Auburn University collaborating with IBM on cybersecurity research

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Auburn University and IBM have announced a collaboration on cybersecurity research using IBM's POWER8 platforms, which will result in enhanced undergraduate and graduate programs, curriculums, research and outreach.

"It's really fantastic to grow our relationship with IBM through this cyber-focused engagement," said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, where the Auburn Cyber Research Center is housed. "Allowing our students to have access to the POWER8 platform and interact with IBM researchers will further enable them to advance the technologies of tomorrow's world."

The POWER8 processor features a new approach to computing that uses a Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface, or CAPI. This creates high degrees of system flexibilities that allow enhanced cybersecurity studies through cognitive computing and deep analytics via highly customizable parallel processing engines.

"IBM's POWER8 optimizations toward analytics and big data, and our deep collaboration with IBM, will escalate Auburn's cyber research initiatives," said Anthony Skjellum, professor of computer science and software engineering and Auburn's lead cyber scientist. "Many students will take advantage of the POWER8 systems and become familiar with its advanced processor and accelerator capabilities not currently available on standard servers."

The partnership is the latest in a series of cybersecurity research activities between Auburn and IBM, including proof of technology projects in which Auburn used the capabilities of the POWER8 architecture as well as IBM's expertise in cybersecurity software and solutions.

"Due to the growing complexities of cybersecurity, the POWER8 platform will allow Auburn researchers to experiment and develop unique system optimized solutions to solve grand challenges in security," said Ravi Arimilli, an IBM Fellow.

Retired Lt. Gen. Ronald L. Burgess, Auburn's senior counsel for national security programs, cyber programs and military affairs, said, "Any effort to explore cyber comprehensively has to include a positive relationship with leading companies in systems and security, so the relationship with IBM will help Auburn advance strategically.

"The Auburn Cyber Research Center and Auburn Cyber Initiative are joint efforts to advance cyber, critical infrastructure protection, security and forensics across the Auburn campus. There are a significant number of students involved in cyber R&D, and classes offered in the Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering are educating the next generation of cyber workforce for the state, region and nation."

Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.