Dr. Jeremy Straub, Director
Dr. Straub is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the North Dakota State University. Straub was the founding associate director of the NDSU Institute for Cyber Security Education and Research.  He holds a Ph.D. in Scientific Computing, an M.S. and an M.B.A. and two B.S degrees. He has published over 45 journal articles and over 150 full conference papers, in addition to making numerous other conference presentations. Straub’s research spans the gauntlet between technology, commercialization and technology policy. In particular, his research has recently focused on robotic command and control, cybersecurity as it relates to autonomous systems, using artificial and computational intelligence techniques for intrusion detection and 3D printing quality assurance and security. Straub is a member of Sigma Xi, the AAAS, the AIAA, SPIE and several other technical societies, he has also served as a track or session chair for numerous conferences.

Dr. Kendall Nygard, Director Emeritus
Kendall E. Nygard is an emeritus professor.  He was previously a full professor and served as Department Chair of the Computer Science Department at the North Dakota State University (NDSU). He has served in Washington D. C. as a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U. S. Department of State and Senior Science Advisor at USAID. He is currently a U. S. Department of State Virtual Fellow. Dr. Nygard is also a fellow of the International Academy, Research, and Industry Association.  He is a recipient of the 2016 Chamber of Commerce NDSU Distinguished Faculty Service Award. Dr. Nygard earned his PhD degree at Virginia Polytechnic Institute. He has advised 23 PhD students and more than 150 Master of Science students. In research, he been awarded more than 50 grants and contracts and is widely published. He was the founding director of the Institute for Cybersecurity Education and Research at NDSU and leads the North Dakota University System task force on cybersecurity. Application areas in which he has conducted research include cyber security, smart grid, sensor networks, unmanned air systems routing and scheduling, wireless ad hoc networks, encryption, and social media. His primary methodologies are big data analytics, optimization models, artificial intelligence, and simulation.

Charter Members

Dr. Simone Ludwig
Dr. Ludwig is a full professor in and the chair of the NDSU Department of Computer Science.  She joined the Department of Computer Science at North Dakota State University (NDSU) as Associate Professor in Fall 2010. Prior to joining NDSU, she worked at the University of Saskatchewan (Canada), ConcordiaUniversity (Canada), Cardiff University (UK) and Brunel University (UK). She received her PhD degree and MSc degree with distinction from Brunel University (UK), in 2004 and 2000, respectively. Before starting her academic career she worked several years in the software industry. Her research interests lie in the area of computational intelligence including swarm intelligence, evolutionary computation, neural networks, and fuzzy reasoning. In particular, computational intelligence methods and algorithms are applied to optimization problems in areas such as data mining (including big data), image processing, and cloud computing.

Dr. Juan Li
Dr. Li received her B.S. degree in Computer Science from the Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, China, in 1997, her M.S. degree in Computer Science from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, in 2001, and her Ph.D. degree in Computer Science from the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada, in 2008. Currently she is a full Professor in the Computer Science Department at the North Dakota State University (NDSU), Fargo, ND, USA. Dr. Li is the author of one book and more than 70 articles.  Dr. Li’s major research interest in security lies in trust and privacy management, secure distributed systems, secure social networking, and semantic web technologies.

Dr. Jun Kong
Dr. Kong received the B.S. degree from the Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, in 1998, the M.S. degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, in 2001, and the Ph.D. degree from the University of Texas at Dallas, Richardson, USA, in 2005, all in computer science. He is a full Professor of Computer Science with North Dakota State University, Fargo, USA. His research and teaching interests include human–computer interaction, visual languages, and software engineering. Especially, he is interested in designing security and usable systems and improving the software security from the perspective of interface design.  

Dr. Pratap Kotala
Dr.  Kotala is an Assistant Professor of Practice in Computer Science at NDSU. In over 18 years, he has taught a variety of Computer Science courses at both undergraduate and graduate level. He also has two years of industry experience as an IT consultant in the Health Insurance industry. His broad research interests include Cybersecurity, Software Engineering and Data Mining. 

He is actively involved in developing the Graduate Certification program in Cybersecurity and the effort towards a National Center for Excellence for Cybersecurity recognition at NDSU. In June 2017, Dr. Kotala will be leading the Cyber Analyst workshop during the UCodeGirl summer camp for middle and high school girls. Recently, he was part of the panel discussion on Filling the Demand and Need for an Educated Cyber Security Workforce at the ND Cybersecurity Conference held in March, 2017. In June, 2016, Dr. Kotala led the Cybersecurity workshop for Nurturing American Tribal Undergraduate Research and Education (NATURE) Summer camp. He had the opportunity to participate and learn about lean methodologies for solving Department of Defense and Intelligence community problems during the “Hacking for Defense” educator's seminar at Stanford University in August, 2016. 

Dr. Kotala received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from NDSU.

Dr. Daniel Klenow
Dr. Klenow is a full professor in the Department of Emergency Management at North Dakota State University (NDSU).  He first became involved in disaster research in 1979 as a participating researcher in a study of a tornado disaster in Wichita Falls, Texas.  His Ph.D. is from the University of Notre Dame and he teaches courses on homeland security, international disasters, emergency management theory, disaster case studies and research methods in emergency management. He also teaches in the Managerial Logistics Program at the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute at NDSU.  Professor Klenow is interested in the areas of response and recovery, homeland security and cyber security, terrorism, emergency management theory/methods, and emergency management and homeland security curriculum development. His research appears in Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, Social Science and Medicine, International Journal of Aging and Human Development, Omega:  The Journal of Death and Dying, Death Studies, Sociological Symposium, Psychotherapy, and the Journal of General Education.  He has also served as a principal or associate investigator on grants from the National Science Foundation, Department of Education, FEMA, Alex Stern Foundation, Natural Hazards Center and various North Dakota state agencies.  He recently served as a subject matter expert for emergency management program accreditation in the United Arab Emirates, Toronto, Ontario, and the State University of New York (SUNY) System.

Dr. Saeed Salem
Dr. Salem received his PhD in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, New York in 2009. He is currently an associate professor at North Dakota State University, USA. His research interests include Data Mining, Cyber security, Software Engineering, and Bioinformatics.  

Dr. Salem has taught several graduate and undergraduate courses, including Data Mining, Principals of Cyber Security, and Social and Information Network Analysis, and offers a graduate seminar on Cyber Security Data Analytics.

Dr. Sudarshan Srinivasan
Dr. Srinivasan received the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, in 2003 and 2007, respectively, and the B.E. degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from the University of Madras, Chennai, India, in 2001. He is currently an Associate Professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, North Dakota State University, Fargo. His primary research interests include formal verification as applied to digital circuits and systems, asynchronous circuits, microprocessor design, real-time embedded software, and cybersecurity. His other research interests include electronic design automation, low-power design, and computer engineering pedagogy.

Dr. Changhui Yan
Dr. Yan received his Ph.D. degree in computer science and bioinformatics from Iowa State University in 2005. He worked as assistant professor at Utah State University from 2005 to 2009. Then in 2010 he joined computer science department of North Dakota State University. In his research, Dr. Yan aims to tackle the Big Data challenges in bioinformatics and biomedical informatics using data mining, machine learning, and cloud computing technologies. Biological and biomedical sciences have entered the big data era, in which data are being generated and collected in an unprecedented rate. New infrastructures and methods are urgently needed for the storage, management and analysis of these data. Funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), he strives to address these challenges using two approaches. In the first one, he develops innovative machine-learning and data mining methods that can perform knowledge discovery on biomedical data efficiently by integrating heterogeneous data using ontology. In the second one, he develops research infrastructure that employs cloud computing technology to store and manage biomedical data and speed up the data analysis using parallel and GPU computing. He is also actively exploring data mining problems in the emerging fields of cyber security and computer networks.

Dr. Raj Bridgelall
Dr.Bridgelall has more than 27 years of industry experience and 140 U.S. patents issued or pending in the areas of sensing, secure wireless communications, and mobile computing. Until 2004, he served as a Chief Technologist at Motorola Corporation where he pioneered optoelectronic and radio frequency identification technologies for high-speed object and image recognition. Subsequently, he led two sensor network companies as Vice President of Engineering and as Chief Technology Officer to create energy-harvesting and wireless tracking technologies to secure ports, borders, and infrastructure systems. Currently, Dr. Bridgelall is Director of the SMARTSeSM Intelligent Transportation Systems program at the North Dakota State University where he has led research funded by more than $2 million in grants. As assistant professor of transportation, he is pioneering a course on intelligent transportation solutions. He is the author of several textbook chapters and more than 65 peer-reviewed technical articles. In 2014, he received the Best of Sensors award for advancements in remote sensing applications. He holds a doctorate degree in Transportation and Logistics, a master’s degree in Computer Engineering, and a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering.

Graduate Student Affiliates

Maryam Malaa Alruwaythi
Alruwaythi is a PhD student in Software Engineering at North Dakota State University. She has a MS in Software Engineering, certificate in big data management and certificate in business analysis from St. Thomas University, St Paul, MN, and a BS in Information Technology from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She is currently working as graduate assistant in the Computer Science department at North Dakota State University. Her research interests lie in software engineering, cloud computing security, and big data management.

Naqib Hossain
Hossain is a MS student in Software Engineering at North Dakota State University with 6+ years of software industry experience. He developed numerous applications during the period of employment. He is currently re-architecting CHAPS, A Cow Herd Appraisal of Performance System of AES Dickinson R/E Center ND, as a part of his graduate assistantship. He also has Master degree in computer science and Bachelor degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from American International University-Bangladesh. His research interests include software testing, trust model, social media and security vulnerability testing of applications.

Faisal Kabir
Faisal is currently a PhD student in the Computer Science department at North Dakota State University where he is involved in several clubs/organizations as well as diverse leadership activities. He obtained his BS and MS in Computer Science & Engineering from United International University, Bangladesh, part of which was completed at the University of Bradford, UK under the European Union’s eLink scholarship. His broad research interest is in machine learning and data mining , with a goal to develop and apply these techniques in diverse fields like healthcare, geo-spatial, and cyber security. He is also interested in applying his knowledge, and design technologies for unprivileged health communities. 

Damian Lampl
Damian Lampl is a faculty member in Computer Science at Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, where he is leading cooperative efforts with the NDSU Institute for Cybersecurity Education and Research. Lampl has expertise in numerous areas related to cybersecurity, including trust modeling, data analytics, and high-performance vertical data storage and processing methodologies.

Sayantica Pattanayak
Sayantica is currently pursuing her PhD in the Department of Computer Science at North Dakota State University. Sayantica obtained her MS degree from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at North Dakota State University. She is currently working as graduate assistant in the Computer Science Department at North Dakota State University. Her research area of interest includes cryptography, neural networks and neural cryptography.

Aakanksha Rastogi
Aakanksha is a PhD student in Software Engineering at North Dakota State University. She has also received her MS in Software Engineering from North Dakota State University and has about 4 years of prior industry experience both as a Software Developer and a Quality Assurance Analyst. She also assisted the workshop during the UCodeGirl summer camp for middle and high school girls in June 2017. She is currently working as a graduate assistant in the Computer Science Department at North Dakota State University. Her broad research interests include Cybersecurity, Software Engineering, and secure software development practices. 

Ameneh Forouzandeh Shahraki
Shahraki is a current PhD student at the North Dakota State University. Her research interest is focused on reliability-based robust design optimization and for impr ing reliability, maintainability, and availability by using degradation-based data. She is a member of the Institute of Industrial and System Engineers (IISE) and ASQ Reliability Division.

Ali Rahim Taleqani
Taleqani is a PhD candidate in Transportation and Logistics in the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute. He is also a PhD student in Computer Science at North Dakota State University. As a NDSU graduate assistant he worked on research projects in the field of public transportation, agent-based modeling, freight transportation, and data analytics. He is also investigating various aspects of cyber security issues and the applications machine learning techniques for improving intelligent transportation systems.

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