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.

New Article in Decision Analysis

Paul Goethals and I appear in the June 2018 issue of Decision Analysis, which is a top-rated INFORMS journal.  We example military readiness, using the United States Army as a case study, and propose an improved composite metric that has greater precision, flexibility, and robustness.  A more detailed synopsis of the paper is on my Projects page.  On that page, you will find a DOI link to the published article and the author accepted manuscript (AAM).  Please note that the AAM was not page proofed and is not the final version of the article.  We encourage you to use the final publication available via the DOI for your research.  More information about the AAM is on my Credits page.  Thanks for your interest in the work!

Profile on Elections Research + New Grants

Towson University just published a profile of Megan Price, who is the lead student on our research on voting systems.  Megan specifically looked at threats to polling places, identifying cyber, physical, and insider vulnerabilities.  She also laid the foundation for a risk model to manage and mitigate threat.  

Megan's work is profiled here.  You can also find a link to the article on my Media page and learn more about her project on the Cyber Tigers page.

Megan just graduated (congrats to her!), and I'm happy that we are continuing her project.  We've earned summer research funding from the College of Business and Economics to support developing the risk model, as well as seed funding from the School of Emerging Technologies to create educational materials for Election Judges.  My co-PI for the educational materials is Dr. Josh Dehlinger.  More information on these grants can be found on my Grants and Contracts page.

We will be making an applied impact with this work and continue to strengthen the security of Maryland's elections. 

Welcome & New Column

Welcome to my blog!  I will be sharing various updates here, and I'm really looking forward to letting you know about the great work my students are doing.  The end of the spring semester always has plenty of opportunities to share and disseminate the work done over the academic year, so please look for more updates soon...

For now, I'm pleased to share my latest column in Industrial Management magazine.  I am a periodic contributor to this publication from the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers, and some of my columns have focused on values and trends in cybersecurity.  My latest column ties my student's paper to this theme.  You can find the column here and on my Media page.  You can find Lorraine's paper here and also on my Projects page in the Cybersecurity section.  Please Contact Me if you have any questions or would like to discuss further.  Enjoy!