We are happy to report that Philip Conrad, a Senior in Computer Science, along with Benjamin Davis, a PhD student in Structural Engineering, have been awarded second place in the USC Proving Ground competition. They proposed a security system and app that alerts users when there is an intruder. See video below.
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Our CyberSecurity teams have returned from UConn's CyberSEED competition and have done very well! The CTF team participated in Symantec's Professional CTF scenario and came in 6th place this year. We were competing with teams from all over the country and have blown our placement from last year (13th) out of the water in a very close competition. This year's scenario was an insecure bank, complete with a real ATM and debit card forgery. This year's team members were Collin Morrell (Team Captain), Adam Formenti, Nate Fuller, and Nick Connon.
We also sent a team to take place in the new Social Engineering competition as well. They came in 8th place in what sounded like a very difficult contest. They were required to breach a simulated company through insecure HR, helpdesk, web portal, email and telephone practices. This competition very clearly demonstrated that people are the biggest security vulnerabilities any company has. The Social Engineering team members were Yasemin Pak (Team Captain), Dakota Jones, Clay Norris, and Abhishek Bottu.
We would like to welcome our newest faculty member Dr. Gregory Gay. He received is PhD in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota. His research interests are in software engineering and automated testing techniques. He is currently teaching CSCE 740: Software Engineering. USC news has an interview with him.
Dr. Jason O'Kane has received an NSF research award for his project entitled "Why is automating the design of robot controllers hard, and what can be done about it?" This project seeks to bring together new techniques for filtering and planning to improve reasoning and analysis steps employed during robot design.
Dr. Gabriel Terejanu has received an NSF research award for his project is entitled "SciLAF: Scientific-based Learning Assessment Framework for Student Knowledge Tracking". The project addresses the fundamental challenge of assessing individual student's knowledge in cornerstone engineering classes with high student-to-faculty ratios. The goal is to develop a computational assessment framework that easily integrates into an instructor's routine efforts to track student knowledge, suggest remedial interventions, and guide future examinations.
Dr. Rekleitis, Dr. Beer, and Dr. O'Kane have received an award from the NSF for their project "A Heterogeneous Team of Field Robots for Research into Coordinated Monitoring of Coastal Environments". The award will support the acquisition of a multi-robot team that can operate in coastal environments.
Dr. Jianjun Hu has received a grant award from the South Carolina Department of Transportation for his Data Mining and Analytics for Transportation Management project. This project will analyze large existing data sets concerning the usage and maintenance of equipment at the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The effort will assess SCDOT repair shop capability needs, capacity, skills, and tools/equipment.
Under the leadership of Dr. Farkas, the department has been recognized as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research (CAE-R). We offer an undergraduate Cybersecurity specialization and a graduate Information assurance certificate under this program. The notification states:
Your ability to meet the increasing demands of the program criteria will serve the nation well in contributing to the protection of the National Information Infrastructure. The Presidents’ National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace, 14 February 2003 and the International Strategy for Cyberspace, May 2011, addresses the critical shortage of professionals with these skills and highlights the importance of higher education as a solution to defending America’s cyberspace. “Like all nations, the United States has a compelling interest in defending its vital national assets, as well as our core principles and values, and we are committed to defending against those who would attempt to impede our ability to do so.” Education is the key to promoting these ideals.