawat (Computer Science)

Contact: Dr. Danda Rawat (Computer Science) at

ECE Sr. Team Leader: Satchin Campbell. Email:
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. More and further more
eTrike (since Fall 2017) Advisor:  Dr. Mamadoue Wade (Electrical Engineering) Email: (Electrical Eng)

ECE Sr. Team Leader: India Burse. Email:

Restoration of a human-electric powered recumbent single seat tricycle - Design and build a battery pack and management system (BMS).  More and further more
The EV 2.0 (from Fall 2017) Advisor: Dr. Emmanuel Glakpe (Mechanical Eng)

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

Presentation on the project

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

Contact: Email to Dr. Teng at
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 (Biology)

Contact: Email to Dr. Teng at
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 (Biology)

Contact:Email to Dr. Teng at
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. BIOL, CS, CpE, CHEM
SLAM(FPGA-based SLAM) Solving localization and mapping problem for autonomous platforms  (from Fall 2017) Advisor: Dr. Michaela E. Amoo (Computer Eng)

Technical Advisor: Dr. Danda Rawat (Computer Science)

Contact: Dr. Michaela Amoo at

ECE Sr. Team Leader: Morganne Veal.  Email:
This research directly addresses the ever increasing technology gap between demand for real-time computation and standard processor performance by designing application-specific, Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA)-based processors to  tackle the Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM)  problem for autonomous platforms in unknown, and often hazardous, environments, SLAM requires real-time 3-D modeling for path-planning and real-time complex controllers to account for non-holonomicity, pose, and movement.  More

2018 Goals: Students will design and build a COTS based autonomous wheeled platform with Bang Bang control, PID controller, and sensor arrays (IR Rangers, Scanless Lidars), using DSPACE and HIL (hardware in the loop). Final product must be capable of autonomous navigation and establish a baseline for FPGA-based implementation.

Deliveroid- A Delivery Robot  (from Fall 2017) Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim ( Electrical Eng)

Student Leader - Contact: David Quashie, Jr (Mechanical Eng)
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.  More and further more
Graphone - A miniature high sensitive microphone based on graphene membrane (from Fall 2018) Advisor: Dr. Hyung Bae (; Mechanical Engineering)

Contact: Jordan Fraser (ME Undergraduate research assistant)

The goal of this project is to build a high sensitive condenser microphone by using a nano-thin graphene-polymer composite membrane. Conventional condenser microphones make use of polymer-metal composite as a sensing medium which has tens of micron thickness. In this research, nano-thin UV curable polymer layer will be used together with multi-layer graphene membrane as a sensing medium. The nano-think UV curable polymer film provides toughness to the composite membrane. And the graphene layer serves as a water and gas barrier for the polymer layer while providing the electrical conductivity to the membrane. The size of the proposed microphone is significantly smaller than that of conventional condenser microphones due to its nano-thin composite membrane. And the microphone has long term stability and high sensitivity exploiting the unique characteristics of the UV curable polymer (i.e. very low elastic modulus: 56 MPa) and the graphene layer (i.e. excellent water and gas barrier). The proposed microphone will be built directly on a printed circuit board (PCB) for the simplicity of sensor configuration. The final goal is to develop a prototype and to present in conferneces.

Looking for 2 ME students and 2 EE students to iniiate the project
Sandia Integrated Sensor - Benefitting Real-time monitoring (from Fall 2018) Advisor: Dr. Grant Warner (; Mechanical Engineering)

ECE Sr. Team Leader: Hakeem Thomas Email:
Design, build, and test a fully integrated sensing device, report and present all results to the Sandia mentors. The device is required to sense the environments with vibration, light irradiation, temperature, relative humidity, linear acceleration, orientation, proximity, air composition, and shock. The device will be evaluated on its; ease of integration of the hardware and software, ability to accurately sense environments, volumetric footprint, power usage, date-rate, cost, weight-to-capability ratio, uses of additively manufactured components, novelty, and robustness.   All sensors should be integrated using a Raspberry Pi Data Acquisition and Controller Pi-Plate card or something with similar capabilities. The sensors can be powered wirelessly or wired. The device must function without supplemental power up to four days. Fit within the mechanical envelope of a pie piece, with a 14.7 inch diameter and 6.5 inches tall.  More ME, EE, CpE, CS, CHEM


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