Undergraduates Emma Strubell and Avner Maiberg each received an Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Fellowship from the University of Maine College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for work they are doing with Associate Professor of Mathematics David Hiebeler. They will be developing computer simulations of the spread of internet worms, with the goal of developing strategies for combatting them. Each award comes with a $1400 stipend, and they will share $1100 to purchase equipment.
The abstract of their proposal reads as follows:
We are working as a team to build computational epidemiological models with the goals of better understanding the the spread of malicious software through the Internet. These types of models also have applications to studying dynamics of a ﬂu spreading between individuals in a structured population (such as children in a school system), outbreaks of destructive pests on blueberry crops, or even a global epidemic such as the H1N1 virus, to name only a few examples. These issues can have serious consequences including loss of life, information, time, and money. In addition to the core research project, which uses the University High Performance Computing supercomputer cluster to simulate the spread of malicious software through the entire Internet (4.29 billion hosts), we are also developing a mobile application on the Android platform that performs scaled-down simulations of Internet and biological epidemics using the household model, for use in educational outreach including K-12 venues.Posted in News