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from Westminster University

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Keynote Lecturer 1: Biometrics and Cryptography


Brief Bio of Dr. Susanne Wetzel: Dr. Susanne Wetzel received her Diplom from the University in Karlsruhe (Germany) and her Ph.D degree in Computer Science from Saarland University (Germany) in 1998. Subsequently, she worked at DaimlerChrysler Research (Stuttgart, Germany), Lucent Technologies Bell Laboratories (Murray Hill, USA) and RSA Laboratories (Stockholm, Sweden).She recently joined the faculty at the Computer Science Department as Assistant Professor. Dr. Wetzel's research interests include various aspects in cryptography (wireless security, secret sharing, visual cryptography, distributed computing) and algorithmic number theory.


Abstract: Biometrics play an increasingly important role in a broad range of security applications. In particular, biometrics have manifold applications in the context of access control techniques which to date are largely based on the use of passwords. Biometrics promise to overcome the problems of forgotten passwords or passwords that can be guessed easily. In recent years, considerable research efforts have been dedicated to the study of suitable techniques to extract cryptographic secrets from biometric information. In this talk we discuss a number of these approaches. In particular, we will focus on the concepts of "biometric key encapsulation" and "biometric feature extractors" and discuss systems implementing these concepts based on error-correcting codes, respectively secret locking techniques.

Keynote Lecturer 2: Mohammad S. Obaidat, Monmouth University, USA - Trends and Challenges in Wireless Networks


Abstract: The field of wireless networks systems has witnessed tremendous growth in recent years causing it to become one of the fastest growing segments of the telecommunications technology. As wireless networks evolve with increasing size and profitability, they will be able to integrate with other wireless technologies enabling them to support mobile computing applications and perform as efficiently as wired networks. Due to the difficulties posed by the wireless transmission medium and the increasing demand for better and cheaper services, the area of wireless networks is also an extremely rich field for research and development. This keynote will address the current trends in research and development in wireless networks and communications. Also, It will shed some light on the future and challenges facing the progress in this fascinating technology. We will review the fundamental techniques in the design, operation, and evaluation of wireless networks and systems. We will present some of our recent research results including new protocols for wireless networks. Among these, an adaptive MAC protocol for distributed wireless LANs that is capable of operating efficiently under bursty traffic conditions. According to the proposed protocol, the mobile station that is granted permission to transmit is selected by means of a neural-based algorithm. Another new protocol for dynamically setting 802.11 wireless LAN waveforms and transmission power levels based on the wireless channel’s signal to noise ratio will be introduced. Our method, known as Signal-to-Noise Ratio-Waveform Power Adaptation (SNR-WPA), changes the power in discrete steps matched to each of the 802.11 data rate-waveform steps. By matching the power to the spreading symbol rate, our technique maximizes the network throughput while minimizing MAC layer contention. We found through experimentation that the power adaptation in SNR-WPA yields up to a 30% increase in throughput in a mobile wireless LAN network. Other related wireless research efforts by our group will be presented.

Brief Bio of Dr. Mohammad S. Obaidat: Professor Mohammad S. Obaidat is an internationally well known academic, researcher, and scientist. He received his Ph.D. and M. S. degrees in Computer Engineering with a minor in Computer Science from The Ohio State University , Columbus , Ohio , USA . Dr. Obaidat is currently a full Professor of Computer Science at Monmouth University, NJ, USA . Among his previous positions are Chair of the Department of Computer Science and Director of the Graduate Program at Monmouth University and a faculty member at the City University of New York . He has received extensive research funding. He has authored or co-authored five books and over three hundred (300) refereed scholarly journal and conference articles. Dr. Obaidat has served as a consultant for several corporations and organizations worldwide and is editor of many scholarly journals including being the Chief editor of the International Journal of Communication Systems published by John Wiley. In 2002, he was the scientific advisor for the World Bank/UN Workshop on Fostering Digital Inclusion. He was an IEEE ( Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Distinguished Visitor/Speaker and has been serving as a National ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) distinguished Lecturer since 1995. Recently, Dr. Obaidat was awarded the distinguished Nokia Research Fellowship and the Distinguished Fulbright Scholarship. Dr. Obaidat has made pioneering and lasting contributions to the multi-facet fields of computer science and engineering. He has guest edited numerous special issues of scholarly journals such as IEEE Transactions on Systems, Man and Cybernetics, Elsevier Performance Evaluation, SIMULATION: Transactions of SCS, Elsevier Computer Communications Journal, Journal of C & EE, and International Journal of Communication Systems. Obaidat has served as the steering committee chair, advisory Committee Chair and program chair of many international conferences. He is the founder of the International Symposium on Performance Evaluation of Computer and Telecommunication Systems, SPECTS and has served as the General Chair of SPECTS since its inception. Obaidat has received a recognition certificate from IEEE. Between 1994-1997, Obaidat has served as distinguished speaker/visitor of IEEE Computer Society. Since 1995 he has been serving as an ACM distinguished Lecturer. Between 1996-1999, Dr. Obaidat served as an IEEE/ACM program evaluator of the Computing Sciences Accreditation Board/Commission, CSAB/CSAC. Between 1995-2002, he has served as a member of the board of directors of the Society for Computer Simulation International. Between 2002-2004, He has served as Vice President of Conferences of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International SCS . Prof. Obaidat is currently the Vice President of Membership of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International SCS . He has been invited to lecture and give keynote speeches worldwide.  His research interests are: wireless communications and networks, performance evaluation of computer systems, algorithms and networks, telecommunications and Networking systems, high performance and parallel computing/computers, applied neural networks and pattern  recognition, information and computer security, security of e-based systems, and speech processing. He is currently on sabbatical leave as Fulbright distinguished Professor and Advisor to the President of Philadelphia University for Research, Development and Information Technology. Prof. Obaidat is a Fellow of the Society for Modeling and Simulation International SCS , and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers ( IEEE ).

Keynote Lecturer 3: Mark d'Inverno, Westminster University, UK - Agents, Emergence and Modelling: What Value for Communication Networks?


Brief Bio of Dr. Mark d'Inverno: I gained a BA in Mathematics in 1986 and an MSc in Computation in 1988 both from Oxford University . In 1998 I was awarded a PhD from University College London. I joined the University of Westminster in 1992 as a Lecturer, became a senior lecturer in 1998, a reader in 1999 and was appointed professor of computer science in 2001. My research focuses on the application of formal methods in building theoretical models of agent-based systems, languages and theories which can be used in the principled development of software. More recently I have become interested in the practical use of agent-based systems and specifically their use in the modelling and simulation of adult stem behaviour and in their deployment with algorithmic and generative music in a project I have called Intelligent Responsive Sound.
Abstract: In this talk I will look at agent technology, the theory and its application. We also consider emergence in agent systems, where the local interactions between agents leads to unexpected patterns at the system level. I will look in detail about the application of some of these theoretical ideas in the context of modelling biological systems. Specifically in the modelling and simulation of adult stem cells where there are serious limitations with experimental investigation. We then consider how agents. emergence, modelling and simulation might be harnessed in the design of communication networks in the future.

Keynote Lecturer 4: Rohit Dhamankar , TippingPoint, USA - The Evolution of Security: Network Intrusion Prevention


Brief Bio of Rohit Dhamankar: Rohit Dhamankar is the Chief Security Analyst at TippingPoint, a division of 3Com, where he manages the vulnerability research and TippingPoint's Digital Vaccine development for the company's Intrusion Prevention Systems. In addition, he authors the weekly SANS Institute's @RISK newsletter, which ranks the severity level of new vulnerabilities and is sent to over 200,000 subscribers. He is the Director for the SANS Top20 2005 and the Top 20 Quarterly updates. Prior to TippingPoint, he was employed at Cisco Systems, where he worked as a software developer for Cisco's Secure Intrusion Detection System and Cisco Secure Scanner. He holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from UT, Austin and an M.Sc in Physics from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India.
Abstract: Over the last 10 years, we have seen mainstream adoption of the Internet, opening opportunities for business as well as threats. In the arms race against threats, security products have evolved from traditional firewalls to deep packet inspection firewalls, anti-virus products and detection systems to proactive prevention systems that protect the vulnerability. Although the number of new threats is increasing and the vulnerability to exploit window is shrinking, prevention systems are continually evolving and are constantly updated with the latest protection. We have reached a point of dependence upon our networks, and IPS is the convergence between networking and security. This session will explore Intrusion Prevention Systems, how they work, and the requirements in selecting an IPS.

Keynote Lecturer 5: Real world threats and opportunities with smartphones


Brief Bio of David Wood: David Wood was a co-founder of Symbian, having joined Psion (Symbian's original parent company) in June 1988. He has been successively immersed in virtually every department in Psion and Symbian. In the early 1990s, he pioneered the use of Object-Oriented techniques within Psion, and managed teams that created highly successful software for SIBO, the 16-bit predecessor of Symbian OS. He went on to lead the build and integration team for version 1 of Symbian OS. From 1998 to 2002 he headed Symbian's Technical Consulting department, building and directing teams that worked with Symbian's customers to create the world's first smartphones. During 2002 and 2003 he held the position of EVP of Partnering, supervising the rapid growth of Symbian's partnering programs. Since 2004 he has been Symbian's EVP of Research. Before joining Psion, he spent eight years studying mathematics and the philosophy of science at Cambridge University, and was head of the maths department at a leading London tutorial college. David's first book, "Symbian for software leaders - principles of successful smartphone development projects", was published by Wiley in July.


Abstract: Smartphones are poised to dramatically change the worlds of mobile communications and mobile computing. Through their openness, they enable a much wider group of people and companies to contribute to the power and utility of the services and applications experienced by phone users. However, the smartphone virtuous cycle is still at an early stage, and faces considerable threats. David Wood, Executive VP of Research at Symbian and co-architect of Symbian OS, will describe these threats and the steps being taken to handle them.

Keynote Lecturer 6: Usability, Perceived Credibility and Trust : Users' Perspectives to Security and Privacy


Brief Bio of Yin-Leng Theng : Dr. Theng completed her PhD in 1997 on addressing the "lost in hyperspace" problem in hypertext. She then joined Middlesex University (London) as a Lecturer from 1998 to 2001. Currently, she is an Assistant Professor at the School of Communication and Information, Nanyang Technological University (NTU, Singapore). She teaches on Information Studies Masters Programme: Human-Computer Interaction and Digital Libraries & Information Portals. Dr. Theng is the co-editor of a book on "Design and Usability of Digital Libraries: Case Studies in the Asia Pacific", and she has published more than 60 papers in peer-reviewed journals/books and international conferences. She was awarded two research grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, UK) during her four years of teaching at Middlesex University. In 2003, she was awarded a NTU grant to work on a suite of qualitative and quantitative techniques to help designers build usable and useful digital libraries on the Web and the mobile environments. She is also a co-investigator on two other research projects on geospatial digital libraries. Her other research interests include : User Interface Design; Ethics; Security; Privacy and Trust; Healthcare Informatics, Hypertext & Web; Information Technology & Education and Information Literacy


Abstract: The Internet has brought about changes in the nature of consumer buying. It has opened up new and innovative avenues delivering information, services, products and advertisements to consumers on the Internet via Web portals. In recent years, we witness increasing growth in healthcare Web portals providing complete information on healthcare, symptoms and diseases, thus Web users and patients are empowered to educate themselves anywhere and at anytime of the day. Attracted by the advantages of healthcare Web portals, many people are going online to search for healthcare information, products and services. However, the quality of healthcare Web portals has become a cause for concern because they vary greatly in terms of accuracy, completeness and consistency, and inaccurate or misleading information can potentially harm Web users. In this talk, I would describe a study carried out to investigate if usability of the Web portals has had an impact on users' perceived credibility and trust of the portals. A Web-based survey was conducted through the Internet for about two weeks. 127 respondents evaluated two healthcare Web portals based on task completion before answering the questions in a Web-based questionnaire. Congruent to similar studies carried in the West, this study on Asian respondents also suggested a significant relationship between usability, perceived credibility and trust of healthcare Web portals. The talk concludes with implications on the usability of healthcare Web portals, discussing specifically on issues relating to perceived credibility and trust, an equally important aspect to security and privacy from users' perspective.