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Computer Science faculty among 2024 TARC Collaboration Award winners

June 12, 2024

In a landscape where cyber threats loom larger than ever, a team of dedicated researchers has been honored with the prestigious 2024 Collaboration Award at the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Annual Research Conference (TARC) for their innovative proposal for cyber intelligence. Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Erdogan Dogdu from Angelo State University, the team comprises Dr. Srujan Kotikela from Texas A&M University-Commerce, Dr. Avdesh Mishra from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Dr. Lucy Tsado from Lamar University, Dr. Yongzhi Wang from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, and Dr. Garth Crosby from Texas A&M University.

The project, titled “Trustworthy Cyber Intelligence,” aims to revolutionize the way cyber analysts tackle the deluge of security alerts inundating networks daily. With traditional methods proving insufficient in the face of mounting cyber threats and a shortage of skilled professionals, the team sought to develop an innovative solution leveraging advanced AI frameworks.

Angelo State computer science chair Dr. Erdogan Dogdu Dr. Erdoğan Doğdu

“A typical cyber analyst faces a daunting task of sifting through countless security alerts, often leading to delays in response and increased vulnerability,” remarked Dr. Erdogan Dogdu, the project’s lead. “We recognized the urgent need for a more efficient and reliable approach.”

The team’s solution lies in a sophisticated knowledge-based AI framework designed to automate alert analysis and remediation processes without sacrificing reliability. Unlike existing AI solutions plagued by unreliability, their framework incorporates both hardware and software techniques to ensure the integrity and security of the AI system itself.

“We didn’t just want to automate for the sake of it. Trustworthiness was paramount,” emphasized Dr. Dogdu. “Our approach not only streamlines the workflow for cyber analysts but also instills confidence in the reliability of automated processes.”

Beyond technological innovation, the team is also committed to addressing the critical shortage of cyber professionals. Partnering with TEEX (Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service), they aim to develop a comprehensive curriculum for workforce development, equipping the next generation with the skills needed to combat evolving cyber threats effectively.

The timing of this recognition couldn’t be more fortuitous as during the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) Annual Research Conference, TEES regional division representatives join to expand research capabilities. This conference serves as a nexus for faculty and researchers from the TEES Regional Division schools to exchange ideas, create new research collaborations, and expand research capacity across Texas in critical areas such as energy & power, healthcare, information systems/data science, infrastructure, materials & manufacturing, and national security/cybersecurity.

Participating researchers every year have the opportunity to engage in a Shark Tank-style pitch, vying for a chance to win $2,500 to $10,000 in seed funding to further their innovative projects. This accolade serves as a testament to the collaborative spirit and innovative drive that defines the TEES community, showcasing the potential for impactful research collaborations to address pressing societal and technological challenges.