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May 09 2013

Annual Reception Celebrates Faculty Scholarship

Old Westbury, N.Y.  (May 9, 2013) – Playwright poisoning, paleontology, and password protection took center stage at New York Institute of Technology’s Faculty Scholars Reception at NYIT de Seversky Mansion as researchers shared their work with colleagues and hailed each other’s academic achievements.

Faculty Scholars ReceptionThe annual event, now in its twelfth year, recognized more than 130 members of the NYIT community for their publications, conference participation, exhibitions, honors, and awards.
“I’m happy to be here to celebrate innovation and to demonstrate a university is an idea capitol, an idea incubator,” said NYIT President Edward Guiliano, Ph.D., who was among the 72 authors represented in the group. 
Four faculty members presented brief updates of their research:
Assistant Professor Kiran Balagani is working on discovering new ways to strengthen computer security in the wake of large-scale hacking crimes that exposed individuals’ financial and personal information. 
“Users are the weak link in authentication,” he said. “Passwords are turning out to be really problematic in the cyber world.”
Balagani’s research attempts to strengthen passwords by adding a layer of protection based on individuals’ unique typing patterns and keyboard interactions.
Associate Professor Kevin LaGrandeur’s research found that food poisoning from preserved herring was a plausible cause of William Shakespeare’s death in 1616. Working with medical consultants, including Dr. Dean Olsen of NYIT College of Osteopathic Medicine and Dr. Sherwin Nuland of Yale Medical School, LaGrandeur, noted that the fish was cheap, available, and popular – while sanitation and preservation techniques were questionable.
Associate Professor Matthew Mihlbachler spoke about his studies of dental wear in horses as a measure of changing diet and environmental conditions. Tiny abrasions and patterns of wear provide clues that help us understand evolution, he said. Mihlbachler’s presentation included photos of his paleontological expeditions to Mongolia and other areas. 
Associate Professor William Werner’s presentation explained the mechanics of a motorized walker to help patients with Parkinson’s disease. The walker, designed with colleagues from the College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, includes a sensor system and a patient-controlled joystick to help guide the walker and improve a patient’s gait. 
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Rahmat Shoureshi, Ph.D., noted that many of the university’s scholars received internal grants to help support their work. He commended the faculty members for collaborating with colleagues in their own subject areas or in other disciplines.
About NYIT
New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit
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