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Cryptography Roundtable Discussion
Sep 18 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Recent news reports stated that the National Security Agency has pursued new methods that have allowed the agency to monitor telephone and online communication, encrypted information that was thought to be virtually immune to eavesdropping. What steps can and should computer scientists take in response to this privacy threat? How will the recent revelations affect the future of cryptography—the field of encoding and decoding electronic communication and transmissions for the purposes of privacy, reliability and efficiency?

To address these questions, the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute will host an hour-long roundtable discussion, moderated by Anton Dahbura, interim executive director of the Information Security Institute, and Avi Rubin, the institute’s technical director. Other participants will include Johns Hopkins cyber-security experts Matthew Green, Stephen Checkoway and Giuseppe Ateniese.

The event will be streamed live at, and also will be posted online following the event.


NOTE: Seating at this public event will be limited. Members of the media who plan to cover the discussion are asked to RSVP to Phil Sneiderman,

ICM and Computer Science Present Seminar on Computational Health
Nov 15 @ 11:00 am
Peter Muller at University of Texas at Austin

Peter Muller of the University of Texas at Austin

Peter Muller, statistics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, will present “A Bayes Rule for Subgroup Reporting” at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 15 in Weinberg Auditorium on the East Baltimore Campus, Johns Hopkins Medicine. This seminar on computational health is presented by the Institute for Computational Medicine and the Department of Computer Science. Lunch will be provided.

ICM and Computer Science Present: Why Is It So Difficult to Disseminate Health Care Improvements?
Mar 27 @ 12:00 pm – 1:45 pm

The Institute for Computational Medicine and the Department of Computer Science present a seminar on computational health hosted by Raimond Winslow, Suchi Saria and Greg Hager at noon, Thursday, March 27 in the Bloomberg School of Health’s Anna Baetjer Room:

Walter “Buzz” Stewart, PhD, Chief R & D Officer for Sutter Health System, will speak on “Why is it so difficult to disseminate health care improvements?”

Seminar: “Automated Adversarial Testing of Distributed Systems Implementations” with Cristina Nita-Rotaru, Perdue University
Jan 29 @ 10:45 am


Security and performance are critical goals for distributed systems. The
increased design complexity, incomplete expertise of developers, and limited
functionality of existing testing tools often result in bugs and vulnerabilities
that prevent implementations from achieving their design goals in practice.
Many of these bugs, vulnerabilities, and misconfigurations manifest after the
code has already been deployed making the debugging process difficult and costly. In order to understand the limitations and increase the robustness of distributed services and network protocols there is benefit in performing adversarial testing. Adversarial testing subjects implementations to testing beyond their basic functionality by stressing the system and ultimately performing destructive testing.

We introduce Turret a platform that provides support for automated adversarial testing
for message-passing distributed systems and network protocols. The platform uses a network
emulator to create reproducible network conditions and virtualization to run unmodified
binaries of the target system. The platform requires the user to provide a description
of the protocol messages and corresponding performance metrics. Turret supports distributed
services such as intrusion-tolerant replication, application-layer multicast, and routing
protocols, running in both wired and wireless networks. We applied Turret to 5 distributed
systems and 5 wireless routing protocols and found a total of 70 attacks and bugs. We also
discuss how we used Turret as an automated Red Team for our own protocols, and as a testing
and grading environment for the distributed systems class at Purdue University.


Cristina Nita-Rotaru is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Purdue University where she established the Dependable and Secure Distributed Systems Laboratory (DS2), and is a member of the Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security (CERIAS). Her research lies at the intersection of information security, distributed systems, and computer networks. The overarching goal of her work is designing and building practical distributed systems and network
protocols that are robust to failures and attacks while coping with the resource
constraints existent in computing systems and networks.

Cristina Nita-Rotaru is a recipient of the NSF Career Award in 2006. She is also a recipient of the Purdue Teaching for Tomorrow Award in 2007, Purdue Excellence in Research Award, Seeds for Success in 2012, Purdue College of Science Research Award in 2013. She has served on the Technical Program Committee of numerous conferences in security, networking, and distributed systems. She served as an Assistant Director for CERIAS (2011 – 2013). She was an Associate Editor for Elsevier Computer Communications (2008 – 2011), Elsevier Computer Networks (2012 – 2014), IEEE Transactions on Computers
(2011 – 2014), and ACM Transactions on Information Systems Security (2009 – 2013). She is currently an Associate Editor for IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing and IEEE Transactions on Dependable and Secure Systems.


Yair Amir

ICM Distinguished Seminar Series presents Suchi Saria
Sep 8 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Institute for Computational Medicine Distinguished Seminar Series 2015-2016 will present Suchi Saria, assistant professor, Department of Computer Science, at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 8 in Levering Hall’s Sherwood Room.

Suchi Saria of the Department of Computer ScienceSaria’s topic will be ““Individualized Prognosis of Disease Trajectories: Application of Scleroderma”

Lunch will be provided and served at noon.

Information about ICM seminars, including links to previous talks, can be found here.

2015 HopHacks hackathon set for September 11 through 13
Sep 11 @ 4:30 pm – Sep 13 @ 2:00 pm


The 2015 HopHacks hackathon is set for 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 11 through 2 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 13 in Hackerman, Hodson and Malone halls on the campus of The Johns Hopkins University. The event is now a Major-League Hacking event. Sponsors and partners include Accenture, Bloomberg, Booz Allen Hamilton, the National Security Agency, Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory and more.

Go here for more information and a link to register.


Celebrate two WSE milestones on Feb 5
Feb 5 @ 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

From 3 to 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 5 at the Hopkins Club, the Whiting School of Engineering will celebrate two milestones:

  • Naming Ilya Shpitser as a John C. Malone Assistant Professor
  • Announcing the formation of the Whiting School of Engineering’s Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare

RSVP by February 2.

Ilya Shpitser, in the Department of Computer Science, will hold the John C. Malone Assistant Professorship, one of a series of professorships provided by John C. Malone, MS ’64, PhD ’69 to help recruit and retain faculty with the goal of improving healthcare using a systems-based approach. A data/inference specialist who focuses on inferring cause-effect relationships, Ilya will be a member of the new center. His research includes all areas of causal inference and missing data, particularly using graphical models. Recently, his work has helped distinguish between causation and association in observational medical data. Ilya started at Johns Hopkins as an assistant professor this summer, received his PhD under the supervision of Judea Pearl at UCLA, was a postdoctoral scholar in the program on causal inference at the School of Public Health at Harvard, and was a lecturer in statistics at the University of Southampton.
The Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, under the leadership of Greg Hager, the Mandell Bellmore Professor in the Department of Computer Science, is a multidisciplinary research initiative that will foster partnerships among engineers, clinicians, and scientists across Johns Hopkins University to catalyze, develop, and deploy innovations aimed at improving the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare.

John Malone has been remarkably generous in his support of Johns Hopkins, including a gift for the construction and naming of Malone Hall. The building, which opened in 2014, is designed to advance cutting-edge collaborative and translational research and has set a new standard for academic research facilities at Johns Hopkins. The Whiting School is grateful for Dr. Malone’s continued support of professorships and the naming of this new center in the Whiting School of Engineering.

Computer Science seminar: “Toward Understanding and Proactively Dealing with Failures in Modern Systems”
Feb 23 @ 10:45 am – 11:45 am

Speaker: Ryan Huang, University of California, San Diego

Time and Date: Tuesday, Feb. 23 at 10:45 am

Location: Hackerman Hall, B-17

Towards Understanding and Proactively Dealing with Failures in Modern Systems

Many of the services we use everyday now run in data centers or mobile devices. However, building systems in these modern platforms to provide reliable services is difficult. This is evidenced by the fact that despite the large amount of work put into system quality assurance, all modern systems continue to experience million-dollar outages and frustrating anomalies like battery drain.

In this talk, Huang will describe my research efforts to better understand and proactively tackle the reliability challenges in modern systems. First, he will discuss work that looks into failures in cloud services. Instead of focusing on conventional root-cause analysis, this work takes a unique angle to examine the fault-tolerance mechanisms in cloud, and analyze why they did not prevent the service failures. He will summarize several challenges (opportunities) for reducing these failures in the future. One such challenge is system configuration: existing fault-tolerance techniques often cannot tolerate (or worse are nullified by) configuration errors, and misconfiguration becomes a major source of cloud outages. He will then present work that enables cloud practitioners to proactively prevent configuration error by using a systematic validation framework. The framework consists of a declarative language for developer/operator to express configuration specification, a service that continuously checks if configuration obeys its specification, and a tool that automatically infers basic specification. He will also touch on the challenge of app misbehavior in mobile ecosystem and proactive prevention at runtime by making mobile OS defensive.

Peng (Ryan) Huang is a Ph.D. candidate at UC San Diego advised by Professor Yuanyuan Zhou. His research interests intersect systems, software engineering and programming languages. He is particularly interested in understanding rising problems in real-world systems and reflecting that understanding in new techniques to improve system dependability. His work has been applied in industry including Microsoft and Teradata, and deployed to many real users. He is currently a part-time contractor with Facebook doing research on configuration management. Peng received his MS from UC San Diego in 2013, and his BS in computer science and BA in economics from Peking University in 2010.

Computer Science seminar: Human-Centered Principles and Methods for Designing Robotic Technologies
Apr 5 @ 11:00 am – 12:00 pm


Bilge Mutlu, University of Wisconsin-Madison, will present “Human-Centered Principles and Methods for Designing Robotic Technologies, at 11 a.m. in Hackerman Hall B-17, on the Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood campus.

Abstract: The increasing emergence of robotic technologies that serve as automated tools, assistants, and collaborators promises tremendous benefits in everyday settings from the home to healthcare, manufacturing, and educational facilities. While these technologies promise interactions that can be highly complex and beneficial, their successful integration into the human environment ultimately requires these interactions to also be natural and intuitive. To achieve complex but intuitive interactions, designers and developers must simultaneously understand and address human and computational challenges. In this talk, I will present my group’s work on building human-centered guidelines, methods, and tools to address these challenges in order to facilitate the design of robotic technologies that are more effective, intuitive, acceptable, and even enjoyable through successful integration into the human environment. The first part of the talk will review a series of projects that will demonstrate how the marrying of knowledge about people and computational methods through a systematic design process can enable effective user interactions with social, assistive, and telepresence robots. The second part of the talk will cover ongoing work that provides designers and developers with tools to apply these guidelines to the development of real-world robotic technologies and that utilizes partnerships with domain experts and end users to ensure the successful integration of these technologies into everyday settings through applications in healthcare, manufacturing, mission-critical environments, and the home. The talk will conclude with a discussion of high-level design guidelines that can be drawn from this body of work and a roadmap for future research.

Speaker bio: Bilge Mutlu is an associate professor of computer science, psychology, and industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.  He received his Ph.D. degree from Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute in 2009. His background combines training in interaction design, human-computer interaction, and robotics with industry experience in product design and development.  Dr. Mutlu is a former Fulbright Scholar and the recipient of the NSF CAREER award as well as several best paper awards and nominations, including HRI 2008, HRI 2009, HRI 2011, UbiComp 2013, IVA 2013, RSS 2013, HRI 2014, CHI 2015, and ASHA 2015.  His research has been covered by national and international press including the NewScientist, MIT Technology Review, Discovery News, Science Nation, and Voice of America.  He has served in the Steering Committee of the HRI Conference and the Editorial Board of IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, co-chairing the Program Committees for ROMAN 2016, HRI 2015, ROMAN 2015, and ICSR 2011, the Program Sub-committees on Design for CHI 2013 and CHI 2014, and the organizing committee for HRI 2017.

The Sydney and Mitzi Blumenthal Lecture and Award for Contributions to Management in Technology
Apr 25 @ 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Dr. Robert E. FischellDr. Robert E. Fischell, Chair of Angel Medical Systems, Inc., and Fischell Biomedical, LLC, will deliver the Sydney and Mitzi Blumenthal Lecture and Award for Contributions to Management in Technology at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25 in Mason Hall Auditorium. A reception will follow the lecture.

A biomedical inventor, Dr. Fischell is a Professor of the Practice; a member of the National Academy of Engineering; a 2005 TED Prize winner and featured speaker; and a 2016 National Medal of Technology and Innovation Awardee.

This lecture series was conceived by Sydney Blumenthal, who earned an electrical engineering degree at Johns Hopkins in 1937 and went on to become chairman of the Blumenthal-Khan Electrical Limited Partnerships, a contracting company based in Owings Mills, Md.

In 1993, he and his wife, Mitzi, endowed the award and lecture to enrich the educational experience at Johns Hopkins. The lecture allows students to hear distinguished speakers talk about subjects such as business management, entrepreneurship, law and ethics, and how these topics apply to engineering and technology.

Please RSVP for this event.

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