talk: OMI, Invisible Technology that will Revolutionize Supercomputing and AI; 3pm Thr Feb 14, ITE325

Distinguished Lecture Series

OMI: The Invisible Technology that will Revolutionize Supercomputing and AI

Prof. Harm Peter Hofstee
Delft University of Technology
Distinguished Research Staff, IBM Austin Research Laboratory

3:00pm Thursday 14 February, 2019, ITE325, UMBC

In this talk, we present some major trends in compute, memory/storage, and networking, and for each we will discuss how OpenCAPI Memory Interface (OMI) and related interface technologies are set to transform how we build, program, and think about our computer systems. For the first of these trends, it allows us to compensate for the reduced growth in processor performance (per dollar) and performance per Watt. Accelerators are sharing memory and other resources over NVLink or OpenCAPI with conventional IBM POWER cores and are driving performance in the world’s largest supercomputers and IBM’s systems are targeting AI and other workloads. The second addresses the reduced improvement in memory cost and capacity. OMI allows us to use technologies other than DRAM as memory, and because many of these technologies are nonvolatile, the line between memory and storage is becoming blurred. The third, OpenCAPI-based networking leverages the rapid improvements in cost per Gb/s and allows us to contemplate systems that extend memory beyond the node using commodity infrastructure.

Harm Peter Hofstee is a Dutch physicist and computer scientist who currently is a distinguished research staff member at the IBM Austin Research Laboratory, USA, and a part-time Professor in Big Data Systems at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. Hofstee is best known for his contributions to Heterogeneous computing as the chief architect of the Synergistic Processor Elements in the Cell Broadband Engine processor used in the Sony PlayStation 3, and the first supercomputer to reach sustained Petaflop operation. His early research work on coherently attached reconfigurable acceleration on POWER7 paved the way for the new coherent attach processor interface on POWER8. Hofstee is an IBM Master Inventor with more than 100 issued patents and a member of the IBM Academy of Technology. Hofstee was born in Groningen and obtained his master’s degree in theoretical physics of the University of Groningen in 1988. He continued to study at the California Institute of Technology where he wrote a master’s thesis Constructing Some Distributed Programs in 1991 and obtained a Ph.D. with a thesis titled Synchronizing Processes in 1995. He joined Caltech as a lecturer for two years and moved to IBM in the Austin, Texas, Research Laboratory, where he had staff member, senior technical staff member and distinguished engineer positions.

MD-AI Meetup: An AI Enabled Vision of the Future, 6-8pm 2/12, UMBC

MD AI Meetup: An AI Enabled Vision of the Future

The February MD AI meetup will be held at UMBC and features Kathleen Walch from Cognilytica, speaking on An AI Enabled Vision of the Future. The meetup starts at 6:00pm on Tuesday, February 12 in UC 312, UMBC with half an hour of networking time, and the program starts at 6:30 pm.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents an interesting paradox. On the one hand, the goals of systems that can behave with the intelligence of humans have been lofty goals envisioned by many for millennia. On the other hand, much of what we envision applying AI to are the fundamental, day-to-day needs of enterprises, individuals, and organizations. In this way we have the conflicting demands of where we want AI research to go and its eventual desired end state combined with the practical needs of today that keep the engine of AI research funded and progressing. In this talk we combine these two different conflicting desires for the future of AI into a cohesive, comprehensive, four-part vision of where these emerging technologies are taking us and the desires of individuals and enterprises.

Kathleen Walch is a serial entrepreneur, savvy marketer, AI and Machine Learning expert, and tech industry connector. She is a principal analyst, managing partner, and founder of Cognilytica, an AI research and advisory firm, and co-host of the popular AI Today podcast.

talk: Using Deep Learning in Identifying Network Intrusions, 10:30am Mon 2/11, UMBC


Using Deep Learning in Identifying Network Intrusions

Dr. Rajeev Agrawal
Information Technology Laboratory
US Army Engineer Research and Development Center

10:30-11:30 Monday, February 11, 2019, ITE325

Deep Learning algorithms have been very successful in computer vision, natural language processing, and speech recognition. However, there is a big challenge in applying it in cyber security domain due to non‐availability of ‘real’ cybersecurity data. Many researchers have tried using synthetic data such as KDD‐NSL or newer UNSW-NB15 network intrusion datasets, however, it is difficult to determine the performance of the proposed research on a dataset captured from an enterprise network. The DoD’s High Performance Computing Modernization Program (HPCMP) operates Defense Research Engineering network (DREN), which has multiple security software and hardware tools installed across the network. A variety of cybersecurity logs are captured using these tools. We use a TensorFlow based framework to analyze DREN’s Bro alert data generated under Cybersecurity Environment for Detection, Analysis and Reporting (CEDAR) project. These alerts are marked as bad or normal by the cybersecurity analysts and used as ground truths. This labeled data is used to measure the performance of our approach in identifying network intrusions. We are able to achieve high level accuracy by tuning hyper-parameters used in any deep learning approach. In this presentation, we will discuss the results of our approach which harnesses the power of HPC systems to train our proposed model.

Dr. Rajeev Agrawal joined Cyber Engineering and Analysis branch (CEAB), Information Technology Laboratory in 2016. He is the Data Science lead of the High Performance Computing Architecture (HPC) for Cyber Situational Awareness (HACSAW) Project. The goal of this project is to analyze the cybersecurity data captured across Defense Research and Engineering Network (DREN). He is also a member of the HPC-based deep learning project team and exploring deep learning applicability in cybersecurity domain. Dr. Agrawal received his Ph.D. in Computer Science with minor in Engineering from Wayne State University in 2009. Prior to joining ITL, he was an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Systems Technology at North Carolina A&T State University.  Dr. Agrawal’s research interests include Deep Learning, Cyber Security, SCADA/ICS, Machine Learning and Pattern Recognition. He has published more than 80 technical papers and book chapters in refereed conferences and journals in these areas. He was selected a Data Science Fellow by the National Consortium of Data Science (NCDS) in 2014. His research has been funded by NSF, US Army, John Deere, ACM, RedHat, National Consortium of Data Science and Michigan State University.

Maryland Data Science Conference, Fri. 1/25, UMBC (new date)

MD Data Science Conference
Friday, 25 January, PAH Concert Hall, UMBC

Miner & Kasch, a AI and data science consulting firm founded by two UMBC alumni, will hold a one-day Data Science Conference at UMBC on Friday, January 25 in the Linehan Concert Hall of the UMBC Performing Arts & Humanities Building. A limited number of free tickets are available for current UMBC students. To attend, you need to register here.

The event was originally scheduled for January 14, but had to be rescheduled due to inclement weather. If you had registered and obtained a ticket earlier, you will need to re-register.

The event brings together local companies and professionals to share what new and exciting things they are doing with their data. It will be attended by business managers, startup founders, software engineers, data scientists, students, and other curious people that want to learn more about the cutting edge of data science, machine learning, and AI. See the conference website for topics and speakers.

Workshop on Usable Security, 10-4 Tue 12/18


The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab

Workshop on Usable Security

Nikola K. Blanchard
10am-4pm, Tuesday, 18 December, 2018, ITE 228, UMBC


We invite people interested in cybersecurity to join us for research conversations with Nikola Blanchard, an expert in usable security. Visitors are welcome to participate in any or all of the workshop.

How do we make better codes and passwords? As security constraints increased at the expense of usability, we saw no real improvement in practical performance. This session will introduce some basic notions of usability of security (with applications to voting technology), and the first mental-only password management algorithm. Participants will then be presented with the problem of evaluating such algorithms, and will have a brainstorming activity on designing alternative methods.

Biographical Sketch. After an initial training in mathematics and informatics at ENS Paris, Nikola K. Blanchard started a PhD at IRIF, supervised by Nicolas Schabanel and Ted Selker. In 2015, they joined the Random Sample Voting Project to develop voting protocols, prevent vote selling and improve the deployment of new voting technologies, organizing multiple test elections. They recently started doing research on usability of security with Ted Selker, initially for secure voting technologies but expanding into the field of password research. As e-democracy research requires not just security or usability but also political science, they joined the Chôros think tank and teamed up with Géza Tessényi to co-found the Public Opinion Platform, adding the deliberation aspect needed for any e-democracy project. They are currently in the process of publishing a book on the use of randomness in political institutions.

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

Biweekly Cyber Defense Lab meetings will resume in the spring term, 12noon-1pm on Fridays

This event is supported in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS Grant 1241576

UMBC Hour of Code events, 10am-1pm Dec 5 & 6, ENGR Atrium


UMBC Hour of Code events


This week on Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00am – 1:00pm, the UMBC Computer Science Education Club will host Hour of Code events in the Engineering Building Atrium. Hour of Code is an annual campaign that is part of Computer Science Education Week with the goal of expanding access to computer science in schools and increasing the participation of women and underrepresented minorities.

On Wednesday, December 5th, the focus will be on on computer science outreach within the UMBC community. There will be an Arduino workshop from IEEE from 11:30am – 12:45pm (bring your laptop if interested), interactive games teaching introductory programming concepts, and Makey Makeys.

On Thursday, December 6th,  students from Lakeland Elementary School will visit the UMBC campus and learn about programming. The CS Ed club are still accepting volunteers to help students during the activity, and/or attend lunch with the students. You can sign-up here. Computer Science Education Club would appreciate any time you can dedicate to this event.

Email  with any questions. For more information about Hour of Code, visit

talk: The Web PKI in Theory and Malpractice, Prof. Bruce Maggs, 11am Fri 12/7, ITE325


Distinguished Departmental Seminar

The Web PKI in Theory and Malpractice

Dr. Bruce Maggs, Duke University

11:00am Friday, 7 December 2018, ITE325b


The Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) for the web was designed to help thwart “phishing” attacks by providing a mechanism for browsers to authenticate web sites, and also to help prevent the disclosure of confidential information by enabling encrypted communications. For users to reap these benefits, however, the parties that implement and operate the PKI, including certificate authorities, web-site operators, and browser vendors, must each perform their roles properly.

This talk focuses on one aspect of the PKI: certificate revocation. The security of a web site hinges on the ability of the site operator to keeps its private keys private. While most operators guard their keys carefully, on occasion software vulnerabilities such as the notorious Heartbleed Bug have put millions of keys at risk. If a web-site operator fears that its private key has been compromised, it should ask its certificate authority to revoke the corresponding certificate. Browsers, however, often do not fully check whether the certificates they receive have been revoked, and mobile browsers never check. There are a variety of reasons for not checking, but the most important are the amount of bandwidth required to download certificate revocation lists in advance, the latency of checking certificates on the fly, and the slow progress of upgrading every web server to support the newer certificate status stapling approach.

This talk presents a new and much more efficient system, CRLite, for pushing the revocation status of every certificate to every browser. CRLite leverages a recent development: although lists of revoked certificates were previously available, Google’s Certificate Transparency project now also provides a log of all unrevoked certificates as well. With both lists in hand, a compact data structure called a filter cascade can be used to represent the status of every certificate with no false positives and no false negatives. CRLite requires a browser to download a 1.2MB filter cascade initially, and then a 40KB update (on average) every day. Our results demonstrate that complete revocation checking is within reach for all clients.

Bruce Maggs received the S.B., S.M., and Ph.D. degrees in computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985, 1986, and 1989, respectively. His advisor was Charles Leiserson. After spending one year as a Postdoctoral Associate at MIT, he worked as a Research Scientist at NEC Research Institute in Princeton from 1990 to 1993. In 1994, he moved to Carnegie Mellon, where he stayed until joining Duke University in 2009. While on a two-year leave-of-absence from Carnegie Mellon, Maggs helped to launch Akamai Technologies, serving as its first Vice President for Research and Development. He retains a part-time role at Akamai as Vice President for Research. In 2017 he won the Best Dataset Award at the Passive and Active Measurement Conference, The Best Paper Award at CoNEXT, a Distinguished Paper Award at USENIX Security, and the 2017 IEEE Cybersecurity Innovation Award for work that appeared at IEEE Security and Privacy. In 2018 he was part of a large team that received the inaugural SIGCOMM Networking Systems Award for the Akamai CDN.

Supported by UMBC’s Eminent Scholar Mentoring program.

talk: Legal Aspects of Privacy and Data Protection, 12-1 Fri 11/9

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Legal Aspects of Privacy and Data Protection

Razvan Miutescu
Privacy Counsel, Whiteford, Taylor & Preston

12:00–1:00pm Friday, 9 November 2018, ITE 227, UMBC

Privacy and data security continue to be topics of interest for organizations of all sizes. In addition to being concerned about cyber crimes and data breaches occurring more frequently and with higher operational impact, consumers and regulators around the world are focusing on privacy. Individuals are becoming increasingly aware of the value and the use of the information that identifies them or analyzes their conduct and behavior. Privacy laws around the world are becoming stricter. The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is viewed as a flagship law that imposes data protection requirements well beyond the borders of the European Economic Area. California recently passed its Consumer Privacy Act, which borrows concepts from the GDPR, leaving no doubt that privacy laws in the United States are also on track to become more complex. In this context, we will discuss practical legal approaches to an organization’s privacy and data security program.

Razvan Miutescu is a technology and information governance attorney with Whiteford, Taylor & Preston. His practice focuses on privacy and data security, information technology transactions and licensing, intellectual property, and data management, including data broker transactions, cloud services, distributed ledgers/blockchain, and related regulatory and compliance matters. Email:

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays. All meetings are open to the public.

Professional Graduate Programs Open House, Sat. 10/20 (CYBR, DATA, …)

Professional Graduate Programs Open House, Sat. 10/20

The Fall Open House for UMBC’s Professional Programs (Main Campus offerings) takes place on Saturday, October 20 in the first floor of PAHB from 9:30-11:30am. Students interested in exploring and/or pursuing these graduate programs (degrees and/or certificates) or just want to learn more about these fields are encouraged to register and attend. CSEE students interested in pursuing a BS/MPS option for selected programs (such as CYBR or Data Science) are especially welcome.

Programs represented include

Faculty program directors will be presenting in individual breakout sessions and relevant support staff will be on-hand to provide administrative overviews, answer questions, and mingle. Refreshments will be provided.

If you are interested, please RSVP at If you have questions contact:

MD-AI Meetup holds 1st event at UMBC 6-8pm Wed 10/3, 7th floor library

MD-AI Meetup holds 1st event at UMBC
6-8pm Wed 10/3, 7th floor library


A new Maryland-based meetup interest group has been established for Artificial Intelligence (MD-AI Meetup) and will have its first meeting at UMBC this coming Wednesday (Oct 3) from 6:00-8:00pm in the 7th floor of the library.  The first meeting will feature a talk by UMCP Professor Phil Resnik on the state of NLP and an AI research agenda.  Refreshments will be provided.  The meetup is organized by Seth Grimes and supported by TEDCO, local AI startup RedShred, and the Maryland Tech Council.

If you are interested in attending this and possibly future meetings (which will probably be monthly), go to the Meetup site and join (it’s free) and RSVP to attend this meeting (if there’s still room).  If you join the meetup and RSVP, you can see who’s registered to attend.

These meetups are good opportunities to meet and network with people in the area who share interests. It’s a great opportunity for students who are will be looking for internships or jobs in the coming year.

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