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Marking a milestone: student becomes first to defend dissertation in doctoral computing program

October is commonly associated with being the most frightening month of the year. However, for one doctoral student at Boise State, the end of October will be met with excitement. Doctoral candidate Samer Khamaiseh will be the first student in Boise State’s doctoral computing program to defend his dissertation, “Detection and Countermeasure of Saturation Attacks in Software-Defined Networks.”

“My research focuses on solving many security issues in software-defined networking, which is the upcoming network architecture,” said Khamaiseh. “I am trying to provide smart solutions by incorporating machine learning techniques to protect our future networks from being misused.”

Photo of Samer outside
Samer Khamaiseh, Computer Science, faculty/staff, outdoor portrait by Priscilla Grover

Since its inception in fall 2016, the computing program has grown to 44 students, including Khamaiseh. While a master’s student in the computer science program at Boise State, Khamaiseh undertook the challenging task of selecting a doctoral program and found Boise State to once again be the perfect fit.

“The computing degree at Boise State offers tremendous support that ranges from student grants to professional professors that prepare the students to be the future scientific researchers and community leaders,” said Khamaiseh.

The transdisciplinary computing program was founded in computer science and mathematics principles. By integrating research efforts between more than 10 disciplinary departments on campus, the computing program prepares students to work in a variety of fields such as national security, public health and economic innovation. With emphasis areas in computational science and engineering, computer science, cyber security and data science, the program offers a spectrum of research possibilities within the discipline of computing – a discipline that Khamaiseh highly recommends.

“Understanding how computers store and process information is essential to be able to do research effectively,” he said. “Knowing how to program a computer allows you to build online businesses and interact with people in other parts of the world.”

After finishing his degree, Khamaiseh plans to become a professor at a research institution and further inspire students to join him in the ranks of solution-based computing scientists.

“Samer is highly motivated and hard working,” said computer science professor Dianxiang Xu, who serves as advisor and co-chair of Khamaiseh’s committee. “I am happy to see his professional growth from a curious research assistant to a thoughtful researcher over the last five years.”

Khamaiseh defends his dissertation from 2-4 p.m. Oct. 25 at the City Center Plaza, Room 368. He will be joined by advisors and committee members from the computer science department: Dianxiang Xu (co-chair), assistant professor Edoardo Serra (co-chair), associate professor Jyh-haw Yeh and assistant professor Min Long.

– By Kinzi Poteet