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Paul Williams

Paul Williams

Adjunct Professor of Computer Science and Information Security


Ph.D, Purdue University, Computer Science, 2005
M.S, Air Command and Staff College, Military Operational Art and Science, 2009
M.S., Air Force Institute of Technology, Computer Science, 2001
B.S., University of Washington, Computer Science, 1996


How did you discover Western?

I grew up in Gunnison and took my first computer science course at Western in my junior year of high school. That course in Basic on a mainframe computer kick started a lifetime love of solving real world problems using computer science.

What are some of the highlights of your career?

I began working in construction here in Gunnison as part of the crew that built the building that Walmart is in now. After I left Gunnison as a young adult, I continued working in construction, building log cabins in Montana and then fabricating and maintaining sawmills in Oregon. That was fun work but wasn’t how I wanted to spend my working life, so I enlisted in the US Air Force as a cryptographic systems maintenance technician. I planned to serve four years and get out and use the GI Bill to help pay for a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Like many plans, that didn’t work out exactly as I anticipated, and 4 years evolved into 26 years in the Air Force. I had 15 different jobs (and moves!), in those 26 years, and picked up that BS, two MS degrees, and a Ph.D. in computer science along the way. From an academic perspective, my Air Force jobs including 3 years teaching graduate computer science, computer engineering and cyber warfare as an assistant professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology. In that role I also served as the Computer Science and Engineering Division Chief and was Deputy Director of the AFIT Center for Cyberspace Research. Finally, I had the privilege of leading IT and Security Operations for the Air Force towards the end of my active-duty career. After retiring from the Air Force in 2015, I led security for a cloud and hosting provider, a data warehouse and analytics company, and am currently leading security for a technology company supporting the insurance and workman’s comp industry.

What most excites you about your field?

I enjoy solving real-world problems at the intersection of science, technology, process and people. My time leading research and development in offensive and defensive cyber warfare melded with decades of leading IT and security in the military and industry provided me a great many problem solving and learning opportunities. I am very excited and pleased to be able to pay those experiences and opportunities forward by teaching and continuing to learn with the students and faculty here at Western.

What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?

The sense of community. And the beautiful outdoors that we get to enjoy every day instead of just on vacation!

Courses Taught

  • CS-191


* Denotes student

Books and Chapters

  • *Wilkin, D., Raines, R., Williams, P., Hopkinson, K., 2008, in IFIP International Federation for Information Processing, Volume 290; Critical Infrastructure Protection II, eds Papa, M., Shenoi, S., (Boston: Springer), pp. 17-29.
    Journal Publications
  • *Paul D. Williams, “Cyber ACTS/SAASS: A Second Year of Command and Staff College for the Future Leaders of our Cyber Forces”, Air and Space Power Journal, Spring 2010.
  • B. E. Mullins, J. R. Seyba*, R. A. Raines, B. W. P. Ramsey* and P. D. Williams, “Voice and Video Capacity of a Secure IEEE 802.11g Wireless Network,” Mobile Computing and Communications Review, Vol. 13, No. 1, January 2009, pp. 26-34.
  • Andrew P. Hansen, Paul D. Williams, Robert F. Mills, Mark A. Kanko, “*网旗军演:未来的实战训练环境”, Air and Space Power Journal, Chinese Ed., Winter 2008.
  • Andrew P. Hansen, Paul D. Williams, Robert F. Mills, Mark A. Kanko, “Cyber Flag: A Realistic Training Environment for the Future”, Air and Space Power Journal, Vol XXII, No. 3, Fall 2008, pp. 42-48.
  • Michael Stevens, Paul Williams, Gilbert Peterson, Stuart Kurkowski, “Integrating Trust into the CyberCraft Initiative via the Trust Vectors Model”, IEEE Computational Intelligence, v 3(2), pp. 65-68, May 2008.
  • Paul D. Williams and Eugene H. Spafford; “CuPIDS: An Exploration of Highly Focused, Coprocessor-based Information System Protection”; Computer Networks; Elsevier; v 51(5); pp. 1284-1298; April 2007.
  • *T. P. Franz, *M. Durkin, P. D. Williams, R. A. Raines, and R. F. Mills, “Defining IO Forces,” Air and Space Power Journal, Vol. XXI, No. 2, AFRP 10-1, Summer 2007, pp. 53-66.
  • *Harmer, P., *Williams, P., Gunsch, G., Lamont, G., “An Artificial Immune System Architecture for Computer Security Applications”, IEEE Transactions on Evolutionary Computation, Vol. 6, No. 3, June 2002

Refereed Conference Publications

  • *D. C. Wilkin, *M. B. Kolbe, R. A. Raines, P. D. Williams, and K. Hopkinson, “Designing and Implementing a Critical Infrastructure Lab for Educational Research“, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on i-Warfare & Security, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, Apr 23-25, 2008, pp. 395-402.
  • *Michael Kolbe, Paul Williams, “Taxonomy of Critical Infrastructure Control System Effects”, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on i-Warfare & Security, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, Apr 23-25, 2008, pp. 245-254.
  • *Andrew Hansen, Paul Williams, Robert Mills “Red Flag; A Realistic Training Environment for the Future”, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on i-Warfare & Security, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, Apr 23-25, 2008, pp. 171-178.
  • *Al-Nath Tuting, Paul Williams, “Creating Hardware-based Primitives to Enhance Digital Forensics in a Novel Computing Architecture”, Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on i-Warfare & Security, University of Nebraska, Omaha, NE, Apr 23-25, 2008, pp. 379-386.
  • *Matthew Judge, Paul Williams, Barry Mullins, Yong Kim, “Why Software Cannot Protect Software: Defining a Need for Dedicated Security in Hardware and a Categorization of Trustworthiness of Information”, Proceedings of the 2008 Workshop in Information Security Theory and Practices”, WISTP ’08, Sevilla Spain, May 2008
  • *Lacey, T.H., Mills, R.F., Raines, R.A., Williams, P.D., Oxley, M.E., Bauer, K.W., and Rogers, S.K., “A Qualia Representation of Cyberspace”, Proceedings of the SPIE Conference, Vol. 6964, 69640C, April 11, 2008.
  • *D. C. Wilkin, R. A. Raines, P. D. Williams, and K. Hopkinson, “Cyberspace Policies and Politics for Critical Infrastructure,” 2nd IFIP WG 11.10 International Conference on Critical Infrastructure Protection, Arlington VA, March 16-19, 2008, pp. 1-6 (CD).
  • *Lacey, T.H., Mills, R.F., Raines, R.A., Williams, P.D., and Rogers, S.K., “A Qualia Framework for Awareness in Cyberspace”, IEEE Military Communications Conference (MILCOM 07), Orlando FL, pp. 1-7, Oct 2007, DOI 10.1109/MILCOM.2007.4455285.
  • *Stevens, Michael, Williams, Paul D., “Use of Trust Vectors for CyberCraft and the Limits of Usable Data History for Trust Vectors”, Proceedings of the Computational Intelligence in Security and Defense Applications, 2007. CISDA 2007. IEEE Symposium on, Honolulu, HI, USA, April 2007, pp. 193-200.
  • *Stephen Mott, Paul Williams, “Creating Hardware-based Primitives That Facilitate the Exposure of State Information Useful for Security Related Monitoring”, Proceedings of the 2007 International Conference on Information Warfare and Security; Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, CA; Mar. 8-9, 2007.
  • *Stephen Mott, *Samuel Hart, *David Montminy, Paul Williams, Rusty Baldwin, “A Hardware-based Architecture to Support Flexible Real-Time Parallel Intrusion Detection”, Proc. 2007 IEEE International Conference on System of Systems Engineering (SoSE), 2007
  • *D. P. Montminy, R. O. Baldwin, P. D. Williams, and B. E. Mullins, “Using Relocatable Bitstreams for Fault Tolerance,” NASA/ESA Conference on Adaptive Hardware and Systems (AHS-2007), University of Edinburgh, Scotland, August 2007, pp. 701-708.
  • *Haag, C., Lamont, G.B., Williams, P., and Peterson, G.L., “An Artificial Immune System-Inspired Multiobjective Evolutionary Algorithm with Application to the Detection of Distributed Computer Network Intrusions.”, Workshop on Defense Application of Computation Intelligence at GECCO 2007, London, July 2007. (accepted February 2007).
  • *Haag, C., Lamont, G.B., Peterson, G.L., and Williams, P. “An Artifical Immune System-Inspired Multiobjective Evolutionary Algortihm with Application to the Detection of Distributed computer Network Intrusions”, ICARIS 2007, (accepted May 2007).
  • *Paul Williams, Eugene Spafford, “CuPIDS enhances StUPIDS: Exploring a Co-processing Paradigm Shift in Information System”, Proceedings of the 2005 IEEE West Point Information Assurance Workshop, June 2005
  • *Eric Bryant, *James Early, *Rajeev Gopalakrishna, *Gregory Roth, Eugene H. Spafford, Keith Watson, *Paul Williams, *Scott Yost, “Poly2 Paradigm: A Secure Network Service Architecture”, Proceedings of the 19th Annual Computer Security Applications Conference
  • *Anchor, K, *Williams, P, Gunsch, G., Lamont, G, “The Computer Defense Immune System: Current and Future Research in Intrusion Detection”, Proceedings of the 2002 World Congress on Computational Intelligence, 2002
  • *Williams, P., *Anchor, K., *Bebo, J., Gunsch, G., Lamont, G., “CDIS: Towards a Computer Immune System for Detecting Network Intrusions”, Proceedings of the 2001 Recent Advances in Intrusion Detection Symposium, Davis CA, Oct 2001. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2001

Other Publications

  • Paul Williams, Steve Rogers, Robert Mills, Richard Raines, *Timothy Lacey, “Where We Are — Where We Are Going” IA Newsletter, Vol 11, No 2, Summer 2008, pp 10-15
  • *Tim Lacey, Bob Mills, Rick Raines, Paul Williams, Steve Rogers , “A Qualia Framework for Awareness in Cyberspace”, IA Newsletter, Vol 10, No 3, Fall 2007, pp 12-17
  • Dr. Robert F. Mills, Dr. Richard A. Raines, Major Paul D. Williams, PhD, “Developing Cyberspace Competencies for the Air Force Professional Military Education”, DoD Force Transformation Library, http://www.oft.osd.mil/library/library.cfm?libcol=6
  • M.J. Mendenhall, P.W. Williams, and R.K. Raines, “Cyber Kill Chain”, Cyber Defense Conference, Rome NY, May 2007.
  • Paul D. Williams. “CuPIDS: Increasing Information System Security Through The Use of Dedicated Co-processing.” PhD thesis, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, Aug 2005.
  • Paul D. Williams. Warthog: “Towards a Computer Immune System for Detecting “Low and Slow” Information System Attacks”, Master’s thesis, AFIT/GCS/ENG/01M-15, Graduate School of Engineering and Management, Air Force Institute of Technology (AU), Wright-Patterson AFB, OH, March 2001.


  • *David P. Montminy, Rusty O. Baldwin, Paul D. Williams, “Relocatable Field Programmable Gate Array Bitstreams for Fault Tolerance” Patent Number 7,906,984, issue date of 3/15/11 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

External Professional Affiliations

  • Air Force Institute of Technology, Assistant Professor of Computer Science

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