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Cryptography Roundtable Discussion
Sep 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Recent news reports stated that the National Security Agency has pursued new methods that have allowed the agency to monitor telephone and online communication, encrypted information that was thought to be virtually immune to eavesdropping. What steps can and should computer scientists take in response to this privacy threat? How will the recent revelations affect the future of cryptography—the field of encoding and decoding electronic communication and transmissions for the purposes of privacy, reliability and efficiency?

To address these questions, the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute will host an hour-long roundtable discussion, moderated by Anton Dahbura, interim executive director of the Information Security Institute, and Avi Rubin, the institute’s technical director. Other participants will include Johns Hopkins cyber-security experts Matthew Green, Stephen Checkoway and Giuseppe Ateniese.

The event will be streamed live at, and also will be posted online following the event.


NOTE: Seating at this public event will be limited. Members of the media who plan to cover the discussion are asked to RSVP to Phil Sneiderman,

“Bye Bye Blue Jay”: Freshmen Experiences in Mechanical Engineering competition
Dec 7 @ 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

Two mousetraps and three rubber bands — no batteries or motors —  will provide the power for launching devices and vehicles designed by teams of freshman mechanical engineering students competing in this lively annual contest. Designed by teams of two or three students, the devices must launch a Blue Jay Beanie Baby across the stage at Shriver Hall.

Arturo A. Brito, Stefan Arnold and Kevin LeBlanc of the winning Perpetual Motion Squad.

Winners of a previous “mousetraps and rubber bands” competition

In this required course, students learn about design approaches, potential and kinetic energy, friction, prototyping methods and other topics relevant to mechanical engineering.

The 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture
May 3 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
The 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture @ 210 Hodson Hall

Heidi Nepf, the Donald and Martha Harleman Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will deliver the 35th Annual Alexander Graham Christie Lecture.

The lecture will be held at 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 3, in 210 Hodson Hall.


How vegetation alters waves and current, and the feedbacks to environmental system function

Vegetation provides a wide range of ecosystem services valued at over 4 trillion dollars per year. Seagrasses, salt marshes, and mangroves, damp storm surge and waves, mitigate anthropogenic nutrient loads, and provide important habitat and blue carbon reservoirs. The conservation and restoration of these landscapes has become the center-point of nature-based solutions for coastal protection and carbon mitigation. This seminar will summarize basic concepts in vegetation hydrodynamics, focusing on flexible meadows of seagrass, for which the bending of plants in response to fluid motion (called reconfiguration) plays an important role in setting the drag. Scaling laws are developed to describe the damping of currents, turbulence and waves as a function of plant morphology, flexibility, and shoot density. The feedbacks from plant-flow interaction to sediment transport and carbon sequestration are also discussed.

Sponsored by the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the JHU Student Section and the Baltimore Section of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Inaugural Professorial Lecture: Noah Cowan
May 14 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Inaugural Professorial Lecture: Noah Cowan @ Mason Hall Auditorium

Noah Cowan will deliver a lecture as part of the Don P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series. Cowan is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Neuroscience in The Matrix

Understanding how the nervous system encodes and processes sensory information, transforms it into meaningful intermediate representations in the brain, and computes motor output involves decoding a complex closed-loop control system. Professor Cowan will present research devoted to developing and applying ideas in engineering to decode closed-loop neuromechanical control in animals, including humans.

The Don P. Giddens Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series began in 1993 as a way to honor newly promoted full professors. Professor Giddens, originator of the series, served as the fifth dean of Engineering at Johns Hopkins.

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