Ph.D. candidate Yuanwei (Kevin) Fang has been awarded the Roberto Padovani Scholarship in recognition of his work as a summer intern at Qualcomm Research, Silicon Valley. Yuanwei was a software intern with the MARS enterprise network security project in Santa Clara, working on a next-generation machine-learning based web application firewall (WAF).

Yuanwei proposed and implemented Leadfire, a hierarchial language-enhanced anomaly detection system for firewalls to efficiently detect code injection attacks (e.g. SQL injection). His model provided significantly better performance, compared to a state-of-the-art regex-based implementation. He implemented and integrated his models into the MARS prototype, and the MARS team is putting together a patent application and writing a paper based on his work.

The Roberto Padovani Scholarship program was created in 2008 to recognize Qualcomm Research interns who demonstrate extrodinary technical talent. It is an international program that includes nominees from Qualcomm R&D offices across the globe. Candidates are nominated by their mentors or managers based on their technical contributions and overall impact to the organization. Approximately seven scholarships are provided each year.

“Hui Chao and I were both highly impressed by Yuanwei's passion and drive for research, and his ability to seize the initiative by seeking out experts in different areas and working with them to overcome technical challenges,” says Arun Raman, Yuanwei's mentor. “He was always keen to do more and go above and beyond the call of duty.” Yuanwei's advisor is Professor Andrew A. Chien

Recipients of the Padovani scholarship receive a $5,000 cash award. In addition, recipients who return to Qualcomm Research as an intern or as a full-time employee are eligible to receive a $12,000 return bonus. 

The scholarship is named after Dr. Roberto Padovani, who is currently an Executive Vice President and Fellow at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Dr. Padovani served as Qualcomm's Chief Technology Officer from 2002 to 2011. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2006 and is an IEEE Fellow.

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