CESG in the News!

CESG’s own Dr. Kumar, and his colleague, Le Xie, shared concerns on cyber-security programs with KBTX.

Watch the full interview here!

“BRYAN, Tex (KBTX) – “The whole energy and power system is undergoing a revolution, in many ways,” said PR Kumar, the chair of Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University. “While this technology is fantastic, it also gives you attack opportunities.”

Professor Kumar and his colleague, Le Xie, are studying how we get power and protect its fragile network. Malware and ransomware are being used to steal data or even shut down power systems

“People are trying to hack into these systems all the time,” said Gary Miller, general manager of Bryan Texas Utilities. He says infrastructure renewal, along with sturdy software and research, is key in keeping the grid up and running.

“We have a robust cyber-security program at the city of Bryan and BTU. All of our software is protected as best we know how,” Miller said.

Professor Le says Texas A&M is poised to lead the field of cyber-security in the future.

“Texas A&M, from a historical perspective, has housed one of the largest energy power programs in North America.” Le said. “We have in this department alone a dozen or so professors working in this general area of power energy systems.”

While the experts work on keeping our grid safe from intruders, Le says there’s something that’s a bigger worry for us, everyday consumers.

You may remember a day in early August where ERCOT asked the state of Texas to conserve as much energy as possible in the afternoon.

“74 gigawatts,” Le said. “imagine the largest nuclear power plant (about 1 gigawatt). Demand two weeks ago was about 74 of those power plants working together at the same time.”

Le says a typical summer day has our homes demanding half the entire demand for power. Half of that? You guessed it. Air conditioning. As the Brazos Valley grows, how do we stay cool in the future?

BTU thinks they have the answer.

“In the near future I think solar will expand considerably,” Miller said. “in fact, BTU has very recently entered into a large solar purchasing agreement from a solar farm in North Texas that will serve a considerable amount of our electrical needs.”

Many would be pleased to hear this news, especially from an environmental perspective. Miller says while that’s a bonus, it’s actually going to be cheaper for you and me.

“It was the most economically beneficial for us.”

While solar and wind are emerging energy sources in the state of Texas, fossil fuels and natural gas are still 60% of our energy source, and experts agree that it will still be needed for the foreseeable future.”


Prof. JV wins ACM SIGDA Outstanding New Faculty Award at the Design Automation Conference (DAC), 2019

To read more about Dr. JV Rajendran, see Rachel Rose’s ECE article here.

IEEE Micro Top Picks in Architecture for 2018

Congratulations to CESG’s Dr. Paul Gratz!

Dr. Gratz’s paper titled “Synchronized Progress in Interconnection Networks (SPIN) : A New Theory for Deadlock Freedom” was selected for The IEEE Micro Top Picks in Architecture for 2018.

This paper proposes a new theoretical approach to deadlock freedom in interconnection networks, based upon reframing the problem as one of coordination among independent actors as opposed to a problem of resource acquisition ordering.

To read more about Dr. Gratz’s research, see Rachel Rose’s ECE article on the department news page in February 2019.

IEEE Micro publishes its yearly “Micro’s Top Picks from the Computer Architecture Conferences” as its May / June 2019 issue. This issue collects the year’s most significant research papers in computer architecture based on novelty and potential for long-term impact.

Get an early look at Dr. Gratz’s paper here:

“IEEE Micro Top Paper Pick 2018 – Gratz Synchronized Progress in Interconnection Networks (SPIN) A New Theory for Deadlock Freedom”.


Duffield Named Director Of Texas A&M Institute Of Data Science

Nick Duffield, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering at Texas A&M University, is the new director of the Texas A&M Institute of Data Science (TAMIDS), the Division of Research announced (in October 2018).

“Texas A&M’s choice to prioritize data science by creating TAMIDS presents a tremendous opportunity to build a groundbreaking and innovative environment,” Vice President for Research Mark A. Barteau said. “Texas A&M is preeminent in fields where data science is poised to have an enormous impact. As director of TAMIDS, Dr. Duffield brings outstanding credentials from a career spanning academia and industry, with a skill set combining technological leadership, scientific achievement, interdisciplinary collaboration, commercial impact, community building, and education. Texas A&M is committed to supporting the development of TAMIDS, under Dr. Duffield’s vision and leadership, to catalyze our growth in data science, and establish a distinctive position in the data science ecosystem that builds on Texas A&M’s unique strengths.”

Before joining Texas A&M in 2014, Duffield was a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff and AT&T Fellow at AT&T Labs Research in Florham Park, N.J. He received his doctorate in physics from the University of London. He held academic positions in Europe before joining AT&T in 1995.

Duffield is an author or co-author on more than 160 publications in the areas of data science and computer networking. He holds 54 U.S. patents and his work has been implemented in Internet systems, services and standards. His current research involves algorithms for data streaming and machine learning, computer-network measurement and resilience, and applications of data science to transportation, agriculture and hydrology. Duffield’s work at Texas A&M has received support from the National Science Foundation, DARPA, Google and Intel. He is a fellow of IEEE as well as the Institution of Engineering and Technology, and has twice received the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) SIGMETRICS Test-of-Time award. He is an elected member of the governing board of ACM SIGMETRICS.

The Texas A&M Institute of Data Science pursues and supports new approaches of multi-disciplinary data science research, education and external partnerships. These approaches cross departmental and college boundaries to address all facets of the data-science landscape that naturally connect engineering, technology, science and the humanities and inform wider policy and social challenges.

For more information on TAMIDStamids.tamu.edu

About Research at Texas A&M University: As one of the world’s leading research institutions, Texas A&M is at the forefront in making significant contributions to scholarship and discovery. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $905.4 million in fiscal year 2017. Texas A&M ranked in the top 20 of the National Science Foundation’s Higher Education Research and Development survey (2016), based on expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in economic benefits and improved quality of life for the peoples of the state, nation and world. To learn more, visit http://research.tamu.edu.

Media Contact: Susan Wolff, (979) 847-9365, s-wolff@tamu.edu

Source: Texas A&M Today

Aggie Winners at CSAW 2018!

Congratulations to the Texas A&M team for winning 3rd place in the Embedded Security Challenge at the CSAW ’18 cyber-security competition held November 8-11, 2018 in Brooklyn, New York.

The Texas A&M team was comprised of Computer and Electrical Engineering students Ryan Vrecenar (CE), Joshua Zschiesche (CS), Michael Hall (EE) and Mahesh Naidu (EE) under the advisement of professors Stavros Kalafatis and JV Rajendran.

Our team demonstrated an attack on a Bluetooth bulb, showed that they were able to hack it and modify the light color, turned it on/off, and transmitted data, which essentially covered all aspects of how exposed this embedded system is to hacking. Their skills were judged against teams from around the world.

This was the second time the Texas A&M team had entered the competition. Last year, they placed fourth in the challenge. They have truly set themselves apart nationally within such a short period.

For more information on the event, go to https://csaw.engineering.nyu.edu.

Best Paper Award: “DUCER: a Fast and Lightweight Error Correction Scheme for In-Vehicle Network”

Congratulations on the collaborative work of  Prof. Jiang Hu of our CESG, Prof. Krishna Narayanan of the ISS group, Hongxin Kong who is our CE graduate student, and Jun Cheng who is a visiting scholar under Prof. Narayanan.

They earned the Best Paper Award at the ICVES 2018!

Kong, J. Cheng, K. Narayanan and J. Hu, “DUCER: a Fast and Lightweight Error Correction Scheme for In-Vehicle Network”, IEEE International Conference on Vehicular Electronics and Safety, 2018.

Best Paper Award 2018

CESG’s Dr. Xi Zhang’s paper “Collaborative Hierarchical Caching Over 5G Edge Computing Mobile Wireless Networks” won the IEEE International Conference on Communications Best Paper Award in May 2018. This work  in Wireless Networking  will add to his more than 190 research publications.

Contributing to the achievement of this prominent award was Qixuan Zhu, a PhD Student in Electrical Engineering at Texas A&M University.

Congratulations to you both for this distinguished international award!

Summer 2018 Graduates

Our CEEN graduates will have their commencement ceremony at Reed Arena at 9 a.m. on Friday, August 10, 2018. We will bestow the following degrees this summer: 3 – PhD in Computer Engineering, 2 – Master of  Engineering in Computer Engineering, and 4 – MS in Computer Engineering.

Dr. Yingyezhe “Jimmy” Jin             Praneet Bhatia             Shilpa Bhosekar

Dr. Chaofan Li            Lee “Bryan” Elliot            Ignatius Praveen Lawrence

Dr. Lijia Sun               Asok Mani Sidharth        Richard Einstein Marveldos

Congratulations on their perseverance, acquiring deeper knowledge, and many accomplishments while in our program!

Texas A&M College of Engineering fares well in latest U.S. News graduate rankings

Texas A&M Engineering’s graduate program was again ranked 11th overall nationally in the latest U.S. News & World Report survey, “America’s Best Graduate Schools 2018.” The college also ranked seventh among public institutions.

Individual programs ranked were:

      computer engineering 21 (11)

      electrical engineering 22 (13)

Computer science, which was last ranked in the Sciences category in 2014, was 40th nationally and 23rd among public institutions.

Full post on 1/12/18 at http://engineering.tamu.edu/news.html

Aggie sweeps hackathon challenge, gets honored by India’s prime minister

As cybersecurity emerges as a significant differential for economic progress across the globe, an open dialog between cybersecurity experts and governments becomes critical in influencing the global community and ensuring a safe cyberspace for the world economy.

A team of Aggies researching these cybersecurity issues has won the Global Cyber Challenge Peace-a-thon at the 2017 Global Conference on Cyber Space (GCCS), which was inaugurated by the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, in New Delhi, India.

Bharadwaj Satchidanandan, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, is the team lead for “Aggies” – the Texas A&M team that emerged as the winner of Best International Team award at the hackathon challenge. Satchidanandan’s team included his research advisor, Dr. P.R. Kumar, College of Engineering Chair in Computer Engineering and Distinguished Professor in the electrical and computer engineering department.

“Cyberspace remains a key area for innovation,” said Modi in a speech at the conference. “Nations must take responsibility to ensure that the digital space does not become a playground for the dark forces of terrorism and radicalization. Information sharing and coordination among security agencies is essential to counter the ever-changing threat landscape.”

Finalists for the challenge consisted 15 teams from India, Canada, United States, France and Argentina.

The hackathon began with 14 problem statements in the area of cybersecurity and privacy. The teams had 36 hours to present their solution to the problem statements and develop a proof of concept demonstrating their solution, and Satchidanandan presented Texas A&M Engineering’s video on his research with Kumar. A jury selected the winners based on a pre-decided evaluation framework. Modi presented the winners with their awards after the event.

Delegates and officials representing more than 120 countries attended the GCCS event, which was launched in 2011 to establish the internationally agreed “rules of the road” for behavior in cyberspace.

“We as a society are becoming more and more reliant on the cyberspace,” said Satchidanandan when asked about his biggest takeaway from the event and what he would like the local community to know about the cybersecurity issues he is studying. “The technical community, policy makers and law enforcement agencies are hard at work behind the scenes to ensure that the privacy and security of each individual is ensured in the digital domain.”

Aggie Bharadwaj Satchidanandan accepting the Best International Team award from India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Also seen in the picture are India’s Law & Justice, Information Technology Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad (first from left) and Sri Lanka’s Ranil Wickremesinghe (fourth from left)

Original Post: https://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/11/29/aggie-sweeps-hackathon-challenge-gets-honored-by-indias-prime-minister.html