MC2 Launches Travel Awards Program

Nov 21, 2022

The Maryland Cybersecurity Center (MC2) has established a new travel awards program to support students and postdocs traveling to academic conferences, workshops or other research events focused on cybersecurity or privacy.

“Through this award, MC2 is encouraging students and postdocs to think broadly, inspire other communities through their research and be inspired themselves,” says Andreea Alexandru, a postdoc and first recipient of the new award. “This initiative is commendable and can only lead to more impactful research.”

The $5K award will support her trip to the IEEE Conference on Decision and Control next week in Cancun, Mexico where she will present the paper “Private Anomaly Detection in Linear Controllers: Garbled Circuits vs. Homomorphic Encryption,” which was coauthored by Jonathan Katz, a professor of computer science and core member of MC2.

In addition, Alexandru will co-chair a session on Encrypted Control and Optimization for the fifth time.

“It has been very satisfying to watch the community in encrypted control steadily grow and produce quality research over the years,” she says.

Alexandru was also invited to give the talk “Cybersecurity in Control of CPS: Recent Developments and Open Challenges,” which covers her work on incorporating cryptography with control and optimization algorithms.

“Andreea is doing great work in applying privacy-preserving techniques to cyber physical systems,” says Michelle Mazurek, an associate professor of computer science and director of MC2. “Her presence at this conference is an excellent opportunity to disseminate privacy techniques into the control systems community, broadening MC2's reach in an important, emerging field.”

In addition to the travel award program, MC2 is launching a seed funding program to aid students or postdocs with expenses related to conducting research, such as purchasing new equipment or cloud computing resources and compensating study participants.

—Story by UMIACS communications group