Postdoc or Research Professor in Computational Photonics

The Computational Photonics Laboratory has one or two post-doctoral/research professor positions available.  Please click for more information: http://www.csee.umbc.edu/?p=18210.


talk: Chaum’s Protocol for Detecting Man-in-the-Middle, 12pm Fri 1/30

Chaum’s Protocol for Detecting Man-in-the-Middle: Explanation,
Demonstration, and Timing Studies for a Text-Messaging Scenario

Prof. Alan T. Sherman
UMBC Cyber Defense Lab

12-1pm Friday, 30 January 2015, ITE 228, UMBC

We explain, demonstrate, and evaluate Chaum’s 2006 protocol for detecting a Man-in-the-Middle (MitM) of text-messaging network communications. MitM attacks pose serious risks to many network communications. Networks often mitigate these risks with robust protocols, such as TLS, which assume some type of public-key infrastructure that provides a mechanism for the authenticated exchange of public keys. By contrast, Chaum’s protocol aims to detect a MitM with minimal assumptions and technology, and in particular without assuming the authenticated exchange of public keys.

Joint work with John Seymour and Akshahraj Kore

CSEE faculty develop wearable systems to monitor sleep quality

CSEE Professors Nilanjan Banerjee, Ryan Robucci and Chintan Patel with Dr. Richard Allen at Johns Hopkins University were awarded a TEDCO Maryland Innovation Initiative grant to develop a wearable system that can non-intrusively monitor sleep quality in a home setting. The grant will fund students in the eclipse cluster. The researchers will work closely with JHU to develop and help commercialize this novel sensor system.

TEDCO is an independent organization that provides entrepreneurial business assistance and seed funding to foster startup companies in Maryland’s innovation economy and support the commercialization of qualified university technologies.

Anupam Joshi responds to SOTU remarks on cybersecurity

Last week President Barack Obama gave his annual State of the Union Address. Not surprisingly, among the things his address touched on was cybersecurity.

CSEE’s Professor Anupam Joshi, director of the UMBC Center for Cybersecurity, was one of nine academics invited by The Conversation to give reactions to particular items mention in the address. His remarks were included in their article, The State of the Union 2015 – a closer look at the president’s ‘ambitious agenda’.

The need for cyberhygiene
Anupam Joshi, University of Maryland Baltimore

The fact that cybersecurity found mention in the president’s SOTU address, among weighty issues like fundamental new approaches to taxation and foreign policy, is a testament to how important this issue is today. From (corporate) espionage and identity theft to financial crimes and ransomware, cyberspace is where sophisticated state, non-state and criminal enterprise actors are now most active.

The president correctly identified that we need to protect cyberspace to reap the benefits of the digital revolution, focusing on greater information sharing to improve security.

Presumably, this refers to passage of proposed legislation to provide targeted liability protection that would enable more information about private sector attacks to reach the Department of Homeland Security’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center. Such legislation will enable researchers to have the data to better understand, detect, and deter attacks, but there are also significant issues around privacy and data security that need to be carefully addressed.

Earlier this month, the White House suggested that better tools for law enforcement, newer requirements on reporting data breaches, and support for cybersecurity education are needed.

These are all important, but I would urge a particular focus on significantly expanding cybersecurity education far beyond the typical college-level courses to train cyber defenders.

What we need is a greater awareness of “cyberhygiene” for the average internet user – simple “preventative medicine” tactics to minimize risk for individuals and for us all. Just as kids are taught to wash hands for 20 seconds or be careful around strangers for example, they should be taught to be careful when clicking on links embedded in emails.

Two tenure-track positions for Computer Science at UMBC

The UMBC Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department seeks to fill two tenure-track faculty positions for its Computer Science program and is especially interested in candidates whose research areas include security and data analytics and related fields. Apply by January 15, 2015 for full consideration.

UMBC has a large and vibrant computing community with nearly 100 faculty and more than 3100 students enrolled in computing programs that include computer science, cybersecurity, computer engineering, electrical engineering, information systems, human-centered computing, intermedia and digital arts, and bioinformatics.

Our location in the Baltimore-DC corridor puts us in the center of one of the largest concentrations of federal agencies and research and development centers and many industrial research labs, including the new Cybersecurity Federally Funded R&D Center. We benefit from an excellent computing infrastructure that includes several high-performance computing clusters and participation in the National LambdaRail network.

The CSEE Department also has three new positions for full-time lecturers. The College of Engineering and Information Technology has a position for a full-time lecturer or Professor of the Practice to focus on the needs of incoming computing majors through teaching, advising, and helping develop programs in computing. This person will work closely with faculty in the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Department and Information Systems Department. UMBC’s Information Systems department is accepting applications for three tenure track faculty positions in data science, software engineering and human-centered computing.

The Great Escape: online AI Game programming contest


The Great Escape is an online international multiplayer coding contest being held for 2 weeks from February 6th starting at 12:00 pm EST to February 20th at 5:00 pm EST.

The Great Escape will be a thrilling multiplayer Artificial Intelligence Battle, where students will have to:

  • Program the best bot to escape a maze by trapping their ennemies,
  • Have their bot fight against other players’ bots in an arena
  • Improve their program as they go along until victory!

Participation is 100% online and free. Over 20 coding languages to choose from. International automated rankings + Leaderboard by University. 10+ sponsoring companies offering jobs and internships. Prizes to win: GoPro 4, iPad Mini, and 25+ t-shirts! All skill levels are encouraged to play: no need to be an A.I. Expert to have fun.

Phd proposal: Zhang on Brain Network Visualization Techniques

PhD Dissertation Proposal

Design and Validation of Brain Network
Visualization Techniques: A Unified Approach

Guohao Zhang

Time and Place:
8:00-10:00am, 22 Jan 22 2015, ITE325

We propose a unified approach to understand why and how visualization works, motivated by scientists’ difficulties in obtaining insights from increasingly complex data that involves multi-modality brain networks from structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (dMRI and fMRI). Brain scientists are in need of visualization approaches to effectively analysis brain MRI data from different modalities. We design a unified theory expanded upon the classical 2D semiotics for the design and evaluation of brain network visualization approaches. Our research is divided to three-steps. First, we define a taxonomy that includes three dimensions: retinal variable, data continuity, and plane. Second, we demonstrated that this theory carries descriptive power in that we can use it to describe existing visualization techniques for brain imaging visualizations. We then propose five empirical studies to understand and evaluate encoding approaches in structure and functional networks accordingly. The first three studies focus on single modality and the last two studies differences in dual-modality multiplex network comparison based on cohort analyses. Using the results derived from the empirical studies, we present a visual analytics approach for brain scientists to explore cohort and individual brain network to let them answer research questions. We use computational methods to derive relationships from two modalities in cohorts of two modalities, and then represent cohort with uncertainty as well as individual ones for brain scientists to study uncertainty in network analysis.

Committee: Drs. Jian Chen (Chair), Penny Rheingans, Konstantinos Kalpakis, Peter Kochunov (UMB), Niklas Elmqvist (UMCP) and Alexander Auchus (UMC)

Baltimore-area Hadoop Users Group Meetup, 1st meeting 2015-02-19

UMBC CSEE alumni Don Miner and Brandon Wilson have started a Meetup group for Hadoop users in and around the Baltimore area to discuss Hadoop technology and use cases.

Apache Hadoop is one of the most popular open-source tools used to harness clusters of computers to process, analyze or learn from massive amounts of data. Whether you are new to Hadoop or an experienced user, this is a great opportunity to improve your knowledge and network with others in the Baltimore computing technology community.

The first meeting will be held from 7:00pm to 9:30pm on Thursday, 19 February 2015 at AOL/Advertising.com at 1020 Hull St #100, Baltimore, MD (map). Join the group here.

Join the 2015 Global Game Jam at UMBC, 23-25 January

For the seventh year in a row, UMBC is the Baltimore-area host site for the Global Game Jam (GGJ).

In a game jam, people come together to make a video game — a hackathon for game development. Participants join small teams at the jam, and over a few days create new, unique and creative video games based on the jam’s theme and rules.

The GGJ is the world’s largest game jam event and takes place over 48 hours at 100s of physical locations worldwide. The 2015 GGJ will start at 5pm on Friday, January 23 and end at 5pm Sunday, January 25. For more information and to find out how you can register to participate at the UMBC site, visit the UMBC GAIM blog.

UMBC Places 3rd at MHacks

Two of UMBC’s regular hackathon participants took 3rd place at MHacks, a competitive 1000 student hackathon at the University of Michigan this past weekend!

CSEE students Michael Bishoff (President, HackUMBC) and Sekar Kulandaivel created a haptic feedback suit that makes virtual reality more immersive. To do this, the team created 12 vibrating modules that are placed on the user’s arms, legs, chest, and head. When various events occur in the virtual environment, the user will feel a vibration in the appropriate location on their body. For example, when a user falls in a virtual environment, they will feel a vibration in their legs, or when a user gets hit in their arm, they will experience a vibration on the appropriate arm.

For placing third, the duo won a trip to Seoul, South Korea in the summer to represent UMBC at the Global Hackathon, a 2000 person hackathon event backed by the mayor of Seoul. The event’s goal is to increase innovation and produce projects that make a global impact. Attendees of the event will include other brilliant students from around the world!

Mike and Sekar incorporated Oculus Rift technology, which they won at UMD’s 2014 Bitcamp hackathon.

Interested in maker-faires and participating in future hackathons? Join hackUMBC!