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New Cybersecurity Researchers Introduced to ODU Campus Colleagues

By Brendan O'Hallarn

Old Dominion University wasted no time in the new school year highlighting its increasing focus on the important field of cybersecurity.

On Sept. 6, the University hosted a kickoff event featuring two speakers from national agencies. The event also gave faculty across the campus a chance to meet the new leaders of the University's cybersecurity program.

Hongyi "Michael" Wu, newly installed Batten Chair of Cybersecurity, and Sachin Shetty '07, who has returned to the University as associate professor of modeling and simulation, met with faculty from every Old Dominion college involved in the cybersecurity initiative.

The reception followed addresses from two ODU Cybersecurity Distinguished Speakers showcasing the importance of cybersecurity to federal agencies and the military.

Charles Kamhoua, research electronics engineer for the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, gave a talk on applying game theory to high assurance cloud computing. And Dmitri Perkins, National Sciences Foundation program director and Hardy Edmiston Endowed Professor in Computer Science at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, discussed the growing trend of industry and university cooperative research centers.

Brian Payne, vice provost for academic affairs at Old Dominion, said the momentum building in cybersecurity at the university will improve teaching and scholarship.

"Our approach to cybersecurity blends coursework with research. In doing so, we bring together faculty, staff, students and community partners to discuss how we teach about this problem and how we should study it," Payne said.

Last fall, the University began offering a cybersecurity major in its interdisciplinary studies degree program. That made Old Dominion one of the few institutions in the country addressing cybersecurity with an interdisciplinary approach.

The program draws from faculty from electrical and computer engineering, computer sciences, information technology, criminal justice, philosophy, psychology, political science and other academic departments.

Wu's appointment as Batten Chair is part of an effort to bring four cybersecurity scholars to Old Dominion.

Wu, who came to the University from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, is internationally recognized for his cybersecurity research. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and co-wrote the book "Medium Access Control in Wireless Networks."

In addition, Wu has received more than $7.6 million in grant funding to support his research. Wu served as a primary investigator or co-PI on six major National Science Foundation projects over the past decade and was the recipient of an NSF CAREER award.

Shetty serves as associate professor of modeling and simulation with ODU's Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center and the Department of Modeling, Simulation and Visualization Engineering. Shetty also is an engineer with the Expeditionary Electronic Warfare Systems Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center, in Crane, Ind.

After completing his doctoral work at Old Dominion, Shetty taught electrical and computer engineering at the University. He later worked at Tennessee State University before returning to Old Dominion.

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