JSCC Takes Lead Role in Cybersecurity Research

Aug 6th, 2014

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded a grant of $385,136 to Jackson State Community College to support a puzzle-based cybersecurity learning project. The ultimate goal of this project is to enhance defensive skills of front-line technicians in the area of cybersecurity.

This grant for this project was applied for by and is under the direction of Dr. Tom Pigg, Dean of Allied Health and Computer Information Systems at Jackson State. The project is in collaboration with the University of Memphis. Dr. Dipankar Dasgupta, Professor of Computer Science at The University of Memphis, will oversee the research design for the project and will be available for expert consultation

The project will start Sept. 1 and run for three years. The initial project will consist of the development of puzzles that CIS students studying information assurance will use as a method to learn and hone their skills in problem solving. According to Pigg, 'Students will work through a variety of scenarios to achieve a desirable outcome. As with many things, there are multiple ways to solve a problem. Ultimately, there will be competitions where students will compete to determine the most efficient way to solve problems.'

Dr. Pigg sees this as a huge boost for JSCC and the Computer Information Systems program specifically. 'This is a very unique situation,' comments Pigg. 'Due to the nature of the research component, these types of grants are normally awarded to four-year institutions where this activity is typically carried out. Select students and faculty of JSCC are the ones directly responsible for the implementation of this research. 'This type of opportunity at the associates degree level is a great opportunity for both students and faculty,' states Pigg.

Jackson State has the distinction of being the only community college in the state of Tennessee as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance institution. The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security grants this designation. JSCC is also a member of the Cyber Security Education Consortium (CSEC) of which it is the lead institution for Tennessee.

For more information about the Computer Information Systems program at Jackson State Community College, visit http://www.jscc.edu/computer-information-systems or contact Dr. Pigg at (731) 424-3520 ext. 50201 or tpigg@jscc.edu.

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