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{ /* Digital Brain */ }

:: Personal website of  Jose Santos ::

About Digital Brain
Hello, and welcome to :: Digital Brain :: version 2.0!

My name is Jose Santos and I am a Computer Engineering Ph.D. candidate at the Peter Kiewit Institute of Information Science and Technology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Omaha Campus). This is my personal website, where you will find information hosted on projects, research work, and other topics of personal and academic interest, while also learning a bit about me.

Click on the 'down arrow' to learn more about me as well as the below major sections.

/* About Me */

// Research Work & Interests

My current research work revolves around the field of Feature-preserving Physiologically-aware Communication Architectures that can be used for the transmission of biomedical signals in Body-Area Sensor Networks (BASNs) and Internet of Things (IoT). In this research work I explore the design of a wireless sensor network (WSN) communication architecture where the significant diagnostic features in biomedical signals—which are of supreme importance to either human clinicians or automated medical diagnostic systems running machine-learning algorithms in the cloud—are protected while these biomedical signal(s) of interest are handled by the compressor stage, which is an integral component of a communication pipeline that is crucial in achieving the high energy-efficiency and avoid the costly 'transmission costs' in wireless systems. The architecture, furthermore, extracts information from the subject and assigns a symptomatic abnormality score, which captures the 'health state', if you will, of the subject, and uses this information to determine how best to optimize the communication pipeline and many of its parameters in order to satisfy a variety of competing goals as well as constraints. This research work is currently supervised by Dr. Hamid Sharif, from our ECE department, and director of the Advanced Telecommunications Engineering Laboratory (TEL) currently headquartered at the Scott Technology Center (STC) in the Omaha Campus. Various papers have been published along with corresponding conferences (see Publications below), and current dissertation work is in the final stages of completion.

Other research work conducted, also under the direction of Dr. Hamid Sharif for the TEL group included working with Software Defined Radar (SDR) technology, researching how this technology can be used to provide real-time tracking of dynamic and moving assets (people and objects) in a live railyard environment. This research work consisted in authoring of simulation software for object-tracking purposes, tagging all objects in the scene with IDs, treating the railyard environment, taking an 'air-traffic controller' approach to solving the problem, working with other students who took a computer vision approach, working in conjunction with my work involving the RADAR system.

Lastly, I've also performed previous research work focused on Steganography. This work focused on still-image steganography specifically, including steganographic embedding, countermeasures, and attacks, which occurred uder the direction of Dr. Dongming Peng (ECE), also at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Omaha Campus), surrounding a new steganographic countermeasure called the Discrete Spring Transform (DST).

Most of the research work to date has been predominantly performed using MATLAB as well as various Python-based Machine-learning frameworks, such as Keras, Tensor-flow, scikit-learn and the traditional Jupyter Notebooks that is typically used behind the scenes.

Other research interest areas include:

  • Computer Vision & Machine Learning
  • Deep Neural Networks (DNNs), especially CNNs
  • Parellel & GPGPU Computing
  • Digital Signal & Image Processing
  • Computer Design & Architectures
  • Embedded Systems
  • Robotics (See 'Robotics and Other Significant Work' further below)

:: Publications

Current publications list (oldest to newest):

  • A. Gilmore, J. Santos, A. Mills. "Computer Interface Innovations for an ECE Mobile Robotics Platform Applicable to K-12 and University Students",
        in 118th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, 2011.
  • J. Santos, M. Hempel, H. Sharif. "Sensing Techniques and Detection Methods for Train Approach Detection",
        in IEEE Vehicular Technology Conference (VTC-FALL), 2013.
  • P. L. Shresta, M. Hempel, J. Santos, H. Sharif. "A Multi-Sensor Approach for Early Detection and Notification of Approaching Trains",
        in ASME/ASCE/IEEE Joint Rail Conference, 2014.
  • J. Santos, A. Sharp, D. Peng, H. Sharif. "A Novel Architecture Towards an Automated Steganographic Attack in the DCT Domain",
        in TBD. [Journal; Completed Spring 2014: in Departmental Review]
  • J. Santos, A. Sharp, D. Peng, H. Sharif "The Discrete Spring Transform: A Novel Multi-Domain Steganographic Countermeasure",
        in TBD. [Journal; Completed Spring 2014: in Departmental Review]
  • J. Santos, A. N. Gilmore, M. Hempel, H. Sharif. "Behavior-Based Robotics Programming for Mobile Robotics ECE Course Using the CEENBoT Mobile Robotics Platform",
        in 16th Annual IEEE Int. Conf. on Electro Information Technology (eit2017), May 14-17, 2017, Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.A.
  • J. Santos, D. Peng, M. Hempel, H. Sharif. "Feature-Based Diagnostic Distortion Measure for Unsupervised Self-Guided Biomedical Signal Compressors",
        in 13th IEEE Int. Conf. on Wireless and Mobile Computing, Networking and Communications (WiMob 2017), Oct. 9-11, 2017, Rome, Italy.
  • J. Santos, D. Peng, M. Hempel, H. Sharif. "Fidelity-Preserving Coefficient Truncation Method for Wavelet-based Compressors for Biomedical IoT Applications",
        in 11th Int. Conf. on Signal Processing and Communications (ICSPCS 2017), Dec. 13-15, 2017, Gold Coast, Australia.
  • S. Banerjee, J. Santos, M. Hempel, H. Sharif. "A New Railyard Safety Approach for Detection and Tracking of Personnel and Dynamic Objects using Software Defined Radar",
        (to be presented) in 2018 Joint Rail Conference (JRC 2018), Apr. 18-20, 2018, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
  • J. Santos, D. Peng, M. Hempel, H. Sharif. "Towards a Physiologically-Aware Architecture for Transmission of Biomedical Signals in BASNs/IoT",
        in IEEE Int. Conf. on Communications (ICC 2018), May 20-24, 2018, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
  • S. Banerjee, J. Santos, M. Hempel, P. Ghasemzadeh, H. Sharif. "A Novel Method of Near-Miss Event Detection with Software Defined RADAR in Improving Railyard Safety,
        in Safety, Vol. 5, No. 3, Aug. 14, 2019, Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute (MDPI).

// Practical Experience

My practical expertise and specialization is in high-speed digital design, the architecting and design of digital computer and embedded systems. This includes microprocessor-based systems, their architectures as well as authoring software at the bare metal level (firmware and middleware) in Assembly, C, and C++ as needed, typically involving open-source tools on GNU/Linux platforms. Particular emphasis lately is on embedded systems as many of the courses I'm responsible as a Teaching Assistant surround these areas. Architectures involve Intel 808x, 8051, Atmel, MIPS and ARM (both classic cores and Cortex). This experience spans the complete design cycle of these systems, including PCB design using professional EDA suites and manufacturing to professional tools and standards, and have given presentations at the request of instructors in my department on these topics to hundreds of students over the past few years, in addition to being actively involved in the development of laboratory components while working closely with class instructors.

I have also ~10 years of teaching experience encompassing my undergraduate and graduate careers, taking roles of sole class instructor as well as teaching assistant positions. Most of my present roles are, however, in Teaching Assistantships to accomodate for academic research.

Courses Thought:

  • MATH-1310 - Intermediate Algebra (MathLab, Mathematics Dept) [Class Instructor]
  • MATH-1320 - College Algebra (MathLab, Mathematics Dept) [Class Instructor]
  • CEEN-3250 - Mobile Robotics I (CEEN Dept) [T.A.]
  • CEEN-1060 - Microcontroller Applications (CEEN Dept) [T.A.]
  • CEEN-3320 - Assembly Language Programming (CEEN Dept) [T.A.]

// Robotics and Other Significant Work

I'm also the author and lead software architect of the CEENBoT-API. This is a software library for the C programming language, which allows you to write programs for the CEENBoT v2.2x Mobile Robotics Platform that was created by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as a conduit for teaching STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). This API has been used in various schools in the state of Nebraska and a few other institutions outside of Nebraska, such as Rose-Hulmann Institute of Technology and South Dakota State University. It's also used in our engineering curriculum, especially Mobile Robotics I, for which I've continued to serve as Teaching Assistant and have provided technical support, as well as developed laboratory content under the guidance and direction of the class instructor.

More information about the CEENBoT-API and other related software technologies I've authored can be found in the CEENBoT Portal here.

Information about the CEENBoT Mobile Robotics Platform can be found here.

// Contact

I can presently be reached at:   j m s a n t o s @ u n o m a h a . e d u

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