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
Directions/Parking

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 Healthcare.gov 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 http://goo.gl/eoMAbw 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 my.umbc.edu or contact its president, Stephanie Milani, at  .

🗣talk: Internet of Acoustic Things: Challenges, Opportunities & Threats, 10:30 3/28

Internet of Acoustic Things (IoAT):
Challenges, Opportunities, and Threats

Nirupam Roy, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

10:30-11:30am Wed. 28 March 2018, ITE325b, UMBC

The recent proliferation of acoustic devices, ranging from voice assistants to wearable health monitors, is leading to a sensing ecosystem around us — referred to as the Internet of Acoustic Things or IoAT. My research focuses on developing hardware-software building blocks that enable new capabilities for this emerging future. In this talk, I will sample some of my projects. For instance, (1) I will demonstrate carefully designed sounds that are completely inaudible to humans but recordable by all microphones. (2) I will discuss our work with physical vibrations from mobile devices, and how they conduct through finger bones to enable new modalities of short range, human-centric communication. (3) Finally, I will draw attention to various acoustic leakages and threats that arrive with sensor-rich environments. I will conclude this talk with a glimpse of my ongoing and future projects targeting a stronger convergence of sensing, computing, and communications in tomorrow’s IoT, cyber-physical systems, and healthcare technologies.


Nirupam Roy is a Ph.D. candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). His research interests are in mobile sensing, wireless networking, and embedded systems with applications to IoT, cyber-physical-systems, and security. Roy is the recipient of the Valkenburg graduate research award, the Lalit Bahl fellowship, and the outstanding thesis awards from both his Bachelor’s and Master’s institutes. His recent research on “Making Microphones Hear Inaudible Sounds” received the MobiSys’17 best paper award and was selected for the ACM SIGMOBILE research highlights of the year in 2017.

🗣 talk: Addressing Real-world Societal Challenges: Advanced Game-Theoretic Models and Algorithms 3/29

 

Addressing Real-world Societal Challenges:
Advanced Game-Theoretic Models and Algorithms

 

Dr. Thanh H. Nguyen, University of Michigan

1:15-2:15 Thursday, 29 March 2018, ITE 325, UMBC

This talk will cover my research in AI, with a focus on Multi-Agent Systems, for solving real-world societal problems, particularly in the areas of Sustainability, Public Safety and Security, Cybersecurity, and Public Health. In these problems, strategic allocation of limited resources in an adversarial environment is an important challenge which involves complex human decision making, a variety of uncertainties, and exponential action spaces. I will present my research in developing advanced game-theoretic models and algorithms for tactical allocation decisions in these problems. In particular, I will outline three main contributions of my research: (i) learning new behavioral models of human decision-making for adversarial reasoning – I will discuss results from applying these models to both human subjects data from the lab and real-world data; (ii) developing robust game-theoretic algorithms, which handle a variety of uncertainties in security and are applied to domains in which data is not available to generate a prior distribution of uncertainties; and (iii) designing scalable game-theoretic algorithms, which address the challenge of exponential action and state spaces in complex cybersecurity problems. Finally, I will briefly introduce the real-world deployed application PAWS (Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security), which incorporates my models and algorithms, for wildlife protection.


Thanh Nguyen is a Postdoctoral Researcher in the Department of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Michigan. She received her Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Southern California (USC) in Summer 2016. While at USC, she was part of the USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society. Her work in the area of Artificial Intelligence is motivated by real-world societal problems, particularly in the areas of Sustainability, Public Safety and Security, Cybersecurity, and Public Health. Her recent awards include the Deployed Application Award (IAAI 2016) and Runner-up of the Best Innovative Application Paper Award (AAMAS 2016). Thanh has published extensively in several leading conferences in Artificial Intelligence, including IJCAI, AAAI, AAMAS, and GameSec. She has contributed to build the real-world wildlife-protection application PAWS (Protection Assistant for Wildlife Security), which has been extensively used by NGOs in conservation areas in multiple countries.

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