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Research & Grants

Introducing the Sphinx

BSU is home to a $445.5K Cray supercomputer called the Sphinx awarded through a grant from the Department of Defense U.S. Army Research Office to COSC professor Hoda El-Sayed, Associate Professor Dr. Bo Yang and Natural Sciences Professor Dr. George Ude. Anyone doing research related to high-performance computing may utilize this facility. Big data, for example, is becoming ubiquitous in the age of information technology and researchers will be better able to extract meaningful information using data analytics and applications with this state-of-the-art high performance computer.

Faculty Research Areas

  • Network, Systems and Security - (Dr. Choi, Dr. Gomes, Dr. Yang, Dr. El-Sayed)
  • Software Security and Mining - (Dr. Xu)
  • Software Engineering, Programming Languages and Compilers - (Dr. Sharma, Dr. Gil de Lamadrid, Dr. Langdon)
  • Database Systems & Data Mining - (Dr. Yang, Dr. Mareboyana, Dr. Gomes, Dr. Ji)
  • Graphics, Vision, & Virtual Reality - (Dr. Sharma, Dr. Mareboyana, Dr. Yang, Dr. Yan)
  • Artificial Intelligence & Human-Computer Interaction - (Dr. Josyula,  Dr. Sharma, Dr. Ji, Dr. Yan, Dr. Gomes)
  • Computer Science Education - (Dr. Sharma, Dr. Yan)


Title: Megacity: Avatars in Collaborative Virtual Environment (CVE) approach for Decision Making

PI: Dr. Sharad Sharma, awarded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), Award Period: 08/04/2017 to 08/03/2018, Award Amount: $85,000.00.  We have used game creation as a metaphor for creating an experimental setup to study human behavior in a megacity for emergency response, decision-making strategies, and what-if scenarios. Our proposed collaborative VR environment includes both immersive and non-immersive environments. The participant can enter the CVE setup on the cloud and participate in the emergency evacuation drill, which leads to considerable cost advantages over large-scale, real-life exercises. We present two ways for controlling crowd behavior. The first defines rules for agents, and the second provides controls to the users as avatars to navigate in the VR environment as autonomous agents. The novelty of our work lies in modeling behaviors (hostile, non-hostile, selfish, leader-following) for computer-controlled agents so that they can interact with user-controlled agents in a CVE.

Title: Developing a Cloud-based Cryptographic Simulator for Enhancing Undergraduates’ Learning Experience in Cybersecurity

PI: Dr. Weifeng (Frank) Xu, awarded by the National Science Foundation, Award Period: 8/1/2017 to 8/1/2020. Award Amount: $400,000. Dr. Xu, students, and other professionals will be building a web-based cyber security simulator over the next three years that will simulate real-world cyber threats and other challenges as a training tool for students and educators.  This grant will expand cyber security education at BSU using new and innovative methods. Project goals include partnering with local high schools and area HBCUs to assist in building a qualified cyber security workforce to satisfy future demand.

Title: Planetary Data System - Small Bodies Node   

Co-PI: Dr. Bo Yang, awarded by NASA, Award Period 12/1/2015 - 11/30/2020. Dr. Yang and students have created a logic-based model for representing the semantics of complex space data objects. Dr. Yang along with Computer Science students have done research and written a paper called ICSSA: Association-Aware Data Retrieval in Planetary Data Systems.

Research Laboratories

VR Laboratory

Virtual Reality Laboratory consists of the VR Software Laboratory and the VR Hardware Laboratory in the Computer Science Building. The VR Hardware Lab is equipped with current state of art equipment which includes high quality stereoscopic displays (Corner Cave, 3D Wall), motion trackers, Head mounted displays (nVisor SX111, Z800 Dual Pro, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive), 3D input devices (Cyber gloves III, 5DT Data glove), and force feedback devices. The VR Software Lab is equipped with high quality 3D graphics workstations (Alien ware 3D Gaming Desktops). Our current research projects focus in areas of Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and Software Engineering (SE). The students and faculty are pioneering the use of VR technology in areas such as evacuation simulation, way finding, battlefield simulation, emergency response, multi-user virtual environment (MUVE), VR instructional modules, mobile augmented reality application (MARA), and VR classroom environment. The lab has conducted virtual evacuation drills in collaborative virtual environments (CVE) for immersive and non-immersive environments.


VR LabCollaborative Virtual Reality Environment (CVE) Real-time Emergency Evacuation of Kiss Nightclub Fire at Santa Maria,    Brazil

Emergency preparedness is achieved by planning, training, equipping, and exercising the emergency response. The preparation and training for emergency events is critically important for safety in our day to day lives. We can learn a lot from previous disasters which are valuable for accuracy in decision making strategies. The CVE platform acts as a training and educational tool by exploring the environment in Virtual Reality. Read full research here

Click Topic to Read Article

The Fuzzy Logic of Fleeing for Your Life
What Happens When Crowds Try To Flee For Their Lives
Virtual Reality Laboratories


Laboratory for Information and Infrastructure Security and Assurance: LIISA

The Laboratory for Information and Infrastructure Security and Assurance (LIISA) provides students with state-of-the-technology equipment and software to both attack and defend target computer networks in a secure environment that is not connected to the Internet and isolated from the campus computer network. The network consists of three policy domains—Attack, Target, and Administrative/Research.

The attack domain (never connected to the Internet) will support commonly used operating systems. The stations in the attack domain use emulators such as VMware to simulate a variety of operating systems on a single computer. This domain allows students to exploit the vulnerabilities of the target domain. The target domain includes/supports Windows systems, Linux, Solaris, and operating systems for mobile devices, such as the Apple iOS and the Google Android. To prevent eavesdropping on traffic by attackers, all the traffic in the target domain is packet-switched.

The administrative/research domain will monitor traffic between the attack and target domains in real-time. Network isolation is a fundamental requirement for this lab to prevent undesirable consequences while studying security topics such as worms, viruses, and Trojan horses.


GMPLL Lab  Center for Cyber Security and Emerging Technologies

 The Center for Cyber Security and Emerging Technologies (C2ET) at Bowie State University (BSU) provides educational, research and training opportunities in cyber security, computer forensics and emerging technologies to students. C2ET also engages in outreach activities in these areas to the broader community, including industry, government and other universities. It embodies the joint efforts of the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Management Information Systems at BSU.