VIP Program at Howard University (VIPatHOWARD)

Howard University

Washington, DC 20059

VIP Coordinator: Dr. Charles Kim (CKIM@HOWARD.EDU), Professor, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science

This program was sponsored by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust for 3 years from 2015 as part of VIP Consortium Project  to drive systemic reform of STEM education.  During and after the major sponsorship, additional financial support was generously made by Northrop Grumman Corp.


* How to Join?:  If you want to  join one of the teams below, contact Project Advisor (via email) or the VIP Coordinator (Dr. Charles Kim) via eamil


 Any question can be directed to the VIP coordinator at  Anyone, yeah anyone, can join.


Requirements for VIP Participants

Requirements Resources
1. Approval from Team Advisor (use Team Contract From -- See the right column)
2. Weekly Team Meeting Participation & Meeting Records
3. Participation in Semester-End Team Presentation (last week of the semester)
4. Submission of Survey (last week of each semester)
5. Submission of 1-minute video (or audio) clip of Elevator Pitch (Last week of the semester)
* VIP Team Contract Form (pdf fillable), and a  Sample Contract
* VIP Weekly Meeting Recording Form
* VIP Survey (See below) at the end of the semester
* Elevator Pitch & How to Prepare for it?
* VIP Presentation Tips

(Survey is conducted at the end of each semester)


HOWARD VIP Teams (2019-2020 Academic Year)  Link to 2015-2016,2016-2017, 2017-2018, 2018-2019 Year

Project Team Advisor/Contact Project Description Looking for Students
in the following major
(but not limited to)
Secure Smart Traffic (from Fall 2019) Advisor: Dr. Hassan Salmani (Computer Eng)

Contact: Dr. Hassan Salmani (Computer Eng)
The goal of the project is to realize secure smart traffic which is characterized: Driving cars on the road; base stations on the side of the road which gives road data to the cars; cars adjust position and speed among the cars on the road; there are possibilities that the communication between cars and car-station may be hacked; secure smart traffic shields the communication.
Terminator (since Fall 2015) Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim (Electrical Eng)

Team Terminator’s new project focuses on developing a Chess playing robot that relies on camera inputs to identify a chess board and a mechanical arm to move the chess pieces and on machine learning principles for ideal victory paths for the robot. This project aims to cover various engineering fields and expose participants to long term research in addition to applied and collaborative engineering environments. While a robot that can play a game of chess on its own is the end goal, for this academic year, we will a robot which plays the game of Tic Tac Toe.  In subsequent years, we will gradually incorporate new features to achieve the end goal of building a robot which plays chess. The project will have mechanical, electrical, and programming aspects.

EE, CpE, CS, ME,

AutoMoe - "Resilient Autonomous/self-Driving Cars: A prototype" (sine Fall 2016)  Advisor: Dr. Danda Rawat (Computer Science)

Contact: Dr. Danda Rawat (Computer Science) at

This project aims to develop light weight cybersecurity schemes, privacy aware communications, adaptive speed control, automatic braking, rerouting, information sharing using wireless access technologies and display vehicle's status information. More and further more
Social Sphere Machine (from Fall 2019) Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim ( (Electrical Engineering)

The goal of this project is to develop a data analytic and machine learning (reasoning) algorithm to analyze social media data to predict social events such as opioid crisis, hate crime, and social unrest.   Related subjects such as fake information/news detection and radicalization warning are of interests of the project.  Information entropy based classification, clustering, and decision-making is applied to develop the algorithm.  Python-based coding and implementation is planned along with data analysis and visualization with R.



EE, CpE,  CS, Sociology, MATH
SlamERS(from Fall 2017) Advisor: Dr. Michaela E. Amoo (Computer Eng)

Contact: Dr. Michaela Amoo at

A stable and robust wheeled autonomous platform is needed to facilitate mobile scientific experiments and remote sensing in adverse environments. It is impractical to use Commercial off the Shelf (COTs) chassis’ because one-fit-for-all-purpose designs rarely match the intended use/function.  The platform must be stable and robust enough to carry a custom built mobile scientific experimentation station in adverse/unknown environments. There is a strong desire to improve agility, while reducing cost and maintaining quality. Rapid prototyping facilitates speedy fabrication of designs. Accurate 3D models are essential for 3D printing, but are time consuming and tedious to derive manually. We need the ability to rapidly prototype and produce high quality, robust, custom parts, for an autonomous platform.

SlamERS: Team #1: Embedded System Design

2019 Goals: Students will integrate all system design components from previous year into a COTs based autonomous wheeled platform using sensor arrays (IR Rangers, Lidars etc), integrating circuits, sensor arrays, and motor controls, from previous year into a complete PIC-based system. Final product be stable and robust under adverse conditions.

SlamERS: Team #2: Robust Chassis for an Autonomous Platform

2019 Goals: Students will design, prototype, test, and produce a 4WD chassis, which is stable and robust enough to carry the required load (mobile science/experiment system) in off-road terrains (sand, gravel, dirt, under-brush and heavy foliage) and adverse weather conditions (wind, rain, ice, heat). A small, commercial off the shelf (COTs), prototype will be supplied for a scale-up reference. Use engineering analysis and tools such as modeling and simulation to validate design selection and experimental results. Design, prototype, test, and build a functional 4WD chassis.

SlamERS: Team #3: 3D Design

2019 Goals: Students will determine whether Intel depth cameras are capable of producing highly accurate 3D models of small complex objects (gears etc) by comparing the accuracy of the resulting models with those obtained from the Capture Laser Scanner (3D systems, Inc), designing an interface to convert the 3D point clouds to 3D mesh/models for use with CAD tools and 3D printers, and using engineering analysis and tools to validate and compare the accuracy of models obtained from both systems.

More on the project.

Further More on the project (note: zip file)

Deliveroid- A Delivery Robot  (from Fall 2017) Advisor: Dr. Charles Kim ( Electrical Eng)

Graduate Assistant: Derrick Anang Email:
The long term goal of the project is to build a delivery robot which performs errands between any two locations even in different floors of a building.  A short term objective is to build a 1st-gen robot which delivers to a location in the same floor.  Microcomputer coding, sensing, RFID or Wi-Fi and remote access, and proximity detection would be integrated for the project.  More and further more
Sandia Senior Design Bonanza - Flight Accelerometer Switch (from Fall 2019) Advisor: Dr. Michaela Amoo ( Computer Engineering)

Objective: Design, prototype, test, and produce a Flight Accelerometer Switch (FAS) - single axis switch of mechanical in nature not a COTS part, which detects acceleration, either by time integration or maximum acceleration and then closes a switch (creating a signal path of optical, electrical, electromagnetic, acoustic, etc.) once a threshold is reached.   The closing of the FAS triggers the recording of elevation and time.  The FAS should remain closed and continue recording throughout the recording tine.  More ME, EE, CpE, CS, CHEM
EM Playground (from Fall 2019) Advisor: Dr. Su Yan (Electrical Engineering);

Graduate Assistant: Minyechil Mekonnen (minyechil.mekonnen
Project Description: The goal of this project is to design and implement an Electromagnetic (EM) Virtual Playground which visualizes the generation, propagation, and interaction of EM waves with environments. With Python implementations, the Playground will have a foreground --- the graphic user interface (GUI), in which users can set up a virtual experiment and visualize the physical results, and a background --- the engine, where the scientific computing takes place to carry out the experiment numerically. Upon completion of this project, the delivered EM Playground will enable students to conduct virtual experiments with different experimental setups, such as different sources, materials, and geometries, and perform simulations to monitor and visualize the process of EM phenomena such as antenna radiation, wave scattering and diffraction. More advanced features, including a multiphysics component, an online/mobile demo tool, and high-performance computing features, will be integrated into the Playground in the next few years. EE, CpE, CS, MATH


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