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Enhancing Undergraduate Research Experiences in Cybersecurity and Privacy-Enhanced Technologies

Dr. Bharath Samanthula has established an NSF REU site seeking students for Summer 2021

Posted in: Department Research, Opportunities

Dr. Bharath Samanthula

With the advent of information and communication systems in every sector, including finance, health care, government, manufacturing and retail sectors, it is imminent for organizations to defend against both attempted and successful cyber-attacks. Cybersecurity is the practice of protecting information systems, networks, and programs. It is well- acknowledged that there is a significant shortage of qualified Cybersecurity workers globally.

Bharath K. Samanthula (PI) and Boxiang Dong (Co-PI), assistant professors of computer science, were recently awarded a three-year NSF grant ($395,470) to lead the new Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site at Montclair State University. The REU project will recruit and train students predominantly from underrepresented groups, especially women and minorities, at institutions where research opportunities for undergraduates are limited. Given the scarcity of cybersecurity workforce, the Site will contribute to the growing efforts of developing a more diversified cybersecurity workforce.

According to Dr. Samanthula, the primary focus of the REU Site is to promote and advance undergraduate research in cybersecurity and privacy-enhanced technologies. The Site students will be exposed not only to the most fundamental topics in cybersecurity (e.g., intrusion detection and encryption), but also to emerging topics, such as quantum computing effects on cybersecurity and security in Internet-of-Things.

In our 10-week summer program students will work on cutting-edge research projects in cybersecurity and learn how to formulate and solve research problems in an effective and secure manner. Most importantly, the Site will encourage the students to continue their cybersecurity research and aspires them to seek for graduate degrees or relevant careers across industry, government and academia.

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