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Engineering professor and ICDS Co-Hire named to DARPA ISAT study group

Posted on July 3, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Gang Tan, professor of computer science and engineering in the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS), has been selected as a member of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Information Science and Technology (ISAT) study group. 

Gang Tan, professor of computer science and engineering in the Penn State School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science IMAGE: PENN STATE COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

DARPA’s mission is to “make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security,” according to its website. According to the organization’s letter to Tan, the ISAT group was established by DARPA in 1987 to bring together “30 of the brightest scientists and engineers together to identify new areas of development in computer and communication technologies and to recommend future research directions.”

“I am deeply honored to be selected into this group,” Tan said. “I look forward to contributing my thoughts to DARPA’s future research directions on information science and technology and to the opportunities of interacting and collaborating with fellow scientists in the group.”

In addition to his faculty position in the School of EECS, Tan is a co-hire at the Institute for Computational and Data Sciences at Penn State. His research interests include computer security, formal methods and programming languages. He leads the Security of Software group, which is broadly interested in applying compiler, programming language and formal method techniques to improving computer security.

Tan has received multiple awards, including an National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Program Award, two Google Faculty Research Awards, a Distinguished Reviewer Award at the 2018 Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers Symposium on Security and Privacy, a Ruth and Joel Spira Excellence in Teaching Award at Penn State and several best-paper awards at numerous academic conferences. 

Tan currently has two ongoing DARPA grants for two research projects. He is the principal investigator (PI) for Secure Handling of Isolated Executables without Leaking Data (SHIELD) as a subcontractor to Perspecta Labs, with Trent Jaeger, professor of computer science and engineering at Penn State, as the co-PI. He is also involved in the research project SPARTA: The Secure Parser Toolkit for Assurance along with researchers from Galois Inc., Cornell University and Purdue University.


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