Cyber Defense Team meeting, Noon 4/4 ITE 325b


The UMBC Cyber Defense Team, aka the Cyberdawgs, will host a technical briefing on Monday April 4 featuring two guest speakers from the DoD. The topic will be the cyber competitions between the service academies, and other cyber-related topics may come up as well. The meeting will be held in the CSEE conference room, ITE 325b, from Noon to 2:00pm.

The Cyber Defense Team is a SGA recognized student organization whose members share a common interest in computer and network security and participating in cybersecurity competitions and events. It is open to everyone regardless of your major or current knowledge level. If you are interested in joining come to this meeting or any of the weekly meetings held on Monday's from Noon to 2:00pm. You can also subscribe to its mailing list by sending a message to

The Social Life of Personal Information, 1pm Thr 4/14 ITE325b

The Social Life of Personal Information

Dr. Manuel A. Perez-Quinones

Associate Professor of Computer Science
Virginia Tech

1:00pm Thursday 14 April 2011, ITE 325b

Personal Information Management (PIM) practices are the set of behaviors that we follow to organize our information. This often includes the management of email messages, documents, bookmarks, digital pictures, music, etc. Research in PIM has identified a core set of set of behaviors: encountering information, deciding to keep the information, filing/archiving, and reusing the information. The plethora of digital information and online transactions has us struggling to manage information effectively. In my research group, we are exploring how we can help address this problem.

In this talk, I briefly present previous work on PIM and highlight some new projects that my research group is exploring at the intersection of PIM and Social Networks. The rise of social networks presents an opportunity for the management of personal information. Emails in a person's inbox, for example, are "shared" between the sender and the receiver. What if we could share the PIM practices within our inner personal circle? Could we leverage the power of our social network to be more organized?

Dr. Manuel A. Pérez-Quiñones is Associate Professor of Computer Science, and a member of the Center for Human-Computer Interaction at Virginia Tech. Pérez-Quiñones holds a DSc in CS from The George Washington University, Washington, DC. His research interests include human-computer interaction, personal information management, user interface software, digital government, and educational/cultural issues in computing. He is the author of over 80 peer-reviewed journal and conference proceeding publications, as well as co-author of 10 book chapters. He is Chair of the Coalition to Diversify Computing (2010-2011), a committee of the CRA, ACM, and IEEE-CS. Dr. Pérez-Quiñones is Director of the Personal Information Management Research lab. The PIM lab studies how individuals use technology to organize and use their information to satisfy their day to day needs. Lately the group has been studying how we make sense of the multiple devices used to manage our personal information. Outside of HCI, he has collaborated with researchers in the areas of Digital Government, Software Engineering, Computing Education, Digital Libraries, and Data Mining. Dr. Pérez-Quiñones was born and raised in Puerto Rico.

Host: Dr. Marie desJardins,

Lecture on Distributed Quantum Algorithms, 2:30pm Web 3/30

Classical computers use binary “bits” of ones and zeros. Quantum computers encode such bits in physical systems where we can also harness the quantum mechanical properties and obtain a more powerful system of quantum bits, or qubits. Thanks to the amazing rules of quantum mechanics, qubits can be in a “superposition” of zero and one simultaneously.

Professor Samuel Lomonaco will present a lecture on Distributed Quantum Algorithms from 2:30 to 3:45 on Wednesday March 30 in room ITE 325b. In the talk, Professor Lomonaco will show how quantum entanglement can be used as a mechanism for controlling a network of quantum computers. The talk is open to all.

Curt Tilmes dissertation defense, Data Provenance, 10am Thr 3/31

Dissertation Defense

Enabling Reproducibility of Scientific Data Flows
through Tracking and Representation of Provenance

Curt Tilmes

10:00am Thursday, 31 March 2011
ITE 325b, UMBC

Reproducibility of results is a key tenet of science. Some modern scientific domains, such as Earth Science, have become computationally complicated and, particularly with the advent of higher resolution space based remote sensing platforms, tremendously data intensive. Over the last few decades, these complexities along with the the rapid advancement of the state of the art confound the goal of scientific transparency.

This thesis explores concepts of data identification, organization, equivalence and reproducibility for such data intensive scientific processing. It presents a conceptual model useful for describing and representing data provenance suitable for very precise data and processing identification. It presents algorithms for creating and maintaining precise dataset membership and provenance equivalence at various degrees of granularity and data aggregation.

Application of this model will allow more specific data citations in scientific literature based on large datasets and data provenance equivalence. Our provenance representations will enable independent reproducibility required by scientific transparency. Increasing transparency will contribute to understanding, and ultimately, credibility of scientific results.


  • Yelena Yesha (co-chair)
  • Milton Halem (co-chair)
  • Tim Finin
  • Anupam Joshi
  • Jim Smith (NASA)

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) Tutorial, 4pm Fri 4/1 UMBC

Security-Enhanced Linux (SELinux) is a Linux feature that provides a mechanism for supporting access control security policies that help secure a computer running it against many kinds of attacks.

UMBC Linux Users Group

SELinux Talk and Tutorial

David Quigley
Advanced Engineering & Development, Keyw Corporation

4:00pm Friday, 1 April 2011
Room 229 ITE, UMBC

Over a decade ago researchers at the National Information Assurance Research Lab at the NSA identified a need for flexible mandatory access controls to help provide a solid foundation for secure systems. This resulted in the development of the FLASK architecture, which has seen implementation in a number of operating systems. The most prominent implementation of FLASK is in the form of SELinux. Since the early days of SELinux adoption much work as been done to improve the utility and usability of SELinux. These enhancement have turned SELinux from a prototype research implementation into a robust access control mechanism that is used by a variety of customers world wide.

This talk is a from the ground up journey through SELinux. It starts with why do we need this technology and then moves through where to obtain it, how it works, and how to identify and solve problems associated with SELinux. In addition to these basics the talk also covers slightly more advanced topics such as hot to construct policy for new applications and hot to address customizations particular to your deployments.

David Quigley started his career as a Computer Systems Researcher for the National Information Assurance Research Lab at the NSA where he worked as a member of the SELinux team but has since left that position. David leads the design and implementation efforts to provide Labeled-NFS support for SELinux. David has previously contributed to the open source community through maintaining the Unionfs 1.0 code base and through code contributions to various other projects. David has presented at conferences such as the Ottawa Linux Symposium, the StorageSS workshop, LinuxCon and several local Linux User Group meetings where presentation topics have included storage, file systems, and security. David currently works as a Computer Science Professional for the Advanced Engineering and Development division at Keyw Corporation.

This talk is sponsored by the UMBC Linux Users' Group.

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Talk: Prediction markets for fun, feedback and the future, 10am Thr 3/17, ITE 456

Prediction Market for the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election (Iowa Electonic Markets, 2008)

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Prediction Markets for Fun, Feedback and the Future

Dr. Sanmay Das
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

10:00-11:00am Thursday 17 March 2011
room 456 ITE, UMBC

Prediction markets, when they work well, solve a fundamental problem: how to aggregate individual beliefs into a meaningful quantitative estimate of the probability that a given event will occur. They also provide incentives for people to disseminate privately-held information. I will describe one way to help these markets work better: incorporating a learning agent who provides liquidity, called a market maker. Along the way, the design of this agent raises and solves some fundamental problems in reinforcement learning and Bayesian reasoning. I will also discuss the deployment of this market-making agent in two different settings with human participants. One of these settings is a novel experiment for comparing market structures. Another one, the RPI Instructor Rating Market, allows students to trade on the ratings their professors will receive, thus providing dynamic feedback to instructors on the progress of their classes; we find that market prices are, in fact, better than past ratings at predicting future ratings.

Joint work with Aseem Brahma, Mithun Chakraborty, Allen Lavoie, Malik Magdon-Ismail, and Yonatan Naamad.

Sanmay Das is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He received his Ph.D (2006) and S.M. (2003) degrees from MIT, where he was a student of Tomaso Poggio and Andrew Lo. Prior to that, he received his A.B. in Computer Science from Harvard College (2001). His research focuses on learning in social and economic systems. He has received an NSF CAREER award, is co-author on a paper nominated for the AAMAS Best Student Paper award, and has served as program co-chair for AMMA and workshops chair for the ACM EC conference.

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Croom: State of Cyber Security in 2011, 2/23

Charles Croom, of Lockheed Martin will talk about "The State of Cyber Security 2011" at the UMBC Visionaries in IT Forum at 8:00am on Wednesday, February 23rd at the BWI Airport Marriott. The event is free but registration requested.

Croom joined Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions as Vice President of Cyber Security Solutions in October of 2008. In this capacity, he shapes the corporation’s cyber security strategy with insight from his 35 years of distinguished service, leadership, and technology experience from the U.S. Air Force. He co-chaired a National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee Task Force on “Strengthening Government and Private Sector Collaboration” which issued a May 2009 report recommending that the President direct the establishment of a Joint Coordinating Center. He currently serves on the Boards of the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA) and the Internet Security Alliance (ISA).

Croom retired as a U.S. Air Force Lieutenant General, Director of the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), and the Commander of the Joint Task Force for Global Network Operations in September 2008. While at DISA, he led a worldwide organization of more than 6,600 military and civilian personnel to serve the information technology and telecommunications needs of the President, Secretary of Defense, Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders, and other Department of Defense stakeholders.

Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems, 1pm Fri 3/4, ITE227 UMBC

Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems, 1pm Fri 3/4, ITE227 UMBC

Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems

Dr. Joshua Jones
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

1:00-2:15pm Friday, 4 March 2011, ITE 227, UMBC

Metareasoning, or reasoning about reasoning, is a process by which a system explicitly accesses (monitors and/or controls) its own reasoning. It is a widely held belief in AI that metareasoning is a cruicial part of human-level intelligence, and it could be considered part of consciousness. In this talk I will avoid such philosophical claims, and instead focus on some more practical applications of metareasoning in software systems that learn and adapt in changing environments. Specifically, I will give an overview of the basic metareasoning architecture and then discuss three systems: Augur, a classification system; GAIA, an adaptive game-playing system; and MCL, a general-purpose metareasoning shell.

Dr. Joshua Jones is a a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, where he works on a number of projects with the CORAL and MAPLE labs. These include the development of novel techniques for grammar induction, learning of branching lexicographic preference models, metareasoning in a robotics domain using the Meta-Cognitive Loop (MCL) reasoning system and applications of machine learning methods in medical and financial domains.

Dr. Jones earned his PhD in May 2010 at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as a member of the Design Intelligence Laboratory led by Ashok Goel. His primary research interest is in the area of Artificial Intelligence. He works mostly on learning, which his dissertation viewed as a result of metareasoning — where changes to an agent's knowledge or processes are produced by a deliberative process of agent introspection (self-diagnosis) and self-repair. His dissertation research involved designing both reasoning processes capable of such learning, and knowledge representations capable of supporting those reasoning processes, all of which are implemented in a system called Augur. Augur is also integrated with several statistical machine learning algorithms, and as such, the work is in part intended to establish a bridge between machine learning and knowledge-based approaches to AI.

Update: Slides from Metareasoning in Adaptive Systems, Fri 3/4/2011, UMBC

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Dessert & Discussion with Marc Olano, 6:30pm Thr 2/24, UC 310

From Pong to Halo: The Making of a Game

Marc Olano, 6:30-8:00pm Thursday, 24 February 2011, UC 310

UMBC CSEE Professor Marc OlanoSure you know how to play video games, but have you ever wondered what goes into creating one? Gaming is a multi-billion dollar, world-wide industry and there are increasing opportunities for new ideas. With the growing popularity of web-based and downloadable games, it is becoming easier for independent game designers to be successful. Think you’ve got what it takes? Then put down that controller and join us for a behind the scenes look at game development.

The Dessert and Discussion series engages alumni and outstanding UMBC faculty in dialogue about contemporary social issues and research interested in an informal, intimate environment. Light refreshments, dessert and coffee will be provided for each discussion. You may register for one or more of the following discussions below. *Please note that space is limited to 30 participants per discussion.

Menyuk: Solitons, Self-Induced Transparency, and Modelocking in Quantum Cascade Lasers

Quantum Cascade Laser

Solitons, Self-Induced Transparency,
and Modelocking in Quantum Cascade Lasers

Professor Curtis Menyuk
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

1:00-2:15pm Friday, 18 March 2011, ITE 227, UMBC

Standard semiconductor lasers operate in a limited wavelength range, below about 4 microns. Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) that operate in the mid-IR and far-IR have important applications to medicine, environmental sensing, and national security. While short pulse lasers (~100 fs) are available for standard semiconductor lasers, that is not the case for QCLs. Standard passive modelocking is hard to do in QCLs because of their long coherence times and short gain recovery times. We propose a fundamentally different approach, based on the self-induced-transparency (SIT) effect, that turns these weaknesses into strengths. Solitons, modelocking, and SIT are all reviewed at the beginning of the talk.

Curtis R. Menyuk was born March 26, 1954. He received the B.S. and M.S. degrees from MIT in 1976 and the Ph.D. from UCLA in 1981. He has worked as a research associate at the University of Maryland, College Park and at Science Applications International Corporation in McLean, VA. In 1986 he became an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and he was the founding member of this department. In 1993, he was promoted to Professor. He was on partial leave from UMBC from Fall, 1996 until Fall, 2002. From 1996 – 2001, he worked part-time for the Department of Defense, co-directing the Optical Networking program at the DoD Laboratory for Telecommunications Sciences in Adelphi, MD from 1999 – 2001. In 2001 – 2002, he was Chief Scientist at PhotonEx Corporation. For the last 20 years, his primary research area has been theoretical and computational studies of lasers, nonlinear optics, and fiber optic communications. He has authored or co-authored more than 220 archival journal publications as well as numerous other publications and presentations. He has also edited three books. The equations and algorithms that he and his research group at UMBC have developed to model optical fiber systems are used extensively in the telecommunications and photonics industry. He is a member of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, and the IEEE. He is a former UMBC Presidential Research Professor.

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