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Center Director

Biography

Prof. Dalila B. Megherbi is the founder and Director of the research Center for Computer Machine/Human Intelligence Networking and Distributed Systems (CMINDS). Her research is internationally recognized. Since joining UMass Lowell, Dr. Megherbi holds more than 110 refereed peer-reviewed publication articles, including in the IEEE and the prestigious Nature Biotechnology (impact factor 41.667). She holds US patent. At UMass Lowell, she has been the recipient of numerous research grants and contracts, as the primary lead principal investigator, from several federal agencies and the industry, including, DoD AFRL/WPAB, NSF, US FDA, NIH, Raytheon Air Missile Defense Systems, Xilinx Inc., Structural Dynamics Research Corporation, SUN Microsystems, Altera Inc., and Sky Computers Inc. She graduated more than 30 graduate students Ph.D. and MS students with a thesis option. She serves as associate editor and member of the editorial boards and reviewer for a dozen of journals, including IEEE transactions. She has been invited to organize/TPC/session chair, and to speak at several national and international conferences. She has been invited to serve on national and international peer review boards including, NSF, NIH, NASA, and National Science Foundation of Ireland. She has been the recipient of several research and teaching awards, including the recipient of the Best Paper Award of all conference tracks at the IEEE International Conference on Homeland Security, the recipient of the IEEE Control Systems Society CDC Best Paper Finalist Award, the recipient of the Best Paper Award at the IEEE international conference ROMA, the recipient of the Top Professor Award for Outstanding Academic Integrity Leadership and Service to the students, the recipient of several university of Massachusetts Lowell Outstanding Teaching Excellence Awards, the recipient, each year since this recognition award was initiated in 2010, of 6 UMass Lowell Annual Research and Scholarship Recognition Awards, in recognition of faculty with extensive scholarship during that year. She has been a member of an international project consortium led by the US FDA. She was invited, interviewed and quoted in the New York Times for her expertise in big data facial recognition for homeland security applications. She was contacted by major national and international news agencies for her work and expertise in big data and facial recognition for homeland security. She was invited, interviewed and featured by the Science News Radio Network for her expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies applied to Weapons of Mass Destruction. Her primary current research interests are in computational machine intelligence, deep learning, “Big data” analytics, knowledge extraction/representation, and adaptive learning systems in distributed computing systems and networks, with applications to homeland security and the life sciences (high throughput meta-genomics). Her main research goal is the understanding of and building sensor-based machines that can be made to exhibit intelligence. The idea is to build intelligent machines/sensors and to understand certain aspects of human and animal biological intelligence.

Dr. D.B. Megherbi played a leadership key role in the creation and development of the Computer Engineering BS degree program at UMass Lowell (previously non-existent at UMass Lowell). Dr. Megherbi also played a key role in getting the new BS CpE and BS EE degree programs ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) fully accredited. Dr. Megherbi put a significant amount of efforts and played a key role within the ECE Department in designing, creating and developing, from scratch, a complete fully ABET compliant assessment process and its related assessment tools for continuous program outcomes improvement and closing of the assessment loop (previously non-existent at UMass Lowell). Dr. Megherbi designed, created, developed and set-up the Advanced Digital Systems Hardware Design, Microprocessor and the Artificial Intelligence, Networking and Computer Vision Laboratory instructional labs (previously non-existent at UMass Lowell) to support the Computer Engineering programs.

Dr. Megherbi created and developed several undergraduate and graduate courses at UMass Lowell to support the relatively new Computer Engineering BS, MS and Ph.D. degree programs. She graduated the first Ph.D. in Computer Engineering at UMass Lowell.

Dr. Megherbi’s diverse expertise in the state of the art research areas allowed her to graduate PhD and MS Thesis students in various research areas including: Distributed Intelligent Multi-Agents Learning in Distributed Networks; Digital Image Processing and Computer Vision; High Performance Computing; Hyper Spectral Image Analysis for DoD Remote Sensed Imagery; Big Data Analytics with Application to Homeland Security and the Life Sciences; Cyber Security Data Analytics for Homeland Security; 3D Image Registration and Data Fusion; Artificial Intelligence and Re-enforcement Learning; Biometric Machine Learning and Computer Vision for Face, Fingerprint and Iris Recognition; Content-based Data Mining and Information Extraction and Retrieval; Real-Time Methods for Face Tracking and Recognition; Hybrid Methods for Interconnected Dynamical Systems and Reinforcement Learning for Distributed Multi-agent Systems; Bio-Medical and Bio-Engineering Digital Image Processing, FPGA Distributed Hardware Architectures for Fast Pattern Search in Large Databases; \Image Processing and Computer Vision for Detection and Recognition of American Road Signs with Application to Autonomous Self-driving Cars; Big Data analytics for Genomics , Bioinformatics, RNA and DNA Sequence Analysis ; FPGA-based Real-Time Embedded Ladar Imaging; Ladar Image Analysis for Homeland-security Applications; Robotic Distributed Machine Reinforcement Leaning for Multi-Agent Obstacle Avoidance Path-Planning and Navigation; Machine Intelligence and Data Compression for Remote Sensing; Simultaneous Localizations and Mapping (SLAM) Image Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality applications for Drones and Autonomous Robotics Cars; Intelligent Multi-agents Distributed Battlefield with Applications to Homeland Security.

RESEARCH GRANTS AND CONTRACTS (PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR) AT UMass Lowell

  • “Performance Chracteristics Analysis for MWIR Single Detector/Focal Plane Array (FPA) Detector Design for Efficient Imaging and Threat Detection”, Air Force Research lab, WPAB 2014-present. (Sole PI)
  • “Xilinx Development Software Tools”, Xilinx Inc, 2014. (Sole PI)
  • “SEQC RNA-seq Clinical and Toxico-genomics big-data Data Analysis”, from the US Food and Drug Administration/NIH, 2011-present (Sole PI)
  • “DSP and Networking Device/Embedded Processor Process Design, Analysis and Performance Characterization”, Xilinx Inc., 2012 (Sole PI)
  • “MAQC-II Micro-arrays Clinical and Toxico-genomics big-data Data Analysis”, from the US Food and Drug Administration/NIH, 2007-present (Sole PI)
  • “Development and Testing of Advanced Algorithms in Bio-Engineering, Bio-informatics and Biometrics on a High- Performance Multi-CPU Sky Parallel Computer System”, Sky Computers, 2003-2006. (Sole PI)
  • “Digital/Optical Design of Optical System and Development of Signal/Image processing Methods for Eye-Safe Reconfigurable LADAR Tracking Systems”, Air Force Research Lab, 9/2003-8/2005. (Sole PI)
  • “Opto-Electronic Wave-Front metrology and Correction Incorporating MEMS Spatial Light Modulators”, Air Force Research Lab, 9/2003-9/2005 (Co-PI)
  • “An Undergraduate Research Experience within CMINDS”, NSF EIA CISE Directorate, 3/2003-2/2004 (Sole PI)
  • “Development and Analysis of Multi-agent Artificial Intelligence Problem-Solving Architectures for Real-Time Situational Understanding, Decision-Making and Control”, Raytheon Air Missiles Defense Systems (AMDS), funding period 9/2002-8/2003. (Sole PI)
  • “Rapid Prototyping of Digital Systems”, Xilinx Corporation, funding period 2/2002-1/2005. (Sole PI)
  • “STRATIX, NIOS & Altera DSP Device/Embedded Processor Process Design, Analysis and Performance Characterization”, Altera Corporation, funding period 2/2002-1/2005. (Sole PI)
  • “NIOS as a Tool for FPGA Digital Communications Protocols”, Altera Corporation, funding period 12/2001 through 11/2003. (Sole PI)
  • “IDEAS as a Tool for Engineering research and Curriculum Innovation and Enhancement”, funded by the Structural Dynamics Research Corporation SDRC, funding period from 10/2001-9/2004. (Sole PI)
  • “SUN Micro-systems Young Investigators NSF Matching Equipment Funds”, SUN Microsystems, funding periods 5/2001-8/2002 (Sole PI)
  • “Development of State-of-the-Art Instrumentation for Advance Distributed Computing Systems for Research and Research Training”, NSF, EIA CISE Directorate”, funding period 9/1/2000-8/31/2003 (Sole PI)
  • “Hand-on Undergraduate Experience with Design Lab Package”, Altera Corporation, funded 01/2001. (Sole PI)
  • Research Initiation Grant, College of Engineering, University of Massachusetts, Lowell, awarded 9/1/2001. (Sole PI)

PROFESSIONAL HONORS, AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS

Awards & Recognition

  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Teaching Excellence Award, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, 2016-2017.
  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Scholarship Recognition Award, 2016-2017.
  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Scholarship Recognition Award, 2014-2015.
  • Recipient of the Best Paper Award, at the IEEE International Symposium on Robotics and Manufacturing Automation, December 2014.
  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Teaching Excellence Award, Electrical and Computer Engineering May 2014.
  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Scholarship Recognition Award, 2013-2014.
  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Scholarship Recognition Award, 2012-2013.
  • Recipient of the Best Paper Award of all conference tracks, IEEE International Conference on Homeland Security, November 2013.
  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Research Scholarship Recognition Award, 2011 & 2012.
  • Recipient of the Top Mentoring Professor and Service to the students Award Certificate, 2005.
  • Recipient of the University of Massachusetts Lowell Teaching Excellence Award, Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, 2001.
  • Recipient of the Top Professor Award, for Outstanding Academic Integrity, Leadership, and Service to the students at the University of Denver, University of Denver Mortar Board Kedros, 1999.
  • Recipient of the Citation of Meritorious Achievement: Board of Editors of the International Biographical Centre, Cambridge England 1996.
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Leadership Award for Outstanding Contributions to Contemporary Society, Board of Registrars of the American Biographical Institute, 1995.
  • Recipient of the Best Paper Finalist Award, IEEE Control Systems Society, CDC, 1993.
  • Recipient of the National Merit Fellowship Award to pursue graduate and doctoral studies, 1985 to 1992.
  • Recipient of a Student Merit Award for Outstanding Engineering thesis, 1983.

National and International Press Coverage and Recognition

  • Invited, interviewed and quoted in the New York Times for her expertise in big data; facial recognition technology, May 2014
  • Invited, interviewed and featured by the Science News Radio Network for her expertise in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data technologies applied to Weapons of Mass Destruction, December 2013.
  • Invited, interviewed and featured by the Science News Radio Network for her expertise in Artificial Intelligence Big Data technologies applied to Homeland Security, April 2017.
  • Contacted by major national and international news agencies for her work and expertise on big data and facial recognition for homeland security.