Cai, Li, and Pan Win Collaborative NSF Grant

Posted On June 16, 2020
Categories Faculty News

The National Science Foundation has awarded grants totaling $480,000 to a team of researchers from Georgia State University and Texas Christian University to create innovative learning tools for computer science students interested in the cybersecurity field. Georgia State will receive $330,000 from the three-year Collaborative Research grant, which was funded by NSF’s Division Of Graduate Education.

In a world that is constantly digitizing and becoming more reliant on technology, the demand for efficient education and training of a cybersecurity-capable workforce is growing exponentially. The researchers plan to develop three types of hands-on labs that will meet the pressing needs of cybersecurity education in both community and four-year colleges. The labs will vary in degree, including an “outreach” lab that will introduce community college students to computer science and cybersecurity, a “core” lab designed for the learning of intricate cybersecurity concepts and technology, and an “advanced” lab intended for emerging technology and student-led research. The project will make cybersecurity a more readily available and accessible avenue of study for all types of higher education students.

Dr. Zhipeng Cai is the principal investigator for the Georgia State grant. He is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and the recipient of an NSF CAREER award. The grant’s co-PIs are assistant professor Wei Li and Regents Professor Yi Pan, the chair of the Department of Computer Science.

The principal investigator at TCU is Liran Ma, an associate professor of computer science. Dr. Ma specializes in wireless networks, mobile health, systems security and data privacy, cloud computing, and the Internet of things. Dr. Ma is joined by co-PI Richard “Curby” Alexander, an associate professor in TCU’s College of Education. Dr. Alexander’s specialties include student-created digital media, teaching in higher education, project-based learning in STEM, and cybersecurity education.

Story by Ashlie Swanson