IUP Cybersecurity Camp starts MondayAfter an initial and extremely successful cybersecurity camp for middle and high school students and teachers at Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2016, IUP is expanding the program to offer two free cybersecurity camps this summer at the university.

The camps are part of a national initiative supported by the National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation. IUP is the only school in western Pennsylvania that is part of this initiative for 2017.

Project directors Waleed Farag, Department of Computer Science, and Dighton (Mac) Fiddner, Department of Political Science, received two grants totaling $120,000 from the National Security Agency for the program.

The first camp, offered to both middle and high school teachers and students, will be offered June 12 to 16 on the IUP campus. Applications for this camp are due by May 21.

The second camp, new this year, is Advanced Camp for middle and high school students. It will be offered June 27 to July 3. It is technical oriented and geared to students with previous programming and/or cybersecurity experience and knowledge. Applications for this camp are due May 28.

Information about the camp and application forms are available at the IUP GenCyber webpage.

The combined camp is limited to 55 participants (40 students and 15 teachers); the student camp is limited to 30 participants.

Both camps run from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day. Lunch and a snack will be provided as part of the program, which includes direct instruction, group activities and hands-on experiences. It will be taught by a team of faculty with established expertise in cybersecurity teaching and research.

Students in the advanced camp will receive an Arduino Circuit Board to take home; students in the student-teacher combined camp will receive a free Parrot Cargo Drone to take home. All participating teachers will receive a free Chrome Book to take home. Teachers will also receive Act 48 credits and mileage reimbursement for those who commute to the camp for 10 miles or more is available.

“The camp has two main goals for students,” Farag said. “First, to increase interest in cybersecurity careers and diversity in the cybersecurity workforce of the nation; second, to help students understand correct and safe on-line behavior, including learning hacking defense techniques.”

“For teachers, the program is designed to help improve teaching methods for delivering cybersecurity content for kindergarten through grade 12,” Farag said. The program for teachers will present multidisciplinary cybersecurity teaching skills and modules to be used in the classroom.

According to national experts, jobs in cybersecurity have grown 91% nationally, and the demand for cybersecurity workers is expected to rise to 6 million globally.

For more information, persons may contact Dr. Farag at farag@iup.edu or by telephone at (724) 357-7995.

A 2014 Ponemon Institute study ranks IUP's Computer Science Department among the top 25 percent of 183 American schools for cybersecurity education. The Ponemon Institute conducts independent research on digital privacy and security.

This ranking reflects IUP history of recognition for excellence in the field of cybersecurity and information assurance.

IUP is a National Cyber Security Alliance “Champion,” recognized by the National Cyber Security Alliance. IUP was recognized in a 2014 national survey of “Best Schools for Cybersecurity” by HP Enterprise Security, released in October 2015. The university was ranked in the top 25 percent of all cybersecurity programs in the nation. Only four Pennsylvania colleges and universities were rated in the top quartile.

The university is a recent recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation to support women and minorities in cybersecurity. It has received several NSF grants related to this discipline.

IUP was first selected as a National Center for Academic Excellence in Information Assurance by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security in 2002, a recognition that the university continues to hold. IUP is one of only six institutions in Pennsylvania currently holding this recognition.

IUP's program is unique because of its interdisciplinary character, blending the disciplines of criminology and computer science. In addition to the development of computer programs and systems for cybersecurity, IUP's program focuses on cybercrime detection, loss prevention, and how to collect the evidence to prosecute cybersecurity offenders.

Photo information: From left: project directors Waleed Farag and Dighton (Mac) Fiddner received two grants totaling $120,000 from the National Security Agency for the cybercamp program.