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Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham Awarded Communications and Information Security Technical Recognition Award from IEEE ComSoc

Dr. Bhavani Thuraisingham, Founders Chair Professor in Computer Science and the Executive Director of the Cyber Security Research and Education Institute at the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, was honored with the prestigious 2019 Communications and Information Security Technical Recognition Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Communications Society (ComSoc) at the 2019 IEEE Global Communications Conference (GLOBECOM) in Kona, Hawaii on December 11, 2019. The award recognizes outstanding and pioneering research contributions to the technical advancement of applying data science techniques for network security problems. In her acceptance of the award, Thuraisingham gave a short presentation featuring her recent research.

Dr. Thuraisingham receiving the Communications and Information Security Technical Recognition Award from IEEE ComSoc

“My research over the past 34 years has involved integrating cyber security and data science, including applying data mining/data science for cyber security problems such as network intrusion detection and securing data science techniques including adversarial machine learning.

With respect to data mining for cyber security, together with my team we designed and developed new data mining algorithms and demonstrated that the novel class detection technique that we developed can be effectively utilized for finding brand new or emerging class/patterns in streaming data and applied it to intrusion detection, insider threat detection, and website fingerprinting. This work has provided the directions for handling the zero-day attacks.

With respect to securing the data mining techniques, we developed Adversarial Machine Learning techniques since the stream data mining techniques themselves may be attacked. Our goal is to thwart the adversary since the adversary is trying to figure out the data mining models we are using, and we adapt our models. Over time the adversary learns our adapted data mining approaches, and eventually, it becomes a game played between the adversary and us. 

Dr. Thuraisingham receiving the ACM 2018 Fellow in San Francisco in June 2019

I believe that as more progress is made on analyzing massive amounts of data and we learn more about the types of attacks on networks, we have the opportunity to solve challenging problems in secure data science,” noted Dr. Thuraisingham.

Thuraisingham has received several prestigious awards in 2019, including the ACM 2018 Fellow in San Francisco in June 2019 and the NAI 2018 Fellow in Houston in April 2019. She is also a 2003 Fellow of both IEEE and AAAS, as well as a 2005 Fellow of the BCS. Her prestigious awards include the IEEE Computer Society’s 1997 Technical Achievement Award, the 2010 ACM SIGSAC Outstanding Contributions Award, the IEEE CS Services Computing 2017 Research Innovation Award, the ACM CODASPY 2017 Lasting Research Award, the Dallas Business Journal 2017 Women in Technology Award and the 2013 IBM Faculty Award. She has also received several conference paper awards, including the 2018 and 2019 10-Year Test of Time Best Paper Awards at ACM SACMAT for two papers published in 2008 and 2009, respectively.

Dr. Thuraisingham receiving the 2018 NAI Fellow Award.

Thuraisingham has also worked tirelessly to support women and minority communities in cyber security and data science. She co-chaired the 2016 Women in Cyber Security Conference (WiCyS) in Dallas, Texas, which drew 800 people. Thuraisingham delivered the featured address at the 2018 Women in Data Science Conference at Stanford University, and at GlobeCom 2019, she gave the keynote address at WICE (Women in Communication Engineering). Out of the 20 students she expects to have graduated by 2020, nine of them are women, one African American, one from the Latino Community, and one from the LGBTQ community. She is strongly committed to recruiting and mentoring more PhD students from minority communities.

Thuraisingham attributes her success to her team in cyber security at UT Dallas. “We work closely together, tackling challenging research problems, and supporting each other in every step of the way to enhance our careers,” she remarked.

Click here to read more about Dr. Thuraisingham’s recent award on the  Communications and Information Security Newsletter.


The UT Dallas Computer Science program is one of the largest Computer Science departments in the United States with over 3,315 bachelors-degree students, more than 1,110 master’s students, 165 Ph.D. students,  52 tenure-track faculty members, and 44 full-time senior lecturers, as of Fall 2019. With The University of Texas at Dallas’ unique history of starting as a graduate institution first, the CS Department is built on a legacy of valuing innovative research and providing advanced training for software engineers and computer scientists.

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