Virtual Tech Talk: Software Analysis for National Security

Sep 10 2020 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

Sandia National Laboratories is hosting a virtual tech talk for University of Minnesota students on September 10.


Software is unavoidable, in everyday life, in critical commercial infrastructure, and in high consequence national security systems. As software developers, we don't understand the programs we write very well. As software consumers, we understand dramatically less. When we use software-intensive systems that we don't understand for things we care about, we implicitly accept unknown risks, which can lead to poor outcomes.

As a civilization, we have invested many centuries to slowly learn how some parts of the physical world work. Those efforts have paid off and we can often predict the behavior of safety critical structures in a way that meets our risk tolerance requirements. Now that software plays such a large role in our economy, state, and personal lives, we must learn to approximately predict its behavior to a similar degree.

This talk will outline one effort at Sandia National Laboratories that is beginning to focus on adapting the significant advances in software understanding of the last few decades to third-party, national security-relevant software systems that we did not design or build ourselves.

Presenter bio

Todd Jones is Distinguished Research Staff at Sandia National Laboratories. His research interests include computing security, system modeling and simulation, verification and validation, software analysis, and national security policy. From 2011 to 2013 he worked as a staff science and technology adviser to the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in the United States House of Representatives. Todd received a PhD degree in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007.


This virtual event will be hosted on Yello. Registration for this event is required. There are two ways to register: