Alumni Directory

Andy Luse
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PhD, Spring 2009

Home Dept: LOMIS

PhD Dissertation title: Exploring Utilization of Visualization for Computer and Network Security

PhD Advisor: Anthony Townsend and Doug Jacobson

Area of PhD research: The role of the network security administrator is continually morphing to keep pace with the ever-changing area of computer and network security. These changes are due in part to both the continual development of new security exploits by attackers as well as improvements in network security products available for use. One area which has garnered much research in the past decade is the use of visualization to ease the strain on network security administrators. Visualization mechanisms utilize the parallel processing power of the human visual system to allow for the identification of possible nefarious network activity. This research details the development and use of a visualization system for network security. The manuscript is composed of four papers which provide a progression of research pertaining to the system. The first paper utilizes research in the area of information visualization to develop a new framework for designing visualization systems for network security. Next, a visualization system is developed in the second paper which has been utilized during multiple cyber defense competitions to aid in competition performance. The last two papers deal with evaluating the developed system. First, an exploratory analysis provides an initial assessment using participant interviews during one cyber defense competition. Second, a quasi field experiment explores the intention of subjects to use the system based on the type of visualization being viewed.

Employment upon graduating:
academicPhD Student
Iowa State University
Ames, IA

Current activity: I will be finishing my MBA and starting the new Ph.D. program in Business and Technology with an emphasis in Management of Information Technology in the Business College at Iowa State University.

What HCI classes were invaluable to my success?
While not the class specifically, the project for 521 gave me a greater understanding of the process for writing a research paper. The research from this project turned into a journal publication and the first part of my dissertation.

Favorite graduate school memory: One of my most exhilarating memories was when I got my first publication in a journal. Actually seeing my research in a bound journal was very exciting.

HCI issues that interest me: I am still very interested in visualization for computer and network security and also interface design in general. Also, I have begun to look more heavily at ways we can use technology to enhance education as well as a greater emphasis on statistical methods.

A website recommend, and why: Google Scholar and Newegg
Google scholar: Great place to get a good start on a research topic. Newegg: Can supply many of your computer nerd needs.

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