News Updates

A few new updates to my Media page…

The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers interviewed me for their June 2019 feature “What’s Your Story?” which appears in ISE Magazine. I discussed my work in elections security and how it fits within the Industrial Engineering space. Also, Towson University’s newsroom included me in a June 2019 article about Facebook’s new cryptocurrency Libra.

My student researchers are awesome and making news of their own! Hannah Locraft and Priya Gajendiran were profiled in February 2019 by the ACES program at the University of Maryland. Hannah and Priya worked extensively on elections security during summer 2018. Dominique Hawkins and Saraubi Harrison were both profiled by Towson University as outstanding spring 2019 graduating seniors. Dominique is a researcher on my grant with the Construction Industry Institute, and Saraubi played an integral role in my elections security research.

You can see all of these updates on my Media page.

Sources of Risk in Elections Security

Three of my student researchers - Hannah Locraft, Priya Gajendiran, and Megan Price - along with COL Paul Goethals and I published a paper at the 2019 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference. This paper addresses sources of risk in elections security and provides an overview of our cyber, physical, and insider systems approach to securing polling places. We also examine data from a 2018 Center for American Progress report for connections to a state’s relative security, as rated by CAP, and the 2016 Presidential Election. Check out the Cybersecurity section of my Projects page for the paper and coded data used in our analysis.

Research Student Updates

My research students were, as usual, doing great things during spring 2019. They continue to impress and amaze me with their creativity, dedication to the projects, and detail oriented work ethic. I am very proud of their growth as students and scholars!

Check out pictures from the student poster session at the spring 2019 Towson University Development and Research Conference in the Gallery. Vince Schiavone, Dominique Hawkins, and Lorraine Black all presented their work. Their posters can be found on the Cyber Tigers page.

Of course these opportunities would not be possible without support. Thanks to the Construction Industry Institute for supporting Vince and Dominique, and Towson University for their ongoing support of our work on elections security. Thanks to the BTU Initiative, we’ve been able to add three more students to that project! Katerine Delgado, Katerina Ieromonahos, and Vince Schiavone have joined Lorraine Black and Saraubi Harrison to work on training modules for pollworkers. Stay tuned to learn more about their work as it develops, and check out the Cyber Tigers page for more information!

Titles Forthcoming from CRC Press / Taylor & Francis

I have two titles forthcoming from CRC Press, which is a division of Taylor and Francis. The first title, the Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research, is expected in early 2020. Authors are in the final stages of revisions, and my co-editor, Dr. James Howard, and I are excited about the breadth of topics - both theoretical and applied - that will be covered in this text. It will be a must-have for students and practitioners working in the military and defense space.

The second title, Mathematics in Cyber Research, is in the early stages. COL Paul Goethals and COL Daniel Bennett are my co-editors, and this volume will address how various areas of mathematics can be applied to cyber research and analysis. Submissions to this volume are by invitation; Paul, Daniel, and I are finalizing our list of authors. The volume is expected in 2021.

The target audience of both volumes will be students and early career practitioners. We hope the topics covered are accessible to that audience and can help to bridge the gap between theoretical classroom knowledge and applied problem solving. Sign up here to learn more about the Handbook of Military and Defense Operations Research and here to learn more about Mathematics in Cyber Research.

Protecting Maryland’s Voting Processes

Recent Towson University graduate Megan Price is the lead author on “Protecting Maryland’s Voting Processes,” which just appeared in the 2019 edition of the Baltimore Business Review. Megan spent an academic year working closely with Board of Elections officials in Maryland to identify potential cyber, physical, and insider threat scenarios as well as mitigations for those threats. I’m really proud of the work she did and anticipate that implementation of her recommendations may lead to maintaining the integrity of votes cast on Election Day in Maryland.

You can find her paper here as well as my Projects and Cyber Tigers pages.

INFORMS Panel, Podcast, & Presentations

INFORMS is the leading professional society for operations research, management science, and analytics professionals. I enjoy being involved with the society, and the network I gained through attending its conferences and events has been invaluable.

In 2018, I had a few opportunities to share my work and educate others through INFORMS. The inaugural Government and Analytics Summit was held in May 2018 at the Reserve Officers Association Building in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington, D.C. Keynote speakers included Secretary Anthony Fox and General Michael Hayden, and breakout sessions focused on applications of OR and analytics to national security, healthcare, and transportation. I was a panelist in the national security session and communicated the value of OR and analytics to an audience that was well versed in national security but may not have a mathematics background. A video of the panel can be found here, and more information about the session is on both my Media page and the summit website.

The INFORMS Annual Meeting was held in November 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. At the conference, I gave a presentation on voting security at polling places and was a co-author on COL Paul Goethals’ presentation on the human behavior element of cybersecurity. Both talks were in the Military Applications cluster. I also spoke about teaching and engaging undergraduates in analytics; that talk focused on my paper about student motivation in analytics.

Two episodes of the Resoundingly Human podcast were taped at the Annual Meeting, and I am featured on episode 5 of season 1. I discuss elections security and my team’s work on threats to polling places, starting at about the 9:20 mark. This podcast series is great because the goal is to communicate technical OR and analytics concepts to a general audience. The podcast is available on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher, and can also be found here.

Finally, I assume the role of President of the Military and Security Society of INFORMS beginning January 1, 2019. I’m really looking forward to growing the society and working with everyone. Cheers to 2019!

Supply Chain Graduate Program Director

During the fall 2018 semester, I took over as the Director of the graduate programs in Supply Chain at Towson University. Our previous director is Dr. Toby Porterfield, who has assumed the role of Department Chair. We offer a MS degree in Supply Chain Management, a post-baccalaureate certificate in Supply Chain Management, and a post-baccalaureate certificate in Project, Program, and Portfolio Management.

We had a great semester! The program hosted the Fall Case Competition, featuring a real business case from Pandora jewelers. We heard about great graduate student research in blockchain and humanitarian supply chains at the Fall Capstone Presentation event. We also launched the combined BS-MS in Supply Chain program and hosted an open house for undergraduate students. Towson University profiled our combined program in this article.

Our graduate assistants, Lorraine Black and Rakshitha Matti, have done an amazing job with planning events and managing our social media. Please follow the program on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook to see our latest news and highlights from our events!

2018 Updates

Lots have happened since my last blog post in July 2018. The end of the semester is a great time to catch up on updates and reflect on successes and growth over the last few months. I summarize my updates in this post and will have a couple more posts, appearing over the next several days, dedicated to specific events.

I received word in late 2018 of another round of funding from the Construction Industry Institute (CII) for further analysis on collaborative scheduling in the construction industry. I’m thrilled to continue to work with Dr. Thais Alves and Dr. Min Liu on this project, as well as all of the great project team members from CII member companies. Vince Schiavone and Dominique Hawkins will also be Towson University student researchers on this project.

My team will have a new whitepaper focused on our research in elections security at polling places in the Baltimore Business Review, forthcoming in early 2019. This paper is led by recent graduate Megan Price and discusses her work over the 2017-2018 academic year. I’m very proud of the detail that Megan put into her work and am happy that her recommendations are already having positive impact in the Maryland elections processes. Since Megan graduated, four additional students have worked on elections security: Hannah Locraft, Priya Gajendiran, Lorraine Black, and Saraubi Harrison. Hannah and Priya are ACES students at the University of Maryland, College Park. You can learn more about their ongoing work on the Cyber Tigers page. A synopsis of Megan’s upcoming paper is on my Projects page in the Cybersecurity section.

In the next few days, I’ll have a dedicated post regarding my new role as director of the graduate programs in supply chain at Towson University. I will also have a post about my involvement in INFORMS, including the Government and Analytics Summit, Resoundingly Human podcast, and 2018 Annual Meeting. In the meantime, please check out my new Gallery page for photos of what myself and the Cyber Tigers have been up to. Stay tuned!

Lorraine's Blog Post and Paper

Lorraine Black wrote a great blog post for AACSB on how her business education at Towson University, including her research experiences, will help her create social change.  You can read the post here and also find it in the Profiles section on my Media page.  Lorraine just graduated in May (congrats!), and we plan to continue working together on cyber related research.  She is the lead author on "Values and Trends in Cybersecurity," which was just published in May 2018 in the proceedings of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference.  She concludes that different populations value different attributes when securing their cyber systems, and her paper is the first step in our research in value models for cyber.  You can find her paper here as well as in the Cybersecurity section of my Projects page.