Deviant Behavioral Modeling
Deviant Cyber Flash Mobs (DCFMs)
Cyber Propaganda Campaigns
Social Cyber Forensics
Data Mining In Social Media
Cyber Collective Actions
Bots Behaviours, Evolution, and Detection
Winston Churchill once said that “Success is going from failure to failure without a loss of enthusiasm”.
Passion, persistence, hard work, and a true man of steel defines Dr. Samer Al-Khateeb. Born and raised in Iraq, he set his foot on the American soil in the year 2009 soon to be enrolled in the undergraduate degree program at UA Little Rock. Though he was briefly enrolled into one of the prestigious college called the University of Technology at Baghdad, Iraq as an engineering student in the Department of Control and Systems Engineering but life had designed other plans for him.
New country, new people, new culture brought along with it a new set of challenges for Samer but rarely does he mentions them to people. As the saying goes “Nothing worth having comes easy”, despite the convoluted path today he is a Postdoc Research Fellow at Collaboratorium for Social Media and Online Behavioral Studies (COSMOS). Samer helped in defining the team that it is today. He is majoring in Information Science with a research interest in deviant behavior modeling, deviant cyber flash mobs, cyber propaganda campaigns, social cyber forensics, social computing, data mining in social media, collective action, and social bot behavioral modeling and detection.
There have been days during his undergraduate and graduate times when he had applied for every position that would open up in the campus only to be rejected soon after. Yet, there are no complains today since he firmly believes that those rejections led him to work harder and to achieve his accomplishments. Soon after he completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Science from UA Little Rock, he enrolled in the graduate program in Applied Science. During this time, he did summer internship at DSG Consulting, Little Rock, twice once as a senior while he was pursuing his undergraduate studies and second time when he was a graduate student. Consequently, he also was offered a Graduate Teaching Assistant position on campus.
However, life took a sharp turn when he opted to take a class called Social Computing offered by the Department of Information Science and was taught by Dr. Nitin Agarwal, Jerry L. Maulden Entergy Endowed Chair & Distinguished Professor at UA Little Rock and the Director of COSMOS. Emerging social media technologies attracted Samer and pushed him to speak of his desires to work for Dr. Agarwal.
Fast forward one year later, Samer Al-khateeb and Dr. Nitin Agarwal published an article called ‘Developing a Conceptual Framework For Modeling Deviant Cyber Flash Mob: A Socio-Computational Approach Leveraging Hypergraph Constructs’ in Journal of Digital Forensics, Security, and Law, Vol. 9. No. 2, pp. 113-127. 2014. The research on cyber flash mob modeling is supported through grants from the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the U.S. Army Research Office (ARO) under Social and Cognitive Networks program within the Network Sciences Division.
Since then, Samer has worked on several projects, published numerous articles, and managed multiple projects within COSMOS. When you pour your soul in following your dreams then awards can’t be too far away as well. He was awarded Excellence in Research Award from the Department of Information Science, in the 2nd Annual EIT (Engineering and Information Technology) Open House in May 2017; Outstanding Graduating Student Award (Master’s Level) by the College of Arts, Letters, and Sciences (CALS), UA Little Rock in May 2015; Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges in March 2015 to name a few here.
“In future I am planning to continue to work in the same field, i.e., using social network analysis and social cyber forensics to study different events or groups that are formed on social media and try to evaluate their impact on society.” – adds Samer.
Samer is now an Assistant Professor of Computer Science & Informatics at Creighton University where he started teaching in the Fall of 2018.