Open House: UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity and Data Science Programs, 6-7:30 Wed. 10/25

Open House: UMBC Graduate Professional Programs

The Fall Open House for UMBC Professional Programs, including the graduate programs on Cybersecurity and Data Science, takes place this coming Wednesday evening, 25 October 2017, at BWTECH South (map) from 6:00-7:30pm.

Students interested in pursuing such programs (MPS degrees and/or certificates) or just to learn more about the field are encouraged to register and attend. Current students interested in pursuing a BS/MPS option for selected programs (such as Cybersecurity or Data Science) are especially welcome.

Attendees who apply to start in Spring 18 will have their UMBC application fee waived.

The programs represented include:

Program directors for these programs will present in individual breakout sessions and relevant support staff from DPS, the UMBC Graduate School, Veterans Affairs, etc. will be on-hand to provide administrative overviews, answer questions, and mingle. Refreshments will be provided.

for more information, directions and to register, see here.

Marie desJardins receives UC Berkeley Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science

Prof. Marie desJardins receives UC Berkeley Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science

CSEE professor Marie desJardins has been selected for the 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award in Computer Science by the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor desJardins received a Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 1992.

Each year since 1991, the award has recognizes two distinguished alumni of Berkeley who have made valuable contributions to the field of computer science. Past recipients can be seen here The award will be presented during the Berkeley EECS Annual Research Symposium (BEARS ) on in February 2018.

Nilanjan Banerjee: When What You Wear Understands You

When What You Wear Understands You

Professor Nilanjan Banerjee give a short talk at yher Grit-x event on recent research on systems that use intelligent, wearable sensors to provide better human-computer interfaces and for medical applications.

How can cutting-edge research on textile sensors and wearable radar sensors help us recognize gestures, monitor sleep fragmentation, and diagnose sleep disorders? The Banerjee lab has developed and applied sensors to users with upper extremity mobility impairments, adults suffering from insomnia and restless leg syndrome, and kids with attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, with the intent to begin answering that question.

talk: H. Zhang on BFT- From the “Saddest Moment” to the Era of Blockchains, 12pm Fri 10/20

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

BFT—From the “Saddest Moment” to the Era of Blockchains

Haibin Zhang, CSEE, UMBC

12:00–1:00pm, Friday, 20 October 2017, ITE 231

Blockchains can generally be divided into two categories: permissionless blockchains (e.g., Bitcoin, Ethereum), and permissioned blockchains (e.g., Hyperledger Fabric). In permissionless blockchains, anyone can participate in the protocol. In permissioned blockchains, participants know the IDs of all other participants but do not need to trust them, a particularly useful scenario for business applications. As an emerging technology transforming business models, permissioned blockchains inspired a large number of industrial implementations. The Hyperledger Project (under the Linux Foundation) became a global collaborative project, now with 150+ industry members. Byzantine fault-tolerant (BFT) protocols regained prominence because they can support permissioned blockchain systems. For building permissioned blockchains, BFT is widely regarded as the most appropriate primitive, one accepted by academe and industry. In this talk, I will describe a number of efficient BFT blockchain systems that I helped invent, including BChain, ByzID, CBFT, and secure causal BFT. In addition, I will share my vision for blockchains and associated research opportunities.

Haibin Zhang is an assistant professor in the CSEE Department at UMBC. He is interested in cloud computing, cryptography, security, privacy, and distributed systems. He received the best paper candidate award at the 33rd IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems and proved the security of a NIST standard on ciphertext stealing.  Zhang is one of the main inventors of Norton Zone, Symantec’s scalable cloud storage, and BChain, a highly efficient BFT protocol fully implemented within Hyperledger blockchain framework.

Host: Alan T. Sherman, 

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

In spring 2018, Sherman will teach a CMSC-491/691 special topics class on blockchains and digital currencies.

talk: Bill Fisher (NCCOE) on IoT Security @ USG 10/30 6-8PM

The UMBC Cybersecurity program at USG Speaker Series Presents

The Internet of Things (IoT)

With speaker

William (Bill) Fisher, NCCoE Security Engineer

Building III – Room 4230 (Universities @ Shady Grove Campus)

Monday, October 30th 6:00-8:00 pm

The Internet of Things (IoT) is the inevitable result of years of Moore’s law – compact, cheap, chip platforms that can take ordinarily house hold items and make them data generating and collection devices that users can manage with their smart phone, web browser or their favorite automation platform. Physical proximity is no longer needed for things like cameras, door locks or thermostats. Instead users remotely access all of these “things” while on the go, even sharing some of their favorite things with friends and family, who need not own the thing, but simply be granted access through a web portal or mobile application. Like many technology trends before it, the IoT has brought great innovation but also great security challenges. These challenges go beyond standards and technology to economic and market forces that hinder security best practices, even for some of the most basic cyber hygiene. Join Bill Fisher of the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence for a presentation on these challenges and basic mitigations organizations can put into place to help alleviate the risk that the IoT devices pose to consumers and the enterprise.

Speaker Bio:

Bill Fisher is a security engineer at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE). In this role, he is responsible for leading a team of engineers that work collaboratively with industry partners to address cybersecurity business challenges facing the nation. He leads the center’s Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) project, Mobile Application Single Sign On (SSO) for the Public Safety and First Responder Sector, and is part of the ITL Cybersecurity for IoT program. Prior to his work at the NCCoE, Mr. Fisher was a program security advisor for the System High Corporation in support of the Network Security Deployment division at the Department of Homeland Security. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from American University and a master’s degree in cybersecurity from Johns Hopkins University.

Host: Dr. Behnam Shariati () and UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Association at USG

Applications Open for 2018 CRA-W Grad Cohort for Women

The upcoming CRA-Women Graduate Student Cohort for Women will be held April 13-14, 2018 in San Francisco, CA. CRA-W Grad Cohort for Women is a two-day workshop for female students in their first, second, or third year of graduate school in computing fields. The application is available here and closes November 30.

The workshop is generously funded by sponsors from industry, academia, the National Science Foundation, and the computing community. The workshop aims to increase the ranks of senior women in computing-related studies and research by building and mentoring nationwide communities of women through their graduate studies.

Winning projects at the HackUMBC 2017 Hackathon

HackUMBC was a 24-hour tech innovation marathon where students across the East Coast collaborate on new ideas to build mobile, web and hardware projects. HackUMBC involved a diverse group of students, undergraduate, graduate and high school students over 18, who enjoy a weekend of hacking, workshops, tech talks, networking, and other fun activities. At the end of 24 hours, projects wer presented and judged for different prize categories from sponsors and other organizations. The winners were:

  • First place: Kokua. Bringing communities together around natural disaster aid
  • Second place: Cellular Rover. An advanced RC rover with unlimited radio range
  • Third place: Identification of Most Harmed Regions in Puerto Rico. Using satellite and other data to map out the areas of Puerto Rico that were the most impaired due to Hurricane Maria
  • Best Hardware Hack: Rap-Me-A-Recipe

  • Best Design Hack: Eclipse Blazer. It’s a programmable RGB LED jacket that can really make you stand out in any crowd
  • Best Unique Hack: Morsr. We set the foundation circuitry and code for a new form of audio, visual and physical communication: the TeleGraph

DevFestMD ’17: a day of talks, workshops and networking, Fri Oct 27, Baltimore

Want to learn about blockchain or machine learning? Like to get hands-on experience building software for IoT? Participate in DevFestMD ’17 and do all of that and more! DevFestMD is a day-long tech event filled with talks and hands-on workshops. So whether you’re thinking about joining the tech community or a seasoned software engineer, they have something for you. Early Bird tickets are only $10 and includes breakfast and lunch.

DevFestMD takes place on Friday, October 27, at Betamore at City Garage, 101 West Dickman St., Baltimore

talk: Keith Mayes on Attacks on Smart Cards, RFIDs and Embedded System


Attacks on Smart Cards, RFIDs and Embedded Systems

Prof. Keith Mayes
Royal Holloway University of London

10-11:00am Tuesday, 10 October 2017, ITE 325, UMBC

Smart Cards and RFIDs exist with a range of capabilities and are used in their billions throughout the world. The simpler devices have poor security, however, for many years, high-end smart cards have successfully been used in a range of systems such as banking, passports, mobile communication, satellite TV etc. Fundamental to their success is a specialist design to offer remarkable resistance to a wide range of attacks, including physical, side-channel and fault. This talk describes a range of known attacks and the countermeasures that are employed to defeat them.

Prof. Keith Mayes is the Head of the School of Mathematics and Information Security at Royal Holloway University of London. He received his BSc (Hons) in Electronic Engineering in 1983 from the University of Bath, and his PhD degree in Digital Image Processing in 1987. He is an active researcher/author with 100+ publications in numerous conferences, books and journals. His interests include the design of secure protocols, communications architectures and security tokens as well as associated attacks/countermeasures. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology, a Founder Associate Member of the Institute of Information Security Professionals, a Member of the Licensing Executives Society and a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Theoretical and Applied Electronic Commerce Research (JTAER).


talk: Shukla on Predictability and Prediction of Asian Summer Monsoon, 2pm Tue 10/10

CHMPR Distinguished Lecture Series

Predictability and Prediction of Asian Summer Monsoon

Dr. Jagadish Shukla, George Mason University

2:30pm Tuesday, October 10, 2017, ITE 325, UMBC
Coffee & Tea at 2:00pm

The chaotic nature of the atmosphere puts an upper limit of about two weeks for deterministic prediction of weather. Yet, there is evidence for predictability in the midst of chaos. Societally beneficial dynamical seasonal predictions of short-term climate variations are routinely being made by modeling the interactions among atmosphere, ocean, and land processes. The first part of the seminar will review the evolution of our field from weather prediction to climate prediction.

The second part of the seminar will describe the results for prediction of Asian Summer Monsoons. It will be shown that after 50 years of climate modeling, the fidelity of climate models has improved so that it is possible to produce a skillful prediction of Asian Summer Monsoon rainfall. The seminar will give a historical overview of monsoon forecasting and will present the results of re-forecasting summer monsoon rainfall in the past 57 years (1958-2014) using the NCEP Climate Forecast System. It will be shown that if the modern day coupled climate models were available during the 1970’s, even with the limited ocean observations at that time, it should have been possible to predict the 1972-73 ENSO event and the associated severe monsoon drought over India. Finally, the prospects and future challenges for skillful dynamical seasonal prediction will be described.

J. Shukla was born in 1944 in a small village (Mirdha) in the Ballia district of Uttar Pradesh, India. This village had no electricity, no roads or transportation, and no primary school building. Most of his primary school education was received under a large banyan tree. He passed from the S.R.S. High School, Sheopur, in the first class with distinction in Mathematics and Sanskrit. He was unable to study science in high school because none of the schools near his village included science education. His father, the late Shri Chandra Shekhar Shukla, asked him to read all the science books for classes 6 through 10 during the summer before he was admitted to the S.C. College, Ballia, to study science. After passing the twelfth grade from S.C. College, he went to Banaras Hindu University (B.H.U.) where, at the age of 18, he passed BS (honors) with Physics, Mathematics, and Geology in the first class and then earned the MS in Geophysics in the first class in 1964. He received Ph.D. in Geophysics from BHU in 1971 and ScD in Meteorology from MIT in 1976

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