I got my first job in computers at the age of 15 - programing and maintaining the BTI-4000 mainframe in my High School. My passion was for pure sciences, though. I studied Physics at North Carolina State University, graduating in 1994, and promptly began work as an Engineer / Scientist at IBM in the Research Triangle Park. My specialization was computer graphics systems. I helped to found the Digital Display Working Group, and author the DVI specification, which ultimately morphed into HDMI.
I left IBM for a position as a Senior Field Applications Engineer at Silicon Image, helping design some of the first commercially viable flat-screen displays and televisions. I also returned to graduate school at NCSU part time to work on my Physics PhD, but this was interrupted by the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
After 9/11, I joined the FBI as a Special Agent. I spent my first eight years in Sacramento investigating a wide range of cyber crimes, but focusing mostly on investigating the Internet Exploitation of Children - tracking missing children, and identifying and disrupting the networks of predators who harmed them. As a member of the FBI's Computer Analysis Response Team, I testified as an expert witness in State and Federal Court in cases ranging from human trafficking to murder. I became Sacramento Division's Cyber supervisor in 2009, and built up the largest Federal Cybercrime Task Force in the US at that time.
In 2010, I was promoted to FBI HQ Cyber Division as a Program Manager and then Unit Chief (Acting), and in 2011, I became the FBI's Senior Liaison Officer to DHS Cybersecurity and Communications. My final position at the FBI was as the Assistant Section Chief of the Counterterrorism Internet Operations Section, managing high-tech and online HUMINT ops against terrorist groups worldwide in partnership with the US Intelligence Community.
In 2013, I joined Obsidian Analysis as a Senior Specialist for Cybersecurity, aiding governments and private-sector companies in understanding the Cyber Threat, and in preparing their own policies and plans for Cyber Incident Management. In 2015, I formed my own consulting company, Nelson-Harris with a former colleague from Silicon Image, and later that year spun off a cybersecurity product company, Eunomic, Inc. Eunomic was a portfolio company for Virginia's Mach37 cyber accelerator, and focused on using Software Defined Networking (SDN) to protect devices and data at the Edge in shared networking environments. In two years, we took a "back of the napkin" idea and developed it into a working cloud-based cybersecurity platform.
Eunomic was acquired by Caveonix, Inc. in 2017, shortly after the first deployment of the UnomicEdge product. I then founded Antikythera, a consulting and IT services company based in the US, with partners and developers in Romania. In 2018, I also joined PFP Cybersecurity as their Vice President of Engineering to help them turn a DARPA-funded project into a cloud-deployable commercially-viable cybersecurity platform.
Today, I study and practice Data Science and Machine Learning, working mostly in R, Python, and C++. Most of my work centers around side-channel analysis, and using statistical methods and machine learning to detect tampering with systems.