Security Researcher Lands Defense Scholarship

Cutting-Edge Approach Blends Separate Computer Science Disciplines

Sept. 24, 2008

Scott Moore, a UT Dallas master’s student in computer science, has received a prestigious U.S. Department of Defense Information Assurance Scholarship for 2008-2009.

Working under Dr. Kevin Hamlen, an assistant professor of computer science in the UT Dallas Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, Moore is studying the cutting-edge field of language-based security.

“Language-based security is the convergence of two previously separate fields of study: programming languages and computer security,” Hamlen said. “Scott has been studying a new approach for finding and fixing errors in security policies for Java, a technology that lies at the heart of most Web browsers.

“Computer security systems are only as effective as the policies we tell them to enforce, so finding flaws or loopholes in these policies is extremely important for creating a secure Internet, and we’re very proud of Scott’s work in this direction,” Hamlen said.

Information Assurance Scholarships are offered by the Department of Defense to students at select research institutions that have been designated Centers of Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security. Scott is the first-ever recipient of one of the scholarships at UT Dallas.

The award is a testament to the growing expertise and reputation of UT Dallas Cybersecurity Research Center, according to Bhavani Thuraisingham, the center’s director and a professor of computer science. The center recently received a $1 million in a highly competitive federal grant for research on assured information sharing.

“We have built a very strong research program in cybersecurity with grants from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, the National Science Foundation, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and NASA among others,” she said. “Our next step is to win education grants from these agencies, and we hope this Department of Defense scholarship will pave the way for other scholarships for our students.”


Media Contacts: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, newscenter@utdallas.edu

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