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Assane Gueye

NEF Fellow

Assane_Gueye_NEFCountry: Senegal
Area of Research: Cyber Security
Institution: Universite Alioune Diop, Bambey/University of Maryland

Assane Gueye was born in the town of Mbacke, Senegal. His connection to science (especially mathematics) dates back to his early elementary school years. At that time,his teacher was giving a daily math problem called “Le Libérateur”. It was a math problem that was given to the class every school day at around noon. Only the students who solved it got to go home. The students who couldn’t solve had to stay in class until after lunch.

This connection with Math and (later Physics) went on throughout his school years and, in 1996, Assane represented his high school (Lycée Lamine Gueye ex-Van vo) at the Senegalese national high school contest (Concours Général) of Math and Physics, where he won the first prize in Physics. After high school, he did an undergraduate in Math and Physics in Morocco, before switching to Communication Systems’ Engineering in Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

After his master’s degree in Switzerland, Assane joined a PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley where his main focus was “A science-based approach to communication security”. Today, this is still at the heart of his research. Assane’s current research focuses on investigating a science-based approach to the security and the performance of large-scale information and communications systems. His aim is to establish theories, develop models, and propose algorithms that can be used to design and operate information and communication systems for which (a) global behaviour can be predicted, (b) the risks of catastrophic events can be managed and mitigated, and (c) the effectiveness of controls actions can be measured.

In addition to this, Assane has a particular interest in Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICTD). His goal is to develop IT solutions that are good enough, cheap enough, and well suited to issues that are faced by people in the developing world. Assane also dreams of implementing the Enabling African Universities (EAU) project. The goal of EAU is to “develop a collaborative platform that enables knowledge exchange and technology transfer between African researchers and researchers across the world.”

As Scientific Adviser  at the “Institut Professionnel pour la Sécurité Informatique (IPROSI), a newly created higher education institute in Senegal, specialized in networks and cybersecurity, and more recently Enseignant-Chercheur at the  department of “Technologie d’Information et de Communication (TIC)” of the University Alioune Diop of Bambey (UADB), Senegal, Assane hopes to push the EAU agenda forward.”

Einstein Challenge: Assane hopes to do for “cybersecurity” what Claude Shannon did in information theory: come up with fundamental limits and metrics for the security of information and communication systems. Indeed, “to measure is to know—If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it.” (Lord Kelvin)