The Georgia Tech College of Computing today announced that Assistant Professor Nick Feamster of the School of Computer Science has been recognized by Technology Review magazine as one of the world's top innovators under the age of 35 for his research in computer networks.
Selected from more than 300 nominees by a panel of expert judges and the editorial staff of Technology Review, the TR35 is an elite group of accomplished young innovators who exemplify the spirit of innovation. Their work--spanning medicine, computing, communications, nanotechnology, and more--is changing our world.
"I am extremely honored to be recognized with a TR35 award," said Feamster, who runs the Network Operations and Internet Security (NOISE) Lab in the School of Computer Science. "I owe much of the credit for this award to my graduate students, all of whom work tirelessly on this problem and many others related to improving the availability and security of communications networks."
Feamster's research focuses on network operations with an emphasis on network security. One of his most important projects is an email spam filter called "SNARE" (Spatio-temporal Network-level Automated Reputation Engine). The main idea behind SNARE-and the key insight behind his research in spam filtering-is that spammers have different sending behavior than legitimate senders. Therefore, filters can distinguish spammers from legitimate senders by examining their sending behavior (i.e., how they send traffic), rather than what is in the messages themselves.
"Online message abuse is one of the most pernicious threats to communications on the Internet today, so it is important for us to continue to develop new techniques to detect and stop spammers and perpetrators of online scams," Feamster said. "Curtailing message abuse like email spam is an arms race; as attackers develop new methods to evade our detection techniques, we must continue to look at these problems from fresh perspectives. "
Feamster has also worked on other topics in network operations, including improving network availability and performance by making the network easier to operate and manage; and designing platforms for virtual networks that facilitate technical innovation in both network security and operations. Feamster previously earned the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), a Sloan fellowship, and the Best Paper Award at ACM SIGCOMM (the premier networking conference).
"Along with the rest of the faculty, I'm very proud of Nick's achievement in being named one of the TR35," said Zvi Galil, John P. Imlay Jr. Dean of Computing at Georgia Tech. "This is a tremendous honor. Nick has produced some truly important work, from email spam detection to Internet measurement, to a new project aimed at thwarting Internet censorship. He is very deserving of being named to the TR35. I congratulate him and look forward to his receiving many more recognitions in the future."
Feamster makes the third College of Computing faculty member to receive TR35 recognition, joining assistant professors Karen Liu (2007) and Andrea Thomaz (2009), both in the School of Interactive Computing. Feamster and his fellow 2010 winners will be featured in the September/October issue of Technology Review. In addition, the EmTech@MIT 2010 Conference, to be held Sept. 21-23 at MIT, will honor the winners with a dedicated awards ceremony and in a series of "Meet the TR35" presentations.
"Discovering these amazing young men and women is one of the highlights of the year for us," said Jason Pontin, Technology Review editor in chief and publisher. "We celebrate their success and look forward to their continued advancement of technology in their respective fields."