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NEWS RELEASE

05-22-01

Contacts:
Jim Davis, Electrical and Computer Engineering, (515) 294-0659
Doug Jacobson, Electrical and Computer Engineering, (515) 294-8307
Skip Derra, News Service, (515) 294-4917


ISU GETS FUNDS TO EXPAND INFORMATION ASSURANCE PROGRAM

AMES, Iowa -- A $2.6 million grant from the National Science Foundation will help Iowa State University expand its degree program in information assurance (computer security) by as many as 40 students. Information assurance professionals work to make computers impervious to cyber attacks that can harm a computer and its data files.

NSF director Rita Colwell announced the first Scholarship for Service grants today (May 22) at the fifth National Colloquium for Information System Security Education at George Mason University, Fairfax, Va.

"These scholarships will encourage young people to enter the field of information security and assurance, and give them an opportunity to put their talents to work at the front lines of government cyber security efforts," Colwell said.

Six institutions will receive the grants as part of an interagency, public/private effort to meet the growing national needs for computer security and information assurance professionals. Students selected for the program will receive internship opportunities with federal agencies and, upon graduation, work for the federal government for one year for each year of scholarship education received.

Iowa State will use the money to expand its program in information assurance with 40 fellowships to graduate and undergraduate students, said Jim Davis, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and one of the organizers of the ISU program.

"There is a dire need for these types of professionals and we see demand growing in future years," Davis said. "The money will help us to expand our offerings to a larger group of students and get them started in their careers in information assurance."

Recipients in addition to Iowa State are: Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, ($2.5 million); Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind., ($2.4 million); University of Idaho, Moscow, ($1.4 million); University of Tulsa, ($2.8 million); and the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterrey, Calif., ($2.3 million). Each of the universities selected to receive the NSF scholarship funds have been designated Centers of Excellence by the U.S. National Security Agency.



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