Celebrating our latest PhD success: Dr. Mohammad “Vahid” Vahidalizadehdizaj!

We are delighted to share that Mohammad “Vahid” Vahidalizadehdizaj has freshly earned the title of “Dr.” following the successful defense of his PhD thesis!

A student of the PhD in Computer Science program, Vahid chose to explore security and privacy in e-commerce over mobile phones. This is an issue that requires continuous attention, and a very worthy one of doctoral level study.

Dr. Lixin Tao was the advisor for Vahid’s journey to doctorate. The committee was comprised of Dr. Charles Tappert and Dr. Mehdi Badii; Professor Avery Leider and fellow PhD candidate, Nikhil Saxena, were also present – and Professor Leider took several videos to document the moment!

“It was fun watching Vahid defend and defend his thesis against all comers,” said Prof. Leider.

Vahid is our second ever student to earn a PhD, joining Dr. Vinnie Monaco as one of our incredible PhD alums.

The new Dr. Vahidalizadehdizaj said: “I want to thank my mother and father for supporting me on this road. I want to thank Dean Jonathan Hill and Dr. Paul Benjamin for their guidance. I want to thank my advisor, Dr. Lixin Tao for his advice. I want to thank my wonderful committee members Dr. Charles Tappert and Dr. Badii for their wise comments and questions.”

Here’s the abstract of Vahid’s dissertation, “An Efficient Decentralized Mobile Payment Protocol With Improved Security and Privacy”:

The exponential growth of mobile devices makes them a suitable computing platform for electronic payment. However, there are serious challenges in e-commerce transactions, such as privacy protection, security, bandwidth limitations of mobile networks, and limited capabilities of mobile devices to handle excess or indirect computational time. The traditional e-commerce payment protocols that were originally designed to keep track of the traditional flows of data from desktop computers are vulnerable to attacks, and because they were not designed for mobile platforms, have excessive engineering overhead. In this thesis, a new private mobile payment protocol is introduced that is designed specifically for the mobile platform. It is based on a client-centric model that utilizes symmetric key operations. The protocol reduces the computational cost (the engineering overhead) of Diffie-Hellman key agreement protocol by using the algebra of logarithms instead of the algebra of exponents. The protocol achieves proper privacy protection for the payer by involving mobile network operators and generating temporary identities. It avoids replay attacks by using random time-stamp generated numbers.

Congratulations Dr. Vahid – we can’t wait to see where your new qualification takes you!

Seidenberg professors organize IEEE CSCloud/SSC 2016 in Beijing, China

Dr. Meikang Qiu of the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems recently organized two conferences that were held in Beijing, China.

Prof. Qiu deliveries “Certificate of Appreciation” to Ohio State University Prof. Xiaodong Zhang
Prof. Qiu presents “Certificate of Appreciation” to Ohio State University Prof. Xiaodong Zhang

The 3rd annual IEEE International Conference on Cybersecurity and Cloud Computing and the 2nd annual IEEE International Conference of Scalable and Smart Cloud (SSC 2016) took place on June 25-27 at at Beihang University in China.

This academic event is a great gathering for scholars and professionals in the fields of cybersecurity, cloud computing, and smart computing. More than 60 delegates attended from more than 10 countries.

Professor Qiu served as the General Chair for both conferences, and also gave a talk entitled Proactive User-Centric Attribute-Based Semantic Access Control for a Mobile Cloud.

Prof. Qiu deliveries “Certificate of Appreciation” to Princeton University Prof. Sun-Yuan Kung
Prof. Qiu presents “Certificate of Appreciation” to Princeton University Prof. Sun-Yuan Kung

Dr. Lixin Tao, the Chair of the Computer Science Department (PLV) also attended the conference. Seidenberg faculty and PhD and DPS students at Seidenberg presented their recent research work, including 14 conference papers.

World famous professors Sun-Yuan Kung (Princeton University, IEEE Fellow) and Xiaodong Zhang (Ohio State University, IEEE/ACM Fellow) also exciting keynotes on Cloud Computing and Big Data.

Pace University was a major sponsor of the conference – and we are already looking forward to next year!



Vinnie Monaco makes Seidenberg history with first PhD in Computer Science

Monaco_1John “Vinnie” Monaco recently made an achievement that is a milestone in Seidenberg School history: he successfully defended his PhD dissertation and became the school’s first ever Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science! We are absolutely delighted with Vinnie’s success and can’t wait to see where his new qualification takes him.

Vinnie’s dissertation, “Time Intervals as a Behavioral Biometric,” isn’t just significant for the Seidenberg School, but it is also important within the field of behavioral biometrics. We asked Vinnie to provide some insight into the research he did: 

“My work attempts to identify people based on the way they behave over time,” says Vinnie. “The model I proposed utilizes individual differences in temporal behavior across a range of scales, such as typing, sending emails, initiating financial transactions, or visiting the White House. The significance of this is that only event timestamps are required. This breaks down the privacy barrier that was thought to exist using tools that provide spatial anonymity, such as TOR, and calls for new identity-masking techniques. To be truly anonymous in the 21st century, a person has to not only hide their IP address or location; they have to also mask their behavior in some way.”

Pretty amazing stuff!


Vinnie’s defense was overseen by his dissertation committee (pictured, from left to right, Dr. Lixin Tao, Dr. Vinnie Monaco, Dr. Charles Tappert, and Dr. Meikang Qui).

On his impact at the Seidenberg School, Vinnie said: “I’m proud to have been the first PhD graduate from Seidenberg. I think that the school is starting to attract a greater number of quality researchers, both students and faculty, and I’m confident that the Seidenberg School will continue to be recognized as a leading institution in behavioral cybersecurity research.”

Congratulations to Dr. Monaco on his enormous achievement!