UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Yueqi Chen and Wenbo Guo, both studying in the College of Information Sciences and Technology, are among 24 doctoral students worldwide who have been awarded 2020 IBM Ph.D. Fellowships.
The highly competitive program honors exceptional doctoral students who have an interest in solving problems that align with IBM’s mission and are fundamental to innovation in a number of academic disciplines. At Penn State, Chen and Guo’s research interests are focused on computer security under the guidance of Xinyu Xing, assistant professor of IST.
“[I am honored that IBM] sees the value of my research works on exploitability escalation and exploitability assessment,” said Chen. “These groundbreaking works offer a new perspective of building more secure software systems, which is very promising and aligns with IBM’s interests.”
Added Guo, “Receiving this fellowship indicates we are working on the problems that have a significant impact on the industry and people's daily lives.”
Past work by Guo and Xing has also been recognized at the global level. In 2018, they led a team to develop a technique that could help security analysts and machine-learning developers to establish trust in deep learning models by correctly identifying, explaining and correcting errors that the models made. They received the outstanding paper award at the 2018 Association for Computing Machinery Conference on Computer and Communications Security — one of the most competitive and prestigious conferences in the field of computer security.
“This a signal that IST’s doctoral program is among the top-tier for the cybersecurity track,” said Guo. “Our Ph.D. students are of high quality that is comparable with the top Ph.D. students from the top universities.”
Concluded Xing, “With support from IBM, I believe both Yueqi and Wenbo will be greatly motivated to conduct more challenging and more impactful research in cybersecurity. This award clearly indicates they are among the top-tier cybersecurity young researchers in the nation.”