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Prof. Necmiye Ozay awarded DARPA Young Faculty Award for research in cyber and physical systems

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Prof. Necmiye Ozay (left), Dr. Fariba Farhoo, DARPA YFA Program Manager

Necmiye Ozay, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has received a 2014 Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) for her research project, “Dynamics-based information extraction: a hybrid systems approach.” Her research will impact the safety and security of cyber and physical systems.

Recent improvements in sensing and measurement technologies combined with increasing computing and communication power and storage density have outpaced our ability to efficiently and accurately examine that data. It is particularly difficult to make sense of data that is non-homogeneous and high-dimensional.

It is this type of data that feeds into controlling critical infrastructure throughout the world, especially in transportation and energy networks. These systems consist of networked human-controlled and cyber-controlled systems, which makes them vulnerable to attack, sabotage, and human error as well as software or hardware failure.

Existing techniques from machine learning and statistics are ill equipped to deal with the complex interactions, heterogeneity, and high-dimensionality that is typical of this type of data.

Prof. Ozay’s research plans to draw from system theory to improve monitoring, diagnostics, anomaly and change detection in these systems. She plans to develop system-theoretic foundations, corresponding algorithms, and architectures to improve our existing system.

“Protection of critical infrastructure like transportation networks is of significant importance for homeland defense,” said Prof. Ozay.

Prof. Ozay’s research interests lie at the broad interface of dynamical systems, control, optimization and formal methods with applications in system identification, verification and validation, autonomy and vision. She is particularly interested in developing novel event detection and information extraction algorithms from sensory data, and designing robust cyber-physical systems that can autonomously react to these events and perform complex tasks in dynamic environments.

She has taught the undergraduate and graduate level courses, Control Systems Analysis and Design (EECS 460) and Hybrid Systems: Specification, Verification and Control (EECS 598). Prof. Ozay earned her Ph.D degree in Electrical Engineering from Northeastern University. From 2010 to 2013 she was a Control and Dynamical Systems postdoctoral scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

Prof. Ozay was presented with the award at the DARPA Young Faculty Award kickoff meeting, October 3, 2014, at DARPA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.

About the DARPA Young Faculty Award

According to DARPA, “The objective of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (YFA) program is to identify and engage rising research stars in junior faculty positions at U.S. academic institutions.”

“The long-term goal of the YFA program is to develop the next generation of academic scientists, engineers and mathematicians in key disciplines who will focus a significant portion of their career on DoD and national security issues.”

prof. ozay and dr. farhoo
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