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Causey Represents VMI at iiWAS2019

Aaron Causey 鈥20 presents his research on 鈥淗ybrid Disaster Response System Using Web of Things鈥 at an international cybersecurity conference

Aaron Causey 鈥20 presents his research on 鈥淗ybrid Disaster Response
System Using Web of Things鈥 at an international cybersecurity
conference in Munich, Germany.鈥擯hoto courtesy
of Dr. Youna Jung.

In early December, Aaron Causey 鈥20 quietly racked up a remarkable achievement: becoming the first cadet majoring in computer science at VMI to present his research at an international conference.

Not only that, but Causey was the only undergraduate to present at iiWAS2019, held Dec. 2-4 in Munich, Germany. The conference officially named the 21st International Conference on Information Integration and Web-based Applications & Services, served as a venue for Causey and Dr. Youna Jung, assistant professor of computer science, to share their work on 鈥淗ybrid Disaster Response System Using Web of Things.鈥

Causey and Jung began their work last summer, seeking a non-centralized way for a communications network to be created and sustained in the aftermath of a natural disaster such as a major hurricane or earthquake. The 鈥渨eb of things鈥 is a variation of 鈥淚nternet of things,鈥 which refers to the ability of appliances, thermostats, and other common devices to be controlled via a smartphone app.

Under the plan that Causey and Jung developed, survivors of a natural disaster would link their phones and other smart devices together into a mobile network for crisis communications.

鈥淭here have been disaster response systems, but they鈥檙e all very centralized, like government-owned,鈥 explained Causey.

By using cell phones and other internet-enabled devices, he noted, he and Jung were attempting a paradigm shift. 鈥淗ow can we incorporate other devices and extend the resources from just humans?鈥 Causey recalled asking himself.

When he and Jung traveled to Germany, Causey was making his first trip to Europe. Thankfully, all went well, and the conference itself was a resounding success.

鈥淚t was very relaxed and low-key,鈥 said Causey. 鈥淓veryone was super friendly.鈥

Causey estimated total attendance at the conference at about 70 to 100 people, with approximately 20 attending his presentation. The questions that came his way afterward were challenging, but not overwhelming.

鈥淧eople really wanted to know the specifics,鈥 he commented, adding that he and Jung had met many people interested in collaborating with them on the development of the idea. Security, he noted, would need to be improved in order for their idea to be implemented.

With graduation now just a few months away, Causey is looking forward to life after VMI and a move to Richmond, Virginia, where he鈥檒l work as a software engineer for the Timmons Group.

He鈥檚 also thankful to have a noteworthy achievement on his resume鈥攁nd one that few individuals his age could claim. 鈥淚鈥檓 very, very blessed that VMI allowed me to go and have this experience,鈥 he commented.

 - By Mary Price

VMI: Forging 21st Century Leaders