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New faculty members bring projects, expertise to computer science classrooms, labs

The University of Missouri College of Engineering’s Department of Computer Science and Information Technology will welcome two new faculty members this academic year.

Prasad Calyam

Prasad Calyam will join the MU Engineering faculty in January. Calyam, who previously worked as the research director for the Ohio Supercomputer Center, will be an assistant professor.

Prasad Calyam will join the department as an assistant professor in January. Currently, he serves as the research director for the Ohio Supercomputer Center/Ohio Academic Resources Network (OARnet) at The Ohio State University.

Calyam’s research interests examine emerging technologies associated with cloud computing. Current projects include thin-client cloud computing. He already has begun collaboration with MU researchers on a joint-project shared by teams at OSU, MU and the Ohio Technology Consortium’s Research and Innovation Center to develop “Science DMZs,” a network where educators at collaborating universities can share ideas, data and material safely without encountering obstructing university firewalls. He said he hopes to continue this work at MU.

“There’s a very good multimedia networking and cyber security research focus at MU,” he said. “Those are collaborations from my previous work that I’d like to continue.”

Calyam said his interest into computer science evolved as the technology surrounding the Internet evolved. His experiences with teaching started in childhood.

“The Internet is a powerful concept. There are all these connections and resources that come together in a very powerful way to foster social communications, develop new innovations and improve quality of life,” he said.

“My parents were both professors, so I’ve always been in an academic environment,” Calyam said. He also teaches and plays music on his flute and drums in his spare time, something he said he uses to “keep himself sane.”

He earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical and electronics engineering from Bangalore University in India in 1999. His master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical and computer engineering were earned at The Ohio State University in 2002 and 2007, respectively.

He and his wife, Sudha, have a three-year-old son, Aneesh.

Rohit Chadha

Rohit Chadha came to MU Engineering in the Fall 2012, and is teaching a course on formal engineering methods as applied to software and computer security. He will teach a course in Spring 2013 on cryptography.

Rohit Chadha joined the department as an assistant professor at the beginning of the fall semester. Prior to joining MU Engineering, he was a researcher for INRIA, a French national research institute with a focus on informatics and applied mathematics. He worked at the Laboratorie Spécification et Vérification (LSV), the computer science lab at École normale supérieure de Chachan (ENS Cachan), a French “grandes écoles” — a higher education establishment outside the mainframe of the French university system that offers master’s degrees, doctorates and civil servant certifications.

While there, Chadha worked with a group that did research in cryptographic protocol, digital instructions that securely transmit data between two connections, “so that two people can achieve a goal across the internet,” Chadha said.

Computer security largely has become one of Chadha’s main focuses. He began his research into the topic as a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania, graduating in 2007. Chadha earned his bachelor’s degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in 1997, but it was his doctoral research that piqued his interest in his current field.

“If someone says, ‘I have this great protocol that transmits data and is secure,’ my goal is to find out if that protocol can do what that person says it can do,” he said. “I find out if the protocol can achieve the goal it’s promising.”

He is applying this expertise in the courses he is teaching. This fall, Chadha taught a course in formal engineering methods as applied to software and security. He will teach a course on cryptography in Spring 2013.

“Teaching is something I like,” he said. “I taught courses I developed in grad school and in France.”

Chadha said he’d heard of the position at MU through contacts he made while working at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign from 2006 to 2009. He has also worked at the Instituto Superior Tecnico in Portugal and the University of Sussex in the U.K.