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Mert Pilanci

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I’m an assistant professor in the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. 

Prior to joining University of Michigan, I was a Math+X postdoctoral fellow working with Emmanuel Candes at Stanford University. I received my Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from UC Berkeley in 2016. My Ph.D. advisors were Martin Wainwright and Laurent El Ghaoui, and my studies were supported partially by a Microsoft Research PhD Fellowship.

Research Interests: Large Scale OptimizationMachine Learning and Big DataSignal ProcessingCompressed SensingInformation Theory and Polar Coding

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Satish Narayanasamy

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Satish Narayanasamy, Ph.D., is Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. Satish’s interests are working at the intersection of computer architecture, software systems and program analysis. His current interests include concurrency, security, customized architectures and tools for mobile and web applications, machine learning assisted program analysis, and tools for teaching at scale.

Eric Michielssen

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Eric Michielssen, PhD, is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Director of the Michigan Institute for Computational Discovery and Engineering, and Associate Vice President for Advanced Research Computing. His research interests include all aspects of theoretical, applied, and computational electromagnetics, with emphasis on the development of fast (primarily) integral-equation-based techniques for analyzing electromagnetic phenomena. His group studies fast multipole methods for analyzing static and high frequency electronic and optical devices, fast direct solvers for scattering analysis, and butterfly algorithms for compressing matrices that arise in the integral equation solution of large-scale electromagnetic problems. Furthermore, the group works on plane-wave-time-domain algorithms that extend fast multipole concepts to the time domain, and develop time-domain versions of pre-corrected FFT/adaptive integral methods.  Collectively, these algorithms allow the integral equation analysis of time-harmonic and transient electromagnetic phenomena in large-scale linear and nonlinear surface scatterers, antennas, and circuits.  Recently, the group developed powerful Calderon multiplicative preconditioners for accelerating time domain integral equation solvers applied to the analysis of multiscale phenomena, and used the above analysis techniques to develop new closed-loop and multi-objective optimization tools for synthesizing electromagnetic devices, as well as to assist in uncertainty quantification studies relating to electromagnetic compatibility and bioelectromagnetic problems.

Suleyman Uludag

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My research spans security, privacy, and optimization of data collection particularly as applied to the Smart Grid, an augmented and enhanced paradigm for the conventional power grid. I am particularly interested in optimization approaches that take a notion of security and/or privacy into the modeling explicitly. At the intersection of the Intelligent Transportation Systems, Smart Grid, and Smart Cities, I am interested in data privacy and energy usage in smart parking lots. Protection of data and availability, especially under assault through a Denial-of-Service attacks, represents another dimension of my area of research interests. I am working on developing data privacy-aware bidding applications for the Smart Grid Demand Response systems without relying on trusted third parties. Finally, I am interested in educational and pedagogical research about teaching computer science, Smart Grid, cyber security, and data privacy.

This figure shows the data collection model I used in developing a practical and secure Machine-to-Machine data collection protocol for the Smart Grid.

This figure shows the data collection model I used in developing a practical and secure
Machine-to-Machine data collection protocol for the Smart Grid.

Mingyan Liu

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Mingyan Liu, PhD, is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Prof. Liu’s research interest lies in optimal resource allocation, sequential decision theory, online and machine learning, performance modeling, analysis, and design of large-scale, decentralized, stochastic and networked systems, using tools including stochastic control, optimization, game theory and mechanism design. Her most recent research activities involve sequential learning, modeling and mining of large scale Internet measurement data concerning cyber security, and incentive mechanisms for inter-dependent security games. Within this context, her research group is actively working on the following directions.

1. Cyber security incident forecast. The goal is to predict an organization’s likelihood of having a cyber security incident in the near future using a variety of externally collected Internet measurement data, some of which capture active maliciousness (e.g., spam and phishing/malware activities) while others capture more latent factors (e.g., misconfiguration and mismanagement). While machine learning techniques have been extensively used for detection in the cyber security literature, using them for prediction has rarely been done. This is the first study on the prediction of broad categories of security incidents on an organizational level. Our work to date shows that with the right choice of feature set, highly accurate predictions can be achieved with a forecasting window of 6-12 months. Given the increasing amount of high profile security incidents (Target, Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, and Anthem, just to name a few) and the amount of social and economic cost they inflict, this work will have a major impact on cyber security risk management.

2. Detect propagation in temporal data and its application to identifying phishing activities. Phishing activities propagate from one network to another in a highly regular fashion, a phenomenon known as fast-flux, though how the destination networks are chosen by the malicious campaign remains unknown. An interesting challenge arises as to whether one can use community detection methods to automatically extract those networks involved in a single phishing campaign; the ability to do so would be critical to forensic analysis. While there have been many results on detecting communities defined as subsets of relatively strongly connected entities, the phishing activity exhibits a unique propagating property that is better captured using an epidemic model. By using a combination of epidemic modeling and regression we can identify this type of propagating community with reasonable accuracy; we are working on alternative methods as well.

3. Data-driven modeling of organizational and end-user security posture. We are working to build models that accurately capture the cyber security postures of end-users as well as organizations, using large quantities of Internet measurement data. One domain is on how software vendors disclose security vulnerabilities in their products, how they deploy software upgrades and patches, and in turn, how end users install these patches; all these elements combined lead to a better understanding of the overall state of vulnerability of a given machine and how that relates to user behaviors. Another domain concerns the interconnectedness of today’s Internet which implies that what we see from one network is inevitably related to others. We use this connection to gain better insight into the conditions of not just a single network viewed in isolation, but multiple networks viewed together.

A predictive analytics approach to forecasting cyber security incidents. We start from Internet-scale measurement on the security postures of network entities. We also collect security incident reports to use as labels in a supervised learning framework. The collected data then goes through extensive processing and domain-specific feature extraction. Features are then used to train a classifier that generates predictions when we input new features, on the likelihood of a future incident for the entity associated with the input features. We are also actively seeking to understand the causal relationship among different features and the security interdependence among different network entities. Lastly, risk prediction helps us design better incentive mechanisms which is another facet of our research in this domain.

A predictive analytics approach to forecasting cyber security incidents. We start from Internet-scale measurement on the security postures of network entities. We also collect security incident reports to use as labels in a supervised learning framework. The collected data then goes through extensive processing and domain-specific feature extraction. Features are then used to train a classifier that generates predictions when we input new features, on the likelihood of a future incident for the entity associated with the input features. We are also actively seeking to understand the causal relationship among different features and the security interdependence among different network entities. Lastly, risk prediction helps us design better incentive mechanisms which is another facet of our research in this domain.

Jeff Fessler

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My research group develops models and algorithms for large-scale inverse problems, especially image reconstruction for X-ray CT and MRI.  The models include those based on sparsity using dictionaries learned from large-scale data sets.  Developing efficient and accurate methods for dictionary learning is a recent focus.

For a summary of how model-based image reconstruction methods lead to improved image quality and/or lower X-ray doses, see: http://web.eecs.umich.edu/~fessler/re

To see how model-based image reconstruction methods lead to improved image quality and/or lower X-ray doses, see: http://web.eecs.umich.edu/~fessler/rehttp://web.eecs.umich.edu/~fessler/result/ct/

Michael Cafarella

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Michael Cafarella, PhD, is Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering and Faculty Associate, Survey Research Center, Institute for Social Research, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Prof. Cafarella’s research focuses on data management problems that arise from extreme diversity in large data collections. Big data is not just big in terms of bytes, but also type (e.g., a single hard disk likely contains relations, text, images, and spreadsheets) and structure (e.g., a large corpus of relational databases may have millions of unique schemas). As a result, certain long-held assumptions — e.g., that the database schema is always known before writing a query — are no longer useful guides for building data management systems. As a result, my work focuses heavily on information extraction and data mining methods that can either improve the quality of existing information or work in spite of lower-quality information.

A peek inside a Michigan data center! My students and I visit whenever I am teaching EECS485, which teaches many modern data-intensive methods and their application to the Web.

A peek inside a Michigan data center! My students and I visit whenever I am teaching EECS485, which teaches many modern data-intensive methods and their application to the Web.

Necmiye Ozay

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Necmiye Ozay, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, College of Engineering, at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Prof. Ozay and her team develop the scientific foundations and associated algorithmic tools for compactly representing and analyzing heterogeneous data streams from sensor/information-rich networked dynamical systems. They take a unified dynamics-based and data-driven approach for the design of passive and active monitors for anomaly detection in such systems. Dynamical models naturally capture temporal (i.e., causal) relations within data streams. Moreover, one can use hybrid and networked dynamical models to capture, respectively, logical relations and interactions between different data sources. They study structural properties of networks and dynamics to understand fundamental limitations of anomaly detection from data. By recasting information extraction problem as a networked hybrid system identification problem, they bring to bear tools from computer science, system and control theory and convex optimization to efficiently and rigorously analyze and organize information. The applications include diagnostics, anomaly and change detection in critical infrastructure such as building management systems, transportation and energy networks.

Wencong Su

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In the next-generation power systems (Smart Grid), a large number of distributed energy devices (e.g., distributed generators, distributed energy storage, loads, smart meters) are connected to each other in an internet-like structure. Incorporating millions of new energy devices will require wide-ranging transformation of the nation’s aging electrical grid infrastructure. The key challenge is to efficiently manage a great amount of devices through distributed intelligence. The distributed grid intelligence (DGI) agent is the brain of distributed energy devices. DGI enables every single energy device to not only have a certain intelligence to achieve optimal management locally, but also coordinate with others to achieve a common goal. The massive volume of real-time data collected by DGI will help the grid operators gain a better understanding of a large-scale and highly dynamic power systems. In conventional power systems, the system operation is performed using purely centralized data storage and processing approaches. However, as the number of DGIs increases to more than hundreds of thousands, it is rather intuitive that the state-of-the-art centralized information processing architecture will no longer be sustainable under such big data explosion. The ongoing research work illustrates how advanced ideas from IT industry and power industry can be combined in a unique way. The proposed high-availability distributed file system and data processing framework can be easily tailored to support other data-intensive applications in a large-scale and complex power grids. For example, the proposed DGI nodes can be embedded into any distributed generators (e.g., roof-top PV panel), distributed energy storage devices (e.g., electric vehicle), and loads (e.g., smart home) in a future residential distribution system. If implemented successfully, we can translate Smart Grid with high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety data to a completely distributed cyber-physical system architecture. In addition, the proposed work can be easily extended to support other cyber-physical system applications (e.g., intelligent transportation system).

Big Data Applications in Power Systems

Big Data Applications in Power Systems

Jason Mars

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Jason Mars is a professor of computer science at the University of Michigan where he directs Clarity Lab, one of the best places in the world to be trained in A.I. and system design. Jason is also co-founder and CEO of Clinc, the cutting-edge A.I. startup that developed the world’s most advanced conversational AI.

Jason has devoted his career to solving difficult real-world problems, building some of the worlds most sophisticated salable systems for A.I., computer vision, and natural language processing. Prior to University of Michigan, Jason was a professor at UCSD. He also worked at Google and Intel.

Jason’s work constructing large-scale A.I. and deep learning-based systems and technology has been recognized globally and continues to have a significant impact on industry and academia. Jason holds a PhD in Computer Science from UVA.