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$2.5 million federal grant won by Syracuse University’s Systems Assurance Institute will provide scholarships for 30 graduate students to study computer systems assurance
$2.5 million federal grant won by Syracuse University’s Systems Assurance Institute will provide scholarships for 30 graduate students to study computer systems assuranceFebruary 17, 2003Kelly Homan Rodoskikahoman@syr.edu
Faculty members from the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science,the School of Information Studies and the Maxwell School to prepare students for positions with federal agencies
As the integration of computing and communication technology into society continues to grow, the need for systems assurance–information assurance, computer security and infrastructure protection-becomes ever more crucial.
That integration has raised many new issues-from management to education to ethics–that go far beyond the core technology.
Syracuse University’s nationally recognized Systems Assurance Institute (SAI, formerly known as the Center for Systems Assurance) is positioned to lead the way in multidisciplinary systems assurance education, thanks to a recent four-year, $2.5 million grant award by the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service program. With funding from the grant, the University will offer 30 prestigious two-year scholarships to support students in earning master’s degrees in systems assurance, while at the same time preparing them for positions within federal agencies. The scholarships include tuition, room and board, books and a stipend of $12,000.
The scholarship program is unique in the fact that it is multidisciplinary. The program will be led by faculty members in the University’s L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), in partnership with faculty members from SU’s School of Information Studies and the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.
“This is a major award of national significance that strengthens SU’s position among a small number of leaders in the emerging multidisciplinary field of information and systems assurance, which includes issues relating to security, reliability, technology and policy,” says Edward Bogucz, dean of ECS. “I congratulate the members of the team for their vision, initiative and creativity in developing a compelling proposal for this high-profile and intensely competitive program.”
Scholarship recipients must be enrolled in an affiliated Certificate of Advanced Study (CAS) program. At present, these programs include the CAS in systems assurance (offered within ECS) and the CAS in information, technology, policy and management (offered jointly by the Maxwell School, the School of Information Studies and ECS). A CAS in information security management will be offered by the School of Information Studies starting in the Fall 2003 semester.
Ten students are scheduled to begin the scholarship program in Fall 2003, followed by 10 students each in the Fall 2004 and Fall 2005 semesters.
“This award brings with it national recognition of our efforts to develop and deliver multidisciplinary academic programs in an area of global importance,” says Susan Older, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, SAI’s education director and the grant’s principal investigator.
“It also provides an opportunity to enrich the academic experiences of our students, as scholarship recipients will serve summer internships at government agencies and bring these experiences back into the classroom.” Students also agree to work for the federal government for two years following graduation.
“The NSF Scholarship for Service award illuminates the multidisciplinary aspects of our work, which are central to the holistic concept of system assurance,” says SAI director Steve Chapin, a co-principal investigator on the project. “The Systems Assurance Institute at Syracuse University has unique programs bringing together aspects of engineering, computer and communications technology, policy and management—our engineering students sit in the same classrooms and work in the same labs with students working in public policy and information technology. This award will completely fund 30 students, enriching their academic experiences and ensuring that they’ll be an integral part of the future of cybersecurity in the United States.”
The other co-principal investigators of the grant are Shiu-Kai Chin, professor of electrical and computer engineering and computer science in ECS and director of the CASE Center; Elizabeth Liddy, professor and director of the Center for Natural Language Processing in the School of Information Studies; and Stuart Thorson, professor of international relations and political science and director of information technology in the Maxwell School. Other faculty members in the respective schools and colleges have contributed to the development of the proposal and will remain involved throughout the program.
Through the efforts of the SAI, Syracuse University has been designated by the National Security Agency as a Center of Academic Excellence in information assurance education. The mission of the SAI is to promote improvement in systems and information assurance through research, education and technology transfer.
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