Engineering professors awarded $404K for artificial intelligence project

Assistant Professors Ming Shao & Jiawei Yuan have received a $404,620 National Science Foundation award for their research experiences undergraduate site, which will intertwine AI research with cybersecurity and systems engineering in a portfolio of synergistic projects.

artificial intelligence photo courtesy pixaby
Photo courtesy of Pixaby, photographer Gerd Altmann

Artificial intelligence (AI) has gained significant attention in recent years as an enabler of technologies such as autonomous cyber-physical systems and cybersecurity. However, engineering principles to support the rigorous design and quantitative test of systems incorporating AI components are needed to ensure properties such as security, robustness, and resilience.

Dr. Ming Shao and Dr. Jiawei Yuan, assistant professors of computer and information science, are the recipients of a $404,620.00 award from the National Science Foundation for their Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site “Secure, Robust, and Resilient AI-enabled System Engineering.”

This REU Site will intertwine AI research with cybersecurity and systems engineering in a portfolio of synergistic projects. “Ten undergraduate students will be engaged in a 10-week summer research program to conduct research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (UMassD), with six faculty affiliated with the Cybersecurity Center,” says Shao.

The proposed REU Site will focus on AI and cybersecurity research, and their mutual effect on system engineering applications. These research themes will create opportunities for multidisciplinary knowledge sharing between AI and cybersecurity from software, hardware, and system engineering perspectives, including topics in biometrics, unmanned aerial vehicles, brain-computer interaction, and signal processing. “The REU will prepare talented young researchers to take a systems perspective while maintaining technical excellence in order to enhance the robustness of AI-enabled systems in commercial and societal contexts,” says Yuan.

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