GRA sought for DoD-funded cybersecurity education project


A 12-Month Graduate Research Assistant (GRA) is sought for 2015-2016 to work on a DoD-funded cybersecurity education project at UMBC.

Position Highlights

  • 9-month stipend: $18,752.94; 2.5 month summer stipend: $8,000.
  • Hours: 20 hours/week (September 2015-May 2016)
  • Benefits: tuition and mandatory fees, health insurance
  • Eligibility: MS or PhD student at UMBC in CS, CE, EE, or related field (IS, math, education, physics).
  • INS Requirements: USA citizen or permanent resident
  • Source of funding: Department of Defense via a grant under BAA-003-15 (PI Alan Sherman)

Skills Needed

The GRA will (1) transcribe and analyze interviews of students to uncover their misconceptions about cybersecurity, (2) suggest interview prompts and test questions, and (3) help prepare publications describing the results. This work will include some statistical analysis and use of SurveyMonkey on-line questionnaires.

The GRA should bring knowledge and passion for cybersecurity, excellent communication skills, a strong work ethic, and a willingness, ability, and eagerness to learn whatever is needed to complete the project successfully.

The GRA will work closely with the investigators, including Drs. Alan Sherman, Dhananjay Phatak, Linda Oliva, Geoffrey Herman, and a post-doc in engineering education to be hired at The University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Project Summary

Professors Alan Sherman (CSEE), Dhananjay Phatak (CSEE), and Linda Oliva (Education) have been awarded a research grant from the Department of Defense to create two educational cybersecurity assessment tools, to help improve the way cybersecurity is taught. The $294,016 one-year project is joint with Geoffrey Herman at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana (UMBC portion $146,917). The research is being carried out at the UMBC Cyber Defense Lab at the UMBC Center for Information Security and Assurance and will fund a 12-month GRA in 2015-2016.

This project is creating infrastructure for a rigorous evidence-based improvement of cybersecurity education by developing the first Cybersecurity Assessment Tools (CATs) targeted at measuring the quality of instruction. The first CAT will be a Cybersecurity Concept Inventory (CCI) that measures how well students understand basic concepts in cybersecurity after a first course in the field. The second CAT will be a Cybersecurity Curriculum Assessment (CCA) that measures how well curricula prepared students graduating from college on fundamentals needed for careers in cybersecurity. Each CAT will be a multiple-choice test with approximately thirty questions.

Inspired by the highly influential Force Concept Inventory from physics, the investigators are following a three-step process: In fall 2015, with MS student Geet Parekh, they carried out two Delphi processes to identify important and difficult concepts in cybersecurity. Next, they will interview students to uncover their misconceptions about these concepts. Finally, they will draft and psychometrically evaluate questions whose incorrect answers are driven by the uncovered misconceptions. For more information, see here and here.

In 2015-2016, the project will focus on (1) interviewing students and analyzing the results, and (2) developing draft questions.

How to Apply

Interested graduate students should email Dr. Sherman () a resume, unofficial transcript, and statement of interest and qualifications. Include “CATs GRA” in subject header.


Nielsen Audio Data Science Day event, Thr. June 25

Nielsen Audio, a consumer research company that collects and analyzes listener data on radio broadcasting audiences, invites UMBC faculty and students to attend events focused on data science from 11:00am-2:30pm on Thursday June 25 at its headquarters in Columbia MD.

In the past few years, data science has become one of the top career opportunities for students with a background in computing or mathematics, offering interesting challenges and top salaries. Nielsen has been actively recruiting on campus and has hired three graduating UMBC students into its leadership rotational program, as well as several summer interns. They will be recruiting for full-time positions in the Fall.

The Nielsen Data Science Day event will take place in lobby and auditorium of Nielsen Audio's headquarters at 9705 Patuxent Woods Dr #200, Columbia, MD 21046 (map). Activities will include presentations, data science themed games and group discussions.

Between 11:00 and 12:00 participants can engage with interactive games with a Math/Data Science/Audio theme, including Data Science Jeopardy, Name that Tune, and Sampling Marbles. In the auditorium, a short video on data science produced by Nielsen will play continuously.

Lunch is available at Noon, followed by an introduction to data science at Nielsen Audio and presentations from managers of Nielsen's data science groups.

In the afternoon there will be a chance to meet with data scientists and find out what they do and opportunities for internships and positions.

If you have questions, contact the Columbia Data Science Day Committee leads: Kelly Dixon () or Freddie Navarro ()

Summer text analysis research jobs, on-campus

Hiring Students for Summer Text Mining Project

A new, interdisciplinary research project offers a total of five positions to graduate or undergraduate students from multiple disciplines who exhibit the right combination of initiative, skills and reliability. The project investigates undergraduate teaching at UMBC, and is led by the combined expertise of the Shriver Center, Interdisciplinary Studies Program and the Honors College. The students will work as an integrated, interdisciplinary team, and may expect to expand their own knowledge, skills and experience as a result. UMBC graduate students and exceptionally qualified undergraduate students will be considered.

A group of Academic and Student Affairs Division faculty and staff are working to better track, assess, strengthen and increase, and recognize and reward applied learning experiences across the UMBC Campus. In FY15, this group’s work has focused on creating a plan for assessing the impact of applied learning experiences (broadly defined) on students’ affective development.

Each position offers partial summer support funded by a Hrabowski Fund for Innovation: Implementation and Research grant.

80 hours (may span across 4-8 weeks depending on availability-no more than 20 hrs/week)

Stipend of $1150

The five graduate students we seek will have a background in the following skills/disciplines: Information Systems; Computer Science; Human Centered Computing; Instructional Systems Design; Applied Mathematics; Statistics; Human Services Psychology; Applied Sociology; Education; Language, Literacy & Culture; and Public Policy.

The project aims to continue for a minimum of three years, expanding subject to further successful funding. Students who perform well may be invited to extend their role.

One goal is to explore, through written student feedback, how diverse courses have contributed to their perception of growth in key attributes.  This first summer of the project will look at pilot data, exploratory analysis of scrappy, inconsistent, self-reported text, in order to figure out how to collect better, more uniform data in the Fall semester. One of the skill sets we wish for in the team would be a computer scientist able to mine text to seek the suggestion of themes, patterns or clues to what we would need to ask to get such patterns more clearly in the future.

All interested candidates should send a letter of interest, resume with references, and a statement with general summer weekly availability (e.g., Monday, Wednesdays & Fridays from 9am – 2pm) to Michele Wolff at by Wednesday, June 24.  Exceptionally qualified undergraduate students will also be considered.

Opportunity for students to attend cybersecurity conference at JHU/APL June 17

The GovConnect conference seeks college sophomores, juniors and seniors interested in cybersecurity to apply for free admission to its showcase event:

   GovConnects' 6th Annual Cyber Conference: Migration to the Cloud:
   Vulnerabilities and Challenges/ Opportunities and Solutions
   Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab Kossiakoff Center, 
   Wednesday, 17 June 2015, 9:00-5:00

Resumes are currently being accepted by GovConnects for a one day internship that provides free attendance.  Participation options: 8:00am–12:00noon or 12:00noon — 4:00 pm.
GovConnects, a program of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce, is the organizer of this event. Over 300 industry and government professionals are expected to attend the all-day conference. Student interns will be provided with breakfast and lunch. Parking is free and there is no charge for internship participants.
Keynote speakers are Dmitri Alperovitch, Co- Founder and CTO of CrowdStrike Inc., and LTG (R) Rhett Hernandez, Chair, Army Cyber Institute.  The conference has multiple paths of interest including breakout sessions in Mobile IT, Insider Threat, Health IT, and FedRAMP. Interns will be able to attend a breakout session of choice and have access to the who's who of the conference cyber speakers. Tech Talks will feature new products and ideas pitched by companies and judged by a panel of industry experts including representatives from Leidos, Ciena, Honeywell, Dell Federal, and Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab.
Cyber 6.0 is an excellent opportunity for technical candidates (For example, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, and Computer Engineering, but not limited to these fields.) to meet and interact with industry and federal government officials. Conference sponsors have agreed to review internsÕ resumes for potential employment eligibility, if interested.
Several sponsors have current programs in place that support technical students close to graduation in obtaining federal clearances.
The opportunity to attend the conference, gain valuable information about the trends/forecasts for cybersecurity issues and technology, and meet companies, speakers and potential employers is a day well spent!
If you are interested in attending, explore the conference details and send your resume to Tom Sabia, Conference Intern Coordinator at   or

Neal Ziring on Career Opportunities in Cybersecurity, 1pm Fri 5/15, UMBC

Career Opportunities in Cybersecurity and
the Information Assurance Directorate

Neal Ziring
Technical Director, Information Assurance Directorate
National Security Agency

1:00pm-2:00pm Friday, 15 May 2015

ITE-325b (CSEE Dept Conference room)

Mr. Ziring will discuss career opportunities in cybersecurity and what NSA's Information Assurance Directorate does.

Neal Ziring is a technical director in the Information Assurance Directorate (IAD) at NSA. The IAD provides cryptographic, network, and operational security to protect and defend national security systems. Previously, Mr. Ziring was a technical director for the Vulnerability Analysis and Operations Group, which provides technology evaluations, defensive operations, and secure configuration guidance for the DoD and the IC. During that time, he served as security architect for two major NSA mission systems programs, collaborated with NIST on the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), and led analyses of cloud computing and IPv6. Before joining the NSA in 1989, he worked at AT&T Bell Labs. He has a BS in EE and an MS in Computer Science from Washington University.

JOBS: Google Visibility Day, 1-5pm Wed 4/22

Two UMBC alumni who now work at Google will present a Google information session and two technical talks this coming Wednesday afternoon in the Library Gallery. It's a chance for both undergraduate and graduate students to learn about internship and full-time opportunities at Google. The Googlers are:

  • Blazej Bulka is a currently a Senior Software Engineer at Google NYC. He received a Ph.D. in Computer Science from UMBC in 2009.
  • Robert Banz is a Site Reliability Manager at Google. He received a BS in Computer Science from UMBC in 1995 and worked for UMBC's Department of Information Technology for many years before joining Google.

There will be an opportunity to network and ask questions between talks and an informal happy hour after the talks starting at 5:00pm at Flat Tuesdays in the Commons. Faculty, staff and frinds are welcome to attend the talks and happy hour.

  • Noon-1:00pm Google Culture and Careers, Presented by Blazej Bulka and Robert Banz

    Google culture and mission presented by two UMBC graduates who work at Google. Brief history of Google, products and projects, and first-hand relation of how it is to work for Google. The second half of the talk will describe various career opportunities (both for full-time positions and internship), including information about the interview process.

  • 2:00-3:00pm Engineering Reliability at Google, Presented by Robert Banz

    Keeping Google services up and running efficiently, reliably, and at scale.

  • 4:00-5:00pm Research and Work at Google: Graduate Student Opportunities, Presented by Blazej Bulka

    How to do research and utilize skills learned in graduate school at Google.

  • 5:00- Happy Hour at Flat Tuesdays, The Commons

Let Google know you are interested in opportunities and plan to attend some of the sessions by filling out this form.

Jobs: Baltimore City Teaching Residency, apply by 4/13

Baltimore City Teaching Residency – Final Deadline Extended to April 13

Baltimore City Teaching Residency trains UMBC graduates from a wide variety of majors and backgrounds to become exceptional, certified teachers for Baltimore City students in high-need communities.  It’s an honor and a tremendous responsibility, which is why we hold the highest standards of effectiveness of any teacher preparation program in America. 

Our 1-year program provides teacher training and certification while you work as a fulltime teacher, thus earning full salary and benefits.

Do you have what it takes to join this elite group of educators?

Click here – our final application deadline is Monday, April 13.  Have questions? Email anhthi.mouradov at

Our training program includes:

  • 6-week pre-service training (Summer 2015, 5 days per week, fulltime hours)
  • Weekly TNTP Academy training seminars (throughout the 2015-16 school year)
  • Expert coaching to ensure your success throughout your first year teaching
  • Extensive help and resources to secure your fulltime teaching position for the 2015-16 school year and beyond


Job: Internship at MITRE's Human Language Technology department

The MITRE Human Language Technology department is looking to add a talented intern to work on a research project aimed at developing automated methods for detecting dropped pronouns in informal Chinese text. The intern will contribute to the development and evaluation of algorithms and documentation of results in a technical report. Depending upon results, the report will be submitted to a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

Start: April – mid-June (flexible)

Duration: 8-10 weeks

Location: Annapolis Junction MD preferred, McLean VA/Bedford MA possible

For more information, see here.

Job: Internship opportunities at Army Research Lab

The College Qualified Leaders (CQL) program offers interested students (undergraduates and graduates) the opportunity to spend the summer working on research in a Department of Defense laboratory. These are paid internships.

The Multilingual Computing Branch (MLCB) at the U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL), based in Adelphi, Maryland is looking for talented computer science and engineering interns this summer. Interns will work closely with ARL researchers on current projects to develop cutting-edge natural language processing and machine learning software. The MLCB has several ongoing projects in computational linguistics/natural language processing, including active projects in machine translation, human-robot communication, and social media analysis.

Interested applicants should have a strong academic record and be willing to take the initiative on projects.

Proficiency in Java, C++, Python, Scala, or similar languages is desired. Proficiency in natural language processing, speech processing, machine learning, or pattern recognition is a plus. Proficiency in multiple natural languages is a plus. Two references are required. Applicants must be U.S. Citizens.

The CQL program is not restricted to the summer months and, thus, it may be possible for the intern to continue working with ARL during the school year.

Interested students should apply via the following URL:

It is strongly recommended that interested students apply soon, as the window of opportunity for researchers to select summer interns is rapidly closing.

For more information about ARL, please visit

Note that additional CQL positions may also be available for students in other disciplines and/or at other locations (e.g., Aberdeen Proving Ground).

Job: Health Informatics Data Scientist

Job Opening: Health Informatics Data Scientist

#machinelearning #datascience #informatics #healthIT #datamining

Where? Bethesda, MD


Incumbent will serve as the Data Scientist for the National Intrepid Center of Excellence (NICoE) at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) in Bethesda MD. NICoE is a DoD institute dedicated to providing cutting-edge evaluation, treatment, and research for service members dealing with complex interactions of mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and psychological health (PH) conditions. The Clinical and Research Informatics group at the NICoE maintains a large-scale database with millions of longitudinal clinical data points.

A PhD or a Master’s degree in computer science or related fields is required. Knowledge of fundamentals of machine learning, data mining and statistical modeling are required. Proficiency in standard data analytics toolkits such as WEKA, R, Python, Matlab, MALLET, SciPy, RapidMinder, and/or Orange is required. Experience in manipulating and analyzing large data sets using existing technologies such as Hadoop, MapReduce, or GPUs is a valuable skill set.

Successful candidates will be expected to conduct research and development of state-of-the-art machine learning techniques that can be used to better understand the complex effects of concussion and mTBI. Applicants are expected to have a strong background in machine learning, data mining, and statistical modeling for predictive analytics. In addition, candidates are expected to have expertise in different data types including categorical, temporal, spatial, imaging, semi-structured, and unstructured data.

Requirements? Candidate must be a US Citizen.

Interest? Contact Jesus J. Caban, PhD at   jesus.j.caban.civ at

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