This story is part of our “Universities the world needs” series which profiles universities that make an impact through their innovative research culture and curriculum.
Throughout their University of Texas at Dallas (UT Dallas) degree and after graduation, PhD students from the Department of Computer Science are motivated to master all corners of computer science.
Gbadebo Gbadero Ayoade, a UT Dallas PhD in Computer Science graduate from Nigeria took a keen interest in the fast-growing field of cybersecurity.
His growing passion for cybersecurity evolved into a research project with fellow computer science researchers, including Eugene McDermott Professor (endowed chair) of Computer Science Dr Kevin Hamlen.
With a dedicated research team to support him, Gbadebo chose to look at the most common, global issue in cybersecurity: Computer hackers.
Instead of approaching the issue linearly by simply blocking would-be hackers, he decided to look at the matter in an entirely new and different light. The PhD student and his team decided to turn the problem back on itself and tackle hackers through the act of enticing.
Gbadebo and his researchers produced a new method they called DEEP-Dig (DEcEPtion DIGging), where intruders were ushered into a decoy site, allowing the team and their computer to learn the hackers’ tactics.
This information is then used to train the team’s computer to recognise patterns and stop future attacks.
“We’re using the data from hackers to train the machine to identify an attack, and we’re using deception to get better data,” says Gbadebo, who is now a data scientist at the US multinational company Procter & Gamble Co.
By teaming up with like-minded researchers at UT Dallas and putting his newfound computer science knowledge into practice, Gbadebo’s groundbreaking solution is just one of the many innovations UT Dallas graduates have produced.
A PhD that leads to high-tech and highly-paid positions
Procter & Gamble Co isn’t the only blue-chip company that’s impressed with the highly accomplished computer science researchers and PhD students out of UT Dallas. High-profile companies that include big-name players such Adobe, Cisco, Cloudera, Expedia and Microsoft have poached recent graduates too.
Other destinations for UT Dallas computer science alumni include world-renowned research facilities like IBM, Thomas J Watson Research Center, Samsung Research and Walmart Labs, among others.
Sruthi Chappidi is another UT Dallas PhD graduate who is making headways in her field, dedicating her expertise in bioinformatics. Using computer science to analyse and collect complex biological data, she secured a highly-coveted role as a postdoctoral researcher at the UT Southwestern Medical Center.
“With the experience and training I gained through faculty and collaborators that I worked with at UT Dallas, I would like to continue research in the field of bioinformatics in bridging the gap between computer science and biological sciences,” Sruthi explained .
PhD graduate Dr Ashkan Yousefpour will begin a career at Facebook, where he will take on the role of Research Scientist at the company’s offices in Menlo Park, California.
His long-term goal is to create either a company, or a set of solutions that can significantly slow down (or reverse) climate change.
“For this long-term goal, I am thinking of moonshot ideas and I am willing to go on completely new paths,” he says.
Every computer science PhD graduate at UT Dallas finds themselves at the end of their degree with multiple routes and options, whether it’s joining impactful teams at multinational companies, or taking on global issues to find innovative solutions. The future is both prosperous and meaningful, ripe with international opportunities.
Testimonials and graduate experiences aside, computer science at UT Dallas has consistently found itself at the top of university rankings across diverse subject areas: csrankings.org ranked UT Dallas at eighth place for natural language processing, fifth place for software engineering, 11th place for artificial intelligence, and sixth place for embedded & real-time systems during 2010-2020.
Research that makes a real-world difference
UT Dallas Department of Computer Science is not the type of department to shy away from 21st century challenges. They embrace them head on, with world-class research departments, teams and initiatives.
Their research runs the gamut, spanning over a large number of subjects such as Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Machine Learning and Data Science, Cybersecurity, Computational Geometry, Software Engineering and Real-time Systems.
Computer science at UT Dallas also addresses a dynamic range of these topics in their regularly published research papers.
Last year, a group of UT Dallas Computer Science Professors and PhD students had six papers accepted into the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) conference in Hawaii.
This summer, researchers from the Department will have a strong presence at the 42nd ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE 2020) with a total of six accepted research papers.
PhD candidates who are tied to this Department will also have the opportunity to send off papers of their own to prestigious global conferences.
Through an interdisciplinary PhD degree at UT Dallas, they’ll also be subject to intensive preparation in design, programming, theory and applications, leading them to make impactful discoveries of their own.
Our tech-infused future will be seeking plenty of problem-solving computer scientists: Find a school who brings together thought-provoking solutions, with unparalleled research and support.