Dr. Seth James Nielson is the Director of Advanced Research Projects at the Johns Hopkins University Information Security Institute (JHUISI). In this role, he is coordinating research opportunities and engagement within the University and with external partners. An important component of his work is the on-going development of JHUISI’s position as a leader in Computer Security education and research. Individually, he teaches network security courses and pursues research in various computer security topics. Dr. Nielson is also the founder and chief scientist of Crimson Vista Inc., a consulting firm with specialties in computer security, computer networking, and programming languages.
In Dr. Nielson’s early career, he focused on software engineering as a discipline, and worked for several years in start-up companies. At the same time, he pursued a research-oriented Master’s degree and published papers related to programmer cognition, and software design patterns. He then shifted his focus to topics in computer security, working as a consultant/analyst and pursuing a Ph.D. in that topic. In these roles, he created hardware-accelerated cryptographic libraries, analyzed systems for security vulnerabilities, and investigated hiding traffic within P2P crowds to achieve pseudo-anonymity. Most recently, he led a team of analysts in an evaluation of the security of networked medical devices.
Beyond his technical expertise, Dr. Nielson is also a capable consultant to legal teams and has given expert testimony in court. He has reviewed the source code of dozens of complex systems, reviewed IP portfolios, and “resurrected” legacy technology for analysis and demonstration.
Dr Nielson graduated with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science from Brigham Young University in 2000 and 2004 respectively. He received his Ph.D. from Rice University in 2010. His Master’s Thesis is, “OO++ Design Paterns: GoF Revisited” (advised by Dr. Charles Knutson). His Ph.D. Thesis is, “Designing Incentives for Peer-to-Peer Systems” (advised by Dr. Dan Wallach).