Dr. Jianwei Niu
Jianwei Niu is an associate professor in the Department of Computer
Science at the University of San Antonio. She received her Ph.D. in
Computer Science from University of Waterloo in 2005. Her research
interest is in applying mathematically rigorous specification and
verification techniques (formal methods) to improve software
dependability. In particular, she has contributed to two problem areas.
The first is using rigorous means to design security and privacy
policies, authorization decision engines, and enforcement mechanisms.
She then applies automated and, where needed, manual techniques to
verify properties of policies that heighten assurance that security
objectives are accurately captured by the policy specifications.
Similarly, she verifies correctness of decision procedures and
enforcement mechanisms with respect to the policies they are intended
to enforce. Her second research area concerns formalizing the
semantics of modeling notations that provide software practitioners the
ability to generate specifications that can be verified. The modeling
notations she studies are used commonly to describe the dynamic
behavior of software systems, including statecharts variants, process
algebras, UML state machine diagrams, and UML sequence diagrams. Given
that it is difficult to assess the properties of models constructed
using notations that either have so many variants with subtle
differences or have no precise semantics, she seeks to address this
problem by providing formal templates to structure their semantics
systematically, thus enabling properties of software models to be
formally verified. Her research has been supported by grants from NSF,
NHARP, Microsoft, NSA (through CMU subcontract), and UTSA TRAC awards.