Press Release

New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), through its NYUAD Institute, has awarded research grants to four selected research initiatives based in Abu Dhabi, investing a total of some $16 million (Dhs 58.8 million) in the projects over a five-year period.

All of the selected research proposals focus on globally relevant themes: climate change, computer security and privacy, cloud computing, and computational cosmology and relativistic astrophysics. Together, the four projects encompass a range of cross-disciplinary subjects, including mathematics, science, engineering, public policy, and information technology.

"These research projects have been selected based on their promise to contribute significantly to scientific understanding, and for the role they will play in advancing Abu Dhabi as a capital of ideas, research, and education in the 21st century," said Al Bloom, vice chancellor of NYUAD. "And indeed, through its research initiatives and public programming, the NYUAD Institute has already begun to make its mark as a vital intellectual center of this region — and increasingly of the world."

This is the second round of grants that have been issued by the NYUAD Institute to support research and scholarly activities in Abu Dhabi. Last year, three lead-off research projects were selected for funding, facilitating the establishment of The Library of Arabic Literature, The Neurolinguistics Laboratory, and the Center for Technology and Economic Development. These projects have already commenced work, with the Center for Technology and Economic Development having recently hosted industry thought leaders and academics in its first annual conference in March 2011.

"As a research university, an integral component of the learning experience at NYUAD is to provide our students with opportunities to be involved in cutting-edge academic research initiatives," said Fabio Piano, provost of NYUAD, "and these projects will help to ensure that we live up to that promise."

NYUAD grant winners are selected after an intensive process of internal and external peer review by the NYU Abu Dhabi Research Review Council, which is composed of members of senior leadership at both the New York and Abu Dhabi campuses.

"These four projects, together with our three lead-off projects announced last year, will both establish the NYU Abu Dhabi Institute as a home to world-class research and ensure deep research connections between our New York and Abu Dhabi campuses," said David McLaughlin, provost of NYU.

The selected projects:

The Center for Prototype Climate Modeling
The Center for Prototype Climate Modeling will develop new, innovative approaches in climate forecasting, which will bridge the divide between academic theory and climate change modeling. The Center will blend modern applied mathematics, climate theory, observations, and modeling, especially as they relate to the tropics, to improve the accuracy of theoretical algorithms used by international research institutions for climate change predictions. The Center will also support climate change-focused scientific exchange, collaboration, and educational outreach in the Middle East.

  • Principal Investigator: Andrew Majda, Samuel Morse Professor at the Center for Atmosphere Ocean Sciences, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU.

  • Co-Principal Investigators: Katepalli R. Sreenivasan, University Professor of Physics and Mathematical Sciences, NYU, K. Shafer Smith, Associate Professor at the Center for Atmosphere Ocean Sciences, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU, and Olivier Pauluis, Associate Professor at the Center for Atmosphere Ocean Sciences, Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences, NYU.

The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy in Abu Dhabi (CRISSP-AD)
The Center for Interdisciplinary Studies in Security and Privacy in Abu Dhabi (CRISSP-AD) will provide seed funds to establish a research center in Abu Dhabi that executes multidisciplinary research in computer security and privacy for both academic investigation and practical applications. This organization will be the Abu Dhabi-based counterpart to the existing CRISSP organization at NYU New York. Both organizations will share the common goal of building new approaches to security and privacy that look beyond technology as an isolated factor, by considering the impact of business, law, policy, human behavior, and culture, in engineering trustworthy global information systems. As a key component to the project, CRISSP-AD will collaborate with industry, academic, and government partners through an advisory board that will drive forward a cyber security research agenda for the region.

  • Principal Investigator: Nasir Memon, Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of NYU.

  • Co-Principal Investigators: Anindya Ghose, Associate Professor of Information Systems and Co-Director of the Center for Digital Economy Research, Stern School of Business, NYU; Ramesh Karri, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of NYU; Vasant Dhar, Professor of Information Systems, and Co-Director of the Center for Digital Economy Research, Stern School of Business, NYU; and Rae Zimmerman, Professor of Planning and Public Administration, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, NYU.

The Data Center and Cloud Computing Laboratory
The Data Center and Cloud Computing Laboratory will provide seed funds to create a data center testbed at NYUAD. The lab will facilitate NYUAD and NYU-Poly in joint research and education on modern communication networks and network applications, with a specific focus on data center and cloud computing. The data center testbed will have a multi-tiered, open interface, conducive to conducting experiments and developing more efficient data management technology. The Data Center and Cloud Computing Laboratory will partner with relevant Abu Dhabi-based business, academic, and government institutions to create an advisory board that will establish a regional research agenda and participate in collaborative research projects with a focus on data center and cloud computing.

  • Principal Investigator: H. Jonathan Chao, Department Head and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of NYU.

  • Co-Principal Investigators: Yousif Asfour, Chief Information Officer, NYUAD; Torsten Suel, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of NYU; and Kang Xi, Industry Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Polytechnic Institute of NYU.

The Center for Computational Physics
The Center for Computational Physics will establish a world-class research center for computational astrophysics and cosmology at NYU Abu Dhabi, specifically using numerical simulations to study both how stars explode and how supermassive black holes are connected to ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. This is critical for understanding how the highest energy light (photons) and particles in the universe are created.

  • Principal Investigator: Andrei Gruzinov, Associate Professor of Physics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, NYU.

  • Co-Principal Investigators: Andrew MacFadyen, Assistant Professor of Physics, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, NYU; Joseph Gelfand, Assistant Professor of Physics, NYUAD; and Ingyin Zaw, Assistant Professor of Physics, NYUAD.

In addition, to conduct the large-scale numerical simulations involved in these projects, a large computer cluster will be built at NYUAD. This project will be managed jointly by the staffs at NYUAD and NYU. The multi-user machine will accommodate computational research from present and future projects.