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Engineering | Undergraduate Research

John Robertson, Undergraduate Research Accomplishment

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John Robertson, Undergraduate Research Accomplishment

John Robertson, Computer Science engineer and Barrett Honors student, has been working on his FURI-funded research, titled “Data Driven Game Theoretic Cyber Threat Mitigation,” under the mentorship of Dr. Paulo Shakarian. As he prepares to present this research at the Innovative Applications of Artificial Intelligence Conference (IAAI-16) in February, John has gotten his research patented with the help of Dr. Shakarian. We asked John to give us the details of his patent and corresponding research.

You’re patented! That’s awesome! Tell us more about it. What is it and how did you get it?

The provisional patent is titled “Systems and Methods For Data Driven Game Theoretic Cyber Threat Mitigation,” and involves my work from the research paper “Data Driven Game Theoretic Cyber Threat Mitigation” that I will publish as first author at IAAI-16 with Dr. Paulo Shakarian and others. The work describes a framework for making policy recommendations to system administrators to reduce the damage from a potential cyber attack using information mined from darknet exploit marketplaces. Dr. Paulo Shakarian lead the effort to pursue a patent with AzTE.

What research do you do?

My work in the CySIS Lab has been focused on the intersection of artificial intelligence and cyber security. A lot of my work involves using AI and machine learning techniques to mine the darknet for information about exploits and to formulate a framework for making policy recommendations to system administrators given this darknet exploit information.

How did you find your faculty mentor?

Dr. Paulo Shakarian was my Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (CSE 471) professor. I approached him because I was interested in working on research that involved applying A.I. and machine learning techniques to real-world problems.

What have you learned from conducting research?

I have learned an incredible amount working with Dr. Shakarian in the CySIS lab. My problem solving skills have improved tremendously and I am much more comfortable implementing software systems that leverage machine learning techniques to solve real-world problems.

What advice would you have for students wanting to do research?

Working on research can be an incredibly rewarding experience. I would recommend that students that are getting involved in research try to meet with their faculty mentor frequently. Through frequent meetings with my faculty mentor, Dr. Shakarian, I was able to keep the project on track and was able to clarify things that may have been unclear initially. Interacting with a professor one-on-one is an amazing way to learn things quickly.

What are some other activities you like to do, in addition to being a rockstar researcher?

I am currently the president of the ASU Software Developers Association, which is a club designed to prepare C.S. and C.S.E. students for software engineering careers through mock interviews, technical workshops, project experience, and industry-sponsored presentations. I also currently TA for Dr. Charles Colbourn’s Intro to Computational Theory (CSE 355) course. Additionally, I am the Microsoft Intern Ambassador for ASU and I will be returning to Redmond, WA next summer for my second software engineering internship with Microsoft.

Fun Fact about yourself?

I am a huge sports fan and I play fantasy football every year with my friends (I spend way too much time watching football).

Congratulations on your patent, John, and good luck at IAAI-16!


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