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Gail-Joon Ahn named IEEE Fellow

Research achievements earn computer science and engineering professor high honor


ASU Professor Gail-Joon Ahn pictured holding an award certificate in an office setting.

Professor Gail-Joon Ahn has led research to make advances across a broad range of computer science and engineering pursuits, including security analytics and big data-driven security intelligence, identity and privacy management, cybercrime analysis and security-enhanced computing platforms. Photo by Nora Skrodenis/ASU

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January 12, 2023

Gail-Joon Ahn, a professor in the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, part of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University, has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, or IEEE.

IEEE is the world’s largest organization of technical professionals dedicated to advancing electronic technology. The announcement of Ahn’s fellow status specifically cited his computer science and engineering contributions to the development of applications of information and systems security.

The IEEE Fellow designation is for members whose extraordinary accomplishments in any of the IEEE fields of interest are deemed worthy of this distinction. The number of IEEE Fellows elevated each year is no more than 0.1% of the institute’s membership. The exclusivity of this status reflects the significant impacts of Ahn’s accomplishments.

His research has encompassed security analytics and big data-driven security intelligence, computer system vulnerability and risk management, access control and security architecture for distributed systems, as well as identity and privacy management. It has also involved cybercrime analysis, security-enhanced computing platforms and formal models for computer security devices.

He has authored more than 180 peer-reviewed research papers and was the founding director of ASU’s Center for Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics, which is now the Center for Cybersecurity and Trusted Foundations, and founding director of the former Center for Digital Identity and Cyber Defense Research at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Ross Maciejewski, director of the School of Computing and Augmented Intelligence, notes that in the U.S. News & World Report’s national rankings of undergraduate degree program, the school’s cybersecurity program is currently ranked No. 20 on the list

“This high ranking can be traced back to Ahn’s tireless work in developing the Center for Cybersecurity and Trusted Foundations,” Maciejewski says. “As the center’s founding director, Ahn’s research and team-building skills were foundational to lifting ASU’s stature in cybersecurity research and education. His elevation to IEEE Fellow status underscores the importance of his research achievements.”

Ahn’s accolades include receiving the U.S. Department of Energy Early Career Principal Investigator Award and the Educator of the Year Award from the Federal Information Systems Security Educators’ Association. The National Science Foundation, National Security Agency, U.S. Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research and the U.S Department of Justice have funded his work.

In the private sector, Ahn has received funding from Allstate, Intel, Bank of America, CISCO, GoDaddy, Google, Hewlett Packard, Microsoft, PayPal, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Samsung.

Ahn is currently the information director of the Special Interest Group on Security, Audit and Control in the Association for Computing Machinery, or ACM.

“I am both honored and humbled to be elevated to IEEE Fellow,” Ahn says. “I will continue to devote myself to achieving technological advancements that will eventually help overcome security and privacy challenges.”

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