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Dr. Jens Mache Lands His Sixth NSF Award

August 23, 2017

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded Lewis & Clark a $124,965 grant for “Collaborative Research: Modeling Student Activity and Learning on Cybersecurity Testbeds.” Under the direction of Professor of Computer Science Dr. Jens Mache at Lewis & Clark, and submitted in collaboration with Dr. Jelena Mirkovic of the University of Southern California and Dr. Richard Weiss of Evergreen State College (total award $499,854), this two-year project aims to develop tools to measure students’ cybersecurity learning and provide actionable feedback to students and instructors. Further, it will develop a framework for the automated assessment of student learning in practical cybersecurity exercises, which will both build a knowledge base of successful and unsuccessful paths and inform future instruction. 

Funded by NSF’s CyberCorps Scholarship for Service Defending America’s Cyberspace (SFS) program in the Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE), this project responds directly to SFS’s Capacity Track, which is designed to support projects “leading to an increase in the ability of the United States higher education enterprise to produce cybersecurity professionals.” Overarching goals of this project include identifying students struggling with a practical exercise early and investigating the cause of failure, providing rapid feedback to students so that they may redirect, and providing real-time assessment information to the instructor. This work builds on previous work accomplished by this team of researchers and has the potential for tremendous impact on security education and research worldwide. 

It is worth noting that this represents the sixth NSF grant Dr. Mache has been awarded (since 2004); he is currently working on another related NSF-funded project, “EDURange: Supporting cyber security education with hands-on exercises, a student-staffed help-desk, and webinars.” More information about Dr. Mache’s research interests are available here and more about this new award is available here.

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