Faculty awarded NSF grants for cloud computing, geospatial location research

Published: Oct 7, 2016 1:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Chris Anthony, chris.anthony@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

Wei-Shinn (Jeff) Ku Shiwen Mao
Ku Mao
Xiao Qin Anthony Skjellum
Qin Skjellum

The National Science Foundation has awarded two grants worth more than $1.14 million to researchers in Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

The grants are funding two projects with the goal of advancing current technology. The first study aims to improve cloud computing security, while the other project is to develop better indoor location-based services using radio frequency identification, or RFID. Wei-Shinn (Jeff) Ku, associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, is the principal investigator for both studies.

“Cloud computing offers many benefits to its users, but there are still concerns regarding data security, integrity and privacy in the cloud,” Ku said. “The purpose of our study is to develop a better infrastructure to protect that data and ensure its integrity.”

The three-year grant provides $640,440 for Auburn’s cloud computing research. Co-principal investigators on the study include Shiwen Mao, the Samuel Ginn Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering; Anthony (Tony) Skjellum, the Charles D. McCrary Eminent Scholar in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering and director of the Charles D. McCrary Institute and the Auburn Cyber Research Center; and Ming-Kuo Lee, the Robert B. Cook Professor in the Department of Geosciences.

The other grant provides $499,995 over three years to study technology that can improve geospatial location capabilities in indoor areas. Because techniques that work in outdoor spaces, such as GPS signaling or cellular positioning, do not work well in covered indoor areas, the researchers are attempting to improve these capabilities through the use of RFID technology. The study’s co-principal investigator is Xiao Qin, professor of computer science and software engineering.

“The results of this project will improve the performance of indoor geospatial location technology, which will bolster the industry and benefit the nation’s economy,” Ku said. “Advancements made through this project could potentially even save lives in emergency situations.”