UMass Dartmouth Students Shine at Governor's Cyber Aces State Championship

UMass Dartmouth Students Finish in Top Ten Places After Whole Day Event

UMass Dartmouth students from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) participated this past Saturday, May 3, 2014 at Governor Deval Patrick's Cyber Aces State Championship, hosted at UMass Boston. UMass Dartmouth claimed four of the top ten places after the whole day event. 

The eight students include 5th place finisher and ECE Master's candidate Nolan Paduch, 8th Place finisher and ECE senior Sean Reid, 10th Place finisher and ECE junior Danial Noyes, ECE senior Jesse Carter, ECE Master's candidate David Goncalves, ECE junior Keith Kevelso, and ECE Master's candidate Jonathan Larcom. Elia El Lazkani, who finished in 6th place, earned his ECE Master's from UMass Dartmouth in December 2013.

The eight students are ECE undergraduate and graduate level students whose course work includes studying network security, cyber threats and security management. Five of the students serve as student advisors for Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Hong Liu, working on security research projects. They endured three rounds of Cyber Aces online qualification tests in last October, November, and December, respectively, before being invited to this Championship. 

"Last year's activities qualified half of the UMass Dartmouth contestants to this Championship. What is unique about Cyber Aces competition is the year-long learning process with the pros and the pathway building to cybersecurity careers," said Dr. Liu. "Last semester's three rounds of online competitions and the whole day tournament test contestants' determination, endurance, and persistence - the character and quality required for our nation's future cyber warriors." 

Massachusetts is one of only six states to launch an official Cyber Aces program. 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. 

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

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