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Alexander Receives NSF Grant

Dr. Curby Alexander TCU
Dr. Curby Alexander

Dr. Curby Alexander, Associate Professor of Professional Practice, and Dr. Liran Ma, Associate Professor of Computer Science, were awarded a three-year, $500,000 National Science Foundation (NSF) grant. The NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure awarded the professors the grant for their project, Enhancing Mobile Security Education by Creating Eureka Experiences.

Alexander and Ma will use the grant to educate university computer science undergraduate students on the fundamental aspects of mobile security relevant to advanced cyberinfrastructure, and to improve students’ ability to identify, prevent and respond to emerging threats. They would like to eventually modify these labs for students in elementary, middle, and high school in order to teach foundational cybersecurity concepts and skills, and potentially create interest in a career in cybersecurity. Ma will develop labs and teaching materials for this project and Alexander will take the lead on educational assessment.

The professors plan to develop hands-on laboratories to teach concepts related to cyber security. They will incorporate Inquiry-Based Learning (IBL) activities that will develop the future workforces’ core competencies and preparedness in mobile security, ultimately helping advance national security. The lab topics will range from basic cybersecurity concepts and skills, such as ethical wireless surveillance and tapping, to core concepts and skills centered on various wireless security protocols, and advanced labs focused on malware analysis and data leakage from linked apps. They hope to inspire future research in related fields and partner with academic and professional communities to adopt their materials.