talk: Semantic Approach to Automating Big Data and Cloud, 12pm Mon 2/20

A Semantically Rich Approach to Automating Big Data and Cloud

Dr. Karuna Joshi
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

12:00pm Monday, 20 February 2017, ITE 325b, UMBC

With the explosion of Big Data and the growth of data science, there is an urgent need to automate the data lifecycle of generation, ingestion, analytics, knowledge extraction, and archival and deletion. With a promise of rapid provisioning, scalability and high computing capability, cloud based services are being adopted as the default computing environment for Big Data analytics.

To effectively manage their data on cloud, organizations need to continuously monitor the rules/constraints and performance metrics listed in a variety of legal contracts. However, these documents, like Service Level Agreements (SLA), privacy policy, regulatory documents, etc., are currently managed as plain text files meant principally for human consumption. Additionally, providers often define their own performance metrics for their services. These factors hinder the automation of steps of the data lifecycle, leading to inefficiencies in using the dynamic and elastic elements of the Data+Cloud ecosystem and require manual effort to monitor the service performance. Moreover, Cloud-based service providers are collecting large amounts of data about their consumers including Personally Identifiable Information (PII) like contact addresses, credit card details, bank account details, etc. They are offering customized service level agreements which indicate how such data will be handled. To see whether these agreements meet individual or corporate requirements, or comply with statutory constraints, currently involves significant human effort.

In this talk, we present the semantically rich approach that we have developed to automatically extract knowledge from large textual datasets, specially legal documents, using text analytics and Semantic Web technologies. We describe the OWL ontologies that we have developed, and the techniques to extract key terms and rules from textual legal documents. We will also illustrate application of our work in domains such as education, healthcare and cybersecurity.

Karuna P. Joshi is a Research Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her research focuses on Data Science and Big Data Analytics, especially legal text analytics; knowledge representation and reasoning; privacy and security of Big Data and Cloud; and cloud enabled Health IT services. She has published over 30 papers, including in journals like IEEE Transactions on Service Computing and conferences like IEEE Big Data and IEEE CLOUD. Her research is supported by organizations like DoD, ONR, NIST, NSF, GE and IBM. She was also awarded the TEDCO MII award for exploring the commercialization of her research. She has been awarded the prestigious IBM PhD Fellowship. She also has over 15 years of industrial experience, primarily as an IT project manager. She worked at the International Monetary Fund for nearly a decade. Her managerial experience includes portfolio/program/project management across various domains. She received the MS and PhD degrees in Computer Science from UMBC and bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Mumbai, India.

talk: Building Incorruptible Systems in Cloud Environments

Building “Incorruptible” Systems in Cloud Environments

Dr. Haibin Zhang
University of Connecticut

12:00pm Friday, 17 February 2017, ITE 325b, UMBC

In this talk, I will discuss how to design and implement efficient distributed systems in untrusted cloud environments that simultaneously achieve the three most important security goals — integrity, availability, and confidentiality.

Haibin Zhang is a postdoctoral fellow at University of Connecticut advised by Prof. Marten van Dijk. He is working on the MACS project, a cross-institutional collaboration among BU, MIT, Northeastern, and UConn. Previously, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, advised by Prof. Michael Reiter, working on Project Silver. He received his Ph.D. from University of California at Davis (with Prof. Matthew Franklin), his M.S. from Chinese Academy of Sciences, and his B.S. from Shandong University. He is interested in cloud computing, cryptography, security, privacy, and distributed systems. He received the best paper candidate award at 33rd IEEE International Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, proved the security of a NIST standard on ciphertext stealing, and was one of the main inventors of Norton Zone, Symantec’s scalable cloud storage.

talk: Cybersecurity and Cellular Technology, 6pm 2/23 Shady Grove

UMBC Cybersecurity Program Cyber Talk

Cybersecurity and Cellular Technology

Joshua Franklin

6:00-8:00pm Thursday, 23 February 2017

The Universities at Shady Grove
Building III (Camille Kendall Academic Center) Room 3241
9636 Gudelsky Drive, Rockville, MD 20850

​​The UMBC Cybersecurity Program is proud to bring you Cyber Talk, a new speaker series that highlights special topics in Cybersecurity. ​Join us at The Universities at Shady Grove (USG) for an informative and engaging discussion on the operation of cellular networks and the threats posed to mobile technology. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions and hear about the latest trends in industry.

Cellular technology plays an increasingly large role in society as it has become the primary portal to the internet for a large segment of the population. One of the main drivers making this change possible is the deployment of modern 4G LTE cellular technologies. This talk serves as a guide to the fundamentals of how cellular networks operate and explores the evolution of 2G GSM, 3G UMTS and 4G cellular security architectures. This is followed by an analysis of the threats posed to cellular networks and supporting mitigations. Although the talk discusses older GSM and UMTS technologies – it is heavily focused on LTE.

Joshua Franklin is a Security Engineer at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) focusing on cellular security, electronic voting, and public safety. Prior to NIST, Joshua worked at the U.S. Election Assistance Commission gathering extensive experience with voting technologies. After graduating from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Science in Information Systems, he received a Masters of Science in Information Security and Assurance from George Mason University.

talk: Accountability and Data Privacy in the Life Cycle of Big Data

Towards End-to-End Security and Privacy: Accountability
and Data Privacy in the Life Cycle of Big Data

Taeho Jung
Department of Computer Science
Illinois Institute of Technology

11:00am Tuesday, 14 February 2017, ITE 325b, UMBC

The advent of big data has given birth to numerous innovative life-enhancing applications, but the big data is often called as a double-edged sword due to the increased privacy and security threats. Such threats, if unaddressed, will become deadly barriers to the achievement of big opportunities and success anticipated in the big data industry because they may arise at any part of the life cycle of the big data.

In this talk, I will describe my research which addressed various privacy and security issues in the big data life cycle: acquisition, storage, provisioning, and consumption. More specifically, I will briefly present how various types of data can be protected in their acquisition and consumption phases of the life cycle, and subsequently, I will introduce the theoretic foundations of the presented research. Finally, I will present how to make large-scale data trading accountable against dishonest users for the provisioning phase of big data, and this talk will be concluded with my future research agenda briefing.

Taeho Jung is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Science at Illinois Institute of Technology. His research area, in general, includes privacy and security issues in data mining and provisioning in the big data life cycle. His paper has won a best paper award (IEEE IPCCC 2014), and two of his papers were selected as best paper candidate (ACM MobiHoc 2014) and best paper award runner up (BigCom 2015) respectively. He has served many international conferences as a TPC member, including IEEE DCOSS 2016, IEEE MSN 2016, IEEE IPCCC 2016, and BigCom 2016. He received his B.E. in Computer Software in Tsinghua University in 2011, and he will receive his Ph.D. in May 2017.

talk: Bayesianism and the Evidence Problem, 4pm 2/15

Philosophy Department Colloquium

Bayesianism and the Evidence Problem

Lisa Cassell
University of Massachusetts/Amherst

4-6:00pm Wednesday, 15 February 2017, 456 Performing Arts & Humanities

Bayesianism is a theory that gives us norms for how the degrees of belief we have in certain propositions — our “credences” — ought to hang together. For instance, it tells me that if my credence that I will play baseball tomorrow is .3 and my credence that I will play basketball tomorrow is .4, then, if I believe that I will only play one or the other, my credence that I will either play baseball tomorrow or basketball tomorrow is .7. One of Bayesianism’s most attractive features is its updating norm, which gives us a simple and powerful way of revising our beliefs in the light of new evidence. However, Bayesians have an “Evidence Problem”: while their updating norm tells us what to do once we get evidence, it doesn’t tell us what it means to actually have evidence. In this talk, I consider two arguments — one in support of Bayesian’s updating norm and one against it — and show that both of these arguments fail. I go on to consider what these failures teach us about the Evidence Problem. I conclude by considering some different ways of resolving this problem.

Talk: Lexumo Continuous Open Source Code Security

 The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab presents

Lexumo Tech Talk: Continuous Open Source Code Security

Dr. Richard T. Carback III
Lexumo, Inc.

11:15am Friday, 16 December 2016, ITE 237, UMBC

Lexumo is a startup which provides the only automated service that continuously monitors IoT software platforms for the latest public vulnerabilities. Funded in January of 2016 for $4.89M, NetworkWorld recently named Lexumo as a 2016 IoT Company to watch. Join us as UMBC alumnus and Lexumo co-founder Richard Carback discusses some of the hard problems and their technical approaches to monitor all the world’s open source software and assist companies in managing their vulnerabilities. The talk will be followed by an open Q&A session.

Richard T. Carback III is a UMBC Alumnus (CS PhD, 2010) and co-founder of Lexumo. Before Lexumo, Richard led the embedded systems security group at Charles Stark Draper Laboratories and was previously the Chief Scientist at Convergent Technologies, Inc. At UMBC, he worked with Alan Sherman on Scantegrity, a practical end-to-end voter verifiable election system.

Host: Alan T. Sherman ()

The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab (CDL) meets biweekly Fridays 11:15am-12:30pm in ITE 229, for research talks about cybersecurity.

talk: Biomedical Engineering Projects at UMBC’s Center for Advanced Sensor Technology

UMBC Center for Advanced Sensor Technology

UMBC CSEE Research Seminar

 Biomedical Engineering Projects at CAST

Dr. Yordan Kostov

UMBC Center for Advanced Sensing Technology

1-2pm, Friday, 9 December 2016, ITE 229

The Center for Advanced Sensor Technology is currently leading two projects: “Biologics manufacturing on demand,” funded by DARPA, and “A wearable asthma trigger monitoring system with integrated physiological monitor,” funded by NIH.  The first project is focused on shrinking the footprint of a pharmaceutical factory down to suitcase, capable of producing biologics within twelve hours from the start. There is an ample need for drastically rethinking every detail of the process, with the need to miniaturize all the fluidic components (tanks, mixers, purification columns) and to create networked versions of the shakers, pumps, valves and sensors. The presentation highlights the need for novel sensing devices for process control and drug release. The second project is focused on development of three separate sensors for measuring CO2 in blood, concentration of dust particulate in air, and respiration rate.  These sensors must be networked together to collect real time data and transfer them to a central depository via a cell phone app. The presentation highlights the different challenges in creating the sensors.


Dr. Yordan Kostov holds the B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering, from Odessa Politechnic Institute, Ukraine. He received a Ph.D. Degree in Electrical/Chemical Engineering from Bulgarian Academy of Sciences for his work in the area of optical chemical sensors and biosensors. His post-doctoral training includes fellowships at University of Hannover, Germany and University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute. He was an assistant professor in the Department of Biotechincs, Sofia Technical University, Bulgaria. Since 2000, he is a research professor in the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), with an appointment as assistant director of the UMBC Center for Advanced Sensor Technology. He is an affiliate professor in CSEE.  Dr. Kostov is involved in the development of chemical and biochemical sensors for biotechnology and biomedical applications.

Organizers: Tulay Adali () and Alan T. Sherman ()

About the CSEE Seminar Series: The UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering presents technical talks on current significant research projects of broad interest to the Department and the research community.  Each talk is free and open to the public.  We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future talks.

Other UMBC CSEE Seminar Series: The UMBC Cyber Defense Lab (CDL) meets biweekly Fridays 11:15am-12:30pm in ITE 229, for research talks about cybersecurity.


Event: Wanted, One Million IT Security Specialists by 2018

Students, faculty, staff and community members are invited to join CWIT and  STEMRules for a lunch event to hear from and network with diverse professionals from across the cybersecurity industry.

Wanted: One Million IT Security Specialists by 2018

You Could be One of Them

12-1:30pm Friday, 2 December 2016
Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery (1st floor)
Lunch will be provided

RSVP: Please respond by December 1, 2016

UMBC CWIT and STEMRules host cyber professionals from the public, private, and nonprofit sectors who will relate their personal/professional journeys, answer questions and be available for networking. Speakers  will include the following individuals:

  • Veda Woods  is an executive at an undisclosed Fortune 500 financial institution, a member of multiple boards and the executive director of the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals.
  • William McBorrough is a second-generation engineer is the founder and Managing Director of Washington, DC-based McGlobalTech and an information security and risk management consultant.
  • Pamela E. Carbajal is a Cyber Security Compliance and Policy Analyst, Senior Consultant, at Booz Allen Hamilton, a global management and technology consulting and engineering services firm.
  • Mahalakshmi “Maha” Venkataraman is a Senior Manager in the Software Engineering unit, and the technology lead for the anti-money laundering investigation team at Capital One, a major bank holding company.
  • Lisa Jiggetts is the founder of the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering women to succeed in the cybersecurity field. She is a also a freelance mobile security consultant.



talk: Genetic ancestry predicts striatal dopamine D2 receptors, 1pm Dec 2, ITE229

UMBC CSEE Seminar Series

Genetic ancestry predicts striatal dopamine D2 receptors

Dr. Corinde Wiers
National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, Bethesda, MD

1-2pm Friday, 2 December 2016, ITE 229, UMBC

Genetic ancestry was recently found to be associated with cortical geometry, cortical surface, and total brain volume in humans. Despite ethnic differences in allele frequency in dopaminergic genes associated with dopamine D2/D3 receptor availability (D2R), no study to date has investigated the relationship between genetic ancestry and striatal D2R. Here, we show that genetic informative markers significantly predict dorsal striatal D2R in 117 healthy ethnically diverse residents of the New York metropolitan area using Positron Emission Tomography (PET) with [11C]raclopride, while correcting for age, sex, BMI, education years, and estimated socioeconomic status based on individuals’ ZIP codes. Striatal D2R may thus be modulated by genetic ancestry, although differences in environmental factors between ethnic groups could mediate these effects. Findings may have implications for pharmacological treatment targeting D2R, such as antipsychotic D2R antagonists.

Corinde Wiers, PhD, is a Research Fellow at the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, in the Laboratory of Neuroimaging of Nora D. Volkow, M.D. After her studies in Psychology and Psychobiology at the University of Amsterdam (Netherlands) and Sussex University (UK) in 2010, she completed her PhD in Psychology at the Berlin School of Mind and Brain and Free University Berlin (Germany) in 2014, where she investigated neural underpinnings of automatic approach behavior to alcohol cues, and neural effects of behavioral trainings in patients with alcohol use disorder. The main goal of Dr. Wiers’ research is to understand cognitive, neurobiological and (epi)genetic processes involved in drug addiction, using functional MRI, PET, psychophysics and molecular techniques. She currently works on how peripheral epigenetic markers relate to brain functioning in drug addiction and other psychiatric disorders. Further research interests include the neurobiology of sleep, effects of sleep deprivation, comorbidities of sleep and substance use disorders, and how neuroimaging techniques can be of use for treatment in psychiatry.

Host: Tulay Adali

About the CSEE Seminar Series: The UMBC Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering presents technical talks on current significant research projects of broad interest to the Department and the research community. Each talk is free and open to the public. We welcome your feedback and suggestions for future talks.

Organizers: Tulay Adali and Alan Sherman

talk: Dr. Phyllis Schneck (DHS) on The Need for Speed in Cybersecurity

Dr. Phyllis Schneck is the Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity & Communications with the Department of Homeland Security, where she is also the Chief Cybersecurity Official.

CHMPR Distinguished Lecturers Series

The Need for Speed

Dr. Phyllis A. Schneck

Deputy Under Secretary of Cybersecurity
Department of Homeland Security

3:30pm Thursday, 1 December 2016, UC 310
3:00pm Coffee, tea, and cookies

As computers get faster, they change the world. Processors get smaller, the number of devices with processors gets bigger, and the amount of information that can be produced and transported grows exponentially. Everything on the planet, unless one can eat it, is likely to have electronic logic within – and, most recently, to be connected to other devices. Our way of life and critical infrastructures, from power and water to finance is enabled by this ability to process light, and transport information at that speed. The speed of computing is enabling new conveniences and capabilities, and furthering science in directions never before imagined from DNA studies to particle physics. This amazingly connected world, however, introduces new vulnerabilities as many connected devices were not designed to be safe from unauthorized access and use. We must pay special attention to protecting infrastructure components such as information and the intricate signaling systems that generate and distribute electricity. This requires specialized algorithms to mine the masses of data to recognize normal internet activity from potential threat indicators. The goal is to create a more self-healing network, accomplishing with information what nature does with biological responses – creating an electronic immune system. Cognitive computing can provide groundbreaking results in data mining and analysis that will enhance the Cybersecurity to protect the other applications such as genomic and physics research. Software and hardware developers need to work together to create the algorithms and custom hardware to minimize heat, maximize computation and, finally, create a secure design.

We can use the speed of computing to enhance Cybersecurity as well – thus the paradox of the need for speed to protect itself.

Dr. Phyllis Schneck is the Deputy Under Secretary for Cybersecurity & Communications with the Department of Homeland Security, where she is also the Chief Cybersecurity Official. Previously held positions include Chief Technology Officer for Global Public Sector, McAfee, Inc.; VP of Enterprise Services, eCommSecurity; and VP of Corporate Strategy for SecureWorks, Inc. Schneck earned her Ph.D. in computer science from Georgia Tech and pioneered the field of info security and security-based high-performance computing at Georgia Tech. She holds seven information security patents and has six research publications in the areas of info security, real-time systems, telecom and software engineering.

If you plan on attending, please RSVP to Michelle Bobovych at to ensure we have a sufficient number of chairs.

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