Privacy Engineering

We've starting to see advertisements for a new kind of position: privacy engineer.

If you've seen the classic movie, The Graduate, you'll remember the conversation that recent college graduate Benjamin Braddock has with a friend of his father, who says "I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. … Are you listening? … Plastics.". Today, 45 years later, that one word might be Privacy.

Our lives are increasingly being lived online through social media systems, cloud based services, smart phones and other ubiquitous computing and sensing devices. Your smart phone, it's common to hear, knows more about you than your spouse or Mom. Data about us is being collected minute by minute, aggregated, integrated, analyzed, bought and sold.  At the same time, we have develped powerful new datamining and machine learning techniques that, together with parallel computing, can  extract surprising amounts of information and knowledge from the data. 

This data can be put to good uses, such as providing you with better services, but can also result in a loss of privacy. Businesses and other organizations want to avoid a backlash in which they lose customers concerned about their privacy. We've seen recent ads for privacy engineers, such as these from Apple , Google and Intel. This is just a sample, many more exist, although the job title may be different.

The job of a privacy engineer doesn't yet have a well defined consensus description, but the focus is on designing an organization's information privacy policy and helping to ensure that it is accurately described and enforced.  High level tasks include (i) protecting data from unauthorized access, use or disclosure (ii) providing users with appropriate tools to both understand and control what information is collected and how it is shared and used; and (iii) recognizing how the data can be usefully mined without revealing private information.

What courses can a UMBC undergraduate take to prepare for positions like these? After getting a good grounding in the required computer science or computer engineering courses, undergrads can take classes in the fundamentals of security (CMSC 426 and CMSC 487), information assurance (CMSC 444), and cryptography (CMSC 443), take a course in databases (CMSC 461),  datamining and machine learning (CMSC 478) and/or visualization (CMSC 436), and perhaps mobile computing (CMSC 628). Interested students should also look for special topics course, like Security and Privacy in a Mobile Social World which is being offered this semester.  We also have several research labs that work in privacy-related areas, including the Cyber Defense, Coral, Ebiquity, Diadic and Maple labs.

 

Work at Next Century Corporation

Next Century Corporation is looking for prospective software engineers to join their team as interns and full time employees. The local technology company was named one of Baltimore Magazine’s “Best Places to Work” in 2011.

“Next Century is driven by something far deeper than software, hardware, and dollars and cents,” says the company’s website. “We believe the solutions we provide have the power to save lives, promote freedom, and improve our world in exponential ways.”

Next Wednesday, April 11, 2012, Next Century staff will arrive at the UMBC campus for Next Century Corporation Corporate Visibility Day. The day will give students an opportunity to network with staff members. At Noon, catch president John McBeth discuss the company’s inception, followed by a lecture by UMBC alumna and Next Century Senior Software Engineering Christine Stepnitz entitled: “High Availability Systems: Planning for Failure. When your system has to be up 100% of the time, what happens when it goes down? And how can you turn that into an OK thing?”

 

Next Century Corporation Corporate Visibility Day will be held Wednesday, April 11 in the University Center Ballroom Lounge from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Cybersecurity internships available at CSC

Photo Courtesy CSC.com

Graduating in May? Just started Graduate School? Interested in Cybersecurity? CSC is looking for interns and that means you.

Headquartered in Falls Church, Virginia, CSC provides IT services for a broad range of clients. According to CSC’s company profile, the company specializes in areas including Cloud Computing, Mobility Solutions, Network Management, Value Chain Optimization, and, of course, Cybersecurity. In 2010, CSC was named “One of the World’s Most Admired IT Services Companies” by FORTUNE magazine.

CSC is looking for recent graduates and graduate students with technical backgrounds in Computer Security and Computer Networking who have a passion for cybersecurity. The internship will give students the opportunity to help develop online training content and perform quality assurance on training materials. In addition, students will acquire technical training in cybersecurity and will have the chance to gain certifications like CISSP, CCNA, and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH).

Full time summer internships and part-time internships running from September to March 2012 are available. For a complete outline of requirements and qualifications, go here.

To apply, send your resume to . Make sure to put “Cybersecurity Internship” in the subject line of your e-mail.

Virginia Tech offers Cognitive Communications research experience this summer

Rising sophomore, junior, and senior undergraduate students interested in cognitive radios and wireless networking might want to take a look at Virginia Tech’s Cognitive Communications Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU).

This summer, the program will enlist ten undergraduate students for a nine-week research program that explores problems related to software defined radios, cognitive radios, wireless networks, wireless communication circuits, and human factors engineering in communications. Students will be mentored by Virginia Tech faculty members, and will participate in weekly research meetings and informal brown-bag lunches to discuss research progress.

Each student will be awarded a $4,500 stipend, a housing and food allowance up to $2,000, and travel assistance up to $600. Eligible undergraduates must be majoring in electrical engineering, computer engineering, or computer science, and hold an overall G.P.A. of 3.0. All applicants must be U.S. citizens, and minorities, women, handicapped students, and students from schools without undergraduate research opportunities are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Application Deadline: Friday, April 13, 2012

To apply for the program, click here.

For more information, click here.

Penn offers Robotics research experience for undergrads this summer

               Photo Courtesy robotonomous.com

It’s time to start thinking about summer research opportunities. And, If Robotics is what you love, then you’re in luck. In June, the University of Pennsylvania’s General Robotics, Automation, Sensing & Perception (GRASP) Laboratory is offering a Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Site called “Perception, Planning, Mobility, and Interaction for Next Generation Robotics.”

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the program will support eight undergraduate students studying engineering or computer science who are interested in pursuing research in the field of robotics. The paid ten-week program will immerse students in ongoing research projects in the GRASP Lab by pairing them with a GRASP faculty member and student mentor to work on a research project that matches their interests.

In addition to offering students a $5,000 stipend, the research program provides travel reimbursement, free housing on the University of Pennsylvania campus in Philadelphia, and partial support for meals. Students will also be eligible for a $250 prize awarded to the best REU research project of the summer.

All undergraduate students who are U.S. citizens are encouraged to apply. The program is especially interested in applicants who are generally underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, and engineering, including: women, racial minorities, low-income, and first generation college students.

 

Priority Deadline: Wednesday, April 4, 2012

To apply for the program, click here.

For more information, click here.

 

 

Amazon tech talk and information session, 7pm Thur 2/23, Skylight Room

 

Amazon, one of the most innovative and fastest growing technology companies, will hold a technical talk and information session at 7:00pm this Thursday (2/23) for UMBC students interested in full-time positions or internships. The meeting will be in the Skylight Room of the Commons.

UMBC Alumna Akshaya Iyengar (MS CS '11) joined Amazon last year and will talk about what it's like to work at there as a software development engineer. Amazon recruiter Makenzie LaCount will talk about employment at Amazon and accept resumes from students interested in a full time position or internship.

Pre-registration is not required, but come early to enjoy the food and get an Amazon t-shirt.

Computer Science Professor of Practice Position

UMBC invites applications for a non-tenure track position in Computer Science at the rank of Professor of the Practice to begin August 2012. All CS areas will be considered, but we are especially interested in security related areas. Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent stature by virtue of experience. Ideal candidates will have a history of research, publication, teaching, and industry experience. Duties include teaching both graduate and undergraduate courses and helping develop cyber security programs. For best consideration, apply by March 15, 2012. Reviews will begin immediately and applications will be accepted until the position is filled. For more information and to apply, see http://bit.ly/UMBCPoP. UMBC is an AA/EOE.

2012 Google Summer of Code program announced

If you have good programming skills and are looking for an interesting alternative to the usual summer internship, you might check out the Google Summer of Code program. It pays student developers $5000 stipends to write code for various open source projects over the summer. Over the past seven years, it's brought together over 6,000 students with over 300 open source projects to create millions of lines of code.

A set of open source projects (aka mentoring organizations) will be selected and announced in mid-March. Students apply to work on one of more of these and each mentoring organization ranks the students interested in working with them. Google facilitates the final selection and pairing. The mentoring organization works closely with the student to define tasks, check progress, help solve problems, etc. Typically the student works remotely, interacting with his or her mentor via email, chat, skype, etc.

Students can submit applications via the Google Summer of Code 2012 site from March 26 to April 6. Google says that that the best applications they receive are from students who took the time to interact with one of the participating mentoring organizations and discuss their ideas before submitting an application. About 1,100 students are expected to be funded this year.

You can get more information on the 2012 GSoC site, an associated Google+ page, or by subscribing to a mailing list.

Deadline for Information Assurance Scholarship Nears

Attention rising Junior and Senior Undergraduate and Graduate students interested in Information Assurance: Thursday, January 12 is the deadline to apply for a scholarship through the Information Assurance Scholarship Program (IASP).

The scholarship is great for students who are interested in pursuing careers in Information Assurance for the Federal Government.  Each recipient will receive full tuition, room and board, books,and stipend.  In return, the recipient must  work for DoD (for pay) for one year for year of scholarship.  Each recipient will also engage in a summer internship at DoD  (for pay).

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Alan Sherman () to be guided through the application process. For more information about the program, and for an application form, visit UMBC's Center for Information Security and Assurance website.

Take the NSA Cryptochallenge, 11-5 Friday 9/30, The Commons

NSA will be at the Commons for this year's CryptoChallenge competition. Stop by and test your skills against their cryptographic brain teasers and maybe score some great giveaways. Join them for some friendly competition from 11:00am to 5:00pm on Friday 30 September at the Commons Outside Terrace or Main Street if it rains.

Bring your resume — NSA recruiters will be on hand to discuss career opportunities for the best codemakers and codebreakers in the business. You can hone your cryptographic skills before the event by downloading the free NSA CryptoChallenge from the Apple App Store for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

NSA CryptoChallenge is a game that tests your pattern recognition skills through a series of cryptographs. Your mission is to decipher encrypted quotes, factoids, historical events and more. It’s you against the clock to see how fast you can crack the code. Or, you can challenge a friend with the multiplayer interface. In that instance, it's a one-on-one race to see who can correctly solve the puzzle first.

NSA executes some of the nation’s most important and sensitive intelligence operations. To help us accomplish our mission, we’re looking for the best and the brightest problem solvers to join our team. If you can solve these puzzles, you just might have what it takes to help NSA keep America safe.

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