IST doctoral student presented with Alumni Association Dissertation Award

Jessica Hallman
May 23, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — College of Information Sciences and Technology doctoral student Jun Xu recently was named a recipient of the 2018 Penn State Alumni Association Dissertation Award and Distinguished Doctoral Scholar Medal.

Xu is one of 14 Penn State graduate students to receive the award. The honor recognizes their outstanding professional achievements in scholarly research in the areas of arts and humanities; social sciences; physical and computational sciences; life and health sciences; or engineering. It is considered one of the most prestigious awards that a Penn State graduate student can receive.

“This award recognizes the merits of my research and greatly motivates me in the pursuit of [my] contribution to society by improving the security of our cyber world,” said Xu.

Xu’s dissertation research focuses on diagnosing the thousands of software crashes caused by security vulnerabilities each day. He has invented techniques to automatically, efficiently and reliably track down the security vulnerabilities behind those crashes, promoting instant mitigation before they lead to security incidents.

“I believe my research could impact every computer, including both individuals and enterprises, because any piece of software running on any type of computer may crash,” he noted.

As part of the award, Xu received $5,000 and was recognized at both the Graduate School Alumni Society’s Recognition Dinner in March and the Graduate Students Award Luncheon in April. The financial awards were made possible thanks to a gift from the Penn State Alumni Association.

“This award is a great support for my research, both financially and emotionally,” said Xu. “It brings me the resources I need to conduct experiments in a larger scope and the opportunity to travel for better collaborations. Further, it gives me stronger motivation and confidence with my research and academic career.”

Xu acknowledged that in addition to being a great honor for him, the award recognizes the College of IST for incubating top research and educating outstanding students.

“Without the all-sided training, advising, and help from the College of IST, I would not achieve any of my research,” he said. “I feel, therefore, not only proud but also honored to represent the college.”

Last Updated May 24, 2018