Our research in privacy and security takes an interdisciplinary approach to detecting and removing threats of information misuse, enhancing predictability and trust, and understanding online privacy. Our research methodology is rooted in several disciplines, including computer science, game theory, applied mathematics, cognitive science, control theory, economics, social sciences, and public policy. Specifically, we conduct research to understand issues and seize opportunities in systems and software security, usability considerations in privacy and security, economics of information security, mobile and Internet of Things devices, cloud computing, and cyberforensics, among many others.
Privacy and Security
Research Labs and Centers
The ALPS Laboratory is a group of multidisciplinary researchers that conducts cutting-edge research at the intersection of machine learning, computational privacy, and cybersecurity. Our mission is to fully unleash the potential of data-driven algorithmic systems to support groundbreaking discoveries and critical decision-making. We look to the real world for practical and important problems. Then, we aim to develop effective, scalable analytical tools to empower such systems and mitigate their negative impact on individuals and society.
The Center for Big Data Analytics and Discovery Informatics aims to accelerate advances in a number of fields by addressing the challenges in data management, data integration, data analytics, and predictive modeling and simulation to realize the full potential of big data. Our researchers seek to understand how scientists, decision makers, and the public at large can use this wealth of information to drive not only scientific discovery but also decisions and policies.
The Center for Cyber-Security, Information Privacy, and Trust—also known as the LIONS Center—conducts interdisciplinary research in cybersecurity and privacy. We pursue projects that detect and remove threats of information misuse to the human society, mitigate risk, reduce uncertainty, and enhance predictability and trust. Our goal is to play a leading role in helping Penn State pursue security and risk research and development opportunities for the Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency, and Department of Defense.
The Cyber Security Laboratory aims to advance leading cybersecurity knowledge and discovery across a variety of domains. Current and past projects have explored attack-resilient automated control of unmanned aerial vehicles, privacy protection in social networks, software plagiarism detection, classification and attribution of malware analysis, security issues related to Internet of Things devices, computer-aided human centric cyber situation awareness, and proactive worm containment, among many others.
The Human Language Technologies Laboratory aims to solve problems to enable computers to do meaningful work with large volumes of text. Natural language is crucial to how humans communicate, synthesize, and store information. Our researchers develop methods for natural language processing and apply them to a variety of domains, including privacy, online social networks, web science, and digital libraries.
The Institute for Information Policy is a joint venture of the Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications and the College of Information Sciences and Technology. The IIP conducts groundbreaking research and innovative programs on the social implications of information technology, with an emphasis on the potential of information technologies for improving democratic discourse, social responsibility, and quality of life. Its annual workshops unite experts to share research on issues of access and security.
The Knowledge Visualization Laboratory seeks to understand the frontier issues in visual analytics, an area with a goal to augment data-driven decision-making by bridging computational capacities of computing systems and analytical skills of human beings. Our research focuses on the visualization-based tools that have become essential to human-data interaction by exploring the relevant cognitive theories, such as visual cognition, problem-solving theories, and learning theories, that impact human-computer interaction and decision-making.
The Red Cell Analytics Laboratory promotes the research, practice, and application of structured analytics, critical thinking, and visual analytics, and collaborates with University and external partners on security and risk-related problems. Our goal is to provide hands-on experience using structured analytics to examine real-world issues, including cyberthreats, natural disasters, and physical threats. We think like the adversary to identify blind spots and gaps in the systems that are in place today.
The Software Systems Security Laboratory explores the broad area of software systems, including software security, protection, analysis, verification, software and information assurance, programming languages, and software engineering. Our research improves the practice of software design and implementation by creating high assurance secure computing and information platforms and systems, improving software and systems security, developing innovative software analysis and verification technologies, and promoting rigorous and secure software engineering practice.