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Difference between revisions of "Research Experiences for Undergraduates 2015-Potential Mentors"

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[[Image:stephanie forrest.jpg|150px|{border}]]<br>
 
[[Image:stephanie forrest.jpg|150px|{border}]]<br>
 
==[http://www.santafe.edu/about/people/profile/Stephanie%20Forrest Stephanie Forrest], Santa Fe Institute, External Professor ==
 
==[http://www.santafe.edu/about/people/profile/Stephanie%20Forrest Stephanie Forrest], Santa Fe Institute, External Professor ==
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1. Understanding and evolving software diversity:
 
1. Understanding and evolving software diversity:
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Neutral landscapes and mutational robustness are believed to be
 
Neutral landscapes and mutational robustness are believed to be
 
important enablers of evolvability in biology. We apply these concepts
 
important enablers of evolvability in biology. We apply these concepts
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and running new experiments, or it could involve developing theoretical
 
and running new experiments, or it could involve developing theoretical
 
models based on earlier work in the biological literature.
 
models based on earlier work in the biological literature.
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2. Understanding and modeling large-scale cybersecurity threats
 
2. Understanding and modeling large-scale cybersecurity threats
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Cyber security research has traditionally focused on technical solutions
 
Cyber security research has traditionally focused on technical solutions
 
to specific threats such as how to protect desktops and mobile devices
 
to specific threats such as how to protect desktops and mobile devices
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advantageous to plant false flags), to researching the current (public)
 
advantageous to plant false flags), to researching the current (public)
 
state of the art for attributing cyberattacks.
 
state of the art for attributing cyberattacks.
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3. Forrest and Moses are collaborating on a project to examine how ant
 
3. Forrest and Moses are collaborating on a project to examine how ant
 
colonies and immune systems form distributed information exchange
 
colonies and immune systems form distributed information exchange
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demonstrates practical applications as well as providing a controlled
 
demonstrates practical applications as well as providing a controlled
 
experimental system in which to test  theoretical predictions.
 
experimental system in which to test  theoretical predictions.
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[[Image:mirta.jpg|150px|{border}]]<br>
 
[[Image:mirta.jpg|150px|{border}]]<br>
 
==[http://www.santafe.edu/about/people/profile/Mirta%20Galesic Mirta Galesic], Santa Fe Institute, Professor ==
 
==[http://www.santafe.edu/about/people/profile/Mirta%20Galesic Mirta Galesic], Santa Fe Institute, Professor ==

Revision as of 15:55, 11 March 2015

Research Experiences for Undergraduates 2015

A complete list of resident faculty list and our postdoctoral fellows can be found here


Potential Mentors and Projects

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Cristopher Moore, SFI REU PI, Santa Fe Institute, Resident Faculty


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Nihat Ay, Santa Fe Institute, Resident Faculty


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Andrew Berdahl, Santa Fe Institute, Omidyar Fellow


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Tanmoy Bhattacharya, Santa Fe Institute, Resident Faculty


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Vanessa Ferdinand, Santa Fe Institute, Omidyar Fellow


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Stephanie Forrest, Santa Fe Institute, External Professor

1. Understanding and evolving software diversity:

Neutral landscapes and mutational robustness are believed to be important enablers of evolvability in biology. We apply these concepts to software, defining mutational robustness to be the fraction of random mutations to program code that leave a program’s behavior unchanged. Test cases are used to measure program behavior and mutation operators are taken from earlier work on genetic programming. Although software is often viewed as brittle, with small changes leading to catastrophic changes in behavior, our results show surprising robustness in the face of random software mutations. Depending on the student's interest, the REU project could either involve learning to use the GenProg software and running new experiments, or it could involve developing theoretical models based on earlier work in the biological literature.

2. Understanding and modeling large-scale cybersecurity threats

Cyber security research has traditionally focused on technical solutions to specific threats such as how to protect desktops and mobile devices against the latest malware. This approach has greatly enhanced our ability to defend against specific attacks, but technical improvements will not be sufficient on their own. Today’s cyber issues involve social, economic, organizational, and political components, which are often pursued in isolation from technical reality. Forrest and Prof. Robert Axelrod (Univ. of Michigan) are collaborating on project that aims to address that gap by focusing on the problem of reducing risks arising from cyber conflicts, especially those among state actors. Our current plan is to focus on the attribution problem, that is, once a cyberattack has been discovered, what does it take to hold a particular actor responsible? Depending on the student's interest and background, this project could entail statistical modeling, developing game-theoretic or decision-theoretic models (e.g., when is it advantageous to plant false flags), to researching the current (public) state of the art for attributing cyberattacks.

3. Forrest and Moses are collaborating on a project to examine how ant colonies and immune systems form distributed information exchange networks to search, adapt and respond to their environments. The is characterizing search strategies quantitatively in terms of how information flows over networks of communicating components, in this case, ants or immune cells. It will measure how information improves performance, measured in terms of how quickly a colony finds seeds or the immune system neutralizes pathogens. By studying in detail how distributed interaction networks guide search in two distinct systems, this project aspires to formulate a general theory describing how decentralized biological networks are organized to search, respond and adapt to different environments, and how they effectively scale up to large sizes. As the research has progressed we have begun to test our theoretical understanding of distributed search strategies by implementing them as search algorithms in robotic swarms. This demonstrates practical applications as well as providing a controlled experimental system in which to test theoretical predictions.



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Mirta Galesic, Santa Fe Institute, Professor


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Josh Grochow, Santa Fe Institute, Omidyar Fellow


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Laurent Hebert-Dufresne, Santa Fe Institute, Postdoctoral Fellow


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Alfred Hubler, Santa Fe Institute, External Professor


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Eric Libby, Santa Fe Institute, Omidyar Fellow


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John Miller, Santa Fe Institute, External Professor


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John Pepper, Santa Fe Institute, External Professor


Project Proposal:

This project is to refine and implement a new evolutionary heuristic algorithm for a classic NP-hard spatial optimization problem called the “Traveling Salesman Problem” The implementation could be done in any object-oriented programming platform with good spatial graphics, so we could decide that part together if you’re interested. -Faculty mentor: Dr. John W Pepper, external faculty

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John Rundle, Santa Fe Institute, External Professor



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Sam Scarpino, Santa Fe Institute, Omidyar Fellow


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Markus Schlapfer, Santa Fe Institute, Postdoctoral Fellow


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Caitlin Stern, Santa Fe Institute, Omidyar Fellow


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Pan Zhang, Santa Fe Institute, Postdoctoral Fellow