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.

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!

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,

🗣 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.

🗣️ talk: Human Factors in Cyber Security, 12-1 Fri 4/13, ITE 229, UMBC

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Human Factors in Cyber Security

Dr. Josiah Dykstra

Cyber Security Researcher, US Department of Defense

12:00–1:00pm Friday, 13 April 2018, ITE 229, UMBC

Humans play many roles in the effectiveness of cyber security. While users are often blamed for security compromises, human strengths and weaknesses also affect people who perform design, implementation, configuration, monitoring, analysis, and response. The fields of human computer interaction generally, and usable security specifically, have drawn attention and research to some aspects of human factors, but many opportunities remain for future work.

In this talk, I describe several of my research projects related to human factors in cyber security. The first was a study of how individual differences affect cyber security behavior, and active follow-on research to predict users who might become victimized. The second was a study of stress and fatigue in security operations centers, including a new survey instrument for collecting data in tactical environments. The third was a research prototype using augmented reality to assist humans in cyber security analysis, and an analysis of preliminary results.

Finally, I will present and invite discussion about a new idea for improving security by making it “disappear.” Despite decades of tools and techniques for secure development, and valiant work at adoption and usability, it is clear that many users cannot or will not avail themselves of appropriate cyber security options. It may be time to rethink the amount of interaction required for most users, and if hands-off, behind-the-scenes cyber defense should be the norm.

Josiah Dykstra serves as a Senior Executive Service government civilian and Subject Matter Expert for Computer Network Operations research in the Laboratory for Telecommunication Sciences within the Research Directorate of the National Security Agency. His research includes human augmentation, cyber risk assessment, and cyber effects. He is an active collaborator with academic, industry, and government researchers around the country. Dykstra earned the PhD degree in computer science at UMBC in 2013 studying under Alan T. Sherman. Dr. Dykstra is the author of the 2016 O’Reilly book, Essential Cybersecurity Science, Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and winner of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Host: Alan T. Sherman,

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

🗣 talk: Mixed Membership Word Embeddings for Computational Social Science, 12pm Thr 4/5

ACM ​Faculty Talk

Mixed Membership Word Embeddings for Computational Social Science

​Dr. James Foulds, Information Systems, UMBC

12:00-1:00pm ​Thursday​,​ 5 ​April​ 2018, ITE​459,​ UMBC

Word embeddings improve the performance of natural language processing (NLP) systems by revealing the hidden structural relationships between words. Despite their success in many applications, word embeddings have seen very little use in computational social science NLP tasks, presumably due to their reliance on big data, and to a lack of interpretability. I propose a probabilistic model-based word embedding method which can recover interpretable embeddings, without big data. The key insight is to leverage mixed membership modeling, in which global representations are shared, but individual entities (i.e., dictionary words) are free to use these representations to uniquely differing degrees. I show how to train the model using a combination of state-of-the-art training techniques for word embeddings and topic models. The experimental results show an improvement in predictive language modeling of up to 63% in MRR over the skip-gram, and demonstrate that the representations are beneficial for supervised learning. I illustrate the interpretability of the models with computational social science case studies on State of the Union addresses and NIPS articles.

James (a.k.a. Jimmy) Foulds is an assistant professor in the Department of Information Systems at UMBC. His research interests are in both applied and foundational machine learning, focusing on probabilistic latent variable models and the inference algorithms to learn them from data. His work aims to promote the practice of latent variable modeling for multidisciplinary research in areas including computational social science and the digital humanities. He earned his Ph.D. in computer science at the University of California, Irvine, and was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Santa Cruz, followed by the University of California, San Diego. His master’s and bachelor’s degrees were earned with first class honours at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, where he also contributed to the Weka data mining system.

talk: Cybersecurity as a Team Sport – Understanding Counsel’s Role, 6pm Wed 4/4

The UMBC at Shady Grove Cybersecurity Program Presents

Cybersecurity as a Team Sport – Understanding Counsel’s Role

Allison Bender J.D.

6:00-8:00pm Wednesday, 4 April 2018

The Universities at Shady Grove
Building III (Camille Kendall Academic Center) Room 4230
9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850

In this presentation by seasoned incident response counsel, Allison Bender, you will gain a risk-informed perspective on the role of counsel in cybersecurity governance and incident response. Also, learn strategies for more effective communication and cooperation with other cybersecurity stakeholders (e.g., IT, IT Security, HR, Communications, business leaders, senior executives and the board); and take away practical tips for prioritizing efforts that help tame the chaos of cybersecurity incident response while maintaining privilege as appropriate.

Allison Bender counsels Fortune 50 companies and startups in a range of industries on cybersecurity and privacy matters in the U.S. and internationally. Drawing from her roots in government, national security, and R&D, she helps clients navigate legal issues associated with emerging technologies and aids clients in strategically managing legal, financial, and reputational cybersecurity risks. Allison translates technical, operational, legal, and policy issues to create practical solutions for clients’ legal challenges. Her cybersecurity and national security preparedness counseling is informed by over 80 incident response efforts. When drafting corporate policies and considering product design options, Allison’s advice is seasoned in the management of breaches involving personal data, intellectual property, payment card information, export controlled technical data, and other regulated information. Her experience also extends to counseling on cybersecurity and national security due diligence in mergers and acquisitions, vendor management, and transactions. From DHS, Allison brings experience in incident response as well as cybersecurity policy, information sharing, liability, and incentives. She was the primary operational legal counsel for the federal response to the Heartbleed vulnerability, the USIS-KeyPoint data breach, and the data breach.

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

The UMBC Graduate Cybersecurity Association at USG is an organization created and managed by UMBC Cybersecurity graduate students at Shady Grove. The mission of Cybersecurity Association is to promote the study of Cybersecurity and to raise Cybersecurity awareness and knowledge in the community through panel discussions, conferences, and Cyber competitions. Also, the Cybersecurity Association aspires to create a supportive and positive learning environment in which every member has the opportunity to network, learn, and grow.

🗣 talk: Innovation and Entrepreneurship, 12-1pm Fri, 3/30, ITE237

UMBC ACM Student Chapter Entreprenuership Talk

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dr. Neil Rothman
Graduate Program Director for Professional Programs in Engineering
12.00-1.00pm Friday,​ 30 ​March 2018, ITE​​237, UMBC

There is a misconception that entrepreneurs only create start-up companies based on a new technology or product idea or that entrepreneurship is risky. We will discuss what entrepreneurship really means and how entrepreneurs can identify opportunities to create value.

Dr. Neil Rothman, Professor of the Practice and Graduate Program Director for Professional Programs in Engineering, came to UMBC as a Lecturer in 2012. Dr. Rothman has a BS in Biomedical Engineering and MS in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University. Prior to UMBC, Dr. Rothman spent over 30 years in the medical device industry, focused on product development and manufacturing, and held senior technical management positions in organizations from start-ups to large multinationals. He uses his extensive industry experience to provide a professional engineering practice perspective to all of his courses. Most recently, he was the Vice President of Advanced Research and Technology Development at BrainScope Company, Inc., leading the creation of technologies for the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury and other neurological conditions.

Prior to joining BrainScope, Dr. Rothman was the VP of Research and Development for Infinite Biomedical Technologies (IBT), and led the development of EEG based systems for detection of asphyxic brain injury and seizures in critical care applications. Other positions included Project Manager for GE Healthcare’s Maternal and Infant Care Division, VP of Operations for Metasensors (a startup company developing a microfluidic system for respiratory gas analysis), Director of Engineering for IGEN International (manufacturer of systems for high throughput drug screening, food testing, and clinical diagnostics), and Senior VP and Chief Technical Officer for CardioLogic Systems (manufacturer of automated systems for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and cardiac assist). He also held a variety of positions at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and Black & Decker’s medical products division. Dr. Rothman is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and recently received his 25th patent.

Contact   with questions and follow facebook page for event updates

CS ED Meet Your Professor: John Park, 12-1 3/28

CS ED Meet Your Professor Series: John Park

12:00-1:00 Wednesday, March 28 in ITE 239

Join the Computer Science Education Club in the second installment of their “Meet Your Professor” series featuring Lecturer John Park. 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.

John Park is a computer science lecturer at UMBC. He currently organizes and teaches CMSC 341, and has taught CMSC 104, 202, 313, 331, and 491. He has also had extensive industry experience in many subfields of computer science, including operating systems, real-time control systems, artificial intelligence and machine learning, digital imaging and graphics, and bioinformatics.

The talk is 12:00-12:50 Wednesday March 28 in ITE 239. Light refreshments will be provided. Bring questions!

The Computer Science Education group is for all students, faculty, and staff who are interested in CS education.  We particularly invite students who are planning to have or are considering a career in teaching at the K-12 level, to join, as well as anyone who is interested in educational issues in computer science, including — but not limited to — teaching pedagogies, curriculum, access to CS classes in K-12 schools, and gender/minority underrepresentation in CS classes.

If you are interested in joining, follow the CS Education group on or contact its president, Stephanie Milani, at  .

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