The Reverend Joseph R. Laracy

Interview of Prof. Dominique Lambert on the life of Monsignor Georges Lemaître published in Faith, May-June 2016.

OP-ED on the election of Pope Francis in the Columbia University Journal of International Affairs Online.


Laracy, Joseph R. and Thomas Marlowe, “Systems Theory and Information Security: Foundations for a New Educational Approach,” Information Security Education Journal 5(2):35-48.
Information security education has traditionally been approached with a variety of tools. Models such as BellLaPadula and Clark-Wilson, cryptography, and formal methods seek to design systems without certain classes of vulnerabilities. Red teaming seeks to find vulnerabilities that were missed and security software often removes the vulnerabilities. To a lesser extent, probabilistic risk assessment and game theory have also been applied to assess threats. However, on their own, in isolation, these approaches have not “solved” the information security crisis. Internet security in particular is an area of great concern given the plethora of vulnerabilities that enable threats to confidentiality, integrity, availability, non-repudiation, authorization, authentication, and auditability. A new approach to information security engineering education is necessary that views the Internet as a complex, socio-technical system. A systems perspective acknowledges that security can only be achieved through a holistic model that addresses technological architecture and software processes, organizational behavior, and human factors. This paper suggests a novel method for information security education to identify and characterize current deficiencies in a network security control structure, elucidate the relationship between software/systems engineering and security risks, and inform an architectural description of a secure information system architecture.

Laracy, Joseph R. and Michael D. Kelly, “Toward a Renewal of Patient Care: Insights from Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD,” The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 118(5): 293-295.

We suggest that the writings of the distinguished Austrian professor of neurology and psychiatry, Viktor Frankl, MD, PhD, might provide an approach toward a renewal of patient care, viewing humans in a more holistic way: body, mind, and spirit. This is consistent with the innovations in the theory and practice of medicine led by Andrew T. Still, MD, DO.

Laracy, Joseph, Thomas Marlowe, and Gerald B. Buonopane, “An Experiment in Interdisciplinary STEM Education: Insights from the Catholic Intellectual Tradition,” Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics 15(6): 45-53.

The “silo effect” is a major problem today in academia, i.e. the growing tendency of disciplinary isolation both in research and teaching. “Siloing” is noted particularly in the formal, natural, and applied sciences. Yet, many areas of human inquiry require by their very nature, an interdisciplinary approach. At Seton Hall University, in the context of the Core Curriculum for undergraduate studies, serious efforts are underway to bring the sciences into dialogue with the wider Catholic intellectual tradition. By fostering a healthy exchange between philosophy, theology, mathematics, computing, and the natural sciences, upperclassmen have been able to explore topics of great personal interest and draw significant connections from content learned in diverse fields of their education. Opportunities exist to extend and adapt this approach to other university settings internationally.

Marlowe, Thomas and Joseph R. Laracy, “Logic as a Key to Interdisciplinary Integration for Students in the Mathematical Sciences,” Journal of Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics 15(4):  63-71.

We describe the creation and development of a course on mathematical logic and its extensions and limitations, in which coverage of technical material is interleaved with and related to discussion of relevant historical, linguistic, philosophical, and theological issues and of individuals of note. The new course, Logic, Limitations to Knowledge, and Christianity, presents an overview of topics in and related to logic, including development of formal logic and an axiomatic first-order logic. It explores the history of mathematics and logic in the Catholic Intellectual and wider Western Traditions, as well as the mutual interactions of mathematics, philosophy, language, and religion. It then considers extensions of firstorder logic, and provable limits to knowledge: the three unsolvable problems of Euclidean geometry, and examples from Gödel, Turing, Arrow, quantum physics, and others. Epistemological issues will be emphasized throughout the course. The translation between natural language and expression in logical and reasoning formalisms is emphasized throughout.

Marlowe, Thomas and Joseph R. Laracy, “An Integrated Course in Logic, Philosophy, History, and Theology: Extensions of Logic and the Limits to Knowledge,” Proceedings of the 21st World Multi-Conference on Systemics, Cybernetics, and Informatics: WMSCI 2017, July 8-11, 2017: 349-352.

Laracy, Joseph, "A Systems-Theoretic Security Model for Large Scale, Complex Systems Applied to the US Air Transportation System," International Journal of Communications, Network, and System Sciences 10(5): 75-105.

Classical risk-based or game-theoretic security models rely on assumptions from reliability theory and rational expectations economics that are not applicable to security threats. Additionally, these models suffer from serious deficiencies when they are applied to software-intensive, socio-technical systems. A new approach is proposed in this paper that applies principles from control theory to enforce constraints on security threats thereby extending techniques used in system safety engineering. It is applied to identify and mitigate the threats that could emerge in critical infrastructures such as the air transportation system. Insights are provided to assist systems engineers and policy makers in securely transitioning to the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NGATS)
(Master of Science thesis extract)

Laracy, Joseph, “Creation, Revelation, and the Emergence of Empirical Science,” Proceedings of the International Stanley Jaki Conference, Seton Hall University, April 15, 2015.

An analysis of the role of the Catholic theology of creation in the emergence of empirical science in Christian Europe.
(Extract from Theologić Creationis et Scientić Modernć Convenientia in Pont. Max. Benedicti XVI Cogitatione)

Laracy, Joseph, Theologić Creationis et Scientić Modernć Convenientia in Pont. Max. Benedicti XVI Cogitatione, Thesis pro Sacrć Theologić Licentia in Theologia Fundamentale, Pontificia Universitas Gregoriana 2014.

This thesis presents the compatibility of the Catholic theology of creation and the natural sciences particularly in the thought of Pope Benedict XVI.

DeBrasi, Richard and Joseph Laracy, “An Empirical Critique of Empiricism,” Logos 16(4): 124-163.

In this article, the authors attempt an overarching exposition of two overlapping but divergent paradigms of empiricism: (a) strict empiricism, representing most of the British empiricists and ancient skeptics and (b) mitigated, or metaphysical, empiricism represented by Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. They show how some of the advances in mathematics and the physical sciences over the last 250 years suggest that the complexity involved in the study of the natural world raises serious questions about any version of strict empiricism.

Laracy, Joseph. “A Postmodern Christianity?” Homiletic and Pastoral Review (Online), September 2013.

The instantiation of postmodern preferences has had varying effects on ecclesial communities, and has even given rise to new religious groups. Experience has shown however that Divine revelation and Christian faith cannot chain themselves to any philosopher whose thought is essentially non-foundationalist.

Laracy, Joseph. “Christianity and Science:  Confronting Challenges to Faith and Reason in the History of Philosophy and Theology,”  Faith 43(5):12-17.

This paper offers a succinct overview of the development of post-Reformation philosophy, which through modernism and post-modernism affirms presuppositions which, a priori, make the harmony of science and religion impossible. It also suggests a fruitful relationship between an Aristotelian-Thomistic Philosophy of Nature and Empirical Science.

Laracy, Joseph. "Priestly Contributions to Modern Science: The Case of Monsignor Georges Lemaitre," Faith 42(3):16-19.

The role of Catholic priests was pivotal in the development of modern empirical science. An overview of their contributions over the last millenium is presented along with the specific contributions of Monsignor Georges Lemaître.

Laracy, Joseph. "The Faith and Reason of Father Georges Lemaître," Homiletic and Pastoral Review. 50-59, February 2009.

This paper presents the life and witness of the Catholic Priest who formulated the Big Bang hypothesis of the universe. It elicits his contributions to a Catholic understanding of science and religion.

Laracy, Joseph. "Random Variate Generator," Journal of Software: Practice and Experience 39(1): 105-110, January 2009.

As the use of computer simulation grows in a variety of science and engineering fields, the quality of random variate generators becomes increasingly important. Unfortunately, a number of standard implementations are grossly inadequate and exhibit poor statistical properties. This paper presents a software pattern for efficiently implementing an extensible, high quality random variate generator.

Laracy,Joseph. "Addressing System Boundary Issues in Complex Socio-Technical Systems," Systems Research Forum. 2:19-26, 2007.

This article is a republication of the CSER 2007 paper listed below. The Systems Research Forum is an annual scholarly journal dedicated to providing a platform for peer-reviewed graduate and post-graduate research papers and case studies in systems engineering.

Shah, Nirav B., Matthew G. Richards, David A. Broniatowski, Joseph R. Laracy, Daniel E. Hastings, Philip N. Springmann. "System of System Architecture: The Case of Space Situational Awareness," Proceedings of the AIAA Space 2007 Conference. Long Beach, CA. September 18-20.

As the U.S. and other nations continue to develop the space situational awareness mission area, questions arise as to how stakeholders should act to mitigate the effects of resident space objects and how our understanding of the physics of LEO inform the evolution of ground- and space-based sensors. To characterize interactions among international stakeholders, space situational awareness is modeled as a system of systems with technical and social elements. Through the use of game-theoretic cooperation archetypes and System Dynamics modeling, possible futures are explored.

Laracy, Joseph, Damien Bador, Danielle Adams, Annalisa Weigel. "Solar Power Satellites: Historical Perspectives with a Look to the Future," Proceedings of the AIAA Space 2007 Conference, Long Beach, CA, September 18-20.

This paper proposes a rational technical strategy to refocus Solar Power Satellite (SPS) research. It suggests a 30 year timeline for program milestones and analyzes potential technical performance. Real options analysis is used to manage uncertainty and permits the exploration of possible futures that are dependent on launch costs and electricity market prices.

Laracy, Joseph, Nancy Leveson. "Applying STAMP to Critical Infrastructure Protection," Proceedings of the 2007 IEEE Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security, Boston, MA, May 16-17.

A new security model for infrastructure systems is presented that enables the inclusion of security requirements into the development process. The paper also addresses some of the limitations associated with the application of quantitative risk assessment and classical game theory to security problems. Examples from studying the US air transportation system are included.

Owens, Brandon D, Joseph R. Laracy, Margaret Stringfellow Herring, Nancy G. Leveson. "A Classification of Open-Loop and Closed-Loop Risk Management Actions." Proceedings of the Second Annual Conference of the International Association for the Advancement of Space Safety (IAASS), Chicago, IL. May 14-16, 2007.

A taxonomy is introduced to assist spacecraft and launch vehicle managers, designers, and operators in identifying risk management approaches that are robust against the perturbations to their systems that could violate their models of risk. This taxonomy applies control theory concepts to the analysis of common risk management practices in spaceflight. Each measure is classified for its tendency to provide open-loop or closed-loop control of risk over some proposed archetypal cycles of system operation.

Dulac, Nicolas, Brandon Owens, Nancy Leveson, Betty Barrett, John Carroll, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld, Stephen Friedenthal, Joseph Laracy, Joseph Sussman. "Demonstration of a Powerful New Approach to Risk Analysis for Project Constellation," Complex Systems Research Laboratory Report, MIT. March 2007.

A risk analysis of the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate at NASA for Project Constellation. The report address organizational and technical risks associated with implementing the Vision for Space Exploration's goal of developing new vehicles for missions to the Moon and Mars.

Laracy, Joseph. "Addressing System Boundary Issues in Complex Socio-Technical Systems," Proceedings of the Conference on Systems Engineering Research, Hoboken, NJ. March 14-16, 2007.

Drawing on cybernetics, general systems theory, and other ancestral systems science disciplines, this paper addresses the problem of drawing the line between a system and its environment. With a new accident model for system safety engineering, it shows how innovative theories of socio-technical systems can be developed.

Laracy, Joseph. "A Systems Theoretic Accident Model Applied to Biodefense," Defense & Security Analysis 22(3): 301-310, September 2006

A structured methodology based on systems theory to develop a strategy to defend against biological weapon attacks. An example of a smallpox attack against the US with a just-in-time vaccination policy is provided.

Greenspan, Russell, Joseph Laracy, Adnan Zaman. "Real-time Immersive Network Simulation Environment (RINSE) Software Architecture," Department of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, May, 2004.

Documentation of the software architecture for a discrete event simulation system to simulate a terrorist cyber attack on the nation’s critical infrastructure. Particular attention is given to the problem of distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Performance and flexiblity/extensibility quality attributes are explained with software patterns.