Viterbi School of Engineering
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
Office: Henry Salvatori Building (SAL) 200
I will be a visiting faculty at IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta in the summer of 2017.
Offering Network Game Theory @IIM Calcutta (for PhD Fellows)
Offering Game Theory for Corporates @IIT Delhi (UG/G Level)
Offering Strategic Modeling in Network Security @IIT Delhi (UG/G Level)
In Office @USC
My research domain is information systems. Here, my research interests lie in the design, modeling, mathematical analysis, and practical realization of (cyber-security, privacy) engineering systems, communication networks, distributed systems, and the Smart Grid. On that note, I am one of the researchers involved in the design of pioneering security-improving market efficiency models and pricing methodologies for cyber-insurance companies insuring networked users and organizations. I belong to the rare research community/family that thrives to improve systems performance via a multi-dimensional approach jointly involving the economics, mathematics, engineering, policy, and computational aspects of systems.
I currently hold the following (external) corporate and academic affiliations:
Technical (Insurance/Finance Analytics) Advisor - QxBranch (advising on the design of cyber-risk models)
Visiting Faculty - Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (co-leading a national cyber-security initiative (backed by the Govt. of India) with a team of faculty)
Visiting Faculty - Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (co-leading an analytics project on the future Indian railway energy grid with a team from IIM Calcutta, IIT Delhi, and Delhi Metro)
Patience, Hopes, and The Degree Finally!
My Mathematics Lineage
Wikipedia Cites a Publication from my PhD Research
Ranjan Pal is a Research Scientist at the University of Southern California (USC), affiliated with both the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments, where he co-leads the Quantitative Evaluation and Design Group (QED). His primary research interests lie in the mathematical modeling, analysis, and design of cyber-security, privacy, communication networks, and the Smart Grid, using tools from economics, game theory, applied probability and statistics, algorithms, graph theory, information theory, and mathematical optimization. He received his PhD in Computer Science from USC in 2014, and was the recipient of the Provost Fellowship throughout his PhD studies. During his PhD, Ranjan held visiting scholar positions at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, Princeton University, USA, and Deutsch Telekom Research Laboratories (T-Labs), Germany. Prior to his Ph.D, Ranjan has held research positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of California, National University of Singapore, Aalborg University, Indian Institute of Technology, and Indian Institute of Management. Apart, from being an applied mathematician, Ranjan also takes a light interest in information technology policy. His PhD research on cyber-insurance (the first ever Ph.D on cyber-insurance for inter-networked systems) has appeared in USC News, USC Graduate School, Wikipedia, and generated press interests from the MIT Technology Review. He has around 60 publications in journals, conference, and workshops of international repute. Ranjan has also consulted on cyber-insurance for various companies, and is a member of the IEEE, the ACM, the American Mathematical Society (AMS), and the Game Theory Society. Ranjan's 'Erdos number is 4. In his spare time (not that much nowadays :)) Ranjan does international travel, listens to music, watches movies, swims, and plays/watches cricket and soccer. He also has deep interests in Indian philosophy and Vedic astrology.
My Research - Problem Types, Goal, and Tools
I am an applied (economist, game theorist, mathematician), computer scientist, and engineer currently interested in (i) security and privacy engineering of networked and distributed systems (e.g., Internet, corporate networks, mobile systems, IoT, and Smart Grid), (ii) economic resource management in distributed systems (data centers, ad-driven video streaming systems, Smart Grid), and (iii) computationally efficient data analytics for the Smart Grid. My primary research goal is two fold: (a) revealing fundamental insights into the efficient and/or secure design of engineering systems by (holistically) tapping into the (mathematical) economics, engineering, game theoretic, optimization, learning (data analytics), and psychological aspects of a research problem, and (b) realizing in practice, the efficient design of engineering systems, using computationally efficient methodologies, and tools from both, theoretical as well as experimental economics. More specifically, I do inter-disciplinary research (both fundamental and applied) that lies at the boundary of information security/privacy, applied and experimental economics, game theory, algorithms, applied probability and statistics, network science and graph theory, information theory, and systems optimization. An example of such research is my Ph.D problem, where I investigated the important role of cyber-insurance markets in achieving a robust level of cyber-security, which is currently not present in the Internet due to several techno-social-economic constraints. In this regard, I hypothesized the use cyber-insurance as being an efficient tool that can alleviate these constraints and jointly satisfy the major parties affecting the level of cyber-security today, consequently leading to improved cyber-security. To prove my hypothesis, I had to solve hard multi-party incentive alignment problems that required the use of interdisciplinary tools from economics, game theory, network science, applied probability, and mathematical optimization.
Relevant soft copies can be downloaded from the web.
Regular Journal Publications
Short Journal (Letter/Notes) Publications
Major Conference Publications
Other Selected Conference Publications - 25% < Acceptance Rate < 35%
Top Tier Workshops and Mini Conferences
I love to work with motivated students having exceptional mathematical/logical abilities and the determination to solve hard but practically useful research problems. I mentor the following PhD students at USC:
Sung-Han Lin (6th year PhD student in CS) (co-advised by Prof. Leana Golubchik)
Chien-Lun Chen (6th year PhD student in EE) (co-advised by Prof. Leana Golubchik)
I have mentored the following MS students till date:
Harsh Bhuwania (First Job - Cisco Systems)
Shashwat Vijay (First Job - Cisco)
Minwei Chen (First Job - Symantec Corporation)
Satya Ardhy Wardana (First Job - Motorola)
Anish Sengupta (First Job - Johnson and Johnson)
Instructor - Network Game Theory (for PhD Students): Summer'17, IIM Calcutta
Instructor - Game Theory for Corporates (UG/G Level): Summer'17, IIT Delhi
Instructor - Strategic Modeling in Network Security (UG/G Level): Summer'17, IIT Delhi
Instructor - Applied Cryptography for Information Security Problems (Graduate Level): Fa'16, USC
Teaching Assistant - (Graduate) Analysis of Algorithms: (Fa '13, 'Sp'13, Fa'12, Sp'12, Fa'11, Fa'10), USC [Exceptional TA citation from the USC Computer Science Department, 2012-2013]
Teaching Assistant Research Seminar: Sp'14, USC
Teaching Assistant - Fundamentals of Database Systems (Undergraduate Level): Sp'14, USC
Teaching Assistant - Unix and C Programming (Undergraduate Level): Sp'06, UC Davis
I love to travel. Life is boring without it!!!. I consider myself immensely lucky to have travelled to various parts of the world for both, academic as well as for holidaying purposes, at a young age. I generally make short yearly trips with friends, and really enjoy and relish the culture, food, nature, and monumental architecture in all the countries I visit. Listed below are the countries I have visited (airports not included :) ).
Asia: Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia
North America: USA, Canada
Europe: Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, France, Russia, Switzerland, Italy, Vatican City, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, England, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Spain, and Portugal