talk: Secure Computation: From Theory to Practice, 12-1pm Oct 30


UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Secure Computation: From Theory to Practice

Jonathan Katz

Computer Science Department
University of Maryland, College Park

12:00–1:00 pm EDT, Friday, 30 October 2020
Online via Webex


Protocols for secure multi-party computation (MPC) allow a collection of mutually distrusting parties to compute a function of their private inputs without revealing anything else about their inputs to each other. Secure computation was shown to be feasible 35 years ago, but only in the past decade has its efficiency been improved to the point where it has been implemented and, more recently, begun to be used. This real-world deployment of secure computation suggests new applications and raises new questions.

This talk will survey some recent work at the intersection of the theory and practice of MPC, focusing on a surprising application to the construction of Picnic, a “post-quantum” signature scheme currently under consideration by NIST for standardization.

Jonathan Katz is a faculty member in the department of computer science at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he formerly served as director of the Maryland Cybersecurity Center for over five years. He is an IACR Fellow, was named a University of Maryland distinguished scholar-teacher in 2017-2018, and received the ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Contribution Award in 2019.


Host: Alan T. Sherman, Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1pm. All meetings are open to the public.

Upcoming CDL Meetings: Nov. 13, TBA, [possibly: David R Imbordino (NSA), Security of the 2020 presidential election]; Dec. 11, TBA, [possibly: Peter A. H. Peterson (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial Thinking]

NFS CyberCorps Scholarship for Service(SFS)



Earn full tuition, fees, and stipends $25,000 – $34,000 annual scholarships for up to 3 years

(government employment required for every year of scholarship)

For BS (rising juniors or seniors), MS, MPS, or PhD in CS, CE, IS, Cyber or related fields

USA citizenship or permanent residency required

MINIMUM GPA of 3.25


Contact: Dr. Alan Sherman

For more information: www.sfs.opm.gov                                                                                              or                                                                                               https://cybersecurity.umbc.edu/scholarship-for-service-sfs/

APPLY THROUGH SCHOLARSHIP RETRIEVER: https://scholarships.umbc.edu/retriever/

UMBC’s Jack Suess to receive 2020 EDUCAUSE Leadership Award

Jack Suess. Photo by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

UMBC’s Jack Suess to receive 2020 EDUCAUSE Leadership Award


UMBC Vice President for Information Technology Jack Suess will soon receive one of the highest national recognitions offered to professionals in his field: the EDUCAUSE Leadership Award

EDUCAUSE is a nonprofit association that focuses on information technology (IT) in higher education and includes more than 2,300 member colleges, universities, and groups. Suess ‘81, mathematics, M.S. ‘94, information systems, will receive the award during the EDUCAUSE Annual Conference, which will be held virtually this month. 

“This is a tremendous honor for me. Given that my entire career has been at UMBC, it also is testament to the innovative and collaborative culture of the UMBC community,” Suess says. “In particular, I want to highlight the technology leadership of my Division of Information Technology colleagues. Through all of their efforts, UMBC is looked at as a model for the use of technology in higher education.”

Read more information on this UMBC News article by Megan Hanks.

CSEE URM WORKSHOP & SOCIAL EVENT

Where: https://umbc.webex.com/

This is the second in a series of events that aim to build community among students from groups traditionally underrepresented in the field of computing.

Join us for an opportunity to meet, chat with, and engage fellow CSEE students, faculty, staff, and alumni.

Panelists will discuss life beyond the undergraduate years.

Let’s Do This! Be Social- Virtually

Welcome Remarks– Dr. Freeman Hrabowski

Alumni Speakers

Dr. Jeff Avery, Northrup Grumman

Federico Cifuentes-Urtubey, Ph.D. student, UIUC

Dr. Patti Ordóñez, Associate Prof., UP-RP

Dr. Nwokedi Idika, Google

Kerry Luke, Northrop Grumman

CSEE Faculty Speakers

Mr. Ivan Sekyonda                          Dr. Marcella Wilson

Dr. Dmitri Perkins                             Dr. David Chapman

talk: BVOT, Self-Tallying Boardroom Voting with Oblivious Transfer; 12-1pm 11/6

 BVOT is a self-tallying boardroom voting protocol with ballot secrecy, fairness (no tally info. available before polls close), and dispute-freeness (voters can see that all voters followed the protocol).

UMBC Cyber Defense Lab

BVOT: Self-Tallying Boardroom Voting with Oblivious Transfer

Farid Javani, CSEE, UMBC

12:00–1:00pm, Friday, 6 November 2020

http://umbc.webex.com/meet/sherman

(Joint work with Alan T. Sherman)


A boardroom election is an election with a small number of voters carried out with public communications. We present BVOT, a self-tallying boardroom voting protocol with ballot secrecy, fairness (no tally information is available before the polls close), and dispute-freeness (voters can observe that all voters correctly followed the protocol).

BVOT works by using a multiparty threshold homomorphic encryption system in which each candidate is associated with a masked unique prime. Each voter engages in an oblivious transfer with an untrusted distributor: the voter selects the index of a prime associated with a candidate and receives the selected prime in a masked form. The voter then casts their vote by encrypting their masked prime and broadcasting it to everyone. The distributor does not learn the voter’s choice, and no one learns the mapping between primes and candidates until the audit phase. By hiding the mapping between primes and candidates, BVOT provides voters with insufficient information to carry out effective cheating. The threshold feature prevents anyone from computing any partial tally—until everyone has voted. Multiplying all votes, their decryption shares, and the unmasking factor yields a product of the primes each raised to the number of votes received.

In contrast to some existing boardroom voting protocols, BVOT does not rely on any zero-knowledge proof; instead, it uses oblivious transfer to assure ballot secrecy and correct vote casting. Also, BVOT can handle multiple candidates in one election. BVOT prevents cheating by hiding crucial information: an attempt to increase the tally of one candidate might increase the tally of another candidate. After all votes are cast, any party can tally the votes.

Farid Javani is a Ph.D. candidate in computer science at UMBC, working with Alan Sherman. His research interests include algorithms, security, applied cryptography, and distributed systems. He is the manager of the Enterprise Architecture team at CCC Information Services in Chicago. email:


Host: Alan T. Sherman, Support for this event was provided in part by the National Science Foundation under SFS grant DGE-1753681. The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1:00 pm. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings: Oct. 30, Jonathan Katz (UMCP), [possibly on secure distributed computation]; Nov. 13, TBA, [possibly: David R Imbordino (NSA), Security of the 2020 presidential election]; and Dec. 11, TBA, [possibly: Peter A. H. Peterson (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial Thinking]

talk: Exploding Blockchain Myths, 5:30pm Tue 10/13


UMBC Data Science Meetup Talk

Exploding Blockchain Myths

Maria Vachino and Dr. James P. Howard

5:30-7:00pm Tuesday, 13 October 2020


In this talk, Maria Vachino from Easy Dynamics and Dr. James P. Howard from APL will provide an overview of what blockchain is and isn’t, focusing on non-cryptocurrency use cases, will explain the results of their research for the DHS S&T Cybersecurity Directorate, and will provide insight into the value (or lack therefore) of the technology.

References:
https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/document/8965252/
http://jitm.ubalt.edu/XXX-3/article3.pdf

Maria Vachino is the Director of Digital Identity at Easy Dynamics where she is focused on Identity Credential & Access Management (ICAM) technologies, policies, & standards, Cybersecurity, and IT modernization for the US Federal Government. She started investigating applications for blockchain technology in 2015 as the Technical and Government Engagement Lead for the DHS S&T Cyber Security Directorate’s Identity Management Research & Development Program while a member of the Senior Professional Staff at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab. Maria has a BS in Computer Science from UMBC and an MS in Cybersecurity.

Dr. James P. Howard, II (UMBC Ph.D. ’14) is a scientist at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. Previously, he was a consultant to numerous government agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Executive Office of the President, and the United States Department of Homeland Security, and worked for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System as an internal consultant on scientific computing. He is a passionate educator, teaching mathematics and statistics at the University of Maryland Global Campus since 2010 and has taught public management at Central Michigan University, Penn State, and the University of Baltimore. His most recent work has modeled the spread of infectious respiratory diseases and Ebolavirus, predicted global disruptive events, researched using blockchain for government services, and created devices for rescuing victims of building collapse. He is the author of two books.

talk: From UMBC to CEO


The Alex. Brown Center For Entrepreneurship
The Raymond V. Haysbert, Sr. Entrepreneurship Lecture Series
presents


From UMBC to CEO

Delali Dzirasa, Fearless
UMBC ‘04, BS Computer Engineering


12:00-1:00 pm Wednesday, 30 September 2020
online via Webex


Come listen to Delali, CEO and Founder of Fearless, talk about his entrepreneurial journey after he left UMBC. Every day Delali strives to make a difference in technology and in his surrounding community. He is passionate about increasing the rate of city youth heading into STEM fields and works closely with city nonprofits to provide funding and mentorship programs in city schools, as well as other educator initiatives. Fearless is a full stack digital services firm in Baltimore, Maryland with a mission to create software with a soul – tools that empower communities and make a difference. Fearless delivers sleek, modern, and user-friendly software designed to push the boundaries of possibility, to create a world where good software powers the things that matter.

Every day Delali strives to make a difference in technology and in his surrounding community. He is passionate about increasing the rate of city youth heading into STEM fields and works closely with city nonprofits to provide funding and mentorship programs in city schools, as well as other educator initiatives.

Delali Dzirasa ‘04 is the CEO and Founder, of Fearless. He received a B.S. in computer engineering from UMBC in 2004. His awards and affiliations include UMBC Outstanding Young Alumni of the Year, 2011; Board Member, Downtown Partnership of Baltimore; Board Member, UMBC College of Engineering & Information Technology; Co-Founder / Chair DevOpsDays, Baltimore; BBJ’s 40 under 40, 2017; Co-Founder, Digital Services Coalition, 2018; Co-Founder, Hack Baltimore, 2018; GBC LEADERship class of 2018; BBJ’s National List of Influential 100; Young Executives, 2018; and BBJ’s Tech 10, 2019.

For more information, see this flyer


The Raymond V. Haysbert, Sr. Entrepreneurship Lecture Series provides a platform for successful entrepreneurs to candidly share their experiences and insights with UMBC students, faculty, alumni and the Baltimore business community. The series highlights experiences, lessons learned and unique issues and challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the creation of a new enterprise.

Prof. Sherman receives Hrabowski Fund for Innovation award to develop quantum computing teaching material


Prof. Sherman receives Hrabowski Fund for Innovation award to develop quantum computing teaching material


CSEE Professor Alan Sherman received a seed award from UMBC’s Hrabowski Fund for Innovation to develop educational material for quantum algorithms. The project, Evaluation and Enhancement of a Learning Unit on Quantum Algorithms, will involve a multidisciplinary team that will assess and enhance materials for a two-week learning unit on algorithms for quantum computers for use in a general course on algorithms. Some material has already been developed and field-tested in UMBC’s computer science graduate algorithms course, CMSC 641.

The educational unit will introduce the new transformative paradigm of quantum algorithms, which offers tremendous potential for solving important complex problems when executed on a quantum computer. This project will make this learning unit, including its six videos and other materials, freely available after they are revised and enhanced based on reviews by three experts.

The Hrabowski Fund for Innovation exemplifies UMBC’s commitment to investing in faculty initiatives that fuel creativity and enterprise and also create opportunities for student engagement.

New U.S. News rankings honor UMBC strengths in teaching, innovation, and inclusion


New U.S. News rankings honor UMBC strengths in teaching, innovation, and inclusion


The 2021 U.S. News and World Report Best Colleges rankings affirm that UMBC remains one of the top universities in the nation, with a uniquely distinguished profile. 

UMBC has advanced to #11 for undergraduate teaching and holds the #9 position on the list of most innovative schools in the nation, among other prominent rankings. UMBC is the only Maryland school represented in the top ten in innovation, standing alongside such universities as Stanford, Carnegie Mellon, MIT, and Caltech. 

Read more about this in this UMBC News article.

talk: Psychometric Evaluation of the Cybersecurity Concept Inventory, 12-1 Fri 9/18


The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents


Psychometric Evaluation of the Cybersecurity Concept Inventory


Seth Poulsen

Computer Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

12:00noon–1pm, Friday, September 18, 2020

https://umbc.webex.com/meet/sherman

Joint work with Geoffrey Herman, Alan Sherman, Linda Oliva, Peter Peterson, Enis Golaszewski, Travis Scheponik, and Akshita Gorti.

We present a psychometric evaluation of a revised version of the Cybersecurity Concept Inventory (CCI) completed by 355 students from 29 colleges and universities. The CCI is a conceptual test of understanding created to enable research on instruction quality in cybersecurity education. This work extends previous expert review and small-scale pilot testing of the CCI. Results show that the CCI aligns with a curriculum many instructors expect from an introductory cybersecurity course, and that it is a valid and reliable tool for assessing what cybersecurity conceptual knowledge students learned.

Seth Poulsen is a PhD candidate in computer science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. I’m interested in Computing Education, Programming Language design and implementation, Math Education, and any interesting intersections of the above. Previously, he was a Software Engineer at Amazon.com, working on Kindle Web Rendering and the Kindle Lite Android app. email: ,

Support for this research was provided in part by the U.S. Department of Defense under CAE-R grants H98230-15-1-0294, H98230-15-1-0273, H98230-17-1-0349, H98230-17-1-0347; and by the National Science Foundation under UMBC SFS grants DGE-1241576, 1753681, and SFS Capacity Grants DGE-1819521, 1820531. For more on the educational Cybersecurity Assessment Tools (CATS) Project: https://arxiv.org/pdf/2004.05248.pdf

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab meets biweekly Fridays 12-1pm. All meetings are open to the public. Upcoming CDL Meetings:

  • Oct. 2, TBA [possibly: security of payment infrastructure]
  • Oct. 16, TBA [possibly: Jonathan Katz (GMU)]
  • Oct. 30, TBA
  • Nov. 13, TBA, [possibly: David R Imbordino (NSA), Security of the 2020 presidential election]
  • Dec. 11, TBA, [possibly: Peter A. H. Peterson (Univ. of Minnesota Duluth), Adversarial Thinking]
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