Departmental Seminars 2022-2023

Please visit the MSTCS YouTube Channel to view past seminars. You will be able to find videos for each Seminar Speaker.

Colloquia Coordinators for Spring 2023

Fall 2023

Dr. Zhengming Ding | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Robust Multi-view Visual Learning: A Knowledge Flow Perspective
Date: November 27th, 2023 Time: 10 AM

Multi-view data are extensively accessible nowadays thanks to various types of features, viewpoints, and different sensors.  For example, the most popular commercial depth sensor Kinect uses both visible light and near-infrared sensors for depth estimation; automatic driving uses both visual and radar/lidar sensors to produce real-time 3D information on the road, and face analysis algorithms prefer face images from different views for high-fidelity reconstruction and recognition.  All of them tend to facilitate better data representation in different application scenarios. This talk covers most multi-view visual data representation approaches from two knowledge flows perspectives, i.e., knowledge fusion and knowledge transfer, centered from conventional multi-view learning to zero-shot learning, and from transfer learning to open-set domain adaptation. 

Zhengming Ding received the B.Eng. degree in information security and the M.Eng. degree in computer software and theory from University of Electronic Science and Technology of China (UESTC), China, in 2010 and 2013, respectively. He received the Ph.D. degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northeastern University, USA in 2018. He is a faculty member affiliated with Department of Computer Science, Tulane University since 2021. Prior that, he was a faculty member affiliated with Department of Computer, Information and Technology, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. His research interests include transfer learning, multi-view learning and deep learning. He received the National Institute of Justice Fellowship during 2016-2018. He was the recipients of the best paper award (SPIE 2016) and best paper candidate (ACM MM 2017). He is currently an Associate Editor of the Journal of Electronic Imaging (JEI) and IEEE Transactions on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology (TCSVT).  

Dr. Berkay Aydin | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Next Generation Cyberinfrastructure for Space Weather Analytics
Date: September 25th, 2023 Time: 10 AM Location: CS 220

Space weather refers to variations in conditions in the space and near-Earth environment that are a consequence of charged particles and electromagnetic radiation emitted from the sun. The sun is the main source of space weather. Sudden bursts of plasma and magnetic field structures from the sun's atmosphere called coronal mass ejections together with sudden bursts of radiation, or solar flares, all cause space weather effects here on Earth. Space weather can have a significant impact on our planet including power outages, communications disruptions, satellite damage, and astronaut safety. Space weather analytics is primarily concerned with understanding and predicting the complex and interconnected space weather phenomena.


While researchers take many different paths for analyzing the solar phenomena, data-intensive analytics applications are commonly used in recent decades. These approaches require a robust amalgamation of data modeling, predictive analytics and system design. In this talk, we will dive into how we are addressing the task of building the next generation of data and prediction cyberinfrastructure for space weather analytics. We will discuss the common characteristics of solar data, how they can be used under operational requirements of space weather analytics, and present our solar energetic particle event forecasting system.

Dr. Berkay Aydin is an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Georgia State University (GSU), Atlanta. He got his PhD from GSU and BS degree from Bilkent University. As a faculty in the Data Mining group, his lab works on broad areas of data mining and knowledge discovery from solar big data, including computer vision, indexing, data management and integration, deep learning, frequent pattern mining, and time series mining. His research has been funded by NASA and NSF.


Web page link:


Dr. Stephan Sigg | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Free-Space Gesture Interaction Through Communication and Sensing Conversion
Date: September 18th, 2023 Time: 10 AM Location: CS 220

Recent advances in RF-sensing have demonstrated that communication systems (e.g. WiFi, cellular, LoRa, Blue-tooth, etc.) may not only provide connectivity but also sensing and environmental perception capabilities. Therefore, RF convergence – realizing sensing capabilities utilizing resources originally reserved for communication –  has gained attention as a potential solution to better utilize the available spectrum. The proposed designs target architectures where sensing and communication are co-designed at the physical and Medium Access Control (MAC) layer. Supported by edge intelligence, this enables new possibilities for free-space (gesture) interaction, activity recognition or localization, and tracking in IoT-augmented smart computing environments. The talk will summarize recent developments in RF sensing and highlight challenges and opportunities for interaction in the context of HCI.

Stephan Sigg is an Associate Professor at Aalto University in the Department of Information and Communications Engineering. He heads the Ambient Intelligence research group. Prior to Aalto University, he has worked in Germany and in Japan. Professor Sigg’s research is focused on the design, analysis, and optimization of (randomized) algorithms in Mobile and Pervasive Computing domains, in particular focusing on (wireless) networking and security. In recent years has worked on problems related to usable security, device-free human sensing, pro-active context computing, distributed adaptive beamforming, communication, and Sensing convergence, and physical layer
function computation.

Dr. Christy Taylor | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Computational Molecular Design in Plant Biotechnology at Bayer Crop Science
Date: September 11th, 2023 Time: 10 AM Location: CS 220

In the near future, the world will face many challenges.  A growing population, as well as climate change, creates challenges to our food supply.  In my talk, I will discuss how we are addressing these challenges at Bayer Crop Science.  Specifically, I will discuss how we are driving innovation and new products in the Computational Molecular Design Team in the Data Science and Analytics Group.  The Computational Molecular Design Team designs proteins for the insect control and herbicide tolerance pipeline, designs synthetic elements for expression, and works with the Biotransformation Group.  Highlights from projects in each of these areas will be discussed during the talk.  

Christy Taylor is the Computational Protein Design Lead and Science Fellow at Bayer Crop Science in St. Louis, MO.  Christy graduated summa cum laude from Missouri University of Science and Technology with a B.S. degree in Chemistry.  Christy received the NSF Predoctoral Fellowship and the Anna Fuller Cancer Research Predoctoral Fellowship for her Ph.D. studies.  Christy received a Ph.D. in Biology at MIT with Dr. Amy Keating with her doctoral thesis titled “Redesigning Specificity in Miniproteins”.  In Dr. Keating’s lab, Christy leveraged computational and experimental protein design strategies to study protein oligomerization and coiled coil proteins. Christy did her postdoctoral studies at Washington University in St. Louis with Dr. Garland Marshall.  While in Dr. Marshall’s lab, Christy focused on computational chemistry projects around GPCRs.  Christy was awarded the NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship, W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship in Molecular Medicine, and the NIH National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship for her post-doctoral work. Wanting to learn more about computational biology, Christy took a staff scientist position at the Genome Institute at Washington University School of Medicine where she did comparative genomics of nematodes.  Christy joined Monsanto in 2012 in the Chemistry Division where she did bioinformatics and small molecule research.  In 2018, Christy transitioned over to the Computational Protein Design Team in the Biotechnology organization.   Christy’s team designs proteins for insect control and herbicide tolerance in the major row crops.  In 2022, Christy’s team expanded to also encompass synthetic element design and protein expression optimization. Christy has over 19 publications and 6 patents the areas of bioinformatics, computational chemistry, protein design, agrochemicals and insect control. At Monsanto and Bayer, she has received several awards including the  Bayer Eclipse Award, Bayer Life Science Collaboration Competition Winner, Bayer Impact Award, Monsanto ICE (Inspire, Communicate, Execute) Award.

Dr. Mayank Kejriwal | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Knowledge Graphs and Large Language Models: Friends or Foes?
Date: August 21st, 2023 Time: 10 AM Location: CS 220

With the advent of large language models, previous state-of-the-art performance has been exceeded on a number of difficult AI challenges in the natural language processing community, including commonsense reasoning, question answering (and other rich forms of information retrieval), text summarization, and computational creativity. Knowledge graphs had been used to address some of these problems before. This talk will tackle the question of whether knowledge graphs are competitive or synergistic with applications of LLMs. In other words, are knowledge graphs obsolete, and should they be thought of as rivals to LLMs, or will they continue to play an important role in AI? I will view this question both through a practical and theoretical perspective, including experiences from academic and industry collaborations.

Mayank Kejriwal is a research assistant professor and research team leader in the University of Southern California. He holds joint appointments in the USC Information Sciences Institute and the Department of Industrial & Systems Engineering, and directs a group on Artificial intelligence and Complex Systems. He is the author of four books, including an MIT Press textbook on knowledge graphs.

Spring 2023

Dr. Eugene Vasserman | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Some Thoughts and Possible Future Directions Regarding Software and Hardware Safety and Security
Date: May 1st, 2023 Time: TBD

Are there fundamental limitations on the safety, security, and timeliness of heterogenous cyber-physical systems? Why are there so few safety+security engineers? Why is it difficult for security engineers to design for safety and for safety engineers to design for security? Why are security and safety so challenging to teach and learn in the first place? This talk will address these broad topics and suggest promising future directions for research while drawing from existing published work, preliminary ideas, and observations which have not yet been quantified.

Eugene Vasserman is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Kansas State University, specializing in the security of distributed systems. He is also the director of the Kansas State University Center for Cybersecurity and Trustworthy Systems and runs the Cybersecurity degree program. He received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Neuroscience with a Computer Science minor from the University of Minnesota in 2003. His M.S. and Ph.D. in Computer Science are also from the University of Minnesota, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. His current research is chiefly in the area of privacy, anonymity, censorship resistance, and socio-technical aspects of security. His research has resulted in over 45 peer reviewed publications in computer science, psychology, and education, with work spanning the gamut from medical cyber-physical systems, authorization with integrated break-glass capabilities, security vulnerabilities emergent from the BGP infrastructure of the internet, blockchains, energy depletion attacks in low-power systems, secure hyper-local social networking, and privacy and censorship resistance on a global scale (systems capable of supporting up to a hundred billion users). He has collaborated with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on medical device cybersecurity and contributed to FDA policies on building safety-focused cybersecurity into legacy and future medical devices and systems-of-systems.In 2013, he received the NSF CAREER award for work on secure next-generation medical systems. He contributed to the UL 2900 standardization process for cybersecurity of network-connectable devices, the AAMI interoperability working group, and the ANSI / AAMI / UL 2800 standards effort for medical device interoperability. He has served on numerous program committees including USENIX Security, ACSAC, PETS/PoPETs, USEC, ASIACCS, HotWiSec, WPES, and SecureComm.

Dr. Avah Banerjee | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: GPT-4, Human Reasoning and Formal Language
Date: April 24th, 2023 Time: 10:00AM Location: CS 209

Recent advances in Large Language Models have taken many by surprise, including both the general public and those who develop these very systems. These models have already demonstrated remarkable capabilities, particularly in their ability to follow complex instructions and provide highly plausible reasoning behind their generated output. Although the debate on the impact of such systems on our society has only just begun, I believe they can be used to uncover insights about the human mind that were previously unattainable. In this talk, along with my co-presenter GPT-4, I will share some preliminary experiments of a predominantly phenomenological nature. I will demonstrate how certain behaviors exhibited by GPT-4 have intriguing implications for human reasoning and problem-solving. Additionally, I will discuss some fundamental limitations of these systems and explore potential avenues for overcoming these challenges in the future.

Tuomas Sandholm | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Modern Organ Exchanges: Market Designs, Algorithms, and Opportunities
Date: April 17th, 2023 Time: 10 AM Location: CS 209

I will share experiences from working on organ exchanges for the last 18 years, ranging from market designs to new optimization algorithms to large-scale fielding of the techniques and even to computational policy optimization. Originally in kidney exchange, patients with kidney disease obtained compatible donors by swapping their own willing but incompatible donors. I will discuss many modern generalizations of this basic idea. For one, I will discuss never-ending altruist donor chains that have become the main modality of kidney exchanges worldwide and have led to over 10,000 life-saving transplants. Since 2010, our algorithms have been running the national kidney exchange for United Network for Organ Sharing, which has grown to include 80% of the transplant centers in the US. Our algorithms autonomously make the transplant plan each week for that exchange, and have been used by two private exchanges before that. I will summarize the state of the art in algorithms for the batch problem, approaches for the dynamic problem where pairs and altruists arrive and depart, techniques that find the highest-expected-quality solution under the real challenge of unforeseen pre-transplant incompatibilities, algorithms for pre-match compatibility testing, and approaches for striking fairness-efficiency tradeoffs. I will describe the FUTUREMATCH framework that combines these elements and uses data and supercomputing to optimize the policy from high-level human value judgments. The approaches therein may be able to serve as ways of designing policies for many kinds of complex real-world AI systems. I will also discuss the idea of liver lobe exchanges and cross-organ exchanges, and how they have started to emerge for real.

Tuomas Sandholm is an Angel Jordan University Professor of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on the convergence of artificial intelligence, economics, and operations research. He is Co-Director of CMU AI. He is the Founder and Director of the Electronic Marketplaces Laboratory. In addition to his main appointment in the Computer Science Department, he holds appointments in the Machine Learning Department, Ph.D. Program in Algorithms, Combinatorics, and Optimization (ACO), and CMU/UPitt Joint Ph.D. Program in Computational Biology. In parallel with his academic career, he was Founder, Chairman, first CEO, and CTO/Chief Scientist of CombineNet, Inc. from 1997 until its acquisition in 2010. During this period the company commercialized over 800 of the world’s largest-scale generalized combinatorial multi-attribute auctions, with over $60 billion in total spend and over $6 billion in generated savings. He is Founder and CEO of Optimized Markets, Inc., which is bringing a new optimization-powered paradigm to advertising campaign sales, pricing, and scheduling. 


Sandholm has developed the leading algorithms for several general classes of game with his students and postdocs. The team that he leads is the multi-time world champion in computer heads-up no-limit Texas hold’em, which was the main benchmark and decades-open challenge problem for testing application-independent algorithms for solving imperfect-information games. Their AI Libratus became the first to beat top humans at that game. Then their AI Pluribus became the first and only AI to beat top humans at the multi-player game. That is the first superhuman milestone in any game beyond two-player zero-sum games. He is Founder and CEO of Strategic Machine, Inc., which provides solutions for strategic reasoning under imperfect information in a broad set of applications ranging from poker to other recreational games to business strategy, negotiation, strategic pricing, finance, cybersecurity, physical security, auctions, political campaigns, and medical treatment planning. He is also Founder and CEO of Strategy Robot, Inc., which focuses on defense, intelligence, and other government applications.


Among his honors are the Minsky Medal, McCarthy Award, Engelmore Award, Computers and Thought Award, inaugural ACM Autonomous Agents Research Award, CMU’s Allen Newell Award for Research Excellence, Sloan Fellowship, NSF Career Award, Carnegie Science Center Award for Excellence, and Edelman Laureateship. He is Fellow of the ACM, AAAI, INFORMS, and AAAS. He holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Zurich.

Bernardo Ameneyro | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: A Quantum Framework for Topological Data Analysis
Date: April 3rd, 2023 Time: 10 AM Location: CS 209

Topological data analysis (TDA) methods capture shape properties of data that can be useful for classification and clustering problems. TDA methods first extract topological features from the data – like the number of connected components, holes and voids – via persistent homology, tracking them across different scales or resolutions. Classical algorithms for computation of persistent homology have been around for some time, but they often have to deal with running time and memory requirements that grow exponentially with respect to the number of data points. In recent years, a few quantum algorithms for persistent homology have appeared, which could outperform their classical counterparts once quantum computers get larger and more tolerant to errors.
The topological features obtained this way are then displayed in persistence diagrams that show when each feature appears and disappears. These 2-dimensional diagrams are a great way to summarize large and high-dimensional data sets in order to perform machine learning algorithms for classification and clustering. But to do this one must define distances on the space of persistence diagrams and compute them, perhaps the most well known are the Wasserstein and bottleneck distances. Something a lot of these distances have in common is the need to minimize a cost function over all the possible ways to match the points from two persistence diagrams. Quantum algorithms for optimization, like the Quantum Approximate Optimization Algorithm (QAOA) and the Quantum Alternating Operator Ansatz (QAOA+), are currently a very hot topic, so it comes as no surprise that there are quantum approaches for estimating the distance between persistence diagrams as well.
In this talk I will present some of these quantum algorithms and explain how one could use them to solve classification problems, as well as the advantages that they promise once quantum computers are more advanced.

Bernardo Ameneyro was born in Mexico City in 1997 and later moved to Colima (in the pacific coast of Mexico), where he obtained his BSc in Mathematics at the University of Colima in 2019. After that, he started a PhD program in Mathematics at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. He's currently a GRA in the Maroulas Research Group at UTK and his research focuses on quantum algorithms for topological data analysis.

Dr. Balaram Sinharoy | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T CS 220
Talk Title: Next Era of Computing for Planetary-Scale Applications
Date: March 10th, 2023, 1:30 PM

In the last two decades, we have seen an exponential growth in hardware performance and capacity at every level of Systems Infrastructure, from Microprocessors and Accelerators to Storage and Networking. This has given rise to the planetary-scale services and connectivity that run highly resilient and secure applications, some of which have over a billion users worldwide. With the slowdown of Moore’s law and the end of Dennard scaling, there is a profound impact on the growth of datacenter capacity in a cost-efficient manner. In this talk, we will show that the current computing landscape requires new innovative thinking for the next era of computing. We will discuss several efforts to improve system capacity to match the exponential demand for Data, AI and Analytics requirements. 

Dr. Sinharoy is currently a Lead Architect in Google’s Systems Infrastructure group with the mission to define the next generation System Architecture for Data Centers. Prior to joining Google, Dr. Sinharoy was an IBM Fellow for 10 years and served as the Chief Architect of several generations of POWER processors and systems. Dr. Sinharoy has published numerous conference and journal articles and has been granted over 200 patents in many areas of Computer Architecture. Dr. Sinharoy has been a keynote speaker in various IEEE conferences, such as Micro-42 and ARITH-25, among others and taught at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and University of North Texas. Dr. Sinharoy received his MS and PhD from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He was an IBM Master Inventor and has been an IEEE Fellow since 2009.

Dr. Ali Dehghantanha | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Malware Threat Hunting and Threat Intelligence in Critical Infrastructure: Research Achievements and Plans Going Forward
Date: March 9th, 2023, 3:30 PM

Dr. Dehghantanha commences the presentation by providing an overview of his past research endeavors and emphasizing the most notable accomplishments. The research trajectory he showcases includes privacy, digital forensics, malware threat detection and analysis, as well as critical infrastructure security, with particular emphasis on utilizing fuzzy machine learning for malware threat hunting to attribute cyber threats. The presentation culminates with a discussion of his upcoming research plans, which involve the development of anti-forensics and anti-anti-forensics systems utilizing adversarial machine learning, and the presentation of preliminary results in this area.

Dr. Ali Dehghantanha, the director of the Cyber Science Lab in the School of Computer Science at the University of Guelph (UofG) in Ontario, Canada, is an Associate Professor and a Canada Research Chair in Cybersecurity and Threat Intelligence. He has a decade-long track record of working in various industrial and academic roles for prominent players in the fields of Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence. Prior to joining UofG, he held the position of a Senior Lecturer at the University of Sheffield in the UK and served as an EU Marie-Curie International Incoming Fellow at the University of Salford, also in the UK. His educational qualifications include an MSc. and Ph.D. in Security in Computing, and he holds several professional certifications, such as CISSP and CISM. His primary research interests encompass malware analysis and digital forensics, critical infrastructure security, and the application of AI in Cybersecurity.


Dr. Sanjay Madria | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Attribute-based Encryption Scheme for Secure Data Sharing
Date: March 2nd, 2023, 3:30 PM

Attribute-based encryption (ABE) is a prominent cryptographic tool for secure data sharing in the cloud because it can be used to enforce very expressive and fine-grained access control on outsourced data. The revocation in ABE remains a challenging problem as most of the revocation techniques available today, suffer from the collusion attack. The revocable ABE schemes which are collusion resistant require the aid of a semi-trusted manager to achieve revocation. More specifically, the semi-trusted manager needs to update the secret keys of non-revoked users followed by a revocation. This introduces computation and communication overhead, and also increases the overall security vulnerability. In this work, we propose a revocable ABE scheme that is collusion resistant and does not require any semi-trusted entity. In our scheme, the secret keys of the non-revoked users are never affected. Our decryption requires only an additional pairing operation compared to the baseline ABE scheme. We are able to achieve these at the cost of a little increase (compared to the baseline scheme) in the size of the secret key and the ciphertext. Experimental results show that our scheme outperforms the relatable existing SOA schemes.

Sanjay K Madria is a Curators’ Distinguished Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the Missouri University of Science and Technology (formerly, University of Missouri-Rolla, USA).  He has published over 285+ Journal and conference papers in the areas of cybersecurity, mobile and sensor computing, Big data and cloud computing, data analytics. He won five IEEE best papers awards in conferences such as IEEE MDM and IEEE SRDS. He is a co-author of a book (published with his two PhD graduates) on Secure Sensor Cloud published by Morgan and Claypool in Dec. 2018. He has graduated 20 PhDs and 33 MS thesis students, with 8 current PhDs. NSF, NIST, ARL, ARO, AFRL, DOE, Boeing, CDC-NIOSH, ORNL, Honeywell, and others have funded his research projects of over $18M. He has been awarded JSPS (Japanese Society for Promotion of Science) invitational visiting scientist fellowship, and ASEE (American Society of Engineering Education) fellowship.  In 2012 and in 2019, he was awarded NRC Fellowship by National Academies, US. He is ACM Distinguished Scientist, and served as an ACM and IEEE Distinguished Speaker He is an IEEE Senior Member as well as IEEE Golden Core Awardee. 

Dr. George Atia | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Robust, Scalable, and Verifiable Approaches to Learning, Acquisition, and Decision-Making
Date: February 10th, 2023, 10:00 AM

Future applications of national importance, such as healthcare, critical infrastructure, transportation systems and smart cities, will increasingly rely on machine learning methods and AI solutions, including structured learning, supervised learning, and reinforcement learning. In this talk, we will discuss our research efforts in the Data Science and Machine Learning Lab (DSML) on understanding the fundamental limits of learning, data acquisition and decision making, as well as the design of scalable, robust and provable learning algorithms, and verifiable decision policies in uncertain dynamic environments. This work is motivated by numerous challenges in these domains, including large data volume and dimensionality, distributional uncertainties, data corruption, incomplete data, non-linearities, complex data structures, safety constraints, and sparse rewards.

The talk will highlight some of our major findings and results in this context, which include scalable algorithms that achieve super-linear speedups in processing big data, robust strategies with enhanced breakdown points and phase transitions, provable guarantees for the long-standing open problem of policy synthesis in constrained multichain MDP's, and fast reinforcement learning methods in the presence of sparse reward signals.

George K. Atia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering with a joint appointment in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Central Florida (UCF), where he directs the Data Science and Machine Learning Laboratory (DSML). He was a Visiting Faculty at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) in 2019-2020. He received his PhD degree from Boston University in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2009 and was a Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Coordinated Science Laboratory (CSL) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) from 2009 to 2012. His research focuses on robust and scalable machine learning, statistical inference, verifiable and explainable AI, sequential decision methods, and information theory. He is an Associate Editor for the IEEE Transactions on Signal Processing. Dr. Atia is the recipient of many awards, including the UCF Reach for the Stars Award and the CECS Research Excellence Award in 2018, the Dean's Advisory Board Fellowship and the Inaugural UCF Luminary Award in 2017, the NSF CAREER Award in 2016, and the Charles Millican Faculty Fellowship Award (2015-2017). His research has been funded by NSF, ONR, DARPA, and DOE.

Dr. Ye Hu | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Bridging the Digital Divide: Foundations of Next Generation Integrated Space-Air-Ground Communication Systems
Date: February 8th, 2023, 10:00 AM

Despite the revolution in communication technologies that was witnessed in the past decade, there is still a significant portion of the earth's population who falls out of today's wireless broadband coverage. While people who live in under-developed, disaster-affected, or rural areas remain  in "wireless darkness," communities in megacities are also often experiencing below-par wireless connectivity due to increasing demand for wireless services. To provide high-speed, reliable wireless connectivity to those on the less-served side of the digital divide, as well as to crowded urban environments, airborne and satellite-based communication platforms can be deployed as promising solution to boost the capacity and coverage of existing wireless cellular networks (e.g., 5G and beyond). In this talk, we address some of the fundamental challenges that face the realization of integrated space-air-ground communication systems by developing new frameworks that weave together new concepts from communications, machine learning, and game theory. First, we focus on the problem of wireless-aware control and navigation for drones that are used as access points to provide connectivity to remote areas. In particular, we introduce a novel multiagent, reinforcement learning solution with meta learning capabilities that can be used to control the navigation of these aerial access points, allowing them to provide effective, on-demand coverage to distributed, dynamic, and unpredictable ground user requests. We show that, using value decomposition techniques and a meta training mechanism, the proposed low training overhead control framework is guaranteed to converge to a local optimal coverage for the users, under systems. In particular, we develop a novel exchange market-based framework that allows the integrated system to efficiently exploit its spectral resources while optimizing its communication performance in terms of data rates. We then show that the optimal. equilibrium allocation of resources can be found by using a lightweight, distributed solution that facilitates cooperative spectrum sharing in the integrated system and yields a faster convergence compared to a baseline sub-gradient algorithm. We conclude the talk with an overview on future, exciting research directions.

Ye Hu (S'17) received her PhD in the Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer engineering at Virginia Tech, Virginia, USA, in 2021, and was also a postdoctoral research scientist at the Electrical Engineering Department at Columbia University, New York, USA. Her research interests include machine learning, game theory, cybersecurity, blockchain, unmanned aerial vehicles, cube satellite, and wireless communication. She is also the recipient of the best paper award at IEEE GLOBECOM 2020 for her work on meta-learning for drone-based communications.

Dr. Huiyuan Yang | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Using Multimodal Human Sensing and Machine Learning to Understand Human Behaviors and Improve Health
Date: February 6th, 2023

Today, technological advances have allowed us to model human subjects in ways never before possible (i.e., video, motion capture, wearable sensors, electronic health records, fMRI). Coupled with artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms, we can find promising solutions to address pressing societal challenges, such as mental/physical health and well-being. In this talk, I will present our efforts of using multimodal human-centered data and machine learning to understand human behaviors and improve health, ranging from human sensing to model development and deployment. More specifically, I will first describe human sensing that makes sense of humans using a variety of sensors. Following that, I will discuss the challenges in the modeling and characterizing human behaviors and health from multimodal data. Then, I will introduce the proposed algorithms to solve the corresponding challenges, so that we can have a better understanding of human behaviors and activities, emotional states, health conditions, and more. Finally, I will present our recent works on using multimodal human-centered data to improve health.

Huiyuan Yang is currently a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Rice University, where he works with Dr. Akane San in the Computational Wellbeing Group and Digital Health Lab. He received his PhD in Computer Science, Binghamton University 2021, Masters Degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering in Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 2014, and B.E. at Wuhan University in 2011 respectively. His research is at the intersection of machine learning and multimodal human-centered data, using a variety of sensory data (e.g. video, motion capture, wearable sensors, EHR), to develop models and datasets, and thus understand human behavior, enhance human physical and cognitive performance, and improve health. His work has appeared in top-tier venues including CVPR, ICCV, ACM MM, and others. He has been a PC member/reviewer for ICLR, CVPR, KDD, IJCAI, AAAI, ACM MM, ACI, FG, and others, and an active reviewer for more than 25 journals. His dissertation won the Binghamton University Distinguished Dissertation Award (2021). He has co-organized three workshops and co-released several popular multimodal datasets, including BU-EEG, 3DFAW, BP4D+, and SMILE dataset.

Dr. Suman Kalyan Maity | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Computations on Complex Socio-Technical Systems
Date: February 3rd, 2023

We are surrounded by complex, adaptive and evolving socio-technical systems. The expansion and interdependence of technology and social interaction gives rise to a number of complex challenges from various perspectives in these systems. This talk builds on two inter-connected threads of my research : i) Social computing and ii) Science of Science. In the first part of the talk, I will discuss how social media is misused, specifically focusing on the detection and mitigation of malicious content on social media platforms. I will present novel methods and techniques for identifying and combating these issues, in order to create a safer and more inclusive environment on social media for all users. In the second part of the talk, I will delve deeper into the fundamental dynamics and uncertainties underlying the inner-workings of Science. I will focus on the evolving global landscape of grants and interdisciplinary publications to better understand team science and collaboration, the evolution of professional careers, and inequality in Science.

Suman Kalyan Maity is currently a postdoctoral research associate at the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences (BCS) and affiliated with the MIT Center for Research on Equitable and Open Scholarship (CREOS). He is also a visiting research fellow at Center for Science of Science and Innovation (CSSI) and The Northwestern Institute on Complex Systems (NICO), Northwestern University. He received his PhD in Computer Science and Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur. He was the recipient of the prestigious IBM PhD Fellowship and Microsoft Research India PhD Fellowship Award during his PhD. His research interests lie in the interdisciplinary area of Human-centered Computing. He develops and applies methods from Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Network Science to investigate the potential and opportunities within this interdisciplinary area, with a specific focus on issues related to social media and the Science of Science.

Fall 2022

Dr. Simon Apers | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Quantum walk mixing with Chebyshev polynomials
Date: November 14, 2022

A quantum walk is the quantum analogue of a random walk. A long-standing open question is whether quantum walks can be used to quadratically speed up the mixing time of random walks. We describe a new approach to this question that builds on the close connection between quantum walks and Chebyshev polynomials. Specifically, we use that the quantum walk dynamics can be understood by simply applying a Chebyshev polynomial to the random walk transition matrix. This decouples the problem from its quantum origin, and highlights connections to classical second-order methods and the use of Chebyshev polynomials in random walk theory as in the Varopoulos-Carne bound. We illustrate the approach on the lattice: we prove a weak limit on the quantum walk dynamics, giving a different proof of the quadratically improved spreading behavior of quantum walks on lattices.

Simon Apers (he/him) received a PhD from Ghent University, Belgium, on the topic of quantum walks and quantum algorithms. Afterwards, Simon completed postdocs at CWI (Amsterdam) with Ronald de Wolf, INRIA (Paris) with Anthony Leverrier and ULB (Brussels) with Jérémie Roland. Simon is currently CNRS researcher at IRIF in Paris.

Prof B. Antoine Bagula | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Federating Cyber-Physical Systems
Date: November 7th, 2022

It is predicted that with the advances made in the Internet-of-Things, Next Generation Networking, Cloud computing and Artificial Intelligence, hundreds of thousands of islands of Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) which are currently geographically distributed in different countries and regions worldwide, as well as in different locations in cities, will be federated to generate unprecedent datasets which, when submitted to emerging artificial intelligence models (e.g. machine learning), will provide solutions to some of the key problems that the world could not solve till today.  This is the case, for example, in the emerging field of virtual/soft sensing, where artificial intelligence techniques are used to complement Internet-of-Things (IoT) measurements to provide innovative and more practical and economical solutions to many of the issues the world is currently facing. However, the digital divide between developed and developing nations, leading to an imbalance in cloud processing resources, is a key issue that might jeopardize/hamper the development of such CPS federations. This talk focuses on the design and performance evaluation of Federated Cyber-Physical Systems (FCPS), with the objective of showcasing how a federated cloud computing (FCC) model can be used to build data-intensive ecosystems. Building on a use-case, the talk reveals that through federation and cooperative sharing of cloud resources,  a cloud computing system can be built and used to improve the quality of service delivered by data-intensive processing infrastructures across a continent. The details of a Federated Cloud Computing Infrastructure (FCCI) called “AFRICA 3.0” aiming at fostering the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) on the African continent will be presented and discussed during the talk.

Bigomokero Antoine Bagula received a Ph.D. degree (Tech. Dr.) in Communication Systems from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, and 2 MSc degrees (Computer Engineering – Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium and Computer Science - University of Stellenbosch (SUN), South Africa).  He is currently a full professor and head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) where he also leads the Intelligent Systems and Advanced Telecommunication (ISAT) laboratory. He is also an extraordinary Professor at ESIS-Salama where he is in charge of spearheading the institution research agenda. Prof. Bagula is well-published scientist in his research field. His current research interests include Data Engineering including Big Data Technologies, Cloud/Fog Computing and Network Softwarization (e.g., NFV and SDN); The Internet of Things (IoT) including the Internet-of-Things in Motion and the Tactile Internet; Data Science including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning with their applications in Big Data Analytics; and Next Generation Networks including 5G/6G.

Dr. Mark Hillery (CUNY) | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Searches with Quantum Walks
Date: October 31, 2022

Random walks serve as the basis of a number of algorithms, and this led to the idea that perhaps a quantum version of a random walk would be useful for finding quantum algorithms.  Constructing a quantum walk is not completely straightforward, and there are three ways of doing it, two of which will be discussed in this talk.  They have proved useful in search problems, where there is a distinguished vertex in a graph, and we would like to find it.  It is also possible to search for other objects, such as extra edges or more general structures that break the symmetry of a graph.  Most recently, it has been possible to use quantum walks to find paths between two special vertices, which is analogous to using them to find a path though a maze.

Mark Hillery is a professor of physics at Hunter College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York.  He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and went on to a postdoctoral position with a quantum optics group that was based both at the University of New Mexico and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics.  He then joined the City University of New York.  He has worked in quantum optics and, since 1996, in quantum information.  He had a long-time collaboration with a research group in Bratislava, Slovakia, which led to his being awarded the International Prize of the Slovak Academy of Sciences in 2019.  For 15 years he was an associate editor of the journal Physical Review A.  He is a fellow of both the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.

Dr. Zhihui Zhu | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Neural Collapsed Representation in Deep Learning Classifiers
Date: October 24, 2022

In the past decade, the revival of deep neural networks has led to dramatic success in numerous applications ranging from computer vision to natural language processing to scientific discovery and beyond. Nevertheless, the practice of deep networks has been shrouded with mystery as our theoretical understanding of the success of deep learning remains elusive.

In this talk, we will focus on the representations learned by deep neural network classifiers. In this setting, the recent work by Papyan et al. revealed an intriguing empirical phenomenon, called neural collapse, that persists across different neural network architectures and a variety of standard datasets. We will first provide a geometric analysis for understanding why neural collapse always happens on a simplified unconstrained feature model. We will then exploit these findings to understand the roles of different loss functions proposed in the literature for training deep neural networks. Among all the proposed loss functions, which one is the best to use is still a mystery because there seem to be multiple factors affecting the answer, such as the properties of the dataset, the choice of network architecture, and so on. Through the principles of neural collapse, we will show that all relevant losses produce equivalent features on training data and lead to largely identical performance on test data as well, provided that the network is sufficiently large and trained until convergence.

Zhihui Zhu is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the Ohio State University. He was an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Denver from 2020-2022 and a Post-Doctoral Fellow with the Mathematical Institute for Data Science, Johns Hopkins University, from 2018 to 2019. He received his Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering in 2017 from the Colorado School of Mines, where his research was awarded a Graduate Research Award. He is or has been an Action Editor of the Transactions on Machine Learning Research and an Area Chair for NeurIPS.

Prof. Demetris Zeinalipour | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Data-Driven Smartphone Localization with Zero Infrastructure
Date: October 17, 2022

The early suppression of fires on ro-ro vessels requires rapid fire identification as a fire of medium growth exponentially reaches 50kW after only 1 minute. Fire patrol members (e.g., able seamen) are asked to act as first responders in such fire incident cases. They do however lack the necessary digital technology for immediate localization, verification and coordination with the bridge and other first responders. Indoor localization requires dense referencing systems (such as Wi-Fi, UWB, Bluetooth antennas), but these technologies require expensive installations and maintenance. Also, Satellite-based indoor localization is obstructed by the bulky steel structures of vessels, so this doesn’t work either. In this work we develop a ground-breaking localization technology that requires zero infrastructure using computer vision on commodity smartphone devices attached to the gear of first responders. The developed solution comprises of three steps: (i) Training, where vessel owners supply video recordings that are processed on a deep learning data center to produce an accurate computer vision machine learning model; (ii) Logging, where a mobile app allows referencing non-movable objects to the (x,y,deck) coordinates of a vessel; and (iii) Localization, where first responders localize on a digital map. Additionally, in case a sparse communication network is available, first responders can share their location, emergency messages and heat scan images with nearby first responders and the bridge. Our proposed algorithm, coined Surface, is shown to be 80% and 90% accurate for localization and tracking scenarios, respectively, in both a remote study and an on-board study we carried out on a real ro-ro vessel. The overall developed Smart Alert System (SMAS), streamlines the lengthy fire verification, coordination, and reaction process in the early stages of a fire, improving fire safety. My talk will conclude with a summary of other relevant work in the scope of our open-source indoor localization system, named Anyplace.


Demetris Zeinalipour is an Associate Professor of Computer Science at the University of Cyprus, where he leads the Data Management Systems Laboratory (DMSL). His primary research interests include Data Management in Computer Systems and Networks, particularly Mobile and Sensor Data Management; Big Data Management in Parallel and Distributed Architectures; Spatio-Temporal Data Management; Network and Telco Data Management; Crowd, Web 2.0 and Indoor Data Management; Data Privacy Management and Data Management for Sustainability. He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from University of California - Riverside (2005). Before his current appointment, he served the University of Cyprus as an Assistant Professor and Lecturer but also the Open University of Cyprus as a Lecturer. He has held visiting research appointments at Akamai Technologies, Cambridge, MA, USA, the University of Athens, Greece, the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA and the Max Planck Institute for Informatics, Saarbrücken, Germany. He is a Humboldt Fellow, Marie-Curie Fellow, an ACM Distinguished Speaker (2017-2020), a Senior Member of ACM, a Senior Member of IEEE and a Member of USENIX. He serves on the editorial board of Distributed and Parallel Databases (Elsevier), Big Data Research (Springer), SI Editor for ACM Transactions on Spatial Algorithms and Systems (ACM TSAS), and is an independent evaluator for the European Commission (Marie Skłodowska-Curie and COST actions), the Hong Kong RGC and the Hellenic HFRI. His h-index is 30, holds over 3800 citations, has an Erdös number of 3, was awarded 12 international awards and honors (IEEE-MDM18, IEEE-MDM17, ACMD17, ACMS16, IEEES16, HUMBOLDT16, ACM-IEEE-IPSN14, EVARILOS14, APPCAMPUS13, IEEE-MDM12, MC07, CIC06) and delivered over 30 invited talks. He is/was General Co-Chair for 4 events (IEEE MDM22, EDBT21, VLDB's DMSN11, ACM MobiDE10), and is/was Program Co-Chair for 8 events (IEEE-MDM19, IEEE-MDM10, IEEE-ALIAS19, IEEE-MUSICAL16, IEEE-HuMoComP15, HDMS18, VLDB-DMSN10, ACM-MobiDE09). He has participated in over 20 projects funded by the US National Science Foundation, by the European Commission, the Cyprus Research Promotion Foundation, the Univ. of Cyprus, the Open University of Cyprus and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. Finally, he has also been involved in industrial Research and Development projects (e.g., Finland, Taiwan and Cyprus) and has technically lead several open source mobile data management services (e.g., Vgate, Anyplace, Rayzit and Smartlab) reaching thousands of users worldwide. More:

Dr. Shu-Ching Chen | Seminar Speaker

Missouri S&T
Talk Title: Multimedia Big Data Analytics for Data Science and Introduction of dSAIC 
Date: October 10, 2022

The idea of Data Science has gathered many different perspectives throughout different domains and articles. In this talk, Data Science is discussed as the theories, techniques, and tools designed for data-centered analysis and the methodology to apply them to real world applications. We have revolutionized the process of gathering multimedia data from an abundance of sources. Things such as mobile devices, social networks, autonomous vehicles, smart household appliances, and the Internet have increasingly grown in prominence. Correspondingly, new forms of multimedia data such as text, numbers, tags, networking, signals, geo-tagged information, graphs, 3D/VR/AR, sensor data, and traditional multimedia data (image, video, audio) have become easily accessible. Therefore, older traditional methods of processing data have become increasingly outdated, emphasizing the demand for more advanced data-science techniques to process these heterogeneous, large data sets which fluctuate in quality and semantics. Additionally, the inconsistency of utilizing single modality severely hinders our ability to withstand multiple data sources simultaneously. Upon analyzing the capabilities of each model, it becomes pivotal for us to consider the multi-modal frameworks to leverage the multi-data sources to assist data analytics. With the implementation of data science and big data strategies, we are able to efficiently capture, store, clean, analyze, mine, and visualize exponential growth of multimedia data, which is responsible for the majority of daily Internet traffic. With the data science field growing with importance, the goal of big data revolution is to bridge the gap between data availability and its effective utilization which enables research, technological innovation and even decision making. In this talk, I will discuss the research opportunities and challenges in multimedia big data for data science. A set of core techniques and applications will be discussed. I will also discuss Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center (dSAIC) -  a University of Missouri System-wide Center.

Dr. Shu-Ching Chen is the inaugural Executive Director of Data Science and Analytics Innovation Center (dSAIC). dSAIC is a multi-university center and based at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). His main research interests include data science, multimedia big data, disaster information management, content-based image/video retrieval, and multimedia systems. He has authored and coauthored more than 370 research papers and four books. He has been the PI/Co-PI of many research grants from NSF, NOAA, DHS, NIH (Co-I), Department of Energy, Army Research Office, Naval Research Laboratory (NRL), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Florida Department of Transportation, IBM, and Microsoft. Dr. Chen received 2011 ACM Distinguished Scientist Award, best paper awards from 2006 IEEE International Symposium on Multimedia and 2016 IEEE International Conference on Information Reuse and Integration. He also received the best student paper award from 2022 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia Information Processing and Retrieval. He received the 2019 Service Award from IEEE Computer Society’s Technical Committee on Multimedia Computing. He was awarded the IEEE SMC Society’s Outstanding Contribution Award in 2005 and IEEE Most Active SMC Technical Committee Award in 2006. He has been a General Chair and Program Chair for more than 60 conferences, symposiums, and workshops. He is the Editor-in-Chief of IEEE Multimedia Magazine, founding Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Multimedia Data Engineering and Management, and the Co-Chair of IEEE SMC’s Technical Committee on Knowledge Acquisition in Intelligent Systems. He was the Chair of IEEE Computer Society Technical Committee on Multimedia Computing and a steering committee member of IEEE Trans. on Multimedia. He is a fellow of IEEE, AAAS, SIRI, and AAIA.