UNO computer science researchers receive over $500,000 in grants

Irfan Ahmed will work in collaboration with the University of Texas Dallas on a project to help students better understand cyberattacks.
Irfan Ahmed will work in collaboration with the University of Texas Dallas on a project to help students better understand cyberattacks. | File photo
Three researchers from the University of New Orleans department of computer science recently received grants totaling more than $500,000 that they will use to investigate algae-based biofuel, better management of NASA’s intellectual property and increasing cybersecurity education.

"Algae are found to have good potential for providing biofuel at a higher rate compared to any other plants,”  UNO Assistant Professor of Computer Science Tamjidul Hoque, who will use his funding to develop software tools and theoretical knowledge to make algae-based biofuel viablem, said. “Algae can be developed as an excellent microbial cell factory that can harvest solar energy and convert atmospheric carbon-dioxide to useful products and thus can establish the missing link in the fuel-cycle.”

Hoque’s project, a collaboration between UNO, BHO Technology and the Louisiana Emerging Technology Center, received $141,453 in funding from the Louisiana Board of Regents Industrial Ties Research Subprogram, as well as a three-year institutional match of $36,720.

Hoque will also work with professor of computer science Shengru Tu on a project, funded by a $60,073 grant from the NASA Stennis Space Center, that will develop an automated tool allowing users to more easily find information on NASA’s patents.

Assistant professor of computer science Irfan Ahmed will work in collaboration with the University of Texas Dallas on a project to help students better understand cyberattacks and the necessary measure for preventing them. The project is funded by a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, and Ahmed is working on a related project with a $96,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office.

“The outcome of this project will contribute to the health, safety and economic well-being of our society by helping to improve the state-of-the-art in cybersecurity education, especially for performing hands-on technical cybersecurity exercises,” Ahmed said.

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