https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/alerts/coronavirus

Date: Friday 20th March, 2020

Time: 3-4pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 15 Level 3 Room 10 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome.

**ABSTRACT****:** Technical cyber-defence is often insufficient to protect a system as most cyber security incidences involve a human who takes an erroneous action or regrettable decision. To address the human factors, cyber security professionals need a range of technical and non-technical skills to enable them to effectively protect cyber-assets. There is research on the non-technical skills needed in ICT and engineering, but little specific to cyber security, and nothing in an Australian context. To support the job readiness of cyber security graduates it is necessary to identify the non-technical skills that are needed to be competitive in the modern cyber security market.

A brief analysis indicates that some of the most sought after non-technical skills are neither explicitly taught nor explicitly assessed in most Master of Cyber Security degrees in Australia. With more and more Australian universities offering cyber security degrees, the findings of the survey can be used to inform cyber security curriculum design.

J Hall, A Rao, Non-Technical skills needed by cyber security graduates*, IEEE Education Conference*, April 2020.

**BIOGRAPHY:** Joanne Hall is a Senior Lecturer in mathematics and cybersecurity at RMIT. With a background in abstract algebra, her research is on quantum key distribution and post quantum cryptography. Dr Hall completed her PhD at RMIT in 2011 on quantum key distribution. She has held research and teaching positions at Charles University in Prague and the Queensland University of Technology. Returning to RMIT in 2017, Joanne enjoyed participating in the graduation ceremony, having missed her own PhD graduation ceremony.

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Date: Friday 11th October

Time: 3-4pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:** In the 1920’s Van der Waerden showed that any two-coloring of the natural numbers must contain an infinite monochromatic arithmetic progression. This was the beginning of discrepancy theory.

Given a colouring of the natural numbers by the map* χ : N → {± 1}*, the

discrepancy of a set

and the discrepancy

the

to the family. The discrepancy of the family

The discrepancy of the family 𝒜 is then defined as

with the minimization being taken over all colourings. Informally this measures how unbalanced the most balanced colouring can be on 𝒜.

In the 1960’s Klaus Roth proved that if 𝒜 is the collection of all arithmetic progressions inside* N*, the discrepancy of this family is infinite. He actualy proved that the collection of arithmetic progressions supported on

The family of homogeneous arithmetic progressions also have infinite discrepancy, proved by Terry Tao in 2016, using ergodic theory and pretentious characters. This proof came after an online collaboration named *Polymath 5*, where he was an active participant. Timothy Gowers, who organised *Polymath 5*, has commented that Tao’s proof is “unlikely to yield an explicit growth rate of *√ *log* n* or higher. It is known from a construction by Peter Borwein and coauthors that any lower bound cannot be more that *c *log* n*.

We discuss a modern version of Roth’s proof and indicate a path towards obtaining an explicit lower bound on the growth rate of the discrepancy of homogeneous arithmetic progressions.

**BIOGRAPHY**: Serdar Boztas received the S.B. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in 1983 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Southern California in 1986 and 1990, respectively, all in electrical engineering.

He was a Research Engineer at the Telecom Australia Research Laboratories in 1991-1992, and a Lecturer in the School of Electrical and Computer Systems Engineering at Monash University in 1993-1995. Since 1996 he has been with RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia, where he is presently an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Mathematics.

Serdar was an invited speaker at the 2014 IEEE International Workshop on Signal Design and Applications, in Tokyo, as well as in ISC 2007 and SSGRR 2001. He was Program Committee Chair for AAECC (Applied Algebra, Algebraic Algorithms and Error Correcting Codes) Symposia in 2001 and 2007 as well as the General Chair for the Australasian Conference in Information Security and Privacy in 2011.

His interests include pseudorandom sequence design, combinatorics, randomness testing, coding and information theory, cryptography and information security.

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Date: Friday 13th September

Time: 3-4pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT: **In a User-Private Information Retrieval (UPIR) scheme, a network of users collaborate to maintain privacy while accessing a non-secure database. Essential features of the scheme are encoded in an incidence structure. The original scheme was proposed by Stokes and Bras Amores, based on projective planes. Further schemes, based on symmetric designs, were investigated by Swanson and Stinson.

In this talk, I will discuss UPIR schemes, and describe joint work carried out with Oliver Gnilke, Marcus Greferath, Camilla Hollanti, Guillermo Nunez Ponasso and Eric Swartz. We proposed the use of Generalised Quadrangles, which lead to schemes substantially more secure against eavesdropping than previous suggestions. The optimal choice of incidence structure for UPIR systems remains unknown – I will finish the talk with some open questions.

**BIOGRAPHY: **Padraig Ó Catháin studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway, where he completed a PhD under the supervision of Prof Dane Flannery in 2012. He was a postdoctoral researcher at The University of Queensland, Monash University and Aalto University before taking a tenure-track position at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 2016. His research interests include cocyclic Hadamard matrices, applications of algebra in design theory and applications of design theory in communications systems.

Date: Thursday 5th September

Time: 1:00pm–2:00pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:**

Let *Z _{2s}* be the ring of integers modulo

n-tuples over

The

**BIOGRAPHY:** Mercè Villanueva was born in Roses, Catalonia, in January 1972. She received the B.Sc. degree in Mathematics in 1994 from the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the M.Sc. degree in Computer Science in 1996, and the Ph.D. degree in Science (Computer Science Section) in 2001 from the same university. In 1994 she joined the Department of Information and Communications Engineering, at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2002. Her research interests include subjects related to combinatorics, algebra, coding theory, and graph theory.

Date: Friday 30th August

Time: 3:00pm–4:00pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:** *Orthogonal cocycles* arise in the study of symmetry of pairwise combinatorial designs. In the simplest and best known case, these are cocycles, ψ ∈ *Z*^{2}(*G*,<-1>), for a group, *G,* (of order divisible by *4*) whose display table [ψ(*g,h*)]_{g,h ∈ G} is a Hadamard matrix. A natural analogue is

*quasi-orthogonal cocycle*, defined over *G* of order congruent to *2* modulo *4*.

There is a connection to the maximal determinant problem (for example, if a cocyclic binary matrix of order *4t+2* attains the maximal determinant

bound then the cocycle is quasi-orthogonal). Quasi-orthogonal cocycles seem to be far more prevalent than the orthogonal kind.

We survey some recent results on quasi-orthogonal cocycles. These encompass new and known combinatorial objects: quasi-Hadamard groups, relative quasi-difference sets, and partially balanced incomplete block designs. In another direction, we note that generalized perfect binary arrays are known to be cocyclic; generalized optimal binary arrays are the relevant quasi-cocyclic analogue, and these lead to a new construction of negaperiodic Golay pairs. The next step is to widen the coefficient group from <-1>, obtaining (for example) quaternary sequences of odd length with optimal autocorrelation.

We also advertise a few prominent open problems that appear to be tractable. Apart from the obvious (existence), one of these concerns transposability of quasi-cocyclic matrices.

This is joint work with Josè Andrès Armario, University of Seville.

**BIOGRAPHY**: Dane Flannery is a Professor of Mathematics at National University of Ireland, Galway. His research interests range over algebra (particularly linear group theory), combinatorics and computing. He is a long-term collaborator of Emeritus Professor Kathy Horadam, and co-authored the 2011 monograph `Algebraic Design Theory’ with Dr Warwick de Launey.

Date: Friday 26th july

Time: 3:00pm–4:00pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:** Each year EY complies the Global Information Security Survey (GISS) to better understand the best ways to support their clients. For 20 years each annual GISS report is a valuable tool for all who work in cybersecurity. In 2017 the world was hit by several high profile global cyber security incidences. The research report in the GISS reveals that these events were a catalyst for many organisations to change the way that their organisations approach cybersecurity.

**BIOGRAPHY**: : Vanja has 15+ years of experience in establishing and delivering cyber security programs of work. Vanja’s ability to speak directly to the complex issues impacting enterprise cyber risk mitigation has given her the ability to act as a liaison to bridge the technical and non-technical communication gap and deliver the real value of security based upon the key objectives of the organisation. This has aided her in helping build a broad consensus among board’s, executives, business stakeholders and end users/customers.

Vanja’s delivery of Cyber Security programs has focused on protecting brand integrity through the protection of critical and confidential data, developing and implementing comprehensive standards, governance, and security policies that clearly reduce vulnerability, ensure compliance with all legislative and industry regulations and deliver value to the business. Vanja has leveraged experience in technology, business operations and program management to contain cost and deliver value, while providing an insight into ROI and business impact of security initiatives.

]]>Date: Friday 21st June

Time: 3:00pm–4:00pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:** In this talk, we discuss recently emerging problems in distributed storage systems and distributed computing where redundant data and redundant computation help to improve the performance of the systems. In the first part of the talk, I will overview different kinds of erasure codes (each code specifies a different method to create data redundancy) proposed in the literature and used in practise, in particular, Reed-Solomon codes (currently employed by Google, Facebook, Quantcast, Baidu, and Hadoop Distributed File System, to name a few), which I have been mainly working on. In the second part, I will introduce the problem of coded distributed computing and go through a few interesting results recently published in the literature.

**BIOGRAPHY**: Dau Son Hoang is currently a lecturer in Computer Science and Information Technology at RMIT University, Australia. He got his Bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics & Informatics from Vietnam National University, Hanoi, in 2006, and his PhD’s degree in Mathematics from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2012. He has been working on Coding Theory and Discrete Mathematics for more than ten years and has published 13 papers in reputable journals in these fields such as IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking, IEEE Transactions on Selected Areas in Communications, Algorithmica, and SIAM Journal on Discrete Mathematics. He is currently the chief investigator of a 3-year DECRA project on advanced coding techniques for fast failure recovery in distributed storage systems, awarded by the Australian Research Council in 2018.

Date: Friday 7th June

Time: 3:00pm–4:00pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:** In a two-dimensional square lattice a self-avoiding walk (SAW) is a path beginning at the origin which does not pass through the same lattice point twice. Specifically an *n* length SAW is a finite sequence of distinct lattice points (*x _{0}, y_{0}*)=(

**BIOGRAPHY**: Michael Nyblom completed his doctoral studies in at RMIT in 1999. Michael enjoys teaching engineering mathematics and researching number theory.

Date: Friday 17th May

Time: 3:00pm–4:00pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:** Coding Theory is the study of error correcting codes which are used to detect and correct errors in data when it is transmitted over a noisy channel and it has been developed as a mathematical topic by using sophisticated mathematical techniques from linear algebra, number theory, design theory etc. The aspect of this subject using algebraic techniques came to be known as **algebraic coding theory.**

In my research work, I studied mainly Cyclic codes over finite fields. My research work is intended to study the computations of idempotent generators of some minimal cyclic codes, called primitive idempotents. Then, these primitive idempotents are used to obtain the idempotent generators of Duadic codes over finite fields.

In this seminar, I will discuss the research work presented in my PhD thesis and also outline how those ideas can be extended to get more similar results.

**BIOGRAPHY**: Rekha Mathur has finished her PhD in Algebraic Coding Theory from DCR University of Science and Technology, Murthal (Haryana), India in March, 2019. Her research work mainly focuses on obtaining idempotent generators of cyclic and Duadic codes. Presently, she is doing casual job as a tutor in Department of mathematics, RMIT.

Date: Friday 3rd April

Time: 3:00pm–4:00pm (Talk & Q/A)

Venue: Building 8 Level 9 Room 66 (AGR) RMIT City campus

The seminar will be followed by snacks and drinks

All students, staff and visitors are welcome

**ABSTRACT:** In this talk I will present a review of advanced persistent threat activity in the first quarter of 2019. I will chart the latest campaigns, tools and techniques deployed by established and emerging threat actors, including a major supply chain compromise, newly discovered cyberespionage operations and the relentless persistence of financially motivated attacks.

**BIOGRAPHY**: Noushin Shabab is a senior security researcher from the Global Research & Analysis Team (GreAT) at Kaspersky Lab. She is specialised in reverse engineering and her research focuses on advanced cyber criminal activities and targeted attacks in Asia Pacific.

Noushin is an active speaker in the industry events and conferences worldwide. Her keynotes include INTERPOL World, Ruxcon, BSides Wellington 2017, AusCERT, Security Analysis Summit(SAS) and WICME (Women in Cyber Mentoring) organized by the department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.

She is also a member of the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN) which aims to support and inspire women in the Australian security industry. She was the first mentor to provide technical workshops and mentorship for the AWSN female cadets program which aims to bridge the skill gap between universities and industry of security.

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