Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Knowledge networks and Cyber security

Last week the Computer Science Department at UMass Amherst hosted a national meeting on Cyber security. UMass Amherst was selected as the site for this meeting by the Institute for Information Protection (I3P.org), which is a consortium of leading universities, national laboratories, the Department of Homeland Security, and nonprofit organizations.

More information about the two day meeting is available here.

The presentation that I prepared for this meeting was entitled: Identification of Vulnerabilities in Fragile Network Systems: Transportation Networks, the Internet, Financial Networks, and Electric Power.

The conference brought together 40 researchers for presentations, brainstorming sessions, business and research discussions, as well as social events, including a lovely dinner at the Amherst Women's Club (and for some of my colleagues in engineering and computer science this was the first time that they were in that beautiful building). I had the pleasure of meeting some truly brilliant and extremely nice representatives of this consortium from Dartmouth, CUNY, the University of Virginia, IUPUI, Idaho, and the Department of Homeland Security.

In this impressive group were also researchers whose work I had been citing and whose work Patrick Qiang and I reference in our Fragile Networks: Identifying Vulnerabilities and Synergies in an Uncertain World book! I could not resist a photo op!

I had become very interested in cyber security while researching the book, Supernetworks: Decision-Making for the Information Age, which I co-authored with June Dong. Our supernetwork team was then selected as one of the nine teams in the US to take part in the National Science Foundation program, Management of Knowledge Intensive Dynamic Systems. The research that we conducted under this project is now being used in many fascinating areas, including cyber trust research. I am pleased to share with you the link to our most recent paper on knowledge networks, which is co-authored with Patrick Qiang. The paper, A Knowledge Collaboration Network Model Across Disciplines, will be presented at a conference at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.

Cyber security research spans different disciplines, and it is extremely important, fascinating, and timely. It is an honor to be included in this truly innovative group.