Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Faculty Attain Prestigious IEEE Fellow Recognition

Electrical engineering and computer science faculty members Wenliang (Kevin) Du and Vir Phoha have been recognized as Fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for 2023, a high professional honor conferred on less than 0.1% of the organization’s membership annually.

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity. It has 409,000 members in more than 160 countries who are engineers, scientists and allied professionals whose technical interests are rooted in electrical and computer sciences, engineering and related disciplines.

The Fellow designation is the IEEE’s highest level of membership, attained through nomination by peers and approval by the IEEE Board of Directors.

Du is being recognized for contributions to cybersecurity education and research. Phoha is being honored for his work developing attack-averse active authentication in computing systems using behavioral patterns.

Du’s research focuses on system security for web, mobile, smartphone/tablet and Android operating systems. He has also developed improved access control for mobile systems. In the area of computer security education, work that he began in 2002 to develop hands-on labs for student computer security education, is now used by more than 1000 universities and colleges in more than 80 countries.

This year, he also received the IEEE Region 1 Technological Innovation (Academic) Award. Du also recently was named principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant of $399,000, “Building and Internet Emulator for Cybersecurity Education.”

Phoha’s research in systems security involves studying malignant systems, active authentication, machine learning, decision trees and statistical and evolutionary methods. He looks at large-time series data streams and static data sets and anomalies and optimization of computer networks to build defensive and offensive cyber-based systems.

Phoha was named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors in 2020 and a Fellow of the American Association for Advancement of Science in 2018. He has achieved 13 patents for inventions in machine learning, biometrics, user identification and authentication, data decision-making and cybersecurity attacks. He is currently an associate editor of IEEE Transactions on Computational Social Systems and two other journals.

Du and Phoha were nominated for Fellow status by Distinguished Professor Pramod Varshney, of the department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, who was himself recognized an IEEE Fellow in 1997.

Two other professors of electrical engineering and computer science at Syracuse University, Biao Chen (2015) and Jian Tang (2019), have also been named IEEE Fellows.