National Science Foundation grant to provide scholarships for doctoral students

Friday, January 4, 2013 - 09:25
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DENTON (UNT), Texas--A nearly $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation will provide scholarships for doctoral students to study cyber security and information assurance in UNT’s College of Engineering, College of Business and College of Information.

The new program builds on UNT’s leadership as one of only seven institutions in the United States to be designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research in 2012. UNT also has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education.

Institutions with these designations are recognized as leaders in cyber security education and research, and UNT is one of only about 32 institutions nationally with both designations.

About six students will be accepted into the new program, which begins in Fall 2013, and each will receive $45,000 for nine months with possible additional funding during the summer.

“Students who are accepted to the program will take core courses from UNT’s colleges of engineering, business and information,” said Ram Dantu, professor of computer science and engineering in UNT’s College of Engineering, who is leading the program. “Such an interdisciplinary education will help students advance the field of research.”

Dan J. Kim from the UNT College of Business Department of Information Technology and Decision Sciences and Suliman Hawamdeh from the UNT College of Information’s Department of Information Science are co-principal investigators in the multi-year grant project.

An education in cyber security and information assurance can lead graduates to careers in social and security engineering, which impact several industries, including supply chain management, electronic health record management, social networking and mobile phone security.

Students in the doctoral program will be able to develop and apply theoretical models drawing from multiple disciplines to solve security threats; conduct advanced data analysis and visualizing using data from emerging technologies such as smart phones and social networks; develop, interpret and administer local, state and federal security standards, policies and laws; and derive the social meanings of trust, identity and risk occurring in sectors including e-commerce, healthcare and telecommunications.

The growth of talent at UNT in the area of information assurance and computer security has grown over time, which led to the creation of the Center for Information and Computer Security. The center taps the knowledge, research and expertise of UNT faculty in programs and organizations focused on security, information assurance and cyber crime. Faculty members involved in the center come from various departments at UNT, including Computer Science and Engineering, Criminal Justice and Information Technology and Decision Sciences. The grant is a collaborative effort between the three colleges, with Ram Dantu as the principal investigator, and Dan Kim from the College of Business and Suliman Hawamdeh from the College of Information as co-principal investigators.

Application and scholarship details can be found on the Center for Information and Computer Security website: enter for Information and Computer Security. For more information contact Ram Dantu at rdantu@unt.edu.

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