Background Material on NJIT Professors

Internet Security Pioneer

Atam Dhawan, Ph.D., professor and chairman of the electrical and computer engineering department at New Jersey Institute of Technology, is an expert in Internet Security. One of his most important projects is directing the operation of the new Center for Wireless Networking and Internet Security. The purpose of the center, based at NJIT, is to develop future technologies to protect the Internet from cyber attacks. It will also protect and improve computer network management. Princeton University researchers are collaborating on the project that is partially funded by a $2.6 million grant from the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology.


Challenges facing the center include finding ways to allow the military to recognize a cyber attack and trace its source, design computer systems to prevent cyber attacks, especially on wireless multi-media networks, and upgrade network management security.

Dhawan obtained his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Roorkee, Roorkee, India. He was a Canadian Commonwealth Fellow at the University of Manitoba where he completed his doctorate in the same field with specialization in medical imaging and image analysis in 1985.

EZ Pass Expert

Starr Roxanne Hiltz, Ph.D., distinguished professor of information systems, a recognized authority on computer-mediated learning and learning networks, is leading the NJIT component of research at the New Jersey Center for Pervasive Information Technology. NJIT's role centers on the usability and social impacts of pervasive devices. One of the initial studies is exploring the attitudes of New Jersey residents toward potential uses of EZPass data. Industrial partners include IBM, Agere/Lucent Microelectronics, NEC, UPS, Trimedia and Veridicom.


The center is a collaborative effort of Princeton University, NJIT and Rutgers University. With a research and development excellence grant from the New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology, the center focuses on the design of the pervasive information systems to allow people to work with information anywhere, any time. These computer systems are small and are located on your person or in your environment.

Hiltz is also a pioneer in distance learning: She originated the concept of the Virtual ClassroomŪ in 1986. Hiltz currently leads a project helping college professors use the computer for instruction. With funding from the Sloan Foundation, she is building an educational database for the web. The base will improve the effectiveness of distance learning. Hiltz received her doctorate and her master's degree from Columbia University and her bachelor's degree from Vassar College.

Research and Development Guru

Donald Sebastian, Ph.D., has an excellent overview of the latest developments in technology today especially biometrics. As vice president for research and development and professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering, Sebastoam is responsible for the solicitation, development and implementation of large-scale technology research and development projects at NJIT. Sebastian develops partnerships with industry, oversees the university's 29 research centers, plus manages governmental affairs, intellectual property and contract projects in information technology.


Sebastian has most recently been in the news as the university spokesman for the project to develop a biometric technology to personalize weapons. The same technology is being patented to be used for unique-grip system to prevent unauthorized users from taking control of planes.

Sebastian previously served 18 years on the faculty of Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, where he received the Henry Morton Distinguished Teaching Professor award. He received his bachelor's degree, master's degree and doctorate from Stevens. An internationally recognized scholar in polymer process and product design, Sebastian has authored more than 60 technical publications.


NJIT is a public, scientific and technological research university enrolling more than 8,800 students. The university offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees to students in 80 degree programs throughout its six colleges: Newark College of Engineering, New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts, School of Management, Albert Dorman Honors College and College of Computing Sciences. The division of continuing professional education offers adults eLearning, off campus degrees and short courses. Expertise and research initiatives include architecture and building science, applied mathematics, biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and science, information technology, manufacturing, materials, microelectronics, multimedia, telecommunications, transportation and solar astrophysics. Yahoo! Internet Life magazine cites NJIT as a "perennially most wired" university.

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Robert Florida
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