Computer Science Professor Tapped to Direct Cyber Initiatives

  • August 22nd, 2019
Computer science professor Dr. Jeffrey Carver poses for a photo.
Dr. Jeffrey Carver

Dr. Jeffrey Carver, professor of computer science, has been named the chair of UA cyber initiatives.

In this new role, Carver is the recognized leader for cyber research at The University of Alabama, working closely with the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development to stay on top of emerging opportunities.

“To fully take advantage of the opportunities UA has to become a national leader, we need an experienced faculty leader that has demonstrated both the appreciation of UA’s diverse strength in cyber research and the ability to bring faculty together to define these emerging key areas,” said Dr. Russell Mumper, vice president for research and economic development. “We are confident that Dr. Carver is just that faculty leader, and I look forward to working with him as he positions UA on the forefront of cyber research.”

Carver will continue his role as professor and director of graduate programs in the UA department of computer science.

“As chair of the UA cyber initiatives, I look forward to working with members of the entire UA community to identify current pockets of excellence, to encourage new collaborations and to coalesce UA’s cyber presence around pillars of strength that can position us for future success,” Carver said.

The University has nearly 100 faculty and staff in several colleges, including the Culverhouse College of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and Sciences, performing important research and application in the cyber area. Among the strengths in this area are software security, data acquisition and security, digital forensics and cyber law enforcement, behavioral cyber research, artificial intelligence, and cyber physical security.

Carver will collaboratively develop a coherent vision and mission for UA cyber research through effective leadership that embraces the full range of disciplines represented by cyber research faculty and staff across campus.

He will also develop and implement a pilot seed-funding program that promotes research across disciplines on campus while ensuring a stimulating and well-managed environment for high-quality research.

Externally, Carver will identify opportunities for sponsored projects for cyber research and direct them to the researchers on campus who could take advantage of the funding.

Other duties include:

— Plan and host outside speakers relevant to cyber research with support from the Office of the Vice President for Research & Economic Development.
— Increase the visibility and awareness of cyber research at UA to those both on and off campus.
— Develop and maintain processes to regularly update faculty, staff and students about cyber research.
— Hold regular meetings and discussion groups with cyber initiative-related faculty and staff to explore opportunities for UA to emerge as a national leader in two to four defined research areas within five years.

In computer science, Carver’s overall research goal is improving the quality and reliability of software through empirical software engineering, which seeks to provide concrete data, observations and evidence to support decision-making. He is primarily concerned with the human aspects of software engineering.

Carver joined UA in 2008 and was named a full professor in 2017. Prior to UA, he was a visiting scientist at Carnegie Mellon University, assistant professor at Mississippi State University and a researcher at the University of Maryland.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in computer science from Louisiana State University in 1997 and a doctorate in computer science in 2003 from the University of Maryland.

The University of Alabama, the state’s oldest and largest public institution of higher education, is a student-centered research university that draws the best and brightest to an academic community committed to providing a premier undergraduate and graduate education. UA is dedicated to achieving excellence in scholarship, collaboration and intellectual engagement; providing public outreach and service to the state of Alabama and the nation; and nurturing a campus environment that fosters collegiality, respect and inclusivity.