Cyber Talk Radio: Texas State University's Intelligent Security Group

Bret Piatt, CTR Host, and Dr. Mina Guirguis, Computer Science Professor at Texas State University - Episode 116 of Cyber Talk Radio

This past Saturday, December 15, episode 116 of Cyber Talk Radio hit the air on 1200 WOAI and iHeartRadio streaming. I was joined by Dr. Mina Guirguis, Computer Science Professor at Texas State University, to discuss the university's Intelligent Security Group (ISG) and computer science program.

If you are a student looking to apply to a college computer science program or a professional looking to get into the cybersecurity industry this is the episode for you! Dr. Guirguis got his Ph.D. from Boston University with a concentration in network security. After completing his Ph.D., he moved down to work at Texas State University in 2006 to be a professor in the Computer Science Department. Over the past 10 years, the computer science program has grown to about 1,300 students and last year they kicked off their Ph.D. program. Dr. Guirguis leads up the ISG, which comes from the team applying artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to solve cybersecurity problems and conduct research. To train AI and machine learning models, what types of data sets is the ISG using to train their models? What are some examples of systems that the team is trying to protect? If you are in the private sector, how can you apply this research to their security systems and response teams? Dr. Guirguis goes over all of these questions and explains more about his team’s research methods, how businesses can apply the research and other research focus areas for ISG.

The ISG also focuses a lot on network security and home wireless interference research. The team works to expose attacks where someone could exploit the technology of the network to cause interference. Moving back to Texas State University's Computer Science Program, Dr. Guirguis makes a point to highlight that computer science degrees are not just about programming, it’s also a lot about problem solving. The degree plan includes many other fundamental building blocks such as hardware assembly, logic, networking, data structure and algorithms, operating systems, and more. Where does Dr. Guirguis see some of the AI technologies going in the future? The ISG uses graphics processing unit (GPUs) for AI and machine learning. What has it allowed them to do on a research level now that they couldn’t do 10 years ago? One significant benefit is the time saved with how fast they process data. If you are looking to apply for a college computer science program, Texas State University is recruiting and attending events at high schools in the Austin/San Antonio area. Dr. Guirguis’ ISG team even develops lab demos for the students to see on their campus visit. Listen to the full episode replay to learn more about the computer science program at Texas State University.

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