Research Talk


Lanier Watkins

Johns Hopkins University, USA

Bio: Prof. Dr. Lanier Watkins holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science (May 2010) from Georgia State University where he was advised by Dr. Raheem Beyah, three M.S. degrees in the areas of Biotechnology (Johns Hopkins University-2017), Computer Science and Physics (Both from Clark Atlanta University-1999 & 1997), and a B.S. degree in Physics (Clark Atlanta University-1997). In May 2011, he joined the Asymmetric Operations Sector of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) as a Senior Professional Staff II, in October of 2013 he was extended a dual appointment as a Lawrence R. Hafstad Fellow and an Associate Research Scientist with the JHU Information Security Institute, in October of 2015 he became a Lecturer for the JHU Engineering for Professional (EP) Master’s Program, and in February of 2019 he was appointed Chairman of the EP Computer Science and Cyber Security Master’s Program. He teaches 4 courses and has published more than 30 conference papers, journals, and book chapters. He also hold several patents and provisional patents. Further, he has mentored nearly 50 cyber security Master’s research students, and currently advises 3 doctoral students.   Prior to joining APL, Lanier worked for over 10 years in industry. He first worked at the Ford Motor Company and then later at AT&T where he held roles such as systems engineer, network engineer, product development manager, and product manager. He is also a member of the IEEE and ACM.

The goal of his research is to develop innovative algorithms and frameworks to address the continuously changing needs of defending Critical Infrastructure (CI) networks and systems. His research efforts are concentrated in five areas: (1) network security – introduction of new covert channels, cloud paradigms, and network-based detectors to produce both offensive and defensive capabilities, (2) IoT security – focus on mobile, cyber physical, and wireless sensor/medical device security, (3) vulnerability monitoring & analysis – introduction of new risk management and security assessment frameworks for IoT devices, (4) malware monitoring & analysis – exploration of active malware defenses to contribute to the increasingly popular Hacking Back paradigm, and (5) data analytics & assured AI – investigating the use of autonomous decision making and methods of AI assurance and security to help data scientist and engineers defend  CI against traditional threats and the inevitable threat of adversarial AI.

Title of the talk: A Red Team Evaluation of Commercial Off-The-Shelf Autonomous Drones

Abstract: The drone industry is projected to reach $84 billion by 2025, which indicates the prevalence of this technology in our society. Many  of the advanced drone applications can only be realized via autonomous drones. One major issue regarding drones is security. Researchers have demonstrated and documented examples of the security issues with user-controlled drones;however, there are few security assessments or evaluation approaches put forth by the security community for autonomous drones. To address this gap, we: (1) offer a Red Team (external security assessment) evaluation for autonomous drones and (2) demonstrate how the use of this approach can lead to an external security assessment of the core aspects of autonomous drones (e.g., its sensors, autonomous code, and inherent embedded system interrupts that subvert autonomy). We experimentally apply our Red Team security assessment to the DJI Spark and Phantom 4 while in autonomous mode (i.e., Active Track) to demonstrate its practicality and usefulness. Finally, we discuss the initial vulnerabilities that were found and the methods for mitigation.


Shahram Latifi

University of Nevada, Las Vegas, USA

Bio: Prof. Dr. Shahram Latifi,an IEEE Fellow, received the Master of Science and the PhD degrees both in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in 1986 and 1989, respectively. He is currently a Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has authored over 250 technical articles in the areas of networking, cybersecurity, image processing, biosurveillance, and biometrics. His research has been funded by NSF, NASA, DOE, DoD, Boeing, Lockheed and Cray Inc. He has served as the editor of IEEE Transactions on Computers and as a distinguished speaker of IEEE Computer Society . He is the founder of two major international conferences (IEEE-ITCC and ITNG) and has chaired several other conferences. Dr. Latifi has given keynotes in areas of imaging, security and machine learning in several international forums.

Title of the talk: Advanced Biometrics

Abstract: Biometrics have long been used to secure lives and investments. Most of the biometrics techniques are image-based and have their own merits and demerits offering a tradeoff among various factors such as ase of use, resilience, reliability and cost-effectiveness. Inspired by recent advances in technology such as high processing power and high resolution cameras, current research focuses on moving biometrics techniques from an overt mode to covert, touch-based to stand-off capture-based, and
single-mode to multibiometrics. In this talk, an overview of advanced biometrics techniques is presented. We also present our research results on partial iris recognition to be employed in a covert or stand-off mode. We also address a multimodal biometrics technique obtained by fusing iris and retina images which gives a more reliable and accurate result than each of the unimodals
mentioned above.

Renee Bryce

University of North Texas, USA

Bio: Prof. Dr. Renee Bryce,is a Professor of Computer Science & Engineering at University of North Texas. She earned her Ph.D. in Computer Science from Arizona State University in May 2006. She earned her B.S. (1999) and M.S. (2000) degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Her research areas interests include Software Engineering, with emphasis on combinatorial testing and test suite prioritization for emerging technologies.  She has served as Primary Investigator on funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institute of Standards and Technology, U.S. Forest Service, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, and more. Professor Bryce is the recipient of the 2018 Dallas/Fort Worth Tech Titans Award Recipient for the University Level, 2015 NCWIT Undergraduate Research Mentor Award for the category of Junior Faculty (Assistant/Associate Professor) at a Research University, and 2006 Arizona State Commission on the Status of Women award for her "achievements and contributions towards advancing the status of women".

Title of the talk: Systematic Software Testing Techniques for Emerging Technologies

Abstract: Software systems can be large and exhaustive testing is usually not feasible. Products released with inadequate testing can cause bodily harm, result in large economic losses, and affect the quality of daily life. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) last reported that software defects cost the U.S. economy close to $60 billion a year. Novel cost-effective software testing techniques have the potential to make a large economic impact. Software testers often intuitively test for defects that they anticipate while less foreseen defects are overlooked. My research applies combinatorial testing strategies that are systematic to offset human bias, yet are more practical than exhaustive testing.

In this talk, I review my work in the areas of combinatorial testing and combinatorial-based test suite prioritization. I present my current and ongoing work that explores techniques to systematically and cost-effectively test context-aware systems.  Such context-aware systems involve combinatorial explosions of event and context interactions, creating further testing challenges.  For instance, mobile applications not only respond to user events, but also to context events such as changes to network connectivity, battery level, screen orientation, and more. This talk discusses novel testing techniques for context-sensitive systems, such as mobile applications, Internet of Things, and autonomous vehicles, where streams of context changes from their environments pose challenges.

Son Vuong 

University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada

Bio: Prof. Dr. Son T. Vuong Received Received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento, USA in 1972; M.Eng. in Systems and Computer Engineering at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada in 1977; and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, Canada in 1982 where he was a lecturer and assistant professor in 1981-1982.  Since 1983, he has been a professor of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, where  he was a founder of the Distributed System Research Group and has been the Director of the Laboratory for Networks and Internet Computing (NICLab).  He is an international renowned researcher on protocol engineering, distributed multimedia systems, social networks and collaborative computing.  His areas of research interest in recent years  include the Internet of Things(IOT), ambient networks, grid and  p2p computing, P2P video streaming,network security, mobile computing and mobile learning.

Dr. Vuong has (co)authored over 250 papers and a US patent,  and co-edited three books, including the book on “Recent Advances in Distributed Multimedia Systems” published in 1999. He has supervised thesis research of 80 graduate (PhD and MSc) students. He was a co-leader of the major $30M grant proposal to establish a new Network of Centres of Excellence in 1999, called Global Information Systems and Software Technology – GISST that made to the final short list.  Dr. Vuong served on many conference program committees and has been general or technical (co)chair and (co)organizer of 25 international conferences (IEEE IEMCON'15-19, UEMCON'16-19, CCWC'17-20, Springer and IEEE AMT’14, IEEE iThings’13, IEEE NCAS’11/IWCMC’11, ACM Multimedia’08, KSI DMS’08, IEEE NOMS’06, KSI DMS'39;97, IEEE ICDCS'39;95, IFIP PSTV'39;94, IFIP FORTE'39;89, 12 IFIP IWPTS';88). He served on the Canadian National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) Grant Selection Committee in 1999-2003, and  also serves on the Board of Directors of two high-tech companies.

Since January 2013, Dr Vuong has served as Honorary Chairman of the Green World Systems as well as an Honorary Vice-President of the University of Nguyen Tat Thanh, in HCMC, Vietnam. Most recently, since April 2014, Dr. Vuong became an emeritus professor at UBC after his 32+ years of fulltime teaching and research services in computer science at UBC. He continues to engage actively in international conference organization and in computer and innovative science research and collaborations with esoteric science researchers worldwide.

Title of the talk: Toward the G System:  The Internet of Minds and Industry Revolution 5.0 for Advanced Society

Abstract The Internet of Things, the key driver of the Industry Revolution 4.0, will greatly impact everyone’s life in every facet, including entertainment, socialization, business, healthcare and education.  While research and development of IOT are still under way, the fundamental question remains whether the IOT technology would ensure enhanced quality of life. To address this question, we undertake to develop the concept of our so-called G System, based on our so- called the Internet of Minds (IOM) that is expected to drive the next Industry Revolution 5.0.
To alleviate the problem of big data in the modern IOT interactions among humans, mobile devices, sensors and things, we must take into consideration the underlying dynamic context information and the small world model.

After an overview of IOT and Industry Revolution 4.0, we shall discuss the conceptual architecture of the G System as well as the underlying basic principle of harmonization for the Internet of Minds.  The research on the G System is still at an infancy stage, further work and collaborative efforts will be needed to realize the true potential of its application to improve the society and to enhance the wellbeing of mankind.


 Mahasweta Sarkar

San Diego State University, USA

Bio: Dr. Sarkar joined the faculty of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in San Diego State University in 2006. Her M.S and Ph.D. degrees were completed at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2003 and 2005 respectively under the guidance of Dr. Rene Cruz. She recieved her B.S. degree in Computer Science & Engineering (Summa Cum Laude) in May 2000 from San Diego State University. She has worked previously as a research scientist at SPAWAR Systems Center, Point Loma, San Diego,CA and at Sun Microsystems

Her research interest lies in the area of Wireless Data Networks. Dr. Sarkar is the Director of the Wireless Networks Research Group (WNRG) . She has been instrumental in setting up the NSF funded Wireless Multimedia Communication and Networks Laboratory (WMNC) in her department.
Dr.Sarkar is a recipient of the "President's Leadership Award for Faculty Excellence" for the year 2010.

 Akane Sano 

Rice University, USA

Bio: Dr. Akane Sano is an Assistant Professor at Rice University, Department of Electrical Computer Engineering and Computer Science. She directs Computational Wellbeing Group. Her research focuses on affective computing and mobile health: human sensing, data analysis and application development for health, wellbeing and cognitive performance.
She has worked on measuring and predicting stress, mental health, sleep and performance and designing systems to help people to reduce their stress and improve their mental health, sleep and performance including SNAPSHOT study project, Eureka project (symptom prediction and digital phenotyping in schizopherenia using phone data) and IARPA mPerf project (using mobile sensors to support productivity and employee well-being).
She obtained her PhD at MIT Media Lab, and her MEng and BEng at Keio University, Japan. Before she joined Rice University, she was a Research Scientist in Affective Computing Group at MIT Media Lab, and a visiting scientist/lecturer at People-Aware Computing Lab, Cornell University.
Before she came to the US, she was a researcher/engineer at Sony Corporation and worked on affective/wearable computing, intelligent systems and human computer interaction from 2005-2010.
Recent awards include the Best Paper Award at IEEE BHI 2019 conference, the Best Paper Award at the NIPS 2016 Workshop on Machine Learning for Health and the AAAI Spring Symposium Best Presentation Award.

Title of the talk: Toward data-driven personalized wellbeing and performance assistant

Abstract:  Imagine 24/7 rich human physiological and behavioral data could identify your wellbeing and performance such as your stress level and cognitive ability and provide personalized early warnings to help you more resilient to stress or be alert and focus on your work. We have developed tools and algorithms for measuring, predicting and supporting individual, organizational and community wellbeing and performance. Our studies targeted patients with mental illness as well as people at high risk of mental health and wellbeing due to adverse events such as job/academic related demands and extended/shift work schedules. This talk will highlight a series of studies and technologies we have developed to investigate how to leverage multi-modal human data to measure, understand and improve wellbeing and performance, challenges and learned lessons.



Important Deadlines

Full Paper Submission:20th November 2019
Acceptance Notification: 10th December 2019
Final Paper Submission:22nd December 2019
Early Bird Registration: 20th December 2019
Presentation Submission: 31st December 2019
Conference: 6 - 8 January 2020

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•   Conference Proceedings will be submitted for publication at IEEE Xplore Digital Library.
•    Best Paper Award will be given for each track
•  There will be one workshop on IoT on Jan 8, 2020
•    Conference Record No- 47524