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August 2017

August 22 9:00 am - 11:00 am EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Sensor Side-Channel Implications on User Privacy: Analysis and Mitigation

Speaker: Sashank Narain, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

In this thesis, we demonstrate two attacks that exploit motion sensors on smartphones to infer accurate private information about the users such as their typed passwords and their significant locations. To counter our demonstrated attacks and other similar sensor side-channel/location based attacks, we also propose the design and implementation of a mitigation framework, called MATRIX, for the Android ecosystem.

August 21 10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Techniques and Solutions for Addressing Ransomware Attacks

Speaker: Amin Kharraz, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

In this thesis, we argue that it is possible to extend existing defense mechanisms, and protect user data from a large number of cryptographic ransomware attacks. To support this claim, we perform an evolutionary-based analysis to understand the destructive behavior of ransomware attacks and we propose a novel dynamic analysis system as well as an end-point framework to protect user data from ransomware attacks.

August 4 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Quantitative Assessment of Socio-Affective Dynamics in Autism Using Interpersonal Physiology

Speaker: Oliver Saunders Wilder-Smith, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

The work performed in this dissertation aims to bridge the gap between neuroscientific theory and current best practice in ASD diagnosis, by identifying a dynamic measure of interpersonal interoceptive inference, developing and refining tools to facilitate assessment of interpersonal interoceptive inference, and applying these tools to compare interpersonal physiological measures of socio-affective dynamics with existing behavioral and informant-report measures of social reciprocity.

July 2017

July 29 10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Techniques for Assisting Users for Making Security Decisions

Speaker: Sevtap Duman, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

Join us to learn how online systems can be designed with optimized settings to help users to make security decisions efficiently.

July 27 10:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Abusing Privacy Infrastructures: Analysis and Mitigations

Speaker: Amirali Sanatinia, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

In this thesis, we investigate the abuse of privacy infrastructures from three different perspectives. First we look at the next generation of resilient botnets that rely on Tor for their malicious activity. In the second part, we expose malicious snooping actors inside the Tor network that are integral to the functioning of the hidden services and the dark web. In the third and last part, we propose a novel privacy preserving data collection and analysis framework to study the longevity of hidden services.

July 17 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: A Skill-Based Framework for the Generation and Presentation of Instructional Videogame Content

Speaker: Britton Horn, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

This thesis proposal outlines a framework for determining the skills necessary to successfully complete a game, creating AI-based bots with those skills to reflect players with the same skills, and identifying and generating optimal orderings of levels to promote learning each skill of a game.

July 5 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Stabilizing Numeric Programs Against Platform Uncertainties

Speaker: Yijia Gu, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

In this thesis, we investigate reproducibility problems due to platform uncertainties, including non-reproducible control flow and invariants that hold on some platforms but not others. We also provide locally fine-grained provenance information to help users repair reproducibility issues.

June 2017

June 1 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Impact of Intelligent Personalization on Communication Effectiveness in Dysarthria

Speaker: Mansoor Pervaiz, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

This dissertation proposes that communication effectiveness for individuals with speech impairments can be improved if intelligent interfaces personalize to behavior and context.

May 2017

May 24 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Rigorous Evaluation of Performance and Policy Impacts of Transport Protocols and In-Network Devices

Speaker: Arash Molavi Kakhki, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

This thesis posits that an effective way to address these issues is to create frameworks and tools for rigorous evaluation of approaches for optimizing network performance. By building such tools, we can detect instances of inconsistency between intended and actual network behaviors, diagnose the root causes, and help fix them.

May 15 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Techniques to Assist Users for Making Security Decisions

Speaker: Sevtap Duman, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

Our hypothesis is that online systems can be designed with optimized settings to help users to make security decisions efficiently. Thus, in this dissertation, we propose three new approaches that help end-users to make decisions on security: (1) how to distinguish trick banners from legitimate download links, (2) how to identify a legitimate email sender from a spearphishing email attack, and (3) how to aid the end-user in making an informed decision about whether or not an email attachment is malicious.

May 10 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Algorithms For Load Balancing In Electricity Markets And Data Centers

Speaker: Bochao Shen, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

This thesis will present (1) the load balancing problem in electricity markets where peak demand and supply-demand imbalance are major problems, (2) the problem of balancing computational load while maintaining fault-tolerance and (3) the study on load balancing from the single dimensional case to multidimensional resources.

April 2017

April 28 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm EDT

MS Thesis Defense: Sparsity Against Exponential Complexity: Parallel Implementation of Separate Testing of Inputs and Authorship Attribution via Sparse Stochastic Context Trees Modeling

Speaker: Paul Grosu, MS Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

This thesis defense will cover two goals: (1) identifying significant sparse features in data, by applying information-theoretic methods via parallel programming as fast solvers and (2) to continue to modify and expand ESI for application for authorship attribution.

April 26 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Statically Resolving Implicit Rank Polymorphism

Speaker: Justin Slepak, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

Justin will propose to leverage developments in formal semantics, type systems, and decision procedures to produce a compiler for a higher-order, rank-polymorphic language. This plan will build upon the formalism he has already developed, which uses a dependent type system to characterize the implicit rank-polymorphic control flow.

April 24 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Transparent Checkpointing Over RDMA-Based Networks

Speaker: Jiajun Cao, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

The goal of this thesis is to demonstrate a general approach to virtualizing RDMA-based networks. Success in this endeavor will be shown by virtualizing both the OFED API to InfiniBand and the libpsm API for Intel Omni-Path.

April 24 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Measuring the Impact of Algorithms in Online Marketplaces

Speaker: Le Chen, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

Unfortunately, we currently lack measurement tools or methodologies to audit the behavior of these algorithms. As a result, we are unable to measure the impact of these algorithms on people. The goal of Le Chen's work is to develop methodologies and build measurement tools to audit and understand the impact of black-box algorithms in online marketplaces. Motivated by these findings, he will propose two alternative ranking methods that encode different definitions of fairness, and examine the inherent tradeoffs posed by trying to achieve fairness in hiring markets.

April 19 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Conditional Bernoulli Mixtures for Multi-Label Classification

Speaker: Cheng Li, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

This thesis aims to develop and study a new paradigm for multi-label classification based on Conditional Bernoulli Mixtures (CBM).

April 14 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Classification and Prediction of Matrix Structured Data with Applications to Recommendation Systems, Identifying Anti-Socials and Bot-Nets

Speaker: Saber Shokat Fadaee, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

Matrix representations are a natural way to represent many forms of networked and tabulated data. These include connections among people, user preferences over items, or (the time-series of) bot-net attacks against entities. Models based on matrix factorization have been extensively studied in machine learning and statistical analysis. In this thesis, we address issues related to learning with matrix structured data.

April 4 11:30 am - 12:30 pm EDT

PhD Thesis Defense: Pure Exploration for Infinitely-Armed Bandit Models in the Fixed-Confidence and Fixed-Budget Settings

Speaker: Maryam Aziz, PhD Candidate, College of Computer and Information Science at Northeastern University

How would one go about choosing a near-best option from an effectively infinite set of options when one has a finite amount of time to make a decision and imperfect knowledge of the quality of the options? Such problems are well-modeled by a variant of the classical multi-arm bandit problem.

March 2017

March 10 10:00 am - 11:00 am EST

PhD Dissertation Defense: Quantitative Assessment of Socio-Affective Dynamics in Autism Using Interpersonal Physiology

Join us to learn about Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and how it is estimated to affect 1 in 68 individuals in the United States and is characterized by qualitative impairments in social reciprocity and communication, along with restricted and repetitive behavior, that collectively manifest early in childhood.

February 2017

February 27 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm EST

Startup Expo: On Fire to Hire

Join us to network with startups seeking to hire for Fall 2017 co-ops, full-time positions, and internships.

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