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.