Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham
I have a unique 36 year career first as a visiting faculty, then in the commercial computer industry, followed by federally funded research and development center experience and then as program director in the government before joining academia full time as a tenured professor in 2004. I joined The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) as a Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Cyber Security Research Center. Since 2010 I have been the Louis Beecherl Jr. Distinguished Professor of Computer Science and the Executive Director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute (CSI) at UTD. I am also a Visiting Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Informatics at Kings College University of London, England 2015-2018. My current research interests are in cyber security and data analytics and my mission is to engage women in cyber security research and education.
Prior to joining UTD, I spent 24 years in the commercial industry (Honeywell, Control Data Corporation), and at MITRE Corporation and the National Science Foundation as IPA. During this time I also worked as visiting faculty and/or adjunct faculty at the New Mexico Institute of Technology, University of Minnesota and Boston University. I was an instructor at AFCEA (Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association) Professional Development Center between 1998 and 2013.
Between 1980 and 1983, while at the New Mexico Institute of Technology and the University of Minnesota, my research was focused on theory of computation where I studied decision problems for system functions which are essentially inference functions. This work was published in journals such as the Journal of Computer and Systems Sciences, Notre Dame Journal of Formal Logic and the Journal of Mathematical Logic. I also conducted research in Algorithmic Information Theory during this time.
From 1983 to 1986, while working in computer network development at Control Data Corporation, my research focused on distributed systems and this work was published in journals such as the IEEE Transactions on Software Engineering, IEEE Network and IEEE LAN confeence. I was also a key member of the team that was responsible for the first release of the CDCNET product in December 1985.
From 1986 to 1989, I was at Honeywell Computer Sciences Center and my reserach focused mainly on database security for the Air Force. In addition I was also involvced in the design and development of a network operating system for NASA, information modeling for the Air Force, expert control system for the Industrial Automation Control Systems Division, distributed data dictionary system for Residential Control Systems Division and distributed object management for Building Control Systems Division. This work was published in journals and conferences including Computers and Security, AI Expert, IEEE Computer, and IEEE ICDE.
I began my research in data and applications security in 1985 and have been working in this area since then while at University of Minnesota, Honeywell, MITRE, NSF and at UTD. My early work between 1985 and 1995 focused on secure relational, object and distributed and deductive data management systems. I also proved that the inference problem was unsolvable and this work was cited as the most significant work in database security by the National Security Agency in 1990. Numerous papers were published in several prestigious journals and conferences on this research including in IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, ACSAC, IEEE Computer Security Foundations Workshop, and ACM OOPSLA.
In addition to my work in data and applications security at MITRE between 1989 and 2001, I conducted research in real-time systems and subsequently contributed to integrating secure systems and real-time systems between 1993 and 2001. This work was published in journals and conferences such as IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Computing, Real-Time Systems Journal and the VLDB Conference. During this time I also worked in data mining and led the Massive Digital Data Systems project for the Intelligence Community as well as served on multiple standards boards.
Between 2001 and 2004, as an IPA from MITRE, I was the program director for Information and Data Management at NSF (01-02) and also managed the Information Management component of the ITR (Information Technology Research) Initiative (02-03). In addition, I established the Data and Applications Security special competition (02-03) and was a member of the Cyber Trust theme (03-04). During this time I worked tirelessly to promote Data and Applications Security as well as Data Mining for Counter-terrorism to EPSCoR states (e.g., Arkansas, Oklahoma, Louisiana), and gave featured talks at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the United Nations. I also participated in interdisciplinary programs in bioinformatics, geoinformatics, sensor systems as well as Math/Science partnerships for high schools.
Since October 2004, together with my students and colleagues at UTD, I have made significant contributions in the areas of policy-based information sharing as well as data mining for malware detection, secure cloud computing and analyzing social networks. This work has appeared in premier journals and conferences including IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Computing, IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Services Computing, IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on Reliability, ACM Transactions on Information and Systems Security, ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems, the VLDB Journal, the Journal of Web Semantics, ACM KDD, ACM CODASPY, ACM SACMAT, ACSAC, IEEE ICDE, IEEE ICDM, IEEE Cloud, and IEEE Big Data. The Air Force Office of Scientific Research has also done a press release of my work on secure cloud computing. I have graduated 14 PhD students (including 5 women and 1 African American) and several MS students as well as teach (taught) courses in Data and Applications Security, Digital Forensics, Trustworthy Web Services and Semantic Web, Biometrics, Secure Cloud Computing, Analyzing and Securing Social Media, and Cyber Security Essentials.
I have held team leadership and management positions for the past 28 years at MITRE, NSF and UTD. These include leading multiple team research efforts in cyber security and data analytics at MITRE between 1989 and 2001, managing a Department between 1995 and 1999 where I grew the department from 8 to 28 staff, co-directing the database specialty group (1993-1995) and heading the corporate research initiative in data managment (1994-1997), working as chief technologist between 1999 and 2001, managing programs at NSF between 2001 and 2004 and directing the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute since 2004 whose members have generated over $32M in research and over $8M in education funding including 100% success rate with NSF CAREER and multiple AFOSR YIPs, and DoD MURI among others. Our sponsors include NSF, USAF, Army, Navy, NSA, DARPA, IARPA, NIH, NASA, NIST, NGA, and DOE/Sandia. I am also involved in transferring the university technologies to commercial products.
I have been a consultant to the NSA in data security between 1991-1997, the CIA in data analytics between 1993-1999, the DHHS on States Bioterrorism Initiative between 2002-2003, the DOJ on software technology in 2001, and the IRS on corporate software research credit since 1999 to present. I served on the National Academy panel on Protecting Children from Inappropriate Content on the Internet chaired by Hon. Dick Thornburgh in 2000 and was also the Vice Chair of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board panel on Migrating Legacy Databases and Applications and co-presented our work to the Air Force Chief in December 2001. I have also consulted to multiple law firms on patent infringement cases and served on the advisory board of Accuvant Corporation between 2011-2015, Purdue University in 2005, and the University of Georgia since 2015. I serve on the Academic Advisory Council of the NIST FFRDC in Cyber Security since 2014.
My work has not only resulted in several publications including over 120+ journals, 250+ conferences, 130+ keynote/featured addresses (e.g., at ACM SACMAT, EDBT, ICMLA, PAKDD, ARES, ASIACCS, IEEE ISI), and 100+ panel presentations, I have also obtained five patents, authored 14 books, edited several more, served (serving) on multiple journal editorial boards as well as editor-in-chief (e.g., ACM and IEEE Transactions, Computer Standards and Interface) as well as program and/or general chair of prestigious conferences (e.g., ACM SACMAT, IEEE ICDE, ACM CCS, IEEE ICDM, IFIP 11.3) and have received prestigious fellowships and awards from many organizations including IEEE and ACM (e.g., IEEE Fellow, AAAS Fellow, IEEE CS 1997 Technical Achievement Award, ACM SIGSAC 2010 Outstanding Contributions Award, SDPS 2012 Gold Medal for Interdisciplinary Research, Career Communications 2001 Woman of Color Research Leadership Award, AFCEA 2011 Medal of Merit). I also received the 2016 senior faculty research award at UT Dallas.
I have been a strong advocate for Women and Minorities in Cyber Security and Computing and have given featured addresses at events hosted by CRA-W, WITI, SWE, Career Communications Inc. London Hopper, and Women in Cyber Security. I also co-chaired the Women in Cyber Security (WiCyS) Conference in Dallas in March 2016 and helped establish the Center for Engaging Women in Cyber Security as part of UTDallas' Cyber Security Institute. I carry out extensive outreach on educating the general public about cyber security (e.g., events at DFW public libraries) and give frequent interviews on DFW Television and write articles for International Newspapers inclduing the New York Times.
While my mission is to educate women in cyber security and computing, my passion is to ensure that children around the world are safe and have clean water, food, clothes and a roof over their heads by supporting Save the Children, UNICEF, and Shriners Hospital for Children.