SUU's Cyber Research Labs and Deep Learning Project Receives $800,000 Two Year Grant

Published: March 05, 2024 | Author: Jaydan Jensen | Read Time: 3 minutes

Student working on computer servers and a tablet

The College of Engineering and Computational Sciences has earned its largest grant ever through Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) under the Deep Technology Initiative. The “SUU Training and Online Development Labs and Deep Learning/VR Project” is a two-year grant for $798,458 and will go into development of educational and research labs at SUU.

Deep learning, a subset of artificial intelligence (AI), has the potential to amplify the security of Internet of Things (IoT) devices through continuous monitoring of device behavior for anomalies. SUU's computer science and cybersecurity disciplines have distinguished themselves as leaders among technical institutes, providing high quality graduate and undergraduate education to students through certificate, associate, baccalaureate, and master degree programs. SUU’s Cybersecurity Club continually exceeds expectations in various challenges, notably achieving second place in a Homeland Security competition in 2022. Additionally, SUU stands out as one of the only Utah universities to teach the Solaris Operating System within Cybersecurity.

The Training and Online Development Labs and Deep Learning/VR Project, will unfold in two stages. During the first stage, students will develop software required for the second stage. The software is imperative in laying the groundwork for the project’s mission. The second stage will use the established software to transfer cybersecurity curriculum to the cloud. The curriculum will be accessible through Virtual Reality headsets within on campus classroom labs.

The establishment of on-campus labs marks an era of robust, science-driven research projects at SUU, offering students invaluable opportunities to collaborate with industry and government partners. These collaborative endeavors will allow SUU to address security obstacles related to data and resource sharing and how to integrate security considerations seamlessly with domain-specific workflow. Students will develop essential programming for cybersecurity education within the immersive environment of VR headsets.

The project aims to provide necessary hand-on experience in developing and applying techniques in real life cybersecurity scenarios. Incorporating VR technology alongside Cisco network training labs and MAC OS facilities, the labs will pave the way for the future of cybersecurity education at SUU.

SUU takes great pride in introducing the leaders of this project: Dr. Gary L. Wallace, serving as the Principal Investigator (PI), brings a wealth of experience as a retired Commander and former Director of Information Technology and Security at the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command. With over nineteen years of teaching experience at SUU, Tulane University, and Delgado Community College, Wallace has been recognized with numerous awards throughout his educational career. His impressive academic background includes a Doctorate of Philosophy in Business Administration specializing in Management Information Systems, along with multiple master's degrees in Business Administration, Information Assurance, Information Technology, and Information Management with various specialties. As PI, Wallace will be responsible for establishing, supervising, and directing the proposed SUU Cyber Research Labs and Certificates project.

Dr. Glen Sagers, appointed as Co-PI, currently serves as the Department Chair of Computer Science and Cybersecurity at SUU. He holds a Ph.D. in Information Systems from Florida State University and a Master's in Business Administration from Kansas State University. Sagers published research on cybersecurity education including papers on cybersecurity lab development in academic courses, and the utilizing principles of authentic assessment in cybersecurity courses.

Dr. Prosenjit Chatterjee, also serving as Co-PI, brings expertise in deep learning, artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and virtual reality (VR) technologies. He completed his Ph.D. in Computer Science with a focus in Deep Learning, AI, and ML, from North Carolina A&T State University in 2020. Additionally, Chatterjee holds two master's degrees: one in Information Technology (Software Engineering) and another in Business Administration. His prolific research output includes numerous peer-reviewed articles published in conferences and journals, focusing primarily on Deep Learning, AI, and ML.

SUU will continue to foster relationships with industry partners to enhance the program's impact and reach. These partners include, but are not limited to, Hill Air Force Base, Dugway, Utah National Guard, NSA, FBI, IRS, US Navy, Zonos, Watchman Technologies, USTAR, Leavitt Group, Iron County School District, AltaPoint, TouchMD, Muix, Amazon, BusyBusy, Casino Game Maker, and Las Vegas Sands.

Tags: Computer Science College of Engineering and Computational Sciences Cyber Security

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