Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Had a Great Time Speaking at MITRE on Cybersecurity on Pi Day

This week is Spring Break at UMass Amherst and I began my break by flying last week to speak on perishable product supply chains at the University of Buffalo, which I blogged about.

This past Monday, I did not have to fly, and just drove, to Bedford, Massachusetts, to speak on a different topic - that of cybersecurity - at MITRE Corporation.

My wonderful host at MITRE was INFORMS Fellow Dr. Les Servi, who also happens to be a Brown University alumnus with two degrees in Applied Mathematics. I have a PhD in Applied Math from Brown (and three other degrees from there) but Les's PhD  is from Harvard. We share a passion for Operations Research! He is a member of the Defense Science Board and frequently travels to DC. He has worked on many fascinating problems at GTE, Verizon, MIT Lincoln Labs, and now at MITRE. I still remember the talk he gave at the Isenberg School in our great UMass Amherst INFORMS Speaker Series on tracking pirates. He will be speaking at the Isenberg School on March 25 on cybersecurity workforce optimization, which is not to be missed.

I had been to MITRE in Bedford before for an I3P meeting with Dr. Kevin Fu, a cybersecurity expert extraordinaire, who is renowned for his hacking into medical devices. Kevin is no longer at UMass but has moved to the University of Michigan.  I admit, when I was graduating Brown, I had interviewed with MITRE, but in McLean, VA, and had offers from 3 different groups there, so I have always had a warm spot for this company, which is quite unique. Les told me that the Bedford campus has 2,500 employees with the remainder, about 6,500, being in Virginia.

Les treated me to a fabulous buffet lunch at Bamboo, which is very close to MITRE, and which had a spread of sumptious Asian cuisines and desserts. Joining us were 7 colleagues of Les's.

Since it was Pi Day I had to snap the photos below.

In addition, Les and I found out that his colleague, also a cybersecurity expert, Harriet Goldman, is a Brown University Applied Math alumna, so we had the photo below taken of the three of us. This made the visit extra special.
Plus, joining us at lunch were two UMass Amherst alums: Brian Kulig, who had received a degree in Engineering, and Peter Salemi, who was an Isenberg School and Math alumnus! Brian went on to get a Master's at Georgia Tech, and Peter went on to Berkeley to study Operations Research and received a Master's there and then a PhD from Northwestern, working with Barry Nelson.
Les gave me a tour of some of the facilities at MITRE and they are stunning.
I also very much liked the room in which I spoke and my talk was videostreamed to MITE in Mclean, Virginia. MITRE has a basketball court and exercise facilities and nice places to meet as well as food areas. It is surrounded by greenery.
 Les did a great introduction.
My presentation was on our latest research on cybercrime and cybersecurity with a fcus on game theory.

I thank him for taking the photo below during my presentation.
Having great questions from brilliant people after my presentation made for a spring break day and Pi Day very well spent and very enjoyable.

Many thanks to Dr. Les Servi, an operations research star, and to his MITRE colleagues, for making my visit to MITRE so pleasant and intellectually rewarding. I hope that new collaborations will evolve from this great visit and experience.