Computer Science Graduate Student Club: Completion of the Spring 2021 Seminar Series

(This post was authored by Md. Ahsan Ayub and Katie Brown)

The Computer Science Graduate Student Club successfully conducted five seminars in the Spring 2021 seminar series. In this edition of the seminar series, the club hosted five Computer Science Master’s students to present their research work, among which four of them are scheduled to graduate this semester. The seminars are open for all students at Tennessee Tech University. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the seminars were streamed via Microsoft Teams.

The club extends their heartiest gratitude to all the speakers as well as participants during the seminars, faculty members to promote their Master’s students and share their expert opinion after each presentation, and faculty advisers and CS staff for their constant support and kind coordination throughout the semester. The details on each seminar are as follows:

Seminar 1: “Cloud Malware Detection using Deep Learning” by Andrew McDole (Advisor: Dr. Maanak Gupta)

Overview of Andrew’s Seminar: As more services move towards cloud environments, the threat of malicious actors injecting malware onto these cloud systems is greater. In response to this threat, malware detection methods must continually evolve to combat increasingly sophisticated malware. Deep learning methods can provide higher accuracies when analyzing low-profile malware in these online cloud-based systems. Link to Watch:

Seminar 2: “Insecure Coding Patterns in Julia Projects” by Justin Murphy (Advisor: Dr. Akond Rahman)

Overview of Justin’s Seminar: Julia is an emerging programming language that is designed to provide syntax similar to that of a scripting language, such as Python, and comparable program execution speed with low-level memory access, such as C. Despite reported benefits with respect to productivity, efficiency, and possessing unique properties, Julia programs can include insecure coding patterns (ICPs). ICPs, such as hard-coded passwords, can be used by malicious actors to perform attacks. The goal of the project is to help practitioners avoid insecure coding patterns (ICPs) while developing Julia projects by conducting an empirical study of ICPs in Julia projects. Link to Watch:

Seminar 3: “Scheduling Elastic Message Passing Parallel Application in HPC Environment” by Debolina Halder Lina (Advisor: Dr. Sheikh Ghafoor)

Overview of Debolina’s Seminar: Elastic parallel application that can change the number of processors while running, promises improved application and system performance as well as new classes of parallel applications. From the application point of view users want lower response time and lower turnaround time, on the other hand from the system perspective we want higher utilization and throughput. Elastic application promises both by reducing fragmentation. In addition, elastic applications provide the possibility of predictive proactive fault tolerance via shrinkage in increasingly larger HPC systems where mean time between component failures is decreasing. The research work for elastic parallel systems is at a very early stage and rudimentary at best. The major challenges for elastic parallel sstems to become reality are: 1) lack of programming models for elastic applications, 2) lack of support from message passing libraries and middleware and 3) lack of adequate support from HPC resource management systems. In our research we are developing a model for elastic parallel applications and a model of their interactions with resource management systems. We are also investigating the impact of different scheduling algorithms for elastic parallel applications on system and application performances. Link to Watch:

Seminar 4: “Securing Cyber Physical System Networks and Communication” by Trey Burks (Advisor: Dr. Denis Ulybyshev)

Overview of Trey’s Seminar: Many aspects of cyber-physical systems (CPS) and the protocols they use in their networks are not secure. They are typically limited by the age of the protocols or the computation capabilities of the physical devices. This presentation will focus on my research to provide efficient solutions to secure these networks, including moving target defense (MTD), encryption through intermediary devices, and the addition of noise to the communication channels. Link to Watch:

Seminar 5: “Growing the Science of Validation and Verification for Julia Programs” by Raunak Shakya ( Advisor: Dr. Akond Rahman)

Overview of Raunak’s Seminar: Julia is an emerging programming language that was designed to provide syntax similar to that of scripting languages, such as Python, with similar program execution speed of compiled languages, such as C. Despite reported benefits with respect to productivity and program execution time, Julia programs can include defects that can have serious consequences, for example, producing erroneous scientific results that can potentially misguide scientists. We are conducting our empirical study on two subjects – the first is on the categorization of defects found in open-source Julia programs from GitHub, and the second is on fuzzing the Julia compiler binary to identify latent bugs in the compiler implementation. A taxonomy of defects for Julia programs can help researchers and practitioners understand the nature of defects and provide guidance in prioritizing validation and verification activities in Julia-based software development, and the discovery of previously unknown bugs in the Julia compiler will help the concerned developers to fix them, thus increasing the compiler’s performance and reliability. Link to Watch:

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