Sunset over the University of Calgary in July 2013; and soon sunset over ISSNet.
For the past 5 years, ISSNet has been a big part of our lives. ISSNet is the NSERC Strategic Research Network on Internetworked Systems Security, and it was a real networking and research success. Through ISSNet, we made connections between many of the researchers in computer security across Canada, and built a community that will last a long time. But ISSNet itself is ending, and its 5 year term is done at the end of 2013. To start the process of moving on, we held a summer event in July at the University of Calgary. Normally the ISSNet summer events were “summer schools”, and featured background sessions on all the kinds of work involved in contemporary practical security research. But this year we looked forward, and held one day each on the perspectives from the government, academic, and industry sectors. The students held extra sessions to round out the week. It all worked well, and reinforced the feeling that there is a strong spirit of collaboration that lightens the challenges in this kind of work. What will come after ISSNet? Some plans are already hatching: one is the VENUS effort. But more will unfold in the months ahead: the real legacy of ISSNet is the ongoing community it built.
In May we had a visit from Rilla Khaled and Pippin Barr. They were once here doing post-doctoral work, and are now at the Digital Games Institute at the University of Malta. There were in Canada because Pippin was “Game Designer in Residence” at Concordia University in Montreal, and Rilla was working on grants and book chapters. In Ottawa, Pippin gave the keynote talk at the Interface 2013 conference on Digital Humanities, organized by Carleton graduate students.
The Chateau Laurier is an icon of Ottawa: it reminds me of a dreamier vision of Canada, romantic, heroic, and yet knowingly aware of the time. This photo, on display in the Chateau, spoke volumes to me: John Lennon, Yoko Ono, and Pierre Trudeau, all at the Chateau. It was 1969, and I was 16 and at school only a few kilometers away. Anyway, my visit to the Chateau today, all of 10 minutes drive from our lab, was for the official announcement of SurfNet, the Canadian Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Strategic Network on Surface Computing. Let’s think of the future. Robert Biddle
GRAND was announced today: the Graphics, Animation and New Media NCE (Network of Centers of Excellence). This is a national network of scholars in Computer Science, the Social Sciences and Humanities, put together by the redoubtable Kelly Booth over the past year. Our group is leading the project on Security and Privacy in New Media, and is involved in two cool projects on games: play and performance, and games for learning. The announcement was made that NCE conference in downtown Ottawa, where the keynote speaker was Canadian astronaut Julie Payette.
This week Marty Kauhanen successfully defended his MCS (Master of Computer Science) thesis: congratulations, Marty! He has been working at Microsoft in Redmond since July of 2008. Marty’s thesis is entitled “Examining Support Of Narrative Scripting For Serious Games”, and the abstract is as follows:
In this thesis, we explore the support required to build interactive narratives for serious games. Serious games typically are built to support learning, training or persuasion and have different requirements than other types of games, including shorter durations of game-play and much smaller development budgets. In addition, there is a need to support non-programmers in scripting serious games. We believe authoring tools can provide this support.
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Daniel LeBlanc’s MA thesis was accepted today: congratulations Dan! He begins his PhD work immediately, continuing to work on usable security.
Dan’s thesis was entitled “Can Preselection Gaze Distribution Statistics Predict Graphical Passwords?”, and the abstract is as follows:
Graphical passwords are a new method of authentication of much interest to researchers due to the potential for better usability and security. This thesis first introduces past research on usability and security issues relating to graphical passwords. The thesis then presents a study to investigate a possible weakness in a particular approach to click-based graphical passwords, whether eye gaze information may assist attackers in guessing passwords.
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Sonia Chiasson successfully defended her PhD thesis on Wednesday
December 17th: congratulations Sonia! She will be staying at Carleton
University for a little while longer, beginning a post-doctoral
fellowship on January 1st, 2009.
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Welcome to the new blog and home page of the Carleton University HotSoft Research Group! Our research is on software as interactive media, and in particular on aspects of computer security, games, and software development. Our pages used to be part of the HotLab site, and we have moved them here to make it easier to try experimental ideas without disturbing our colleagues.