CERIAS symposium tackles digital risks, threats to innovation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Once again, Purdue University is welcoming cyber experts to campus and encouraging them to bring all potential worst-case digital scenarios and other cyber challenges with them. The invitation is for the annual CERIAS symposium on April 2-3, at which academic cyber researchers and industry professionals will collaborate to define, prioritize and work on security threats and barriers to progress in the cyber realm.

Titled “Safeguarding Innovation: Protecting the Frontlines in Our Cyber-Physical World,” this year’s 25th Annual CERIAS Cybersecurity Symposium agenda has nearly two dozen speakers and panelists, including the opening keynote speech at 9 a.m. April 2, “Emerging and Future Cybersecurity Risks for National Security,” from Daniel “Rags” Ragsdale, deputy assistant director of workforce and education in the White House Office of the National Cyber Director.

Ragsdale is responsible for coordinating cyber modernization efforts across the Department of Defense, with specific responsibility for the establishment of policies and supervision over cyber modernization research and engineering, technology development, prototyping, experimentation, developmental testing, and transition activities. He is also responsible for making recommendations concerning the allocation of resources and alignment of efforts across the department.

Taking part in the symposium’s Fireside Chat at 3:30 p.m. on April 2 is Heidi Shyu, undersecretary of defense for research and engineering. As the chief technology officer for the Department of Defense, Shyu works to ensure the technological superiority of the U.S. military and is responsible for the research, development and prototyping activities across the DoD enterprise. She also oversees the activities of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Missile Defense Agency and the DOD Laboratory and Engineering Center enterprise.

Among other highlights of this year’s event is a talk on large language models (LLM), called “The Mythical LLM-Month,” by Claudionor Coelho Jr., chief AI officer at Zscaler Inc. With nearly three decades in the IT and software engineering industry, Coelho has extensive research and development experience in machine-learning and deep-learning techniques, including generative AI, software systems, cybersecurity and semiconductors. In his role, he is tasked with driving the vision and implementation of advanced AI technologies to strengthen Zscaler’s large security platform.

Also scheduled to speak is Samuel Visner, an expert in 5G, AI, cybersecurity and engineering, who is a technical fellow at Aerospace Corp. and chair of the board of directors for the Space Information Sharing Analysis Center. He also is an adjunct professor of science and technology in international affairs at Georgetown University.

The closing keynote will be given on April 3 by Philippe Biondi, executive expert for cybersecurity at Airbus, who has previously presented on the topic of “Failure is Not an Option.”

The event, which is in Room 214 of Stewart Center, will open with remarks from Purdue President Mung Chiang at 8:45 a.m. April 2.

Online registration is available here. All university students, faculty and staff can attend for free. The cost for those in the military or working in government is $180. The cost for all others is $360. Registration also will be available at the event.


CERIAS, Purdue’s Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, is the world’s oldest, largest and preeminent interdisciplinary academic education and research institute for cyber and cyber-physical systems. CERIAS researchers focus on security, resiliency, privacy, autonomy, trusted electronics, and trustworthy AI. Its more than 100 researchers serve as an unbiased resource to the worldwide community.

About Purdue University

Purdue University is a public research institution demonstrating excellence at scale. Ranked among top 10 public universities and with two colleges in the top four in the United States, Purdue discovers and disseminates knowledge with a quality and at a scale second to none. More than 105,000 students study at Purdue across modalities and locations, including nearly 50,000 in person on the West Lafayette campus. Committed to affordability and accessibility, Purdue’s main campus has frozen tuition 13 years in a row. See how Purdue never stops in the persistent pursuit of the next giant leap — including its first comprehensive urban campus in Indianapolis, the new Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business, and Purdue Computes — at https://www.purdue.edu/president/strategic-initiatives

Writer/Media contact: Amy Raley, araley@purdue.edu

Source: Joel Rasmus, jrasmus@purdue.edu