Scott Freitas

I work at the intersection of applied and theoretical machine learning, with a strong application focus on cybersecurity. My goal is to develop explainable next-generation defenses to protect systems against adversarial attacks.

At Georgia Tech I work with Polo Chau as a member of the Polo Club of Data Science. During this time, I have co-authored several winning research proposals, including a $1.3 million DARPA grant.

I have been fortunate to work with amazing engineers and scientists at Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection, Microsoft Research, Intel and Naval Air Warfare Center.

My research is generously supported by PhD fellowships from IBM Research, NSF GRFP and Raytheon.


2021Honored to receive the IBM PhD fellowship for my work on developing next-generation explainable defenses

2021Ecstatic to join Amazon's Fraud Detection and Risk Transaction team this summer

2020We just released MalNet, the largest graph representation learning dataset to date!

Research Highlights


Present —Aug. 2018Ph.D. in Machine Learning
Aug. 2018Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
Advisor: Duen Horng (Polo) Chau

May 2018Summer 2017M.S. in Computer Science
Summer 2017Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Advisor: Hanghang Tong, Thesis: "Mining Marked Nodes in Large Graphs"
Overall GPA: 4.00/4.00

May 2017 —Aug. 2015B.S. in Computer Science
Aug. 2015Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Overall GPA: 3.98/4.00

May 2014 —Aug. 2010B.S.E. in Electrical Engineering
Aug. 2010Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ
Overall GPA: 3.64/4.00

Awards (selected)

2021IBM PhD Fellowship
One of sixteen fellows; awarded for my work in developing next-generation explainable defenses

2021Nvidia Data Science Teaching Kit
Helped develop one of the five Nvidia teaching kits used by educators around the world

2019Raytheon Research Fellowship
Awarded for my PhD work in adversarial machine learning

2018 — 2023NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
National Science Foundation recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in STEM fields

2018Outstanding Computer Science Masters Student (ASU)
Awarded to single master student demonstrating exemplary performance

2017Best Demo Award, Runner Up at CIKM '17
For "Rapid Analysis of Network Connectivity"

Industry Research Experience (selected)

Summer 2021Amazon, Seattle, WA
Applied Research Intern, Fraud Detection and Risk Transaction

Summer 2020Microsoft, Seattle, WA
Research Intern, Microsoft ATP + Microsoft Research
Mentor: Karishma Sanghvi, Yuxiao Dong
Developed graph neural network approach to detect malware

Summer 2019Microsoft, Seattle, WA
Research Intern, Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)
Mentor: Andrew Wicker, Joshua Neil
Designed graph based approach to quantify and mitigate network vulnerability to adversarial attacks

Summer 2013Naval Air Warfare Center, Point Mugu, CA
Research Intern, Naval Research Entperprise Internship Program (NREIP)
Mentor: Balaji Iyer
Explored methods of preventing electromagentic interference from coupling into superconducting receivers


EnergyVis: Interactively Tracking and Exploring Energy Consumption for ML Models
Omar Shaikh, Jon Saad-Falcon, Austin P Wright, Nilaksh Das, Scott Freitas, Omar Isaac Asensio, Duen Horng Chau
ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI). Online, 2021.
Demo PDF BibTeX

MalNet: A Large-Scale Cybersecurity Image Database of Malicious Software
Scott Freitas, Rahul Duggal, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
arXiv (arXiv). Online, 2021.
Demo PDF Code BibTeX

A Large-Scale Database for Graph Representation Learning
Scott Freitas, Yuxiao Dong, Joshua Neil, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
arXiv (arXiv). Online, 2020.
Project Demo PDF Blog Code BibTeX

UnMask: Adversarial Detection and Defense Through Robust Feature Alignment
Scott Freitas, Shang-Tse Chen, Zijie J. Wang, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data). Atlanta, GA, 2020.
Project PDF Blog Code BibTeX

Evaluating Graph Vulnerability and Robustness using TIGER
Scott Freitas, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
arXiv (arXiv). Online, 2020.
PDF Blog Code BibTeX

ELF: An Early-Exiting Framework for Long-Tailed Classification
Rahul Duggal, Scott Freitas, Sunny Dhamnani, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau, Jimeng Sun
arXiv (arXiv). Online, 2020.

Argo Lite: Open-Source Interactive Graph Exploration and Visualization in Browsers
Siwei Li, Zhiyan Zhou, Anish Upadhayay, Omar Shaikh, Scott Freitas, Haekyu Park, Zijie J. Wang, Susanta Routray, Matthew Hull, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM). Online, 2020.
Demo PDF Code BibTeX

REST: Robust and Efficient Neural Networks for Sleep Monitoring in the Wild
Rahul Duggal*, Scott Freitas*, Cao Xiao, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau, Jimeng Sun
The Web Conference (WWW). Taipei, Taiwan, 2020.
Project PDF Blog Code BibTeX * Authors contributed equally

D2M: Dynamic Defense and Modeling of Adversarial Movement in Networks
Scott Freitas, Andrew Wicker, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau, Joshua Neil
SIAM International Conference on Data Mining (SDM). Cincinnati, Ohio, 2020.
Project PDF Blog BibTeX

Extracting Knowledge For Adversarial Detection and Defense in Deep Learning
Scott Freitas, Shang-Tse Chen, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau
KDD Workshop: Learning and Mining for Cybersecurity (LEMINCS). Anchorage, Alaska, 2019.

Local Partition in Rich Graphs
Scott Freitas, Nan Cao, Yinglong Xia, Duen Horng (Polo) Chau, Hanghang Tong
IEEE International Conference on Big Data (Big Data). Seattle, Washington, 2018.
Project PDF BibTeX

X-Rank: Explainable Ranking in Complex Multi-Layered Networks
Jian Kang*, Scott Freitas*, Haichao Yu, Yinglong Xia, Hanghang Tong
ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM). Turin, Italy, 2018.
Project PDF BibTeX * Authors contributed equally

Rapid Analysis of Network Connectivity
Scott Freitas, Hanghang Tong, Nan Cao, Yinglong Xia
ACM International Conference on Information and Knowledge Management (CIKM). Singapore, 2017.
Project PDF Video Code BibTeX Best Demo Paper, Runner up