talk: Big Data, Security and Privacy, 11am Wed 5/16

Big Data, Security and Privacy

Prof. Bhavani Thuraisingham, University of Texas at Dallas
11:00-12:00 Wednesday, 16 May 2018, ITE 459, UMBC

The collection, storage, manipulation and retention of massive amounts of data have resulted in serious security and privacy considerations. Various regulations are being proposed to handle big data so that the privacy of the individuals is not violated. For example, even if personally identifiable information is removed from the data, when data is combined with other data, an individual can be identified. This is essentially the inference and aggregation problem that data security researchers have been exploring for the past four decades. This problem is exacerbated with the management of big data as different sources of data now exist that are related to various individuals.

While collecting massive amounts of data causes security and privacy concerns, big data analytics applications in cyber security is exploding. For example, an organization can outsource activities such as identity management, email filtering and intrusion detection to the cloud. This is because massive amounts of data are being collected for such applications and this data has to be analyzed. The question is, how can the developments in big data management and analytics techniques be used to solve security problems? These problems include malware detection, insider threat detection, and intrusion detection.

To address the challenges of big data security and privacy as well as big data analytics for cyber security applications, we organized a workshop sponsored by the National Science Foundation in September 2014 and presented the results in 2015 at an inter-agency workshop in Washington DC. Since then several developments have been reported on big data security and privacy as well as on big data analytics of cyber security. This presenting will summarize the findings of the workshop and discuss the developments and directions.

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham is the Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. Distinguished Professor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and the Executive Director of UTD’s Cyber Security Research and Education Institute since October 2004. She is also a Senior Research Fellow at Kings College, University of London (2015-2018) and a New America Cyber Security Policy Fellow (2017-2018). Her current research is on integrating cyber security and data science. Prior to joining UTD she worked at the MITRE Corporation for 16 years including a three-year stint as a Program Director at the NSF. She initiated the Data and Applications Security program at NSF and was a member of the Cyber Trust theme. While at MITRE she was a department head and was also a technical advisor to the DoD, the NSA, the CIA, and the IRS. Prior to that, she worked for the commercial industry for six years including at Honeywell, Inc. She is the recipient of numerous awards including the IEEE CS 1997 Technical Achievement Award, the IEEE ISI 2010 Research Leadership Award, ACM SIGSAC 2010 Outstanding Contributions Award, SDPS 2012 Transformative Achievement Gold Medal, 2013 IBM Faculty Award, ACM CODASPY 2017 Innovative and Lasting Research Contributions Award, IEEE CS Services Computing 2017 Research Innovation Award, and Dallas Business Journal 2017 Women in Technology Award. She is a 2003 Fellow of the IEEE and the AAAS and a 2005 Fellow of the British Computer Society. She has published over 120 journal articles, 250 conference papers, 15 books, has delivered over 130 keynote and featured addresses, and is the inventor of six US patents. She has chaired/co-chaired top tier conferences including the Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) 2016, ACM CCS 2017, and is serving as the Program co-Chair for IEEE ICDM 2018. She also delivered a featured address at the Women in Data Science (WiDS) conference in 2018. She received her PhD at the University of Wales, Swansea, UK, and the earned higher doctorate (D. Eng) from the University of Bristol, England, UK for her published research in secure data management.

Demos: Designing & developing effective mobile applications, 4-5pm Tue 5/15

Image by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC


Demos: Designing & developing effective mobile applications

UMBC students will demonstrate collaborative mobile computing projects developed in integrated classes offered by Computer Science and Fine Arts. The demonstrations will take place from 4:00 to 5:00pm on Tuesday, 15 May 2018 in the main 3rd floor hallway of the ITE building. Pizza and soft drinks will be served at the event.

The faculty behind  the Designing and Developing Effective Mobile Applications class created the course specifically to prepare students for careers requiring interdisciplinary, team-based approaches to creative projects. Viviana Cordova, assistant professor of visual arts, and Nilanjan Banerjee, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering, jointly developed and taught the course with support from the Hrabowski Fund for Innovation.

Brief descriptions of the seven group projects that will be demonstrated are available on this poster.

Meet Your Professor Series: Marie desJardins, 12-1 Wed. May 2, ITE239

Meet Your Professor Series: Marie desJardins

Join the CS Education Club for its fourth and final installment of the Meet Your Professor series this semester featuring Dr. Marie desJardins. The series provides students with the opportunity to learn more about their professors, including how they achieved their position, what they believe makes an effective teacher, what research they conduct, and more!

Dr. Marie desJardins is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering and Information Technology, and Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.  Prior to joining the faculty in 2001, Dr. desJardins was a senior computer scientist at SRI International in Menlo Park, California.  Her research is in artificial intelligence, focusing on the areas of machine learning, multi-agent systems, planning, interactive AI techniques, information management, reasoning with uncertainty, and decision theory.  She has mentored 13 Ph.D. students, 27 M.S. students, and nearly 100 undergraduate researchers.   She is also active in the CS education community, chairs the Maryland Steering Committee for Computer Science Education, and frequently serves as a mentor and invited speaker at CS education and outreach events.

The event is Wednesday 5/2 from 12:00-12:50 in ITE 239. Light refreshments will be provided. Bring questions!

UMBC CSEE research symposium, 9-5 Friday May 4, South Campus


CSEE research symposium, 9-5 Fri. May 4, South Campus

The UMBC student chapters for ACM and IEEE are jointly organizing a one-day research symposium on Computer and Electrical Systems that will be held at bwtech@UMBC’s South Campus from 9 to 5 on Friday, May 4, 2018. Refreshments and lunch will be provided.

The day will include talks by faculty and students, short presentations of posters, five-minute elevator pitches of new research ideas, a poster session and symposium awards. See the complete symposium schedule for details.

The goal of the symposium is to recognize and inspire student research by sharing cutting-edge ideas and achievements through presentations, posters, and demonstrations. It will bring students, faculty and collaborators from the Computer Science and Electrical Engineering department together to present their research ideas and results.

Location: The symposium will be held at the bwtech@UMBC South Campus (1450 S Rolling Road, Halethorpe, MD 21227) main building. Parking is free and the UMBC Halethorpe shuttle stops there (stop #18).

If you have any questions, please contact .

2018 Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning

2018 Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning

The 2018 Mid-Atlantic Student Colloquium on Speech, Language and Learning (MASC-SLL) is a student-run, one-day event on speech, language & machine learning research to be held at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County  (UMBC) from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Saturday May 12.  There is no registration charge and lunch and refreshments will be provided.  Students, postdocs, faculty and researchers from universities & industry are invited to participate and network with other researchers working in related fields.

Students and postdocs are encouraged to submit abstracts describing ongoing, planned, or completed research projects, including previously published results and negative results. Research in any field applying computational methods to any aspect of human language, including speech and learning, from all areas of computer science, linguistics, engineering, neuroscience, information science, and related fields is welcome. Submissions and presentations must be made by students or postdocs. Accepted submissions will be presented as either posters or talks.

Important Dates are:

  • Submission deadline (abstracts): April 16 April 20
  • Decisions announced: April 21 April 25
  • Registration opens: April 10
  • Registration closes: May 6
  • Colloquium: May 12

UMBC recognizes Marie desJardins for lasting commitment to inclusive computing education

UMBC recognizes Marie desJardins for lasting commitment to inclusive computing education

Marie desJardins, associate dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT) and professor of computer science and electrical engineering, will be leaving UMBC to take up a new position as founding dean of the College of Organizational, Computational, and Information Sciences at Simmons College in Boston.

“What I will remember most about my 17 years here is UMBC’s collaborative spirit. Because of the open environment and commitment to diversity, I’ve been able to work with colleagues across the university on a wide range of initiatives,” desJardins says.

During her tenure at UMBC, desJardins has applied her passion and expertise to implementing programs for students across all disciplines and majors, explains Keith J. Bowman, dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology (COEIT). “She brought her passion and expertise to UMBC, and has changed the lives of faculty, students, and staff through her work,” Bowman says. “As COEIT’s founding associate dean, she has played a crucial role in establishing how the College operates, with a focus on supporting students at all levels. She has set an incredibly high bar in all areas of her work.”

One of desJardins’ many accomplishments was the development and launch of UMBC’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program, based on the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) Grand Challenges for Engineering. The program is open to students who are interested in working on interdisciplinary teams to address pressing challenges facing society. UMBC’s program is distinct because it is open to all majors, bringing together students studying everything from computing and mechanical engineering to the life sciences, social sciences, humanities, and the arts. The Grand Challenge Scholars Program is “a great match with so many things that UMBC and UMBC students are already doing: applied, project-based learning; service learning; entrepreneurial explorations; global involvement; and undergraduate research,” desJardins said of the program when it launched in 2016.

Marie desJardins during an experiential learning activity.

desJardins also reached students across the university through her work with the Honors Colleges, as an Honors Faculty Fellow. This role enabled her to teach a seminar called “Computation, Complexity, and Emergence,” where students from a range of majors shared their perspectives on interdisciplinary topics and learned how subjects they had not previously explored were relevant to their lives. desJardins also served as a chair of the Honors College Advisory Board during her tenure at UMBC.

Beyond her passion for expanding computer science education at UMBC, desJardins has also been steadfast in her work to increase access to computing education for K – 12 students. She has served as the lead principal investigator of CE21-Maryland, a series of projects implemented to increase opportunities for high school students to access computer science education. She was also instrumental in the creation of How Girls Code, an afterschool program and a summer camp at UMBC where girls in elementary and middle school develop computer science skills through engaging activities and learn about careers in the field.

In addition to her writing for academic and technical audiences, desJardins has written numerous articles for the public, including pieces for The Conversation and The Baltimore Sun about the need for computing education for students of all ages. She is particularly passionate about engaging girls and women in computer science.

In a recent op-ed in The Baltimore Sun, desJardins discussed the importance of computer science education in K – 12 schools, both to expand career opportunities for students of all backgrounds and identities and to make sure the world has a chance to benefit from a diverse talent pool in computing fields. “The need for computer science and computational thinking skills is becoming pervasive not just in the world of software engineers, but in fields as varied as science, design, marketing, and public policy,” she wrote.

Marie desJardins, standing at right, addresses high school teachers at the July 2015 CS Matters in Maryland pilot teacher workshop.

desJardins has also worked to support new faculty in her College, as they work to advance their careers, inviting assistant professors and lecturers in COEIT to participate in the Junior Faculty Initiative. The program introduces participants to university resources through units like the Faculty Development Center and Office of Student Disabilities Services. It also supports junior faculty through a series of workshops addressing topics such as time management, mentoring relationships, and conflict management, to acclimate faculty to UMBC.

Across the nation and the world, desJardins has been recognized as a leader in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Earlier this year, she was named a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence. In 2017, she was included on Forbes’ list of women advancing AI research. UC Berkeley, desJardins’ alma mater, also recently recognized her work to advance her field by presenting her with the Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science.

“UMBC has given me so many opportunities to learn, grow, and give back to the community around me, I will be forever grateful,” says desJardins. “No matter where I go from here, I will always consider myself to be part of the UMBC community.”

Adapted from a UMBC News story by Megan Hanks. All photos by Marlayna Demond ’11 for UMBC.

talk: SPARCLE: Practical Homomorphic Encryption, 12pm Fri 4/27

UMBC Cyber Defense Lab

SPARCLE: Practical Homomorphic Encryption

Russ Fink

Senior Scientist
Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory

12:00–1:00pm Friday, April 27, 2018, ITE 237, UMBC

In the newly coined Privacy Age, researchers are building systems with homomorphic algorithms that enable “never decrypt” operations on sensitive data in applications such as computational private information retrieval (cPIR). The trouble is, the leading algorithms incur significant computational and space challenges, relegating them mainly to large cloud computing platforms. We have invented a special-purpose, ring-homomorphic (aka, “fully homomorphic”) algorithm that, owing to some specializing assumptions, trades general-purpose cryptographic utility for linear performance in speed and space.

We will present the cryptosystem and discuss several current challenges. We will also throw in a fun, simple, tactile concept demonstration of PIR for those just generally curious about what all this is, hopefully demystifying how you can enable a server to search for something without knowing what it’s looking for, and without knowing what (if any) results it found.

Russ Fink (UMBC ’10) is a senior scientist at the Johns Hopkins University / Applied Physics Laboratory. His current research interests include private information retrieval, applied cryptography, and cyber security.

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

2018 UMBC Digital Entertainment Conference

2018 UMBC Digital Entertainment Conference

UMBC’s Game Developers Club will hold its 13th annual Digital Entertainment Conference from 11:00-5:00 on Saturday April 28 in the UMBC Commons. Come learn about the game industry from local game developing companies. High school students, college students, aspiring game developers, and game developers are all welcome.

  • Meet professionals in the game industry
  • Learn the latest in game art, code and technology
  • Network with local game developers

Lunch will be provided. You can park in any A, B, or C lot on UMBC Campus. The closest parking garage is the Commons Parking garage on Commons Drive inside the UMBC Hilltop Circle. If you have any questions, send email to

🗣 talk: Classifying Malware using Data Compression, 12-1 Fri 4/20, ITE229

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Classifying Malware using Data Compression

Charles Nicholas, UMBC

12:00–1:00pm Friday, 20 April 2018, ITE 229

Comparing large binary objects can be tricky and expensive. We describe a method for comparing such strings, using ideas form data compression, that is both fast and effective. We present results from experiments applying this method, which we refer to as LZJD, to the areas of malware classification and digital forensics.

Charles Nicholas () earned his B.S. in Computer Science from the University of Michigan – Flint in 1979, and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from Ohio State University in 1982 and 1988, respectively. He joined the Computer Science Department at UMBC in 1988. His research interests include electronic document processing, intelligent information systems, and software engineering. In recent years he has focused on the problems of storing and retrieving information from large collections of documents. Intelligent software agents are an important aspect of this work. Host: Alan T. Sherman,

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

🤖 talk: Where’s my Robot Butler? 1-2pm Friday 4/13, ITE 231

UMBC ACM Student Chapter Talk

Where’s my Robot Butler?
Robotics, NLP and Robots in Human Environments

Professor Cynthia Matuszek, UMBC

1:00-2:00pm Friday, 13 April 2018, ITE 231, UMBC

As robots become more powerful, capable, and autonomous, they are moving from controlled industrial settings to human-centric spaces such as medical environments, workplaces, and homes. As physical agents, they will soon be able help with entirely new categories of tasks that require intelligence. Before that can happen, though, robots must be able to interact gracefully with people and the noisy, unpredictable world they occupy, an undertaking that requires insight from multiple areas of AI. Useful robots will need to be flexible in dynamic environments with evolving tasks, meaning they must learn from and communicate effectively with people. In this talk, I will describe current research in our lab on combining natural language learning and robotics to build robots people can use in the home.

Dr. Cynthia Matuszek is an assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research occurs at in the intersection of robotics, natural language processing, and machine learning, and their application to human-robot interaction. She works on building robotic systems that non-specialists can instruct, control, and interact with intuitively and naturally. She has published on AI, robotics, machine learning, and human-robot interaction. Matuszek received her Ph.D. in computer science and engineering from the University of Washington.

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