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Leman Akoglu Receives NSF CAREER Award

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Award will support Stony Brook computer scientist’s work in anomaly mining with applications to security, surveillance, and healthcare

Leman Akoglu, PhD, of the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook University
Leman Akoglu, PhD, of the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook University

Leman Akoglu, PhD, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook University, has received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program award from the National Science Foundation (NSF). Akoglu will receive NSF CAREER funding of $507,000 over the next five years to support her project titled “A General Framework for Methodical and Interpretable Anomaly Mining.”

According to the NSF, the CAREER Award is given to promising young university faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholar through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of both education and research.

“The NSF CAREER Award is one of the highest honors a junior faculty member can receive nationally, and I congratulate Professor Akoglu on winning the award,” said Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, President of Stony Brook University. “The funding provided through this award helps young faculty advance their promising research, which adds greatly to the scope of Stony Brook University’s STEM research and education initiatives.”

Dr. Akoglu’s work focuses on anomaly mining, in particular the detection of anomalies in large-scale, heterogeneous and dynamic data environments. Her project impacts security and surveillance in industry, government and society to prevent outsider intrusions, fraud and other threats. The research, in collaboration with Dr. Mark Henry, Chair of Stony Brook’s Department of Emergency Medicine, will also enhance capabilities in patient healthcare. Dr. Akoglu will analyze and break down three core research areas in the field of anomaly mining: complex anomaly definitions and algorithms, ensemble methods for anomaly mining, and multi-view anomaly mining.

“Dr. Akoglu’s CAREER award adds to our growing faculty endeavors establishing Stony Brook as a leader in computer science research at the highest level of innovation,” said Dennis N. Assanis, Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Stony Brook University. “She is also an inspiration to students and incorporates her research into undergraduate and graduate courses.”

According to Dr. Akoglu, the educational impact of her research will involve “developing an education plan that trains students to think creatively in formulating and solving problems…and increases the role of women in Computer Science through mentoring and open house events for women in the community.”

Arie Kaufman, PhD, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Computer Science at Stony Brook, strongly supported Dr. Akoglu’s CAREER proposal.

“She continues to shine in her research and teaching activities, working diligently to build a research agenda and to secure funding,” wrote Dr. Kaufman in a letter to the NSF.

“Because Dr. Akoglu’s proposed work targets anomaly mining in complex environments, it has the potential to effectively reduce the attack surface area of modern communications, intelligence and computer systems,” Kaufman said. “Moreover, the research could have substantial impact on a wide range of real applications, such as insider threat, cybersecurity and systems monitoring.”

Dr. Akoglu, who joined the Stony Brook University faculty in August 2012, earned a PhD in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Her broader research interests include data mining, graph mining, machine learningand social media analysis. For more about her data lab, see this link.

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