Columbia University

DTRA Young Investigator Award

Prof. Gil Zussman received a Young Investigator Award from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Within the Department of Defense (DoD) and the U.S. Strategic Command, the DTRA leads the effort to combat the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction (WMD). DTRA made about 15 Young Investigator Awards to researchers from various science and engineering fields. In particular, Prof. Zussman’s proposal focused on the resilience of networks to geographically correlated failures and attacks.

At the national and strategic level, telecommunication networks are primarily based on fiber-optic networks, and as such are vulnerable to large-scale physical attacks, including electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and WMD attacks. Such physical attacks can happen in specific geographical locations and disrupt specific parts of the network. Therefore, the geographical layout of the network will determine the impact of these events on the network’s performance. In the proposed project, Prof. Zussman will focus on assessing the vulnerability of (geographical) networks to such attacks and on developing network control methods to mitigate their effect.