UMass Dartmouth Electrical and Computer Engineering Students Attend Kickoff of Governor Patrick's Cyber Aces Championship

Students and Faculty Join Governor at Start of Massachusetts Cyber-Security Competition

UMass Dartmouth students and faculty from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) attended Governor Deval Patrick's Cyber Aces Championship kickoff on September 12, 2013 at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. 

Massachusetts is one of only six states to launch an official Cyber Aces program. Following the launch, students can now take part in three online competitions, which include a series of skills tests for participants in networking fundamentals, operating systems and secure system administration. The tests focus on high-demand industry areas of cyber security and also match the courses offered to ECE students at UMass Dartmouth. Top performers in these tests earn an invitation to the state championship, held in May, where they compete for top honors, prizes, and scholarships. 

"The Governor's Cyber Aces Championship is a rare opportunity to help us as students bridge the gap between the educational sector and opportunities within both the public and private sector," said Elia El Lazkani, an Computer Engineering (CPE) Master of Science candidate at UMass Dartmouth . "The championship is a good challenge for us to showcase our abilities, to think on our feet, and cope with real life scenarios that might occur in our future jobs someday." 

The IT industry is the second fastest growing field in the nation, according to a recent Cisco analysis, with cyber security jobs projected to be one of the highest paying occupations moving forward. This competition provides students both first-hand experience in cyber security development and the potential to meet and network with information security experts and potential employers. 

"I am so proud of our students who took part in the competition launch and look forward to supporting them as they perform in the statewide security competition," said Dr. Hong Liu, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "As the need for cyber security expands, our students greatly appreciate what the state and UMass Dartmouth can offer them in expanding their skills and network opportunities with potential employers." 

UMass Dartmouth has been actively involved in integrating research and education in the field of cyber security. ECE offers undergraduate programs in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. At the graduate level, the ECE Department offers programs in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Electrical Engineering with options in Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering. In addition, the ECE Department offers five graduate certificate programs. 

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