Auburn AI strategist to assist Los Alamos National Laboratory in addressing national cyber threats

By Brian Wesley

Published: Oct 30, 2019 7:52:00 AM

Daniel Tauritz Daniel Tauritz

A budding partnership between Auburn University and Los Alamos National Laboratory is taking shape with the recent appointment of an Auburn artificial intelligence expert as a guest scientist focused on solving national cyber threats. 

In his guest role for Los Alamos National Laboratory, Daniel Tauritz, associate professor in Auburn’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, will develop Auburn research programs to help solve the national security issues that LANL addresses. Tauritz will also work with undergraduate and graduate students, Auburn University faculty and LANL scientists on issues ranging from areas of research to workforce development. 

“The establishment of a long-term relationship between Auburn University and Los Alamos National Laboratory is a unique opportunity to complement Auburn’s existing Department of Defense national security portfolio,” Tauritz said. “In particular, LANL’s focus on fundamental science will infuse Auburn’s cyber curricula and research program with both academic rigor and the latest technologies in the field. 

Tauritz has been working with LANL on various cybersecurity projects that use artificial intelligence to solve national security problems. Tauritz’s flagship project is Coevolving Attacker and Defender Strategies for Large Infrastructure Networks, or CEADS-LIN. CEADS-LIN utilizes a high-fidelity computer emulation to analyze the behavior of artificial attacker and defender agents. This project aims to develop a fully automated system that identifies high-impact attacks in enterprise computer networks and creates corresponding defenses. 

In 2013, Tauritz co-founded the LANL/S&T Cyber Security Sciences Institute, or CSSI, with LANL and the Missouri University of Science and Technology, where Tauritz previously worked. CSSI’s research mission is to create a solid foundation for cybersecurity research that can address emergent real-world cybersecurity problems. Tauritz is working with Auburn University and LANL to bring CSSI to the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and establish the Biomimetic National Security Artificial Intelligence, or BONSAI, export-controlled lab to conduct its research. 

In addition to his cybersecurity work, Tauritz is also collaborating with LANL to create career opportunities for students through efforts such as summer internships, workshops, LANL staff participating in career fairs and funding for undergraduate and graduate students to perform research and development work. 

Located in New Mexico, Los Alamos National Laboratory is a federally funded research and development center dedicated to solving national security challenges through scientific excellence. As a senior laboratory within the Department of Energy system, LANL conducts research in the areas of national security, science, energy and environmental management, performing work for the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community and Department of Homeland Security, among others. 

Tauritz joined Auburn in August as both an associate professor and the chief cyber artificial intelligence strategist of the Auburn Cyber Research Center. He is the founding director of Auburn University’s Biomimetic Artificial Intelligence Research Group, or BioAI, where he leads a wide range of projects involving students, faculty and national lab scientists to solve complex problems through the development of cutting-edge AI technologies. 

“The recruiting pipeline from Auburn to LANL will significantly impact the nation’s advanced cyber workforce, and the exchange of ideas between Auburn faculty and LANL scientists will promote innovation in fundamental research and development efforts in national security,” Tauritz said. “The specific focus on developing novel artificial intelligence approaches for solving hard adversarial problems and to automate the design of algorithms to solve complex cyber problems will position Auburn as a leader in AI for national security.”

Media Contact: Chris Anthony, chris.anthony@auburn.edu, 334.844.3447

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